Bornean Orangutan at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, Malaysia

Bornean Orangutan Conservation at

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

 

(The following is a guest post from Margherita & Nick Ragg of adventure & nature travel blog The Crowded Planet. Follow their adventures via Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a blogger interested in guest posting on GGT, please email pitches to Editor-In-Chief Bret Love at [email protected])

 

 

In The Land Below the Wind, Agness Keith wrote of the Bornean orangutans that used to visit her garden in order to eat fruit from the trees. The book was written in the 1930s, when the country was still covered in primary rainforest, thick and unexplored, providing habitat for a wealth of wildlife. It was said that orangutans could cross the whole of Borneo, swinging from one tree branch to another, without ever touching the ground.

 

Orangutans are one of four species of great apes, and found only in Borneo and Sumatra. Their affinity with humans was first recognized by the native people of Borneo, the Dayaks, who named them after the Malay-Indonesian words for man of the forest. Dayaks believed orangutans could talk, but chose not to in order to prevent being enslaved and put to work.

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Mama Nursing Her Twin MooseBabies at Wrågården Farm in  Falkoping, Sweden

FRIDAY PHOTO: Twin Moose Babies

Nursing at Wrågården Farm in Falkoping, Sweden

We’ve been fortunate to see quite a few adorable animals over the course of our travels, from baby Rhinos in South Africa’s Londolozi Game Reserve and baby Sea Lions in the Galapagos Islands to baby Guanacos in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and baby Penguins in Antarctica. No matter what the species may be, our soft hearts seem to melt every time we see little ones, especially the newborns.

So you can probably imagine our gushing reaction when we first laid eyes on the awkwardly adorable moose babies pictured above during our tour of Wrågården Farm in Falkoping, Sweden.

We’d already been overwhelmed with emotion when Bo Alexandersson– the father of the farm’s current 5th generation owner–introduced us to Oskar, a 2-year-old moose he had hand-raised, who now followed him around like an adoring puppy dog. As Oskar licked, nuzzled and drooled all over us like an overgrown Great Dane, we were surprised to see his lady moose, Ebba, crest the hill with two gorgeous 14-day-old calves in tow. As Ebba eyed us cautiously, the two youngsters began to nurse, and I quietly crept over to a nearby rock to snap a few shots.

We’ll have the full story– including some great GoPro video footage– on Sweden’s “Moose Whisperer,” his growing Moose family, and our incredible experience exploring Wrågården Farm (where they also raise Dum Dum deer, Canadian Bison, and Scottish Highland cattle) coming soon. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy this rare shot of Moose babies nursing their mama almost as much as we enjoyed getting to hang out with them for one awesome evening in West Sweden.  –by Bret Love

If you enjoyed our photo of Twin Moose Babies at Wrågården Farm, you might also like: 

NORWAY: Our Amazing Road Trip Through the Jotunheimen Mountains

Top 5 Eco Attractions in Norway

SWEDEN: Cycling Remote South Koster Island

SWEDEN: Touring West Sweden in a Volvo

Top 5 Eco Attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina

CROATIA: Exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park

Feigumfossen Waterfall_Luster_Norway

Feigumfossen Waterfall

The Land of WOWs

An Amazing Road Trip In Norway’s Jotunheimen Mountains

 

Have you ever seen something so achingly beautiful, the sheer emotional power of the moment literally reduced you to tears? It happened to me a few days ago while driving through the Jotunheimen Mountains on Norway’s Sognefjellet National Tourist Route, which takes you through Northern Europe’s highest mountain pass. And not just once, but over and over again.

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Stefan von Bothmer BIking Tours on South Koster Island, Sweden

Mary With Our Guide, Biologist-Turned-Farmer Stefan von Bothmer

Cycling South Koster Island, Sweden

 

It was a rough morning, to say the least. After several days in the bustling city of Gothenburg, struggling to adjust to the time difference and 18+ hours of daylight, we loaded our gear into the Volvo V60 we’d been loaned for the week and made our way 2 hours north to the town of Strömstad. There, we’d take the 45-minute ferry to South Koster Island, part of an archipelago located 10 km off the west coast of Sweden.

 

We got to Strömstad with 30 minutes to spare, which left us completely unprepared for the comedy of errors that ensued. First, we had to stop to ask for directions on where to park for the ferry. After finding the parking lot and unloading our luggage, I realized I couldn’t read the Swedish words on the machine where you have to pay. I eventually tracked down a kindly Swedish man, who told me that you couldn’t park in that lot for more than 24 hours at a time. We were scheduled to be on South Koster for two days.

 

So we loaded everything back into the car, drove all the way around the town (a challenge, considering its many one-way streets), and parked in a different lot. Time was getting tight, so I rushed to the machine to pay. It was broken. Fortunately another kind Swede came by as I was starting to freak out, certain that we’d miss the boat and, as a result, the activities we had scheduled once we arrived. Sensing my urgency, he quickly called the company that managed the parking lot and found out that they were letting people park there for free until the machine was fixed in mid-June.

 

By this point we had 10 minutes left to walk 1/2-mile, with heavy luggage and backpacks in tow, and figure out where to buy tickets. We sprinted most of the way, huffing and puffing, and were among the last people to make it on board, a mere 15 seconds before the departure horn blew. Fortunately, we were able to buy tickets on the ship…

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Johnny Clegg, South African Musical Legend

South African Music Legend Johnny Clegg

On Apartheid, Nelson Mandela & His Nation’s Future

 

 

Born in England, but raised in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Johnny Clegg emerged as a revolutionary musical force in the ‘70s and ‘80s by combining African and European lyrics and musical influences that spoke out against government oppression at the height of Apartheid.

 

Known as “The White Zulu,” Clegg started his first racially mixed band, Juluka, in 1969 after falling in love with Zulu culture and musical traditions. The mere act of playing with Zulu musicians such as Sipho Mchunu was illegal at the time, and explicitly political songs inspired by South African trade union slogans didn’t earn the band any fans in the Apartheid regime. Clegg and his bandmates were arrested repeatedly.

 

 

When Mchunu left Juluka in 1986 to tend his family’s cattle, Clegg formed Savuka, whose Zulu name means “we have awakened.” Clegg, who by this point was teaching Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, became increasingly political on 1987’s Third World Child. The song “Asimbonanga” became a rallying cry for the anti-Apartheid movement, calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and canonizing 3 martyrs of the liberation struggle– Steve Biko, Victoria Mxenge and Neil Aggett.

 

By the late ‘80s, Clegg was as popular in Europe as Michael Jackson. In 2012, he received the South African Presidential Ikhamanga Award, the highest honor a citizen can receive there. And when Nelson Mandela passed away earlier this year, “Asimbonanga” was the emotional anthem sang in the late leader’s honor.

 

Clegg is currently in the midst of his largest North American tour to date in support of his new album, Best, Live & Unplugged. A visit to South Africa back in 2000 changed my life, so I was truly honored to get a chance to speak with the musical legend about life during Apartheid, his fascination with Zulu culture, what made Nelson Mandela so beloved, and his hopes for the future of his homeland. 

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN