I can only read one page of the guidebook at a time before I either boil with excitement at the wonderfully diverse fauna and flora we’re going to encounter or shiver with fear at the horror stories of bugs that burrow deep into your flesh and lay their eggs beneath your skin which can only be extracted with a hot blade and a bottle of strong rum!! My reaction was the same! Shut the book and run a mile!! But there is nothing that could deter me from wanting to explore the wonders that Madagascar has to offer from the eerie skin crawling cries of the Indri to the bazaar long fingered tapping aye-aye, not to mention the array of extraordinary birds, insects, reptiles, plants, marine life as well as madagascar’s diverse ethnic people, Antaifasy-People of the sands, Antankarana-those of the rocks, Antaimoro-people of the coast, Antandroy-people of the thorns,Antanosy-people of the island, Merina-people of the highlands just to mention a few.
With only a month to explore an island bigger than the UK, the map in the guidebook is marked north to south, east to west with dog ears, sticky notes and pen marks of National Parks and Marine spectacles such as the humpback birthing season starting in June, not to be missed! But I know the minute we set foot on the dusty runway all the planning and OCD preparations will evaporate into thin air because Madagascar like one of its tiny inhabitants I’m currently fostering which is critically endangered in its native habitat will forge its own route and map with steely determination, for a land which harbours secrets like lemurs and giraffe necked weevils will not be told but will amaze, astound, startle and overwhelm us for that I am sure, and I cannot wait to share the journey and its secrets with you here when we return……… watch this space!
Regards Nic x