The World Traveling Guide

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second-most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621. It has a land area of 469 square miles (1,215 km2), and is located in Southern California.

The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 13 million and over 18 million people in Combined statistical area respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second-largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation’s largest cities.The city’s inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos.

Los Angeles - www.theworldtravelingguide.com

Los Angeles

Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood.

 Los Angeles

Nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine and research and has been ranked sixth in the Global Cities Index and 9th Global Economic Power Index. The city is home to renowned institutions covering a broad range of professional and cultural fields and is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States. The Los Angeles combined statistical area (CSA) has a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $831 billion (as of 2008), making it the third-largest in the world, after the Greater Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles includes Hollywood and leads the world in the creation of television productions, video games, and recorded music; it is also one of the leaders in motion picture production. Additionally, Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984.

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Los Angeles has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csa inland), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid either Köppen’s BSh or BSk (semi-arid climate) classification. Los Angeles has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.

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The average annual temperature in downtown is 66 °F (19 °C): 75 °F (24 °C) during the day and 57 °F (14 °C) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature typically ranges from 59 to 73 °F (15 to 23 °C) during the day and 45 to 55 °F (7 to 13 °C) at night. In the warmest month – August – the temperature typically ranges from 79 to 90 °F (26 to 32 °C) during the day and around 64 °F (18 °C) at night.

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Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on a dozen or so days in the year, from one day a month in April, May, June and November to three days a month in July, August, October and to five days in September. Temperatures are subject to substantial daily swings; in inland areas the difference between the average daily low and the average daily high is over 30 Fahrenheit (16 Celsius) degrees. The average annual temperature of the sea is 63 °F (17 °C), from 58 °F (14 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in August. Hours of sunshine total more than 3,000 per year, from an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of 12 in July.

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The Los Angeles area is also subject to phenomena typical of a microclimate, causing extreme variations in temperature in close physical proximity to each other. For instance, the average July maximum temperature at the Santa Monica Pier is 75 °F (24 °C) whereas it is 95 °F (35 °C) in Canoga Park. The city, like much of the southern California coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called “June Gloom.” This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning which yield to sun by early afternoon.

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Downtown Los Angeles averages 15.14 inches (384.6 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November through April), generally in the form of moderate rain showers, but often as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms during winter storms. The coast gets slightly less rainfall, while the mountains get slightly more. However the San Fernando Valley Region of Los Angeles can get between 16 and 20 inches (410 and 510 mm) of rain per year. Years of average rainfall are rare; the usual pattern is bimodal, with a short string of dry years (perhaps 7–8 inches or 180–200 millimetres) followed by one or two wet years that make up the average. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city basin, but the mountains within city limits typically receive snowfall every winter. The greatest snowfall recorded in downtown Los Angeles was 2 inches (5 cm) in 1932. The highest recorded temperature in downtown Los Angeles is 113 °F (45 °C) on September 27, 2010 and the lowest recorded temperature is 24 °F (−4 °C) on December 22, 1944.

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Montevideo

Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. According to the 2011 census, thecity proper has a population of 1,319,108  in an area of 194.0 square km. The southernmost cosmopolitan city in the Americas, is situated in the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Río de la Plata, or River Plate.

The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region; and it was also under brief British rule in 1807. In the 20th century, Montevideo hosted all of the matches during the first FIFA World Cup in 1930, and was the theater of the first major naval battle in the Second World War. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur, South America’s leading trading bloc, as well as ALADI.

Mercer has ranked Montevideo the top Latin American city since 2006 onwards (2013) on its quality of life rankings. It is classified as a Beta World City, ranking seventh in Latin America and 73rd in the world. As of 2010, it had a GDP of $33 billion, with a per capita of $21,000; making Montevideo the 19th most economically powerful city in the continent and 9th highest income earner among major cities. For 2025 the projections are $61 billion and $33,000; respectively.

