At first impression, the name “MadaCamp” may come across as having something to do with camping in Madagascar. However, this is far from the only topic covered here. Instead, MadaCamp is a metaphor for everything about Madagascar presented within one campsite, so to speak. Anything about Madagascar can be published here as well as edited by anyone.
Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. It is the world's fourth largest island, covering a total area of 587,295 square kilometres.
The country is divided into six provinces, each named after its capital: Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toliara, and Toamasina also known as Tamatave.
The continent separated from Africa 165 million years ago, and since then its flora and fauna have evolved according to its own fantasy, like nowhere else in the world: Lemurs are known worldwide, but the red island (on account of its vividly coloured soil) is home to several endemic species of chameleons, fossas, frogs, birds, snakes, jumping rats, baobabs, carnivorous plants, orchids and many more strange "living beings"! With the lemurs, 80% of its flora, 40% of its birds, 98% of its reptiles being endemic, Madagascar is a naturalist's promised land! The same is true for the Malagasy people, about 20 million: A unique blend of African and Asian, whose culture resembles no other worldwide. The population is divided in 18 ethnic groups. The nomad Vezo fisherman swears only by the sea, the zebu is everything to the Bara of the desertic south, while land is the greatest wealth for the Betsileo of the Malagasy "altiplano". The relative isolation of the island due to geography and recent history, kept the traditional way of living, rites and the ancestral beliefs, very lively and genuine. For the traveller avid to find something different, a dream! Madagascar has it all: Deserted beaches, tropical forests, mountains, spiny forests, rice-terraced highlands.
Madagascar in Numbers
- Capital: Antananarivo
- Population in 2013: 21,842,167
- Area: 587,295km²
- Length from north to south: 1,600km
- Width from west to east: 570km
Politics and History
BIONEXX - producing the active ingredient for the world's only WHO approved anti-malaria drug
Already in 1971, the Chinese pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou discovered the Malaria curing power of a plant named Artemisia annua. Today, the so-called Artemisinin Combined Therapies (ACTs) are the only malaria curing medicines that are approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Madagascar is the only African country which produces Artemisia annua at a large scale. This is directly linked to the activities of Bionexx.
Hotel Palma Nova, Ambanja
The Hotel Palma Nova in Ambanja offers a relaxing atmosphere where you can expect simple and comfortable rooms at affordable prices with a private garden, restaurant with seafood, Madagascar and Asian specialties.
Diego Suarez to Cap Diego by bike
There are many things to discover in the area surrounding Diego Suarez. For enthusiastic mountain bikers, a trip to Cap Diego is just the right thing. The small, sometimes good and sometimes bad road leads along the Diego Suarez Bay (Antsiranana Bay).
Hotel de la Poste Ocean in Diego Suarez
The new since 2017 Hotel de la Poste Ocean is located just across the road from the traditional Hotel de la Poste in downtown Diego Suarez. With its modern luxury, swimming pool and fantastic views onto the bay, this new hotel is surely one of the best in town.
Akany Avoko Faravohitra
Akany Avoko Faravohitra is a home for girls and young Malagasy women located in Antananarivo. After a lot of work and effort by Mrs Randrianarimalala and her team and supporters, the home officially opened its doors in 2016. However, the children's home still faces further renovation works and running costs. Therefore donations are very much appreciated.
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
The protected area of Tsingy de Bemaraha in the west of Madagascar consists of a national park and strict nature reserve. The site is unique with its biodiversity and exceptional landscape called the Tsingy - which can be translated into "where one can only walk on tiptoe".
Ankarafantsika National Park
The name Ankarafantsika comes from garafantsy, meaning "mountain of thorns". The name is also connected with a crafty and scary man. The forests of Ankarafantsika were once marked with terror and mystery due to Ravelobe, a patriot living in the forests who became a bandit and robbed travellers.
La Case en Falafy Kitesurf
La Case en Falafy Kitesurf is a kitesurfing school run by a team of Malagasy kitesurfers in the village of Ramena, 18km from Diego Suarez, an ideal starting point for kitesurfing the Emerald Sea or Sakalava Bay.
Clinique Reine Marie
Clinique Reine Marie is a private clinic in central Antananarivo, specialised in ENT services and general medicine in addition to a maternity unit and gynecology practice. The clinic is well equipped and its doctors are highly qualified. Emergency services are available 24/7.
Maison Lovasoa is a new guesthouse and restaurant in the centre of Antananarivo within a short walking distance of the main shopping districts of the capital. The guesthouse occupies a 2-storey traditional Malagasy building with 15 tastefully furnished rooms; each with its different character, interiors and colour theme.
