11 elephants died in plunge from waterfall while trying to save drowned calf

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWSPAPER)

 

11 elephants died in plunge from waterfall while trying to save drowned calf

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At least 11 wild elephants died after plunging from a waterfall in a national park in Thailand, wildlife officials said Tuesday.

Five elephant carcasses were confirmed Tuesday from drone cameras days after six elephants were first spotted, said Sompote Maneerat, spokesman for the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department.

The animals were found at Haew Narok – Ravine of Hell – waterfall in Khao Yai National Park.

Park officials said five adult elephants and a calf were found at the waterfall Saturday. Officials said the baby elephant drowned and the five adults, found in a ravine below the baby, fell trying to reach it.

Elephant deaths: 6 wild elephants die after falling from waterfall in Thailand, reports say

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The five additional elephants confirmed Tuesday were from the same herd, and only two elephants from the herd survived the incident, said Nattapong Sirichanam, governor of Nakhon Nayok province, according to Reuters.

The two surviving elephants had been trapped on a cliff above the baby elephant, park officials said.

A similar incident killed eight elephants at the same waterfall in 1992, and Sompote said the 11th death is the highest number of elephants to die in a single incident in Khao Yai.

According to Reuters, 3,500 to 3,700 wild elephants remain in Thailand. The park is home to about 300 elephants, the news agency reported.

Asian elephants are classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

The surviving elephants will probably experience grief. When two elephants died this year at an Indianapolis zoo, officials confirmed that the rest of the herd reacted emotionally.

“We know that elephants grieve. They are intensely social,” Indianapolis Zoo President Rob Shumaker said.

Contributing: Joel Shannon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

 Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

The 5 Deepest Canyons in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Deepest Canyons in the World

If you are an outdoor enthusiast and a nature lover, you know how exciting visiting a canyon can be. Not only can you hike and climb, but the rivers below offer opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and floating. Canyons also provide unmatched vistas for photographers and those who simply want to take in incredible, panoramic views. Knowing the deep valleys and high cliffs of a canyon have taken thousands of years to form as a result of weathering incites the realization of the majesty of these natural landforms. Deep canyons offer the most drastic adventures and views, often including once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Below you will find the five deepest canyons in the worlds to help you plan your next adventure travel getaway.

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Grand Canyon, United States

Grand Canyon, United States

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As the deepest, and most famous, canyon in the United States and one of the deepest in the world, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold. Its deepest point is 6,093 feet. It’s also a large canyon, which can fit the entire state of Rhode Island. Scientists estimate that the Colorado River began carving the canyon through modern day Arizona about six million years ago, but some studies estimate the process began almost 70 million years ago.

Visitors can view the canyon from its rims, or take a hike on one of the many trails within the canyon. Bright Angel remains one of the Grand Canyon’s most popular trails. With multiple switchbacks, hikers can explore the canyon and get amazing views of the large cliffs, if they don’t want to go white-water rafting in the Colorado River. Visitors who are more about the view than heading out on a trail can find great vantage points at the North Rim and the South Rim stations; however, a visit to the Grand Canyon isn’t complete with out viewing it from The Skywalk at Grand Canyon West, a horseshoe steel frame with a glass floor that extends about 70 feet from the rim of the canyon.

Urique Canyon, Mexico

Urique Canyon, Mexico

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Urique Canyon is one of the six canyons that make up the area referred to as Copper Canyon in Mexico‘s Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in the state of Chihuahua. As the deepest (6,236 feet) and largest of the canyons, Urique draws visitors from all over the world, especially those who want to explore and view Copper Canyon by train. El Chepe, the train that traverses the canyon remains one of the most scenic rides in the world. El Chepe makes several stops along its journey from Chihuahua to Los Mochis, giving ample opportunities for those who want to explore the canyon up close.

Two favorite stops within the canyon are Posada Barrancas and Divisadero, only a few miles from each other. Divisadero doesn’t offer much for amenities, but it does have a hotel on the rim of the canyon. Most stop here to take in the spectacular view from one of the best lookout points along the trip through Urique Canyon. Additionally, the top attraction in the area is an adventure park, which gives visitors the chance to experience Copper Canyon in a different way.

