In a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean, nearly 1,000 miles off the coast of Africa, the tiny archipelagic country of Seychelles is home to many of the world’s most unusual plants and animals, many of which you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else on the planet. From skyscraping palms to miniscule frogs, here are six of Seychelles’ most remarkable plants and animals.
Tag Archives: Animals
Lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and cape buffaloes converging en masse, oh my, the Big Five! Most people about to book their first Kenyan safari will likely admit that the trip is the culmination of a dream fed from youthful reading of National Geographic or watching Discovery Channel. Who, after all, does not want to be meters away from the world’s most notoriously exciting animals?
In my excitement I ended up with two stamps – the first, placed by the kayak expedition leader on my ship, the second one stamped myself in the British Antarctica Research Center at Port Lockroy. Now, my passport holds two blue ovals, each with the same date and map coordinates, each displaying an indigo blue Gentoo penguin.
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.
As a result, Yellowstone offers the biggest population of megafauna (a.k.a. huge animals) in the Continental U.S., from grizzly bears, moose and wolves to herds of elk, bighorn sheep and bison. There’s plenty of other wildlife as well, including coyotes, foxes, pronghorn, bald eagles, trumpeter swans and myriad other species. Collectively, these features make Yellowstone National Park in winter a nature lover’s dream come true.
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.
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 by volunteering abroad with animals to make a difference.
Many travelers pride themselves on their ability to ‘go it alone’ or ‘get off the beaten track’, often bemoaning organized tour groups as unauthentic or formulaic. But while independent travel can be a life-altering experience, there are certain destinations and activities that simply aren’t available to the solo traveler. So whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-charged encounter or looking to tick a few adventures off your bucket list, here are our top picks for the 10 best adventure tours.