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Described as a “vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life”, and “a thriving tech center and entrepreneurial culture”, Montevideo ranks 8th in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. It is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay as well as its chief port. The city is also the financial and cultural hub of a larger metropolitan area, with a population of 1.9 million.

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Montevideo enjoys a mild humid subtropical climate (Cfa, according to the Köppen climate classification) and it borders on an oceanic climate (Cfb). The city has cool winters (June to September), warm summers (December to March) and volatile springs (October and November); there are numerous thunderstorms but no tropical cyclones. Rainfall is regular and evenly spread throughout the year, reaching around a 950 millimetres (37 in).

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Winters are generally wet, windy and overcast, while summers are hot and humid with relatively little wind. In winter there are bursts of icy and relatively dry winds and continental polar air masses, giving an unpleasant chilly feeling to the everyday life of the city. In the summer, a moderate wind often blows from the sea in the evenings which has a pleasant cooling effect on the city, in contrast to the unbearable summer heat of Buenos Aires.

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Montevideo has an annual average temperature of 16.69 °C (62.0 °F). The lowest recorded temperature is −5.6 °C (21.9 °F) while the highest is 42.8 °C (109.0 °F). Sleet is a frequent winter occurrence. Snowfall is extremely rare: flurries have been recorded only four times but with no accumulation, the last one on 13 July 1930 during the inaugural match of the World Cup, although many meteorologists believe it was hail (the other three snowfalls were in 1850, 1853 & 1917); the alleged 1980 Carrasco snowfall was actually a hailstorm.

Hotel Palacio, Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo enjoys a mild humid subtropical climate (Cfa, according to the Köppen climate classification) and it borders on an oceanic climate (Cfb). The city has cool winters (June to September), warm summers (December to March) and volatile springs (October and November); there are numerous thunderstorms but no tropical cyclones. Rainfall is regular and evenly spread throughout the year, reaching around a 950 millimetres (37 in).

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Winters are generally wet, windy and overcast, while summers are hot and humid with relatively little wind. In winter there are bursts of icy and relatively dry winds and continental polar air masses, giving an unpleasant chilly feeling to the everyday life of the city. In the summer, a moderate wind often blows from the sea in the evenings which has a pleasant cooling effect on the city, in contrast to the unbearable summer heat of Buenos Aires.

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Montevideo has an annual average temperature of 16.69 °C (62.0 °F). The lowest recorded temperature is −5.6 °C (21.9 °F) while the highest is 42.8 °C (109.0 °F). Sleet is a frequent winter occurrence. Snowfall is extremely rare: flurries have been recorded only four times but with no accumulation, the last one on 13 July 1930 during the inaugural match of the World Cup, although many meteorologists believe it was hail (the other three snowfalls were in 1850, 1853 & 1917); the alleged 1980 Carrasco snowfall was actually a hailstorm.


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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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Bahamas

The Bahamas extends 760 miles from the coast of Florida on the north-west almost to Haiti on the south-east. The group consists of 700 islands, of which 30 are inhabited, and about 2,400 cays (coral reefs).

 

Bahamas - The world traveling guide

Bahamas – The world traveling guide

When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 on San Salvador, The Islands Of The Bahamas were inhabited by Lucayans, a subgroup of Arawak indians. Slavery, disease and other hardships wiped out the entire tribe within 25 years of Columbus’ arrival.

 

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

British settlement in The Bahamas was established in 1647 by a group of English settlers in search for religious freedom, the Company of Eleutheran Adventurers, who organized a community on what is now the island of Eleuthera; in 1783 the Islands Of The Bahamas became a British colony.

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During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, piracy flourished in the islands because of their proximity to important shipping lanes.

 

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

Today The Bahamas has become one of the world’s foremost vacation resorts. Nassau is the political capital and the commercial hub of The Bahamas. Tourism and international banking and investment management accounts for more than 55% of the country’s gross domestic product.

 

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

The official language spoken in the Bahamas is English, however the dialect and slang is difficult for most Westerners and Europeans to understand, especially on the “out islands.”