Cotahuasi Canyon, Peru

Cotahuasi Canyon, Peru

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This remote canyon in the Andes Mountains is almost double the depth of the Grand Canyon at its deepest point of 11,595 feet. The largest city near Cotahuasi Canyon is Arequipa, Peru, located about 123 miles southeast of the canyon. The area is home to some smaller towns and villages whose residents farm the protected area of the canyon, which includes well over a million acres.

Those who venture into Cotahuasi are true adventure travelers at heart. The steep cliffs and remoteness of the location are only suitable for those who want to experience a truly rugged canyon adventure that includes trekking, climbing and kayaking. Those who visit don’t need a permit to enter the reserve, but they should be aware that the local flora and fauna are protected by law. Additionally, local farmers still practice traditional farming techniques to grow ancient crops such as quinoa, maize, chilpe, kiwicha, and other beans. Local farmers also raise llamas and sheep as they chew locally grown coca leaves for energy.

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Colca Canyon, Peru

Colca Canyon, Peru

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One reason Cotahuasi Canyon might not be as popular of a tourist destination is the fact that the world’s second deepest canyon, Colca Canyon, is also in Peru and is much more easily accessed from Arequipa, the country’s second largest city. Colca Canyon reaches depths of more than 13,600 feet, making it a truly wondrous site for those who visit and take in the picturesque views from its rim. The most popular vantage point in the valley is Chivay, also home to La Calera hot springs, a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Chivay offers travelers accommodations, dining, shopping, and tourist activities blended with local traditions. When you begin to explore the wonder of Colca Canyon, pay special attention to the majestic Andean condors flying throughout the canyon. One popular lookout point that offers breathtaking views is Cruz del Cóndor, located only a few short miles from Chivay.

Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, Tibet

Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, Tibet

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The deepest canyon in the world, Yarlung Tsangpo, reaches depths of more than 25,000 feet near the valley where Mount Namcha Barwa is located along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, which runs through Tibet. This highly remote, unspoiled region of the the globe has distinctive flora and fauna such as the takin, a goat-like mammal endemic to the region. The vast size of the river and the canyon also result in multiple different climate zones. On one part of the canyon you can be in sub-tropical temperatures, while near the highest peaks trekkers will experience arctic-like conditions. In fact, the Yarlung Tsangpo River is so daunting, it has earned the nickname “Everest of Rivers.” As of 2019, no one has successfully rafted or kayaked the entire river.

5 U.S. Camping Destinations With the Best Views

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 U.S. Camping Destinations With the Best Views

There’s nothing like a camping trip to disconnect from everyday life and get out into nature. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous camping trip or just a leisurely long weekend to unplug and unwind, you’ll want to take a look at these five U.S. camping destinations that have the best views.

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Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park, Maine

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They don’t call Maine the Pine Tree State (yes, that’s a real thing) for nothing. Step into any park inside the state and you’ll find yourself surrounded by gorgeous pine trees. Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine is no exception. Located on the Atlantic coast, you can get views of not just trees, but the Atlantic shoreline.

What’s really stunning is the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain. If you hike there at sunrise, you can enjoy the thrill of being the very first person in the country to see the sunrise, since that’s the easternmost point of land in the United States. This fact alone makes the trek worth it.

There are three campgrounds inside the park. Blackwoods is closer to the town center and is better for those of us who prefer to camp in a secluded area but enjoy knowing there’s civilization just a short drive away. If you want a more rustic camping experience, you’ll want to stay at Seawall. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy views of the water from your campsite, then you’ll want to check out Schoodic Woods. Know that you can hike anywhere you want in the park, but these are the only three designated areas where you’re allowed to set up camp.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

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When you’re standing in the middle of Washington, D.C., on a busy day, it’s nearly impossible to imagine that just 75 miles away lies an oasis that’s as serene as the D.C. metro is crowded. Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails. Many of them take you through several miles of quiet and peaceful wilderness, leaving you alone with your thoughts. Others take you to beautiful waterfalls or stunning viewpoints overlooking the trees and Appalachian Mountains in the distance.

The park sits on 200,000 acres of protected land. It allows backcountry camping for the truly adventurous who want to get off the beaten path and away from everyone. If you’re up for a challenge, take the eight-mile hike up Old Rag Mountain. This is the most popular route because of the stunning views at the peak. You can camp in one of four campgrounds during every season except winter. If you want to backcountry camp, you’ll need to get a permit (it’s free).

