When you are on the streets of Antananarivo (Tana) – the capital of Madagascar – for the first time, you don’t really know what to expect in terms of your accommodation. We spent four nights here in two, completely different hotels. Both felt a little bit out of place.
I was overwhelmed by the beauty off the leaves of the majestic rainforest on the tropical island of Nosy Mangabe on Madagascar.
Written by my husband, Steve: Okay, I have a confession to make. Even though I am a trained wildlife biologist, my actual (first) degree reads; “Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources.” It mostly reflects the fact that I obtained my degree through the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington, not that I was planning on becoming a professional forester!
Would you be able to describe the world-famous indri? It’s one of the largest living lemurs, lives only on Madagascar, it’s the only tailless lemur, and has a peculiar loud call. One place where you can find it is this national park.
The Vakôna Forest Lodge close to Andasibe provides not only accommodation, but also a tour of its private reserve. We arrived here, in east-central Madagascar, after a three-hour drive from Antananarivo. We were eager to explore the reserve and have some fun.
We continued exploring the countryside of Madagascar as we drove from Tana to Andasibe, in the central eastern part of the island. An approximately three-hour scenic drive on a surprisingly good road was not too bad for the 159 km distance.
Beautiful handcrafted baskets, bags, and hats in a small market in Maroantsetra. The marketplace sells many household goods and fruits and vegetables, but it’s known for the raffia hats and bags.
The name of this hotel itself – French for seahorse – felt quite exotic. Located close to the town of Maroantsetra in the extreme northeast of Madagascar, on the shores of the Indian Ocean, it was our gateway to Nosy Mangabe. We stayed here for two nights.
Tropical paradise on an uninhabited small island. Dense rainforest, majestic trees, many unusual plants. Once home to pirates, today home to the strangest creature on earth: the aye-aye. This is Nosy Mangabe in the northeast corner of Madagascar.
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.
I baked seven different cookies for my son’s wedding. Happy Tenth Anniversary, Dávid and Jolene!
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.