Currently in Guadeloupe    

Few trips have given us a better approach to the country and its people than Madagascar. No doubt because we had chosen to travel by the means we encountered on the spot. On foot to begin with, then by train, by pirogue and of course by bush taxi. A six-week challenge, sometimes trying but absolutely exciting, which opened up access to the remote Zafimaniry valleys as well as to the fishing villages of the south-western coast, which are inaccessible by car. On the paths as well as on the waves, the slow journey conquered us. We discovered a beautiful and welcoming but also disadvantaged country. A large number of NGOs are trying to overcome social and environmental shortcomings, and meeting them has given us a taste for commitment.

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Randonnée à Madagascar

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Slow travel

Randonnée à Madagascar











Slow travel is undoubtedly the most respectful way to discover a country...
and the one that most impresses the spirit!
Because it gives time to social relations and contact with nature, without destroying them.
A seven-day hike took us to the beautiful Zafimaniry valleys, where we had some very challenging
but incredibly rewarding experiences of authenticity.











Slow travel is undoubtedly the most respectful way to discover a country...
and the one that most impresses the spirit!
Because it gives time to social relations and contact with nature, without destroying them.
A seven-day hike took us to the beautiful Zafimaniry valleys, where we had some very challenging but incredibly rewarding experiences of authenticity.

Treck in the Zafimaniry Valleys

Brume dans les vallée Zafimaniry

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Village Zafimaniry

Brume dans les vallée Zafimaniry











It is in the wooded and isolated mountains of the south-east that the Zafimaniry people live.
This people, grouped together in small villages along the valleys, is renowned for its wood craftsmanship,
which is classified by unesco as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
However, intensive deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture puts these practices at risk.











It is in the wooded and isolated mountains of the south-east that the Zafimaniry people live.
This people, grouped together in small villages along the valleys,
is renowned for its wood craftsmanship,
which is classified by unesco as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
However, intensive deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture puts these practices at risk.

Mist in the Zafimaniry Valleys

Enfant malgache faisant ses devoirs

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The access to education

Enfant malgache faisant ses devoirs











The remoteness of the villages and the lack of roads make it difficult for Zafimaniry children to access schools.
Various associations are trying to compensate for the government's shortcomings
and recurrent political instability by building small classrooms and providing school supplies.

According to UNICEF, a quarter of Malagasy children of primary school age do not attend school.











The remoteness of the villages and the lack of roads
make it difficult for Zafimaniry children to access schools.
Various associations are trying to compensate for the government's shortcomings
and recurrent political instability by building small classrooms and providing school supplies.

According to UNICEF, a quarter of Malagasy children of primary school age do not attend school.

Malagasy child doing his homework - Zafimaniry

Pirogue sur les Pangalanes

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The Pangalanes Canal

Pirogue sur les Pangalanes










Built under extremely difficult conditions during the colonial era,
the Pangalanes Canal was intended to exercise better administrative and military control on the east coast.
Many Malagasy people died here in order to connect the rivers, lakes and ponds of the region.
This alternative route to road construction or delicate navigation is nowadays mainly used
by small pirogues to transport food and goods between the various villages settled in the surrounding area.
These traditional boats dug into the woods and propelled by the force of arms are the charm of the region.










Built under extremely difficult conditions during the colonial era,
the Pangalanes Canal was intended to exercise
better administrative and military control on the east coast.
Many Malagasy people died here in order to connect the rivers,
lakes and ponds of the region. This alternative route to road construction
or delicate navigation is nowadays mainly used by small pirogues to transport food
and goods between the various villages settled in the surrounding area.
These traditional boats dug into the woods and propelled by the force of
arms are the charm of the region.

Between Mananjary and Manakara

Rencontres avec les enfants malgaches

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Beautiful encounters

Rencontres avec les enfants malgaches












A few days by pirogue on the Pangalanes canal gave us access to the small villages scattered along its banks.
Above all, it is an opportunity for special contact with its inhabitants and especially with the children,
who are always very intrigued by our presence.











A few days by pirogue on the Pangalanes canal gave us access
to the small villages scattered along its banks.
Above all, it is an opportunity for special contact with its inhabitants
and especially with the children,
who are always very intrigued by our presence.

Along the Pangalanes

Effervescence autour du train à Madagascar

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On the Malagasy rails

Effervescence autour du train à Madagascar










It took 17 hours to connect Manakara to Fianarantsoa on Madagascar's only passenger train.
It must be said that this 163km long line passes through 17 stations!
These are not simple stops, but a real effervescence to trade, sell victuals and above all load
and unload goods, an activity that sometimes requires up to almost an hour of intense activity.
With a single track, the train makes a two-day round trip and is the real economic centre of the region.
It is the opportunity for us to enjoy this incredible colourful and dynamic atmosphere.









It took 17 hours to connect Manakara to Fianarantsoa
on Madagascar's only passenger train.
It must be said that this 163km long line passes through 17 stations!
These are not simple stops, but a real effervescence to trade,
sell victuals and above all load and unload goods,
an activity that sometimes requires up to almost an hour of intense activity.
With a single track, the train makes a two-day round trip
and is the real economic centre of the region.
It is the opportunity for us to enjoy this incredible colourful and dynamic atmosphere.

Between Manakara and Fianarantsoa

Des enfants mendient au voyageur

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The mendicity

Des enfants mendient au voyageur









The extent of begging and child labour is particularly high in Madagascar
where parents in precarious situations rely on their children's income...
Contrary to what we might think, tourists can have perverse effects on this problem.
Thinking of helping them, they are more likely to favour their businesses or give them money, food and gifts.
However, this is all the more reason for parents to send their children to the street
rather than to school, which in the long run could help them to cope better.
It is better to support associations that work to support underprivileged families
and the schooling of street children, such as « Graines de Bitume »
which we met in Tana and which does a remarkable work.









The extent of begging and child labour is particularly high in Madagascar
where parents in precarious situations rely on their children's income...
Contrary to what we might think, tourists can have perverse effects on this problem.
Thinking of helping them, they are more likely to favour their businesses
or give them money, food and gifts.
However, this is all the more reason for parents to send their children to the street
rather than to school, which in the long run could help them to cope better.
It is better to support associations that work to support underprivileged families
and the schooling of street children, such as « Graines de Bitume »
which we met in Tana and which does a remarkable work.

Around the train Manakara - Fianarantsoa

Lémurien sur une roche

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Maki Catta

Lémurien sur une roche










Endemic species of Madagascar, the lemurs are a real pleasure to observe in the wild.
The best known are the maki catta, unfortunately it is estimated that there are only about 2000 individuals left in the wild.
They are therefore listed as endangered by the IUCN and are part of the list of the 25 most endangered primates in the world ...
It is true that it is very difficult to find a trace of them outside the country's nature reserves...
Except for the few captured for illegal trade or their attractiveness to tourists. It is up to us not to encourage these practices!










Endemic species of Madagascar, the lemurs are a real pleasure to observe in the wild.
The best known are the maki catta, unfortunately it is estimated that
there are only about 2000 individuals left in the wild.
They are therefore listed as endangered by the IUCN
and are part of the list of the 25 most endangered primates in the world ...
It is true that it is very difficult to find a trace of them outside the country's nature reserves...
Except for the few captured for illegal trade or their attractiveness to tourists.
It is up to us not to encourage these practices!

Lemur - Anja Reserve

Pirogue à voile malgache

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Traditional pirogue at sea

Pirogue à voile malgache










The 5 days spent aboard sailing pirogues, from Mangily to Monrondava,
were undoubtedly the most memorable of our trip.
Waiting for a light breeze to propel us, the long days sitting
in the bottom of these small traditional boats feel like eternity.
Except during the turbulent passages at the mouths of the rivers,
where everyone holds their breath while crew members
do not hesitate to get into the water to consolidate the side floats as much as possible.