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

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As one of the few places in the country where you can still see glaciers, Glacier National Park in Montana is open year-round to visitors. It features a shocking 1,009 campsites within 13 separate campgrounds, but they’re spread out enough that the park can be full and you’ll still feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere (which, for the record, you are). There are over 700 miles of trails, making it the perfect destination for avid hikers. You’ll traverse through forests, meadows, and mountains while seeing spectacular views of lakes and, of course, glaciers.

If you’re up for a drive through the mountains, the 50-mile stretch known as Going-to-the-Sun Road runs through the middle of the park and connects the east side to the west side. While it’s a good way to get from one end of the park to the other in a relatively short amount of time (one way takes about two hours), the view from the highest point is the real highlight. Logan Pass is the highest point on the road, and it sits at 6,646 feet. From this point, you get a panoramic view of the majesty around you, including the glaciers below. You’ll probably also run into some animals, including mountain goats and bighorn sheep. Note that portions of the road can close at any time for weather, particularly for snow in the winter.

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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

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Deep in the heart of red rock country lies Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. While we’ve talked before about how desert vacations can be relaxing, this trip is more adventurous. The really cool thing about this park is the Waterpocket Fold, which is a geological wrinkle (officially termed a geologic monocline) on the surface of the Earth that was formed somewhere between 50 million and 70  million years ago. Capital Reef happens to sit at the most scenic part of the fold. The park extends nearly 100 miles and includes canyons, bridges, domes, and cliffs for hikers and adventurers to explore.

Backcountry camping is available with a permit. If you prefer traditional campsites, you can stay at the Fruita campground, which is a developed campground that holds 71 sites. More remote campgrounds are also available if you prefer roughing it. Cedar Mesa and Cathedral Valley don’t have water but they do have pit toilets.

The national park sits on a historic site that has been inhabited since at least 500 B.C. You can even see petroglyphs etched into stone along with some painted pictographs. These remnants of the people who used to live on the land have been preserved as much as possible.

Little Beaver Lake Campground, Michigan

Little Beaver Lake Campground, Michigan

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Michigan’s Upper Penninsula (or simply “up north” to Michigan natives) is an often overlooked place of natural beauty. Little Beaver Lake Campground is particularly noteworthy for its views of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. You’ll enjoy unbelievable lake views and can take your boat around to see the famed pictured rocks. If you’re more of a hiker, you’ll enjoy hiking through the forests surrounding the campground. Backcountry camping is available with a permit, or you can stay at one of three rustic campgrounds.

This campground is open year-round. While summer brings tourists who like to kayak, boat, or do other water sports, wintertime allows for snowmobiling, ice climbing, winter camping, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. If you’ve never seen a frozen waterfall before, consider making a trip to Little Beaver Lake Campground in the winter. Bring your climbing gear and make sure to pack your warmest clothes, and be prepared for snow. Lots of it. The area can get up to 200 inches of snow during the winter.

7 Largest Forests in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

7 Largest Forests in the World

Forests are the lungs of the planet. As trees “breath,” they take in carbon while emitting the oxygen for us animals to inhale. In total, forests cover approximately one-third of the planet. Individually, different types of forests create their own biological zones around the globe, with unique plants and animals found only within their confines. While misuse, deforestation and development have wreaked havoc on this essential earth element, there is still plenty we can do to help regreen the groves. Reforestation, conservation efforts and better land stewardship offer hope. The following list breaks down the largest remaining contiguous stands of trees.

Daintree Forest

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Daintree is the largest contiguous forest in Australia. At around 463 square miles, it blankets the northeast corner of the country and shades the coastline of the Daintree River. Some 90 percent of butterfly and bat species can be found here. For the bats, the forest’s more than 10,000 insect species mean plenty of snacks. The namesake of this wooded track is Richard Daintree, a famous Australian photographer and geologist. Within its borders can be found a large percentage of Australia’s unique indigenous reptiles and birds.

Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest

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Enveloping 927 square miles in China’s southern province of Yunnan, this high-altitude tropical rainforest is one of the world’s most pristine. Its vast expanse is so diverse that it is divided into many sub-forest types comprising eight distinct biological areas, each of which contains many extremely rare specimens found only here. Upwards of 3,500 types of flora have been scientifically documented. Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest’s sheer biodiversity and volume of rarities make it a field day for researchers.