The locals speak very fast and use indigenous phrases. They are very friendly though, and will always help. With the exception of Nassau, violent crimes, and crimes in general, are almost non-existent in the Bahamas.

 

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

The populace is predictably friendly and more religious than one might expect: the Bahamas have one of the highest ratios of churches per capita in the world, with Baptists being the largest single group. Local newspapers will reveal religious references by elected officials in a manner that exceeds what would be found in the United States.

 

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

This devotion does nothing to prohibit the activities of visitors nor is it intended to. There is a very “libertarian” attitude about personal morals.

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Wildlife in Bahamas contains various species. Many different breed of crabs can be found on the beaches. Hermit and Cardisoma guanhumi are two of the land crabs to be noted frequently in the island. The wild horses of Abaco are famous in The Bahamas.

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During a tour of the Bahamas, tourists can come across various other species including the Bahamas Hutia, numerous frogs, rocky raccoon, snails such as Cerion, cicada, blind cave fish, ants and reptiles.

Bahamas Wildlife features a wide range of amazing birds. Parrots and pigeons are two of the most common and popular birds found in The Bahamas.

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The Bahamas is also home to numerous aquatic life. Sharks, manatees, dolphins, frogfish, angelfish, starfish and turtles can be viewed in the waters surrounding The Bahamas. Apart from numerous species of fish, tourists can spot several types of worms also.

 

The world traveling guide

The world traveling guide

The climate of the Bahamas is tropical savannah or Aw. As such, there has never been a frost or freeze ever reported anywhere in the Bahamas – although every few decades low temperatures can fall into the 38°F to 45°F (3°C to 5°C) range for a few hours when a severe cold outbreak comes off the North American landmass. Otherwise, the low latitude, warm tropical Gulf Stream, and low elevation give the Bahamas a warm and winterless climate. There is only a 12°F difference between the warmest month and coolest month in most of the Bahama Islands.

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Like most tropical climates, seasonal rainfall follows the sun, and summer is the wettest season. The Bahamas are often sunny and dry for long periods of time, and average more than 3000 hours of sunlight annually.

Although rare, tropical cyclones can impact the Bahamas. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew passed over the northern portions of the Islands, and Hurricane Floyd passed near the eastern portions of the islands in 1999.

 


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Main Cities in Egypt

Egypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and – visible above all – its pyramids. Less well-known is Egypt’s medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam – ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape. Egypt stimulates the imagination of western tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.

Cairo

Cairo  and its region are considered the heart of Egypt,  where you can spot almost every aspect of the country, including some of the most famous Pharaonic, ancient Christian and Islamic monuments. Cairo offers amazing choice for shopping, relaxation, culture and night life. Your first shopping stop would be no doubt the famous Han El-halili, unchanged since 14 century. There also enough modern air conditioned centers offering the latest fashion. The whole generosity of the East is here – perfumes, gold, silver, rugs, leather works, glass and ceramics. Try some of the most famous street shops like Mohamed Ali street for musical instruments, or the very colorful Camel Market, although it not likely to buy something from there.

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When you are in need of relaxation of the urban life, you can play gold, watch horse racings or to visit the zoo or the botanical gardens, sail on Nile or ride from Giza to Saqqara. For one day trip outside of Cairo, you can visit Haran and see the beauty of the tapestry, hand made from the local people. If you want you can rid of everything and to go on the top of the Cairo Tower, modern 187m tower with view to the whole city from all sides with restaurant on the top.

Cairo show its colors at night, when is the best time for shopping or going out of the town. There are cabarets with oriental dancers and musicians, even floating   in the Nile River restaurant. The Opera House complex contains few galleries, including museum of modern art, restaurants and concert halls. Listening to Arab music under the sky in the open air theatre is magical experience. And of course the biggest show after dusk is the show Light and Sound on the Pyramids.

