Earlier than I begin with my recap of our fourth and fifth day in Madagascar, I simply wish to say that I do know my writing formatting is method off on these posts. I by no means write this lengthy of titles or sentences (not less than attempt to not), so apologies if the content material has been considerably onerous to learn!
Transferring proper alongside! Right here’s the essential spotlight days of the tour that Wau Madagascar put collectively for us:
Madagascar Day 4: Lastly Arrive in Mikea!
This whole itinerary is constructed round the essential climax of reaching the Mikea Forest space! It’s an especially distant a part of Madagascar that requires plenty of driving, off-roading, and even a boat alongside the coast to get there! The rationale why it’s not immediately accessible by street is as a result of the precise roads are so dangerous you could’t drive them.
However extra importantly, the cause why the Mikea space is so particular, shouldn’t be solely due to the beautiful surroundings you’ll see, but additionally the nature remains to be comparatively un-touched and intact.
Baobabs in abundance for instance are uncommon now as a consequence of deforestation. As I’ve talked about, many vacationers simply go to Baobab Alley to see them as a result of it’s best, however in Mikea, they’re in a few of the final pure land areas. Then there’s additionally the Mikea tribe, which I’ll get to in a bit.
The Adventurous Path to Mikea Lodge
I’m giving this it’s personal part as a result of the method we obtained to Mikea Lodge deserves some consideration. We principally needed to go off-roading in 4 wheel drive on a sand and dust street for 2 hours to start out with. It was so bumpy and swervey that we had been all actually holding on to the automotive always.
Whereas constantly considering “When will this finish?!” my mind one way or the other additionally half considered how fascinating it was to see the villages which can be constructed nearer to the ocean. Each little city we had handed via in the previous couple of days was constructed in a different way, however these ones had been now my favourite.
They constructed tall fences manufactured from completely positioned wooden branches round their villages, possible for privateness but additionally to maintain the sands from blowing into their properties. Their properties had been manufactured from the similar wooden branches, and harking back to seaside tiki huts.
You’ll be able to catch glimpses of the kool-aid blue ocean on the shore in the distance, in addition to the many wood boats they use for fishing each day.
After we lastly obtained to a city known as Ankasy after that off-roading journey, we boarded a reasonably good speedboat for a one hour journey alongside the coast to Mikea.
Arriving in Mikea by Zebu Cart
After we lastly obtained to the shores in entrance of Mikea Lodge, we had been greeted by some severely beautiful, clear-blue, shallow waters. We had been absolutely ready to hike up our clothes and stroll the half mile from the seaside to the shore undoubtedly, and truly wanting to do it!
Then we noticed two ebony black Zebu’s pulling a wood cart in our path. We assumed that was how our baggage was going to get from the boat to the shore, and marveled at the considered that. It was additionally outstanding to see how the big beasts contrasted with the mild water and sand.
As we had been about to leap down into the water although, the boat skipper stopped us and indicated that the cart was to take us to the shore! I used to be hesitant as a result of I felt dangerous for the Zebu’s, however needed to contemplate that on this nation it’s what these animals are bred to do. Plus if these Zebus weren’t working…they’d most likely be somebody’s dinner.
So the 4 of us crammed in the small, rickety wood cart, and held on tight as the Zebu splashed again to shore.
Lunch and Seashore Enjoyable at Mikea Lodge
At the moment is the first day we obtained to truly chill out and take pleasure in the location we had been in for greater than an hour. We had been greeted with scrumptious welcome drinks, then instantly put orders in for a contemporary seafood lunch. I had fish skewers and do-it-yourself mash (that I had been craving since seeing the “Mash Potato Sandbars” in Bazaruto), that was completely salivating.
We had been then proven to our glamping chalets, which line the seaside and are separated by younger Baobab bushes. The stilted, overlarge tents had been as stylish as tents can get, together with a wonderful outside sizzling bathe!
When the solar lastly set, we loved one other scrumptious meal adopted by native music and dancing by the employees and a Malagasy band! (And to be utterly actual, we stayed in the essential restaurant to make use of WiFi to work for the the rest of the night time).
NOTE! I need to give an enormous shoutout to the wonderful household that at present manages the Mikea Lodge: Caroline and Peter (and their two lovable little children Pierre and Sapphire). They don’t seem to be solely past hospital, however extraordinarily enjoyable and fascinating to speak to! I hope you’ll get an opportunity to fulfill them whenever you go!
Madagascar Day 5: Baobab Forest, Mikea Forest, & the Indigenous Tribe
We awakened early for our included breakfast, then it was again to journey time! The primary exercise we had been scheduled to do was journey Buggys and quads to the Baobab Forest, which was an journey itself!
I instantly known as first dibs on driving the buggy…which…is spectacular contemplating I only recently recovered from PTSD and anxiousness from a bus flip accident final yr and a automotive flip whereas I used to be driving the yr earlier than. The buggy’s are made for sand and off-roading although, so after the first 30 minutes of freaking out, I satisfied myself it was secure.
We swerved and slid via the sandy pathway, passing a pair villages and tons of bush till we lastly began seeing a number of Baobab bushes. Lastly we reached an space the place they had been dense sufficient to be thought of a forest!
The Baobab bushes we noticed had been most likely between 600-900 years outdated! The broader the tree, the older it’s! Additionally, the cause why the Baobab trunks are so large, is as a result of that’s the place they retailer their water for the dry seasons. They’re considered the “Tree of Life” and additionally a legend says that they had been planted the wrong way up…
Mikea Forest and the Indigenous Mikea Tribe
Later in the day we set out for one more journey; trekking via the Mikea Forest to search for individuals of the Mikea Tribe. The Mikea Tribe is exclusive as a result of they’re certainly one of the final indigenous tribes in Madagascar that also dwell utterly primitively. They don’t use any electronics or electrical energy, nor have they got precise properties or garments except for loincloths.
They like this lifestyle, so select to not work together with civilization except completely vital; which usually is out of want. We realized what these circumstances had been once we met a small household, however I’ll clarify how we had been in a position to meet them first.
There is just one household in the Mikea Tribe who has agreed to let foreigners meet them. They’re a person and lady with two little women (sadly their son had just lately handed away). With a view to discover them, you need to go along with a talented native information, which we had from Mikea Lodge, who is aware of discover them and who has realized their language with a purpose to translate.
I say “discover them” as a result of they’re nomadic; touring about 10kms each day or so relying on the place they discover meals. So with a purpose to find the place they at present are, you should constantly stroll via the Mikea Forest and search for smoke from their fires, and pay attention for his or her voices.
After we discovered them, our information went forward first to ask permission if we may meet them. The spouse, named Ravnal (interprets to leaves of their language) agreed, and we met her and her two daughters.
I’ll 100% admit that I felt a bit uncomfortable at first as a result of all I may consider was that these individuals most likely assume we’re them like zoo animals. I didn’t wish to make them really feel uncomfortable as effectively, particularly since they weren’t clothed, however I used to be to listen to their story.
We conversed as a lot as we may via our information translating, and realized about how they lived. It was actually certainly one of the most uncooked, actual, and genuine experiences I’ve had with one other tradition.
Ravnal answered all of our questions resembling, “What varieties of meals do you search for”, “Do you utilize sure vegetation for medicines”, and “How did you make the hearth”, and she even instructed her youngest daughter to return present us the Zebu horn and piece of flint they use to spark it.
Although all of them smiled, and laughed once we tried to pronounce “Thanks” and “Goodbye” of their dialect, I nonetheless puzzled in the event that they thought we had been intruding, or glad to share about their lives.
Madagascar Baobab Camp
Solar was setting by the time we lastly left the Mikea tribe household, and we set off to search out our camp that the Mikea Lodge had arrange for us. Along with the Baobab Forest tour, Mikea Lodge can also be going to start out providing the Baobab Camp choice for friends!
The army grade tents had been arrange in between a cluster of three obtuse 900-year outdated Baobabs. They got here full with a entrance patio space that even had a camp-wine-cooler! If you happen to’re not an enormous fan of tenting, you possibly can have the choice to go to the camp for a BBQ and bonfire, then head again to your chalet at Mikea Lodge!
Since we had been lined in dust from the buggy and 4 wheeler excursions, we opted to sleep again at the lodge. Nicely, and additionally after all as a result of we wanted wifi to have the ability to put up issues like this so that you can learn 🙂
Tomorrow will likely be the final entry of this sequence earlier than I put up a spherical up of suggestions and necessary journey details about Madagascar! Be sure you subscribe to my posts on Instagram, Fb, or on right here to get up to date, and additionally to join my Madagascar Eco-Tour subsequent yr!
Disclosure: This tour was sponsored by WAU Madagascar, nonetheless all experiences, opinions, and writing are my very own!