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Wild Madagascar
2022 Trip Report

It has been three years since my last Madagascar tour. COVID struck this island nation harshly, with three separate 6-month lockdowns. In addition, five cyclones hit Madagascar earlier this year. Life on the island hasn’t been easy.

But the people seem unaffected. As always, they are smiling, hardworking, and colorful. As always, the streets are crowded and the markets are busy.  Even better, several of the roads have been upgraded and traffic in and out of Antananarivo seems to move more efficiently than in previous years. The country has been working hard to upgrade its infrastructure.

The joy of our Madagascar tour lies in its diversity. This is not a tour that focuses on just one thing. Instead, we expect to make a diversity of images, including landscapes, cultural images, people at work, astrophotography, macrophotography and, of course, wildlife.

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One of the early highlights of the trip is our visit to Baobab Alley. This iconic stretch of road never fails to produce interesting photographs of the majestic baobabs. As the sun sets, there are a myriad of possible compositions: with the sun peeking through branches or from behind the mighty tree trunks, zooming in close or capturing a full panorama. We are gifted spectacular light a few minutes after the sun disappears below the horizon, as the sky lights up in brilliant reds and oranges. Amazing!

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The stars (and moon!) are perfectly aligned for us this year. Starting at Isalo, we are able to capture crystal clear images of the Milky Way only a few minutes after dinner. The air is crisp and clear, the stars are astonishingly bright. For almost a week we have the luxury of no moon, clear skies, and a perfectly situated Milky Way… and a full night’s sleep!

Cultural photography is another strength of this tour. We are invited into a brick factory, where we capture images of hard-working locals making, baking, and hauling thousands of bricks. Some of the ladies can carry as many as 27 bricks balanced on their head at one time, while walking across a muddy, uneven field.  We also visit a metal workshop, several markets, and a school.

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Lemurs, of course, are the stars of this tour. At several locations we get up close and personal with these curious creatures. We photograph more than a dozen species of lemurs. They are dancing, leaping, nursing, and playing – the opportunities are endless. Many lemurs seem to love performing, jumping down trees to inspect us, or sometimes just racing through the branches, chasing each other.

Packing for our Madagascar tour can be a challenge, as you will want many different lenses for all the diverse photographic opportunities. A macro lens is great to have. On our many night walks we see several species of frog, some of them barely the size of a thumbnail. We also photograph geckos, lizards and chameleons.

As always, Madagascar is a great tour, with new photographic challenges every day.

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Wild Madagascar

Completely isolated for nearly 100 million years, Madagascar—the “eighth continent”—has evolved into an amazing collection of photogenic endemic plants and animals.  Travel with private chartered flights and spacious ground transportation to the island’s best photo spots.

September 26 - October 13, 2024
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