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People of the thorns

People of the thorns

Gillian McLaren introduces us to the Antandroy people of Madagascar. (Images by the author) Arid and harsh, the far south of Madagascar is home to the Antandroy people. One of eighteen ethnic groups on the island, these hardy pioneers, traditionally a nomadic tribe, dwell in a surreal landscape dominated by Didiereaceae and Euphorbiaceae. There is a lower diversity of flora and fauna than other regions of the island, but what grows here is distinctive and unusual, adapted to the...

Madagascar unwrapped

Madagascar unwrapped

An insider’s overview, from the experts at Steppes Travel. Why Visit? Madagascar is a confusing, fascinating and exciting country; a world as magical and diverse as her people. Here, chameleons change colour in front of your eyes, lemurs dance through treetops, baobabs loom over paddy fields and whales calve off white beaches. And amongst this wealth of natural beauty hide pirates’ tombs, celebrations of the dead and whispered superstitions. A holiday to Madagascar will not fail to deliver a...

Review of Miavana island sanctuary

Review of Miavana island sanctuary

Newly-opened Miavana is an exciting example of how tourism helps to improve the local economy and preserve the natural habitat. It’s just what Madagascar needs, reports Gillian McLaren Hugging the shore of Nosy Ankao, an island off the coast of northwest Madagascar, is the new Time + Tide Miavana island sanctuary. The first lodge to be built on the island, it may well be the most luxurious and opulent in the whole of Madagascar. Excellence is the keyword here;...

Isolated Isalo

Isolated Isalo

Following a journey to Parc National de l’Isalo, famous for its canyons filled with lush greenery and lagoons, Anthony Ham describes the region’s unique scenery and wildlife The road south from Antananarivo bucks and weaves along Madagascar’s rocky spine, passing on its island traverse the well-watered hills and scattered settlements of the country’s interior. Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao — we skirt cities that serve as gateways to wild and forested corners of the country, en route to a different, wilder...

Mad about Madagascar

The smell of the rain

This island may not be the first place you’d think of when planning a family holiday, but its many secrets — from weird insects and leaping lemurs to cave-dwelling crocs — will keep older children as captivated as their parents. By Mike Unwin. "Don’t lean against the cave wall,” warns Simon, from the darkness. “There are spiders.” I’m not usually an arachnophobe and, besides, intriguing invertebrates have been a highlight of our trip so far; however, there’s something about...

Madagascar: A delightfully dirty detour

Madagascar: A delightfully dirty detour

While motorcycling between Cape Town and London, Jeremy Bullard was lured seriously off piste by the words of Hilary Bradt – he found himself in Madagascar. I never meant to go to Madagascar at all. After all it was not on the Cape Town to London overland route that I was following. However, my inability to resist bookshops en route led to my spotting Hilary Bradt’s guidebook on the nation that noted: “A motorbike is perhaps the very best...

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