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Madagascar Travel: Fantasy island

Madagascar is, above all, a nature destination. While there are certainly interesting man-made facets of the country — including colonial towns, native crafts, and sleepy coastal villages — Madagascar is an eco-traveller's dream. From endless jungles filled with endemic plants, rare birds, and endangered animals, to the white-sand beaches of the Malagasy islands and limestone karst formations of Ankarana, the island is an explosion of nature at each turn. Cut off from the African mainland 165 million years ago, Madagascar evolved in isolation, leading to many unique and endemic species. The hands-down superstars of this wild performance are the endangered lemur, of which 90 percent of the surviving global population is found only here.


The 26 postcard-perfect atolls in the Indian Ocean that make up the Maldives are so pristine they may seem too perfect to be true. Lying 700km (434 mi) southwest of Sri Lanka, the low-lying coral islands are nothing if not isolated, and the 1,200 islets, secluded lagoons, and crystal blue waters have made it a place of pilgrimage for scuba divers from around the world. Unfortunately, as much of the country is within reach of rising sea levels (the highest point is about 2m (6.6 ft) above sea level), the country is in danger of shrinking. For the time being however, paradise is still available – for a price. Make sure you have lots of room on your credit card, as prices can be sky-high.


The land between mountain & sea

Encompassing a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the high peaks of the Andes, Chile includes the driest desert, the Atacama in the north, the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, snow-covered volcanoes, forests and tranquil lakes of the near south, and the wild and windswept glaciers and fjords of the far south. Travel Chile and you'll find the far south is home to some magnificent trekking opportunities, where guanacos, nandues (rheas), condors, pink flamingos and magellanic penguins abound. Chile travel aficionados also claim the south offers some of the world's finest salmon and trout fishing, and that at times the cuisine rivals the natural setting.



An entire continent’s worth of greatness concentrated into a single gorgeous package, South Africa practically bowls visitors over with its abundance of natural splendour, exotic wildlife, cosmopolitan flair, and friendly faces. There are hundreds of reasons to come to South Africa – savannah safaris, the vineyards of Stellenbosch, dazzling Cape Town, and the stunning Garden Route, to name but a few – and once you’ve gotten yourself here, you’ll discover millions more.


The kingdom of kingdoms

Egypt is a country of rugged, harsh beauty mixed with reminders of what was arguably the most impressive ancient civilization history has ever known. The awe-inspiring treasures and stunning landscapes of this country are perfectly complemented by the warmth and hospitality of its people. You can't travel back in time (at least, not yet), but exploring Egypt is close enough.


Bewonder het land 'Down Under'

Wil je variatie? Ga naar Australië. De ongerepte stranden, het ruwe terrein en de bruisende kuststeden in dit gedeelte van de wereld zijn het toonbeeld van variatie. Uitgestrekte woestijnen, enorme wouden, met sneeuw bedekte bergen en koraalriffen vol waterleven tonen je de natuur op zijn allerbest, terwijl de drukke, multiculturele steden krioelen van interessante mensen met heel wat verhalen om met je te delen. Maak je klaar om de grenzen van je verbeelding oneindig te verleggen.

Het compleet natuurlijke themapark

Nieuw-Zeeland is een droombestemming voor al wie bezeten is door avontuurlijke sporten. Het Tolkien-achtige landschap lijkt speciaal ontworpen voor adrenalinefreaks, en het land dat bunjeespringen heeft uitgevonden neemt het begrip 'avontuur' heel serieus. Een magisch landschap vol woeste, met sneeuw bedekte landschappen, schitterende meren en wild stromende rivieren doet dienst als 's werelds beste speeltuin om te doen aan 'tramping', skiën en raften. Als je hiermee klaar bent, bewonder dan het thermische Rotorua of ga op zoek naar walvissen en dolfijnen. Er zijn meer schapen dan mensen, en door de vriendelijke, Engelstalige Kiwi's zal je alleen maar willen dat dit andersom was.