Muddy waters

Lower Zambezi, Zambia/Sambia

Marojejy

A good 60 km southwest of Sambava lies Marojejy National Park in the eponymous Massif de Marojejy, a mountain range with its highest point at 2.132 m altitude. Those mountains are covered by dense rainforest as well as montane rainforest and cloud forest on the higher levels, and the forest is one of the top hotspots of biodiversity left on our ravaged planet. The national park protects more than 55.000 ha of it and has been gazetted in 1998 after already being a protected area since 1952. In 2007, it has been declared world heritage site by UNESCO as a part of the Antsinanana rainforests. Continue…

Overlooking the chaos – Herr über das Chaos

Lake Nkuruba, Uganda

Vola Maitso, Bemarivo river & Soavoanio Coconut plantation – Vola Maitso, der Bemarivo-Fluss und die Soavoanio Kokosnuss-Plantage

Vola Maitso is a cooperative of farmers growing and selling cocoa, vanilla, pepper, cloves, coconuts, and fruits in a picturesque landscape a few kilometres north of Sambava. They practice a sustainable form of agriculture, combining the cultivation of different plants in an ecological way – without chopping off trees till there is nothing left. Unfortunately, the SAVA region in Madagascar´s northeast is also a victim of global climate change. This year had too much rain and too few sunny days, so the cocoa beans had to dry mainly in interior storage rooms which made them brighter than normal. Continue…

Domaine d’Ambohimanitra

Domaine d’Ambohimanitra is a vanilla plantation 50 km south of Sambava, only a stone´s throw from the Indian ocean, and the name means “hill of perfume”. Not only do they produce vanilla for sale but also for educational as well as touristic purposes. They grow various types of vanilla, starting with Mexicaine, the original species from Latin America. Beyond vanilla, they also produce cloves, ravintsara, cinnamon and allspice. Continue…

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