Welcome to Rob's Journeys Web Site

Madagascar 2007




March 30th to April 19th 2007



For the Flikr web page for Madagascar 2007 please click HERE



Days 1 and 2

 Left London at 0605 hours for Marseille and then at 1735 took a flight to Antananarivo arriving at 0445 the next day.

On arrival we were met and transferred to Gilles home outside Antananarivo for breakfast before loading the vehicles for our departure.

We drove south along Rte 7 stopping for lunch at Antsirabe and to look at handicrafts at Ambositra.  Late in the evening we arrived at Shambavy to stay at Hotel Lac.

Day 3

After a brief time to admire the location of the hotel we were off on the road once more. 

Hotel Lac



Hotel Lac

Near Ambalavro we visited the Anjaha Lemur Reserve.  Here we saw Ring-tailed Lemurs and a Hamercop by the water. 




Ring-tailed Lemur



Ring-tailed Lemur



Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur


Ring-tailed Lemurs



Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur


On the road once more and along a track for two hours to reach Antanifotsy where we camped.  In the afternoon we walked up Chameleon Peak and arrived back in the dark for a good meal.

View near reserve



Lakes near reserve



Chameleon Mountain!






On top of

Chameleon Mountain


Rob on

Chameleon Mountain



Day 4

Drove back to the main road and then on to |Ilakaka for lunch.  This town has changed dramatically over the last ten years as Sapphires are being mined in the area.  A short way off the main highway brought us to the river where we loaded the boats for our trip down the Benahy River.  The water was low so we had to pull the boats for some way before camping on the sandy bank.





Getting the boats ready


On top of



Eric and Jaques

The Benahy River


Day 5

A little rain during the night   A hard day as the rafts had to be pulled for most of the day.  Lunch stop brought a crowd of children.




Ever hopeful









Looking for Sapphires






A bit deep in places!






More sapphire sieving






On top of

Chameleon Mountain


Rob on

Chameleon Mountain



The search for sapphires is either by using a water pump and mining but mostly by sieving the sand at the side of the river.












Time to camp


Day 6

Wind strong and about 40% floating and the rest walking to-day.  Sand very soft and walking difficult.  The canyon walls were very high, up to two or three hundred feet high.

Rob and Eric



Mike and Eric



Very narrow for

the large cat.



The boys catching up


Day 7

A lot more floating to-day as the water was deeper.




Both riding now

Rob getting a ride





Side stream a

lighter colour

This shows the colour

of the water

Colours of water mixing



Colourful butterfly



Day 8

Much more water to-day.  We bought a piglet from a village but as the boys got 'lost' we had to wait another day for it to be cooked.











River wider but shallow




Day 9

After a short time of floating we met the Imalato River and started to meet some cataracts up to grade three. 

Eric and Bruno



Bruno and Eric


Eric and Bruno withh Joe


Safely down



We bought a piglet

from a village.

Edmund and Noah





Showing the rock structure




Day 10

After a short time of floating we met the Imalato River and started to meet some cataracts up to grade three. 

Eric and Bruno



Eric and Bruno -

down but wet!

Eric and Bruno





Showing the rock structure




Day 11

The early morning was misty after the rain.

We stopped to see some recent sapphire mining on the bank.  It was run by a co-operative and was a hive of activity. 

The raft flipped just before the junction with the Onilahy River on a Grade four cataract.  We camped soon after.

Mike looking to see how

to make his!









Sapphire Mining
















Local family









Day 12

Soon after leaving this morning we again flipped on a relatively easy rapid (the last of the rapids!)  After drifting for three to four hours we reached a beach near a village where Gilles left us while we continued and camped.

Day 13

We left early to-day and rowed for several hours to meet Harry on a beach where we left the boys to continue with the rafts while we drove to Tongobory and on to Belioky.








Day 14

After camping in the grounds of the Department of the Environment in Belioky we drove for 2½ hours through the bush to the Beza Mahafaly Reserve.  Here we took a walk to see Ring-tailed lemurs and a nocturnal species, Lepilemur Leucopus or White-footed sportive lemur resting in holes in the trees, Verreaux's Sifakas (white), Paradise Flycatcher, Roller, Cardinals, and millipede amongst the identifiable animals.  After driving back to Belioky and searching for diesel oil we continued back to the bridge over the Onilahy River.  Here we met the boys and the rafts and camped for the night.

Beza Mahafaly Reserve



Ring-tailed Lemurs


Bush vegetation


Ring-tailed Lemur



Ring-tailed Lemur


Ring-tailed Lemur


Lepilemur Leucopus or

White-footed Sportive




Verreaux's Sifaka


Old and New







Day 15

It was decided that as the distance to the sea was long and would need much rowing because the flow was slow in places we would drive round to Saint Augustine. We drove via Toliara and along the coast near to a fresh water grotto to camp just before Saint Augustine.

Madagascar Bee-eater



Coffee drying


Packing up


Collecting water







Day 16

In the morning we walked around a peninsular before continuing into Saint Augustine where we met up with the boys and camped on the beach.   




Moon Rise


Saint Augustine


Day 17

There was a mix up regarding the transport to our beach resort at Anakao and we finally arrived early afternoon.  A delightful place with supper food. 

Pulling in nets on

St Augustine Beach


A very windy sunset over

the Onilahy River

Rob after (?)days growth!


Days 18 to 20

These days were spent visiting an island, Nosy Ve for snorkeling and walking along the beach.  Oh and eating far too much splendid fish!

Zebu at Anakao



Children with toy boats


Anakao beach


Large Hermit Crab





Star Fish


Sea Urchins



Star Fish


Eric and Mike


Beach Resort



Box Fish


From the room


Box Fish



Hermit crab


Hermit crab





Lion Fish


Lion Fish


Lion Fish





Lion Fish









Day 21

Left the beach at 0700 hours for Toliara where we had a long wait for our evening flight to Antananarivo.  A short wait and we were off to Marseille.  The next morning we had a short wait for our flight to London Gatwick where we arrived at 1030 hours.








© www.robs-journeys.uk