Posts Tagged ‘wildlife safari’

To Track an Animal, You Need to Look For…

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Yes, we’re going there. The topic that makes everyone giggle. Take a deep breath and here we go:

Poo.

You would think that such a silly subject wouldn’t be something Smithsonian scientists would bother studying, but they do. Scientists at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. keep a close eye on the animals, from the food they eat to the end result. It provides information that is vital to nutrition, reproduction efforts for animal conservation, and the overall health of the animal. Plus, when you are working with certain animals, it’s better to keep them at a distance. That’s why taking samples of their waste is the easiest way to keep an eye on our animal friends.

You can learn more about these scientists by watching SciQ: Poo on the Smithsonian Channel.

 

But tracking an animal in the wild is a different story. When it isn’t living in a zoo, and there’s a vast amount of land to cover, how do you even start looking for an animal? In that situation, finding a few droppings can really help narrow your search. Remember, when you are on safari in Africa, look for the poo.

Our Tanzania Family Safari is a great tour for adventure, exploration, and a lot of giggling by people of all ages.

Be honest, did this blog post make you giggle?

Video: Caring for baby animals at the National Zoo

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

We’ve had a veritable baby boom at the Smithsonian National Zoo this summer! In a 24-hour-period between July 9 and 10, 2009 a clouded leopard cub, a Przewalski’s horse, and a red panda cub were all born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, VA. All three species are endagered, so we were overjoyed to be welcoming new animals.

Here, check out video of past Smithsonian Journeys Study Leader and National Zoo Veterinarian Luis Padilla talking about all the excitement.

Can’t get enough animals? Join us on one of these wildlife tours.

If you could be any animal, what one would you be? Share below.

A Dream Come True for a Wildlife Lover

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Amy Chelovich is Marketing Manager for Global Adrenaline, where her focus is on marketing adventures around the world. Her favorite destination is Africa, including Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Click here to read more Amy’s bio.

A male silverback and baby Mountain Gorilla

A male silverback and baby Mountain Gorilla. Photo: Global Adrenaline

Growing up in the Midwest I satisfied my desire to see animals “in the wild” by visiting zoos and watching television programs that explored Africa and the magnificent wildlife that calls that faraway land home. But after traveling to Africa twice in the last year, I realize that absolutely nothing compares to the experience of going on safari in the great game parks of northern Tanzania, or tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the bamboo forest and dense jungle of Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda.

The Serengeti safari experience was beyond my imagination. Within a few days I watched a lone black rhino roam the Ngorongoro Crater, observed two lionesses leading 3 of their cubs across the Serengeti plains from the basket of a hot-air balloon, and witnessed the birth of a wildebeest baby. There’s no need for television here where you can fall asleep to the calls of lions, hyenas, and cape buffalo through the night. I even came across a baboon drinking out of the swimming pool one afternoon at our safari lodge!

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda was an entirely different experience. Hiking through lush green forests with expert guides and trackers earned us an hour of quality time spent with a group of 9 gorillas. We watched the dominant male silverback playing with his baby, while adult females were eating and siblings swung through the low branches of nearby trees. As we watched and listened silently in the brush, the gorillas would settle a mere few feet away and go about their daily lives unfazed. Watching this group of gorillas snack and play made me feel like I was watching a family of humans. It was truly indescribable.

Cheetah overlooking the savannah Photo: David Schachter

Cheetah overlooking the savannah. Photo: David Schachter, Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

I will always remember the endless herds of zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, and cape buffalo that grace the landscapes of Tanzania’s vastly abundant game parks, as well as the rush of excitement that surged through my body as an adult female gorilla grazed past me in pursuit of her young. For all of the animal lovers and Africa dreamers out there, this is an animal adventure not to be missed!

Click here to learn about our newly added Tanzania and Rwanda adventure.

Click here to learn more about tours to Africa.

What is your dream destination?

Traveler Words: Inspired by Africa

Friday, March 13th, 2009

See what our travelers have to say about their recent journeys to South Africa. We’re grateful that travelers so generously share their thoughts with us. This week, read about what they loved about visiting Africa by rail.

“As a first time traveler to South Africa, Zambia and Botswana, I came away with a very special sense of Africa because of this tour…The tour was very diverse and I was able to get a sense of South Africa and an introduction to Zambia and Botswana. I loved Rovos Rail and all the safaris. I liked this trip so much, I plan to return to Cape Town and other countries.”

Judith Schwartz – South Africa’s Great Rail Journey

A traveler on Rovos Rail

A traveler on Rovos Rail. Photo: Patrick Wagner

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