Sundarbans

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Geographically split roughly 60/40 between Bangladesh and India is the 3,861 square-miles of the Sundarbans, the largest contiguous mangrove forest left on earth. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is specifically classified as a “halophytic” rainforest, meaning it is highly tolerant of excessive salt content and high water levels. Within its dense confines prowl endangered big cats. For example, in India parts of the Sunbardans are designated as National Park, Biosphere Reserve and Tiger Preserve. In neighboring Bangladesh, vast swaths of mangrove have Protected Forest status, also territory prime for protected felines.

Tongass National Forest

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Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is the largest in the United States, the world’s fourth biggest forest at 26,256 square miles in total area. Its dense stands of evergreens cover most of Southeast Alaska, including near landmarks such as the famous Inside Passage. The near pristine preserve proffers wildlife such as eagles, bears and rivers running with salmon. Park outfitters offer sled dog rides on glacier snow fields, while the more adventurous can seek out safe ursine encounters at Admiralty Island’s Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area. Area culture is on display at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, with easy visitor access just a short walk from the cruise ship docks in Ketchikan.

Valdivian Temperate Rainforest

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With an area of 95,800 square miles the Valdivian Temperate Rain Forest is the third largest forest in the world. (For comparison, California clocks in at 164,000 square miles in area.)  The Valdivian takes its name from the founder of the city of Valdivia, which is the capital today of both the Los Rios Region and Valdivia Province. The forest cloaks a vast area of South America, including parts in Chile and extending into Argentina. It features unbroken stands of conifers and deciduous trees with a dense understory of lush ferns and thickets of bamboo, all of which are much needed cover for a multitude of delicate animals and ecosystems.

Congo Basin Rainforest

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At a gigantic 781,249 square miles, the Congo Basin Rainforest is larger in area than the state of Alaska. This has much to do with the sheer size of the Congo River, one of the world’s largest, and the rich growth throughout its vast, fertile watershed. Ranging from subtropical to tropical, the moist broadleaf forests of the Congo taken together form a biome that continues from the Congo’s basin to those of its tributaries in Central Africa. Diversity in this colossal, connected collection of forests is highly abundant. For example, of more than 10,000 plant species found here, around 29 percent of them are indigenous, or unique, to the Congo.

Amazon Rainforest

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Touching at least parts of PeruBrazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Surinam, Guyana and Venezuela, just the Amazon’s list of country associations is impressive. So much so, it is also hard to imagine the sheer scope of this rainforest, which is an unfathomable 2.1 million square miles in overall width and breadth. Given that, it is still smaller than it used to be, suffering from ongoing mismanagement and degradation. What’s at stake are the Amazon’s biodiversity and its ability to scrub gigatons of carbon monoxide from our atmosphere. Due to its enormous size, the Amazon Basin’s wellbeing has vast implications for our climate in the near future, making it perhaps one of the most important environmental reclamation projects humankind could undertake.

4 Most Beautiful Views in South America

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4 Most Beautiful Views in South America

There is absolutely no shortage of picturesque vistas among the vast and varied landscapes that make up South America, all 7,000 square miles of them. Many of the most stunning views happen to be in places of wide-ranging biodiversity and high cultural importance, and they are thriving as destinations through eco-tourism and preservation practices. From epic mountain landscapes in Patagonia to paradise-found beach scenes in Colombia and nature’s tallest cascade in Venezuela, South America holds a rich trove of travel-worthy sights to behold.

Tayrona National Park, Colombia

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Sitting beneath the shade of a palm tree, enjoy endless views of magical blue lagoons and protected coves ringed by bight white beaches, themselves surrounded by hills carpeted in lush, deep-green tropical rainforest. Bring together those ocean and forest biomes, and you have a recipe for boundless biodiversity. Both the breathtaking scenery and the flora and fauna are on view at Tayrona National Park, in northern Colombia. The large preserve area spreads throughout the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a mountain range that comes down to recede into the Caribbean coastline. The plant and animal protections within the park provide the perfect ecotourism opportunity, all while allowing trekkers to take in some pretty paradisiacal views. A great overall resource is Colombiatravel.en.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

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Known by adventurers and thrill seekers as a pristine outdoor playground, Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile’s Patagonia region, features soaring mountains, bright-blue glaciers and golden pampas grasslands that seem endless. With such varied ecology, the views are endless, as well. The various environments shelter rare wildlife species, some found only here, such as the llama-like guanacos. Three prominent, towing spires of granite — called Cuernos del Paine — give the park its name. The epic terrain draws climbers, sea kayakers, mountain bikers and other outdoors adventure types.

