Theme Week New Zealand – Wellington

October 10th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Wellington Harbour © - margaritanitz

Wellington Harbour © – margaritanitz

Wellington is the capital city and third most populous urban area of New Zealand. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. It is home to 389,700 residents.   read more…

Mauritius’ capital Port Louis

September 8th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Aerial view of Port Louis © Peter Kuchar

Aerial view of Port Louis © Peter Kuchar

Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius. It is the largest city of the country and main port, which borders the Indian Ocean. It is located in the Port Louis District. The population of the administrative district was estimated at 128,483, and the urban area at 148,416 in December 2010.   read more…

Madagascar in the Indian Ocean

September 2nd, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Ankify Lodge (Dauphin Bleu) © Rvdb2

Ankify Lodge (Dauphin Bleu) © Rvdb2

Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. 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. In 2012, the population of Madagascar was estimated at just over 22 million.   read more…

The Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific

August 19th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Northern Mariana Islands map © Wikid77

Northern Mariana Islands map © Wikid77

The Northern Mariana Islands is one of two insular areas that are Commonwealths of the United States; the other is Puerto Rico. It consists of fifteen islands in the western Pacific Ocean located about three-quarters of the way between Hawaii and the Philippines. Head of State is the US President.   read more…

Île Sainte-Marie off the east coast of Madagascar

August 17th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Beach of La Crique © M worm

Beach of La Crique © M worm

Île Sainte-Marie, known (more formally) as Nosy Boraha, is an island off the east coast of Madagascar. The main town is Ambodifotatra. The city covers an area of 222 km2, and has a population estimated at 16,000. The island is organized as The City of Île Sainte-Marie in Analanjirofo Region. The tourist destination is 60 km long and less than 10 km wide.   read more…

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

August 15th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

BIS 'Tower' building © --Wladyslaw Disk./cc-by-sa-3.0

BIS ‘Tower’ building © –Wladyslaw Disk./cc-by-sa-3.0

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international organization of central banks which “fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks”. The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.   read more…

Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean

August 1st, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Zanzibar Beach © Rcastino

Zanzibar Beach © Rcastino

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar), and Pemba. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. Its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site and is claimed to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania’s Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Zanzibar is the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard.   read more…

Dar es Salaam in Tanzania

July 26th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Dhow seen off the coast of Dar es Salaam © SajjadF/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dhow seen off the coast of Dar es Salaam © SajjadF/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dar es Salaam, formerly Mzizima, is Tanzania‘s largest and richest city, the largest city in eastern Africa by population, and a regionally important economic centre. It is the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region administrative province and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: northern Kinondoni, central Ilala, and southern Temeke. The region had a population of 4,4 million. Although Dar es Salaam lost its status as the nation’s capital to Dodoma in 1974 (not completed until 1996), it remains the focus of the permanent central government bureaucracy. Dar es Salaam has heavy traffic during the daytime, but after sunset the area is relatively quiet as much of the city’s nightlife is located in more residential districts away from the city’s mainly commercial centre. The sprawling suburbs furthest from the city centre are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates. The edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, severely taxing the transportation network (which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities) and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.   read more…

Diani Beach on the Indian Ocean

July 14th, 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Outrigger canoe © - Giorgio Montersino/cc-by-sa-2.0

Outrigger canoe © – Giorgio Montersino/cc-by-sa-2.0

Diani Beach is a major beach resort on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya (in eastern Africa). It is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Mombasa, in the nearby Kwale County.   read more…

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