One of the symbolic animals of Madagascar (in addition to the cute lemurs and unpredictable chameleons) is certainly the zebu, a bovine with the characteristic hump on its back and large horns. It is medium in size, with small head and ears, with short and smooth hair that can be of different colors: black, red, brown and gray. It is from the same family as European cattle, but is native to tropical Asia, and that is why it tolerates the high temperatures of the tropics much better.

They have been imported to Africa and perhaps crossed with other species for a certain period, but it seems that the Malagasy Zebus are particularly “pure”, more similar to their Asian ancestors.

It is mainly bred for the production of meat, but it also has other important uses.

In fact, zebus are widely used for preparing rice fields, for plowing fields and for pulling wagons and goods.

Without zebu there would be no rice fields, they are used to trample the fields before the rice transplant and thanks to their impressive labor force they prepare the land very effectively.

It is an ecological means of transport: hooked to a cart and in exchange for some grass, it takes the locals along the winding paths of the bush, without having to refuel and without polluting.

It is an animal widely used in Malagasy rites, especially as a sacrificial victim during family ceremonies, major events and demonstrations. Its flesh is also shared to seal the “Fihavanana”, a system of values that is the basis of Malagasy society.

The zebu is also present in death: on the day of the funeral the herd of zebu of the deceased is sacrificed and the skulls are then displayed on the tomb to show off his prestige and to accompany him into the afterlife.

The zebu is very important in Malagasy culture, where it symbolizes an outward manifestation of wealth. Owning a zebu, or – better still – a herd of zebu is a sign of success and the social status of the owner.

So the more zebu you have, the better it is!

MADAGASCAR – The Pousse Pousse

MADAGASCAR – The Pousse Pousse


In Madagascar, many of the most practiced jobs are those that still require human strength. You can see it in the fields, in the shops, in the construction sites and certainly in this row the pousse-pousse riders fall, the typical Malagasy rickshaw which is one of the most used means of travel in many cities.

There are different types, but what unites them is the fact that they are always colorful and often small pieces of art in movement, they always attract the attention of people.

In Madagascar everyone uses pousse-pousse every day, from students to workers, to women who come and go from the markets. It is the cheapest alternative to buses and taxis, but it is also the most convenient way to go through the narrow and crowded streets of the city centers.

The capital of its use is undoubtedly Antsirabe, but it is widespread and common in all the main cities of Madagascar.

Even for tourists it is a pleasant attraction, real city tours are organized in pousse-pousse where you travel lulled by the rhythm of the steps of the rider and you can see the landscape and local life slowly parading on the sides.

The local imagination is very striking, often for children it is one of the jobs they would like to do when they grow up.

MADAGASCAR – The spices of Madagascar

MADAGASCAR – The spices of Madagascar


Madagascar is a country of exceptional biodiversity, forests protect unique plants and animals, the elderly know the secrets of using herbs for therapeutic purposes, isolation and poverty have protected these natural gifts for years from large-scale exploitation. Malagasy people, its history and its nature can be told through the scents of spices.

The pristine and rich lands of Madagascar produce the best quality of vanilla (Bourbon) and an infinity of spices and herbs that stand out in flavor and aroma.

They are grown in quantity, taking care of the fields still with ancient methods and thus respecting a natural growth of plants and a process that maintains the natural properties intact, also enhancing the scents and fragrances.

Here are our main tips:

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia): is an orchid native to Mexico. Its pods represent the spice known under the name Vanilla. It is mainly used in pastry, ice cream, in the production of drinks and in exotic cuisine. It has an intense and harmonious aroma and flavor that gives a refined touch.

Turmeric: plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. Known for its delicate taste and intense color, it is also known for its beneficial properties. It is mainly used in cooking but also in Ayurvedic medicine (anti-inflammatory, healing, anticoagulant, protects the immune system). It can be used as an ingredient in baked goods, drinks, ice cream, pasta and condiments, also ideal for herbal teas.

Cinnamon: belongs to the Lauraceae family. Madagascar cinnamon has a sweet aroma and is light brown in color. It is also known for its beneficial properties: a natural toning, a stimulant for circulation and contributes to better digestion. It also helps to fight the cold. In the kitchen, cinnamon is used in pastry, ice cream, in the production of chocolate, wine, spirits and in spice blends.