Alexandria

The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria , is famous like the  pearl of the Mediterranean . The social environment and cultural heritage of the city differentiate Alexandria from the rest of Egypt, although it’s only 225km from Cairo. In Alexandria is located one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Faros lighthouse. Except for the stormy relation between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria has been cultural center of the ancient world. But the city declined and by the time Napoleon came, he saw only fishing village. Today the city offers rich variety of choices for fun for the tourists and it ‘s preferred destination destination in Egypt. You can see a lot of museum, historical monuments, religious places, beaches, shopping and sports, and even a casino, which is open only for foreigners.

Alexandria skyline

Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh  is famous for its sun, five star hotels, water sports, shopping and fun. This is one of the most developed and easy reachable touristic resorts in Egypt. You can see the Bedouins everywhere around, colorful tents, mountain and water. There are small discrete hotels and big hotel complexes of famous international chains, plus all the good stuff typical for top touristic resort, like touristic center, casinos, discotheques, night clubs, golf courses, and health care. 4 miles south of the city there are ricks with magnificent view to the seaport. The Naama Beach is one of the touristic centers in the town. It is positioned north of Sharm, and the region around it looks like separate resort town. Most of the hotels there have their own private beaches with all extras included.

Sharm el-Sheikh 2 Sharm el-Sheikh

Hurghada

Hurghada  was found in the early 20 century and it was small fishing village until recently. But today, it is the most desired touristic resort on the coasts of Red Sea and international center for water sports, like wind surfing, swimming, diving and sailing. The unique underwater gardens around the coast are one of the most beautiful in the world, and most favored between the divers. The worm water are ideal for many different kinds of rare fish and coral reefs, which can be seen through the transparent bottom of some boats there. While you are in Hurghada, don ‘t miss the museum and the aquarium, where is gathered full collection of the flora and fauna of Red Sea. Hurghada is favored like city for party and fun, mostly among the Europeans. Everyone will tell you, that the life there starts at night, when the numerous night clubs open doors. Other thing that make the town famous are the beaches, where thousands of tourists are going with their families to enjoy the sun and the calmness of the clean private beaches of the hotels. Some of these hotels offer so many things that you may consider not going out in the town.

The islands around Hurghada are also offering big choice of how to have fun and the one day trips aren ‘t anything uncommon.

Hurghada2 Hurghada

Luxor

Luxor  is often called  the biggest open air museum quot’and it really is, and even much more. Luxor is divided into 3 parts, the city of Luxor on the east side of Nile, the city of Karnak north of Luxor, and Thebes on the west side of Nile just across Luxor. Today Luxor is very good prepared to meet tourists with its numerous hotels and attractions. In Luxor there are 3 main streets – Sharia el Mahata, Sharia el Karnak and the Coastal, right next to Nile River. The street in front of the train station is Sharia el Mahata which continue to the gardens of the Luxor Temple. Sharia el Karnak, continue from the Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temple. Along this street you can find many colorful restaurants and cafes, also bazaars where you can find most souvenirs. Most of the modern part of the town is actually made in the ancient architectural code. The National Bank of Egypt, the SPA centers and even the train station are all made to look like pharaonic buildings. This is consequence of the Egyptianization of the town that started after the Tutankhamon tomb was found. Although the town have all the extras – hotels, bars, night clubs and restaurants, as it ‘s expected from touristic destination.

In luxor, on the eastern side, one of your first stops would be the Temple of Luxor built from Amenophis II. South on Sharia el Karnak you can reach the temple, which was connected with the Temple of Karnak via long rock street. The street is enclosed with sphinxes on both sides. After leaving Luxor you can go trough Sharia el Karnak on north to Karnak. On the way, next to the police station is located the oldest mosque in Luxor – El-Mekashkesh where the remains of a Islam saint from 10 century are kept. There you can also see the Franciscan church and its schools, one for boys and one for girls. Down the road you can find  the Museum of Mummification, where you can learn everything for the mummies.

