Prior to I start out with my recap of our fourth and fifth day in Madagascar, I just want to say that I know my writing formatting is way off on these posts. I by no means create this extended of titles or sentences (at least attempt not to), so apologies if the content material has been somewhat challenging to study!
Moving proper along! Here’s the most important highlight days of the tour that Wau Madagascar place collectively for us:
Madagascar Day four: Lastly Arrive in Mikea!
This complete itinerary is constructed about the most important climax of reaching the Mikea Forest location! It is an very remote element of Madagascar that needs a lot of driving, off-roading, and even a boat along the coast to get there! The cause why it is not straight accessible by road is for the reason that the actual roads are so poor that you can not drive them.
But far more importantly, the cause why the Mikea location is so specific, is not only for the reason that of the beautiful scenery you will see, but also the nature is nevertheless somewhat un-touched and intact.
Baobabs in abundance for instance are uncommon now due to deforestation. As I’ve described, numerous vacationers just go to Baobab Alley to see them for the reason that it is easiest, but in Mikea, they are in some of the final all-natural land places. Then there’s also the Mikea tribe, which I’ll get to in a bit.
The Adventurous Route to Mikea Lodge
I’m providing this it is personal section for the reason that the way we got to Mikea Lodge deserves some focus. We fundamentally had to go off-roading in 4 wheel drive on a sand and dirt road for two hours to start out with. It was so bumpy and swervey that we have been all actually holding on to the vehicle at all occasions.
When constantly considering “When will this finish?!” my brain somehow also half believed of how exciting it was to see the villages that are constructed closer to the ocean. Just about every small town we had passed via in the previous couple of days was constructed differently, but these ones have been now my favored.
They constructed tall fences produced of completely placed wood branches about their villages, most likely for privacy but also to retain the sands from blowing into their residences. Their residences have been produced of the identical wood branches, and reminiscent of beach tiki huts.
You can catch glimpses of the kool-help blue ocean on the shore in the distance, as effectively as the numerous wooden boats they use for fishing every single day.
When we ultimately got to a town named Ankasy following that off-roading adventure, we boarded a rather good speedboat for a 1 hour ride along the coast to Mikea.
Arriving in Mikea by Zebu Cart
When we ultimately got to the shores in front of Mikea Lodge, we have been greeted by some seriously beautiful, clear-blue, shallow waters. We have been totally ready to hike up our dresses and stroll the half mile from the beach to the shore with out a doubt, and truly eager to do it!
Then we saw two ebony black Zebu’s pulling a wooden cart in our path. We assumed that was how our luggage was going to get from the boat to the shore, and marveled at the believed of that. It was also outstanding to see how the giant beasts contrasted with the light water and sand.
As we have been about to jump down into the water although, the boat skipper stopped us and indicated that the cart was to take us to the shore! I was hesitant for the reason that I felt poor for the Zebu’s, but had to contemplate that in this nation it is what these animals are bred to do. Plus if these Zebus weren’t working…they would in all probability be someone’s dinner.
So the 4 of us crammed in the compact, rickety wooden cart, and held on tight as the Zebu splashed back to shore.
Lunch and Beach Relaxing at Mikea Lodge
Currently is the initially day we got to truly unwind and delight in the place we have been in for far more than an hour. We have been greeted with scrumptious welcome drinks, then quickly place orders in for a fresh seafood lunch. I had fish skewers and homemade mash (that I had been craving considering the fact that seeing the “Mash Potato Sandbars” in Bazaruto), that was totally salivating.
We have been then shown to our glamping chalets, which line the beach and are separated by young Baobab trees. The stilted, overlarge tents have been as chic as tents can get, like a fabulous outside hot shower!
When the sun ultimately set, we enjoyed one more scrumptious meal followed by regional music and dancing by the employees and a Malagasy band! (And to be absolutely actual, we stayed in the most important restaurant to use WiFi to operate for the remainder of the evening).
NOTE! I will have to give a enormous shoutout to the astounding household that at the moment manages the Mikea Lodge: Caroline and Peter (and their two adorable small little ones Pierre and Sapphire). They are not only beyond hospital, but very enjoyable and exciting to speak to! I hope you will get a possibility to meet them when you go!
