January 10, 2005

The Natural Reserve of Andasibe

There are increasingly larger numbers of reserves in Madagascar with local villagers protecting their natural resources in the hopes of profiting from eco-tourism. In a five hour hike, we spotted 2 snakes, large millipedes, a chameleon, a giraffe-necked insect, several families of Lemurs (here an Indris), delicate dragonflies, orchid spouts…

Our guide showed us a plant from which the early anti-malarial quinine is made. He drinks a tea infused with the leaves and barks every night to prevent the sleeping sickness.

This is an orchid (I think) that grows in our garden. You should consider yourself lucky because I was tempted to post all my 27 pictures of flowers but managed to restrain myself. At the risk of sounding trite, the flowers are absolutely beautiful in Madagascar, no doubt owing to the heavy rain and bright sunny conditions.

There are so many things to say about this stunning country. I hope that you can forgive me of not covering the most salient aspects of its history of bloody queens, political coup d’etats, colonialisation, loss of hundreds of species of animals and plants by overgrazing or hunting, cultural beliefs reminiscent of Asian practices, and much much more. Just go there yourself or read the Lonely Planet Guide.

1 comment:

PancerBali said...

It's a complete blog. keep on writing for this lovely earth.