Travel with GLOBIO
**Travel in Turbulent Times – Special Corona Announcement **
Travel is core to GLOBIO, in our Programs like Apes Like Us and with you our donors, and we will be back traveling just as soon as it is safe to do so. While we understand you won’t be traveling until the pandemic clears, staying at home will only make dreaming of travel that much more tantalizing. We will be here when you are ready to grab your passport and go. During this pause we are designing new travel options and opportunities to make travel post-corona even more exciting, educational and personally valuable. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on travel and everything else we do, and if have any questions please reach out to Meg@globio.org — to all of you from us, stay home, stay safe and stay healthy.
October 2020- Explore the incredible primates of Uganda, the “Pearl of Africa”. These two-week Ugandan trips discover chimps in Uganda’s Kibale Forest, look eye-to-eye with critically endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and discover a dozen monkey species.
Uganda Apes Behind the Lens Tour 2021
2021- Pack up your camera gear and get ready for an intensive 2-week practical course with award winning wildlife filmmaker/photographer Gerry Ellis around the jungles of Uganda. Learn the ins and outs of wildlife photography while capturing wild chimpanzees, wild critically endangered mountain gorillas and a huge variety of other primates and wildlife.
Bornean Orangutan Adventure 2021
2021- Explore the wonders of the Bornean jungles with GLOBIO’s Bornean Orangutan Adventure! These 9-day long excursions will bring you up close and personal with wild critically endangered Orangutans, as well as multiple primate species and countless amazing birds. Optional 5-day Sumatra post extension available for those keen to experience wild Sumatran Orangutans.
Uganda/Rwanda Silverback Safari 2022
2022 – Experience the wonders of Rwanda and Uganda with GLOBIO’s Silverback Safari. These two week trips will take you deep into the lush forests to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and countless other primates, while also visiting historic sites of the late Dian Fossey.
Private trips are available upon request. For more information on these and future excursions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
At GLOBIO we have long seen travel and education as partners in creating greater understanding of our shared world. GLOBIO grew out of founder Gerry Ellis’ global travel experiences, film-work and education commitment and we have continued to see exploring the world as a key opportunity for people of every age and background to discover, learn and engage.
Travel is a prominent part of our education program. As the most genuine form of experiential learning, travel invites you to immerse yourself within the world, and inspire the curiosity within you. Your journey begins from the moment you book — with educational resources sent right to your inbox to prepare you for your upcoming adventure. With GLOBIO, you won’t just see incredible wildlife and spectacular biodiversity but experience and understand them within their greater global context. In order to understand the broader conservation picture, you will have the chance to:
Pre-trip receive specific GLOBIO created books and resources
Meet GLOBIO’s local wildlife and conservation partners on the ground where we travel
Dinners with conservation partners and researchers
Visit local communities that are instrumental in the
preservation of their environment
Your adventure doesn’t end when you arrive back home — you can look forward to continued engagement with the GLOBIO team over email and special events — to learn more.
We invite you to join us on that journey.
The devastating bushfires of Australia are reeking death and destruction across huge portions of the country; these fires are expected to burn for months, fueled by strong winds and extreme weather, leaving a staggering environmental toll. I launched my photographic career and life as a traveler in this magnificent land. My heart aches for the people affected and the wildlife and habitats erased.
The Traveler’s Guide to Australia was my first book. During the five years I lived there, the travel, people and wildlife changed the trajectory of my life. As I watch news coverage of this inferno consume my first foreign home, I’m left with the question of what to do and how to help? How can we all help? There are many organizations and efforts to help the toll on human suffering such as the Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery, but how to help critical wildlife populations? The fires have pushed Australia’s declining koala population to an even more vulnerable state. Based on news reports at least 25,000 koalas are believed to have died in wildfires in South Australia alone, that may have devastating consequences for the survival of the species. Ecologists based at the University of Sydney estimate that almost half a billion animals have been killed by the fires since September. Thousands of birds, including sulfur-crested cockatoos, have reportedly been falling out of the sky, killed by the intensity of heat stress and smoke.
Here are a few thoughts to donate and help:
- WIRES, an organization committed to wildlife in Australia
- Consider a donation to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, which rescues koalas in regions across New South Wales.
