The World Traveling Guide

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Beautiful Places That You Shouldn’t Miss If You Travel To Africa

If sometimes roads bring you to Africa be prepared to see one of the most beautiful and breath taking  places of the world. From magical islands to beautiful resorts, beaches, rivers and lakes Africa has to offer beauty, fun, great holiday and adventure for all. If we already interested you for Africa below you can find 13 beautiful places that we recommend as a must see!

Baobab Trees, Madagascar

Baobab Trees, Madagascar

Bazaruto Island, Mozambique 

Bazaruto Island, Mozambique

Blyde River Canyon is Mpumalanga, South Africa

Blyde River Canyon is Mpumalanga, South Africa

Chapman’s Peak Drive from above, near Cape Town, South Africa

Chapman’s Peak Drive from above, near Cape Town, South Africa

Constance Tsarabanjina Resort – Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina Resort – Madagascar

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco

Mozambique’s six-island Bazaruto Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean

Mozambique’s six-island Bazaruto Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean

Nile River, Egypt

Nile River, Egypt

Reunion Island, Madagascar

Reunion Island, Madagascar

Sesriem Canyon

Sesriem Canyon

Timia Oasis, Niger

Timia Oasis, Niger

Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

So what do YOU think, isn’t AFRICA an AMAZING place?

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Moscow

Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific center in Russia and in Eurasia. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has the largest number of billionaire residents in the world. Moscow is the northernmost megacity on Earth, the second most populous city in Europe after Istanbul and the 6th largest city proper in the world. It is the largest city in Russia, with a population, according to the 2010 Census, of 11,503,501. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow(#Moscow) Oblast, the capital increased its area 2.5 times; from about 1,000 square kilometers (390 sq mi) up to 2,511 square kilometers (970 sq mi), and gained an additional population of 233,000 people.

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Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia making it the world’s most populated inland city. It also has the largest forest area within its borders – more than any other major city – even before its expansion in 2012. In the course of its history the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Soviet Union.

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Moscow is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence of the Russian president. The Moscow Kremlin is also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in Moscow.

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The city is served by an extensive transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, and one of the deepest underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, third to Tokyo and Seoul in terms of passenger numbers. It is recognized as one of the city’s landmarks due to the rich and varied architecture of its 188 stations.

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Over time, Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), The Whitestone One (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков), and The Hero City (город-герой). In old Russian the word “Сорок” (forty) also meant a church administrative district, which consisted of about forty churches. The demonym for a Moscow resident is “москвич” (moskvich), rendered in English as Muscovite.

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Moscow has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm humid summers and fairly cold winters usually lasting from mid November through the end of March. Weather can fluctuate widely with temperatures ranging from −25 °C (−13 °F) to above 0 °C (32 °F) in the winter and from 15 °C (59 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) in the summer. Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around a comfortable 20 °C (68 °F) to 26 °C (79 °F), but during heat waves (which can occur between May and September), daytime high temperatures often exceed 30 °C (86 °F), sometimes for a week or two at a time. In the winter, night-time temperatures normally drop to approximately −10 °C (14 °F), though there can be periods of warmth with temperatures rising above 0 °C (32 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded was 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) at the VVC weather station and 39.0 °C (102.2 °F) in the center of Moscow and Domodedovo airport on July 29, 2010 during the unusual 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat wave. Record high temperatures were recorded for January, March, April, May, August, November and December in 2007. The average July temperature from 1981–2010 is 19.2 °C (66.6 °F). The lowest ever recorded temperature was −42.2 °C (−44.0 °F) in January 1940. Snow, which is present for three to five months a year, often begins to fall at the end of November and melts by mid-March.

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On average Moscow has 1731 hours of sunshine per year, varying between a low of 8% in December to 52% in May–August. Between 2004–2010, the average was between 1800 and 2000 hours with a tendency to more sunshine in summer months.

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Credit cards usage is becoming more and more widespread, but many cheaper stores and restaurants won’t accept them, so cash is a necessity. Be sure to break your 5000 or 1000 RUB notes where you can, as the smaller merchants, street vendors and even many metro clerks will likely refuse them. While you are able to get some smaller vendors to accept U.S. dollars and Euros, it is always best to change currency, which is not a problem as currency exchange spots are everywhere, displaying the daily rates in large yellow letters. Read the terms carefully; even if the offer seems attractive, there may be a fixed-sum commission on top of it, or the advertised rate might apply only to large transactions (US$1,000 and up), while a less favourable one is in effect for smaller ones.