Angel Falls, Venezuela

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Plunging over the cliff edge of Auyán-tepui mountain in Canaima National Park and dropping more than 3,200 feet, Angel Falls is the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State, Venezuela. Some 60 percent of the park is made up of table mountain formations, whose flat tops are a unique geological formation that lends itself to the sheer cliffs and attendant waterfalls that make for such jaw-dropping natural grandeur. Rising from surrounding grassy savannas below, the tops of the towering table mountains are frequently shrouded in misty fog, making for ethereal, otherworldly views.

Machu Picchu, Peru

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With its verdant green terraces set amidst stark stone walls and surrounding sheer peaks of the Andes Mountains, the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu makes for magical views. Its precarious perch in its mountain fortress makes the site seem surreal, almost defying gravity. The ancient builders not only managed to balance altars and living accommodations on a cliff edge, but did it so well that the structure is still standing much as it was when it was built in the 15th century. American explorer Hiram Bingham was led to the site in 1911, and it has been a bucket-list site for travelers ever since. Due to such heavy use, it has become a prime example of working eco-tourism. Even with so much archaeological attention paid to the discovery over the years, Machu Picchu’s exact original use still isn’t known.

3 Lesser-Known Hawaiian Destinations

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3 Lesser-Known Hawaiian Destinations

The 50th state is the Paradise of the Pacific, an exotic archipelago of eight major volcanic islands and dozens of atolls and islets. It’s a place with perfect turquoise waves breaking onto the shores of dazzling beaches, idyllic waterfalls, lush rainforests and cloud-breaking volcanoes. Give these destinations a try if you want to get away from the usual tourist haunts of Hawaii.

Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park, Oahu

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Discover lush scenery and uninterrupted views without the crowds at Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park, an ancient land division located on Oahu’s windward side. It spreads across 5,300 acres between Kahana Bay and the 2,670-feet-tall Pu’u Pauao mountain, at the edge of the Ko’olau Range. Kahana, the park’s largest settlement, started life as a remote fishing and farming village. Numbers declined after the creation of the Kingdom of Hawaii and later due to the region’s use as a WWII training site. Today, 31 families reside inside the park and help to promote and preserve their culture.

Experience the park along its two public hiking trails. Kapa’ele’ele Trail is a 1.2 mile-long loop that cuts through a native forest canopy to the Keaniani Lookout. Here you can admire jaw-dropping views of Kahana Bay and Hailua Fishpond. Nakoa Trail is a 2.5-mile round-trip that brings you up close to koa, hala, and octopus trees. Several stream crossings add a touch of adventure to the hike. End your day by kicking back on the gorgeous golden sands of Kahana Bay Beach Park.

Hanapepe, Kauai

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You’ll find it hard not to slow down in Hanapepe, a town characterized by its plantation-style buildings on Kauai’s south shore. Inhabited long before Charles Wilkes arrived on the United States Exploring Expedition in 1840, the town boomed in the 1880’s with an influx of sugar-farming immigrants. In the first half of the 20th century it became one of the island’s liveliest towns, largely due to the soldiers and sailors stationed here. Little has changed since then and the authentic facade was an inspiration for Kokaua Town, from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch movie series.

Spend your time here visiting the boutiques, cafes and galleries housed in well-preserved colorful buildings. Treat yourself to delicious ice cream at Lappert’s, Hawaii’s biggest ice cream chain. Views of the surrounding green countryside are exquisite from the rickety Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. About 2 miles from the center is Salt Pond Beach Park, whose shallow pools and crystalline waters are ideal for snorkeling. Bring a tent and spend the night camping beneath swaying palm trees.