Ginger: it is the root of a plant native to East Asia, it can be eaten fresh or dried. Its taste is strong and slightly sweet. Recommended for fish, meat, biscuits, bread. It is an excellent digestive, anti-inflammatory, natural tonic and anticoagulant.

Combava: is a citrus fruit of the genus Citrus. Its tree is small and thorny. Its refreshing aroma and intense flavor make Combava a unique product, with a very characteristic and pleasant taste, which can also be combined with other spices. It is also relaxing, anti-inflammatory and digestive.

Madagascar also offers many other spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cloves, mace, pili-pili …

Perfumes and flavors for all tastes and traditions.

From 4 to 10 September the Pope will travel to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius

From 4 to 10 September the Pope will travel to Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius

Madagascar Mauritius

After 4 years, the Holy Father will return to Africa as “Pilgrim of Peace, Hope and Reconciliation”, as the respective countries say

In Madagascar after John Paul II

Friday 6 September, the arrival in Antananarivo with the welcome ceremony is scheduled for 4.30pm. On Saturday 7 September the day will open with a courtesy visit to the President at the Presidential Palace “Iavoloha”, then the speech to the Authorities, to the civic society and to the diplomatic corps and, before lunch in “Nunziatura”, Francis will stop at the Monastery of the Carmelites barefooted. The afternoon and the whole of Sunday 8 September will be dedicated to the Catholic community which in Madagascar represents about a third of the population (around 8 million out of 25), most of them Christian (58%), accompanied by the strong presence of traditional cults.

On 9 September, a visit to Mauritius

The last day of the Pope’s journey, 9 September, will be dedicated to Mauritius Island where the origins of the Church go back to the 17th century and the first Mass was celebrated by the Jesuits in 1616.

“It will be a joy for me to announce the Gospel in the midst of your people, which stands out for having been formed by the meeting of different ethnic groups, and therefore enjoying the richness of various cultural and religious traditions”. The Pope says this in a video message of greeting and thanks sent to the people of Mauritius in the imminence of his apostolic journey.

If one of the peculiarities of Mauritius is represented by the emblematic slogan: “The island of a thousand smiles”, today the Pope’s visit validates this characteristic once more.

Certainly, the Republic of Mauritius, the group of islands off the coast of Madagascar that the Pope is about to visit, is an example of a peaceful and democratic society that has made coexistence between ethnic, religious and cultural groups its strength. Who considers it a part of the West in Africa, who is the place closest to the concept of earthly paradise in the world.

If Francesco, on his long journey to southern Africa has chosen to stop in this country and its 1.3 million inhabitants, it is probably also for this important reason.

Madagascar with a thousand facets, discovering the Panganales canal

Madagascar with a thousand facets, discovering the Panganales canal


As in many stretches of the Indian Ocean, just behind the beach, where the accumulation of sand has made it rich and full-bodied, almost a line of dunes has formed that becomes a barrier to protect the territory behind, as if to divide two kingdoms, that of the ocean without borders and a system of pools of water, of canals and inlets, those that elsewhere are called backwaters, fed in turn by the watercourses that come from the inside, which constitute an ecosystem to itself, calm and quiet, marked by expanses of mangroves, swamps and muddy stretches, delimited by a whole series of embankments and passages that the work of man has done to shape for its use.

This was followed by a complex design hand that over time created a sort of artificial canal that runs just inside the sea line, even for more than 600 kilometers. One of these channels was built at the beginning of the colonial era by the French governor in Madagascar, used as an efficient system for the movement of vehicles, goods and people in a very difficult area without other means of communication. The Panganales canal has thus become a place of great interest. Now visitors can enjoy a boat cruise along this canal from Toamasina to the village of Ankanin’y Nofy. Along the way, you can discover the lifestyle of the villagers, the fishermen and once in Ankanin’ny Nofy visit the Palmarium reserve to admire various species of lemurs. And of course do not miss the chance to see the Aye-aye, a kind of nocturnal lemur, known for its long fingernails and fluffy hairs on its head.

