Bret Love of Green Global Travel Swimming with Galapagos Penguins

Swimming with Galapagos Penguins

Secrets to Swimming With

Galapagos Penguins


I have a theory about mankind’s interaction with nature. It’s a little odd, with no scientific evidence whatsoever to back it up. So I’ve never told many people about it, lest they think I’m some sort of tree-hugging nutjob.


But it’s the only explanation I’ve been able to come up with for why we have so many rare wildlife encounters, such as getting a chance to spend a solid half-hour swimming with Galapagos Penguins, the world’s rarest penguin species.


Galapagos Penguin is Ready for His Closeup

Galapagos Penguin is Ready for His Closeup


My theory is this: Animals have an innate ability to sense human emotions and intentions. When we approach them with fear, trepidation or aggression (i.e. negative energy), their instinctual response is fight or flight. But when we approach them with respect, admiration and cautious curiosity (i.e. positive energy), they tend to find humans, as a species, profoundly fascinating.


This approach has led us to have remarkable animal encounters all around the world. We’ve had memorable moments with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida; Black Bears in North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge; a Red Fox in Torres del Paine National Park; and too many others to mention. Time after time, for whatever reason, wild animals have chosen to come closer to us.


But our extraordinary experience swimming with Galapagos Penguins was special because it was so incredibly rare. Our International Expeditions naturalist guide, Cristina Rivadeneira, said she’d never seen anything like it before in 19 years of working in the Galapagos Islands.

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How to Avoid Products With Palm Oil


How to Avoid Products with Palm Oil


What if we told you that a single ingredient contained in many of your favorite foods– palm oil– is wiping out rainforests all around the world, from Palawan, Philippines to the Brazilian Amazon?


What if we told you that palm oil is killing endangered species (orangutans being the most famous example) and destroying the livelihood of indigenous tribes? Would that be enough to convince you to stop using products with palm oil?


This guide will help you understand why palm oil production is so destructive, illustrate some of the myriad products with palm oil we should avoid, and give you ideas on how to make those products at home so that you can feel good about the food you’re putting into your body.

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Masirah Island Sea Turtle Tracks

Masirah Island- Searching for Sea Turtles


They don’t look like much.  To my unadjusted eye, they merely look like tire tracks leading to holes in soft sand.  But to those who know, like my husband, they mean only one thing – we are on an active turtle nesting beach.  We’ve been waiting for this moment for almost a week.


We are in Oman, a land of forts and frankincense, Bedouins and wadis, desert dunes and rugged coastline.  But for us, Oman is first and foremost a country whose white sand beaches serve as the yearly nesting sites for tens of thousands of sea turtles.  Ever since Bruno described his cherished memory of watching turtles lay their eggs in the sand here, it’s been the experience I’ve longed for most in Oman.


And so we headed for Ras al Jinz, a turtle nesting site of internationally-recognized importance.  Every year, over 20,000 female green turtles – an endangered species – plod up the beach here to dig deep trenches with their rear flippers into the soft sand and deposit their eggs.


And every night, one hundred tourists watch the turtles in this most-intimate of act.

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Top Travel Destinations of 2016: 35 Travel Bloggers' Picks

Top Travel Destinations of 2016

35 Travel Bloggers’ Picks


Last year we interviewed five ecotourism experts on 2015’s Top Travel Destinations.


This year we decided to ask some of the most well-traveled authorities we know– veteran bloggers who specialize in adventure travel, ecotourism, cultural travel and family travel– to get their expert opinions on the best destinations for nature-lovers to travel in 2016.


A whopping 35 of them responded, giving us this epic 5700-word guide to some of the coolest places on the planet. From snowshoeing in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Scuba diving the Andaman Islands to gorilla-trekking in Rwanda and exploring Son Doong Cave in Vietnam, you’ll want to settle in a comfy chair and immerse yourself in these incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

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Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund President/CEO Tara StoinskiDian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

An Interview with President/CEO Tara Stoinski


This week marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of Dian Fossey, whose groundbreaking research and anti-poaching initiatives helped bring Mountain Gorillas back from the brink of extinction.


Along with Jane Goodall and Biruté Galdikas, Fossey was one of three iconic primatologists led by legendary archaeologist/paleontologist Louis Leakey. Known as the Trimates or “Leakey’s Angels,” these women made huge strides in field research of primates in their natural habitats, which Leakey believed was as crucial as archaeology to unraveling the mysteries of human evolution. And they did it in an era when females in scientific research were considered highly controversial.


Dian Fossey with Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

Dian Fossey, photo courtesy Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International


A 1970 National Geographic cover story and the 1988 biopic Gorillas In The Mist made Fossey famous, and her work in Rwanda influenced nearly every aspect of gorilla conservation today. Unfortunately, her interactions with locals were not so productive. Her aggressive tactics to protect the gorillas made many enemies among government officials and local indigenous peoples, many of whom poached animals in the forests the gorillas inhabited in order to feed their families. 


On December 26, 1985, Fossey was tragically killed in her sleep. The mystery of her murder has never been solved, and her marked grave at the remote Karisoke research camp has long since fallen into ruin. But the non-profit Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International continues her work, helping Rwanda’s Mountain Gorilla population grow from 254 individuals in 1981 to around 500 today (more than half the total remaining population of around 900).


After our incredible experience trekking to see Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda a few months ago, we interviewed DFGFI CEO/President Tara Stoinski. A leader in the world of primate conservation (including serving on the executive committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Section on Great Apes and as a conservation advisor for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Gorilla Species Survival Plan), Stoinski spoke with us about Dian Fossey’s legacy and the vital work her organization is doing for gorilla conservation today.

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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:

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

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
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- 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


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

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

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