Category Archives: Conservation

Voluntourism: Wild Women Expeditions’ Elephants, Treks and Temples Tour Provides Opportunity to Help with Elephant Care in Thailand’s Chiang Mai Region

During Wild Women Expeditions’ Elephants, Treks and Temples tour of Northern Thailand participants get to help bathe, feed and walk elephants at both an elephant rescue center and in a Karen tribal village in the jungle.

CORNER BROOK, NL, CANADA– Elephants are the stars in a new-for-2018 multi-sport Thailand adventure for women-only hosted by Wild Women Expeditions.

Fall 2018 departures of Elephants, Treks and Temples tour of Northern Thailand (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/thailand-elephants/) will immerse guests for 11 days in the culture and landscape of northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai region on bicycles, and while trekking and coursing down rivers on bamboo rafts.  Stops enroute include helping to bathe, feed and walk elephants at both and an elephant rescue center and in a Karen tribal village in the jungle.

“Ethical, sustainable tourism is the Asian elephant’s best hope to survive. In the spirit of the #BeKindToElephants movement, we want to respect and protect these majestic animals and so won’t be riding elephants on any Wild Women tours,” says Jennifer Haddow, Owner/Director of Wild Women Expeditions. “This practice often relies on wild elephants being brutally tamed before they can be ridden and we are creating tourism opportunities with elephants that do not cause harm.”

The focus on elephants is part of a Wild Women Expeditions’ commitment to change the perception of elephants as beasts of burden for tourists. The company is supporting Chai Lai Sisters, a community-based tourism project to convert an abusive elephant riding camp into a sanctuary or rescue center for elephants that is run by the Karen tribal community near Chiang Mai. This company also benefits a second organization, Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation, supporting the work of the work of the first elephant hospital in Thailand to rehabilitate elephants injured by overwork and neglect in tourist camps.

Wild Women Expeditions’ Elephants, Treks and Temples Tour of Chiang Mai, Thailand, provides opportunity to help care for elephants.

Wild Women Expeditions has also thrown its financial support behind Chai Lai Orchid and a Go Fund Me Campaign to empower local women and rescue elephants. Donations are needed to save 13 Asian elephants from abusive conditions and to support a human-trafficking prevention program. For more details and to contribute see: https://www.gofundme.com/ChaiLai.

Elephants in this region are big business. The animals are enslaved to the tourist trade 365 days a year as cheap transportation carrying the weight of a heavy metal chair plus the weight of humans. Elephants are also in chains to logging interests, day after day dragging felled trees from the jungle. In the rescue center caretakers from a Karen hill tribe assure that the animals are well treated and have access to water for bathing. See: https://www.chailaiorchid.com/elephant-sanctuary/.

In Chiang Mai is the world’s first elephant hospital that is supported by a non-profit organization called Friends of the Asian Elephant. Here treatments cover the spectrum of what distressed elephants may require, from illnesses requiring antibiotics to injuries mandating surgeries and future prosthesis, to maternal and infant care. See: http://www.friendsoftheasianelephant.org/en/.

Thailand’s Chiang Mai is the gateway to access the country’s north. The Wild Women Adventure Tour will visit several tribal communities to get a view of the rural landscape through activities including cycling, rafting and trekking.

Rice paddies, orchards, bamboo and fern groves surround women on bicycles in Sri Lanna National Park. To cross a reservoir they board a longtail boat bound for lunch at a floating bamboo raft house. Atop Thailand’s second highest mountain they gaze across a landscape to neighboring Myanmar; they hike along a jungle trail and immerse themselves in the culture of a hill tribe whose business is maintaining tea plantations. The group will stay for two nights at Phu Chaisai, at an award-winning eco-resort crafted by bamboo in the jungle near Chiang Rai. One 3.5-hour trek leads to a Karen village hill tribe where elephants await new hands to feed and bathe them. Another day is spent at an elephant sanctuary near Chiang Mai.  Omnipresent throughout this journey are temples – or wats – and the role that rivers continue to play in shaping Thailand’s trade and agriculture.

The per person double rate is $2,295 USD inclusive of 10 nights accommodation (including a home stay), most meals, services of an English-speaking certified female guide and assistant guides, drinking water and snacks, activity-related equipment, travel, including airport transfers, in private air-conditioned vans, sightseeing tickets and zone entrance fees, flight confirmations and luggage transfers.