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Aswan

Aswan  is located on the east coast of Nile River and is animated touristic shopping center. This is one of the most dry places in the world, in the early 2001 the last rain was 6 years earlier. In many Nubian villages the people don ‘t even make roof for all of their rooms. Aswan is favorite winter resort since the beginning of 19 century. Every night Nubian dancers and musicians are making live shows in the Cultural center. Aswan was considered the frontier town in Ancient Egypt to south.

Aswan2 Aswan


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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.

madagascar_the world traveling guide

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.

Madagascar

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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Australia

Geography

Australia is the sixth-largest country by land area. It is comparable in size to the 48 contiguous United States. Australia is bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean, and to the east by the South Pacific Ocean. The Tasman Sea lies to the southeast, separating it from New Zealand, while the Coral Sea lies to the northeast. Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia are Australia’s northern neigh bours, separated from Australia by the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea.

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Australia is highly urbanised with most of the population heavily concentrated along the eastern and south-eastern coasts. Most of the inland areas of the country are semi-arid. The most-populous states are Victoria and New South Wales, but by far the largest in land area is Western Australia.

Australia has an area of 7,682,300km² and the distances between cities and towns is easy to underestimate.

Australia has large areas that have been deforested for agricultural purposes, but many native forest areas survive in extensive national parks and other undeveloped areas. Long-term Australian concerns include salinity, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

Climate

As a large island a wide variation of climates are found across Australia. Most of the country receives more than 3,000°hr of sunshine a year. Generally, the north is hot and tropical, while the south tends to be sub-tropical and temperate. Most rainfall is around the coast, and much of the centre is arid and semi-arid. The daytime maximum temperatures in Darwin rarely drop below 30°C, even in winter, while night temperatures in winter usually hover around 15-20°C.. Temperatures in some southern regions can drop below freezing in winter and the Snowy Mountains in the South East experiences metres of winter snow. Parts of Tasmania have a temperature range very similar to England.

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As Australia is in the southern hemisphere the winter is June-August while December-February is summer. The winter is the dry season in the tropics, and the summer is the wet. In the southern parts of the country, the seasonal temperature variation is greater. The rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year in the southern parts of the East Coast, while in the rest of the south beyond the Great Dividing Range, the summers are dry with the bulk of the rainfall occurring in winter.

Cities, States and Territories

Multicultural Australia

Australian society is made up of people from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds, and this is a defining feature of modern Australian society. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have inhabited Australia for tens of thousands of years. Most Australians are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who arrived during the past two hundred years from more than 200 countries. The most commonly spoken language in Australia is English, and the most commonly practiced religion is Christianity, although foreign languages and other religions are also common.

Australia is divided into six states and two territories.

Canberra is the national capital and the centre of government. It is located approximately 290 kilometres south of Sydney in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Canberra lies on the ancient lands of the Indigenous Ngunnawal people, and its name is thought to mean ‘meeting place’, from the Aboriginal word ‘Kamberra’. It is home to important national institutions, including the Australian Parliament and the High Court of Australia.

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New South Wales is Australia’s oldest and most populated state. It was originally settled as a penal colony on the shores of Port Jackson where the bustling capital city of Sydney now stands. More than a third of Australians live in New South Wales, and Sydney is the nation’s largest city.

Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states in size but the second most populated. Melbourne is the capital and is Australia’s second most populated city. During the gold rush of the 1850s, it became one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. Melbourne is sometimes referred to as the “cultural capital of Australia” and is the birthplace of Australian film, television, art, dance and music. Victorians’ enthusiasm for sport is also legendary and this is where Australian Rules football began.

Queensland is Australia’s second-largest state in size. The state capital is Brisbane, the third most populated city in Australia. Queenslanders enjoy more winter sunshine and warmth than most other Australian states and it’s perfect for all types of outdoor activities and water sports. Queensland is also home to the world famous Great Barrier Reef as well as five World Heritage listed areas.

