At the heart of this journey is Mangabe - not the island off the Masoala Peninsula, but a new and precious forest reserve whose hills and deep valleys sing to the tune of Indri lemurs. It is also the most important vestige of the critically endangered Golden Mantella Frog, considered in 2005 to be extinct, but rediscovered on the banks of some simply stunning rivers within the reserve.
In 2014, Aqua-Firma partner charity, the Rainforest Trust, started an appeal to help their Madagascan-based NGO raise the funds needed to establish the 76,000 acre Mangabe Reserve. Aqua-Firma was keen to help and we dipped into our Rainforest4Climate Fund to help the Trust reach the fundraising target needed to gazette the area as a new reserve.
Whilst Mangabe is a haven for endemic lemurs, birds, plants, chameleons and more, lines on a map and research data won't save Mangabe. Mangabe's forest parcels have neighbours who live a centuries old traditional rural lifestyle. Life is hard and whilst they are keen to protect the forests here, our partners have a vision to draw on the location's unique natural resources to provide a positive sustainable future for its communities. That's where this journey fits in.
The vision for Mangabe is a community owned and community run ecolodge. This pioneering journey will make use of early stage foundations to explore the best of what this area has to offer before the first official 'tourist' ever sets foot. Accommodation is a clean mobile safari camp we bring in, with private tents, raised beds, duvets, comfy pillows and hot water safari showers; food and services hygienic. Our journey is a true adventure, trekking through forested hills and paddling by pirogue (dugout canoe) up remote rivers in search of wildlife; and a unique opportunity to make close contact with remote rural communities and their land. You will be touched by the lovely people that populate this area and the inspired team trying to help them.
This journey will also explore the architecture, culture and politics of Madagascar's capital Antananarivo; and get close to lemurs and other wildlife in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Perinet) and Mitsinjo Reserve close by.
Trip leader will be Aqua-Firma Director, Ralph Pannell, who spent 5 years working in rainforest conservation for Rainforest Concern. He will be joined throughout by Board Members of our local conservation partners and local community guides who are expert at spotting even the smallest chameleon that most would miss.
This journey is not just a wildlife adventure - it is a mission to help poor communities, committed to conservation of the Mangabe forests, to make steps towards a sustainable and better life beside it. A 'paper park' won't save Mangabe - what it needs is for its beauty, its people, and its precious biodiversity to be a long-term resource shared with the outside world.
holiday in Madagascar - nature tours and travel - wildlife safari - photography journey - ecotravel - ecotour - responsible travel - Rainforest4Climate - Rainforest Trust - voakajy - hill walk trek hike