A quarter century ago Wild Women Expeditions pioneered today’s steam-charged movement encouraging women to travel in small women-only groups. “Wild Women Expeditions gives women the opportunity to empower themselves amongst other women, connect with the natural world and make a positive impact in the communities we explore,” says Haddow.

For details, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email [email protected] or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

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Austin Adventures Adds Wilderness Glamping in Costa Rica To Growing Lineup of Upscale Multisport Tours

Costa Rica: Chiquita Glamping & Pacuare River Raft vacation is the latest of over 30 “online-only” trips featured on Austin Adventures’ award-winning website.

BILLINGS, MT –The best of all worlds, including creature comforts while glamping in the wilderness, come seamlessly together on Austin Adventures’ new 8 day/7 night Costa Rica: Chiquita Glamping & Pacuare River Raft vacation. This is the latest of over 30 “online-only” trips featured on its award-winning website: https://www.austinadventures.com/.
With its newest Costa Rica program, year-round departures are flexible and may be arranged when it best fits participant’s own schedule, on a space-available basis. The per person double rate (based on a party of four or more) is from $3,998 for the core experience. Options exist to customize the itinerary to the guests’ wishes.

This luxury trip, without a lofty price tag, brings curious travelers to a country on the forefront of land and wildlife conservation. Over 25 percent of the country has been protected by the establishment of preserves, sanctuaries, refuges, and national parks. Costa Rica also offers one of the most biodiverse places in the world, Carara National Park located in the transition zone between Costa Rica’s wet southeast and hotter, drier northwest. The adventure begins here as guests explore the river basin of the River Tárcoles, which hosts one of the largest remaining populations of wild scarlet macaws in the country.

Guests then journey by boat to Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort, far off the usual tourist track. Home for three pampered nights, each large platform tent accommodation is equipped with a king bed, day bed lounger, private shower and bathroom with double sinks, and spacious lounging deck with stunning ocean views.  From this isolated island, guests visit Curú National Wildlife Refuge with pristine beaches and abundant wildlife while gliding through the still waters of a protected bay in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard, watching tropical birds soar overhead. One morning guests transfer to Tortuga Island where white sands contrast with brilliant Caribbean blue waters. Snorkeling is popular here, as guests marvel at surprisingly colorful crabs and lobsters as well as vibrant tropical fish.

A local flight back to mainland beckons guests to engage in the premier whitewater rafting adventure in Costa Rica – on the Pacuare River (rated by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 river trips in the world).  Here they visit the Cabecar Indian village and meet with the largest indigenous tribe in Costa Rica. A family of the community shares traditions they have used for centuries.  After zip lining comes more rafting, leading to the deluxe, eco-sensitive Pacuare Lodge, accessible only by whitewater raft. Located at the center of a series of over 1.2 million acres of wildlife reserves, the lodge is both secluded and beautiful. Guests may opt to dine 60 feet above the forest floor in a platform built on the branches of a century-old Kapok tree. This lodge enjoys National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World status.

After two nights at the lodge and a final morning on the river, guests are transferred back to San José for a last overnight at Hotel Grano de Oro, a “Tropical Victorian” house which features a world-class restaurant. Airport transfers are offered the next morning.

For more information please see https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/costa-rica-isla-chiquita-pacuare-lodge/.

This is one of multiple programs Austin Adventures offers in Costa Rica where it has enjoyed relationships with top tourism purveyors for over 15 years.

“Costa Rica has always been our top selling international destination,” says Dan Austin, Founder and President of Austin Adventures. “We’re always on the lookout and open to what our well-established in-country contacts have to share when it comes to new, unusual and cutting-edge adventure opportunities. Together, we look for experiences away from the usual tourist track and crowds. The key is developing tour itineraries that appeal and captivate our brand of intrepid travelers.”