Makawao, Maui

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Head inland on Maui to see a slice of Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) heritage in Makawao. Paniolos, Californian cowboys brought to Hawaii by King Kamehameha III, first arrived to this enclave on the northwest slopes of Haleakala in the 1800s. Ever since, they’ve been cattle ranching in the sprawling fields of Upcountry Maui and clinging hard to their roots. Check out July’s Makawao Rodeo for bona fide bull bashes, calf roping, parades, and rodeo shows.

Beside the cowboys, Makawao has a thriving arts scene and artisans have set up workshops inside Western-style buildings. Browse the independent galleries and stop to watch glassblowers and wood sculptors plying their trade. If you are a budding artist, sign up for a class at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. History buffs can learn about the town at Makawao Museum. Don’t miss out on an indulgent cream puff from the iconic T Komoda Store and Bakery.

5 Must-See Sites in Scandinavia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Must-See Sites in Scandinavia

Would you like an enthralling adventure with serenity and peace? Scandinavia is a once-in-a-lifetime must-see trip. Several must-see places in Scandinavia grab the undivided attention of visitors due to their distinctiveness.

Koli National Park – Finland

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This is one of the most stunning places in Scandinavia. It offers the best hiking and views in Finland. This park provides a fresh outlook on life with its natural wonders. Hike among the rivers, green mountains, and unspoiled summit of the mountains, where you’ll get the most beautiful vantage point. From here, you can see the Finnish countryside and relish in the stunning sunsets and sunrises.

If hiking is not your thing, the daring can enjoy river rafting, canoeing, skiing, and cycling at Koli National Park. The moss-covered woodlands with shimmering waterfalls are nature at its finest. This magical, positive space is the closest to heaven on Earth.

Øresund Bridge – Denmark & Sweden

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The Øresund Bridge connects Sweden and Denmark. First planned in 1936, bridge construction began in 1995 with the opening in 2000. Unexpected delays included finding undetonated World War II bombs in the construction path. Yet, the project was completed three months ahead of schedule. It is the longest rail and road bridge in Europe.

Found 30 feet beneath the water exiting at the Danish island of Amager, one experiences the sloping drive in this bridge. Stretching 5 miles across with a 2.5-mile underwater portion, it unites Denmark and Sweden across the Øresund Strait. This amazing design of human architecture and construction is a must-see.

Stockholm Archipelago – Sweden

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Stockholm Archipelago has more than 20,000 islands distributed within the Baltic Sea. Return to a time when the Vikings sailed the seas and eagles and seals still roam. Numerous nature hiking and biking trails wind a zigzag pattern over the landscape. Navigating among the islands is a kayaker’s, paddler’s, and boaters’ paradise.

This is a must-see-and-eat place for the foodies at heart. Savor the edible delights of different foods from farm shops while basking in an astounding place defined by natural beauty. The climate is favorable to the wandering visitor with cool breezes and sunny days.

Royal Danish Horticultural Society Garden – Denmark

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Created in 1830, this Copenhagen standout the oldest horticultural society in Scandinavia. The running theme is of an English-style garden that brings a sense of serenity and soothing calm to the visitor. Melodic waters bubble from the numerous fountains that pepper the gardens. One cannot help but feel relaxed, silent, and invigorated sipping from the spring water wells.

Formerly Frederiksberg Palace of a Danish royal family, the garden is a place for inspiration and self-reflection, as bikes and jogging are not allowed. Walk among perennial grounds, ancient statues, old growth trees, and water gardens to discover both exquisite design and yourself.

Lofoten Islands – Norway

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This is one of the magnificent must-see places on Earth where you can view the Northern Lights. Located north of the Arctic Circle, near the North Pole, the aurora light show is generated by the disturbance of the solar winds through the magnetosphere. This natural light occurrence adds a mystical quality to your journey. The colors are sprinkled throughout the night sky and Arctic light while your backdrop is the icy mountains and glacial fjords. Other activities include kayaking, canoeing, and hiking with your personal guide.

If you love the outdoors and thirst for exploration with photo opportunities, Scandinavia has fascinating choices. Plan your travels, shut off the stress of the outside world for a time, and relax on these perfect Scandinavian undertakings.

