Madagascar -Evolutionary Wonder

We have just returned from a 17 day adventure to Madagascar which is an evolutionary wonder. The island is enormous (592,800 square kilometres) and is the fourth latest island in the world. The roads and infrastructure are in extremely poor repair and the poverty immense. Rice is the staple diet and is cultivated extensively. The people are extremely friendly and there are 18 ethnic sub-groups.

Ninety percent of the flora and fauna are endemic and have evolved in isolation over the past 88 million years. The island is a naturalist’s paradise with 103 species of lemurs, innumerable chameleons, gecko’s, skinks, lizards and snakes (none poisonous) and over 300 species of birds. The vegetation is diverse and ranges from rain forests, baobabs, orchids to spiny forests and cacti.

I have included diverse images to depict the landscapes and under separate heading will detail the wild life. We travelled extensively by road in various 4x4 vehicles, always with a drive and guide, crossed numerous rivers on make-shift pontoons and visited 10 different nature reserves with diverse fauna and flora.

The journey was exhilarating but tiring and the hikes and trails that we undertook were strenuous and exhausting. Most tourists that we encountered were between 20-50 years of age. Being septuagenarian (>70 years of age) the travel is tough and the comforts and amenities sparse. The challenge however provided a most memorable experience to a remarkable destination.

We hope you enjoy the images as much as we did deriving them. The memory will linger with us for many years to come.