In the print version of its catalog, Austin Adventures features 65 separate destinations representing over 100 published tour options with over 40 also offered as a Family-Focused version. The website also showcases over 30 additional trips and destinations (not included in the catalog) outlining core itineraries that can be customized upon customer request. These online-only programs include, in addition to the Costa Rica vacation:
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/arizona-havasupai/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/ireland-kerry-county/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/ireland-family-kerry-county/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/scotland-family-scottish-highlands/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/scotland-scottish-highlands/

To help plan, Austin Adventures’ 2018 catalog is available upon request. Order ONLINE or call 800-575-1540 or email [email protected]. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

 

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Palm Beach Zoo Joins Growing List of Organizations Changing Gala Venue from Mar-a-Lago

The Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida, provides realistic habitats for its animals like these siamang and has an active program for conservation and breeding endangered species © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society has just announced its decision to move its upcoming 2018 annual fundraiser from the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, owned by Donald Trump and used as his “Winter White House.”

“We have an unyielding commitment to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world,” said Zoo CEO & President, Andrew Aiken. “After thoughtful consideration by Zoo leadership, we have decided it is important that we not allow distractions to deter us from our mission and culture.”

The Zoo’s Tropical Safari Gala, held on the island with limited venue options, is the only black tie event where more than 400 guests mingle with wildlife.

“It is critical that the focus of this special night remains on saving species and raising awareness and money for the hundreds of animals, many of them endangered, in our care.”

“As a home to over 550 animals, the Zoological Society of the Palm Beaches exists to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world. We advance our conservation mission through endangered species propagation, education and support of conservation initiatives in the field. An unwavering commitment to sustainable business practices elevates our capacity to inspire others.”

The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is located at 1301 Summit Boulevard in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, visit www.palmbeachzoo.org.

See also:

Where the Wild Things Are: At Palm Beach Zoo See Survival Strategies for Malayan Tigers and 50 Other Species in Progress

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Hurry: 7 Places to Visit While You Still Can

See Greenland with Big Chill Adventures (photo by Mindy Cambiar).

The world’s warming climate, rising sea levels, booming development and changing political landscape have the potential to impact travel in the not-too-distant future. Here are seven trips highlighting natural wonders, wildlife and cultures to see while you still can.

  1. Antarctica: Major ices shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have broken apart, retreated or lost volume in recent decades, and the trend continues today with a crack in the Larsen C shelf growing this year. Book a cruise with Adventure Life and use the ship as your base as you explore the peninsula on kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, mountaineering, camping and Zodiac excursions.
  2. Greenland: Greenland’s ice sheet is one of the largest contributors to sea level rise around the globe and the country experienced its highest average summer temperature on record and an early melt last year. With Big Chill Adventures, you can see calving glaciers, giant icebergs and Arctic landscapes accompanied by geologist and glaciologist Sarah Aciego and professional photographer Mindy Cambiar.
  3. Cuba: Travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba have eased recently with the first regularly scheduled flights between the countries, but the 2016 election brought several tourism-related questions. On this cruise, meet Cubans in person and see the historic architecture of Old Havana and the island’s natural wonders.
  4. Alaska: Several Canadian copper and gold mines are in operation, being explored or under review for approval, and their tailings pose a hazard in the headwaters of Alaska’s major salmon rivers. Book a trip to an Alaskan fishing lodge with Frontiers for a chance to cast for the five main species of Pacific salmon, plus trout, grayling, char and more.
  5. Rwanda: A study released this year shows that 75 percent of primate species have shrinking populations and 60 percent are threatened with extinction, with their decline being attributed to hunting, farming, ranching, logging, mining and oil drilling. Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas, as well as chimpanzees and golden monkeys, on a trek in the forests of Rwanda with Gondwana Ecotours.
  6. Russia: Russia’s Lake Baikal holds about 20% of the world’s unfrozen freshwater – making it the largest freshwater lake by volume – but it faces threats from pollution and hydroelectric projects. With MIR Corporation, travelers can see the lake by train and boat, and also visit the Gobi Desert to the south in Mongolia.
  7. Solomon Islands: Research published last year showed that rising sea levels resulted in the disappearance of five of the Solomon Islands, while erosion on others has forced the relocation of villages. Visit secluded bays and remote beaches, snorkel coral reefs and meet villagers in the Solomons and other nearby archipelagos by booking a cruise with Adventure Life.

