Atlas Mountains of Morocco

Toubkal Mountain, photo by Anonymous via Creative Commons

A Journey Into The

Atlas Mountains of Morocco

 

Morocco is an exotic land that has lured many travelers over the centuries, but never more so than in the last decade.

 

Despite being located on the west coast of North Africa, just a short hop away from the south coast of Spain and Western Europe, one footstep into Morocco can transport you to the sandy lands of the Middle East. Mystical and exotic, with a pinch of spice, the country and its culture offer an allure that’s difficult to define.

 

Most first-time visitors are drawn to Morocco’s chaotic cities, including Marrakech, Fez, and Casablanca. While these bustling metropolises provide a healthy dose of Moroccan culture, it’s in the wilderness outside the cities where the REAL magic lies. Many tourists take a camel trek into the desert, sleeping under a blanket of stars. But I chose to take to the hills, to discover the rustic beauty of the Atlas Mountains.

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Travel Writer Jeff Greenwald in Vietnam

On assignment on Cat Ba Island, Vietnam (Photo by Rosie Stenke)

Meet Jeff Greenwald

World’s 1st Travel Blogger & Founder of Ethical Traveler

 

I first knew of Jeff Greenwald as the founder of Ethical Traveler, which annually publishes a list of the World’s Top 10 Ethical Travel Destinations. Ideologically, his organization and ours are perfectly aligned, and we even enlisted his PR guru Mike McColl to work with us in EcoAdventure Media.

 

It wasn’t until fairly recently that we learned that Greenwald, a successful travel writer for outlets such as the San Francisco Chronicle and Wired magazine, also happened to be the world’s first travel blogger. As documented in his 1996 book, The Size of the World, Greenwald was hired by Global Network Navigator to post travel stories to the World Wide Web during his 1993-1994 overland journey around the world. It was the first time the then-new Internet technology had been used for travel blogging.

 

Greenwald, who still blogs on occasion, has gone on to become a successful author (his sixth book, Snake Lake, was published in 2010) and performer, touring with his one-man show “Strange Travel Suggestions.” He was kind enough to spend more than an hour chatting with us about everything from that very first travel blog post in January of 1994 to his views on travel blogging today.

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Black Rhino Hunting

Killing for Conservation

Can Hunting Save the Black Rhino?

 

Conservation, n.:The action or process of conserving; preservation of life, health, perfection, etc.; (also) preservation from destructive influences, natural decay, or waste.”

What would you pay for the life of an endangered species, of which less than 5,000 currently exist? According to Corey Knowlton, the Texas-based big game hunting guide who purchased a trophy-hunting permit for the right to kill one Black Rhino, $350,000 is the cost of conservation.

 

The permit, purchased from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, was sold at an auction last weekend by the Dallas Safari Club, which insisted that the money would be used to fund rhino conservation efforts. But details on how it will be used to that end remain sketchy at best.

 

The Namibian government has allowed five Black Rhino trophy-hunt permits a year since 2004. Numbers of black rhino have increased in recent years from 3,600 to 5,055. But this hasn’t stopped the Black Rhino from appearing on the IUCN Red List as critically endangered, the highest level of threat before extinction.

 

So news of the hunting permit’s sale sparked vitriolic debate between hunting advocates and wildlife conservationists center on whether killing for conservation is moral, or effective in terms of saving a species.

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Storseisundet Bridge on Norway's Atlantic Road

Storseisundet Bridge on Norway’s Atlantic Road, by Jørgen Vik via Creative Commons

The World’s Best Road Trips

For Your World Travel Bucket List

 

We love heading off on grand adventures. But, in the years since 9/11, it seems like the entire process of air travel has become much more of a hassle. For us, it’s become a LOT more fun to load up our Hyundai and head out on the open road. Which probably explains why we’ve driven on family vacations to New York City, Asheville, the Outer Banks, Mobile, and Tennessee in the last 18 months alone. What follows is the World’s Best Road Trips from our World Travel Bucket List. We’d love to hear what’s on yours in the comments section below!

 

The Atlantic Ocean Road (Norway)

Named “The World’s Best Road Trip” by The Guardian,  the Atlantic Ocean Road is an 8.3-kilometer long road running through a picturesque archipelago. Connecting the western fjord islands between Molde and Kristiansund, the road zig-zags across numerous small islands connected by causeways, viaducts and seven low bridges that jut out over the often dramatic Norwegian Sea. There are four rest areas offering panoramic views (which often include whales and seals), but the road itself is a thing of beauty often used in automobile ads. We’re hoping to visit Norway this year, and would love to drive the Atlantic Road along the way.

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Chestnut Mandibled Toucan in Corcovado National Park

Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan in Corcovado National Park, by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

40 Amazing Costa Rican Wildlife Species

 

The other day, during a conversation about places we’ve traveled to and would never re-visit, we were flabbergasted when a friend suggested that Costa Rica had nothing further to offer her.

 

We’ve been to the Central American ecotourism hotspot three times now, exploring nooks and crannies ranging from the rivers of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (near the Nicaragua border) to the cloudforests of Monteverde, to the remote Caribbean coast of Tortuguero National Park. With its remarkable range of ecosystems– from sunny beaches and volcano-fed hot springs to the world’s most bio-diverse rainforests– we couldn’t imagine anyone getting bored with exploring the country.

 

Our appreciation was significantly heightened by our recent trip to the Osa Peninsula’s Corcovado National Park  as part of EcoAdventure Media‘s #EcoCostaRica press trip. Called “the most biologically intense place on Earth” by National Geographic, the park contains approximately 5% of all wildlife species found on the planet.

 

Truth be told, the whole country is a wildlife-lover’s dream come true. To illustrate that point, we collaborated with our EcoAdventure Media pals to create this epic photo gallery of 40 Costa Rican wildlife species. Though it contains only a fraction of the amazing animals you can hope to see during your visit (sadly, no shots of hard-to-spot species such as jaguars, anteaters, pumas, and harpy eagles), it should give you a taste of why we keep going back to Costa Rica over and over again.  –Bret Love

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
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 Without 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
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
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
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, 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
AK- Denali National Park
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
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
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
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
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
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN