Responsible tourism: Madagascar north coast nature holiday
Madagascar is one of the most important countries for biodiversity on the planet. Whilst on this trip you will have the opportunity to see flora and fauna that is endemic to Madagascar such as the beautiful Coquerel sifaka and up to 7 different species of lemurs including the crowned lemur, fat tailed dwarf lemur and the mouse lemur which is nocturnal, plus chameleons and over 48 species of birds. Your naturalist guide will help you to spot these amazing creatures, astonishing wildlife and stunning flora and lead you on an amazing adventure. We are hugely committed to conserving the wildlife and to supporting the conservation of the rainforest in Madagascar and by travelling with us you too will learn how to help with this process and you will be issued with instructions as to how to help preserve the environment which we hope you will follow. Our local agent is very active in the reforestation work in the area and we support this both financially and physically (where possible!), since 2008 our agent has personally raised funds for over 500,000 trees to be planted and we are responsible for providing some of these trees. For every client booked on a trip to Madagascar we finance one tree per day per client through our agent. By supporting the conservation of the rainforest we can encourage the authorities to recognise the potential of wildlife tourism which in turn ensures the protection of this unique environment.
We only use local guides as we want to support the communities and believe that the best advice can only be given by those who are immersed in the culture. We pay fair wages and treat everybody equally and request that you do the same. We use local businesses and services and recommend visiting markets and purchasing the handmade crafts, we also recommend restaurants and visit villages that are off the usual tourist path thus interacting and supporting local communities and hopefully injecting some much needed capital in to the local economy. By supporting the reforestation project we help to educate the community as to the benefits of preventing logging and planning for the future and also providing jobs for some of the locals who are employed to maintain the nurseries. Everyone who travels to Madagascar with us are contributing towards a unique community reforestation effort run by us. We fund a school tree nursery near Italavina. This is a long term project which aims to plant over 2000 trees every year, as well as provide fruit for the children in the local school. We invest 2% of every trip cost to help fund this and you can include a visit to this project as part of your Madagascan itinerary or even spend time 'volunteering' to help develop this project further. We have already started building the fencing (350-400m) and are in the process of planting a well designed/equipped 100 tree orchard as well as 100 luguminous and 100 moringa Oleifera (nutrional plants) on a piece of land we have bought for the school.
After the first couple of years this will produce 200 young fruit trees saplings (to be planted on student's family land) + 1800 leguminous trees (to be planted on community land).
The plan is that the first harvest of Ananambo nutritional leaves will be ready by 2013/14 to supplement the daily diet of students. Once the trees start growing and with the first seeds (papayas, passiflores, moringa, etc, ...) a small poultry operation will be launched, providing eggs and occasional meat for special school events. The association of poultry and fruit trees is extremely beneficial for both and is a long long time old practice in Madagascar. After 5-6 years, daily fruit distribution for students will be possible.
We employ one permanent gardener to maintain and direct student's works and are able to implement this with the support of our clients travelling to Madagascar with us (approximately 2% of the trip cost is donated to this project) and our local partner who is extremely active in reforestation of this area.