A bird’s-eye view of central Madagascar
My previous posts “Five Minute Friday: Risk” and “Look to the heavens” refer.
We flew west from Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo to the Manambolo / Melaky region earlier this week … I captured these scenes from the Helimission helicopter …
(Click on the first photo below to access a slideshow of better-quality versions)
A home and its rice paddies.
A little village amidst the rice paddies.
This typical Malagasy village is built straight up a ridge.
Madagascar was once covered in rain forest but slash and burn practices and indiscriminate clearing has ravaged the island over many years. Erosion, as a result of the lack of undergrowth, sees much of the island’s topsoil washing out to sea in red-tinted river-arteries during the rainy season …
The Manambolo river from the eastern plateau.
Zebus and grass-cutting a few hundred metres from the Manambolo river. The grass is used for building, mattresses and Zebu-feed.
A patch of rainforest in the Tsingy de Bemaraha national park and reserve. According to recent estimates, only around 10% of Madagascar’s natural rainforest remains.
A Rocky outcrop – like an other-worldly landscape.
A patch of green in winter.
The Tsingy is a forest of limestone rocks – once part of the sea-bed and now 60 – 80km inland from the island’s western coast. Unfortunately we couldn’t walk into it to explore its many natural treasures.
The Tsingy is a haven for wild birds, undiscovered beasts and lemurs, many of which find protection deep in its crevasses.
The rocks have been weathered by rain, forming a forest of needles. Several species of hawk and lemur make their home in the Tsingy.
The team enjoying a short picnic break after flying over the Tsingy
Tsironomandidy – the last major town one can drive to easily when heading west towards Ankavandra …
A valley of rice paddies just west of Antananarivo.
An alternate use for a basketball court – clothes-drying court.