The 5 days spent aboard sailing pirogues, from Mangily to Monrondava,
were undoubtedly the most memorable of our trip.
Waiting for a light breeze to propel us, the long days sitting
in the bottom of these small traditional boats feel like eternity.
Except during the turbulent passages at the mouths of the rivers,
where everyone holds their breath while crew members
do not hesitate to get into the water to consolidate the side floats as much as possible.

West coast of Madagascar

Village de bord de mer à Madagascar

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Fishing villages

Village de bord de mer à Madagascar












Sailing on the south-east coast also means being able to access small fishing villages.
No roads have been built on this side and only a few paths connect the villages to each other during the dry season.
Pirogues, or even magnificent wooden dhows, are therefore the best means of locomotion and subsistence for them!











Sailing on the south-east coast also means being able to access small fishing villages.
No roads have been built on this side and only a few paths
connect the villages to each other during the dry season.
Pirogues, or even magnificent wooden dhows,
are therefore the best means of locomotion and subsistence for them!

Between Mangily and Morondava

Pirogue remontant un fleuve malgache

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The Tsiribihina

Pirogue remontant un fleuve malgache










Many small villages are located on the banks of the beautiful Tsiribihina River, which flows into the Mozambique Channel.
Despite the presence of crocodiles which owes its name to it, life takes place around its red waters.
You go around in a pirogue, you fish in it of course, but you also wash and do your laundry and dishes in it,
when it is not just the children who bathe at nightfall.
Crocodiles are fearful animals and their numbers are tending to decrease
due to their hunting, so incidents remain rare...









Many small villages are located on the banks of the beautiful Tsiribihina River,
which flows into the Mozambique Channel.
Despite the presence of crocodiles which owes its name to it,
life takes place around its red waters.
You go around in a pirogue, you fish in it of course,
but you also wash and do your laundry and dishes in it,
when it is not just the children who bathe at nightfall.
Crocodiles are fearful animals and their numbers are tending to decrease
due to their hunting, so incidents remain rare...

On the river Tsiribihina

Descente sauvage de la Tsiribihina

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Land of red earth

Descente sauvage de la Tsiribihina











The heavy rains that cause the land to run off make the water brown and laden with sediment.
However, the country's massive deforestation is exacerbating the phenomenon and causing accelerated land erosion.
While trees anchor the soil and absorb the rain, their disappearance also increases the risk of drought and flooding.
Today, only 10% of primary forests remain in the country...











The heavy rains that cause the land to run off
make the water brown and laden with sediment.
However, the country's massive deforestation is exacerbating
the phenomenon and causing accelerated land erosion.
While trees anchor the soil and absorb the rain,
their disappearance also increases the risk of drought and flooding.
Today, only 10% of primary forests remain in the country...

Tsiribihina - Between Miandrivazo and Belo-sur-Tsiribihina

Des enfants essaient d'attraper des criquets

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Locust swarm

Des enfants essaient d'attraper des criquets












While these animals are usually solitary, locusts sometimes form huge swarms that darken the sky.
When they congregate in large numbers, they can cause immense damage to rice crops and are a real scourge!
When the group is smaller, it is mainly an opportunity for the children to try to catch some of them to serve as meals...










While these animals are usually solitary,
locusts sometimes form huge swarms that darken the sky.
When they congregate in large numbers,
they can cause immense damage to rice crops and are a real scourge!
When the group is smaller, it is mainly an opportunity
for the children to try to catch some of them to serve as meals...

Along the Tsiribihina River

Coucher de soleil sur les baobabs à Madagascar

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The baobab alley

Coucher de soleil sur les baobabs à Madagascar












Undoubtedly one of the best known sites in Madagascar, the baobab tree alley deserves its attractive side.
Its magnificent endemic trees are the remnants of a once dense forest that surrounded them.
The charm that emanates from it is bewitching if you take the time to appreciate the serenity of the place....
What tourist cars sometimes forget.











