It may be a cliché, but it’s no understatement to say that Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda is truly the adventure of a lifetime.
It’s an incredible opportunity to spend an hour observing this endangered species, standing face-to-face with one of only two signficiant populations of Mountain Gorillas left in the wild.
These populations exist in extremely remote locations, in the dense vegetation of high altitude cloud forests throughout Central Afica’s Virunga chain of volcanic mountains.
Gorilla trekking in Africa is available in three countries– Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There, you’ll find them scattered throughout national parks like Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, each of which is home to roughly half theView Original
[Updated on October 13, 2019]
The world is a wild and wonderful place, filled with millions of cool animals most of us have never even heard of.
Growing up feeling like a bit of an odd bird myself, I’ve always been fascinated by strange animals and weird insects. I even studied ornithology and entomology in high school.
The Duck-billed Platypus and the Praying Mantis were both early childhood favorites of mine. Today we feel special affinity for weird looking animals such as the Pangolin and the Dugong, which we snorkeled with in Coron, Palawan.
Getting to see strange animals such as the Baird’s Tapir (in Corcovado National Park), Bushbaby (in Meru National Park), Flightless Cormorant (in the Galapagos Islands), and HoatzinView Original
Starting in 2021, all U.S. citizens traveling to Europe will need to apply for a visa waiver called an ETIAS. This new travel authorization system is primarily designed to improve safety in Europe’s Schengen Area.
Previously, the United States was part of a group of countries whose residents could travel to Europe without needing a tourist visa.
But due to the rapid rise in mass tourism and overtourism, as well as previous incidents of violence in the region, Europe has decided to improve their security to identify any possible risks or threats early on.
The ETIAS application will be online, and only takes around 10 minutes to complete. But many European travelers are confused on exactly what the waiver is andView Original
Mary and I got our first experience with haunted locations the very first time we traveled together, when I took her to Barnsley Gardens Resort in north Georgia for Valentine’s Day in 2009.
The ruins of 19th century cotton baron Godfrey Barnsley’s estate were undoubtedly eerie at night, as winds whispered in the trees around the English garden. But it wasn’t until we met on-site historian Clint Coker that we heard the haunted stories of the romantic resort’s tragic history.
Barnsley’s wife Julia died of consumption before construction was completed, but her ghost appeared to him in the gardens and told him to finish work on the manor for their six children. The resort staff won’t discuss it, but we’ve heardView Original
Though India’s natural beauty is often overshadowed by her architecture, history and culture, the real gem of the subcontinent is arguably her remarkable array of flora and fauna. It’s a little known fact, but India is home to a whopping 7% of the world’s biodiversity!
Few places in the world offer the broad range of wildlife viewing opportunities that India does, from legendary megafauna such as the Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant to the equally delightful 1300+ bird species that call the country home.
India is also home to an ever-changing landscape that veers from deserts and wild grasslands to the Himalayan foothills and tropical jungles. Jungles and forests cover over 20% of the country.
If you’re a nature lover, India is arguablyView Original
When Green Global Travel was born back in 2010, our primary mission was to learn how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and then share that knowledge with our readers.
We mainly focused on what we called “baby steps to going green.” We wanted to show people little ways they could reduce their carbon footprint rather than pushing them to make big, sweeping changes in their lifestyle all at once.
The truth is that even now, nine years later, we’re still making little changes in our own lives every day. From learning how to avoid palm oil and reduce waste to permaculture gardening, each of these changes helps to make a difference.
Another one of those changes is trying to chooseView Original
I’ve been dreaming of taking an Alaska Inside Passage cruise ever since my first visit to the state in 1999. During that trip I took a half-day Kenai Fjords National Park cruise, saw all sorts of glaciers and wildlife, and vowed to myself that I’d return one day to explore more of America’s last frontier.
So when my daughter Allie began expressing interest in visiting Alaska, I decided to surprise her with an Alaska trip as a high school graduation present. Since we loved our previous voyage to the Galapagos Islands together, I started reading Alaska cruise reviews and planning our 2-week Alaska vacation.
