Life on the edge

Inside the world’s largest STONE forest, where tropical rain has eroded rocks into 300ft razor-sharp spikes

Isolated and inhospitable, this huge collection of razor-sharp vertical rocks looks like the last place where wildlife would thrive.

The colossal ‘Grand Tsingy’ landscape in western Madagascar is the world’s largest stone forest, where high spiked towers of eroded limestone tower over the greenery.

But despite its cold, dangerous appearance, the labyrinth of 300ft stones is home to a number of animal species, including 11 types of lemur.

Its name, ‘Tsingy’ translates as ‘where one cannot walk’, due to the hazardous formations of razor-sharp pinnacles made from limestone which have been eroded by tropical rain.

Explorer and photographer Stephen Alvarez captured the beauty of the Grand Tsingy when he went there as part of an expedition for National Geographic.
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Life on the edge
more at dailymail

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The Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020

The Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020 competition will run from December 2019 to May 2020. Entries – of African wildlife, landscapes, and culture – can be submitted up to midnight (CAT) on Thursday, 30 April 2020, after which they will close and the winners will be announced end of May 2020.

Back-lit baby vervet monkey. Kruger National Park, South Africa by Gareth Thomas
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A ring-tailed lemur suns herself while her baby keeps a firm hold on her back. Berenty Reserve, Madagascar by Beverly Houwing
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A young baboon quenches his thirst at a waterhole. Indlovu River Lodge Private Game Reserve, South Africa by Braeme Holland
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A sleepy cheetah cub. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania by Diego Occhi
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An orange-breasted sunbird in search of the sweet nectar from a common pagoda. Taken Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa by Braeme Holland
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The ‘Weekly Selection’ will be the top entries submitted via the AG website and Instagram. This selection will be published at the end of each week on our weekly online magazine as a gallery and in an album on Facebook;
• During the month of May 2020, once the submission deadline has come and gone, the judges will judge all accumulated entries from the Weekly Selections, gradually reducing the number of qualifiers to a list of ‘Finalists’, from which the winners will be selected and announced in June 2020
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The Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2020

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The Monasteries of Meteora

Serene, spiritual, magical, mystical, extraordinary, breathtaking, immense, inspiring, impressive. These are only some of the words people very often use in an effort to describe Meteora monasteries. Any trip to Meteora offers the visitors unique experiences of nature’s grandeur in conjunction with history, architecture and man’s everlasting desire to connect with the Divine. From the early Christian times, the steep cliffs of Meteora were regarded as a perfect place to achieve absolute isolation. To find peace and harmony and, thus, to support mankind’s’ eternal struggle for spiritual ascension.

Meteora with the 6 active monasteries is truly an inspiring and sensational setting of overwhelming rock formations with these ancient monasteries occupying their picks. Be prepared that making a trip here is much more than a visit to an awesome landscape. It is more like a pilgrimage to a holy place for all Christians around the world. In essence, Meteora today has become a preservation ark for the 2000-year-old Christian Orthodox creed. Today, out of initially 24 monasteries that used to exist only 6 remain active for people to visit. Discover the things to do and what to see while at Meteora!
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The Monasteries of Meteora
more at visit meteora

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Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

Italian photographer Marco Crupi travelled to the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. ‘Each island is different in naturalistic and cultural terms. It’s my goal to make the largest photo report ever about Sicily and the surrounding region.’ He takes the LUMIX S1 with him on his trips. ‘The LUMIX S1 is definitely a camera that allows photographers to shoot in any light or weather conditions.’

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Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
more at panasonic

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Fall in love with heart-shaped places around the world

Some people leave their hearts in San Francisco, others consider Paris—the “City of Love”—as the epicenter of romance. But these heart-shaped attractions, whether naturally occurring or crafted by hand, visibly channel the affectionate Valentine’s symbol. From a flight over Heart Reef in Australia to floral arbors resembling you-know-whats in Dubai, these spots could inspire passion, platonic love, or at least some heart-worthy Instagram photos.

Upper Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Hike through the Upper Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona, to find a heart, which eons of erosion have carved into the red stone. You’ll need a Navajo guide to visit the Upper and Lower Antelope canyons, located in Navajo Nation—a 27,000-square-mile area in northeastern Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Check out these eight epic stops in the Four Corners region.
Photograph by Justin Collins
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Hokkaido, Japan
Amid the natural wonders of this island in Japan’s, Lake Toyoni is a naturally formed freshwater lake in the southeastern part of Tomakomai city. Spot it from above via the Sarudake Mountain Path near Tomakomai.
Photograph by Satoru Kobayashi
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Easter Egg Rock Island, Maine
An Atlantic Puffin perches on a heart-shaped rock on Easter Egg Rock Island, Maine. The seven-acre, treeless island is one of the world’s first restored Atlantic puffin colonies, initiated in 1973.
Photograph by Melissa Groo
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Špičnik, Slovenia
Sample some of Slovenia’s best wine in Špičnik, a small town famous for its winding, heart-shaped road. The best view can be seen from the top of Dreisiebner Štefka farm.
Photograph by Mario Horvat
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Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
You’ll have to book a helicopter or seaplane to see Great Barrier Island’s Heart Reef—a coral “bommie” or outcropping that’s just 56 feet long—since the area is off limits to snorkelers and divers due to its protected status.
Photograph by Dukas Presseagentur
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Fall in love with heart-shaped places around the world
more at National Geographic

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Slovenia in Winter

Slovenia: Snow Covered Mountains, Lakes, and Historic Churches
Discover this amazing region with towering mountains, glacial lakes, snow covered forests, and historic villages including the city of Ljubljana.

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Slovenia in Winter
more at Muench Workshops

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Yellowstone in Winter

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest and most picturesque National Park in the world. It is home to a vast number of unique hydrothermal wonders and contains 67 species of mammals, hundreds of species of birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.

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Yellowstone in Winter
more at Muench Workshops

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