 

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Big Chill Adventures Unveils New Panama Tour with Climate Change Scientist

(Cody, WY) – Celebrated climate change scientist, Dr. Sarah Aciego, co-founder of Big Chill Adventures, has unveiled a new tour of Panama. Slated for February 11-18, 2017, highlights include: visiting the Kuna & Embara Tribes, snorkeling pristine coral reefs, white-water rafting, horseback riding, hiking an active volcano, hot springs soaking, lodging in a cloud forest treehouse, and sampling coffee from the shade-grown coffee plantations (starting at $3,600 per person).

“From volcano to beach and all points in between, Panama offers amazing landscapes, cultures, culinary delights and biodiversity,” said Aciego. “The cloud forest hosts the largest number of bird species in Central America and the sloths, turtles and monkeys round out the amazing fauna.”

Other highlights include visiting the Panama Canal, exploring old sections of Panama City, boating to Yandup Island where the Kuna people live and work, discovering uninhabited islands where guests can snorkel pristine coral reefs, hiking to the Lost Waterfalls, visiting a coffee plantation, staying in a cloud forest treehouse, and trekking Sendero de Los Quetzales.

Big Chill Adventures was founded by climate change scientist Dr. Sarah Aciego and professional photographer Mindy Cambiar. Dr. Aciego has led multiple scientific expeditions to Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, and her research has resulted in 20+ publications on ice and climate. Their specialized expertise and intimate knowledge of some of the world’s most beautiful, and forbidding landscapes offers an opportunity for an extraordinary experience.

For more info, visit http://bigchilladventure.com/trips/panama-feb-2017/

 

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CA Highway 1 Discovery Route Hosts 4th Annual Coastal Discovery Celebration Jan 13-Feb 28

Enjoy unique wine and food tastings and festivals at the Fourth Annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route (PRNewsFoto/CA's Highway 1 Discovery Route)
Enjoy unique wine and food tastings and festivals at the Fourth Annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route (PRNewsFoto/CA’s Highway 1 Discovery Route)

Featuring a Free Film Festival at Hearst Castle Theater, Announcing New Locations on The Whale Trail, Attend the Third Annual BlendFest on the Coast, Wine Tasting Events along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, Wildlife Viewing & Stewardship Travel, and Special Lodging Packages in Coastal San Luis Obispo County

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.– The 10 destinations along California’s Highway 1 Discovery Route (H1DR) in San Luis Obispo County from Ragged Point and Cambria to Avila Beach and Oceano are serious when it comes to the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration. Coastal San Luis Obispo County along with California State Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary welcome visitors to immerse themselves in the local marine culture, coastal heritage and natural attractions along the iconic CA Highway 1 Discovery Route through a series of events and activities January 13-February 28, 2017.

Enjoy special marine focused events, unique wine and food tastings and festivals and stewardship travel activities where you learn more about dedicated Marine Protected Areas and how to make a difference on vacation.

“Throughout the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration guests are invited to explore marine life from abalone to elephant seals, learn about nature preserves, participate in fun citizen science activities, and enjoy the many seaside hikes found on the Central Coast,” says Katie Sturtevant, Stewardship Travel Director. “There are more than 40 must-do activities the whole family will enjoy.”

These special events and activities are designed to connect visitors with the land, wildlife, history, people and culture along the H1DR. Must-see attractions and must-do events include a Free Film Festival at Hearst Castle Theater, the 3rd annual wine tasting event BlendFest on the Coast, the fun Bird Sanctuary & Wildlife Day, elephant seal docent-led educational walks, hands-on citizen science programs at San Simeon Cove and many others. Take a whale watching adventure, a planned pier and beach walk, or learn about H1DR marine birdlife with the free SeaPhoto App from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Visitors will appreciate the Wildlife Viewing and Stewardship Tips when they visit the new Whale Trail (www.TheWhaleTrail.org) locations and will delight in special wine tasting room pairings from 11 wineries located along the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, and numerous Edna ValleyArroyo Grande Valley  and Avila Beach wineries as well.

Lodging Specials

Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the H1DR is made up of ten diverse artisan towns and seaside villages starting just south of Big Sur from Ragged Point & San SimeonCambria,Cayucos, and Los Osos/Baywood Park, to Avila Beach & ValleyEdna ValleyArroyo Grande Valley,Oceano and Nipomo, just south of San Luis Obispo. Many lodging properties along the H1DR are offering specials and packages during the Coastal Discovery & Stewardship seven week celebration.

