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What do you really know about Madagascar? Travel quiz

Baobab-Allee

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Pinocchio in the rainforest: Calumma gallus

Calumma gallus

With its long, colorful nose, this chameleon is probably one of the most interesting, albeit smaller, species among the long-tongued reptiles: Calumma gallus. Some call it the Pinocchio or Cyrano chameleon because of its characteristic long nose. But actually there is no “real” English name. The life of a Calumma gallus begins, as with so many reptiles, in the egg. …

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The Rova of Antananarivo

Rova

It is enthroned on the once highest hill, Analamanga, at 1462 m with a view over the whole city: The Royal Palace or simply Rova (this is the Malagasy word for palace) of Antananarivo. It is located in the central highlands in the middle of Madagascar’s capital on one of the twelve sacred hills of the Merina. The first buildings …

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Where the pepper grows

Pfefferranke am Baum, Ankify

Salt and pepper: These are probably the spices that every person worldwide knows and eats almost daily in their meals. In the well-assorted spice trade you will find different varieties: green, black, white or red pepper. But only one single plant produces this variety of real pepper: the black pepper (Piper nigrum). The name is admittedly somewhat misleading. It is …

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Horror in the jungle: Megaloremmius leo

Megaloremmius leo

It will surely frighten you when you discover it for the first time: Megaloremmius leo, one of the few large spiders in Madagascar. Eight long legs, a thick, clumsy body, bright red hair on a black ground. Although it looks like a tarantula, it is not even related to them. Megaloremmius leo belongs to a family of spiders that are …

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The gentle giants: Parson’s Chameleons

Calumma parsonii yellow lip aus Ranomafana

Two chameleon species have been fighting over the title of Madagascar’s largest chameleon for decades. So far the Parson’s Chameleon (Calumma parsonii parsonii) won, whose officially measured representatives with scarcely 70 cm of total length created few centimeters more than the in Madagascar omnipresent Giant Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti). Parson’s Chameleons belong to the most impressive reptiles of Madagascar. They live …

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Specialists with sharp spines: The Lowland Streaked Tenrec

Streifentenrek

Most animals that only occur in Madagascar are very special. Also the streaked tenrec has its peculiarities and is considered to be the most highly specialized of all 31 tenrec species. They belong to the hedgehog tencres – they have spines like hedgehogs, but are actually not even related to the hedgehogs. Also the spines are not completely genuine: It …

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Saha Maintsoanala

Calumma crypticum

Saha Maintosanala: The word “Saha” means park, and Maintsoanala means “green forest”. The protected area is simply called “Park of the green forest”. Location: The reserve is located only 65 km from Antananarivo near the small town of Mandraka in the Analamanga region. The journey on the winding roads of the eastern highlands takes about two hours by all-terrain vehicle …

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Tavy – Clearing an island

Brandrodung nahe Andasibe

Black smoke clouds the national route 2, the off-roader brakes and continues at snail’s pace. The driver hurries to close his window. “What’s that?”, asks a traveler in the back seats. “The forest is on fire,” mumbles the driver. “We call it tavy.” This or something similar happens every day in Madagascar. But why is the rainforest burning next to …

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Ranomafana’s miniature flowers: Aerangis citrata

Aerangis citrata

Aerangis citrata, also called Manta in Malagasy, is found on the entire eastern side of Madagascar. Wherever there is high humidity and permanently warm regions, it feels at home. From the coast up to 1500 m above sea level you can find this orchid. Like many orchids of Madagascar, Aerangis citrata lives epiphytically, i.e. it grows on branches of trees. …

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