As luck would have it, around that same time we received an email from AdventureSmith Explorations, aView Original
Normally, when we think of Leopards, we tend to think of fierce predators in hot climates– places like Kenya, Tanzania, and Southern Asia.
You might know that Leopards are incredibly strong, able to pull prey much larger than they are up a tree. You might also think of black spots on yellow fur.
In short, most of us do not usually think of Snow Leopards.
As a species (Pantera pardus), Leopards have several subspecies that are currently listed as endangered by the IUCN: Amur Leopards, Javan Leopards, South Arabian Leopards, Central Asian Leopards, and Sri Lankan Leopards.
Though they are included on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable, with a population that is steadily decreasing, theView Original
Deforestation is amongst the most detrimental activities we, as humans, are doing to cause, accelerate, and exacerbate climate change.
First off, cutting down forests (or, worse yet, intentionally burning them) releases insane amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. It also simultaneously eliminates one of the best natural air cleaning systems the planet has supplied us with, which are those very same forests.
Forests play a vital role in so many things. They’re homes for an incredible array of animals. They are mitigators of floods, and stewards of the fresh water cycle. They help to build soils and balance the global ecosystem. They stabilize coastlines and diffuse heavy winds.
Perhaps most importantly, forests sequester carbon, and they provide us with freshView Original
When Mary and I first met back in 2008, two years before Green Global Travel was born, one of the first things that bonded us together was our mutual love of travel and adventure. It was our first big trip, to Hawaii’s Big Island in March of 2009, that truly cemented our relationship.
We spent an incredibly memorable week together, swimming in private lagoons, snorkeling with Sea Turtles, and watching volcanic lava streaming into the boiling sea. And we’ve been living, working, and traveling together ever since.
So perhaps it makes sense that, in celebration of both our 10th anniversary and her birthday, Mary wanted to return to Hawaii, where it all started. But this time we decided to visit Kauai, Hawaii’sView Original
For anyone worried about what GMOs are doing to our agricultural system and how Monsanto is patenting plants across the planet, there’s another dangerous devil on the horizon. Palm Oil Products have been around for years, but the evils of palm oil deforestation go unnoticed by the average consumer.
If you’ve not gotten the dirty details on palm oil problems yet, then buckle up for a bumpy ride we all need to take. Because the palm oil industry is not only endangering Palawan Philippines (named the Best Island in the World in 2014 by Conde Nast Traveler readers), but the health of our entire planet.
Palm Oil Deforestation Animals Affected by Deforestation The Sustainable Palm Oil Myth Deforestation in the PhilippinesView Original
Though it’s widely regarded as the world’s best island, Palawan is actually an archipelago in the Philippines that is comprised of roughly 1,780 islands and islets.
Puerto Princesa is the province’s capital and most urbanized city, but places such as Coron, El Nido, and San Vicente are much more highly-rated as tourist destinations. So these are the areas where you’ll find most of the best Palawan resorts and hotels.
We fell in love with the region during our 2016 Palawan tour, when we explored more than a half-dozen islands in the region.
Coron, Palawan resorts such as Club Paradise and The Funny Lion ranked among our favorite places we’ve stayed, and friends couldn’t stop talking about all the 5-star ElView Original
Responsible tourism is an active awareness about the effects travel can have on destinations and the people and wildlife who inhabit them, both positive and negative.
The general idea is that when all segments of the tourism industry– tour operators, hotels, government organizations, locals, and travelers themselves– take responsibility for ensuring travel is sustainable, it makes better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.
Responsible travelers have some cultural awareness about the local people with whom they interact, and seek cultural immersion experiences that benefit them economically.
They consider the impact their journeys have on ecotourism destinations, cautiously choosing their lodging, transportation, and activities in a way that helps to preserve the destination’s natural beauty and wildlife.
Let’s beView Original
New Orleans may be best known for its lively culture– swinging jazz, the colorful costumes of Mardi Gras Indians, delectable Creole and Cajun cuisine. But the city has a notorious dark side as well– Haunted New Orleans is best explored in the shadows of the night.
