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The Malagasy Scops Owl

Owls are mysterious guardians of the night. The Malagasy Scops Owl (Otus rutilus) is a very special bird of the red island: it weighs only a little more than a bar of chocolate and reaches a size of only up to 23 cm. This makes it, as its name suggests, a very small owl. Like all owls, it can move …

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The giant snakes of the red island: Madagascar boas

A bit scary at first sight, but actually always friendly-minded: Madagascar Ground Boas are the largest snakes in Madagascar. Especially large females on Nosy Mangabe reach up to 15 kilograms bodyweight! Nevertheless, Madagascar boas are completely harmless to humans. There are two species of Acrantophis: the Malagasy Ground Boa (Acrantophis madagascariensis) lives in the humid north of the island, while …

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THB – One beer for a whole country

Currently, there are very few types of beer in Madagascar. The most famous and widespread beer is THB. The abbreviation stands for Three Horses Beer. It is a pilsner that has been brewed in Madagascar since 1958. THB can be found even in the smallest villages – and usually chilled. It has 5.4% alcohol and is made from water, barley …

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The Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec

In the southwest and deep south of Madagascar, you can encounter it: The Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec (Echinops telfairi). It lives in dry and spiny forests as well as savannahs, but also occurs in areas populated and destroyed by humans. Larger populations are however above all in forests, that obviously offer bigger protection from food-enemies. The northern distribution limit is the …

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Libertalia, the pirates’ republic

Nosy Mangabe

In the late 17th century Madagascar became the epitome of piracy. The infamous republic of pirates, Libertalia, is said to have existed in the northeast of the island. Everything is said to have started with the pirate James Misson. He is said to have been a Frenchman from Provence. During a stay in Rome, Misson, disgusted by the decadence of …

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The little brother of the giraffe-necked weevil

The giraffe-necked weevil is one of the most famous insects in Madagascar. Named after its long neck, it is regarded as absolutely unique on the red island. However, there is another, the smaller brother of the giraffe-necked weevil on Madagascar. The species Trachelophorus madegassus occurs in the rain forest of Ranomafana and some other areas of the Madagascan highlands. The …

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Why the roots of the baobabs reach for the sky

Baobab Mutter des Waldes

A Malagasy legend tells that there were times when the trees could still walk. At that time there was also a large lake whose water was so clear and calm that it lay there like a mirror. Whenever they passed the lake, the baobabs stopped. They became sad when they saw their own appearance reflected in the water. The other …

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The White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog

A true giant among the frogs of Madagascar is the White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog. Its scientific name is Boophis albilabris. Males measure up to 8,1 cm of length, the long jump-legs not yet measured. A very generous “handful of frog“! Presumably, Boophis albilabris is Madagascar’s biggest tree inhabiting frog. Only the tomato frog living on the ground is bigger. Between fingers …

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Information about the coronavirus

The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, the abbreviation for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2) has been keeping the whole world in suspense for more than one year. With the pandemic, travel to and in Madagascar has also been severely restricted. This page shows the current state of affairs on the island. When can you travel to Madagascar again? Last update: 18th April 2021 …

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The Street of Independence

Situated in the middle of the capital Antananarivo, it is the center of all events: The Street of Independence, French Avenue de l’Indépendance. It is located in the lower town, in the district Analakely, and is a former boulevard from French colonial times. Even today it is still considered a Malagasy promenade. Restaurants, cafés, shops, and bars line up here …

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