Indian Ocean Outpost: Kite Surfing Madagascar

The consistently high winds whipping along Madagascar's northern coast have put it on the map in a big way with wind- and kite-surfers. Aficionados say the conditions are world-class, but it's still a new enough sport here that there aren't crowds—though you may attract curious groups of friendly locals looking on from the beach.

Madagascar shines away from its shores, too, with a fantastical mix of plants and animals. More than 90 percent of the island-nation's wildlife is endemic, including playful lemurs, a long roster of bird species, and the cat-like fossa. Huge stands of native Baobabs—or monkey-bread trees—are also unique to the country.

Kensington Tours is starting to offer safaris to Madagascar this year.

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