The lambahoany is a Malagasy traditional accessory that can be worn with traditional hairstyles in daily life and on special occasions. Generally, women wear it under the armpits or at the waist. To wear it is very popular in the coastal areas of Madagascar. Men also wear lambahoany. For example, on the east side of the island, men wear it by tying it to the waist and shirtless. This is a way of dressing during traditional ceremonies. In western Madagascar, the age factor is also decisive on the way to wear the lambahoany. In fact, young men wear it as a scarf with shorts and shirtless, whereas the older ones carry it on the waist.

The lambahoany is a panel of Malagasy identity cloth. The fabric has existed in Madagascar, before 1904. The lambahoany can be compared to African wax fabrics. But the difference is that landscapes, characters, stories and scenes of life are drawn on this particular fabric. Apart from that, what makes it so extraordinary is the beautiful quote, or Malagasy proverb referring to beliefs and realities in Madagascar which is inscribed on. Thus, the lambahoany is not just a piece of fabric, but it also relates a whole culture, a whole story and a Malagasy way of thinking.

 

Currently, the fabric remains timeless and even becomes a fashion accessory. It is also a way to unveil and recall the Malagasy identity culture. As far as we are concerned, this is the best article you should have as a souvenir. Indeed, you can wear it by tying it at the hip and around the armpits. You can bring your personal touch by putting on heels or other accessories. You can even wear it on your head or neck, you can invent your own fashion.

 

 

To remember your extraordinary experience in Madagascar, why not dress your wall with a beautiful lambahoany representing the landscape of your choice and a quote that speaks to you. You can still go far in your imagination by decorating your sofa with lambahoany cushions. This pretty fabric could also make your dining room original by using it as a tablecloth. What you need is just to be creative and you’ll see that it’s the perfect souvenir from the red island. For a while, a Malagasy brand has even turned the lambahoany into a fashionable accessory to make trendy clothes!

Language is the way to communicate with people and helps us to understand them as well. Language is a part of society; we use it in different ways.  Madagascar has a variety of languages because each region has its particularity but here are some usual expressions that can be understood by everyone wherever you go.

So we encourage you to speak even some of these expressions. you will see, it will immediately attract local people’s sympathy.

The whales festival will take place next month. It’s an event not to be missed because it happens once a year in this paradisiac tropical island. This time, Nosy Borahawill celebrates this festival from July 11 to 14, 2019. This blessed island, with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, attracts humpback whales to breed and raise their babies. Every winter, they migrate south from July to September and go back to Antarctica afterward.

The festival is not only created for a pure tourist dimension but also fo a cultural and environmental dimension. All actors of the event will be focused on one thematic: “Humpback whales protection”. Apart from that, with the participation of the local population, the program will be well varied. Animations, parades and the big carnival will be on the menu.

Moreover, you will not regret visiting Sainte-Marie Island, a very appreciated place. The beauty of nature reminds of a paradisiac tropical postcard, especially its lush vegetationseabedlagoons, coral construction, an exceptional landscape, and diverse touristic sites.

Visit  Madagascar National Park means to be reconnected to Nature. It’s an opportunity to discover nature, but also an occasion to discover yourself. It offers you full satisfaction. In fact, you will listen to the magic whispers of trees and the wind at this wonderful dense park forest. You will listen to the spectacular sound of the unique and diverse fauna there. This park will just offer you eye-catching wildlife.  You can feel the perfect refreshment inside the verdure. It is an exceptional moment where you cut with your city side, the routines and the daily stresses.

To get an idea of what we are talking about, let us tell you the specificity of the Park. It is mostly dense moist evergreen forests that cover almost the entire park with its Bamboo forest and its swamp where plant and animal species such as Pandanus, Varecia variegata variegate, Crayfish, Limnogale Mergulus choose as habitat. Ferns and hundreds of orchids are the rare plants identified. Chinese guava occupies more and more spaces with lemurs and frugivorous birds’ decor. As a matter of fact, the flora is so diverse that you can even have the luxury to explore tropical hardwoods including rosewood (Dalbergia sp), maka (Weinmania sp) and varongy (Mespilodaphne tapack).

Such a great forest offers undoubtedly an amazing fauna. Indeed, Fishes, insects, butterflies including 4 rare species, spiders, 6 endemic species of crustaceans, reptiles, amphibians, endemic birds are the nature diversity spotted there. Regarding animals of other kinds, we can see there these following animals which only exist in Madagascar: 26 species of lemurs, 7 species of carnivorous mammals and 20 species of insectivores, 07 species of bats including Myzopoda aurita.

