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Masika sipa

The best travel season

Nosy Nato

Madagascar has the perfect travel time for everyone, but it is not the same time of year for everyone. Because it all depends on what you want to see! If you want to see Madagascar’s mascot, the lemurs, you should come to Madagascar at the end of the dry season. The best time to observe lemurs is September and October. …

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Mora mora – Take it easy

Merina-Frau

Hectic, stress and urgent appointments: In Madagascar you can leave all this behind you. Time is of no use here outside the cities. “Mora mora” is often the first thing you hear as a traveller in Madagascar – often at the visa counter. It means “slow, slow” or “take it easy” and reflects briefly and concisely the attitude to life …

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An east-west-conflict: Red-fronted lemurs

Rotstirnmaki

In red-fronted lemurs, colour has been distributed inequally: Only males bear the eponymic red forehead. In females, this area is grey coloured. Both genders weigh between two and three kilograms and become only half a meter in size, measured without tail. Until 2008, scientists thought the red-fronted lemur to be a subspecies of the similar looking rufous brown lemur or …

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Madagascar’s giant hognose snake

Leioheterodon madagascariensis auf Nosy Mangabe

The Madagascar giant hognose snake (Leioheterodon madagascariensis) probably belongs to Madagascar’s most common snakes. You can meet them almost everywhere on the island: Rainforests of the east coast are part of its home range as well as the hot and dry west oft Madagascar. They can even deal with widely devastated forests. Gardens, campgrounds and hut villages may also be …

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Toaka gasy – The rum that resurrects the dead

Toaka gasy

Madagascar is famous for its rum. Besides commercially in fabrics produced rum such as Dzama, there still is another very special kind of rum on the island: Toaka gasy. The word simply means “Malagasy rum” and points to a traditionally manufactured drink. Rumor has it that it may even resurrect the dead. Malagasy law only allows production of Toaka gasy …

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Madagascar’s bee-eaters

Bienenfresser

Bee-eaters (Merops superciliosus) are among the most colourful birds in Madagascar. Here and there it is called olive bee-eater. Including its tail this small bird measures up to 30 cm in length, and it is not even 50 g heavy. It is not easy to differentiate males and females by colour: Both wear a splendid green plumage with a beige-reddish …

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Madagascar’s famous ring-tailed lemurs

Katta Portrait

They are the unofficial mascots of Madagascar and probably the most famous Malagasy lemurs: The ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Their portraits grace the logo of Madagascar National Parks (MNP), countless t-shirts and company emblems. A full grown ring-tailed lemur weighs maximally 3.5 kg. The ringed tail is with 60 cm longer than the whole body which is only 40-45 cm. …

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The graves of Nosy Mangabe

Grab auf Nosy Mangabe

If you visit the special reserve Nosy Mangabe in northeastern Madagascar, you will find some kind of graveyard halfway up to the highest point of the island. It is located in the west of the island, not far away from the campground and directly adjactent to one of the round trails. The graveyard belongs to the Betsimisaraka people who lives …

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Fascinating predators: Idolomorpha madagascariensis

Idolomorpha madagascariensis

Praying mantises are ill-reputed as man eating and murderous within the animal kingdom. And the triangular-shaped head lets them look like real aliens. But there is more to it than that! They are fascinating insects, and an especially impressing species among them is Idolomorpha madagascariens from Madagascar. It exceeds most Malagasy praying mantis with a body length of filigree seven …

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Second world war – Operation Ironclad

Operation Ironclad

Since the ceasefire of Compiègne in June 1940, wide parts of France, including the oversea territories and thus also the colony of Madagascar, were under German military administration with a French government in Vichy. This so-called Vichy government de facto owned Madagascar. Meanwhile, Japan had gained predominance in the Indian Ocean. The Germans planned to give Madagascar to the Japanese …

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