A new touristic site, a historic cave and the summit of the hill where once a king resided are now open to the public. It takes some stamina to arrive, but the stayers are rewarded! The cave is high upon the hill near the hamlet Marovato in the Eastern Rainforest of Madagascar. Marovato is only accessible on foot, an eight kilometre walk from Gismay, where the boat from Brickaville moors. The cave is a little more uphill. Here, in times of unrest people would hide. The last time was during the 1947 insurrection against the colonial rule. Since then, the cave was filled up with dirt. But the villagers did a good job to improve the path that leads to the cave and cleaned out the cave itself, which is much deeper than they ever expected. A small puddle has formed in the middle, much to the delight of the Indri-indri that live in the surrounding forest. They use it as a watering place. The indri-indri, a black and white lemur, is a sacred animal for the local people and therefore it is not very shy. Thus there is a reasonable chance to spot them.


The path to the cave continues to the summit where one has a splendid view of the surroundings. Once, a king lived upon this summit where he was protected against his enemies. The grandson of the last king is now the tangalamena (warden of traditions) of Marovato.

More information about Marovato, the cave and the king can be found in a brochure that shortly will be available as a download from this site. Also, a new trek including a visit of this new touristic site will be put together by the local organisation, Rianala, and Centre Lambahoany and published on this site.









Featured image (top): Brickaville

Fetraomby celebrated World Tourism Day. It was at the same time an opportunity to inform the world about the beginning of several new projects in the vicinity. All projects have the same aim: nature conservation and community development, in this still rich but already endangered part of the rainforests of East Madagascar.

Our partner organization RIANALA did a great job. Extra boats had been organized to transport authorities and tourists to Fetraomby. All tourist accommodations were, as always, in top shape. So was the village: the celebration started with the proclamation of the winner of the match ‘cleaning the village’. A boat race and a sack race were the next items on the programme, followed by a football match, which was won by the Fetraomby team!

As soon as it was dark enough, around 6 p.m., several instructive documentaries about the environment were projected on a big screen. Despite the drizzle the entire villages and all visitors from neighbouring villages were captivated. Television is already a rarity in these parts, let alone a big screen. The Friday evening was rounded off with a disco for the young. It lasted until the early hours of Saturday morning.

Folkloristische Dans

Saturday commenced with a more serious part of the programme: saluting the flag, singing the national hymn. Then M. Etienne, chairperson of Rianala welcomed the district manager, the district had of the gendarmerie, the mayor, and the representatives of the organisations contributing to the nature conservation and community development projects. The speeches by the authorities alternated with folkloristic dances, a match in eloquence (kabary) and poetry, a little boy demonstrating his ability in back flips and another little boy mimicking several birds, much to the amusement of the public. Especially the cock was a great success.

After giving out the prices to the winners, lunch was ready. Unfortunately authorities and tourists had to eat from plates, others used ravinala (traveller palm leaves) both as plate and as spoon.

The afternoon was dedicated to a visit of the pierre bizarre, a sacred place, only to be visited after a ceremony for the ancestors, and once again the young were treated on a disco.

Rianala wants to thank all sponsors who made this happening possible, first and foremost Ambatovy, but also Aspinall, Conservation International and Centre Lambahoany.