And right in Toamasina, the largest port of Madagascar and second city in the country after Antananarivo, inaugurates The Streamliner Hotel Apartment, an elegant complex that redefines the concept of luxury offering guests 36 fully equipped apartments with a living area, kitchenette and balcony , to feel at home at ease.

The biodiversity theme  and safeguarding the eco-system are widespread knowledge and pursued all over the world.

The biodiversity theme and safeguarding the eco-system are widespread knowledge and pursued all over the world.


Madagascar holds an impressive range of biodiversity, natural beauty and cultural resources to support tourism. Today there is a real need for biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism. And so more and more tourists choose to explore the country differently.

FRIENDLY CAMP is a group of Lodges immersed in the extraordinary and generous nature of Madagascar. The Saha Forest Camp located on the east coast of the country, Camp Amoureux (Lovers Camp) to the west and Black Lemur Camp in the North, were created to find the best balance between the needs and aspirations of the local community and the sustainable conservation of biodiversity . A stay inside the fields will be an unforgettable experience.


Madagascar: for those who can not give up the call of the forest …

Madagascar: for those who can not give up the call of the forest …


Lemurs, chameleons and baobabs, rainforest, beaches and desert: Madagascar is even more beautiful opting for a stay in the new luxurious Ecolodge: Mantadia Lodge.

The new ecolodge, located about 10 minutes drive from the Analamazaotra reserve, famous for its rich fauna and lush flora, allows a real immersion in nature.

In this place are present:

– 120 species of orchids, most are the epiphytes with 100% endemicity, they are only found here !.

– over 1200 species of plants with an endemicity of 77%.

– 11 species of lemurs, but also some rare carnivores and a rich fauna of micromammals.

– 109 species of birds and 3 of the 5 different species of Brachipteraciidi, terricolous birds that exist only here

In this Park it is possible to organize several excursions, the most attractive is the one that leads to the sighting of the lemurs «Indri or Babakoto», which holds the record among the largest existing lemurs with a head-body length of about 68 cm and weight included between 6 and 9 kg. It is a black and white lemur that maintains an upright posture when it climbs or clings to the trees, it has no tail.

The lodge, located on a 100 meter high hill, offers a wonderful view of the forest and the village of Andasibe. The restaurant and its huge terrace overlook the lush surrounding forest, a perfect setting to watch the sunset. Guests also have access to the lounge bar and reading area.

The lodge also features an infinity pool and two massage rooms to make guests’ stay even more pleasant.

and most visited tourist area on the island, off the northwest coast of Madagascar, welcomes Ethiopian Airlines

and most visited tourist area on the island, off the northwest coast of Madagascar, welcomes Ethiopian Airlines

Madagascar Nosy Be

The airline lands at Nosy Be- three times a week with departures from Italy every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Boing 737-800  can accommodate 16 passengers in Business class and up to 138 passengers in Economy.

It is the largest and busiest tourist destination  in the island of Madagascar. Its white sandy beaches, its blue-green seas and its extraordinary underwater life make it a perfect destination for diving, fishing, cruises and much more.

New hotel in the heart of Antananarivo

New hotel in the heart of Antananarivo

Antananarivo Madagascar

Havana Hotel Resort is a new luxury hotel located five minutes from  city center. The hotel is housed in a completely renovated old building with a modern decoration and consists of 42 rooms divided into three categories: suites, apartments and studios. The charming restaurant offers a refined dining experience. The cocktail bar “The Moon”, located on the roof overlooking Lake Anosy,  is the ideal place to relax with friends and relatives.

Madagascar … primitive beauty …

Madagascar … primitive beauty …


For those who want to break with the repetitiveness of beach life and excursions between sea and nature, today, the absolute novelty of Antananarivo is the opening of Le Musée de la Photo du Madagascar.

A few steps from the former Palace of the Queen of Manjakamiadana, the first museum of photography is a true innovation for the capital of Madagascar. The gallery represents various photographic collections that show the history of Madagascar through different periods, the daily life of the Malagasy people, the images after independence and the period of the great buildings. The “Café du Musée” is open from Tuesday to Sunday, an ideal place to have lunch. Another way to learn more about Madagascar and the hidden history of the “City of a Thousand”.