MADAGASCAR’S UNKNOWN ISLANDS
(P1) Hidden in the 20-island Nosy Mitsio ARCHIPELAGO, 70km off Madagascar’s northern coast, Organ Pipes is a BIZARRE natural wonder formed 125 million years ago when Madagascar separated from MAINLAND Africa.
(P2) The site bears an UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE to Northern Ireland’s famous GIANT’S CAUSEWAY.
(P3) But unlike the Irish World Heritage Site, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, Organ Pipes attracts just hundreds of travellers annually – and is also only accessible by boat.
(P4) Most travellers arrive on a DAY TRIP from the mainland.
(P5) The UNINHABITED ISLET is home to an ABUNDANCE of EXOTIC seabirds.
(P6) AVID BIRD-WATCHERS should look out for the one of the world’s rarest birds: the critically ENDANGERED Madagascar fish-eagle, also known as the “King of the Sky”.
(P7) The only inhabited island in the archipelago is Grande Mitsio, 20km to the southwest, where about 1,500 residents live an UNFETTERED life of SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE.
(P8) Traditional CANOES dot the ETHEREAL silver-blue HORIZON, where sea and sky MERGE. Fishermen DRIFT miles from land, fishing by hand for squid, swordfish, and African red snapper.
(P9) The only place to stay in the archipelago is on a private island RESORT about 30km south of Organ Pipes.
(P10) Below the archipelago’s surface, a VIBRANT world TEEMS with MARINE life.
(P11) With no LIGHT POLLUTION, SUNSETS in this part of the world are LUMINOUS wonders. It’s a time to watch in appreciation as the sun sinks into the Mozambique Channel, turning the sky a MOLTEN gold and providing a SPECTACULAR BACKDROP to Organ Pipes’ STRIKING SILHOUETTE.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- What is the most impressive natural location you have ever visited?
- Have you ever traveled by boat? Did you get SEASICK?
- Where did you see the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen?
- Have you ever gone bird-watching?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Day trip
- Endangered species