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On your next Patagonia tour keep an eye out for the rufous-tailed hawk. The birds, which were first discovered by Charles Darwin on his famous voyage aboard the Beagle, have a variety of coloration in their bodies, but they all have rust-colored tails, often with black horizontal stripes. Official estimates place the entire population of this unique bird at less than 1,000.

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Nature travel is such an exciting venture because you get the chance to see wildlife around the world, and Madagascar may well be the next place you want to visit. You should probably pack a magnifying glass and a flashlight if you want a chance to see the newest discovery on the African island.

February 23, 2012

Marshland Birds of the Amazon

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Travelers on Amazon River cruises will see thousands of beautiful colors that make up this neotropic ecozone. While those splendid sights are what many come to experience in South America, the shades of black and white may be just as interesting.

While cruising on smaller excursion boats upriver toward the confluence of the Ucayali and Maronon Rivers, travelers are likely to see black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant.

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Nepal, high up in the Himalayan mountains, is an isolated region, and as such there are many species of animals unique to the area. Those considering a Nepal travel package will want to include the Suklaphanta Wildlife Preserve as a nature travel destination. This reserve is home to one of the largest herds of barasingha, or swamp deer, in the world.

February 21, 2012

Dining in Dakar, Senegal

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The flavor of Dakar’s culture is rich and colorful, and the nation's food selections are no different. Just as the West African and European cultures come alive in the city's architecture and way of life, the two cultures come together over a meal to provide a one of a kind dining opportunity during your Senegal tour.

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Most people tour Patagonia for the stunning hikes and nature travel experiences around the Andes. However, exploring the cultures of the people who have inhabited these rugged peaks for centuries adds a particular sense of beauty and connection to this vast wilderness.

At the extreme southern reaches of South American, people have been building civilizations for centuries. However, it was not until the 16th century that they first made contact with Europeans.

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It's no secret that deforestation has been detrimental to the world's rainforests. Advocacy groups and volunteers have been working to put a stop to the industrializing of tropical regions like the Amazon for decades. While these groups have been successful, damage has already been done to the delicate ecological balance.

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All of the Monteverde Reserve is a gorgeous paradise, but one species there may be especially eye-catching to birders on International Expeditions’ Costa Rica tours.

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The sights along a West Africa cruise are stunning, but it is the famed culture of the region that brings an added sense of richness to expeditions in this remote area.

Along the Niger River are buildings with unique mud architecture, fishing villages and livestock farms. However, it is the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation that add color to these landscapes.

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The Amazon River is home to many different species of animals, including the elusive jaguar, the largest member of the cat family living in the Americas. The species predominantly sticks to the rainforests of Latin America, especially around the Amazon River basin, but they were once found all across South and Central America.

Jaguars are easy to recognize, as they are covered in rose-shaped black spots. However, some may appear to look more like panthers or other big cats if their fur is dark enough to disguise their spots.

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