A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: tfenal

Trip to the North : Ankarafantsika National Park

2 days spent on the 15th and 16th of September in Ankarafantsika on the way from Mahajanga to Ambanja

After 2 hours from Taxi-Brousse south of Mahajanga, i stopped on Thu morning into the Ankarafantsika National Park.

Entrance

Entrance

Tall Baobabs

Tall Baobabs


This is the tallest species of Baobab in Mada. There are a few specimens in the Park, but no tree of less than 2 to 3 hundreds years. These in the pictures are about 700years. Scientists are investigating why no young trees can be found. It could be that their reproduction depended on an animal which is now extinct. These good therefore be the last trees of this kind but they will live for another few hundreds years.

who s got a big nose?

who s got a big nose?

Ebony

Ebony

kapok, tree, beans and inside

kapok, tree, beans and inside


These big kapok beans contain a cotton-like inside which is used to do pillows over here

hidden iguana

hidden iguana

weirdos

weirdos


these things are actually moving. They look like flowers but they are a kind of insect, called "cicadelle". One of the weirdest thing i ve seen here !

Oiseau de Paradis (Male)

Oiseau de Paradis (Male)


Typical features (only for the male): long tail and blue circle around the eyes.

pretending they did not see me

pretending they did not see me


This fellow stayed still for a while pretending no one had seen him. Notice he kept himself in a quite unstable position with one leg up in the air.

twirled tail

twirled tail

siesta

siesta

who are these guys on the other side

who are these guys on the other side


Coquerel Sifakas are very territorial, this picture was shot on the boundary of 2 territories where 2 groups spent 1h staring, intimidating each other. The group of this guy finally won the battle and claim a new couple of trees.

yeepa

yeepa

califourchon

califourchon

Posted by tfenal 09:49 Archived in Madagascar Comments (0)

I saw a Baobab and the Canal du Mozambique !!

only 2 weeks to go, i am indulging myself with a mix of holidays and working trip in the Northern part of La Grande Ile. Cut in 2 parts it is still 2 times 12h of taxi brousse to reach my destination...

Yesterday at lunch time, after a hard working morning at the NGO headquarters in Tana (seriously i did work), i thought again about the proposition from my flatmate to leave at 3pm to the North for 8days. Never left such in a hurry and with such a random last minute decision, but that was great ! and it seems i did not even forgot anything.

After the 12h night trip from Tana to Mahajanga in Taxi-brousse, i thought i could indulge myself with a massage (Ravintsara essential oil, good for everything). Life is hard, specially after spending time around the swimming pool of the hotel, tasting all the types of natural juices from the menu.
This looks more like Africa, The Sun is shining hard, must be over 35deg at lunch, and no need to wear a jumper at night ! Looks like another country compared to Tana.

I ll be leaving more north tomorrow evening for another 12h enjoyable Taxi-brousse (osteopathy could have a great potential market here) to meet a colleague in Ambanja and visit some potential sites of mini hydro plant.

Photos to follow...

Posted by tfenal 07:43 Comments (0)

Back in Tana for a few days

Back in Tana since last Saturday; i ve been busy working during the day, and for a few enjoyable night outs in Tana.
Time to go out of town again, leaving tomorrow morning for 4 days in Andasibe area on our site of Vohimana. (3h east of Tana, in the hills / forest)
Then middle next week, big trip to the North, 16 to 20h of Taxi Brousse to visit the 2 sites of the NGO next to Ambanja and pass by Nosy Komba to see a hydro plant with a Pelton Turbine made in Madagascar.
Will stay in the area for a week or so, hopefully with a bit of tourism as well.
Then back in Tana around the 21st and then just a few days left ... argh
I ll have to come back to this country; 2 months is far too little !! :o)

Posted by tfenal 08:44 Comments (0)

3 days in Antsirabe

Trip to the south of Tana by Car !! With Carlos and his son. We were lucky and honoured to be invited to a famadihana (ceremonie du retournement des morts) by the family of a friend.

sunny 25 °C

We left Tana on thursday morning, and therefore had 2 days to visit Antsirabe and area before the ceremony on Sat morning.

