After having considered several travel options (Gabon, Venezuela,
Panama, Malawi) we reflect what it is that we look for in our destination; remote wilderness, adventure,
little tourists, beautiful beaches, good accommodations and, quite important, safety. Exactly what Madagascar has to offer and so we decide to travel to the Great Red Island for a third time.
Of course we want to go even more off the beaten track, to more exotic places and more remote destinations than before. We will visit the following places: Marojejy National Park, a rugged and remote mountainous area, home to the extremely rare Silky Sifaka. Then Fort Dauphin in the south of Madagascar and finally, by far the most challenging part of our trip; a trek along the east coast from Maroantsetra to Mananara. We'll end our journey on Ile Sainte Marie, the tropical island off the coast.
Visiting such exotic places requires some preparation. To start with, domestic flights had to be booked. It was quite a hassle; november till march is known as low season, hence the amount of flights has been considerably reduced. This means we have to spend more nights in Tana than we'd like because often there's simply no other way to fly from place A to B. In the end we managed to set up the trip by using the flight schedule. Now we needed to arrange the visit to Marojejy and the east coast hike. Both are inaccessible, remote regions that have to be visited with experienced guides, cooks and of course porters. After countless emails and negotiations with several contacts in Madagascar, everything should now be set up...
An interesting side note is that Madagascar is in the middle of an election. For a while it was unclear whether our trip could proceed in the first place. A politician who has been banned from the country was about to return and run for the elections, causing unrest. This politician origins from the same camp as the previous president who was the cause of a short civil war in 2002. But this time they managed to keep him out of the country, making him miss the election registry deadline, so he simply could not take part in the elections. And so the situation became stable again. (or at least we hope..without a doubt we will experience some campaign propaganda..)