5 Hidden Gems in Australia’s Outback

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Hidden Gems in Australia’s Outback

When we hear mention of the Australian Outback we often picture the geographical desert heart of the country and sacred sights such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). But the Outback is actually a term used to describe any remote region of the country’s interior and coastline. From aboriginal sites to canyons, lakes and mountain ranges, there’s a little of the Outback to discover in every state. Here’s our list of some hidden gems to add to your bucket list.

Cape York, Northern Queensland

Cape York, Northern Queensland

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Spread across the narrow peninsula at the northernmost tip of Queensland is Cape York, a grueling 745-mile (1,200-kilometer) journey by 4WD from Cairns. Your reward for making it is jaw-dropping landscapes, superb fishing and memorable cultural encounters, among other things. Spend your days spotting ancient Quinkan rock art and swimming in the transparent waters of Twin Falls. Walk within touching distance of wallabies and crocodiles in Lakefield National Park and kick back on Frangipani Beach.

Lake Gairdner National Park, South Australia

Lake Gairdner National Park, South Australia

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Lake Gairdner is Australia’s third biggest salt lake and home to no less than 200 islands. There’s not many places in the world that you can watch land-speed races and world-record speed attempts on a lake, but this is one of them. Also within the park is Lake Everard and Lake Harris, and the three offer great opportunities for wilderness camping. The dramatic red Gawler Ranges provide a stunning backdrop to the lakes’ white surfaces.

Maralinga, South Australia

Maralinga, South Australia

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The site of British nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and long off-limits to tourists, Maralinga was given back to its traditional owners, the Maralinga Tjarutja people, in 1985. Today you can take guided tours to learn about both its indigenous Australian heritage and nuclear testing era. You can then fly in from the town of Ceduna and keep an eye open for migrating whales, between June and October.

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Mungo National Park, New South Wales

Mungo National Park, New South Wales

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If it is the ethereal landscapes of the Outback that you are in search of then Mungo National Park is the place to be. Its dried-up lakes and petrified sand dunes really seem to be from another planet. This section of the UNESCO-listed Willandra Lakes Region also boasts immense cultural importance. The remains of both the 8,000-year-old Mungo Man and the Mungo Lady were discovered in the park. Don’t miss the sunset over the Walls of China lunettes.

Tarkine Wilderness, Tasmania

Tarkine Wilderness, Tasmania

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Arguably one of our planet’s last great wilderness regions lies on the northwest coast of Tasmania. This is where you’ll encounter Australia’s largest expanse of temperate rainforest and a utopia of unblemished caves, forests, mountains, rivers and waterfalls. You’ll also spot myriad birdlife and possibly catch a glimpse of the menacing Tasmanian devil. Stand at the Edge of the World and you can experience the Roaring Forties winds that helped to carve out Tasmania’s rugged coastline.

Australia: 3 Best Ways to Explore the Outback

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Best Ways to Explore the Outback

The Outback is a remote stretch of land on Australia so vast that it covers 70 percent of the island continent, while holding only 3 percent of its population. It’s one of the world’s largest remaining intact areas home to not only deserts, but woodlands, mountains, and sub-tropical savanna as well. It’s a great place to really step into nature and discover some of the harshest, most beautiful environments in the world. Here are the three best ways to explore the Australian Outback.

In Search of Wildlife

In Search of Wildlife

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The Australian Outback is filled with animals you can only find there, and lots of wildlife in general. The most famous, of course, is the kangaroo, hopping all throughout the country (which, remember, is mostly Outback). Dingoes, friendly lizards like the Blue Tongue Lizard, wild camels, koala bears, wombats, platypuses, wallabies, toads, and just about anything you could think of dwell here, too. It’s also home to some dangerous creatures, such as crocodiles, spiders and, most famously, snakes. There are approximately 170 species of the reptile slithering throughout the country (many in the Outback), and about 100 of them are venomous. While Australia is home to the top three most venomous snakes in the world (Eastern brown snake, Western brown snake, Mainland tiger snake), there are very few fatalities annually. The country’s Outback is also great for bird watching, as parrots, emus, and thousands of other birds can be found all throughout the country.

