Daily Escape

Ras Mohamed National Park

Photo by Kennet Havgaard / Aurora Photos

Ras Mohamed National Park

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Given that this is the Red Sea, you wonder how these waters can be so shockingly blue. Ponder this possible misnomer and the utter blueness as you swim with a shoal of snappers here at Shark Reef, a coral mount in Egypt’s Ras Mohamed National Park and a favorite among divers. Near the Sharm el-Sheikh resort, Shark Reef is known for its sheer height and bounty of sea life. Commune with anemone, lion fish and maybe even a shark or two, while you disappear into the vivid waters of the deep blue Red Sea.


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Tsimbazaza Zoo
Tsimbazaza Zoo

Tsimbazaza Zoo

Located in southern Antananarivo, Tsimbazaza Zoo and its botanical garden are one of a kind in Madagascar. The zoo has an environmental teaching center, a collection of unique species native to the country and a museum that offers multiple collections, including indigenous tribal carvings. 960 1280

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Antsiranana Windsurfing

Antsiranana Windsurfing

Looking for an adventure in Madagascar? Antsiranana -- known as Diego Suarez prior to 1975 -- is a popular spot for windsurfing and kite surfing in Antsiranana. Thrill-seeking adventurers can go tree climbing in Vallee des Perroquets or take a low-key trip to Sainte Marie for whale watching. 960 1280

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Mahamasina Municipal Stadium

Mahamasina Municipal Stadium

Become part of the local community in Antananarivo. Experience a rowdy rugby game or exciting soccer match at the multipurpose Mahamasina Municipal Stadium (Stade Mahamasina). The stadium seats 22,000 people but is capable of accommodating 40,000 spectators. 960 1280

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Madagascar Fody

Madagascar Fody

Madagascar is home to 204 species of birds, including the Red Fody, also known as the Red Cardinal Fody. Diego Suarez, Amber Mountain, Tana, Perinet, Ifaty, Isalo and Ampijoroa are a few prime spots for bird-watching tours. 960 1280

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Avenue of the Baobabs

Avenue of the Baobabs

Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs -- a group of 20 to 25 baobab trees that line the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina -- is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Madagascar. These trees are considered one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders and can live up to 800 years. Despite its popularity, the area has no visitor center or gate fees, and local residents receive little income from tourism. 960 1280

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Nosy Be

Nosy Be

Welcome to Madagascar’s largest and busiest resort area, Nosy Be. Formed by volcanoes, the island is forested and has numerous craters and crater lakes. Its highest point is Mount Passot -- a 1,079-foot hike for the adventurous traveler. 960 1280

  

Moraingy

Moraingy

Moraingy is a popular barefisted martial art that originated during Madagascar’s Maroseranana dynasty from 1675 to 1896. Young men and women between the ages of 10 and 35 who participate in these hand-to-hand combat matches are respected and sometimes feared by fellow villagers. As part of the experience, fighters and participants typically engage in dances during and between the matches to provoke the supporters of the opposing fighter. 960 1280

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Rova of Antananarivo

Rova of Antananarivo

See where the royals lived from the 17th century through the 19th century when you visit the Lost Palace and Royal Rova in Antananarivo. Take a stroll along the maze of alleys and stairs linking the lower section of the city to the hillside area and see the summer palace of the queen, the eerie tomb complex and a museum with a salvaged collection of antiques, historical documents and royal artifacts. 960 1280

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Mauritius

Mauritius

While you’re in Madagascar, take an inexpensive airplane ride to the tranquil island of Mauritius. Go sunbathing on Pereybere Beach, shop in Grand Bay, explore the Balaclava Ruins or go mountain biking and hiking through the Labourdonnais Orchards. 960 1280

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Zebu Cattle Wrestling

Savika or zebu cattle wrestling is a popular spectator sport in Madagascar. It’s usually a rite of passage for young men who want to prove their manhood, and anyone who takes the daring dance with an angry zebu is considered a hero among locals and more attractive to women. 960 1280

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Ring-Tailed Lemur

Ring-Tailed Lemur

Wildlife explorers visiting southern and southwestern Madagascar may bump into this furry creature. Usually seen living in groups, ring-tailed lemurs are vocal -- as a means to socialize or call for help when they are in imminent danger. Andohahela National Park, Andringitra National Park, Isalo National Park, Tsimanampetsotse Amboasary Sud, Berenty Private Reserve and Anja Community Reserve are a few places to catch the ring-tailed lemur in action. 960 1280

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Antananarivo

Antananarivo

Explore and go sightseeing in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar and the country’s largest city. Stay at the luxurious Hotel Colbert or Hotel Carlton, both equipped with top-notch amenities, including gourmet restaurants and boutiques. Outside of the hotels, tourists can try authentic Malagasy food at La Table de Mariette or sample French-influenced Malagasy food at Ku de Ta restaurant. 960 1280

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Go Diving!

Go Diving!

Discover your inner adventurer in Madagascar and visit the Alley of the Baobabs, go windsurfing in Antsiranana, witness a traditional moraingy combat match, go sunbathing in Nosy Be and much more! 960 1280

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