 

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Rare Chance To Help Care for Giant Pandas on Natural Habitat Adventures’ Wild China Trips

nat-hab-china-panda

BOULDER, CO – Natural Habitat Adventures has introduced a new opportunity to get behind the scenes and assist with panda care on its China nature adventures. Guests can enjoy a one-day volunteer experience at a Chinese research base that has helped pull giant pandas back from the brink.

The optional caregiver opportunity takes place at Dujiangyan Panda Valley, China’s newest facility for panda research, education and conservation located outside Chengdu. It is included on both Nat Hab’s Wild Side of China Nature Odyssey and Wild Side of China Photo Adventure.

On both panda-focused itineraries, travelers have the rare chance to spend a day with panda keepers, enjoying pandas at close range while assisting with tasks that are part of the daily care routine, such as feeding pandas and cleaning enclosures.

This intimate contact comes in the context of a celebratory victory for conservation, as China’s giant panda population was recently downgraded from endangered to vulnerable. While giant pandas are still at risk, their numbers continue to rebound. More than 1,800 were counted in the wild in China’s 2014 survey, a jump of 17 percent since the 2003 national census.

Top naturalist Expedition Leaders provide insight into this success story on Nat Hab’s two 12-day itineraries, which offer the most panda-intensive and nature-centered exploration of China provided by any travel company. In addition to visiting three different panda research bases, guests are immersed in the giant panda’s wild native habitat, including two days in a remote mountain nature reserve in Sichuan Province that few tourists ever see.

On this rare expedition into the Minshan Mountains, walks and wildlife drives in this virtually unvisited preserve provides reveal the panda’s native environment, including lush bamboo forests, river gorges and waterfalls.

Because wild pandas are highly elusive, guests are not likely to see them, but approximately 60 live within this densely forested 100,000-acre sanctuary. The reserve is rated as a Grade I global biodiversity hotspot by World Wildlife Fund and is home 430 different mammal species including golden monkeys, Tibetan and rhesus macaques, musk deer, muntjac, serow, wild boar, blue sheep, and endangered moon bears and red pandas. More than 2,400 different plant species and 150 bird species are also found in the park, including the golden pheasant.

Both itineraries also include Jiuzhaigou National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and UN Biosphere Reserve, containing some of China’s most dramatic wild landscapes. Guided walks showcase steep peaks, ravines, forest, meadows, marshes and a multitude of lakes and waterfalls. The park’s most distinctive feature is its terraced limestone pools filled with turquoise water that flows in crystalline cascades from ledge to ledge.

Each departure is led by a Nat Hab Expedition Leader who has trained with WWF scientists and researchers, along with a top Chinese naturalist guide. Travelers benefit from a breadth of expert scientific knowledge, authentic cultural insight and attentive personal service. Photo tour departures feature personalized guidance from an expert professional photographer.

This unique itinerary also offers an unusual chance for Western visitors to witness rural Chinese life. In the Gansu Muslim village of Qing Xi, guests stroll among 300-year-old wooden buildings from the Qing dynasty. On an overland journey onto the Tibetan Plateau, they traverse a landscape dotted with fluttering prayer flags and chortens and share lunch with a Tibetan family. And on a visit to a small farm, they learn about a WWF-supported bio-waste project that uses agricultural by-products to create cleaner cooking fuels, reducing local wood consumption and preserving habitat for pandas and other wildlife.

The per-person rate, based on double occupancy, starts at $10,495, for both regular and photo departures. 2017 season departures are: April 2, April 6 (Photo Tour), April 16, April 20 (Photo Tour), May 1, May 4 (Photo Tour), Sept. 3, Sept. 17, and Oct. 7 (Photo Tour). Dates also available for 2018.

For information on all of Nat Hab’s trips, descriptive itineraries, date availability and reservations, call 800.543.8917 or visit http://www.nathab.com/. Click HERE to order a copy of the 2017 catalog.

