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Giraffe Awe and Wild Things on Safari in Botswana

  • John Ord
  • 4 June 2013

Lists of species names and photos simply cannot capture how raw and transcendent it is to be in the wild in Africa. But some sightings are worth the effort because they are almost spiritual. We witnessed a tower (herd) of giraffes move at full gallop across the landscape in the early evening. It was simply otherworldly.

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Miraculous El Sauce, Nicaragua

  • Rachel Eagan
  • 2 May 2013

Years of war and corruption have left the breathtaking landscape of Nicaragua pitted with pockets of poverty. In the United States, 4Walls Project has for the past five years been helping to build safe, sustainable housing for underprivileged families in El Sauce, sleepy cowboy town. What started as a two-woman project has quickly blossomed into a yearly pilgrimage for volunteers from all across the United States.

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Local Travel by Bus in Nicaragua: A Slice of Life

  • Heather Rath
  • 15 April 2013

“They hang from the bars like monkeys,” says a Nicaraguan colleague. He’s describing his fellow riders as we discuss the exhausting 1.5-hour one-way trip of about 50 kilometres we undertook daily for two months on a local bus from Granada to the capital city of Managua, Nicaragua, and return.

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Way Off the Beaten Path: A Homestay on the Togean Islands of Indonesia

  • Stephen Lioy
  • 11 December 2012

In a country like Indonesia that falls squarely on many tourists’ radars for its all-inclusive resorts and organised bus tours, I instead remember the Togean Islands as a place where the most serious decisions I made included “SCUBA or snorkel?” and “Should we walk across the beach for a warm beer or the island for a cold?” It was a place where, unlike most of the island paradises of my memory, paradise lived up to my ideals.

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Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel: Worth It? Try Panama’s Palenque Island

  • Rachel Kowalczyk
  • 3 December 2012

On my last visit to Panama, I learned firsthand that the benefits of travel off the beaten path are not exclusive to the rich and famous. During my time to Panama, a country that for now remains relatively “undiscovered,” I was particularly enamoured of my stay on a remote island where the natural environment has been preserved through the conscientious efforts of an eco-development company.

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Off the Beaten Track: My Amazon Story

  • Juan Paredes Goicochea
  • 26 November 2012

The Amazon is one of those ‘must go’ places that ordinary people dream of and seasoned travellers brag about having visited. It is the ideal escape if you are looking for something exotic, adventurous, contrasting and genuine. And now I promote a local, responsible and sustainable approach to travel in the Amazon with a focus on authentic local experiences, nature-based activities and sustainable practices, all aligned with what I consider to be a basic yet meaningful travel philosophy – “it is all about the people.”

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Birds, Trees and Wildlife: Ecotourism in Mauritius

  • Angie Aspinall (text) Richard Aspinall (photos)
  • 13 November 2012

The natural history of Mauritius makes a strong case for conservation. After all, it’s an island where many native species have already become extinct, most notably the Dodo. Our principal reason for visiting was to learn about the nature conservation work being carried out. We learned that if your idea of a holiday in Mauritius has been all about lying on a beach in the sunshine, think again! Mauritius is a dream destination for ecotourists.

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What the Locals Talk About in Oaxaca, Mexico

  • Kim Groves
  • 6 November 2012

Imagine being invited warmly into the homes of local people and their families. Imagine sitting down in a living room, patio or workshop and having a conversation with a local woman about what it is really like to live and work in her town. Imagine getting off the beaten tourist path and, at the same time, making a positive difference to a community. Imagine the conversations the women will have about you after you leave!

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Mynatour Ecotourism Contest Winner Recalls His Trip to Laos

  • Mario Difra with Jenna Makowski
  • 1 November 2012

When Italy native Mario Difra packed his bags and hopped on a plane to southern Laos – his third-place prize in the Mynatour Ecotourism Contest – he knew he was diving into a great adventure, all made possible by Teamworkz and whl.travel. On his seven-day journey on the waters of the Mekong River and through the treetops of the Champasak jungles, however, Difra recorded a parallel journey that takes travellers into the heart of local Lao life.

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A Local Look at Uzbekistan’s Colourful Markets

  • Stephen Lioy (text and photos)
  • 7 October 2012

When in Central Asia, one of the easiest ways to see life from a local’s perspective is to wander through the markets of each town – places where travellers can readily find just about anything. Most of the items on sale in the bazaars of Uzbekistan are locally grown and produced, so the markets are also a great stop for anyone looking to shop sustainably and responsibly.

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