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Don’t forget to check the change returned to you (the most common scam is to let a banknote “stick” inadvertently to the back of the little turnstile which the clerk is using to pass the money back and forth) and do not simply say yes to what you do not understand. A good approach to exchanging currency is to use bank (“Банк” in Russian) offices. There are lots of them in the centre of city (broadly defined as the inside of the Garden Ring). Better yet, use your own bank card from home at an ATM to draw money directly from your checking account, as the machines are almost all compatible with major Western money systems (Cirrus/MasterCard and PLUS/Visa) – not only you’ll get a decent fixed bank rate, but also often a screen menu in friendly (albeit somewhat broken) English.

Buying souvenirs can be quite a chore if you do not stay in the centre of Moscow. You can get cheaper souvenirs from Izmaylovskiy Market in Izmalylovo Park. Walking out in the middle of a bargaining session will most likely NOT get you the price you want.

 


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Luanda

Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola, in Southern Africa. Located on Angola’s coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola’s chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a metropolitan population of over 5 million. It is also the capital city of Luanda Province, and the world’s third most populous Portuguese-speaking city, behind only São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, both in Brazil, and the most populous Portuguese-speaking capital in the world, ahead of Brasília, Maputo and Lisbon.

Angolan President Not To Seek Re-Election

Luanda was founded in 1575 under the name São Paulo de Loanda by a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. Two forts were constructed in the early 17th century and the city became Portuguese Angola’s administrative center in 1627. From the late 16th century until 1836, Luanda was port where nearly all slaves bound for Brazil left. Aside from a brief period of Dutch rule (1640-48), this time period was relatively uneventful, with Luanda growing much like many other colonial cities, albeit with a strong Brazilian influence as a result of the extensive shipping trade between these Portuguese colonies.

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With the independence of Brazil in 1822 and the end of slavery in 1836 left Luanda’s future looking bleak, but the opening of the city’s port to foreign ships in 1844 led the a great economic boom. By 1850, the city was arguably the most developed and one of the greatest cities in the Portuguese empire outside Portugal itself and fueled by trade in palm and peanut oil, wax, copal, timber, ivory, cotton, coffee, and cocoa. Post-emancipation (resisted by the Portuguese but enforced by the British) forced labour began. Numerous imported crops grew well in the surrounding area to support residents, such as maize, tobacco, and cassava. In 1889, an aqueduct opened, supplying fresh water and removing the only inhibitor to growth in the city. The city blossomed even during the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-74), which did not affect the city, and this modern city was even labeled the “Paris of Africa” in 1972

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After so much success, the city took a turn for the worse in the mid-1970s. While largely untouched during the Carnation Revolution (Angolan independence), the start of the Angolan Civil War in 1975 scared almost all Angola’s population of Portuguese descent out of the country as refugees (including the majority of Luanda’s population). This led to an immediate crisis as Angola’s African population knew little about how to run or maintain the city. They were helped a little by skilled Cuban soldiers who were able to help the MPLA government maintain some of the city’s basic services, but hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled fighting in the countryside created slums stretching for miles on all sides of the city.

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The city saw some sporadic fighting during the Civil War which left bullet holes in many highrises and government building. When peace was reached in 2002, the government began planning to rebuild using oil revenues. Today Luanda’s skyline is dotted with cranes, erecting numerous social housing highrises to replace slums and existing, but grossly dilapidated, 40-plus year old highrises as well as offices for numerous foreign companies operating in Angola. Just South of Luanda in an area aptly called Luanda Sul, Western-standard housing, many compound style, is being built for the growing expat community. Major improvements are being made to roads, highways, and the rail system in and around the city but there is yet an overwhelming amount of work to be done. And while certainly still home to a large impoverished population (59%), free housing and the creation of thousands of new jobs each year means that Luanda may in years to come have a bright future ahead.

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Luanda has a mild semi-arid climate. The climate is warm to hot but surprisingly dry, owing to the cool Benguela Current, which prevents moisture from easily condensing into rain. Frequent fog prevents temperatures from falling at night even during the completely dry months from June to October. Luanda has an annual rainfall of 323 millimetres, but the variability is among the highest in the world, with a co-efficient of variation above 40 percent. Observed records since 1858 range from 55 millimetres (2.2 in) in 1958 to 851 millimetres (33.5 in) in 1916. The short rainy season in March and April depends on a northerly counter current bringing moisture to the city: it has been shown clearly that weakness in the Benguela current can increase rainfall about six fold compared with years when that current is strong.


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Toronto

Toronto  is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. The history of Toronto began in the late 18th century when the British Crown purchased its land from the Mississaugas of the New Credit. The British established a settlement there, called the Town of York, which its lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe, designated as the capital of Upper Canada. The city was ransacked in the Battle of York during the War of 1812. In 1834, York was incorporated as a city and renamed Toronto. It was damaged in two huge fires in 1849 and 1904. Over the years, Toronto has expanded its borders several times through amalgamation with surrounding municipalities, most recently in 1998.

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According to the 2011 Census, the city has 2.6 million residents, making it the fifth-most populous city in North America. However, in 2012, the municipal government published a population estimate of 2,791,140, which led to media reports claiming Toronto as the fourth most populous city in North America and the most populous Great Lakes city, surpassing Chicago. The census metropolitan area (CMA) had a population of 5,583,064, and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) had a population of 6,054,191 in the 2011 Census. Toronto is at the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, and of the densely populated region in Southern Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe. Its cosmopolitan and international population reflects its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse cities by percentage of non-native-born residents, with about 49% of the population born outside Canada. As Canada’s commercial capital, it is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange and the five largest banks in the nation. Toronto will host the 2015 Pan American Games.

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Toronto has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa/Dfb), with warm, humid summers and cold winters. The city experiences four distinct seasons, with considerable variance in day to day temperature, particularly during the colder weather season. Owing to urbanization and its proximity to water, Toronto has a fairly low diurnal temperature range (day-night temperature difference). The denser urban scape makes for warmer nights year around and is not as cold throughout the winter than surrounding areas (particularly north of the city); however, it can be noticeably cooler on many spring and early summer afternoons under the influence of a lake breeze. Other low-scale maritime effects on the climate include lake-effect snow, fog and delaying of spring- and fall-like conditions, known as seasonal lag.

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In 1998, the cities of Toronto, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, and York and the Borough of East York amalgamated to form the current City of Toronto. This is also known as Metropolitan Toronto or “the 416” after its area code (although now there are some new area codes, the majority of landline phone numbers in the Toronto area are still “416”). The city has a population of over 2.6 million people, of which more than half were born outside Canada: a fact immediately obvious to any visitor, as the city has many vibrant bustling neighbourhoods with street signs in several languages.

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Toronto and its surrounding suburbs are collectively known as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Outlying suburbs are also known as “the 905” after their area code, although technically this code is also used in both Hamilton and the Niagara Region, stretching to the border within Niagara Falls. The entire area including Toronto is known as the “Golden Horseshoe” and has a population of over 8 million people. Distances between cities in the area can be great as it sprawls along, outward and even wraps around the western end of Lake Ontario. Public transit is not always effective enough for a quick or seamless trip and many suburban residents rely on motor vehicles to get around.

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A popular urban myth has it that the United Nations rated Toronto as “the most multicultural city in the world.” While the UN and its agencies are not in the habit of rating cities, it remains a fact that Canada is a nation of immigrants, and Toronto demonstrates this abundantly. A UN agency lists Toronto as second only to Miami as the city with the most foreign-born residents, but Toronto’s residents represent far more cultural and language groups, which is arguably a better measure of multi-culturalism. Most immigrants either pass through

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Toronto on their way to other parts of the country or stay in Toronto permanently. Many people born abroad consider themselves, and are considered, to be as Canadian as native born Canadians, and asserting or behaving as though otherwise is considered offensive, especially so in Toronto. This contributes to the overall cultural mosaic that is Toronto today. Within Toronto, most ethnic groups will work their way into the fabric of Canadian society but some still retain their distinct ways such as language, dress (if only for special occasions), custom, and food.

Toronto winters sometimes feature cold snaps where maximum temperatures remain below −10 °C (14 °F), often made to feel colder by wind chill. Snowstorms, sometimes mixed with ice and rain, can disrupt work and travel schedules, accumulating snow can fall any time from November until mid-April. However, mild stretches also occur in most winters melting accumulated snow.

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The summer months are characterized by long stretches of humid weather. Usually in the range from 23 °C (73 °F) to 31 °C (88 °F), daytime temperatures occasionally surpass 35 °C (95 °F) accompanied by high humidity making it feel oppressive during these brief periods of hot weather. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons with generally mild or cool temperatures with alternating dry and wet periods.

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Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but summer is usually the wettest season, the bulk falling during thunderstorms. There can be periods of dry weather, but drought-like conditions are rare. The average yearly precipitation is about 831 mm (32.7 in), with an average annual snowfall of about 122 cm (48 in). Toronto experiences an average of 2,066 sunshine hours, or 45% of daylight hours, varying between a low of 28% in December to 60% in July

 


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Rome

Rome is a city and special comune (named “Roma Capitale”) in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and also of the Province of Rome and of the region of Lazio. With 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2, it is also the country’s largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The urban area of Rome extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 3.8 million. Between 3.2 and 4.2 million people live in Rome metropolitan area. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber within Lazio (Latium). The Vatican City is an independent country within the city boundaries of Rome, the only example of a country within a city existing.

 

Rome The world traveling guide

Rome The world traveling guide

Rome’s history spans more than two and a half thousand years, since its legendary founding in 753 BC. Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. It is referred to as “The Eternal City”, a notion expressed by ancient Roman poets and writers. In the ancient world it was successively the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and is regarded as one of the birthplaces of Western civilization. Since the 1st century AD, Rome has been considered the seat of the Papacy and in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.

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After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance along with Florence. The current version of St Peter’s Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Bernini and Raphael, resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

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Rome has a status of the global city In 2007, Rome was the 11th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, and the most popular tourist attraction in Italy. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are among the world’s most visited tourist destinations with both locations receiving millions of tourists a year. Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics.

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Architecturally and culturally, Rome has some contrasts – you have areas with pompously huge majestic palaces, avenues and basilicas which are then surrounded by tiny alleyways, little churches and old houses; you may also find yourself walking from a grand palace and tree-lined elegant boulevard, into a small and cramped Medieval-like street.

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The abbreviation “S.P.Q.R” – short for the old motto of the Roman Republic Senatus Populusque Romanus (“The Senate and People of Rome”) – is ubiquitous in Rome, being the symbol of its city council; a humorous variation is “Sono pazzi questi romani” (these Romans are crazy).

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For two weeks in August, many of Rome’s inhabitants used to shut up shop and go on their own vacations; today, however, things have changed – many shops and restaurants (especially those located in the historical centre that cater to tourists) are open in summer. On the other hand, the ones located in residential areas do close. The temperature in the city at this time of year is not particularly pleasant: if you do travel to Rome at this time, you might see chiuso per ferie (closed for holidays) signs on many establishments. Even in these weeks the city is very beautiful and you will always be able to find somewhere to eat.

Italians are very fond of their landmarks; in order to make them accessible to everyone one week a year there is no charge for admittance to all publicly owned landmarks and historical sites. This week, known as the “Settimana dei Beni Culturali”, typically occurs in mid-May and for those 7 to 10 days every landmark, archaeological site and museum belonging to government agencies (including the Quirinale presidential palace and gardens, the Colosseum and all of the ancient Forum) is accessible and free of charge.

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In general, Rome’s main attractions are free – for example, while it doesn’t cost anything to enter the Pantheon you’ll have to pay to visit the museums and so forth.You are able to buy full day passes for €12 or a 3-day pass for €30. This pass gets you in to the Colosseum, Palatine hill, the Baths of Caracalla, and the catacombs as well as the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, the Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Altemps, the Villa dei Quintili and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella.

 


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Madagascar

Madagascar, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands.

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Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island’s diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population.

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into eighteen or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.

 

 

madagascar3Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting socio-political alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960.

Tsarabanjina  - The world traveling guide

Tsarabanjina – The world traveling guide

The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed Republics. Since 1992 the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009 the last elected president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina in a move widely viewed by the international community as a coup d’état.

Madagascar eastern coast - The world traveling guide

Madagascar eastern coast – The world traveling guide

Madagascar is probably of the most interesting countries in the world, because of its specific flora and fauna that is one of the reasons for so many visitors, including scientists. The islands offer the adventure of the rainforest to those who love hiking and trekking. While hiking you may see the unique fauna of the islands, lemurs and sifakas are certainly most famous. Although it is harder to spot them while in the rainforest,they can easily be seen in the drier places of the island.

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You may also see many species of amphibians and lizards and many birds. Of the flora there are many things to see, like the great variety of palms, the endemic baobab trees and the plenty of orchids.

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Once you are tired of hiking, you may go down the trail and end up on some of the islands beautiful beaches with gentle sands and clear waters. There are many deserted beaches, with only the wildlife around you will relax and enjoy. On one of the most famous parts of Madagascar, the tropical island of Nosy Be, are many beautiful beaches, and a wide range of hotels and restaurants. While in Nosy Be you can go scuba diving or snorkeling, wind or kite surfing or deep sea fishing.

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The capital city of Madagascar is Antananavario and it is the largest city, this is a city with unique architecture mixing the old stylish wooden houses with modern architecture and colonial buildings in French style. There are many churches to visit, and many open air markets known by the name Zomas. In Madagascar one should try the bananas, there is a huge number of varieties, there is also plenty of tropical fruits you can try and off course the coffee, which is handmade and irresistible.

Antananarivo - The world traveling guide

Antananarivo – The world traveling guide

Most Air France flights arrive in Tana close to midnight (and depart about an hour later) so that the visitor to Madagascar’s capital is likely to arrive and depart in darkness. The ten-mile drive into the city passes through not-quite slums and modest residential areas and arrives in a hilly colonial city of great charm.

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Independence Avenue (or Arabe Fahaleovantena as it is known in Malagasy) runs from the railway station, along the valley formed by two ridges which converge, effectively trapping the lower town or Analakely.  Steep streets and alleys and many flights of stairs lead to the upper town made up of Antaninarenina and Isoraka.  The main staircase which leads for Avenue de l’Independence (French is Madagascar’s second official language) to Place de l’Independence is wide enough to have vendors on both sides selling rubber stamps, wood carvings, raffia goods and other local crafts.  The square at the top has a garden on one side and Le Buffet de Jardin on the other where one can recover from the climb with a fruit juice or an expensive (and inferior) glass of wine.  By far the best choice is a tall glass of Three Horses Beer.


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Asia

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth’s total surface area and comprises 30% of its land area. With approximately 4.3 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world’s current human population. Asia has a high growth rate in the modern era. For instance, during the 20th century, Asia’s population nearly quadrupled.

Asia

The boundaries of Asia are culturally determined, as there is no clear geographical separation between it and Europe, which together form one continuous landmass called Eurasia. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal, the Ural River, and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma–Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.

Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia – a name dating back to classical antiquity – may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.

Geography and climate.

Asia is the largest continent on Earth. It covers 8.8% of the Earth’s total surface area (or 30% of its land area), and has the largest coastline, at 62,800 kilometres (39,022 mi). Asia is generally defined as comprising the eastern four-fifths of Eurasia. It is located to the east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma–Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Asia is subdivided into 48 countries, two of them (Russiaand Turkey) having part of their land in Europe.

Climate

Asia has extremely diverse climates and geographic features. Climates range from arctic and subarctic in Siberia to tropical in southern India and Southeast Asia. It is moist across southeast sections, and dry across much of the interior. Some of the largest daily temperature ranges on Earth occur in western sections of Asia. The monsoon circulation dominates across southern and eastern sections, due to the presence of the Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal low which draws in moisture during the summer. Southwestern sections of the continent are hot. Siberia is one of the coldest places in the Northern Hemisphere, and can act as a source of arctic air masses for North America. The most active place on Earth for tropical cyclone activity lies northeast of the Philippines and south of Japan.

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The Gobi Desert is in Mongolia and the Arabian Desert stretches across much of the Middle East. The Yangtze River in China is the longest river in the continent. The Himalayas between Nepal and China is the tallest mountain range in the world. Tropical rainforests stretch across much of southern Asia and coniferous and deciduous forests lie farther north.

Climate change

A survey carried out in 2010 by global risk analysis firm Maplecroft identified 16 countries that are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Each nation’s vulnerability was calculated using 42 socio, economic and environmental indicators, which identified the likely climate change impacts during the next 30 years. The Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistanand Sri Lanka were among the 16 countries facing extreme risk from climate change.

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Some shifts are already occurring. For example, in tropical parts of India with a semi-arid climate, the temperature increased by 0.4°C between 1901 and 2003. A 2013 study by ICRISAT aimed to find science-based, pro-poor approaches and techniques that would enable Asia’s agricultural systems to cope with climate change, while benefitting poor and vulnerable farmers. The study’s recommendations ranged from improving the use of climate information in local planning and strengthening weather-based agro-advisory services, to stimulating diversification of rural household incomes and providing incentives to farmers to adopt natural resource conservation measures to enhance forest cover, replenish groundwater and use renewable energy.

Demographics

East Asia had by far the strongest overall Human Development Index (HDI) improvement of any region in the world, nearly doubling average HDI attainment over the past 40 years, according to the report’s analysis of health, education and income data. China, the second highest achiever in the world in terms of HDI improvement since 1970, is the only country on the “Top 10 Movers” list due to income rather than health or education achievements. Its per capita income increased a stunning 21-fold over the last four decades, also lifting hundreds of millions out of income poverty. Yet it was not among the region’s top performers in improving school enrolment and life expectancy.

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Nepal, a South Asian country, emerges as one of the world’s fastest movers since 1970 mainly due to health and education achievements. Its presentlife expectancy is 25 years longer than in the 1970s. More than four of every five children of school age in Nepal now attend primary school, compared to just one in five 40 years ago.
Japan and South Korea ranked highest among the countries grouped on the HDI (number 11 and 12 in the world, which are in the “very high human development” category), followed by Hong Kong (21) and Singapore (27). Afghanistan (155) ranked lowest amongst Asian countries out of the 169 countries assessed.