Undoubtedly one of the best known sites in Madagascar,
the baobab tree alley deserves its attractive side.
Its magnificent endemic trees are the remnants of
a once dense forest that surrounded them.
The charm that emanates from it is bewitching
if you take the time to appreciate the serenity of the place....
What tourist cars sometimes forget.

Morondava

Le Père Pédro pendant la messe

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Father Pedro

Le Père Pédro pendant la messe










Whether you are a believer or not, attending the mass given by Father Pedro
in the city of Akamasoa is a particularly touching experience.
This man, who created the Akamasoa association and who has been dedicating himself entirely to it
for more than 30 years, has accomplished an incredible work.
In an effort to help the destitute populations on the outskirts of the capital,
he now offers housing, work and schooling to thousands of families in difficulty.
The serenity of the place contrasts with the slums of Tana and will mark this encounter in our memories.










Whether you are a believer or not, attending the mass given by Father Pedro
in the city of Akamasoa is a particularly touching experience.
This man, who created the Akamasoa association
and who has been dedicating himself entirely to it for more than 30 years,
has accomplished an incredible work.
In an effort to help the destitute populations on the outskirts of the capital,
he now offers housing, work and schooling to thousands of families in difficulty.
The serenity of the place contrasts with the slums of Tana and will mark this encounter in our memories.

Mass of the Father Pedro in Akamasoa - Antananarivo

Slow travel is undoubtedly the most respectful way to discover a country… and the one that most impresses the spirit! Because it gives time to social relations and contact with nature, without destroying them. A seven-day hike took us to the beautiful Zafimaniry valleys, where we had some very challenging but incredibly rewarding experiences of authenticity.

Randonnée à Madagascar
Treck in the Zafimaniry Valleys

It is in the wooded and isolated mountains of the south-east that the Zafimaniry people live. This people, grouped together in small villages along the valleys, is renowned for its wood craftsmanship, which is classified by unesco as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. However, intensive deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture puts these practices at risk.

Brume dans les vallée Zafimaniry
Mist in the Zafimaniry Valleys

The remoteness of the villages and the lack of roads make it difficult for Zafimaniry children to access schools. Various associations are trying to compensate for the government’s shortcomings and recurrent political instability by building small classrooms and providing school supplies.

According to UNICEF, a quarter of Malagasy children of primary school age do not attend school.

Enfant malgache faisant ses devoirs
Malagasy child doing his homework - Zafimaniry

Built under extremely difficult conditions during the colonial era, the Pangalanes Canal was intended to exercise better administrative and military control on the east coast. Many Malagasy people died here in order to connect the rivers, lakes and ponds of the region. This alternative route to road construction or delicate navigation is nowadays mainly used by small pirogues to transport food and goods between the various villages settled in the surrounding area. These traditional boats dug into the woods and propelled by the force of arms are the charm of the region.

Pirogue sur les Pangalanes
Between Mananjary and Manakara

A few days by pirogue on the Pangalanes canal gave us access to the small villages scattered along its banks. Above all, it is an opportunity for special contact with its inhabitants and especially with the children, who are always very intrigued by our presence.

Rencontres avec les enfants malgaches
Along the Pangalanes

It took 17 hours to connect Manakara to Fianarantsoa on Madagascar’s only passenger train. It must be said that this 163 km long line passes through 17 stations! These are not simple stops, but a real effervescence to trade, sell victuals and above all load and unload goods, an activity that sometimes requires up to almost an hour of intense activity. With a single track, the train makes a two-day round trip and is the real economic centre of the region. It is the opportunity for us to enjoy this incredible colourful and dynamic atmosphere. 