Voodoo, colonial occupation, the Civil War, pirates, slavery, and an “anything goes” attitude towards excessive behavior have all led to a dark, twisted history that continues to haunt New Orleans today making it the most haunted city in America and a New Orleans Ghost Tour a must-do.
In his book Haunted Houses, paranormal expert Richard Winer wrote, “Take 100 of the most enthusiastic ghost hunters and ask them to nameView Original
We had no idea what to expect when Ecoventura invited us to join their small ship Galapagos cruise in 2011. All we knew was that Galapagos animals had played a huge role in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution after the Voyage of the Beagle in the 1830s.
During the first of our two Galapagos Islands tours, we were blown away by the sheer diversity of Galapagos birds that could be found in shockingly close proximity.
On the first day we walked around 100 yards on Genovesa Island over a few hours and saw feeding Lava Herons, tiny Darwin’s Finches, Magnificent Frigates soaring overhead, and Nazca and Red-Footed Boobies in trees less than 10 feet away.
On every island we visited duringView Original
Water collection and storage is nothing new. Humans have been harvesting rainwater for centuries… millennia, actually.
In fact, many of the ancient archaeological sites that we love to visit—Machu Picchu, the aqueducts of Rome, the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, the ponds and linear channels of Angkor Wat, the rice terraces of the Philippines—provide great models for rainwater harvesting systems.
Learning methods for harvesting rainwater could ultimately prove to be the key to future life on earth. Frighteningly, less than 1% of the world’s water can be used by humans for drinking, and the planet has been working with roughly the same amount of fresh water for millions of years.
But as the global population increases, so does theView Original
India is a pretty large country and contains many different cultures, from Kerala in the south to the Himalayas in the North. In our five weeks in India, we didn’t cover everything. That would be impossible in such a short time. But we did cover a lot: Bangalore, Mumbai, Gujarat, Jaipur, and New Delhi. Plus, I’ve visited Kerala before, and I spent a lot of time hanging out with Indian artisans and fashion designers on our visit, so I got a pretty good sense of how to pack and dress for a long-ish visit to India so that you’re comfortable and stylish.
As always, this packing list is geared toward the 25-to-40-year-old woman who wants to pack light and beView Original
Cruises have gotten a bad rap lately: One recent scientific study found that air quality on a cruise ship deck was “worse than the world’s most polluted cities.”
But not all cruise companies feature gigantic cruise ships carrying 5000+ passengers. In our eyes, small ship cruises are much better for travelers, locals, and the environment alike.
The best small ship cruise lines typically have less than 300 passengers, a lower guide-to-passenger ratio, and expert local guides. These small luxury cruise ships have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a more intimate and immersive travel experience.
Some small luxury cruises focus squarely on nature and wildlife, while others focus more on the history and culture of a destination. ButView Original
Usually, when I write up a guide to ethical and sustainable shopping in a city or small country, I simply list conscious fashion stores that curate a selection of designers that are working to preserve traditional craft and use more sustainable materials.
But, Morocco is different from most other countries.
Take the coffee shop culture… or lack thereof. Out of every single one of the 25 (mostly developing) countries we visited around the world, Morocco was the only one that hadn’t been invaded by Brooklyn or Australian-style Third Wave coffee shops, with their marble countertops, subway tile and palms. Maybe it’s because Morocco’s traditional decor is eminently Instagrammable just on its own merit, without needing to slap pink neon signsView Original
Led by the Plastic Free Foundation, Plastic Free July is a campaign launched in 2011 to encourage people to refuse single use plastics and limit their plastic waste.
Started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz and members of her local government in Western Australia, the annual challenge is now undertaken by millions of people around the globe each year.
The result is more and more people wanting to reduce plastic waste, seek out plastic alternatives, and move towards plastic free living.
The question is, how do we use less plastic when practically everything we buy seems to be made from plastic or comes with plastic packaging?
How much difference can we as individuals make when there’s already a massive patch of plastic pollution inView Original