The first stop was at the natural water spring, where the interesting bit apart from the water was this super tuned Renault 4CV, just on the edge to be chavy, but which arguably stayed on the classy side.

the engine : not the 4CV original one but a R8 Gordini

the engine : not the 4CV original one but a R8 Gordini

barely recognisable Renault 4CV

barely recognisable Renault 4CV

In a tiny village on the road to Morondava, failing to find a 4th player for a belote game, we decided to stop for a baby-foot instead (The temptation was so big after having passed by the town in which all malagasy baby-foot are built. we got beaten quite badly by the local squad...

baby foot malgache

baby foot malgache

a game in a village

a game in a village

After a visit to the big and colourful market of Antsirabe ...
carpes au marché d Antsirabe

carpes au marché d Antsirabe

Friday evening; we went for Tilapia for diner, super tasty; cooked by one of the staff of the hotel and served in our room...

tilapia frit

tilapia frit

Finally on Sat morning, we arrived at the village of the ceremony around 7AM to find most of the family and a big band already dancing and playing

the band up in the village, 7am

the band up in the village, 7am

vue du village

vue du village

the band

the band

vue du balcon

vue du balcon

Before the exhumation
avant

avant

and after...
apres

apres

There was a debate between the members of the family whether or not the unoccupied spaces of the newly built "caveau" had to be covered by banana trees trunks or not. If not, the fear was that these unoccupied coffin spaces would bring bad luck to the family and create early death of other family members to come and occupy these spaces.
I was asked what was my opinion, but prefered not to comment, not being an expert in this matter.

Posted by tfenal 05:18 Archived in Madagascar Tagged antsirabe Comments (0)

Trip to the East coast (Vohibola) from 18th August

1 week in the East from 18th of August to 25th, passing back in Vohimana before coming back to Tana

Kids in front of the train station

Kids in front of the train station

Hebergement chez l habitant a Andranokoditra

Hebergement chez l habitant a Andranokoditra

Fisherman, trailing his boat back to the beach after a fishing day

Fisherman, trailing his boat back to the beach after a fishing day

A fisherman boat, still in service

A fisherman boat, still in service

Kids venturing in front of the house of the Vazaha

Kids venturing in front of the house of the Vazaha

View from my room in Andranokoditra (chez l habitant)

View from my room in Andranokoditra (chez l habitant)

Me and my 24h hat, just before i lost it

Me and my 24h hat, just before i lost it

Kids discovering computers in Vohibola

Kids discovering computers in Vohibola

Kids discovering computers in Vohibola

Kids discovering computers in Vohibola

First time user of a photo camera

First time user of a photo camera

Sacred stake with a Zebu skull

Sacred stake with a Zebu skull

Kids from the local villages discovring the Tree Nursery

Kids from the local villages discovring the Tree Nursery

One entrance of the Vohibola reserve, slighty rusty

One entrance of the Vohibola reserve, slighty rusty

Ampitabe Lake at dawn

Ampitabe Lake at dawn

Kid in Andranokoditra, only just recently walking

Kid in Andranokoditra, only just recently walking

Rat protection in one of the grocery shop in Andranokoditra

Rat protection in one of the grocery shop in Andranokoditra

Kids from Andranokoditra

Kids from Andranokoditra

Canal des Pangalanes, end of the day

Canal des Pangalanes, end of the day

Semi-tamed lemur at the Palmarium

Semi-tamed lemur at the Palmarium

Sea Pirogue

Sea Pirogue

Facing the Wave - 3

Facing the Wave - 3

Facing the wave - 2

Facing the wave - 2

Facing the wave - 1

Facing the wave - 1

Shark jaws decorating my wooden hut

Shark jaws decorating my wooden hut

A little coin de paradis at the Hotel des Pangalanes, on the Ampitabe Lake

A little coin de paradis at the Hotel des Pangalanes, on the Ampitabe Lake

Bungalow at the Hotel des Pangalanes, on the Ampitabe Lake

Bungalow at the Hotel des Pangalanes, on the Ampitabe Lake

wooden peer at Hotel des Pangalanes

wooden peer at Hotel des Pangalanes

Green Lizard

Green Lizard

Finally, the train arrives, 4h late, not so much for a weekly service

Finally, the train arrives, 4h late, not so much for a weekly service


Train Tamatave to Tana Stopping at a small train station

Train Tamatave to Tana Stopping at a small train station

Premiere decouverte d un ordinateur et de la souris par les enfants de Vohimana

Premiere decouverte d un ordinateur et de la souris par les enfants de Vohimana

Posted by tfenal 07:07 Comments (0)

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