South Australia is a state in the southern central part of the country which covers some of the most arid parts of the continent. It is the fourth largest of Australia’s states and shares its borders with all of the mainland states and the Northern Territory. The state capital is Adelaide, the fifth-largest city in Australia. South Australia has a thriving arts scene and is sometimes known as the ‘Festival State’, with more than 500 festivals taking place there every year.

At the top end of Australia lies the Northern Territory. Darwin, on the northern coast, is the capital, and Alice Springsthe principal inland town. Alice Springs is the physical heart of Australia, almost exactly at the nation’s geographical centre. The Northern Territory is home to the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kakadu National Park.

Western Australia is Australia’s largest state by area. About three-quarters of the state’s population live in the capitalPerth, which is the fourth most populated city in Australia. The east of the state is mostly desert while to the west the state is bound by almost 13000 km of pristine coastline. In the 1890s gold was discovered and mining is still one of the state’s biggest industries.

Tasmania is separated from mainland Australia by Bass Strait and is the smallest state in Australia. The capital, Hobart, was founded in 1804 as a penal colony, and is Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney. One-fifth of Tasmania is covered by national parks and wilderness areas. It is one of the world’s most mountainous islands whose geology reflects Australia’s connection millions of years ago with Antarctica.

Australia also administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (or Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island and the Australian Antarctic Territory (covering 42 per cent of the Antarctic continent) as external territories.

Weather in Australia

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year but the climate can vary due to the size of our continent. The northern states typically experience warm weather much of the time, with the southern states experiencing cooler winters. Australia is also one of the driest continents on earth with an average annual rainfall of less than 600 millimetres. Like all countries in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

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Australia’s Plants

There are an estimated 27,700 plant species in Australia, including living fossils such as the cycad palm and the grass tree, and brilliant wildflowers such as the waratah, Sturt’s desert pea, banksia and kangaroo paws.

We also have around 2800 species of eucalypts (gum trees), and 1000 species of acacia, which we call ‘wattle’. The Golden Wattle is Australia’s floral emblem. Eucalypts make up almost 80 per cent of our forests. Acacias, melaleuca (tea tree), casuarinas (she-oaks), callitris (cypress pine), mangrove and rainforests make up the other 20 per cent.

Forests

Australia’s tallest trees can be found in the south-west of Western Australia in theValley of the Giants. Giant tuart, karri, and rich red jarrah which live for up to 500 years can be found here. The 1000 kilometre Bibbulmun Track traverses a variety of jarrah, marri, wandoo, karri and tingle forests as well as internationally significant wetlands.

The cool temperate rainforest of the World Heritage-listed Tasmanian wildernesscontains some of the oldest trees on the planet including the rare Huon Pine.

forests

The majestic Wollemi pine is a remnant from a 200 million year-old landscape, when Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica were joined together as the supercontinent Gondwana. It was thought to have been extinct for millions of years, until rediscovered by a bushwalker in 1994. Fewer than 100 trees exist in the wild, growing in the deep rainforest gorges of the Greater Blue Mountains.

Eucalypts

Gum trees (eucalypts) are the tree most commonly associated with Australia. They are found in areas from sub-alpine to wet coastal forests, through to temperate woodlands and the dry inland areas. The Greater Blue Mountains has the most diverse range of eucalypt species on earth. In fact, the Blue Mountains gets its name from the blue shimmer which rises into the air from the oil from the trees. In the Australian Alps, striking silver and red snow gums stand out amongst the snow-filled landscape. In South Australia’s Flinders Ranges ancient river red gums live in the dry creek beds. Koalas feed exclusively on certain species of eucalypts.

