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US: St. Augustine, FL- Learn all About Dolphins on a Dolphin Paddle

Join Anastasia Watersports and Marineland Dolphin Adventure for a fun-filled interpretive Dolphin Paddle on Salt Run at Anastasia State Park.

Dolphin Paddle 2 D81_5143The park’s estuarine tidal marsh is teeming with plant and animal life . Learn about the biosphere and natural habitats, hop into a kayak, paddle onto Salt Run, and keep an eye for birds, turtles, manatees and especially dolphins.

Staff will provide illuminating details about the ecosystem and the myriad wildlife that inhabit it.  A dolphin expert from Marineland, will fill guests in on fascinating facts about the dolphins that are born, breed and thrive in this waterway.

The event will start with 30 minutes of classroom discussion followed by 90 minutes of paddling.  Come out and enjoy real, undiscovered Florida. Program fee: $40/person, includes boat rental. Park admission fees: ($8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.  email, info@anastasiawatersports.com to make a reservation.dolphin-paddle-on-salt-run-3138-6078

This informative event is Family-Friendly.

Location: Anastasia State Park,  300 Anastasia Park Road, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Date: Sat, June 16, 2018
Time: 9am – 11am
Tel: 904-460-9111
floridastateparks.org/park-events/Anastasia
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Folkston, GA – Canoe, Kayak, or Boat the Black Waters of the Okefenokee Swamp

Nature enthusiasts will relish the natural unspoiled and virtually unmarked by man Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1937 to preserve the Okefenokee Swamp. The refuge encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals, moss draped cypress trees and lily pads which provide sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.Kayakers on canal

Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. Swamp habitats comprise open wet “prairies,” cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds.

To assist you on your exploration, Okefenokee Adventures offers a full range of tour options and is located inside the refuge on the historic Suwannee Canal.  Canoe, kayak, or boat the mirrored black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp: You can join a regularly scheduled 90 minute guided boat tours, or reserve a 2 hour sunset tour or arrange a half or full day private excursion with an expert, professional guide. Their staff includes well-known authorities on alligator biology, wetland ecology, and Okefenokee cultural history. gator on log

Experience canoe camping in the back-country wilderness of the Swamp interior, or head out on your own in a canoe or kayak. You can bike or drive the Swamp Island Drive, visit an authentic Swamp homestead or walk the nature trails and boardwalk and  get bird’s eye views of the swamp from atop the observation tower.

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Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 2700 Suwanee Canal Rd, Folkston, GA 31537 , Tel: 912-496-7836 or 877-860-6787

Location: Okefenokee Adventures, 4159 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA 31537
Hours: Open: ½-hour before sunrise every day,
Closed: 7:30pm – March 1 through Oct 31, Closed: 5:30pm – Nov 1 through end of Feb
Tel: 912-496-7156, 866-843-7926
okefenokeeadventures.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.com

US: Cape Neddick, ME – Whoooo’s There?: Owl Prowl

Bring the whole flock out to the Center for Wildlife’s Owl Prowl; a fun, nature adventurous event and learn a bit about these amazing and mysterious birds of the night.Owl Prowl

Meet under the education pavilion to learn about native owl species, their ecology,  adaptations, hunting techniques, their amazing powers of sight and hearing, learn how to call owls and meet local representatives up close.

Following the presentation, take a short walk into the surrounding habitat to call for owls and listen for whooo might call back.

Owl prowlers of all ages are welcome, but patience and a quiet atmosphere are crucial for owl prowling. There is a $7 suggested donation per person for this event, and reservations are required. Take the Owl Prowl, it’s sure to be a hoot! Owl Prowl 2

Location: Center for Wildlife, 385 Mountain Rd., Cape Neddick, ME 03902
Date: Fridays, Feb 24, 2017 (also: Mar, 31, Apr, 28, 2017)
Time: 4 -5:30pm
Tel: 207-361-1400
thecenterforwildlife.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:yorkme.org portsmouthchamber.org

Canada – Winter Break Idea: See Wildlife Up Close in Canadian Safari at Parc Omega

If  you’re in the Montreal or Ottawa area,  you are only 1 1/2 hours away from an exciting safari adventure. Parc Omega is the perfect day outing for kids (and folks) of all ages. It’s an 800 hectare park where the animals roam free and you are “caged” in your car. It’s such an easy drive to be able to come face to face with Canadian wildlife: reindeer, elk, arctic wolf and fox, bison, musk ox, turkey, boar, coyote, black bear, and many kinds of deer.IMG_0362

Along a 12-kilometere safari nature route which takes you past lakes, meadows, small valleys, forests and rocky hills, you meander at your own pace. You can pick up bag of carrots at the visitor center (or bring your own), and as you slowly make your way through, you are allowed to open the windows to feed the wildlife. Kids are thrilled that they do not have to be in their car seats here and can flit from side to side of the vehicle to say hello to the animals.

You tune your radio to a station which fills you in on all sorts of information about the species you will be seeing.