Apart from that, mother nature makes the park one of the places rich of the watercourse. We count 25 in its interior as well as 3 rivers. We talked about “hot water” previously, the Park owes his name to its great thermal baths where you can swim and relax in the warm water. A real paradise of wonder and peace!

 

Are you planning to travel to Madagascar? Let’s share some tips you should know about your trip. We will talk about the best saison, the language, the Malagasy origin, the culture and the health precaution for a more comfortable visit.

The best time to visit Madagascar:

Generally speaking, Madagascar has various climate. The central Highlands are cold, the north is hot and humid, the south is arid and the East climate is wetter.

The dry season is the favorite time to go to the red island. Some people prefer spending their time here in May because the rain has just finished and you can enjoy its green and lush version. Moreover, there are fewer tourists in that period. And even with a peak in July and August, Madagascar doesn’t suffer from mass tourism. So, let us say that you haven’t any worry to come here between May and October. It just depends on what you really want to see and to experiment with. For example, June and July are perfect for watching humpback whales of Sainte-Marie Island. If you are passionate like birdwatchers, August and September are the best moments for you. In fact, in that period, you will not certainly miss the abundance of endemic and migratory species. Going to the Isalo national park, for example, will let you enjoy the Malagasy iconic and endemic fauna. Because the south of Madagascar is arid, you can visit all the Madagascar’s dry southwest from May to October!

Language and Malagasy origins:

Officially, Malagasy is the common language in Madagascar. The second official language is French but not all the people master it. If you come here with a tourist guide, it will not be a problem even if you speak other languages. Malagasy people are welcoming and smiling. So, don’t make the language as an obstacle.

Malagasy people are mixed of African and Indonesian ancestries. Previous studies show that one-third of Malagasy’s genetic ancestors came from South-East Asia. Then the two-third were from East Africa, Arabs, Indo-Pakistanis and Europeans. So, don’t be amazed if you learn that they do not refer themselves as African people even if Madagascar is geographically closer to Africa than Asia.

Culture and taboos:

Through these diverse origins, Madagascar has a colorful fusion of culture from seafaring Bornean and Bantu Africans, Arabic and Tamil traders, and French colonization. Madagascar is rich in culture; it is also one way to discover the authenticity of the Island. In fact, 18 subcultures are here, each with their own tradition, beliefs, and language. Although linguistic diversity, Malagasy people understand each other. To refer to their origins, Malagasy food has also a variety of flavor and variety of cooking ways.

Another important thing to know about Malagasy culture is about “fady” or “taboo”. We don’t make it a big deal, but it’s better to know so that we don’t risk disrespecting the local population. You should know that each region has its particular “fady”. The best way to know it is just to listen to the guide consign.

Health precaution:

When you travel, it is always better to take some proper health precautions. Like in all tropical countries, one thing you should know is that Red Island has a high risk of Malaria. You can take all precautions you know like bringing insecticide spray or use a bet-net if you need and take antimalarial medication. For a better prescription, we invite you to check with your doctor before your trip. With a good precaution, there is no risk to catch it.

Diarrhea is another health problem here. The locals, as well as the tourists, can get it from unclean water so it is always better:

  • To wash hands with soap or use hand sanitizer gel
  • Don’t drink Tap water, not even from hotels
  • Eat peeled fruits
  • Watch out meals from street vendors…

We wish that these tips will help you to appreciate more this beautiful country! As we said “Forewarned is forearmed”.

Two ring-tailed lemurs

 

Lemurs are the first thing in mind when we are talking about Madagascar. Coming at the Island without seeing these atypical monkeys is not like visiting Madagascar. National Parks, natural reserves and the rainforest are the places where you can find them. These fascinating animals are precisely prosimian primates: they aren’t definitely monkeys nor apes like chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans.

Madagascar is the only place in the world where you can see the lemur’s wildlife. There are more than 100 species of lemurs in this country. Some of them are nocturnal, some are diurnal. Lemur sizes vary between Hairy-eared dwarf lemur about 13 centimeters and the Diademed Sifaka about 1 meter. There are three amazing facts you should know about lemurs. The first is about Indri Indri which is also called Babakoto in Malagasy. One of the largest and the most remarkable singer in the animal world. They can hear each over at a distance of 4 km. One of these specificities is also their monogamous side.

