Latest news from Madagascar 1

Latest news from Madagascar

I have just returned from Nosy Be where we run our dhow safaris and in some ways so much is happening and in others it is pretty quiet.

Politics

The happenings are in the political sphere. Adry Rajoelena took over control of the government from Mark Ravolmanana early this year and now there are rumors of a referendum and elections later in the year. In quiet Nosy Be no one seemed to know much about the rumblings in Tanna, or even care. Life goes on as usual except for the sudden drop in tourism which is the life blood of the little island. I’m not sure if the tourism dropped because of the political situation or because of the world economic climate. The European tourists just didn’t arrive.

South Africans continue to visit Nosy Be. Some phone me to ask if it is safe to proceed with their trip but most just ask the normal questions like, ‘How much spending money do we need?’ or ‘What should I do about malaria?’

The protests were in Tanna and our trips are in Nosy Be – much like having a COSATU rally in Pretoria and holidaying in Le Cap, Afrique du Sud…one wouldn’t know about it but for the press.

Enough of the politics and on with the trips.

Salama Djema, Salama Tsara, Rapid and the crew.

We have been pretty busy both with our dhow trips and with the building of our own camps. It became obvious that we could not continue camping and not addressing the toilet issue. In order to do this, we had to secure our own spots to camp so we acquired 3 wonderful places. At Russian Bay and Mahalina we have built basic little bungalows and at Lokobie are building a permanent tented camp. All have showers and toilets, a kitchen and dining area and much thicker mattresses.

We now have more time for snorkeling, fishing, sea kayaking, exploring and relaxing. Not having to put up tents and transport everything from the dhow each night makes a massive difference to the amount of free time, not to mention a way more comfortable camp.

Rubbish and how we should deal with it has always been a grey area. There is still no effective waste removal system in Nosy Be so we don’t take rubbish back to Helville to blow around the streets there. We burn what we can and bury organic waste.

Salama Djema and Salama Tsara continue to ply their trade in the Nosy Be archipelago and Mohamed and crew are amongst the few in Nosy Be who still have lots of work.

Here’s to hoping that the rest of Nosy Be et Madagascar will get back to normal pretty soon.

Written by: Ross Murray

Ross is Jenman Safaris dhow partner in Madagascar. To book a dhow trip with Ross please contact Jenman Safaris on info@jenmansafaris.com or visit www.travel2madagascar.com

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