Madagascar Spices is a vanilla producer in Andapa with a processing facility in Sambava. While the company was started by Dylan Randriamihaja in 2015, his family has been farming and producing high quality vanilla beans for sale via local distributors and exporters since 1947.
On the Trail of Essential Oils with Homeopharma
Come and discover with Homeopharma Madagascar's biodiversity, the country's wealth of endemic flora with its aromatic and medicinal plants of an estimated 12,000 species.
Ferry cycling Madagascar
Ferry, a Dutch cyclist, discovered Madagascar on wheels in 2014. On MadaCamp he wrote an article about his experience including practical advise and plenty of photos.
Tampolodge is an eco-lodge located in Antongil Bay on the Masoala peninsula in the northeast of Madagascar, surrounded by one of the last primary forests on earth.
Fara's Guest House
The newly opened guest house close to Antananarivo's city centre offers rooms to visiting tourists as well as to long-term guests on business trips to the capital.
The 4th Waiters Race (Course Garçons de Café) took place in the centre of Antananarivo where service staff of various hotels and restaurants in Antananarivo competed in running against each other.
Le Country Club
Le Country Club is a classy tennis club located in Ilafy, about 7 kilometres north of Antananarivo along the road towards Ambohimanga.
The spectacular rock walls of the Tsaranoro Massif and the mindblowingly beautiful Tsaranoro Valley offer numerous climbing routes and hiking trails in a fairytale-like setting. The more adventurous can participate in paragliding or even base jumping.
The town of Diego Suarez is located in the north of Madagascar in the world's second largest natural bay with the picturesque Nosy Lonja (Sugarloaf island). The sourrunding area of Diego Suarez, officially known as Antsiranana, is one of the most beautiful locations in Madagascar.
Gemcutter Georges Andrianonison
Georges Andrianonison is a Malagasy gemcutter in the second generation. Born and grown up in Antsirabe, he learned the skills of gem cutting from his father. Today, with more than 25 years of experience, he is one of the best gemcutters in Madagascar.
Madagascar is a high quality cocoa producing nation boasting two major bean-to-bar chocolate factories, making especially dark and delicious chocolates from naturally organic cocoa grown along the Sambirano river in the Ambanja province.
Madagascar is the world's leading producer and supplier of hand-pollinated natural vanilla. The trade is centered in the northeast SAVA region of the island.
Andafiavaratra Palace is located north of the Queen's Palace in Antananarivo. It functioned as the palace of the prime minister during the reigns of the last queens and houses today an exhibition of precious royal items.
Anakao, an idyllic Vezo fishing village
Anakao is a small beautiful Vezo fishing village situated on a long stretched beach about 40km south of Tulear, where life can be very relaxed.
Ambalavao, a charming town in the highlands
Ambalavao is a town with the largest zebu market in Madagascar and where herdsmen come to sell their cattle after walking with their zebu herds from virtually all parts of the country.
Kimony Beach - Morondava
Kimony Beach is a nice long stretch of sandy beach just seven kilometres north of Morondava. Fishermen come and go in their pirogues, whilst their wifes and kids await their return in the shade of the few bushes along the beach.
Madagascar Sapphire Rush
Madagascar, the fourth largest island on earth, is well known for its unique nature and wildlife. Throughout the country tourists have for long discovered the many amazing natural treasures aboveground, while the real treasures can be found underground - precious stones.
Taxi-brousse, the Malagasy way to travel
An advantage in going by taxi-brousse is not only the low price, it is also getting to know the Malagasy people while sitting squeezed next to each other and listening to the preferred music channel of the driver.
- Ambodimanga Ramena
- Ambohimandroso (Masoala coast)
- Andasibe (Masoala coast)
- Anivorano Nord
- Antsiranana (Diego Suarez)
- Befandriana Nord
- Belo sur Mer
- Canal des Pangalanes
- Cap Masoala
- Diego Suarez (Antsiranana)
- Fenerive Est (Fenoarivo Atsinanana)
- Fenoarivo Afovoany
- Fort Dauphin (Tôlagnaro)
- Marofinaritra (Masoala inland)
- Marofinaritra (Masoala coast)
- Nosy Be
- Nosy Lava (Analalava)
- Nosy Lava (Mitsio Archipelago)
- Nosy Mangabe
- Sainte Marie
- Soanierana Ivongo
- Tulear (Toliara)
- Detailed overview of the Regions, Districts and Communes of Madagascar
- Malagasy to English dictionary
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