North 2013

Between the Tsingys

Die Tsingys von Ankarana

I’m dog-tired. The annoying muezzin, the air conditioning that has to be turned back on, the countless blackouts… and it’s not just me. Most of the group are about to fall asleep. I’d like to sleep on the floor.

North 2013

Of kath zombies and a muezzin

Goldstaub-Taggecko in meinem leeren Cocktailglas

The spider is – to my great relief – not detectable in the morning. I deliberately did not light up the ceiling and I did not look under the bed. Since I’m up early anyway, I get up directly and sort my whole backpack apart with pointy fingers. It would be even creepier if I could carry such an eight-legged souvenir around with me!

North 2013

Relaxation at the dream beach


Today is a day of doing nothing. One by one at half-past nine everybody comes in for breakfast (this time with pineapple juice). Officially there is no program today. Who likes can lie down on the beach and let the sun slowly grill them. Some of them want to look for frogs near the entrance to the lodge by a stream in the forest.

North 2013

A visit to Nosy Faly

Pantherchamäleon auf Nosy Faly

The day begins with a small breakfast. The open restaurant serves baguette, honey and scrambled eggs. You get a glass full of thick, white-greenish liquid with it. Supposed to be Corasol or something. It tastes like stirring some plants with water, not my cup of tea. I drink it bravely anyway, somebody claims that it protects against cancer (well, if the evil pharmaceutical industry finds out! 😉 ).

North 2013

In the realm of the panther chameleons

Pantherchamäleon aus Ankaramibe

What I didn’t know last night: There is no sleeping at 30,9°C and without air conditioning anyway. The air is so extremely stuffy that at about three o’clock at night I open the window at some point because it is simply not bearable in the heat. As a result, a million mosquitoes follow the delicious smell of human skin. I spend the next two hours struggling with the hum, the fan, the mosquitoes, and the heat.

North 2013

Lunch with brains

Auf dem Weg nach Antsohihy

Early in the morning, we start packing. Since I simply cannot handle the sandbox around my tent very well, I throw the things to be taken along and everything that has to be rolled up out of the tent onto the concrete surface for desanding. Air mattress, sleeping bag, sweater, the backpack gets a more careful treatment because of the photo equipment, then pillows and mobile phone fly after it.

North 2013

Shower with gecko


Another day, another walk around the lake. Breakfast with Makasaoka and coke. But this time I’m doing brilliantly – and it’s very amazing how fast you can suddenly get around Lac Ravelobe at normal speed! Only this time it’s the other way around the Ravelobe.

North 2013

The Revenge of the Frog

Lac Ravelobe

All night long I’ve been rather humble. circulation, stomach cramps, nausea – the late revenge of the frog? No idea. I feel better in the morning, but I still feel dizzy. But at least I can say that the stars above Ankarafantsika are amazing – I had enough time to observe them tonight.

North 2013

Madagascar’s toilets

Nördliches Hochland

We meet at seven for breakfast. As everywhere in Madagascar, it takes time until everybody has his morning meal, the kitchens are not so big and nobody is in a hurry. But at some point, everyone is finally provided with tea, juice, scrambled eggs and baguette. Meanwhile, the guys outside artfully pack our luggage in tarpaulins on the roofs of the six Toyota Landcruisers, with which we will be traveling from now on. I am driving with Dimby, Antonella and Andrea – and thankfully I am allowed to take the passenger seat.

North 2013

Sun, heat, breeding farm

Blick auf den See vom Frühstück aus

Shortly after 6 o’clock, it’s just light – and DAMN COLD. Now I also know why there are three blankets on top of each other in the bungalow. Washing my hair gets canceled, without a hairdryer, I will freeze my brain away. Just before seven: It won’t be canceled. It’s getting warmer. By the way, I have a certain advantage to live so high up and to climb the steep stairs several times a day: I get hot water first because the hot water tank is right behind my bungalow.