Leaving the Pavement

Leaving the Pavement

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Going off-road in the Outback is essential to the experience. Yes, it’s already “off-the-beaten-path” no matter which highway you take through it, but getting onto dirt roads and then hiking into areas even further off the beaten track is so rewarding. A few places to start: the Old Telegraph Track, which was once the northern region’s only line of communication and home to many waterfalls and swimming holes; the Simpson Desert French Line, with its frequent dune crossings; and Gibb River Road, which follows a river that offers fresh water gorges, secluded swimming holes and unrivaled Outback landscapes.

Visiting National Parklands

Visiting National Parklands

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Going to national parks in the Outback is the best way to explore it. Doing it overland would be something special, too, because you get to see the thousands of miles in between some of them. But the national parks themselves show that the Outback isn’t all barren deserts. Places like Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory have wetlands and ancient rock art. Kings Canyon, located within Watarrka National Park in central Australia, can be enjoyed from the rim or gorge, deep within the sandstone formation. Mutawintji National Park offers a more “classic outback landscape,” its website says, with dirt roads and rugged gorges and desert stretching to the horizon. Or there’s the wildly remote Culgoa National Park, which has free camping, the largest continuous tract of coolabah trees and a rich cultural history.

6 Fascinating Facts About Victoria Falls

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 Fascinating Facts About Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Africa. When Scottish explorer David Livingstone became the first recorded European to see the waterfall in 1855 he proclaimed: “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”. He named it after Queen Victoria; however, the Kalolo-Lozi people had been calling it Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke that Thunders) for long before. The following facts will surely make you want to plan a visit.

The Waterfall is One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World

Credit: Lukas Bischoff Photograph/Shutterstock.com

While the Seven Wonders of the World showcases the incredible talents of humankind, the Seven Natural Wonders of the Natural World is a celebration of Mother Nature. Compiled in 1997, the list spans most of the world’s seven continents. Victoria Falls lines up alongside the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Northern Lights, Mount Everest, and Paricutin cinder cone volcano.

It’s Shared Between Zambia and Zimbabwe

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The falls are formed by a natural gorge situated almost halfway along the 1,599-mile long Zambezi river, which acts as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls Bridge crosses high above the river and is both a popular viewpoint and a heavily transited road, with hundreds of cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and trains crossing between the two countries every day. Both sides of the falls offer different perspectives. On the Zimbabwean side, the Victoria Falls National Park has well-marked trails that lead to wonderful views of Devil’s Cataract, Horseshoe Falls, and Rainbow Falls. Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park brings you within touching distance of the rushing water.

Curiously, this isn’t the only one of the world’s great waterfalls that sits on an international border. Canada and the U.S. share Niagara Falls while Argentina and Brazil share Iguazu Falls.

It’s the Largest Curtain Waterfall in the World

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Many claim that Victoria Falls is the world’s largest waterfall. While this isn’t technically true—it is neither the tallest nor the widest—it does possess the biggest sheet of cascading water on the planet. In its entirety, this measures an incredible 354 feet in height and 5,600 feet in width. During the course of just one single minute, some 5 million cubic meters of water spill down the falls.

You Can Swim in a Natural Infinity Pool…

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Thrill-seekers will be drawn to Devil’s Pool, a pool that forms naturally at the edge of the falls on the Zambian side. After jumping into the pool, the flow of the river takes you to a rock wall and a bird’s-eye view of the Zambezi. Devil’s Pool is generally accessible from mid-August to mid-January and toursdepart from Victoria Falls village and the Royal Livingstone Hotel. If the pool is inaccessible, then you can try Angel’s Pool. Both are close to Livingstone Island, where David Livingstone first glimpsed this magical sight.

…And Bungee Jump Over the Zambezi River

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If the pools weren’t daring enough, at the center of Victoria Falls Bridge is one of the world’s highest, and arguably most scenic, bungee jumps. A 364-feet drop and 4-second free fall brings brave jumpers face-to-face with the roaring Zambezi, where hippos swim and crocodiles loiter. Adrenaline junkies can also opt for a bridge slide and bridge swing. Go here to find out more about activities you can book at the falls.

It’s Possible to Witness a Lunar Rainbow

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Rainbows are omnipresent around the waterfalls, but on full moon nights another natural phenomenon occurs. Once a month, the light of the moon is bright enough for it to disperse, reflect, and retract with the spray of the falls in the same way that sunlight creates a rainbow. Knife’s Edge Bridge, on the Zambian side, is one of the best spots to watch the “moon-bow.”

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