Two of the treks Centre Lambahoany organises with its local partners in the rural community Fetraomby have now a new place of interest to visit. At almost the end of the five-day trek the tourists arrive in Razanaka, a rural village. Here they will spend a night to take the bamboo raft the next morning. But now they can have one more exciting experience before returning to their daily life. A path has been cleared to a cave where a group of bats sleep during the day to swarm off to feed on mosquitos and other insects at sundown. An unforgettable sight!

Post 22 bats 2 aug 2016 IMG_5229-2 Post 22 bats 6 aug 201 6IMG_5236-2 Post 22 bats 5 aug 2016 IMG_5235-2


On Friday October 16th the International Tourism Day was celebrated in Toamasina.

It was modest but lively event on the Esplanade, underneath the Palm Trees. All the touristic highlights of the region where presented to the public.

Post 12 Int Tourism Day 2015 Toamasina DSC00488-3

Local titbits could be tried and the most popular drink was fresh coconut juice. In the afternoon it became more serious: a debate on how to better develop tourism in the region. An important issue as the tourist potential of the region has not yet reached its full growth. You’d better come now, before mass-tourism sets in!



If you visit Fetraomby with us and the hospitable population offers you a cup of coffee, they don’t just hit a button and a machine will do the work. No, they plant, tend, and harvest the coffee themselves.

Coffee plantation

Coffee plantation

They wash and dry the beans, roast them on a charcoal fire, and grind them manually with a pestle and mortar.

Coffee drying

Coffee drying

The water for your coffee comes from a reservoir in the hills, via a pipeline to the communal taps in the village. The water needs to be carried home in a jerry can and heated on a charcoal fire. And if you take your coffee with sugar they’ll squeeze the juice from a sugarcane with a specially designed instrument (the pigs’ beak). But then, you do have a very special cup of coffee!


Last week the national championship basketball juniors and seniors was played in Toamasina. The entire week the town saw groups of youngsters and seniors dressed in team colours roaming the streets between matches.

Centre Lambahoany

The junior boys team A.S.A. – Association Sportife d’Antananarivo – from, you guessed it, Antananarivo had chosen Centre Lambahoany as their home. Centre Lambahoany being at walking distance from the sports hall and with plenty of space to practice.


And they won the cup! In an exciting finals the A.S.A. team had the upper hand. Still, the winning goal was only made in the very last second.





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.


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.


The yearly festival of whales on the little island Ste Marie, off the east coast of Madagascar took place from the 4th to the 7th of July.

Every year the humpback whales migrate from the Antarctic to the warm waters of the Bay of Antongil in the North East of Madagascar to give birth and to mate. From the end of June till the beginning of September they return with their new-born calves to the Antarctic. The whales are sacred for the inhabitants of Ile Ste Marie. Still, tourists are welcome to their festivities and special whale spotting tours are organised. Strict rules are obeyed as not to disturb the animals.



In Madagascar the school finals are in August. And also in Madagascar pupils need to let off steam. So they did. How? Of course with music!

Hundreds came to Centre Lambahoany on Sunday 25 August to celebrate their freedom with hiphop, reggae and rap. The artists did their best to entertain the public. The sun was shining, the music was good, the public lively and happy. Could it be any better?


The Madagascar pochard – arguably the world’s rarest bird – has bred successfully in captivity building hope that it can be saved from extinction.


Eighteen precious pochard ducklings are being reared at a specially built centre in Antsohihy, Madagascar, opened last year by Dr Lee Durrell. The birth of the ducklings is a key milestone in the conservation of the species, including an emergency expedition two years ago to take eggs into captivity. It is the ducks from those eggs that have now bred for the first time.

The pochard breeding programme is part of a joint project to save the bird by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the Peregrine Fund, Asity Madagascar and the Government of Madagascar.

Dr Glyn Young, a conservation biologist with Durrell, has spent much of his life studying the Madagascar pochard. He said: “The ducklings represent an incredible step forward in the fight to save the pochard from extinction. Seven years ago, people thought this bird was already extinct and yet the discovery of one small population and now the arrival of these ducklings has led to real hope that the birds can one day flourish again.”

The pochard was believed to be extinct until its rediscovery in 2006 on a single small lake, Lake Matsaborimena (or Red Lake), in northern Madagascar. Numbering just 22 birds, the ducks remain extremely vulnerable to extinction from a single event such as pollution or a disease outbreak.

In order to restore the species to suitable wetlands within its former range across the high plateau region of Madagascar, scientists are studying the remaining wild population to understand the reasons behind the species’ decline and to determine the right conditions for releasing birds. Particularly worrying is that the wild birds appear to have very low breeding success.

Peter Cranswick, Head of Species Recovery at WWT said: “Although Lake Matsaborimena is the last hiding place for the ducks, it is far from ideal as a habitat. Our initial investigations suggest there is too little food and this may be leading to the low survival of the ducklings; in effect, they are starving to death.

“We have identified some lakes where the physical conditions are potentially right for the pochard, but success will depend on support of the local community. Fishing is thought to be one factor that led to the pochard’s decline but many rural Malagasy people earn their livelihood from fishing. The challenge is to find a solution that helps both the people and the birds.”

In addition to the breeding centre where the ducklings are being reared, a major facility will be developed this year where young birds will be trained prior to release into the wild. Malagasy conservationists are learning the skills needed to breed and rear pochards.

Source: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (also the source of our featured image).

Sunday afternoon 11 December the past was brought to live at Centre Lambahoany. No less than eight groups of young rockers performed. It was a surprise that this music has so many followers in Toamasina, who with boundless energy sang, played, danced and jumped. The large crowd was young and just as enthusiastic. When the group NOCTURNAL was on stage they tried to besiege the stage, as if the sixties revived at Centre Lambahoany. A marvellous afternoon made possible by the organisation of young artists of Sylvain Rakoto.




MIVEHY consists of four nice, talented, young boys from Toamasina. They play beautiful music, inspired by the Malagasy musical traditions, that touched the heart strings of the audience that listened breathlessly on Friday evening 2 December at Centre Lambahoany. For the time being it is their last performance in Toamasina. They’ll try their luck in the capital Antananarivo. We wish them every success!