When I signed up for the Teralani Sunset Maui Cocktail Sail on my trip to Maui, I was mostly after drinks, snacks, and some nice photographs of the sun sinking behind the volcanic islands. I hadn’t expected the National Geographic-style whale adventure my evening would become.
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There’s so much to see and learn while snorkeling; snorkelers can swim among dolphins, turtles, and rays, discover thousands of different corals, and ambush shoals of jewel-colored fish as they dart around their domain. Here are some simply magical snorkeling destinations; dive in to their marine wonders.
From petting stingrays in Grand Cayman to riding elephants in Thailand, animal interactions sit high on the universal travel bucket list. On the Gulf Coast of Florida, just and hour and a half away from the tourism juggernaut that is Orlando (and yet another creature – a very famous little mouse!) lies another such animal encounter opportunity. The draw? Swim with manatees on the Crystal River.
Created by an act of Congress in 1872 “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” (as the welcoming Roosevelt Arch proudly proclaims), the preservation of Yellowstone National Park’s 3,468 square miles of rugged wilderness is widely considered the world’s first government-mandated effort in environmental conservation.
As a devout nature-lover, the Galapagos Islands had been on my travel bucket list for years before I finally took a week-long, small ship eco-cruise through the archipelago. Made famous by Charles Darwin (who concocted his Theory of Evolution based on his groundbreaking scientific discoveries there), the chain of islands is located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and 97.5% of their land is devoted to a national park. As a result, the remarkably bio-diverse ecosystems feature a vast array of wildlife that seem to have no fear of humans. Here are just a few of the incredible animals you might see while on a Galapagos Islands tour.
Thailand is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving, drawing more divers than anywhere else in Southeast Asia — some 300,000 every year. The numerous islands that skirt the coastline offer an incredible range of marine life, with Reef Sharks, Leopard Sharks and turtles all being common encounters.
As the sky streaked orange and yellow, dusk found us in Grassdale National Park surrounded by hundreds of reddy-grey kangaroos in a feeding frenzy; they grazed unconcernedly as we moved among them, bouncing off across the tussocky grassland if we got too close. My husband and I had journeyed to Kangaroo Island, sitting off the south-west coast of Adelaide, South Australia, to see the kangaroos, koalas, Tammar wallabies, echidnas, seals, and sea lions that proliferate here and to sample the island’s famous hospitality. For us Brits it’s about as far away as you can get from Blighty, and it felt like it – remote, tranquil, and seemingly untouched by the 21st century.
So we had a bizarre introduction to Podlaskie, the remote region of Poland marooned on the north-east border with Belarus – until the end of WWI this whole area was Russian. Within Podlaskie’s limits are two very special national parks; Bialowieza and Biebrza. The latter is a 150,000-acre patchwork of protected marshy flatlands, agricultural fields, and moose-concealing pine forests.
If your heart melts every time you look into the eyes of an animal, whether it’s a puppy or a frog, then it’s safe to say you’re an animal lover. Luckily for you, there are countless opportunities for animal people to help furry, feathery, scaly or slimy creatures while traveling the world.
How is this possible? By volunteering abroad, of course! Programs for volunteering with wildlife abroad are located all over the world, but we’ve compiled a list of eight countries that are worth a second glance. Take a look at some of the animals you can work with in each country and what you can do as a volunteer to make a difference.
Caribbean shore excursions are tours and activities that are offered while in port during a cruise that make the day easier by providing transportation to and from the ship as well as guaranteeing you will be back before the ship departs.
Onshore, however, there isn’t an easy divide of activities to separately entertain kids and adults.