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These Islands Humble Me It’s that time of year to look back, reflect on where we’ve been, what the year brought, what lies ahead. This past Spring, I spent two-plus weeks between the Galapagos Islands onboard the M/Y Eric with a number of other adventure travel professionals and journalists, then onto Ecuador’s Yasuni Reserve in the Amazon watershed. Even though I have visited the Galapagos an average of once every two years since 2001, the islands never fail to humble me. The simplicity and clarity of life, carried on without human intervention (or at least as much as possible in today’s world) is both exhilarating and frightening…what if we screw it up?? Where can we find another Galapagos, a place this unaffected by…US? Sure, there are a few population settlements there, and the human presence is growing. But most of the outer islands maintain that magical isolation, the animals are still unafraid of us...

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YOU Can Save the Charles Darwin Foundation As the oldest, largest and most respected research institution in the Galapagos Islands, as well as the key scientific advisor to the Galapagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation has had an immense impact on the conservation and management of the Galapagos Islands for over 50 years.  Among the CDF’s major accomplishments are bringing Espanola Island’s giant tortoise population back from the brink of extinction, along with numerous other endemic species.  The Foundation was also instrumental in establishing the Galapagos Marine Reserve, and spearheading ambitious projects to rid these iconic islands of invasive species. Now, the Charles Darwin Foundation itself is facing extinction due to severe financial pressures forced upon it by the vagaries of island politics and the forced closure of their small local Puerto Ayora gift shop, a store that generated valuable income for the Foundation during lean times.  “I think the correct expression is the situation is...
January 24 Travel Seminar: Turkey-Crossroads of Civilization January 24th @ 10:00 AM - The Savvy Traveler (Edmonds, WA) will be hosting a travel seminar on the Turkey - Crossroads of Civilization presented by Wildland Adventures President Kurt Kutay. More about the event:  Wildland Adventures takes you from the modern age into the past to discover authentic travel opportunities in Turkey on routes used by ancient silk and spice traders between Europe and the Far East. Turkey was a land coveted by many conquerors, each successive empire leaving its mark on the culture, folklore and way of life. Twenty-first century Turkey is a modern, secular and western-oriented republic, best represented by the contemporary bustling city of Istanbul. And, still the grandeur of Asia Minor predominates everywhere. Wildland Adventures' founder, Kurt Kutay, who is of Turkish heritage, will share stories from their travels walking through Istanbul, hiking and hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, visiting an Imam at a mosque...

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Maasai Warriors Scrap Lion Hunt for Olympics An alumni just sent me a cool story they found on NBC and a short message thanking us for setting up such a great safari in Tanzania for them: "A highlight of our Tanzania safari this year was our exposure to the Maasai. Thanks for setting us up for an unforgettable journey of discovery!"  It got me thinking that I'd also love to share this story with you. In addition, I added a clip of one of our Maasai leaders talking about their spear competitions and video of them throwing their spears below. Something we often witness on many of our Kenya safaris and Tanzania safaris. Plus, our guests actually get to practice it with the warriors! Here's the NBC story on it: Kenya's Maasai Warriors Scrap Lion Hunt for Olympics Video from On Safari In Africa With Wildland Adventures (Pt. 2) Spear throwing at 6:22 Keeping it wild, Jeff Stivers...
February 28 Travel Seminar: Travel to Argentina February 28 @ 10:00 AM - The Savvy Traveler (Edmonds, WA) will be hosting a travel seminar on Travel to Argentina: Seamlessly combining various regions within one trip presented by Wildland Adventures South America Program Director Gretchen Traut. More about the event: Planning your first trip to the wine and tango capital of South America? Or maybe you've had a taste of Buenos Aires' vibrant culture and you want to now dive back in for a more extensive Argentine adventure? Argentina is a country that is as long as the United States is wide, covering numerous geographical regions and landscapes. When planning a 10-14 day trip, it can often be daunting trying to figure out just how to see it ALL. Having lived between Argentina and Seattle for almost nine years, South America Program Director, Gretchen Traut, will share experiences, tantalizing images and useful information on the different regions of...
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