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The kite paradise of Madagascar: Sakalava Bay

An absolute insider tip for kitesurfers is hidden at the northernmost tip of Madagascar: Sakalava Bay. The name comes from the Sakalava people who live here. The beautiful bay is almost 5 km² in size and is protected by an offshore coral reef. The kite season in Sakalava Bay is unusually long. It starts in March and lasts until December. …

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Malagasy donuts with lychee and pistachio ice cream

Mofo menakely miaraka amin’ny gilasy pistachio sy litchi Mofo menakely means “small red bread” – the Malagasy version of the donut. The sweet pastry can be bought everywhere on the street at small booths. It is eaten as a quick breakfast or small snack in between. We enjoy our mofo menakely with lychee and pistachio ice cream. Although lychees originally …

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The Hawksbill Turtle

Once hunted for their tortoiseshell, now threatened with extinction Five species of sea turtles are found around Madagascar’s coasts and islands. One of the best known is probably the hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata. It is most famous for its tortoiseshell, French caret, a term from the French Antilles. It refers to both the animal itself and the valuable tortoiseshell obtained …

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A beauty of the highlands: Gastrorchis françoisii

Already the botanist Rudolf Schlechter praised the orchid Gastrorchis françoisii in 1925 as one of the most beautiful he would ever have described. And indeed it is: its large flowers, about 5 cm wide, pink on the outside and white and purple on the inside, with the striking yellow spot on the lip, are a real eye-catcher. And even among …

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Wooly lemurs: everything for the family

Avahi laniger

Lemurs are generally considered social, peaceful animals. But one lemur, in particular, stands out in terms of its family ties: the eastern woolly lemur (Avahi laniger). The name comes from its slightly curly fur, which no other lemur in Madagascar has. Eastern woolly lemurs live only on Madagascar, they are endemic to the island. Their habitat is on the east coast …

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The chameleon that was thought to be lost

It seems completely unbelievable that there are still lost species that could be rediscovered in the 21st century. But in Madagascar, almost anything is possible. And so in 2020, almost unbelievable news went around the world: A chameleon had been rediscovered after more than a hundred years! The whole story goes back to 1893. At that time, paleontologist Oskar Böttger, …

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The cave paintings of Andriamamelo

In the west of Madagascar, far from roads and larger cities, lies the dry forest of Beanka. Although by far not as well known as the world-famous Tsingy de Bemaraha a little further south, this area also has its own Tsingys. Malagasy Tsingy, that’s karst rock shaped like meter-high needle peaks. A complicated system of caves and gorges winds through …

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Identification help for Ravenalas

Since 2021, it has been known that there is not just one, but six different species of the Tree of Travelers. But how do they differ? This small identification guide should help to classify them. A complete article about the different Ravenalas and their occurrence can be found here: The Tree of Travelers. Photos will be added soon, until then …

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The giant sloth lemur

Just 500 or 1000 years ago – in the history of the earth, that’s just the blink of an eye – countless giant animals lived on Madagascar. Among them were the famous elephant birds, a giant tortoise, and a creature you would never expect to find in Africa: a giant sloth. Sloths, as we know them today, are only found …

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Manioc coconut cake

Mofomamy mangahazo sy voanio This luscious cake uses manioc, the root of the cassava plant, as the basic ingredient. In Malagasy, the tuber is called mangahazo, which means blue tree. The term alludes to the prussic acid in the tuber’s skin. In Madagascar, cassava is available very cheaply everywhere – in contrast to the cereal flour that would be used …

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