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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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Hen’omby sy saosy dipoavatra

Pfefferfleisch

Madagascan pepper is famous throughout the world for its quality and special flavour. In this recipe for beef (in best case zebu) with pepper sauce, you exlusively use Madagascan pepper:  Prickled green pepper, dried black pepper and if you like it particularly tasty, you should add a little wild pepper (in Malagasy voatsyperyfery). The wild pepper is not hot, but …

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The thousand stairs of Tana

Die tausend Treppen von Tana

In the centre of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, endless steps connect the upper and lower city. They are called the “the thousand stairs of Tana” and it is worthwhile to stop by here as a traveller. To reach the stairs, simply follow the Independence Road towards the Street of 26th June 1960 (Independence Day of Madagascar). The southern staircase leads to …

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Vohimana reserve

Vohimana Restaurant

Vohimana: Vohimana in the hilly highlands of eastern Madagascar is a small reserve that may be a little adventurous to reach by foot. Location: Vohimana is located about 155 km east of capital Antananarivo, in Alaotra-Mangoro region. Thus it is only 25 km far from much visited national park Andasibe-Mantadia. You can easily do day trips from there to Vohimana. …

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Protected area Maromizaha

Maromizaha Calumma malthe (1)

Maromizaha: Actually this protected area consists of two forest areas, Maromizaha and Vohidrazana. The latter means as much as “mountain of the ancestors”. In contrast, the Malagasy words maro and mizaha can have two different meanings. It may be “the place where many people do research” but also “the forest which is exploited by many people”. Location: Maromizaha is located …

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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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