Days 6, 7, and 8 on Madagascar allowed us to get a glimpse of the north-east corner of the country with its rainforest, unique wildlife and plants, river and ocean scenery, local markets, food, vanilla, and more.
When visiting a new place, especially in a foreign country, it’s good to visit the local market to get a taste of the culture. That’s exactly what we did in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Visiting the huge and busy Analakely market was an extraordinary experience.
Picture yourself on a white-sand beach in an exotic place on a sunny afternoon. One such place is in southeast Madagascar, on a nice peninsula in the Indian Ocean. I would go back there at any time!
How would you feel finding yourself at the end of the world? Fort Dauphin, the first French settlement on Madagascar, qualifies for such a place. Let me give you a little taste of it.
After exploring the Berenty Reserve on the southernmost tip of the island, we were on the road again. It was the fourth day of our stay on Madagascar, and we were driving back to Fort Dauphin. We began to notice more and more people walking on the road.
Did you know where the most famous television programs and documentaries about lemurs were filmed? We learned the answer after we got to that very place. It’s the Berenty Reserve in southernmost Madagascar.
A fascinating countryside. This is the short and enthusiastic description of what we saw for more than six hours in southern Madagascar as we were transported to and from Berenty Reserve, a place of famous lemurs.
There is chaos, there are merchants everywhere. The streets are open-air markets, offering anything from clothes, shoes, hats and bags, furniture, fruits, vegetables, and meat, sacks of grains and sacks of charcoal for cooking. Who is buying all this stuff? Everyone is selling something.
Antananarivo, or in short, Tana, the capital of Madagascar – to say the least – is a unique and fascinating city. It’s so different than anything we’ve seen before! It was our first stop on our itinerary discovering this island country in the Indian Ocean.
Written by my husband, Steve: The island country of Madagascar is, along with the Galapagos Islands, a powerful magnet for those of us drawn to concentrations of rare, isolated, and endemic (occur nowhere else on earth) species. For example, there are more than 11,000 endemic plant species. At least 80% of the wildlife is endemic.
Madagascar, often referred to as the “eighth continent” because of its unique ecology, is a fascinating, eye-opening, and hidden paradise, the world’s fourth largest island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. It’s not easy to get there but my husband and I were already close, finishing our safari in Tanzania, so it wasn’t too complicated to travel there.
Written by my husband, Steve: I knew I was in trouble when my friend at work loaned me her copy of the Birds of East Africa Princeton Field Guide in advance of our trip to Kenya and Tanzania – for it consisted of 590 pages and descriptions of 1388 species of birds! How was I ever going to contend with such overwhelming information while still trying to enjoy the moment of new discoveries? (And that’s not even counting the 300 species found on Madagascar, which was where the last 10 days of our trip would take us!)