Tasmanian Blue Gum

Rainforests

Rainforest once covered most of the ancient southern super-continent Gondwana, and there are primitive plants found in these forests that are linked to those growing more than 100 million years ago. Australia’s rainforests stretch across the country and cover every climatic type. The Daintree Rainforest in north Queensland is the oldest tropical rainforest on earth, dating back 135 million years. An extraordinary 13 different types of rainforest can be found here. The Gondwana Rainforests of South East Queensland and northern New South Wales include the most extensive areas of subtropical rainforest in the world along with cool temperate rainforest. Pockets of dry rainforest live in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. There are monsoon rainforests in Kakadu National Park and lush fern gullies in Victoria’s Otway Ranges.

rainforests

Wetlands

Wetlands attract high numbers of migratory birds in Kakadu National Park and The UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve-listed Croajingolong National Park and Nadgee Nature Reserve in south-eastern Australia. Australia was one of the first countries to become a signatory to the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance and the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory, was declared the world’s first Ramsar site in 1974. Australia now has 65 Ramsar sites across the country covering around 8 million hectares.

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Wetlands

Wildflowers, including everlasting daisies, turn the arid and savanna grassland areas of Australia into carpets of colour in season. From June until September more than 12000 species of wildflower can be seen blooming across Western Australia. From late August to mid-October more than 100 varieties of wildflower can be seen on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, many unique to the island. In the Australian Alps, alpine meadows explode in masses of yellow billy buttons, pink trigger plants and silver and white snow daisies, once the snow melts.

Australia’s unique flora also includes the Proteaceae family of Banksia (bottlebrush), Grevillea and Telopea (waratah). Around 80 per cent of the plants and almost all of the Proteaceae species found in south-west Western Australia are not found anywhere else in the world. The heathlands along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria are one of the most orchid-rich sites in Australia.

Leseuer National Park Western Australian Wildflowers

Wildflowers are protected species in Australia, so don’t be tempted to pick them!

 

Australia’s Animals

Our unique animals are one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal.

More than 80 per cent of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else. Some of our best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.

Australia’s native animals can often be difficult to spot in the wild, but you are guaranteed to see them in our world-class zoos and wildlife parks across our major cities and regional areas. These include Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, the Rainforest Habitat in Port Douglas, Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary, South Australia’s Cleland Wildlife Park and Queensland’s Australia Zoo, amongst others.

Mammals

Australia doesn’t have large predatory animals, the dingo, or wild dog, is our largest carnivorous mammal. Other unique carnivorous animals include the Numbat, Quoll and Tasmanian Devil, but none of these are larger than the size of an average house cat.

mammals

Dingoes are found all across Australia, except for Tasmania. Best places to see them are Queensland’s Fraser Island, Western Australia’s Kimberley and across the deserts of the Northern Territory and South Australia. Numbats are only found in Western Australia; and apart from wildlife parks, you can only see Tasmanian Devils in the wild inTasmania. Endangered Quolls are also difficult to spot in the wild, but inhabit the wet forests of southeastern Australia and Tasmania, and a small area of northern Queensland. The bilby, a member of the bandicoot family, may be seen in Francois Peron National Park in Western Australia.

Marsupials

Australia has more than 140 species of marsupials, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and wombats.

We have 55 different native species of kangaroos and wallabies. Kangaroos and wallabies vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from half a kilogram to 90 kilograms. The main difference between them is size — wallabies tend to be smaller. Estimates of Australia’s kangaroo population vary between 30 and 60 million. You should easily be able to see kangaroos in the wild in most rural parts of Australia. In Victoria see them in Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road and in the Grampians. Spot them in South Australia’s Kangaroo Island and Flinders Ranges. Get up close in Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks in the Australian Alps, in Pebbly Beach in New South Wales and Tasmania’s Maria Island. In outback regions, you will often see them as they bound across the road. Wallabies are widespread across Australia, particularly in more remote, rocky and rugged areas. Spot them in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, Tasmania’sFreycinet National Park and in Namadgi and Kosciuszko National Parks in the Australian Alps.

kengaroo

The koala is everyone’s favourite, but be aware – it’s not a bear. You can spot koalas all along Australia’s temperate eastern coast. Some of their top hangouts includeTidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra; Port Stephens in New South Wales and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Queensland. Observe them in the wild on Victoria’s Phillip Island and Yanchep National Park in Western Australia.

