ETHIOPIA The Cradle of Mankind & The Weird & Wonderful World of MADAGASCAR
This amazingly off-the-beaten-path adventure explores two countries few people have ever seen. It will also be the 70th Birthday Celebration trip for Thom Henley, the founder of In Touch With Nature Education – the company that offers this one-in-a-lifetime experience.
Ethiopia is one of the most fascinating countries in the world with the richest history on the African continent. Old beyond imagination, it dates back to the very beginnings of mankind. Guests on this trip will see the fossil remains of world-famous “Lucy” – the most complete and oldest hominid skeleton ever found. They will view the bones of the oldest child and trace human development to the discovery of fire by Homo erectus over a million years ago.
The main destination of this off-the-beaten-path adventure will be the legendary Omo River Valley; a land lost in time that is home to over 200,000 of the some of the most traditional tribes remaining on Earth. The Omo not only boasts the largest diversity of tribal groups in the whole of Africa, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the place where the earliest and most extensive fossil fragments of Homo sapiens have been found. The lower Omo is also one of the continents last unspoiled wilderness regions supporting lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalos, giraffes, elephants, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and over 400 species of birds.
This adventure will reveal Africa the way it used to be and immerse us in never-to-be-forgotten experiences.
Madagascar is a land like no other. The fourth largest island in the world also happens to be the oldest. Over 167 million years ago Madagascar was a land-locked plateau in the middle of Gondwana, the mega landmass from which all the world’s continents eventually broke away. Originally splitting away from the African continent still attached to India, Madagascar broke from the India subcontinent 65 million years ago to become the world’s first island.
With more time in isolation than any other land mass on earth, Madagascar evolved over 200,000 unique species of plants and animals including 8 entire plant families, over 1,000 species of orchids, 350 species of frogs, 370 reptiles, 5 families of birds and 200 mammal species unique in the world. There is simply no other place like it. The ‘Wow’ factor here is off the charts!
The island’s 104 species of lemurs scientifically referred to as “prosimians” (before monkeys), represent an entire branch of our human evolutionary tree that survived nowhere else but here. They are believed to have arrived on floating rafts of vegetation across the Madagascar Channel from Africa. The first humans did not arrive on the island until a mere 2,000-years ago, but their impact on the land has been massive.
Guests will not only delve deep into the nature of this extraordinary isle, but also the daily lives of some of the many different tribes. They say you come to Madagascar for the wildlife, but return because of the people. Those privileged to join in this experience will certainly understand that sentiment.