Blogs from Antsiranana, Madagascar, Africa

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Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana August 8th 2018

After a bone-jarring, sleep-lacking, knee-hurting 31 hour taxi-brousse (think crowded van) from Tana we finally arrived in the evening in Diego-Suarez (Antsiranana). Of course there was a blown tire along the way, but that just provided a break for the excruciating pain in my knees from it being jammed into a metal bar for over a day. The first 4 days were spent in Diego-Suarez with a few excursions to the nearby areas. The first day was mostly just recovery from the horrific 31 hour ride, and some light exploring around town. The second day 3 of us hired a 4x4 and went in the morning to Mount Amber to see chameleons. How he could spot some of them boggles my mind but in total we saw 7 different species, including the smallest in the world ... read more
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Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana March 11th 2018

Saturday 10 March – Ankarana Park This day was a day for the grey tsingy. We were going to the Tsingy de Ankarana. After only 30 minutes of driving we came to the entrance to the Park. As it was low season, the local people weren’t as geared up for tourists. We organised our lunch for when we returned but we knew we were the only ones to be eating as the locals don’t seem to have lunch and we were the only tourists around. Tsingy de Ankarana is a small version of the Tsingy de Bemaraha. This park in the north is on the national road to Antisirana and is easily accessible. The park also is home to three types of lemurs, and chameleons. The Ankarana Massif consists of a limestone shelf which imposes ... read more
Ankarana Park northern Madagascar (9)
Ankarana Park northern Madagascar (11)
Crowned Lemur (2)

Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana March 9th 2018

Friday 9 March fly to Diego Suarez then drive to Ankarana I was very excited to be flying to the northern section of Madagascar. It is known for its unusual geological structures the tsingy rough. A 3.30am start was not exciting but all went smoothly with Rivo taking us to the airport. Fortunately, at that time of the morning the single lane road going to the airport was almost deserted unlike when we arrived it was bumper to bumper traffic for several kilometres. The flight to Diego Suarez was almost 2 hours. As soon as we exited the bag collection area, we spotted our name being held up by Eric our new guide. His driver was Ahmed who handled the 4x4 very well . . . . and the roads were atrocious, even worse than ... read more
Rough Tsingy Ankarana Park (15)
Rough Tsingy Ankarana Park (14)
Dinner at Hotel Relais D'Ankarana (2)

Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana February 7th 2016

Madagascar 1-16,17-16 Madagascar 65F, Thu do cua Madagascar la Antanarivo. Gom giong nguoi Merina, Betsimisaraka. Noi tieng Malagasy. La giong nguoi den tu southeast Asia va East Phi chau.Rong 587,041 km, Gan gap 2 Vietnam nhung dan so it hon la 22 trieu dan. Dan song thua thot 35nguoi/km, gan bang 1/9 Vietnam. Trung binh moi nguoi kiem 1,400/nam nhu Vietnam. La hon dao lon thu tu nhat the gioi. 90% wildlife o day khong tim thay noi nao khac. Nguoi o day la giong nguoi Malagase den tu Borneo vao the ky 350BC den 550 AD. Ke tiep la nguoi Arabs, Indian va Chinese. Madagascar thuoc African Union. Tuy nhien vi tinh hinh chanh tri xao tron o day nam 2009 nen Union dang duoc xet lai tinh trang hoi vien cua African Union cua ... read more
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Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana October 14th 2011

Having a great time!!! Love this country. Beautiful animals and friendly people. Sometimes things are a bit crazy and chaotic, but in the end that's where the funny stories come from. Some pictures for you to enjoy...... read more
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Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana December 30th 2010

Christmas is a bit of a turn around one for us, unpacking from our last trip and organising for the next. It's very quiet on the streets of Diego with all the shops closed, the locals in their Sunday best and lots off to church. We celebrate with a restaurant lunch of chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans and even splash out on some dessert. It's great to chat on the phone with family back home and hear about their Christmas day thousands of miles away. Luckily by the time evening rolls around the market is bustling again and we stock up on supplies and pack for a few days camping in Ankarana National Park. Next morning our trusty guide, Laudea, arrives, we fill a couple of large water containers and locate a taxi-brousse heading in ... read more
Up close and personal
Large scary scorpion
Dry forest

Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana December 24th 2010

We are all very keen to spend some time snorkelling and Keith wants to take a good look at some of Madagascar's marine critters. Off the far northwest coast, Nosy Hara (island of large rocks) is at the centre of one of the country's most remote marine reserves. We are heading there for a Robinson Crusoe style visit with our trusty side kick from Montagne d'Ambre, Laudea. We bump, slip and slide our way in the taxi-brousse for hours on a track filled with deep, muddy holes which we'd normally only attempt in a four wheel drive. Surprisingly we only have to get out to push once. When we arrive in the tiny fishing village of Ampasindava it's in the heat of the day, siesta time, and we eventually locate a captain who is willing to ... read more
In the village
Approaching Nosy Hara
The beautiful island

Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana December 18th 2010

We're off to a roaring start. Bags packed for four day's camping, food bought at the market, appropriate taxi-brousse stop located, all very efficiently. Then it all comes to an abrupt halt. The 'imminent' arrival of the taxi-brousse actually occurs after three hours wait in the heat. Plenty of opportunity, then, to watch the comings and goings on the busy market corner. Eventually when the aging modified Peugeot 404 ute rattles in, our bags are thrown on top of the canopy and tied down. We're allocated the vazaha seats in the front while the locals pile onto the bench seats on the back. And we're off - on a few hours circuit around the town, that is. Picking up everything from bags of fertiliser to timber to corrugated iron. The taxi-brousse is positively groaning by the ... read more
Checked out by a Sandford's Brown lemur
Le Petit Lac
The adventurer

Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana December 13th 2010

Diego Suarez, or 'Dago' to the locals, is the major town in the far North of Madagascar and the base for our travels for the next few weeks. Though its not particularly attractive in itself its handy to lots of beautiful beaches and some interesting National Parks. To get there from the capital you can spend two days in a taxi-brousse (bush taxi) on the bumpy roads, but an hour on the plane sounds like a pretty good option at this stage. From the plane it appears that there's far less natural forest in this country than we expected, so we hope the national parks and reserves are providing sufficient refuge for the vast array of interesting and unusual species that we'd like to see. Diego is perched on the edge of the sea and our ... read more
lunch
Dinner
Papa Noel!

Africa » Madagascar » Antsiranana October 8th 2008

We leave for Tulear tomorrow to start our marine unit, leaving behind Fort Dauphin until the beginning of December, and I cannot honestly say that I will miss it. Sorry for the long period of time lost between posts but I will try for a recap: 1) Village stay in Faux Cap in the hamlet of Mahabibo we werre there for 5 days, Zoe and I, in a small village of people who only spoke Malagasy our day tipically looked like this: wake up with the sun (around 6) climb out of the tent and be ushered inside the house for coffee sweetened wish coco powder and condensed milk, folowed by rice mixed with zebo milk after breakfast we were off to the bageda fields with mom to dig bageda(sweet potatoes) and all of this was ... read more




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