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Great Projects has put together a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India where volunteers will not only help protect endangered tigers, but they will also stay in the reserve they call home.
The project takes place in the prestigious Kanha National Park, the same location that gave Rudyard Kipling with inspiration to write The Jungle Book.
Whale Watching / Whales / Nature Travel / Animals / Animal Travel / Endangered Species / Environment / → All Tags
Even whales prefer to travel in the summer months, and their mass migrations attract larger crowds of human spectators across the globe. From humpbacks to minkes and grays to sperm whales, there's plenty of variety to these giant mammals and plenty more places to spot them in their natural habitat.
In general, right now is the season most whales are on the move, heading to cooler waters to grab a good feed until the temps start to drop again, at which time they head back to warmer water. In the Northern Hemisphere, we're lucky that whale watching season also corresponds with the start of summer travels, but the Southern Hemisphere's winter season might make for a chilly boat ride out to the say "hi" to the gentle giants.
Animals / Christmas Island Travel / Nature Travel / Island Travel / Australia Travel / Travel Snapshot / → All Tags
Traveling around the globe to experience new and exciting places is one tried and true reason to hop on a plane. The resulting numb butt and bloodshot eyes are only a small price to pay to see something you couldn't see in your own backyard, and that's why this travel snapshot is so neat.
We came across the above bridge with little understanding of what it could be, but once we figured it out, the cleverness of its design and function were a "duh" shocker. Before we reveal the full details on where and what this is, here are a few clues:
· The country in which this photo was taken has more crustacean residents (43.7 million-ish) than people (2,100).
· The above overpass has a heavy traffic season right around November-December.
· With about 3 flights per week, this destination is not easy to reach but completely worth the trouble.
· Although very tropical, this location is a far departure from cocktails and infinity pools.
Pet Travel / Amtrak / Train Travel / Travel News / Trains / Animals / → All Tags
Fido and Fluffy will no longer be sad back at home during your next trip, as Amtrak is now welcoming furry friends on certain trains and some routes. Just yesterday Amtrak started up this new program, so now you can plan your vacation itinerary with some tourist stops that your dog will enjoy as well—world’s largest fire hydrant?
The train transportation giant has a few special cars that will allow pets as part of a trial run that will do its thing for like six months or so. Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains that do their thing between spots in Illinois like Chicago and Quincy are part of the pilot, and if the animals behave things might just become available nationwide on more trains and more routes.
Movie Travel / National Parks / Bears / Earth Day / Animals / → All Tags
Disneynature is promising moviegoers will be on cute overload as Bears hit the big screen this last weekend.
The live action movie follows a year in the life of two young cubs as they are "are taught life’s most important lessons."
Disneynature's Bears was filmed in several national parks throughout the Alaska Peninsula. To honor the bears' habitat and celebrate Earth Day, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation for every ticket sold during the movie's opening week, April 18-24.
The Occidental Grand Xcaret, located next to the eco-archeological Xcaret Park in Riviera Maya, Mexico, is giving guests two unique ways to get a hands-on conservation experience.
Option 1: an opportunity to get up and close and personal with the hotel's Flamingo Flock as a trainer. Every day hotel guests can help park trainers carry the flamingos one-by-one into a public area during their "walk around times" in the morning and afternoon. Talk about getting "hands on" with the local wildlife!
Christmas Island Travel / Nature Travel / Animals / Outdoor Travel / Island Travel / Australia Travel / → All Tags
A tiny stamp of land in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is a haven for crabs, birds, and, as a territory of Australia, even for asylum-seekers. Why would anyone pay the expensive airfare and trek so far to visit Christmas Island? This is the question we'll be answering all week.
Along with rocky shorelines, killer sunrises and sunsets, the island is home to a plethora of exotic animals. The most popular of these, and certainly the most visible, is the red crab, which migrates across the island to spawn and hatch their young once a year. Although the island is completely taken over by the crabs in the Southern Hemisphere's early summer, rest assured spotting the crabs isn't a difficult feat any other time of the year. These little red decapods can be found all over the place, mingling with plenty of other crab varieties, like robber, blue, hermit, little nipper and ghost crabs.
