Elephants in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Leading Elephant Poachers Arrested:

Is the Tide Turning for Tanzania’s Elephants?


Elephants in Africa, particularly in Tanzania, have faced a devastating population drop in recent years.  This is primarily due to a rapid rise in elephant poachers killing them for their ivory tusks in order to meet the increasing demand in Asia.


The elephant population has diminished by nearly 60% in a matter of five years, according to National Geographic. In 2009, the population consisted of 109,051 elephants, but that number had dropped to 43,330 last year. Some suggest that this drop may be due to migration, but such a rapid population decrease can only be explained by increased poaching all across East and South Africa.


However, a slew of recent arrests, initiatives and policy changes suggest that the people of Tanzania– and around the world– are finally ready to take serious action to reduce elephant poaching.

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Bornean Orangutans photo via WWF

How Fires in Indonesia & Palm Oil Are Killing Orangutans

An Interview with International Animal Rescue’s Karmele Sanchez


Indonesia is burning.


In what The Guardian calls “the worst manmade environmental disaster since the BP gulf oil spill,” vast swaths of vital forests in Borneo and Sumatra are being consumed by fire. These fires were intentionally set by palm oil and paper companies, simply because slash & burn agriculture is the cheapest, fastest way to clear land for plantations.


But these fires in Indonesia– tens of thousands of them– are raging out of control due to record drought throughout the region. In places like Pematang Gadung and Sungai Besar, where the forests are filled with orangutans and other endangered species, some animals have died from smoke inhalation, while others have been poached or abducted into the illegal wildlife trade. But a precious few are being rescued by non-profit organizations such as International Animal Rescue.


Fires in Indonesia orangutan rescue by International Animal Rescue

Orangutan rescued by IAR


But it’s not just animal life that’s endangered: The toxic haze from Indonesia’s fires has created a thick layer of smog over the entire country. The city of Palangkaraya has become one of the most polluted places on the planet, and locals are literally choking on the devastating effects of unchecked corporate greed. Experts believe the impact of carbon released from these burning peat forests on climate change will be catastrophic if something isn’t done soon.


“The problem with fire and smoke is absolutely dire,” says IAR communications manager Lis Key. “Orangutans are badly affected by the smoke. Some suffer upper respiratory tract infections, which can prove fatal. Some of the babies we’ve taken in recently have been suffering from dehydration and malnourishment through lack of food, as well as breathing problems from the polluted air.”


Last week IAR sent out a desperate plea for help drawing international attention to (and financial support for) their fire-fighting and orangutan rescue efforts. To get a boots-on-the-ground insider’s perspective on the struggle, we spoke to Karmele Llano Sanchez, Program Director of IAR’s Indonesian initiatives (Yayasan IAR Indonesia).

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Solvenia - view over the Jezersko valley and the Kamnik Alps

Organic Beekeeping in Jezersko Valley


Joze was waiting for us in front of his hut, which boasted a stunning view over the Jezersko Valley and the Kamnik Alps. He looked like a mountain man out of a storybook, with his checked shirt and corduroy trousers. His blue eyes shone brightly under the brim of his bucket hat, revealing the happiness of a man able to dedicate himself full-time to his real passion.


Our new friend Joze is an organic beekeeper in Slovenia. We met him during our trip to Jezersko, an unspoilt valley in Slovenia, whose local government decided to invest in ecotourism to attract visitors.


There are no 5 star hotels here, only family-run hotels and a soon-to-be-opened glamping resort. Days in Jezersko Valley are spent hiking, climbing, cycling and learning about local traditions, such as herbalism and organic beekeeping.

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Bret Love and Mary Gabbett at Tarangire Safari Lodge

50 Travel Blogging Tips

From Our First 5 Years


It’s hard to believe it was five years ago today that we first hit “publish” and introduced Green Global Travel to the world. It’s even harder to believe that this crazy dream of ours has led us to more amazing places than we ever imagined, both literally and figuratively.


Starting this site in 2010 was a HUGE leap of faith in pursuit of our mutual passions. We’d never read a single travel blog. But we had both managed businesses (me as a newspaper and magazine editor, Mary as a Client Services manager at an industrial psychology company), and I had 15 years as a journalist under my belt. So we jumped in, and figured out how to fly on the way down.


Following our business instincts, we made a lot of smart choices, a few dumb mistakes (see: starting out on the Joomla platform rather than WordPress), and learned an awful lot along the way. Here, we share 50 of our best Travel Blogging Tips from our first five years…

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Galapagos Sea Lions on Española Island

PIC OF THE DAY: Galapagos Sea Lions


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the dichotomy of Nature: How it can be both devastatingly strong (see: hurricanes and earthquakes) and surprisingly vulnerable (see: climate change and rapid species collapse) at the same time. The fact that these two extremes are inextricably connected only makes the complexity of our planet’s ecosystems all the more fascinating.


We’ve rarely visited any place in the world that better illustrated how strength and fragility can be two sides of the same coin than the Galapagos Islands. Eons of volcanic activity gave birth to harsh, rugged, lava-strewn landscapes, which kept the islands from being colonized until the early 20th century. But these inhospitable ecosystems also provided sanctuary for some of the most beautiful creatures we’ve ever seen, many of which are endemic and endangered today.


Darwin’s Paradise is home to many of our favorite wildlife species, from the famed Galapagos Tortoises and the mini-Godzilla-like Marine Iguanas to the bizarre Flightless Cormorants and the tiny Galapagos Penguins. But the most engaging animals on the islands are arguably the ubiquitous Galapagos Sea Lions, which you’ll find in almost every port, every beach and in the water every time you go for a swim.



There’s a hard-and-fast rule in the Galapagos that says visitors must stay at least 6 feet away from wildlife at all times, but the Galapagos Sea Lions clearly did not get the memo. They’re filled with endless curiosity, awkwardly ambling over to check you out on land or swimming gracefully alongside you as you snorkel in the sea. With their huge eyes, cute faces and funny flippers, the sea lions’ charms ultimately prove impossible to resist.


We met this adorable duo at sunset in gorgeous Gardner Bay on the island of Española. Here, on a beautiful white sandy beach, hundreds of Galapagos Sea lions live in large colonies. These two young ones were snuggled up close together, looking up at us with sweet puppy dog eyes. It was only after we took the photo that we noticed the perfect heart-shaped nose of the one on the right.


This was one of the last photos we took during our recent trip to the Galapagos, which seemed appropriate: The trip made me feel as close to my daughter as these two Sea Lions looked, with a full heart that fell more deeply in love with these fragile, fascinating islands that helped launch our site’s success back in 2011. –Bret Love


Our trip to the Galapagos was sponsored by International Expeditions, but we will never compromise our obligation to our readers. Our opinions remain our own.


If you enjoyed our post on Galapagos Sea Lions, you might also like:

7 Important Life Lessons I Learned in the Galapagos Islands

Darwin’s Paradise: Galapagos Islands Animals, Ecotourism & Adventure

INTERVIEW: Charles Darwin Foundation Exec. Director Swen Lorenz

VIDEO: Swimming With Galapagos Sea Lions

VIDEO: Galapagos Tortoises

VIDEO: Marine Iguanas

VIDEO: Flightless Cormorants



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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