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Exploring Madagascar

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.

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  About Madagascar

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 2020: 27,691,018
  • Area: 587,295km²
  • Length from north to south: 1,600km
  • Width from west to east: 570km

Politics and History



 Featured Articles

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KOSAMA, Kooperativa Sambirano Manongalaza
A cooperative of smallholder cacao farmers in northwest Madagascar cultivating natural and organic cacao.

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Belle Rose Beach Hotel
Built almost entirely in wood and in the style of a large villa, the Belle Rose Beach Hotel is a perfect place to enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean while visiting the picturesque town of Antalaha.

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Trekking to the Summit of Marojejy
The trail to the summit of Marojejy offers visiting tourists, lemur and bird watchers or anyone who simply plans to escape into the wild to experience the sights and sounds of the forest on a demanding yet rewarding trekking adventure.

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Natural vanilla products from Madagascar
Florenilla is a producer of vanilla and other natural products mixed with vanilla, all of which are cultivated and and prepared without the use of artificial fertilisers or conservation methods.

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Sambava to Andapa by bike
The incredibly scenic bike route from Sambava to Andapa can be a challenging one, not because of the road condition or necessarily the 110-kilometre distance, but because of the gradually increasing intensity and regularity of uphills, especially along the final 20 kilometres.

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Vanilla quality analysis
Madagascar is the largest producer of natural vanilla and Sambava is its marketplace of the world where Prulab offers local farmers, producers and exporters as well as importers of Madagascar Vanilla in other countries the scientific analysis of their products to better determine the quality and ultimately the price of their seasonal spice.

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Vohemar to Sambava by bike
Vohemar to Sambava is a 150km bike route with stunning scenery the entire way. Except for a few hills, it's mostly flat and straight biking on a tarred road in excellent condition with the odd potholes which are more a nuisance for cars than for bikes.

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JCR's immune-strengthening medicinal plant extracts
In a country where natural remedies are not considered as much an alternative as they are a primary medicine, Dr Jean Claude Ratsimivony of the JCR Group Madagascar is an expert in deriving the natural healing properties of plants to strengthen the immune system to prevent and minimise the onset of various diseases including COVID-19.

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Big Samy - connecting the SAVA and Diana regions by sea
Big Samy is a passenger ship operating between Diego Suarez and Vohemar. The service began in 2020 and can carry up to 150 passengers with plenty of luggage, even those who wish to bring a motorcycle - not a problem!

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Naturally organic farmland for sale
The Vohitrarivo farm is a 40ha land area next to the village of Vohitrarivo in the SAVA region in the northeast of Madagascar. The land offers ideal conditions for farming countless types of tropical crops, such as cacao, vanilla, pepper, coffee.

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Black Lemur Camp - Winner of the Best Wider World Tourism Project 2019
Black Lemur Camp is an eco-lodge located in the Andrafiamena protected area, 100 kilometres south of Diego Suarez. The camp, which opened in 2015, is based on the concept of sustainable tourism by supporting a major reforestation initiative in the area as well as employing locals from nearby villages.

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WAWA tour of Madagascar 2019
Often considered among his fans as the new King of Salegy, WAWA is a singer-songwriter of Malagasy salegy music. His group revolutionises traditional Malagasy music while retaining its authenticity. We had the chance to interview WAWA during his tour in Sambava and are happy to share the few things we learned about him through Jhenny's Q&A.

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Anjahankely Tree Nursery
Anjahankely Tree Nursery is a forest restoration project within the Andrafiamena protected area in north Madagascar which plays a vital role in the preservation of the environment and lemur habitat, especially for the critically endangered Perrier's sifaka black lemur species.

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Bobangira Park / Domaine de Bobangira
Bobangira is a nature park within the SAVA region on the northeast coast of Madagascar. The park area, officially Domaine de Bobangira, was declared a protected private nature reserve in 2017 and opened to visitors in 2019.

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Hotel La Terrasse du Voyageur - Diégo-Suarez
Hotel La Terrasse du Voyageur is a hotel, bar, restaurant and event location with a rooftop terrace overlooking the town of Diego-Suarez and far beyond.

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Mananara Nord National Park - Photos wanted!
Who has visited Mananara Nord National Park in the east of Madagascar and wants to share some photos/videos? You can either upload them directly on the page or send them to the webmaster of Any kind of contribution is welcome.

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West Valley Lodge, Antsalaka
West Valley Lodge, or Vallée Ouest Lodge, is a newly opened accommodation since May 2019 close to the village of Antsalaka.

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Diego-Ambanja-Diego by bike
The route between Diégo-Suarez and Ambanja is suitable for biking throughout the year, even while the road is in a poor condition as it often is during the rainy season.

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Kristel rocks the garden in Diego
Christelle and band captivates the crowd at Jardin Tropical in Diego Suarez.

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Hotel Carrefour, Sambava
In the centre of Sambava, directly at the beach, Hotel Carrefour offers spacious rooms amidst a beautiful garden, within walking distance of shops, restaurants and nightlife.

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Welcome aboard Samy Express
When the road between Ambilobe and Vohemar is virtually impassable, the only other available route that connects the Diana region with the SAVA region except by air is by sea.

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Hotel Restaurant Paradisia in Vohemar
Paradisia, also known as Residence La Maison Blanche, is a hotel and restaurant in Vohemar where the combination service, location and delicious food is guaranteed to make you want to stay longer than planned!

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Allamanda Hotel in Diego Suarez
Allamanda Hotel, situated next to the sea overlooking the stunningly beautiful Bay of Diego is an ideal place to enjoy quality time whether on holiday or business or a mix of both. Tucked away from the busy town centre, Allamanda is without doubt the best hotel location in Diego Suarez.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Maison Lovasoa
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.

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Madagascar Spices
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.

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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.

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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.

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Issouf - a cacao farmer in Sambirano, Madagascar
Some of the worlds finest cacao grows in the Sambirano region in northern Madagascar. Nearly 80% of the harvest are cultivated by independent farmers.

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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.

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Waiters Race
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.

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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.

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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.

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Diego Suarez
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.

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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.

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Madagascar's Chocolates
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.

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Madagascar's Vanilla
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.

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Andafiavaratra Palace
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Madagascar sapphire rush

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.

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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.

 Towns, villages and islands of Madagascar

 Creating and editing pages

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