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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 (French Majunga) in the west of the country, scientists had found the large, almost fully preserved skeleton of a flesh-eating dinosaur. Similar to the famous Tyrannosaurus rex, it was a dinosaur that walked on its feet with …

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Dos and don’ts in Madagascar

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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Nosy Mangabe

Nosy Mangabe: The Malagasy words manga be mean as much as “very beautiful” (which the island is, no doubt) as well as “very blue” or “a lot of mangos”. Location: Nosy Mangabe is the island of your dreams, laying a few kilometers southeast of Maroantsetra in Antongil Bay. You can reach the island via a motorboat from Maroantsetra in less …

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Ankify

Ankify Strand

Ankify is a small village on Madagascar’s northwest coast, about 30 km west of Ambanja in the Diana region. It is easy to reach from Ambanja via paved roads and a gravel slope (45 minutes drive). Ankify is the ideal place to relax, let your soul take a break and enjoy the beautiful nature. Well-equipped hotels and lodges offer excellent …

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Famadihana – Turning the deads

Famadihana

That Madagascar is always good for a surprise was already clear to me on my first trip in 1995. But this trip should be a little different. With our guests, we were on our way to the south of Madagascar, and at our stopover in Antsirabe, 170 kilometers from the capital, we settled down in a cozy hotel. Actually we …

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Akanin’ny nofy reserve

Indri

Akanin’ny nofy: The name Akanin’ny Nofy means “the nest of dreams”. The name describes this little paradise perfectly. However, the reserve is better known under its second name “Palmarium” or formerly “La Palmarie”. Location: The Akanin’ny nofy reserve is located on a peninsula in eastern Madagascar, about 90 km south of the city of Toamasina (Tamatave). From Toamasina you drive …

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