Effervescence autour du train à Madagascar
Between Manakara and Fianarantsoa

The extent of begging and child labour is particularly high in Madagascar where parents in precarious situations rely on their children’s income…

Contrary to what we might think, tourists can have perverse effects on this problem. Thinking of helping them, they are more likely to favour their businesses or give them money, food and gifts. However, this is all the more reason for parents to send their children to the street rather than to school, which in the long run could help them to cope better.

It is better to support associations that work to support underprivileged families and the schooling of street children, such as “graine de bitume” which we met in Tana and which does a remarkable work.

Des enfants mendient au voyageur
Around the train Manakara - Fianarantsoa

Endemic species of Madagascar, the lemurs are a real pleasure to observe in the wild. The best known are the maki catta, unfortunately it is estimated that there are only about 2000 individuals left in the wild. They are therefore listed as endangered by the IUCN and are part of the list of the 25 most endangered primates in the world …

It is true that it is very difficult to find a trace of them outside the country’s nature reserves… Except for the few captured for illegal trade or their attractiveness to tourists. It is up to us not to encourage these practices!

Lémurien sur une roche
Lemur - Anja Reserve

The 5 days spent aboard sailing pirogues, from Mangily to Monrondava, were undoubtedly the most memorable of our trip. Waiting for a light breeze to propel us, the long days sitting in the bottom of these small traditional boats feel like eternity. Except during the turbulent passages at the mouths of the rivers, where everyone holds their breath while crew members do not hesitate to get into the water to consolidate the side floats as much as possible.

Pirogue à voile malgache
West coast of Madagascar

Sailing on the south-east coast also means being able to access small fishing villages. No roads have been built on this side and only a few paths connect the villages to each other during the dry season. Pirogues, or even magnificent wooden dhows, are therefore the best means of locomotion and subsistence for them!

Village de bord de mer à Madagascar
Between Mangily and Morondava

Many small villages are located on the banks of the beautiful Tsiribihina River, which flows into the Mozambique Channel. Despite the presence of crocodiles which owes its name to it, life takes place around its red waters. You go around in a pirogue, you fish in it of course, but you also wash and do your laundry and dishes in it, when it is not just the children who bathe at nightfall. Crocodiles are fearful animals and their numbers are tending to decrease due to their hunting, so incidents remain rare…

Pirogue remontant un fleuve malgache
On the river Tsiribihina

The heavy rains that cause the land to run off make the water brown and laden with sediment. However, the country’s massive deforestation is exacerbating the phenomenon and causing accelerated land erosion. While trees anchor the soil and absorb the rain, their disappearance also increases the risk of drought and flooding.

Today, only 10% of primary forests remain in the country…

Descente sauvage de la Tsiribihina
Tsiribihina - Between Miandrivazo and Belo-sur-Tsiribihina

While these animals are usually solitary, locusts sometimes form huge swarms that darken the sky. When they congregate in large numbers, they can cause immense damage to rice crops and are a real scourge!

When the group is smaller, it is mainly an opportunity for the children to try to catch some of them to serve as meals…

Des enfants essaient d'attraper des criquets
Along the Tsiribihina River

Undoubtedly one of the best known sites in Madagascar, the baobab tree alley deserves its attractive side. Its magnificent endemic trees are the remnants of a once dense forest that surrounded them. The charm that emanates from it is bewitching if you take the time to appreciate the serenity of the place…. What tourist cars sometimes forget.

Coucher de soleil sur les baobabs à Madagascar
Morondava

Whether you are a believer or not, attending the mass given by Father Pedro in the city of Akamasoa is a particularly touching experience. This man, who created the Akamasoa association and who has been dedicating himself entirely to it for more than 30 years, has accomplished an incredible work. In an effort to help the destitute populations on the outskirts of the capital, he now offers housing, work and schooling to thousands of families in difficulty.

The serenity of the place contrasts with the slums of Tana and will mark this encounter in our memories.

Le Père Pédro pendant la messe
Mass of the Father Pedro in Akamasoa
Antananarivo

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