Travel with GLOBIO
**Travel in Turbulent Times – Special Coronavirus 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 that the pandemic is creating significant travel restrictions and considerations, we are working to secure our travel program to keep everyone safe while still exploring the wild world of great apes. We will be here when you are ready to grab your passport and go. 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 safe and stay healthy.
Uganda Great Apes Safari Trip 2022
October 2022 – 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 2023
2023 – 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 2023
2023 – 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 2024
2024 – 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 a greater understanding of our shared world. GLOBIO grew out of founder Gerry Ellis’s global travel experiences, film-work, and commitment to education 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.
I have a love affair, it’s with the potential of my passport, one that began in my early 20’s. That little dark blue book was my magic key, one that opened a door to the world. My first door opened into the “Land down under” for over four years and in turn a door to the equally magical island off its northern shoulder, Papua New Guinea. While my passport was the obvious initial travel key, what I soon discovered was the second key, tucked unassumingly into the space between page 54 and back cover — my yellow vaccination card. The two have been siblings ever since.
One of the biggest lessons of the coronavirus pandemic has been the success of travel restrictions at reducing its spread. And this is a moment when they have the potential to be particularly effective in the U.S., given the emergence of even more dangerous coronavirus variants from other countries.
Many of the places that have contained the virus have relied on travel restrictions. The list includes Australia, Ghana, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Canada’s four Atlantic provinces. At key points, they imposed severe restrictions on who could enter. New Zealand for example has been so proactive, and their citizens so engaged, that they have reopened internally, entirely. Ah, don’t we all long for that!
There is a crucial word in that last paragraph, however: severe. Travel bans work only when countries don’t allow a lot of exceptions.
Barring citizens of other countries while freely allowing your own citizens to return, for example, is ineffectual. “Viruses don’t care what passport you carry,” disease journalist Donald G. McNeil Jr., told the New York Times, he’s been covering infectious diseases since the 1990s.
Variants halt travel worldwide
Currently, countries across the world are tightening or locking their borders as they attempt to seal themselves off from the threat of more resilient and contagious variants of the coronavirus.
In Europe, France is moving to impose strict border measures, Britain is considering a mandatory hotel quarantine for some travelers, and Germany is considering shutting down nearly all flights to the country. The European Union is asking for more coordinated action among member states to limit travel from high-risk areas.
Australia recently suspended its travel bubble with New Zealand for three days after a case of the South African variant slipped past New Zealand’s strict quarantine system. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said last week that the country’s borders would remain closed until New Zealanders are “vaccinated and protected.”
What do we really care about?
According to research science, a vaccine is typically considered effective only if it prevents people from coming down with any degree of illness. With a disease that’s always or usually horrible, like Ebola or rabies, that definition is also the most meaningful one. But there is perhaps a more valuable definition for coronavirus infections.
Most of us are only in this last year reaching some understanding of viruses and how they work — don’t we all wish we had now paid a bit more attention in science class? Unless you have been living in a bubble all your life, you have almost certainly had a coronavirus. As any virologist will tell you, coronaviruses have been circulating for decades, if not centuries maybe longer. The trick is they are generally mild, and relatively benign. The common cold, for example, can be a coronavirus. So to quote a New York Times article, “The world isn’t going to eliminate coronaviruses — or this particular one, known as SARS-CoV-2 — anytime soon.”
Yet we don’t need to eliminate it for our lives to return to something we all would call ‘normal.’ We instead need to downgrade it from a deadly pandemic to a normal virus. Once that happens, we can all start traveling again, as well as go back to work, send children back to school, and meet our friends at a pub.
“I don’t actually care about infections. I care about hospitalizations and deaths and long-term complications.” As Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health told the New York Times.
Thinking of others
In a few days it will be a year, 365 days since I was on a plane, and well over a year since on a plane where my passport and yellow card were required. The first time in 32 years, so I am struggling to hold off travel-craziness, but I’ll make it. Just as important is holding-off for the health and safety of others, especially those who can’t defend themselves against this or other human-delivered viruses — like apes like us. (For more about how viruses like Covid-19 can impact great apes read our ongoing blogpost Coronavirus and Our Fellow Great Apes) We know gorillas, chimps, bonobos, and orangutans, as well as other primates, are vulnerable to transmitted disease, especially bronchial infections – and they have little defense. All of our decisions about restarting Travel with GLOBIO will be based on the protection of the apes we want to see as much as those, like you, that want to see them.
Author’s Note: In addition to WHO and John Hopkins University, this post has drawn from several sources and multiple articles, including recent NYTimes, Washington Post, and National Geographic articles.
Traveling will be back, and we’re planning on it being this year — just later in 2021 than we all wish. If you’re looking to join us at Travel with GLOBIO, you should expect a Covid test on your journey, and more than likely more than one.
According to recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone entering the US through an airport, arriving from anywhere in the world, cannot board their flight without presenting proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before the departure time. That is like to be the case on your journey overseas from the US. (IATA, the International Airline Travel Association, is on the verge of piloting their new app Travel Pass with several international carriers. This Travel Pass may replace the old yellow vaccination card we all use to carry. More in a future blog post.)
Like so many other diseases — cholera, yellow fever, Hepatitis, small pox — you will need to prove you’re clean when you depart, and when you arrive, in the US and in the country of destination. Not fighting the wave, and riding with it will be the key to safe, hassle free international travel. Of course, GLOBIO will update you on the latest before any travel, when we finally get back in the air. We are getting word from folks we consult, and trust, that carrying proof of vaccination, like your yellow vaccination card, with certified Covid test and vaccinated clearly marked, will become the standard. If you want to get a sense of the requirements that are in place, and will be likely be expanded upon before we travel late in 2021, check out the FAQ page at CDC:
2020 was a confusing travel mess for all of us, especially the airlines. While these new guidelines are a victory for an airline industry looking to adapt to a global testing approach, in order to boost traveler confidence, there remains little consistency with regard to the requirements and testing protocols.
Until more airlines get on the same page, the lack of an international standard for whether testing is required, which tests are acceptable, and how testing data are shared and validated by airlines and governments leaves room for problems. We will keep you posted here in Travel with GLOBIO on the latest we know, and how we are moving forward.
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