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The graves of the Vazimba

An ancient legend says that the first people in Madagascar were the Vazimba. They came from far away in boats across the great sea to colonize the new land they called Madagascar. According to legend, they found their home in the Tsingys, the needle-sharp rocks of Bemaraha, in western Madagascar. To reach the Tsingys, one still has to cross the …

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The oldest houses of Antananarivo

In the upper town of Antananarivo, you can find today the historical center of the city, Faravohitra. The two oldest houses of the city are also located in this district. They are located somewhat inconspicuously on a hillside. Both houses were built exactly as they still stand today, probably already at the end of the 18th or the beginning of …

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The different ethnic groups of Madagascar – Do you know about them? A quiz

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Nosy Nato

Nosy Nato

Nosy Nato (in French Ile aux Nattes) is a small island of dreams south of St. Marie (Nosy Boraha). In fifteen minutes, you can drive there via pirogue from St. Marie. The island is about 8 km long and has some smaller hotels and lots of white beaches under palms. Most time of the year and mainly outside whale season …

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The dinosaurs of Mahajanga

In 2003, news of a dinosaur find in Madagascar went around the world: In an archaeological site about 30 km away from Mahajanga (earlier Majunga) in the west of the country, scientists had found the large, almost fully preserved skeleton of a flesh-eating dinosaur. Similar to famous Tyrannosaurus rex, it was a dinosaur which walked on its feet with enormously …

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Dos and don’ts

Big Mama in Ankify

Dos Respect the local fadys. They are extremely important to Madagascans and it would be very rude to hurt them. Try to speak or learn a few words of Madagascan. Salama as an omnipresent greeting (in the north: Mbola tsara, on the islands of the east coast Akoriaby) is always welcome, and also Azafady (please, excuse me) and Misaotra (thank …

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Traveler first-aid kit

Antibrumm forte

You should not miss taking a small first-aid kit for travelers with you to Madagascar. Many places lack doctors and hospitals, and mainly also health education. We cannot recommend to look for a doctor in small villages – often enough, you will not even find one. In large cities such as Antananarivo, there are hospitals with European standards, and almost …

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Marcels Bonbonwerkstatt

Chez Marcel

Eine besonders gute Adresse für Schleckermäuler findet man in Antsirabe, im südlichen Hochland Madagaskars, rund 170 km von der Hauptstadt Tana entfernt. In einem kleinen Haus im Westen der Stadt liegt die Bonbonwerkstatt „Chez Marcel“.  Ein Schaufenster gibt es nicht, nur ein Schild weist den Weg. Marcel, der Inhaber des kleinen Geschäfts, ist einer der wenigen Konditoren auf Madagaskar, die …

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Where the name Vazaha for white people comes from

Once upon a time, long ago, a young king and his wife lived on the west coast of Madagascar, in Menabe. This king loved to speak before his people and to give Kabarys. One day, during one of his Kabarys, a baby started crying. When it wouldn’t stop and the mother couldn’t calm the baby, the king got angry. How …

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Life in colour: panther chameleons

Panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) belong to the most famous inhabitants of Madagascar and regularly populate the coastal areas of northwest Madagascar, across the north and on the east coast down to about 120 kilometres south of Toamasina (Tamatave). There seem to be no particular favourites among the populated habitats, even if one sees them particularly well in open, bush-covered areas. …

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