Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
March 13, 2013 – 12:05 am | No Comment
Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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In the lap of nature

Posted on August 26, 2010 | Travel Destinations10 Comments


Madagascar is more than just a little island sailing in two boats, being off the coast of Africa as it is but with its roots in Asia. Madagascar is a little pearl unto itself and its uniqueness is deep-set in its ways and exotic wildlife, with tree-climbing lemurs (some of which make a sound like a siren) scurrying away just as soon as you snap that twig below your foot. Flippant Hollywood animated barely begins to do justice to it. Over millions of years of evolution, Madagascar has flora and fauna far removed from that you would find in any other place on the face of the planet, such as the carnivorous pitcher plant. Madagascar is a conservationist’s wet dream and a wildlife fan’s wildest imagination sprung to life.

Unique is Madagascar, right from the experiences you’ll have here to the people you meet to the forests you’ll traverse. Peruse these four samples of what awaits you in Madagascar as a precursor of things to come.

Madagascar island

Stomp through a rainforest and relax in a hot tub

If that is your idea of a perfect afternoon or morning, then you’re in luck because the Parc National de Ranomafana has exactly that in store you. Hot springs abound (we are talking about just south of the Equator here, y’know) and the Lemurs peer out at you with their beady eyes before darting off. The Bamboo Lemurs in particular are a real draw and once you’re done gazing into their eyes make a beeline for the hot tubs located across a skeletal bridge hanging precariously over a roaring river. There is no better way to relax than to soak your bones and regain your vitality and if you get the chance, try and find and have a conversation with Dadalira, all of 106 years of age and still wiser than his years.

Breakfast with the stars

The French left an indelible mark from their time and it makes itself known in the little things, like croissants being found everywhere. Dine like a Malagasy then at a rickety roadside shack, wondering which will happen first, the roof caving in or your breakfast arriving before you. Most of the establishments cook up terrific mofobols (Fried dough balls) and a syrupy coffee oozing sweetness that will make you do a double-take at first sip. It’s not fine dining, but it is Madagascar at its purest and if that is something you can’t stomach (you city slicker, you), head to the Michelin Star endowed La Varangue in Antananarivo where your taste buds will gladly give in to Lalaina Ravelomanana overtures. The view of the city isn’t too bad, but it’s the menu that really is to die for.

Lakeside safari

If you can make it so that you can drag yourself out of bed at ohmygod o’clock (read as “at the crack of dawn”), you can grab yourself a canoe and row, row, row your boat gently across Lac Alaotra (the largest lake in all of Madagascar) and try and track down that bamboo lemur we told you about. Your guide (and you will need one) will guide you through wispy reeds of Papyrus and the Lemur is a sight to behold, as is the safari itself but be warned; getting there is plainly tedious and it will take close to twelve hours, maybe more, to get there. The camp is just two bungalows set amid a breathtaking garden of roses but it is well worth the trouble you will have taken to get there.

Lac Alaotra

Up close and personal with Mother Nature

No matter where you are in the four national parks resident to the rainforest, you will hear the eerie call to arms of the Indri, the most prolific species of the Lemur on the island. A sight in monochrome, they hang high overhead as if they are silent watchers and sentinels of the island. The rain forest runs lush and thick and there’s all sorts of creepy crawlies (or amazing creatures, however you want to look at it) to be found here such as the fat chameleons and the giraffe necked weevil that really does have to be seen to be believed.

Indri

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10 Comments »

  • Herman Barzun says:

    Oh! An AWESOME and completely DELIGHTFUL prose…Mesmerizing and very charming!

  • Anne Cullen says:

    Madagascar is a place so beautiful, that it will make you forget the Hollywood cinematography!!

    It is separated from Africa by hundreds of kms of sea and about 150 years of evolution….

    You’ll see nowhere else on Earth 20 varieties of Lemur..The largest stomping ground of the elephant bird the largest bird that has ever lived…

    The culture of the people living here is steeped in taboo and magic,imbuing caves, waterfalls, the people here are unfailingly polite and friendly…

    The people here speak a language which has more common routes with South-East Asia than Africa…

  • Felicity Cole says:

    The National Park here is quite well-known for its hot springs and lemur-inhabited rain-forests!

    This place very old and and got many rare creatures found to be nowhere else on the planet other than Madagascar..!!

  • Guillermo del Tomo says:

    I’ve been to Madagascar and Andasibe’s rich rain-forests echo with mysterious calls of Indri, the largest remaining species of Lemurs…

    A very beautiful place and UNIQUE in its true sense!!

  • Joanna Makeba says:

    We were around this region between June and September, ask around about attending a Famadihana, when families exhume the bones of their ancestors in a two-day rum-fuelling celebration!

    It’s not at all sad or gloomy , but a celebration of sorts!Their is so much dancing to music played on Accordian..And no the tombs don’t smell of rot as I anticipated , but of earth…

    When I asked my host,the head of the family that did he believe in all these rituals..He said a quote from the Bible that ‘when a person dies, the soul leaves his body and goes to heaven.’

    But he told me that the others did believe that their ancestors did help them..

    I asked him then, why did he organize the event? He exclaimed delightfully “FOR THE PARTY”!!

    And indeed what an AWESOME party it was!!

  • Erica Smithson says:

    My friends and I were at a week long vacation at Madagascar and what fun it was!

    We visited the zoo and saw so many rare kind of lemurs which shrieked different eerie sounds!

    It was the funniest and the most exciting trip I’ve ever undertaken…

    I highly recommend traveling to the beautiful land of Lemurs, Madagascar!!

    Bon Voyage!

  • Danny Roberts says:

    Cool POst! I enjoyed reading it…

    I’m tuned in to your site now..Thank you so much for this THRILLING piece!

  • Bree Maxmueller says:

    Since Madagascar is located in the Southern Hemisphere its seasons are switched..

    The summer is from December to March and the winter lasts from June to September..

    Rainfalls occur throughout the year, but most rainfalls are in the months of December and January..

    The best time to travel to Madagascar is during mid- year when the temperatures and precipitation both are at an all time low!

    This place should be avoided in the rainy season, especially if your plans involve traveling off-beaten treks, which will be made more difficult owing to the muddy and slippery roads!

    Keep posting! :-)

  • Charles Whitefield says:

    If you go to Madagascar, which you must..

    Then there is a lovely restaurant in Isoraka area, which lies in the center of Tana…It is mainly visited by expats and rich Malagassy..

    And exotic French cuisine with a slight mix of local recipes..!

    Very good service and good bar too! Don’t just order a plate , go for full meal with wine..

    My favorite was the Foie grass with apple, the best starter I’ve ever tried…!!

    For the main course the Zebu(beef)in green pepper sauce is awesome! For deserts , ask for their chocolate!!

    You are surely going to enjoy this a lot!

  • Brandon Lee Cooper says:

    Ahh! Highly commendable! What a fine piece of literary prose you have composed! Indeed well-written! :-)

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