It will do you as much good as chewing your fingernails – that’s the undeniable truth about rhino horn that our world needs to accept.
Vietnamese citizens are being encouraged to stop buying rhino horn through a series of advertisements developed by TRAFFIC and WWF. This is an extremely important campaign and The Intrepid Foundation is proud to support the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
There is something very special about seeing the world awaken and as James Fenneberg discovered, few places can put on a sunrise show like Kenya…
“It’s 5.30 in the morning and I can already feel the heat of Africa. There are monkeys playing outside the window and the sky is dotted with the last remaining stars of the night. As the truck starts up, that oh so familiar sound on safari, it wheels us in darkness to an opening, where in the distance there is a hub of activity. A group of locals and a rather beardy ex-army fellow are inflating a huge hot air balloon.
When Nelle Edwards trekked to Everest Base Camp, she expected to be taken aback by the incredible scenery, but it was the whole experience of being there that took her breath away…
“From standing on top of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah at sunrise, completely breathtaken by the beauty and magic of the wondrous colours in the dawn lit sky, to driving through Spain under the brightest light of a full moon, creating mysterious shadowy patterns on the rocky slopes of the surrounding valleys – I am fortunate to say that most of my outdoor experiences are very memorable.
Seeing the first light of day peep over the horizon is one of those precious moments that we so often associate with our travels. Maybe because at home we’d normally be hitting the snooze button right about now, whereas when we’re on holidays we get to enjoy a peaceful and beautiful start to another day that’s filled with the promise of wonder and discovery. So set your alarm clock and see where Sue Elliot, our Intrepid Express editor, loves to see the sun rise…
Mt Sinai – Egypt
There is something about setting off in the dark that really adds to the drama of watching the sun rise – especially when you have to start climbing stairs and rocky outcrops by torch light. Hailing down one of the camel drivers was tempting, but my group leader assured me we were making good time and we’d be rewarded for our efforts. He was right – we found the perfect place to perch ourselves on the rocks in time to see the sun start to spread its dawn glow across the valley. It was magical – feeling the freezing desert temperatures start to abate, seeing the reds, golds and russet tones dance across the landscape below and joining in a pilgrimage that has taken place for centuries.
At this time in our history when greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in more than a million years, Arctic summer sea ice is reduced to about 20% of the area it covered 40 years ago and the oceans near Australia are 30% more acidic than they were just 40 years earlier – clearly the figures don’t make a positive equation for the future of our planet.
Bill McKibben is an author, educator and environmentalist and founder of global grassroots group 350.org. In partnership with GetUp and the Australian Conservation Foundation, who host Al Gore’s ‘The Climate Reality Project’ in Australia’, Bill toured Australia recently with his ‘Do the Maths’ lectures and Intrepid’s Jane Crouch had the privilege of being in the audience. “Bill challenges us to start putting two and two together, because we can no longer afford to take our planet for granted. Here’s what I learnt that adds up to me:”
Who doesn’t love the chance to simply sit back and see the world go by, especially if you can throw a little people-watching into the mix. Rebecca Jacobs takes time out to tell us some favourite Intrepid places to get a feel for a community and observe the locals in action…
“People-watching is one thing you just don’t do enough at home. Your days always end up being rushed and fumbled through – catching trains, sitting in traffic, grabbing a coffee to go before sitting down for work. But people watching is one of life’s simplest and most rewarding pleasures and when you travel, the opportunity presents itself everyday and offers insight into the vibe of the city and your own place within it.
The Arctic is a treacherous and unforgiving place. With ever-shifting ice flows, impassable glaciers and freezing winds, surviving here is not exactly a walk in the park. But like anywhere on earth, Mother Nature always manages to find a way to make it work, ensuring that the Arctic is filled to the brim with fascinating wildlife…
The world’s largest land carnivore, the polar bear is the undisputed king of the Arctic. With their elegant white fur armour providing the ideal camouflage, these lumbering giants maintain an almost ghostlike presence against the icy terrain, occasionally plunging into the freezing water to hunt unsuspecting seals. There’s no denying it – the chance of seeing one of these mighty animals in the flesh is reason enough to travel to the Arctic.
“There’s been huge demand in recent months for urgent assistance to young boys and girls who have been trafficked, as well as the street kids here in Hanoi, who are having a pretty awful time at the moment” says Michael Brosowski, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation’s Founder and Director.
“There’s no doubt about it: crisis situations are more common and vastly more complex than when we started 10 years ago. Most kids we meet now have left broken families, escaped abuse, or been deceived and trafficked. The kids’ desperate need for money means they may do anything, including selling themselves for sex or committing crimes. Unfortunately, we are seeing more people who devote themselves to preying on kids to exploit their vulnerability,” says Michael. “The situation is desperate.”
Since launching our Carbon Management Plan back in 2007, Intrepid Travel has invested over $1 million in renewable energy projects. For those of you with a head for numbers, that’s 83,613 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions prevented – or the equivalent of taking 9,000+ cars off the road for an entire year!*
At the end of each financial year our Responsible Business gurus get busy measuring the environmental footprint of our offices and trips, introducing energy-saving mechanisms where possible and offsetting those emissions that can’t be avoided through our renewable energy supplier. Frankly, it’s a lot of work. And when the allocated credits have been exhausted we also need to select the project, or projects, that we’ll be supporting for the coming year.