Blogs from Madagascar, Africa


Africa » Madagascar » Antananarivo July 6th 2013

I was privileged to share some evening aperitifs, with Henri Andrianarijaona. Their hospitality kept me some days at his home in Antananarivo. We used to have them before dinner, with his family - wife and two daughters-, a habit closer to French than Malagasy people, but a habit after all. Every sip we swallow we built a better world. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on earth. Henri was an idealist, had formed at the Sorbonne and lived the May 68 heydays in Paris. Finishing his studies and doctorate, instead of thriving in France decided to return to Madagascar with his newlywed French wife and try to put their acquired skills in the ancient metropolis at the service of his country. Henri was interested, among other matters, in sports. Along the years, with his management ... read more
02-Ille aux Nattes

After spending a night at Belo Tsiribihina, we now get back on the 4WD and head to Bekopaka where we will base ourselves for couple days to explore one of the most unique UNESCO world heritage sites in the world, the Tsingy de Bemaraha, from the UNESCO website, I copied below a brief but informative description of this place. UNESCO despcription: Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve comprises karstic landscapes and limestone uplands cut into impressive 'tsingy' peaks and a 'forest' of limestone needles, the spectacular canyon of the Manambolo river, rolling hills and high peaks. The undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps are the habitat for rare and endangered lemurs and birds. The Tsingy de Bemaraha Integral Nature Reserve is located in the District of Antsalova and in the region of the central west part ... read more
Tsingy de Bemaraha
Manambolo river
Avenue of baobabs

Africa » Madagascar » Tsiribihina River June 10th 2013

As we leave the small river town of Miandrivazo on our pirogue to explore Tsiribihina river, locals wave goodbye to us, we are the center of attention as there are no other tourists leaving today other than us, we are on 2 pirogues, Filemon was with us on one and Misa on the supply boat, some parts of the river is shallow and the boatmen have to get off and push, we pass locals washing their laundry, kids playing in the water, women half naked bathing themselves, things you don't see in your neighborhood, for us a bit of a culture shock, last time I saw naked adults bathing in the river was at the river Niger in Bamako, few years ago, but here it's not a big deal, this river meant everything to them, as ... read more
Tsiribihina river trip Day 2
Tsiribihina river trip Day 3
Tsiribihina river trip Day 1

Africa » Madagascar » Antsirabe June 7th 2013

Antsirabe is the third largest city in Madagascar and the capital of the Vakinankaratra region. The city has population of over 180,000. In Madagascar, Antsirabe is known for its relatively cool climate, its industry and the high concentration of pulled rickshaws or "pousse-pousses", amongst other things. This info coming from wikitravel, so now to get there we have to come back to Tana from Andasibe, as the road only goes that way, along the way we have to pick up Misa, our back up guide(in training). She is still in training and Gary, the owner of Remote River Expeditions asked me if it's ok is she joins us, I said no big deal, we picked her up in the outskirts of Tana before heading west. The scenery is filled with ricefields, and zebu, similar to cows ... read more

I met Reza few years ago on my stop to Jordan during my "career break" backpacking adventures, we get along very well and we decided to meet up and travel together again. Meeting up in Paris and spending a few days there I had the chance to see the first weekend action at the French open. When it was time to go I was a bit sad, leaving the modern comforts of Paris, I wonder what awaits us in Madagascar. We arrived early at CDG and already long queues formed at the Air Austral counter, mostly French speaking people. The flight was full and so crowded, took ages to board the plane. This is my first time flying with them and though the plane seem a bit worn out, service was good. We loved the salmon ... read more
Vakona Lodge Island park
Andasibe National Park


Africa » Madagascar February 7th 2013

Tesiasi mano keliones. Afrika - tai antrasis zemynas pasaulyje pagal plota ir gyventoju skaiciu po Azijos. Pries du metus lankyta Afrika ne daug kuo pasikeite. Pietu Afrika kaip ir buvo, taip ir isliko pati civilizuociausia is visu kitu Afrikos valstybiu. Madagaskaro sala irgi buvo kazkada lankyta, bet kiekviena karta leisdamasi i ta pacia vieta bandau atrasti kazka nematyto. Madagaskaras, tai ne tik sala, bet ir visa valstybe, kuri turi savo kalba, savo valiuta. Madagaskaras yra vienintelė vieta Žemėje, kur laisvėje gyvena lemūrai – medžiuose gyvenančios pusbeždžionės. Ir pati juos maciau. Nukeliavom iki vienos salos Madagaskare specialiai paziureti laisveje gyvenanciu lemuru. Gidas laike banana rankoje ir taip viliojo juos. Greitai ir pasirode keli bezdzioniukai, tykiai tupejo medziuose ir stebejo mus. is pirmo zvilgsnio atrodo, kaip iskamsos, bet pastebi, kad vis nejuciomi... read more

Africa » Madagascar December 28th 2012

Today is my niece's birthday! Rhiannon turns 21 today and the other night, while I was skyping with the family, she informed me that she doesn't read the blogs that deal with "bugs & critters". I guess they creep her out. I was surprised to hear this because, while they can be nasty (cockroaches), some are incredibly beautiful. Today, I am posting this last blog from Madagascar in her honour! Happy Birthday, Rhiannon. I don't remember my 21st birthday... not because the party was so good, but because it was so long ago. If you have half as much fun on "your day" as I have had on this trip to Madagascar, you will be one lucky lady. Enjoy the pictures and stories. Uncle Bob xo... read more
Stick Insects Having Sex
Ant Nest In The Rain Forest
The Blue Coua (Koo-ah)

Africa » Madagascar December 27th 2012

Hearing that people at home are getting hit with snow and wintery conditions, I figured it would be a good time to send you pictures of the Malagasy flora & fauna . No big lessons here... Just a chance for you to look see what I have been enjoying for the last week during my adventures. As usual, I don't know what half of them are, but I can appreciate their beauty, Hope you appreciate them as well.... read more
Red Ones
Morning Moisture On The Petals

Africa » Madagascar December 26th 2012

Madagascar is home to about half the world's 150 or so species of chameleons, Chameleons are small to mid-size reptiles that are famous for their ability to dramatically change colors. Contrary to popular belief, a chameleon typically does not change colors to match its surroundings. Instead, color is usually used to convey emotions (kind of like the mood rings of the 1970's), defend territories, and communicate with mates. Other easily noted characteristics of chameleons include bulging eyes that move independently of one another, feet fixed in a grasping position, and the existence of horns or crests on the heads of many species. Additionally, species that live in trees have prehensile tails used for grasping objects when climbing and moving. Finally, some species have long extensile tongues for catching insects or small vertebrates at a distance sometimes ... read more
Small But Ugly!
Still Ugly

Africa » Madagascar December 25th 2012

I arrived in Sainte Marie, an island in the northeast of Madagascar yesterday. There was a delay with my flight in Tana. What was supposed to be a 730AM flight was delayed to 4PM and then bumped up to 2PM. Apparently, this is common since the only airline that does domestic flights is Air Madagascar. Since it is the only airline, it apparently, doesn’t care too much about customer service. Good to know if you’re thinking of getting anywhere in this country. I am not complaining. I met several people who were delayed by days, re-routed to cities they weren’t supposed to go to, and those who who had already resigned themselves to the fact that they would be spening Christmas in an airport. We arrived at the Soanambo Hotel late yesterday afternoon and magically, all ... read more
My Hotel Room Looking Out
A View From My Balcony
The Beach & Break Wall

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