The wombat is another creature you’ll find here – stout, burrowing animals that can weigh up to 36 kilograms. Again they are difficult to see in the wild, but some of the best places are the Blue Mountains National Park and Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair in Tasmania, and in national parks in South Australia.

Monotremes

Another animal group only found in Australia is the monotremes, or egg-laying mammals. The most distinctive is the platypus, a river-dwelling animal with a bill like a duck, a furry waterproof body and webbed feet. Platypuses live in burrows which they dig into the banks of rivers. They are very shy and difficult to spot, but your best chances are in the eastern coastal areas in small streams and quiet rivers. Good places to see them are in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra, on Lake Elizabeth in Victoria’s Great Otway National Park, Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and in northern New South Wales and Queensland.

Echidna

The echidna, or spiny ant-eater, is another monotreme, which has a long sticky tongue and a prickly coat like a hedgehog or porcupine – so don’t try and pick one up! Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to spot them in the wild.

Birds

Of the 828 bird species listed in Australia, about half are found nowhere else. They range from tiny honeyeaters to the large, flightless emu, which stands nearly two metres tall. The best chances of seeing emus in the wild is in grasslands, sclerophyll forests and savannah woodlands.

A vast array of waterbirds, seabirds and birds dwell in our open woodlands and forests. Examples include cassowaries, black swans, fairy penguins, kookaburras, lyrebirds and currawongs. You can easily see penguins on Kangaroo Island in South Australia and Philip Island in Victoria.

The Albert’s Lyrebird can be seen in Mt Warning National Park and in the Gondwana rainforest around the Gold Coast hinterland. See the more common superb lyrebird in Dandenong Ranges and Kinglake National Parks around Melbourne and the Royal National Park and Illawarra region south of Sydney. You’ll also find them in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra, Tower Hill in Victoria and a number of national parks along Australia’s east coast.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Kookaburras, best known for their hysterical, human-sounding laughter at dusk and dawn, are common, and you’ll most likely spot (or hear) them in the countryside and often in city suburbs.
The Broome Bird Observatory and Kakadu National Park are both excellent place to view many species of wetland and migratory birds.

There are 55 species of parrots in Australia, as numerous as they are colourful, including a spectacular variety of cockatoos, rosellas, lorikeets, cockatiels, parakeets and budgerigars. They 1are commonly seen in rural and urban areas.

Reptiles

Australia has more species of venomous snakes than any other continent, 21 of the world’s 25 deadliest in fact. But not all are poisonous; we also have some stunning pythons and tree snakes.

We are also famous for our crocodiles, both freshwater and saltwater varieties. Both the Kimberley and Kakadu National Park are excellent places to see crocodiles in their natural habitat.

There are five species of endangered sea turtles which nest and lay eggs on certain beaches in season; and eight species of freshwater turtle. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia and Eco Beach in Broome are ideals place to see turtles.

Goanna

We also have an amazing array of lizards, ‘dragons’ and goannas (monitor lizards), including the spectacular Frilled Lizard and Bearded Dragon. The Kimberley has some 178 species of reptiles with the more notable ones being the Frilled Neck Lizard and the ubiquitous ‘ta ta’ Lizard. Thorny devils can be found in desert habitats including Shark Bay, Carnarvon and Exmouth in Western Australia.

A variety of reptiles including bearded dragons, perenties and blue tongue lizards can be seen in Central Australia and Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

Marine animals

Our marine environments support around 4000 of the world’s 22000 types of fish, as well as 30 of the world’s 58 seagrass species. We also have the world’s largest coral reef system, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, where there are so many species of colourful fish, including the beautiful clown fish, that you’ll need more than one visit to try and count them all. We also have around 1700 different species of coral.

dolphins

Larger marine species include the migratory gentle whale shark, humpback, southern right and orca whales, the dugong, numerous dolphin species and a number of shark species. Whales can be seen along the east and west coastlines from May to November. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is one of the most reliable places in the world to see whale sharks and a number of operators run tours to swim with these gentle giants. Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to see Australian fur seals in the wild.