Natural Habitat Adventures is a world leader in responsible adventure travel and nature-based ecotourism. Since its founding in 1985, the company has offered eco-conscious expeditions and wildlife-focused small-group tours to the planet’s most remarkable nature destinations. Inspired and created from years of scouring the planet for the singular and extraordinary, Nat Hab’s itineraries are artfully crafted experiences that are far from “typical.” Trips are guided by professional naturalist Expedition Leaders, and Nat Hab enjoys a longstanding reputation for hiring some of the world’s best guides. Conservation is at the forefront of everything NHA does, and its philosophy is simple: tourism must work with and benefit local communities, which will in turn find value in protecting natural resources and wildlife. NHA is proud to be the travel partner of World Wildlife Fund, sharing a mutual commitment to travel as a means of helping to protect the world’s wondrous natural places.  Nat Hab has donated more than $2 million to WWF and will continue to donate 1 percent of gross sales plus $100,000 annual through 2018 in support of WWF’s mission.

 

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Registration Opens for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th Annual 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour

Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Cycle the Erie riders bike on the Medina section of the trail built over a rushing creek that drops into waterfalls, with an extraordinary angled turn that displays the engineering genius of the builders © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Registration is now open for Parks & Trails New York’s 18th annual Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile, eight-day bike tour, an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America.

The 2016 tour kicks off in Buffalo on July 10 and arrives in Albany on July 17. This year, the Cycle the Erie Canal tour offers:

2-day and 4-day Options: If you can’t take off a full week, consider joining us for half the tour or for a weekend. With 4-day options from Buffalo to Syracuse and Syracuse to Albany, you’re halfway to becoming an Erie Canalway Trail End-to-Ender. These shorter options are great for children, too.

Return Shuttle: Riders from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and points west will be happy to hear we’ll once again be offering our return shuttle from Albany to Buffalo at the end of the ride. Less driving means more time to discover the Erie Canal, and there is so much to discover.

Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for only $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and help PTNY promote the Erie Canalway Trail and bicycle tourism! Registration includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour. Learn more.

Last year’s ride had more than 600 riders and was frankly amazing, with all the sights to see and special activities arranged, not to mention to comradery and the adventure of camping out. The trip – superbly organized – really touches on all pistons.

For more information about Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or email [email protected]. Also, check out the new Cycle the Erie Canal website to learn more about all the Erie Canalway Trail has to offer.

See our series from the 17th Annual Cycle the Erie bike tour:

Cycle the Erie Canal 400-mile tour affords extraordinary view of ‘Real America’ and slideshow

Cycle the Erie 400-Mile Bike Tour: Lockport, a Town Birthed by the Erie Canal and slideshow

Cycle the Erie ride reaches Seneca Falls, Birthplace of Women’s Rights Movement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: National Women’s Hall of Fame personifies struggle, achievement and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Seneca Falls to Syracuse crossing half-way mark of 400-mile tour and slideshow

Syracuse’s Erie Canal Museum Highlights Day 5 on 400-Mile Cycle the Erie Tour and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Fort Stanwix, Rome, Brings Revolutionary War Era to Life and slideshow

Cycle the Erie: Remington Gun Museum links history to current issues and slideshow

400 miles and 400 years of history, Cycle the Erie tour crosses finish at Albany and slideshow



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Win 7-day Natural Habitat Adventures Kenya Safari for 2 in World Wildlife Fund Sweepstakes

You can win a 7-day/6-night safari, offered by Natural Habitat Adventures, to the famed Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya World in a sweepstakes from the World Wildlife Fund aims to raise public awareness of conservation efforts.
You can win a 7-day/6-night safari, offered by Natural Habitat Adventures, to the famed Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya World in a sweepstakes from the World Wildlife Fund aims to raise public awareness of conservation efforts.

You can win a 7-day/6-night safari to the famed Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya  The World. Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Natural Habitat Adventures have just launched a sweepstakes for the safari, custom-designed by Natural Habitat Adventures for the sweepstakes and not available anywhere else. Enter by December 8; the winner will be randomly drawn in mid-December.

The week-long safari offers an immersion in East Africa’s iconic landscapes, amid some of the most prolific and diverse wildlife on the continent. The prize-winner and a guest will explore the vast savannas of the Maasai Mara in search of the fabled Big Five — elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard — and a host of other wildlife. Safari activities include classic game drives and exclusive guided bush walks on a private conservancy, with exceptional proximity to wildlife from a mobile safari camp located in a remote sector of the reserve.