Cat Cafes are nothing new, but you'd think so with all the talk this week surrounding the rumors that Boston and San Francisco are locked in a race to open the USA's first such cafe full of felines. The Atlantic reported that while "Miaou Boston" and "KitTea San Francisco" have launched social media channels and filed approvals, neither has yet appeased authorities when it comes to allowing animals and food to peacefully coexist for commerce.
While we patiently wait for a resolution, Canada has however succeeded in making progress towards the debut of what will be the first cat cafe in North America: Café Chat l’Heureux in Montreal. The grand opening, which isn't excepted until this summer, will naturally be step one towards the cafe's goal to "facilitate the adoption of cats, promote the awareness of animal issues, and hopefully better the lives of customers with calming 'cat therapy.'"
Vounteer Travel / Florida Keys Travel / Animal Travel / Florida Travel / Animals / Voluntourism / → All Tags
There are plenty of places along the Florida coast to see dolphins, swim with dolphins, or even kiss a few dolphins, but there is also one that is simply dedicated to learning about dolphins.
The Dolphin Research Center, located on Grassy Key, is a nonprofit education and research facility that hosts public programs and non-invasive research projects. The colony of bottlenose dolphins and sea lions that call the DRC home live in a natural environment and help researchers learn how they think and how they behave.
So what if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and held that there'd be six more weeks of winter? CNN doesn't even believe in his credibility: "The good news is that, according to analysis by the National Climatic Data Center, Phil is wrong most of the time."
And if Phil is wrong, then that means somebody's got to be right. For 2014, that honor goes to Ohio's own official groundhog weatherman, Buckeye Chuck, who didn't see his shadow and predicted an early spring. Staten Island Chuck of New York and General Beauregard Lee of Georgia even have their own less influential groundhog opinions, but the fact of the matter is that Ohio's big rodent may be slowly supplanting Phil in popularity and prediction success.
Pet Travel / Emirates / Animals / Twitter / → All Tags
Have you ever flown with a pet? It can be a frustrating experience, not to mention expensive, but from time to time even four-legged and feathered friends need to go on vacation too.
This brings us around to the above photo, of two men traveling in economy class on a flight either to or from the middle east, who are enjoying a little in-flight entertainment, a little nap, and a little quality time with their falcons.
The image comes courtesy of @mrstrefusis on Twitter, who explains a bit further: "my friend who lives in the UAE sent it to me - I've asked him if it's something he saw himself or if he found it on t'interweb."
Now, next time we see a traveler trying to calm a yapping dog, we'll just be happy we're not sitting next to two birds of prey with very real claws and very real sharp beaks.
Even if there’s still way too much shopping left it’s fine to take a little holiday break to enjoy the season. Load up on the hot chocolate or one of those red cup beverages from Starbucks and head out to the zoo. It might not seem that seasonal, but when they flip the switch on the lights and decorations it becomes a winter wonderland. Here’s a few zoos doing the Christmas lights thing this holiday season:
Christmas at the Zoo – Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana
At the Indianapolis Zoo they have been having this kind of fun for 45 years, and things continue this year each and ever night—between 5pm and 9pm—through December 30. They actually claim the title for the first zoo in the country to do this kind of thing, so we can only assume they know how to combine animals with the holidays—like the holiday dolphin shows. There’s carolers, LED lights everywhere you look, and even Santa is around to say hello. Offseason admission starts at $10 for adults, and all the seasonal stuff is included with your ticket.
Zoo Lights – Houston Zoo, Texas
This is the best chance to celebrate the holidays at the zoo well into the New Year, as the Houston Zoo does their Zoo Lights thing through January 4—with a couple days off on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Things run between 6pm and 10pm, as the zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland. Stroll through the oak trees that have been covered in colorful LED lights, and then take in their holiday trains, dollhouse village, and enchanted forest. Even some of the critters will be around to check things out as well, as the lights do their thing in and around where the cougars, jaguars, lions, and leopards call home. Admission here is $10 if you order things in advance, but at the gate it’ll be $12.