madagascar - Rob Padowski

about these photos:

I visited Madagascar (often referred to as the world's eighth continent and fourth largest island in the world) for sixteen days in September & October of 2015 for the first time. I had long dreamed of visiting here and managed to work it into my RTW ticket as it's never cheap to get here. Starting in the capital of Antananarivo, I was treated to delicious and reasonably priced zebu filets while sorting myself out at my hostel in the city. 

From there I was off in a taxi brousse (shared and very crowded van/minibus transportation) to Antsirabe where I sorted out my itinerary for the rest of my time in this vast country. Arrangements were made and prices negotiated for a trip down the Tsiribihina River via traditional canoe, camping on the sandy river beaches and visiting remote villages along the way with the goal of reaching Morondava on the west coast.

While it was a truly memorable adventure seeing lemurs, floating leisurely down the river, visiting Tsingy National Park and the Avenue of the Baobabs it wasn't without issues. Our 4x4 broke down a total of four times leaving us stranded several times and taking much longer than planned. It is Africa though so you just have to go with it ...

As the sixth poorest country in the entire world it was a real eye opener. Roadways were in dire condition, infrastructure was virtually non-existent and everything took a long time to happen - if ever. But in general the people (speaking mainly Malagasy & French) were kind and hospitable, but it was exhausting and flexibility in one's schedule is an absolute must. And for my ride back to the capital I had a first in my travels - we stopped to fill the taxi brousse with passengers and ended up collecting a coffin that was strapped to the roof after witnessing an interesting ceremony for the dearly departed. And not soon thereafter cockroaches abounded in the entire van! It's truly an experience I'll never forget ... 

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