Indri Indri

 

The second fact is about the smelling message of Maki Catta. This kind of lemur uses odoriferous marks in order to delimit territory. They are often famous for their meditation posture: arms apart, the lemur warms its odorant glands and stimulates them to better be able to deposit its odors after. The third fact relates to the hypertrophied finger of Aye-Aye. They are the weirdest of all lemurs. They only move at night in the great Malagasy forest. As it has developed specialized incisors, it shreds easily the upper layers of trunks to capture the insect and take fruits. Thanks to its hypertrophied third finger, it can access hidden foods like xylophagous larvae in the wood.

             Aye- Aye                                                                      Minnie mouse lemur

 

Here are the three best places to spot lemurs in Madagascar. The Ranomafana National Park offers one of the best opportunities to see the rare golden bamboo lemurs. The rainforest of Ranomafana homes another 11 species of lemur including the Red-bellied lemur and the Greater dwarf lemur. A number of these primates are also found at the National Park of Isalo. Here, we are talking about the ring-tailed lemur which is the pin-up for lemurs across the world. This specie is incredibly sociable and highly adaptable to a vast array of the country’s habitats. You also discover there Verreaux’s sifaka and Red-fronted lemur. At the third place, the famous Indri is can be found at the Andasibe National Park. You will be satisfied there if you want to listen to the penetrating calls of Babakoto.

Isalo National Park is the ideal land of an escapade for adventurers and history buffs. In fact, history and its natural richness are captivating. Despite the dry landscape, the biodiversity at the Isalo national park is particularly diverse: birds, reptiles, amphibians, lemurs, aloes, euphorbia, pachypods, etc.

In the heart of Jurassic-era highlands of the country’s southwest, it offers a spectacular sandstone massif. Collection of plateaus, canyons, gorges and pinnacles are the wonders sculptured by erosion and weather. What is also dazzling is the rainbow color of the rock formation colored by iron and mineral deposits. The main attraction for Isalo’s visitors is hiking.

Apart from this dry side, you will probably be welcomed by lemurs or harmless snakes when you enter the dense forest! The site gives a refreshing moment through the small streams, nymphs waterfall and the “blue pool” where you can take a dip. You can also see another pool called the “black pool” with frozen water.

For history buffs and nature lovers, as we said, the best trail is the “Canyon des Makis et des rats”. You will discover the natural wonders and cultural heritage of the Bara people. You will be surprised to see a ruin of royal village, the rest of the palace walls, the royal bath and burial places. For hikers who want to immerse in the Isalo’s Jurassic decor, they should take the Portuguese Cave route.

We can’t talk about Isalo without raising the fascinating window of Isalo. This natural sculpture opening in the rock gives the best view at the sunset. The sun shines through this natural window, a truly sunset spectacle! We shouldn’t also miss the Queen of Isalo which is a rock formation and have a look like a sitting queen.

baobabsSunset

Baobabs are among the hardiest trees on the planet. They can contain 500m3 of wood and live more than 2,000 years! Baobabs are called “the roots of heaven” by Malagasy people. These trees have a deep signification for them. It is also considered as the “Reniala which means literally “mother of the forest”. In fact, this majestic and sacred tree has no equal either in Madagascar or elsewhere.

There are eight baobab species in the world and six of them are here. Morondava, Mahajanga, Toliara, Ankarafantsika park, Kirindy Mitea et Vohibisa are the places where we can find these “ecological gems”. But we can say that Morondava is the best place to appreciate them because the baobab alley gathers the most species in the World.

Scientifically speaking, baobab is a complete plant because of its multiple virtues such as it leaves that people use to cure infectious diseases. The fruits which contain high nutrients are used for healthy foods. Moreover, its oil is a valuable ingredient in the cosmetic field. Last but not the least, its trunk is filled with water so that it can easily grow in a very harsh condition.

The avenue of baobab includes about a dozen of giant trees. The whole creates a beautiful and unique view in the world so that this natural monument is one of the most visited and the most photographed on the earth.

Many of these baobab trees are over 25 meters high and more than 800 years. The baobab alley is located in West of Madagascar, 19 km from Morondava and covers an area of 320 ha. The majestic trees border the dirt road between Morondava and Belo-Tsiribihina.

