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Sydney's Thumb favors expeditions, programs and tours that meet the following criteria:

    Ideal Features

  1. promote Green Travel Criteria
  2. include quality educational component
  3. include meaningful volunteer opportunity
  4. offer a good deal
  5. provide chance for individual exploration and reflection
  6. minimal habitat impact
  7. not highly energy-consumptive
  8. well organized and run
  9. respect local economy and indigenous culture
  10. offset greenhouse gasses

**recently reviewed as "Parker's Pick"

1. Olduvai Archaeological Dig & Ngorongoro

You will participate in the ongoing scientific excavation at Olduvai Gorge, scene of the famous discoveries by Louis Leakey. Side trips will include a visit to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater during which you will observe elephants, giraffe and myriad African wildlife. www.earthwatch.org.

2. Lakes of the Rift Valley

You will camp at the edge of spectacular freshwater wetlands as you monitor and evaluate a rich and diverse ecosystem, abundant with rare flamingos and other aquatic birds. The Rift Lakes are a treasured natural wonder and Mecca for naturalists. Comfortable safari camp accomodations; evening lecutres; side trips to observe large wildlife. www.earthwatch.org

3. Lemur Research, Madagascar

You will participate in the study of critically endangered lemur in the beautiful but threatened Manombo Tropical Rainforest. The Manombo provides habitat for a diversity of rare animals. Enjoy tasty Malagasy meals with camping outdoors. www.earthwatch.org

4. Walk with Rhinos in Kenya

At the Sweetwater Black Rhino Reserve you will observe and study black rhinos in their natural habitat. You'll also see leopards, lions, impala, baboons, hippos and 232 species of birds. Your stay will be at the reserve center where you will receive excellent meals. www.earthwatch.org.

5. Elephants of Tsavo

You'll spend several days in a wildlife sanctuary along the boundaries of the Tsavo Reserve, locating elephants and surveying other wildlife. Visitors will stay at an extremely comfortable lodge with many amenities--great view, comfortable rooms, hearty food. www.earthwatch.org.