The sweepstakes aims to raise public awareness of the efforts of WWF and its on-the-ground partners in Kenya who have worked together for years to protect elephants, rhinos and other wildlife by fighting illegal wildlife trade, minimizing human-wildlife conflict, and protecting critical habitat.

RULES

  • Enter the sweepstakes by visiting www.worldwildlife.org/sweepstakes and completing the sweepstakes registration form.
  • The sweepstakes begins on November 2, 2015 and ends on December 8, 2015.
  • Open to legal residents of the United States who have reached the age of majority at the time of entry.
  • The registration form requires each entrant to provide his/her full name, complete mailing address, date of birth, telephone number, and email address. All required information must be provided to enter and to be eligible to win.
  • During the sweepstakes period (November 2, 2015 – December 8, 2015), there will be a limit of one (1) entry per person. Sponsor (Natural Habitat Adventures) reserves the right to disqualify any person who submits more than a single entry.
  • No purchase necessary to enter or win.
  • Winner will be drawn at random in mid-December.

PRIZE DETAILS

  • Explore the savannas of Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve via open-air 4×4 vehicles and on foot with a local Maasai guide, and spend three nights in a luxury mobile safari camp in the heart of the reserve.
  • Stay at an intimate safari camp on a private conservancy with exclusive activities that are not available in the national parks, including bush walks and night drives in search of nocturnal wildlife.
  • Opportunities to look for Africa’s Big Five—elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard— as well as a multitude of other classic African wildlife such as giraffe, zebra, cheetah, gazelle and more.
  • Grand Prize package includes: Two (2) round-trip standard economy airfare tickets to Nairobi from a major commercial airport in the United States near the winner’s primary residence; accommodations for six (6) nights in Kenya (double-occupancy room, room and tax only); economy-class airfare from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara National Reserve; meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7; services of the Natural Habitat Adventures’ professional Expedition Leaders and camp staff; airport transfers; and permit and entrance fees.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visitwww.worldwildlife.org to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @WWFnews.

Natural Habitat Adventures is a world leader in responsible adventure travel and nature-based ecotourism. Since its founding in 1985, the company has offered eco-conscious expeditions and wildlife-focused small-group tours to the planet’s most remarkable nature destinations. Inspired and created from years of scouring the planet for the singular and extraordinary, Nat Hab’s itineraries are artfully crafted experiences that are far from “typical.” Trips are guided by professional naturalist Expedition Leaders, and Nat Hab enjoys a longstanding reputation for hiring some of the world’s best guides. Conservation is at the forefront of everything NHA does, and its philosophy is simple: tourism must work with and benefit local communities, which will in turn find value in protecting natural resources and wildlife. NHA is proud to be the travel partner of World Wildlife Fund, sharing a mutual commitment to travel as a means of helping to protect the world’s wondrous natural places.  Nat Hab has donated more than $2 million to WWF and will continue to donate 1% of gross sales plus $100,000 annual through 2018 in support of WWF’s mission

 

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Wild Planet Adventures Now Offers Wildlife Eco-tours in Fabled “Lost World” of Borneo

Wild Planet Adventures has been granted special access to lead wildlife eco-tours in the remote Maliau Basin Conservation Area, famously known as "The Lost World of Borneo" where an expedition encountered an unprecedented number of wild orangutans (©Yayasan Sabah)
Wild Planet Adventures has been granted special access to lead wildlife eco-tours in the remote Maliau Basin Conservation Area, famously known as “The Lost World of Borneo” where an expedition encountered an unprecedented number of wild orangutans (©Yayasan Sabah)

SAUSALITO , CA –

Award-winning wildlife travel expert Wild Planet Adventures has been granted special access to lead wildlife eco-tours in the remote Maliau Basin Conservation Area, famously known as “The Lost World of Borneo.” Located on the strait of Sabah, the region encompasses Malaysia’s easternmost state on the island of Borneo.