Australia has always had natural bushfires, some would say it is a land, plant ecology and wildlife fashioned by fire. But the current devastation is anything but natural. Flames have been fueled by temperature extremes born out of the climate chaos that increasingly supercharges weather events like we are witnessing in the Land Down Under. While deniers of every cloth ignore the reality, others hang their heads and pray, and everyone looks to others for a miracle, we all must explore our own lives immediately and find answers. From everything we consume to every one of our actions, we need to examine, think and take personal action to create positive change.
As the Travel editor at National Geographic penned, “It’s not enough to love a land only when the sun shines. Now is the time to care for a faraway place as if it were our own backyard.” My love for this planet changed when I realized it was all my backyard, travel gifted me that perspective, and that gift began in Australia.
It is all our backyard.
— Gerry Ellis, GLOBIO Executive Director and Founder
“Beyond Expectations” — GLOBIO’s Inaugural Great Apes Safari
“Beyond Expectations” those were the words that kept erupting at dinner the last night at the Volcanoes Lodge — from everyone! Two weeks in Uganda had been brilliant – filled with chimp politics and newborn gorillas. Moments of discovery and learning that will last a lifetime.
GLOBIO’s Inaugural Great Apes Safari of our new Travel with GLOBIO program was more eventful and rewarding than I imagined, and reinforced why all of us at GLOBIO believe we needed to launch an education travel program. The goal was always travel that left a mark on you, changed you in at least some small way (hopefully a big way); our journey through the forests, gorges and parks of Uganda’s Albertine Rift left enduring marks of a lifetime on everyone.
Uganda sits in the heart of the African continent, in the dawn light of Africa’s Dark Heart. It features a bit of everything this magical continent offers — deserts, rainforests, the alpine summits and glaciers, lakes the size of small seas, and the birth place of one of the world’s greatest rivers – The Nile. What it also boasts are over five thousand wild chimpanzees and half of the world’s 1,063 mountain gorillas. Mix in a dozen species of monkeys and it is an ideal destination to highlight GLOBIO’s work around primate education and conservation. The perfect GLOBIO safari.
Here are three highlights, excerpts from our journey. Read the full trip blogs for each via the title links.
With Entebbe barely in our rearview mirror, it was only Day 2 and we were exchanging glances with chimps. “Our” chimps had left the national park into neighboring community land, an affirmation of the need for community conservation and education. Unceremoniously we found them, at the end of an up and down trail, feeding 30 feet in the open treetops. Before iPhones and cameras began clicking up memories, everyone paused in amazement; your first chimpanzees experience does that. As one person uttered, “You think you know what you’re going to see, but you have no clue when your eyes meet theirs.”
Six days later in Kyambura Gorge the experience couldn’t have been more dramatically different. A 120lb adult male chimps scrambling out of tree, in rapid retreat, usually means something big, bad and dangerous… we all stood in amazement watching black & white colobus monkey, half the chimps size and a quarter the weight, bark and chase not one but two chimps that originally had thoughts of hunting the smaller pied monkeys. Once on the ground the outraged males tore through the undergrowth screaming and hooting, an arms-length away from us. The crescendo, a frustrated drumming on a nearby tree buttress. Everyone’s adrenaline raced with a look of what just happened? “Wild chimps”, I smiled, “that was a full dose of wild chimpanzee.”
As famous as the mountain gorillas are, Uganda’s chimp population should be equally as famous. No other country can offer chimp trekking in at least five very different locations, each with it’s own unique perspective on chimp life.
And then the tiniest calf flopped on its side and drifted to sleep. I knew then we were having a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a matriarchal elephant herd. On the rutted-road inside Queen Elizabeth NP we slowed to let a few huge tuskers cross the road only to find babies as we neared. Only a few feet on the left the lead females paused, turned, and that’s when things got amazing… stood facing us, wing-like ears slow flapping to some ancient rhythm. No cameras or movement for a minute I softly said to the group. Then others turned and others approached, we were staring at a wall of grey pachyderms. Trunks were relaxingly spinning the dusty earth into fist sized piles and flipping it onto neck, behind ears and dusting the undercarriage. Cameras could not be arrested any longer.
