Palau and Yap

10/04/18 - 10/18/18




Micronesia’s thousands of high volcanic and low sand and coral islands are interspersed with low-lying atolls and coral reefs encircling still blue lagoons.  Just north of the equator, this is the remote unspoiled Pacific, with palm-thatched huts, outrigger canoes and coconut trees.

Harboring more species of marine life than any similar-sized area in the world, Palau is one of the best snorkeling sites on the planet.  The abundance and diversity of its marine life, shallow water accessibility, and clear water visibility reveal a dazzling array of rainbow-colored fish and breathtaking corals.  The famous Rock Islands are a maze of unsurpassed beauty, tropical gardens atop limestone ridges set in glass-clear waters. In addition to its great marine biodiversity, Palau is also renowned for Jellyfish Lake where visitors can swim with non-stinging jellyfish in a landlocked marine lake.  Another aspect of Palau is its historical role in WWII. Remnants of the war remain prevalent especially at sites such as Peleliu, which was a major battlefield.    Culturally, Micronesia is fascinating and a visit to Yap will bring us to the most traditional corner of Micronesia where Yapese continue to practice their traditional lifestyle.  Yap is also known as the best place for seeing manta rays on a consistent basis, and in recognition of the area’s importance, the government recently established the Yap manta marine sanctuary.


COST: $6000. $500 non-refundable deposit.

DATE: October 4 – 18, 2018.

Ecuador: Three Worlds in One Country

1/2/19 - 1/19/19

Ecuador slide show 192

Ecuador slide show 187


This remarkable tour of Ecuador takes us to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, the Andes, and around the capital city of Quito.  The Amazon:  From Quito, we fly 30 minutes to the frontier town of Coca and travel by speedboat down the Napo River deep into the Upper Amazon Basin.  Biologists think that this part of the world has had no major climatic change for 100 million years! The diversity of life is astounding:  jaguars, caimans, piranhas, monkeys, sloths and more exotic tropical birds than you can possibly imagine. We will venture daily into the surrounding jungle on foot and by canoe. Best of all, there are surprising few annoying insects!  The Galapagos:  We then have a week in the Galapagos on one of the finest yachts in the archipelago, and we swim and snorkel every day.  Our yacht carries 16 passengers so we are guaranteed an intimate visit to islands where fauna show little fear of humans.  We’ll see close-up giant tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins, blue-footed boobies, lava lizards, sea lions, fur seals—we’ll even swim with penguins and sea lions!  The Andes: Back on the mainland, we will tour dramatic Quito and the Highlands‑‑ 9300’ high and surrounded by the Andes snowcapped volcanic peaks. Colorful Indian markets offer incredible shopping, and we’ll have a birding and wildflower adventure on the lower slopes of Volcano Cotachaci. I led this adventure over 25 times; it is amazing!

COST: Cost:  $8600. $1100 single supplement. $500 non- refundable deposit.

DATE:  January 2 to January 19, 2019

Greatest Show on Earth: The Serengeti

1/28/19 - 2/27/19






Tanzania, not Kenya, has the best wildlife show left on the planet, and we will be there at the peak of 1 million wildebeests giving birth in a 3-week period! This is in addition to giraffes, elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, gazelles, impala, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, dikdiks, and zebras.  And the birds! Flamingos, storks, pelicans, white-crowned shrikes, eagles, bee-eaters, ostriches, rollers, and so many more.  Comfortable private tent camping combined with cozy lodges make this the perfect trip.  Resident Tanzanian naturalists accompany us throughout our visits to Arusha National Park, the Serengeti Plain, Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge, and the Ngorongoro Crater.  I have been leading trips to the Serengeti every winter since 1992, and it remains my all-time favorite natural history experience. I have taken over 700 people on this safari and they have all had a phenomenal time and a life-changing experience. It remains the perfect choreographed itinerary with exquisite local guides. This is indeed the trip of a lifetime; you owe it to yourself.  If not now, when? And no, it’s not too hot, and yes, the food is delicious and it is definitely clamping!

COST: $9650 land cost (no change from last year) Non-refundable deposit, $500.

DATE: January 28 – February 12, 2019

DATE: February 12 – February 27, 2019


To register, please fill out and submit the form below.

To pay, please mail a check (sorry no charge cards), payable to Footloose Forays, for the full amount for domestic trips or the required deposit for international trips. You are officially registered upon receipt of your check.

Michael J. Ellis
Footloose Forays
1275 4th St. #311
Santa Rosa, CA 95404-3522

Please sign up early, as most trips fill quickly. A trip information package will be sent as confirmation. Call (707) 570-2187 or E-mail us at with questions.

Cancellation of domestic trips will be accepted four weeks prior to the trip. There will be a 15% processing fee. Cancellations received after that time will result in fee forfeiture. Cancellation policies for international trips vary. Please ask me for particulars.

Sorry but you must sign a Liability and Release form.