The Lost World of Borneo is one of three areas left in Borneo that encompass the last stands of the oldest rainforest on earth. Its geography – a basin surrounded by steep cliffs – has never been fully explored. Another of these areas, the Danum Valley, is also included in Wild Planet’s signature “Weird & Wonderful Wildlife Eco-tour” available in 12-and 16-day itineraries, the latter including an exclusive wildlife expedition into The Lost World of Borneo.

In April 2015 wildlife expert Josh Cohen, director of Wild Planet Adventures, mounted an extensive two-pronged expedition to Malaysia: first, to scout Borneo’s Lost World and then to investigate how to increase the percentage of rare animal sightings on its wildlife-focused tours.

Maliau Basin Conservation Area is a virtually self-contained ecosystem never inhabited by humans and where large areas still remain unexplored. Efforts are underway to nominate Maliau Basin as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cohen said.

“It’s no wonder Maliau Basin is called the “Lost World.” Here you can experience something that is nearly impossible to find anywhere else on earth: the forest floor is so pristine and untouched, if you step off the trail it is likely that no other human will have ever set foot where you are standing!”

He added that while wildlife is extremely shy, Maliau Basin Conservation Area offers perhaps the only remotely viable chance to see some of the world’s rarest animals including the clouded leopard, sun bear, pygmy elephant, Malaysian badger and the reclusive Bornean rhino.

“Wild Planet travelers will enjoy a nocturnal wildlife walk exclusive to our guests to monitor camera traps, conditions permitting,” Cohen said. Wild Planet has made special arrangements with wildlife researchers at Maliau Basin Conservation Area who will share recent camera trap photos of some of these and other rare animals.

Throughout Cohen’s Borneo scouting expedition, he and his staff went to great lengths to explore remote areas at unusual times of day, utilizing eco-responsible methods such as electric motor boats, silent safaris and ultra low-impact strategies to assure the best possible chance to spot animals not commonly seen by even the most diligent travelers. They scouted remote tributaries of the Kinabatangan River after midnight, arranged exclusive nocturnal access to wildlife-rich habitat surrounding Gomantong limestone caves, traversed uncharted riverbed trails in the Danum Valley and made special arrangements with scientific researchers to hike into remote camera trap destinations in Maliau Basin Conservation Area.

“The results were staggering,” he said. “In addition to seeing a huge volume of wildlife including 11 of the 13 primate species, pygmy elephants, tarsiers, slow loris, flying lemurs and other “gliders”, the expedition encountered an unprecedented number of wild orangutans – both alpha males as well as mothers with babies. But the highlight of the expedition was encountering an extraordinarily rare flat-headed cat, last sighted in the region nearly eight years ago, proving the efficacy of Wild Planet’s eco-responsible wildlife viewing methods.

As a follow-up to the initial scouting trip, he said “the extraordinary results continue to this day. The very first Wild Planet travelers to benefit from the new activities and destinations that we arranged saw a similar volume of rare animals, including a rare Bay owl, which had not been seen for many years.”

Both “Weird & Wonderful Wildlife” itineraries embrace Wild Planet Adventures’ unique scouting activities. They include Sipadan Reef, one of the world’s “Top 5” snorkel and dive spots, and the 16 day program also includes a visit to Seligan Island to witness sea-turtles laying eggs and the baby hatchlings returning to the sea. Both programs feature exclusive expeditions to see Borneo’s famous “gliders” – mammals, amphibians and reptiles that evolved to fly, such as Wallace’s flying frogs, colugos (flying lemurs), flying squirrels and Paradise flying tree snakes. There are also exclusive nocturnal expeditions to see Tarsiers and Slow Loris, two of the world’s smallest (and cutest!) primates.

The new 16-day Borneo “Weird & Wonderful Wildlife Eco-tour” starts at $7,798 per person, double. For details see http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=borneo&trip=weird-wonderful-wildlife-16-day-borneo

The 12-day Borneo Wildlife Eco-tour starts at $6,498 per person, double. For details see:
http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=borneo&trip=weird-wonderful-wildlife-12-day-borneo

For detailed itineraries, exciting wildlife photos and video galleries and booking information, visit http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/, call 800-990-4376 or email[email protected].

Follow Wild Planet Adventures:
Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/mywildplanet
Twitter:          @WildPlanetAdv
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