Posts Tagged ‘adventure tours’

Photo: Remote Antarctica

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
Get an up-close look at wildlife in Antarctica

An up-close look at wildlife in Antarctica.

The name Antarctica is the Roman derivative of the Greek word meaning “opposite to the north.” During the winter months in Antarctica, there are nearly 24 hours of daylight to explore the White Continent’s varied wildlife, including the Adelie penguins pictured above. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which averages at least one mile in thickness. There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside at the various research stations scattered across the continent throughout the year. Click here to read about the Smithsonian Institution’s contributions to polar research, including the Scientific Diving Program and U.S. Antarctic Meteorite Program.

Click here to learn more about travel to Antarctica.

Click here to watch a video footage from previous Antarctica expeditions.

Photo: Traditional Mongolian Ger

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Photo: Global Adrenaline

Photo: Nomadic Expeditions

Mongolia is the most sparsely populated independent nation in the world. While almost 40% of Mongolians live in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, a more traditional way of life is also practiced there. The ger, above, is a portable, felt-covered dwelling that has been used for more than 2,500 years by nomads on the steppes of Mongolia. Gers are very useful to the nomads for their ease of portability. The door of the ger typically faces south to let in the most light and prevents the northerly winds from entering inside.

Click here to learn more about tours to Asia.

My Mongolia Adventure

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

A friend asked me why I wanted to visit Mongolia, and my response was, “why not?” A fair question, but Mongolia is one of those places where you have to visit and experience in order to provide a better explanation. For starters, the country is full of rich history, culture, and unique customs. Also, there are no shortages of adventure opportunities in Mongolia. But any expectations I had of Mongolia prior to visiting were blown away after I got there.

A traditional Mongolian horseman rounds up some goats out on the Gobi Desert. Photo: Global Adrenaline

A traditional Mongolian horseman rounds up some goats out on the Gobi Desert. Photo: Global Adrenaline

After arrival, our group headed north to our ger camp located on the shores of pristine Lake Hovsgol. In the days that followed, we enjoyed kayaking and horseback riding. Our horse wranglers would whistle old Mongolian folk songs as we trekked on horseback through the beautiful, peaceful scenery. They taught us how to ride the horses the Mongolian way, which wasn’t easy, but it was certainly an adventure! (more…)

Smithsonian News: Baby Gorilla is a Girl

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The Smithsonian National Zoo’s three-week old baby gorilla, born to mom Mandara (26) and dad Baraka (16) on January 10, is a girl. The unnamed female newborn just may prove to be some competition to beloved adolescent panda Tai Shan!

Photo: NZP

Photo: NZP

Gorilla infants typically stay with their mothers for 3-4 years.  This behavior is consistent for both Lowland Gorillas like Mandara, Baraka, and their baby, and for Mountain Gorillas. Sadly, both species have been hunted and killed in great numbers in the wild and are listed as endangered. In fact, it is estimated that only 740 Mountain Gorillas still remain in the forests of East Africa.

For hardy types, a gorilla trekking adventure to Uganda and Rwanda could be the trip of a lifetime. Can’t travel that far? Just visit the Zoo’s Great Ape House to catch a glimpse of the newest arrival.