  • We learned which males are good daddies and stay around to raise the youngsters and which ones only show up for mating season.
  • I never knew that the musk oxen’s heads are strong as hammers and they butt and knock everything down. Their quarters are specially built to withstand their strength.IMG_5699
  •  You pass by low slung “condos” for boars designed to keep the big predators out.
  • Coming here in winter gives you the opportunity to see how the arctic fox blends into the snowscape.

About 2/3 through, there’s a place to stop,  get out to stretch legs and visit some wooden buildings for bathrooms, gifts, food and hot cocoa. Friendly deer are in the parking area to get a snack too – those carrots – buy lots.

This is one experience that all Canadian families should take advantage of. It’s not only educational and fun, but will bring lasting memories for the whole family.IMG_0369

Location: Parc Omega is a safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec, Canada
Address: 399 Route 323 North, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0 Click for map Google Map

Phone: (819) 423-5487
www.parcomega.ca

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US: St. Marys, GA – Wild Horses Graze on Georgia’s Cumberland Island

A short ferry ride (passengers only) transports you to the treasured, pristine Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia, offering visitors over 17 miles of secluded, white, sandy beaches.

Preserved and protected for future generations, Cumberland Island National Seashore includes a designated wilderness area, undeveloped beaches, historic sites, cultural ruins, critical habitat and nesting areas. Walk on the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists.

You can’t explain Cumberland, you experience it. Time moves to the rhythm of nature. On this National Seashore, it is the animals that are the inhabitants and people are only visitors. The majestic sweep of deserted sandy beach is dotted with shells and usually deserted, except for the wild horses roaming at will. The dramatic slope of the dunes is a constant work in progress, sculptured by the wind and sea. The inland’s, majestic live oak and palmetto forests provide shelter for the horses, deer, turkey, alligator, armadillo, mink and a tremendous variety of coastal birds.

You’ll find campsites, hiking trails and first-come-first-serve bike rentals on the island. There are no amenities on the island beyond the restrooms and water fountains. You should bring lunch and water bottles to refill.

The visitor’s center in St. Mary’s, Georgia is the gateway to Cumberland Island. Here you can get tickets for the ferry over to the Island, as well as information about camping permits on the Island. Wild Horses - Cumberland Island

Location:Mainland Visitor Center, 113 Saint Marys St, GA 31558
Hours: Visitor Center  8 – 4 pm
Tel: 912-882-4335
nps.gov/cuis/index.htm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
visitkingsland.com

Sleep with a Headhunting Tribe in Borneo

The days of headhunting are long past, but an overnight stay with members of the Iban tribe – renowned for their blowpipe prowess and headhunting traditions – offers an enlightening look at their ancient customs and ceremonies.
Adventure Center’s 11-day “Headhunters of Borneo“ suitable for travelers ages 7 to 70 (and up), offers a peek into the old ways of this once-feared tribe: learning how to best behave with the Iban so as not to offend, visiting with the Headman (an honor and a courtesy), enjoying traditional dances, and dining on traditional foods (no heads) while sitting on the longhouse floor.

Other highlights include the bustling city of Kuching, the coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, guided treks through rain forests and nature preserves filled with exotic wildlife, and a cruise down the Kinabatangan River. Prices for the nine departures beginning July 24, 2011 and running through 2012, range from Cdn $2,973 to $3,060 per person, double (children are slightly less), and cover entrance fees, activities, accommodations, most meals, services of a group leader, and transportation, including domestic flights; optional extensions and international air are extra. An optional five-day post-trip in Mount Kinabalu challenges guests to ascend Southeast Asia’s highest mountain before spending a day in Kota Kinabalu.

After a day spent exploring the scenic waterfront and cityscape of Kuching, Borneo’s largest city, guests travel to Bako National Park for a trek along jungle trails that are home to proboscis monkeys, long tail macaques, wild boars and monitor lizards, among others. A stop at the farmers market in Serian is followed by a longboat ride on the Lemanak River to the longhouse of the welcoming Iban tribe. Travelers have the opportunity to navigate the waterfalls and rolling hills of the Damai Rainforest by sea kayak or on foot before arriving in Sepilok, where visits to the Sukau Rainforest and Orangutan Reserve – one of only three of its kind in the world – offer close-up views of the endangered species. After the Kinabatangan River cruise guests fly to Kota Kinabalu for a final day of snorkeling around the coral islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, visiting the Sabah State Museum or taking a trip to the colorful local markets.

Adventurers on the optional post-trip “Mount Kinabalu Trek Extension” continue their adrenaline-fueled journey as they ascend through rainforest and swirling mist to the summit of Southeast Asia’s highest mountain. Rewarded with a panoramic view of the sunrise, they then descend into Kota Kinabalu for a final night of exploration. The five-day trip is priced at Cdn $768 per person, double.

Additional details can be found at http://www.adventurecenter.com/ca/TheAdvTvlCo/fba. Booking information, brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents; Adventure Center’s visitor-friendly website, www.adventurecenter.com/ca ; or by phone (866) 338-8735. The company has been around for more than 35 years.