Everything you want to know about Madagascar and never dared to ask

Antsirabe The Red Island´s Coldest Place February 27, 2012

Visiting Antsirabe was on of our planned activities, firstly because it is one of the few touristic places in Madagascar, secondly because I´ve got family there. And more importantly, we were invited to a wedding. The daughter of a cousin got married and we were part of it. I was so looking forward to being there and I was glad my husband would experience a genuine Malagasy wedding. More about the wedding in the next post.

The last time I was there was in 1998 visiting my family. This time I was accompanied by my husband and a very good friend of his, Tony, coming from Australia. We only had an afternoon to see the town, so we passed on the typically touristic places and the market and decided to make a tour on a pousse-pousse. The worst thing was to escape from the pousse-pousse owners who were waiting for us to come out of our hotel and rushing at us the minute we were out. They did their best to force us to choose their vehicle. Madness! We were saved by our helpful chauffeur who scolded them from being so rude.


Our room at the hotel Les Camélias  was neat and clean. Unfortunately, the Malagasy had never heard of isolation. Antsirabe is situated in the centre of the island in the high mountains. In July, it´s winter. We were freezing all the time. It was the only place during my whole vacation where I did not sleep although I had three layers of clothes and lied under two wool blankets. It did not help.

However, it did not keep me from taking pictures, so I photographed everything around. More flowers from the hotel´s garden, the people on the streets, the pousse-pousse  owners pulling us heavy westerners and the craftsmen doing an extraordinary job.


When nobody saw me I would take out my camera and shoot. Otherwise, I would keep a low profile, but it was not so easy when you are flanked by two white men. Two vazahas *. Everybody looks at you all the time. And most of the time it is unbearable.


People were even more interested in me than in my husband. I could read a lot of questions on their faces. Where does this Malagasy looking girl come from? Is she rich? Of course she is since she managed to come here by plane . Where did she find those two vazahas ? What did she do to “get” them? And so on.

Despite a feeling of general discomfort, it was really enjoyable to discover the town by walking or by sitting in a pousse-pousse. This would have been impossible in Antananarivo.

Interesting links

Information on Antsirabe´s pousse-pousse (French)

* Don´t know what vazaha means ? Check this blog:

If you live in Stockholm and want to buy those little cars, you can buy them at this great little shop specialized in products from Africa:


Last Chance to See on BBC February 17, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter,Restips — madakanto @ 6:52 pm
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Last Sunday I was so excited about the programme on Madagascar on SVT. It was really great to discover places and especially animals I did not have the possibility to see when I was there. There are two more episodes coming soon and I will tell you more about it when I will have seen the whole series.

Until then I recommand another great TV show on BBC 2 which was broacasted last year, Last Chance to See with photographer Mark Carwardine and actor Stephen Fry whom I Love. They traveled all  around the world to see, maybe for the last time endangered species. Among those animals, the very strange aye-aye lemur. I think they stayed at least two weeks in Madagascar and finally found  a few aye-ayes in their natural environment.

BBC 2, Last Chance to See:

You can also have a look at Mark Carwardine´s blogg. Here is one of his posts:

Madagascar Past and Present:

Baobab Night: my pictures from The Baobab Avenue in Morondava

Another landscape typical from Madagascar, the Tsingy on the Western side.

Now, I´ll be waiting for the next programme.

Veloma !


More Malagasy Flowers February 12, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter,Restips — madakanto @ 11:56 pm
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As I promised, I sorted out some of my pictures and I can present  even larger selection of the astonishing endemic flowers from Madagascar. When we were there I just went mad, because of all the flowers, the plants and trees I had never seen anywhere else. I could not believe my eyes! For the inhabitants, it is just natural to be surrounded by so much beauty.

Well, here it is. More and more flowers.

This flower could make a bride bouquet just as it is. Amazing!

I love those ones, like little ringing bells hanging from a tree on Ile aux Nattes

L´Arbre du Voyageur – the Traveller´s Tree. Symbol for Madagascar and for Air Madagascar

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Madagascar´s Crazy Flora February 8, 2012

This year I will try my best to be more organised and logical. Concerning my blogs I decided to re-organize them, so  everything I write about Madagascar will be on Madakanto. Pictures too. They will no longer be on Arkanto, because I realised that I was just doing double work and double work is no good when you already have so little time.

Having said this I will now take you to Madagascar´s amazing flora. I thought it would be a nice introduction to the programme I can´t wait to see, that is to say the three-part documentary that SVT is sending from Sunday, Februari 12th on. Lucky you who live in Sweden !

Plage Le Lémurien Gourmand

For those who do not live here I´ve got a present. Some of the pictures I took this summer. It is just a few of them. I still have a lot of sorting out to do. Unfortunately I am very bad at remembering flower names and I lost the little booknote I had during my stay, so you will just let your imagination wander and you can even make up names for the flowers you like.

I´m dying to know what you came up to!


Madagascar on SVT February 7, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter,Restips — madakanto @ 12:00 am
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Just a big announcement. If you live in Sweden, watch this !

The very first time I think that the Swedish National TV, SVT is showing this program just on


I cannot wait to see  it ! Maybe it will only be about the nature, flora and fauna, but  hey…better than nothing !

July 2011

Click on this following länk to watch the trailer:


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