A piece of paradise – Ein Stück vom Paradies

Antalaha, Madagascar/Madagakar
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Vohemar (Iharana)

Vohemar, also referred to as Iharana, is the northernmost town in Madagascar’s north-eastern SAVA region. It is located right at the Indian ocean and vast Iharana bay which is subjected to the tides. Historically, Vohemar seems to be one of Madagascar´s oldest settlements, if not the oldest, where Swahili merchants installed a port for trading as early as in the 13th century. Today, Vohemar has between 20.000 and 30.000 inhabitants who make it a lively little town hoping for a better future and many visitors. Because over the course of the last at least five years, the Chinese have constructed a new road connecting Vohemar at the east coast with Ambilobe at the National Road RN 6 in the west, replacing one of the most feared dirt roads of the island. In the past, it could have taken three or even more days to reach Vohemar from Ambilobe, which is now reduced to a couple of hours. That said, SAVA region is no longer isolated from the rest of the country. Continue…

Cargo shipping

Antalaha, Madagascar/Madagaskar

Bobangira

If you are looking for a last unspoilt piece of paradise, it is unavoidable to come across Bobangira, even though there are only few people right now who know about that place. The local residents for sure, some expats, and a few adventurous travellers who came upon the name accidentally and were open enough to ask for a chance to go there, just like in our case. While hiking in the rainforest of Marojejy mountains, we were told about Bobangira by our guide Yockno, the president of the regional guide´s association. And instead of staying in the montane forests and visiting Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve south of Marojejy National Park, we decided to give Bobangira a try. Continue…

Macolline, Antalaha

Right before entering the southernmost town of the SAVA region, Antalaha, there is a steep hill that once had been intensively used for agricultural means. More than ten years ago, Marie-Hélène Kam Hyo, a Malagasy pharmacist, and her german dentist husband Bernd Zschocke have bought those 10 ha of land. Both are passionate about conservation, and especially Marie-Hélène has a deep dedication for protecting the local biodiversity. So, they started a reforestation programme with tens of thousand trees and other mainly endemic plants. Continue…

The tide is high

Antalaha, Madagascar/Madagaskar

Sambava

In Madagascar`s northeast lies the SAVA region, covering more than 25.000 km2, and the name SAVA derived from the four main cities Sambava, Antalaha, Vohemar and Andapa. From north to south, Vohemar, Sambava and Antalaha are the region´s seaside towns while Andapa is situated inland a good 100 km southwest of Sambava. The triangle between Sambava, Andapa and Antalaha produces more than half of the world´s vanilla which makes it the wealthiest region in Madagascar. Only up north around Vohemar, the climate is too dry for vanilla. This is the land of zebu cattle, and at the Andapa basin to where all the rivers from the surrounding mountains drain, a good share of the country´s rice is growing. Continue…

The shipwreck at Antalaha beach – Das Schiffswrack am Strand von Antalaha

Antalaha, Madagascar/Madagaskar

Gone to the beach – Bin am Strand

Sakalava bay, Madagascar/Madagaskar

Morning bath – Morgenbad

Toliara (Tuléar), Madagascar/Madagaskar