And there in her arms, barely visible a tiny hand the size of my thumb. Three days old! Protective, as only mothers innately are, she wouldn’t offer us but a shifting glimpse, at first half-a-hand, then a tiny pink ear, then the crinkled nose of an elfin little face, even that last bit seemed generous. Omax looked at me, “can you get a photo? We [the Ugandan Wildlife Authority] have nothing so far.” But momma gorilla was having none of it. I
ventured in to the riotous green ravine where mom had retreated with her newborn. After ten minutes of motionless waiting just meters away I looked up slope and shook my head and shrugged at Omax.
Finishing up the trip in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to trek for mountain gorillas was the perfect ending — the weather was cool, mountain air refreshing and the stay at Volcanoes Safari lodge warm and always friendly. The gorillas were friendly, just not as accommodating, posting themselves over 2km up on top of a mountain, serenaded by out of breath trekkers.
There are many ways to discover Uganda, and experience apes and primates firsthand, I feel our GLOBIO safaris strike that magical balance between making marks and letting sensory overloaded minds recover to take on more. Seeing gorillas and chimps many travel programs offer, understanding the apes you see with us, and understanding their role in the local and global environment is critical to all apes like us.
— Gerry Ellis, Exec. Director
Joining us in Uganda in 2020 for the experience of a lifetime. Details of the 2020 and 2021 Great Apes Safaris, and departure dates, can be found at Travel with GLOBIO. If you have any questions contact Meg@globio.org Also follow us on Instagram at @GLOBIOTravel
With Entebbe barely in our rearview mirror, it was only our second full day and we were exchanging glances with chimps. “Our” chimps had left the secure rainforest Kibale National Park into neighboring protected community land, an affirmation of the need for community conservation and education. Unceremoniously we found them, at the end of an up and down trail, feeding 30 feet in the open treetops. Before iPhones and cameras began clicking up memories, everyone paused in amazement; your first chimpanzees experience does that. As one person uttered, “You think you know what you’re going to see, but you have no clue when your eyes meet theirs.” None of our group had ever seen chimps in the wild and certainly not this close. Before the trip everyone had been focused and excited on the encounter that would come on the last few days, trekking to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. I could see in their eyes this first encounter with wild chimps was catching them by surprise.
Six days later in Kyambura Gorge the chimp experience couldn’t have been more dramatically different. Moments after we had picked our way cautiously the muddy trail from the Gorge rim, the rainforest canopy erupted in a chaotic shower of screamsand barks. Suddenly before we could shift our bearings a 120lb adult male chimp scrambled out of treetops; a rapid retreat, usually means something big, bad and dangerous. We all stood in amazement watching black & white colobus monkey, half the chimps size and a quarter the weight, barks and chases not one but two chimps down out of the trees. Both had dramatically abandoned their poorly planned scheme that originally targeted hunting the smaller pied monkeys. (Chimps across Equatorial Africa are opportunistic hunters targeting smaller primates like colobus and guenon monkeys as well as baby bushpigs and antelope.)
Once on the ground the outraged — possibly a bit embarrassed — males tore through the hip-high surrounding undergrowth, screaming and hooting, at arms-length from us. The chaos crescendoed with a frustrated foot-drumming on a nearby tree buttresses of giant figs. Sending “boom boom booms . Everyone in our group looked around wide-eyed, their adrenaline racing with a look of what the hell just happened? “Wild chimps”, I smiled, “that was a full-on dose of wild chimpanzee.”
As famous as the mountain gorillas are, if amazing, fascinating, and charismatic are the criteria for fame, Uganda’s chimp population should be equally as famous. No other country can offer chimp trekking in at least five very different locations, each with its own unique perspective on chimp life, culture and habitat adaptation. Uganda’s resident chimpanzee count is estimated to be a scattered 5,000, a significant part of the rapidly shrinking chimp population across Equatorial Africa. Fortunately Uganda is one of the safest places to be a wild chimpanzee.
Kibale National Park and Kyambura Gorge (of Queen Elizabeth National Park) will be permanent feature of our Uganda Great Apes Safari but with increasing focus and interest on safeguarding our closest cousins in the animal world, we hope to venture into new wildernesses in upcoming trips.
— Gerry Ellis