Tag Archives: national park

Canyons, Cliffs and Wildlife — Mongolia’s Gurvan Saikhan

Yolyn Am

Before my trip to Mongolia, I’d imagined vast swathes of deserts and empty steppes. It therefore came as quite a surprise when I found myself traipsing through varied landscapes that ranged from beautiful canyons to networks of caves and majestic mountain ranges. Here in the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a surprise awaits at every […]

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Tracking Wild Elephants in Kaudulla National Park, Sri Lanka

An adult elephant protecting a baby elephant

Atop an open-roofed jeep, we bounced across the muddy floodplains like a group of explorers out on a mission. Indeed, we were on a mission: to find Asian elephants in the wild. I had seen wild elephants many times but never in Asia — and being a wildlife buff, it was about time to set things straight. As […]

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Exploring Kazakhstan’s Wilderness: Hiking in Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve

Gorgeous, accessible mountains in Aksu Zhabagly

Kazakhstan may be known for its oil and the antics of the pseudo-Kazakh Borat, but few people are aware of the wilderness that covers a large part of the country. Last week, as part of my overlanding trip through Central Asia with Oasis Overland, we spent two nights camping out in the Aksu-Zhabagly nature reserve […]

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Exploring Adels Grove in Outback Queensland — Part I

Constance Range

Flying over the vast savannahs, I feasted on amazing views of  orange earth and green spinifex cacti that ran for miles and miles. The terrain twisted and curved around gentle hills and long dirt roads, and cattle herds ran in all directions on the dusty plains. This was my first glimpse of Outback Queensland. It […]

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Outback Queensland: Red Earth, Emerald Water and Blue Sky

Sunset at Harry Hill

Rose red sandstone mountains rise from parched grey earth dotted with lime-green spinifex grass and eucalyptus tree, while emerald water runs through the gorges lined with green palm trees. This part of Outback Queensland reminds me of the Red Center (specifically the area around Uluru) — but  without the crowds. It’s hot, dry and harsh, studded with gorgeous unearthly landscapes and criss-crossed […]

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Dawn on Nepal’s Rapti River: Birds, Crocodiles and Pink Skies

the gharial

Out on the brackish water, a pair of eyes lurks above the surface. Our boat man paddles gently to get a closer look. It stares straight at us and doesn’t move an inch. When we are just a few feet away from it, the motionless creature comes into full view — all of its marble-like […]

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A Glimpse of Nepal through Instagram

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I’ve just spent the past two weeks in Nepal and have been completely swept off my feet by this stunning Himalayan nation. I love how Nepal makes me feel: silenced by awe and giddy with excitement, like a first-time traveler all over again. In all honesty, I haven’t felt that enthusiastic about a place in […]

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Keeping Cultures Alive: the Masai People of Masai Mara

The Masai perform the jumping dance

“Welcome to our home,” announces Sam, our Masai guide for the day. We are here in a village tucked within the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The Masai (also spelled as Maasai) are a semi-nomadic people from East Africa who are known for their unique way of life as well as their cultural traditions and customs. Living across the arid lands […]

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On Safari in Kenya: Lions, Cheetahs and the Annual Migration at the Masai Mara Reserve

Wildebeest

Over thousands of wildebeests and zebras sprawl across the vast grasslands, peppering the landscape that runs for miles into the horizon. We’ve seen them before – but now to see them in such big numbers is just impressive. As we drive further along the rolling hills and surprisingly green fields, the sheer sight of the thousands of animals before us leaves us silent in awe. […]

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Gorilla Tracking in Uganda — Part II: Intense Encounters

The eyes of the silverback

A loud grunting sound suddenly echoes through the jungle. With the trackers in the lead, we move downhill, past moss-covered logs and over thick ferns, towards a clearing. There, an enormous silverback sits regally, as if on his throne, munching his way through leaves and branches, blithely ignoring our presence. Through the dangling vines and banana leaves, I can see […]

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The Best of East Africa: Gorillas, the Big Five, and Village Life

Children of Bomani Primary School

After three weeks of traveling East Africa, I’m back at our home base in Spain and eager to share my experiences here. East Africa is a part of the world that’s particularly special to me. Five years ago, Alberto and I volunteered in a village in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – and as cliché as it sounds, […]

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Photo Essay: Croatia’s Stunning Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes 1

You hear them before you see them. Hundreds of waterfalls cascade from various heights in different corners of the impressive Plitvice Lakes National Park in central Croatia.  The emerald water shimmer and sparkle even from a far distance, reflecting the sun’s rays like a reflection. Thick beech and fir trees sprout out from the sides […]

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The Rooftop of Maui — Haleakala Volcano Crater

Our way to Haleakala

Rising above the island of Maui is the gentle giant, Haleakala Volcano. Standing at 10,023 feet (3,055 m) above sea level, it covers almost 75% of the island. While it’s no longer active, it remains a sacred spot for the native Hawaiians, and one of the most visited sights on Maui. According to Hawaiian folklore, the demigod Maui went to […]

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Hiking Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain

Australia’s Tasmania island has long been known for its large and relatively unspoiled natural environment. Almost 37% of it lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites. And of these national parks, the most well known is perhaps the World Heritage area of Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair. Spreading all the way from the Great Western Tiers in the north […]

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Sharks, Rays and Boobies: Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef

Heron island from the harbor

A giant manta ray flaps across the sandbar under the spearmint blue water beneath my feet. A brown-footed booby soars overhead, while an egret swooshes to the water surface and nabs his catch for the day. We’re out on the beach taking a morning stroll, but scenes from the Animal Planet are unfurling upon us. This is Heron Island, a coral cay […]

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