Another thing which catches attention is definitely the spectacular view that it offers at dawn and dusk. Coming there in the afternoon is the best moment if you want to enjoy the exceptional sunset setting. On the spot, one of the outstanding endemic baobabs in Madagascar is found in Morondava, which called “Adansonia grandidieri”. But we can also distinguish two other particular baobab trees there. In fact, you can discover the mythic sacred baobab where local people come to give offering and honor their ancestors. Then, there is also the baobab lovers which bring a fair chance to couple according to belief.

Tsingy of Bemaraha is characterized by a labyrinth of vertical sharp limestone. It is located in the Melaky region, about 300 km from Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Million years ago, only  sea was visible. The limestone seabed rose created a plateau. Then, erosion by heavy rainfalls sculptured its actual amazing shape. Trek fans will be well served by the adventure that the TSingy can offer them. Trekking in the Tsingy is challenging, but the hardest the walking is, the more exciting it is.  As we say: “adventure begins at the end of the road you know”. This road leads us surely to heaven! At the top, you can see a sharp stone forest as far as your eyes can see. You will not be disappointed!

Tsingy of Bemaraha - iChtus tour Madagascar

Tourists are not only attracted by its breathtaking beauty but also by the fauna and the flora of the Tsingy. Actually, the flora endemics rate is high. Deciduous dry forests in the west, grassy savannas and lowland bushes in the east, small areas of dense tropical forests and lianas inside the canyon are the diversities of endemic flora that they can discover.

Madagascar has more than 100 species of lemur and you can find 11 species of them including for Decken’s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, grey mouse lemur or the Cleese’s woolly lemur, and the Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur, which are only seen at the Tsingy. The fauna is also composed by birds, reptiles and amphibians which are all endemic here.

bamboo lemur iChtus tour Madagascar

Talking about the activities, those who like the athletic side are not only the ones satisfied. Apart from trekking, you can have an opportunity to go through the two rivers Tsiribihina and Manambolo which cross the park by canoe. Abseiling in the limestone wells and the impressive underground cavities is also an option for vacuum lovers. Apart from that, if you want to explore, the galleries of canyons and caving tours are also available. And if you want to sleep under the stars, three camping places are proposed: two on the north shore and one on the south. The practical thing in the ANGAP camping is that it’s not necessary to cross the river to visit the tsingy. Moreover, this camping is the cheapest one. Next to ANGAP camping, you have the Manambolo one which offers a nice view and a friendly atmosphere. The opposite of the first camping, we have the Camp Croco which is more comfortable with showers, hot water, and shared toilet.

camping manambolo iChtus tour madagascar

So, we are only waiting for you! Make Madagascar your next destination. Come visit with us this extraordinary touristic site: Tsingy of Bemaraha.

Madagascar is once again classified among the best destinations in the world.

In 2017, according to the New York Times, our Island is included in the 52 countries which should absolutely be visited. In the same year, the popular magazine Vogue distinguished Madagascar among the Top 10 incomparable destinations. In 2018, its authenticity brings Grazia French magazine to categorize it as an unavoidable place that you shouldn’t miss for your travel.

And this year, the beautiful Island is still among the top 10 popular countries to visit in the economic magazine Forbes.

So for you, what are the reasons for these classifications?

As far as we concerned, these reasons will at least make you envy to travel here:

1 – The endemic  fauna and flora:

More than 80% of plants and 90% of animal species don’t exist anywhere else.

With no doubt, nature lovers will be well served.

2 – Landscape diversity:

As the 4th largest island in the world, Madagascar has many kinds of authentic and dazzling landscapes depending on the sites you want to visit: jungles, arid savannas, deserts, shrub lands, peaks, cliffs and plateaus, marshes and lagoons… It’s up to you.

3 – Conveyance

The adventurers will not be disappointed, they will have the opportunity to travel by different means of transportation (By ship, plane, boat, car, train…), some of which will even be fun and unusual.

4 – The coastal parts

The coastal parts of Madagascar are mostly known for their paradisiac beaches: blue lagoons lined with white sand, unexplored coves, various species of trees: coconut and palm, and traditional wooden carved canoes on the most beautiful beaches.

Famous for its marine biodiversity, Madagascar has very diverse marine aquatic species, both fishes and corals. Snorkeling and scuba diving are the main splendid activities, especially at the island of Nosy be.

The list is endless, but we warmly invite you to discover things you’ll never except at “the red island”.