Madagascar Day five: Baobab Forest, Mikea Forest, & the Indigenous Tribe
We woke up early for our incorporated breakfast, then it was back to adventure time! The initially activity we have been scheduled to do was ride Buggys and quads to the Baobab Forest, which was an adventure itself!
I quickly named initially dibs on driving the buggy…which…is impressive thinking about I just lately recovered from PTSD and anxiousness from a bus flip accident final year and a vehicle flip even though I was driving the year prior to. The buggy’s are produced for sand and off-roading although, so following the initially 30 minutes of freaking out, I convinced myself it was secure.
We swerved and slid via the sandy pathway, passing a couple villages and tons of bush till we ultimately began seeing various Baobab trees. Lastly we reached an location exactly where they have been dense adequate to be viewed as a forest!
The Baobab trees we saw have been in all probability in between 600-900 years old! The wider the tree, the older it is! Also, the cause why the Baobab trunks are so enormous, is for the reason that that is exactly where they shop their water for the dry seasons. They are believed of as the “Tree of Life” and also a legend says that they have been planted upside down…
Mikea Forest and the Indigenous Mikea Tribe
Later in the day we set out for one more adventure trekking via the Mikea Forest to appear for men and women of the Mikea Tribe. The Mikea Tribe is one of a kind for the reason that they are 1 of the final indigenous tribes in Madagascar that nevertheless reside absolutely primitively. They do not use any electronics or electrical energy, nor do they have actual residences or garments aside from loincloths.
They favor this way of life, so opt for not to interact with civilization unless totally needed which ordinarily is out of want. We discovered what these situations have been when we met a compact household, but I’ll clarify how we have been capable to meet them initially.
There is only 1 household in the Mikea Tribe who has agreed to let foreigners meet them. They are a man and lady with two small girls (sadly their son had lately passed away). In order to come across them, you have to go with a skilled regional guide, which we had from Mikea Lodge, who knows how to come across them and who has discovered their language in order to translate.
I say “find them” for the reason that they are nomadic traveling about 10kms every single day or so based on exactly where they come across meals. So in order to find exactly where they at the moment are, you will have to constantly stroll via the Mikea Forest and appear for smoke from their fires, and listen for their voices.
When we discovered them, our guide went ahead initially to ask permission if we could meet them. The wife, named Ravnal (translates to leaves in their language) agreed, and we met her and her two daughters.
I’ll 100% admit that I felt a bit uncomfortable at initially for the reason that all I could believe of was that these men and women in all probability believe we’re searching at them like zoo animals. I didn’t want to make them really feel uncomfortable as effectively, particularly considering the fact that they weren’t clothed, but I was interested to hear their story.
We conversed as significantly as we could via our guide translating, and discovered about how they lived. It was honestly 1 of the most raw, actual, and genuine experiences I’ve had with one more culture.
Ravnal answered all of our concerns such as, “What varieties of foods do you appear for”, “Do you use specific plants for medicines”, and “How did you make the fire”, and she even instructed her youngest daughter to come show us the Zebu horn and piece of flint they use to spark it.
Even although they all smiled, and laughed when we attempted to pronounce “Thank you” and “Goodbye” in their dialect, I nevertheless wondered if they believed we have been intruding, or glad to share about their lives.
Madagascar Baobab Camp
Sun was setting by the time we ultimately left the Mikea tribe household, and we set off to come across our camp that the Mikea Lodge had set up for us. In addition to the Baobab Forest excursion, Mikea Lodge is also going to start out providing the Baobab Camp solution for guests!
The military grade tents have been set up in in between a cluster of 3 obtuse 900-year old Baobabs. They came total with a front patio location that even had a camp-wine-cooler! If you are not a massive fan of camping, you can have the solution to head to the camp for a BBQ and bonfire, then head back to your chalet at Mikea Lodge!
Considering that we have been covered in dirt from the buggy and 4 wheeler excursions, we opted to sleep back at the lodge. Nicely, and also of course for the reason that we necessary wifi to be capable to post points like this for you to study 🙂
Tomorrow will be the final entry of this series prior to I post a round up of ideas and essential travel information and facts about Madagascar! Be positive to subscribe to my posts on Instagram, Facebook, or on right here to get updated, and also to sign up for my Madagascar Eco-Tour subsequent year!
Disclosure: This tour was sponsored by WAU Madagascar, nevertheless all experiences, opinions, and writing are my personal!