The tenrec, another remarkable mammal.
Madagascar may be well known for its lemurs, but another remarkable mammal to be found on the island is the tenrec. Although some varieties resemble a hedgehog, even curl up into a prickly ball, they are not related. It seems they have a common ancestor with the elephant. Hard to believe as the smallest species is about 4.5 centimetres long and weighs about 0.5 grams. The tailless tenrec, another of the 34 different species, is special because of the number of young in one litter, 32 is not unusual. The yellow striped tenrecs communicate by vibrating together their spines; another unique characteristic, not to be found in any other animal. As all tenrecs are nocturnal it is not easy to spot them.

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The Fosa is Madagascar’s largest predator – apart from the crocodile. It is a civet-like animal but it differs considerably from the African civets. An adult Fosa measures about two metres, the tail included. Like real cats the Fosa can draw its claws and is thus an expert climber. It feeds on lemurs. It is hard to spot the fosa as it is nocturnal and secretive. It should not be confused with the fanalouc and the falanoka, other predators, a bit smaller than the fosa. All three named foosa by the local population. Fosa 2 Fosa 3

This chameleon normally dark brown with orange spots changed colour while digging a hole to lay her eggs. The whole process – digging, laying the eggs, covering them up with sand – took about half an hour. During this time she became a entirely black chameleon. Once ready, she stalked off, climbed her tree and changed back to her normal colour

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In the heart of Toamasina city we let 7 bungalows for 2 to 4 persons each.

Our centre is the ideal spot to start your round trip in East Madagascar.

 

The treks are by all considered the highlight of their journey in Madagascar. It ís a unique offer: only Centre Lambahoany works with the local population to organise treks in the rural community Fetraomby and adjoining communes.

 

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From Toamasina to Mananjary, lakes, lagoons, streams connected by canals dug out at the end of the 19th Century, totalling up to 600 kilometres of waterway, known as the Pangalanes Canal.

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Pangalanes Canal

The Canal runs parallel to the Indian Ocean. The strip of land between the salt and the sweet water measures just a few dozen metres.

The purpose of the canal was transport between Toamasina and the many villages and towns along the canal. Until this day the canal serves as such.

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It is easy to navigate a boat on these waters, and it is very worthwhile.  The canal and its banks are a rare combination of an ecological system dominated by the Indian Ocean and that of the tropical forests more inland.

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On the inland-shores there are areas where the plants are abundant, especially in the remaining pockets of tropical forest. There are little villages to visit and several tourist destinations, like a lemur park, a nature reserve, an agro touristic site, a distillery of essential oils, an orchid garden, …. too much to mention.

 

You’d better bring a magnifying glass when visiting Madagascar.

Its unprecedented nature harbours some of the smallest animals in the world:

  • the smallest primate: a mouse lemur with a body length of 9-9.5 centimetres and a weight of 30 grams (microcebus berthae),
  • the smallest chameleon (brookesia micra), without its tail about 16 mm long;
  • the smallest bee (Liotrigona bitika) with a body length of less than 2 mm.;
  • and many of the Malagasy frogs belong to the smallest in the world.

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Those small animals are not the easiest to spot, but to search and to find is very rewarding.

 

Mountain Tropical Rainforests

Andasibe is the centre of an extensive area with well-preserved Mountain Tropical Rainforest. Tourists can choose from no less than four parks to visit.

The National Park Andasibe, formerly known as Perinet is the oldest National Park in Madagascar.

Across the road the village association maintains the Mitsinjo Park with dedication and enthusiasm.

And between these two parks and the cute traditional village Andasibe the VOI MMA Park is run by the village committee that is responsible for the maintenance of their patch of primary forest.

Wildlife

In all three parks the Indri-Indri, Madagascar’s largest living lemur, can easily be spotted.

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A little further away in the fourth park, the National Park Mantadia, the diademed sifaka and the black-and-white ruffed lemur can be found. And also at some distance, the Mitsinjo Park runs a swamp forest with for fanciers a mouth-watering variety of frogs and birds.

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When strolling along the white sandy beaches of Toamasina you cannot but spot the intriguing island a little offshore from Toamasina with its lighthouse like an admonishing finger.

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The island is uninhabited. A boat trip of about 45 minutes takes you there. And then it is time to relax, to swim, to snorkel, to climb the lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic view, or wander through the forest to take the bats unaware.

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It is the Pteropus Rufusi, or flying fox, a fruit bat and an endemic species.

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The tourist season is only half way through and Centre Lambahoany has nothing but satisfied customers.

The treks are by all considered the highlight of their journey in Madagascar. It ís a unique offer: only Centre Lambahoany works with the local population to organise treks in the rural community Fetraomby and adjoining communes.

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Homestay with the hospitable villagers, enjoying their dance and music after hiking in the jungle to spot the indri-indri or one of the twelve other species of lemur whose habitat is the rainforest, nothing but fresh air, submerged in rural Madagascar.

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The European Union has allocated 15 million Euro to support six countries around the Indian Ocean to sustainably improve their Coastal and Marine Biodiversity. The project will be implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission. The six countries concerned are the island Mauritius, the Comoros and Seychelles archipelagos and the countries Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar. Part of the money – 4.5 million Euro – is designated for small projects by either NGO’s or elected local authorities.

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The project is to counter the threats to the rich biodiversity with many endemic species, threats like uncontrolled exploitation of resources, including the waters of the Indian Ocean, degradation of the soil and invasive species that displace the endemic animals.

 

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