Visiting MATE

Vohimana Travel Blog

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At Feon'ny we had arranged a driver to bring us to MATE, 10 km further up east on RN2. After that we had to walk 45 minutes inland to reach the NGO. MATE, locally better known as Homme et l'environment, tries to maintain forest stations from where they can 'reforest' barren hills in the area. They let locals participate in it, or even leading some mini projects. Attracting tourists must be one financiel income, so we read it in Bradt. "Interesting" we thought. Our touroperator had heard of one couple that really enjoyed it. So, we let our operator arranging the accomodation. Ny, our driver, had told us we did not have to pay anything, but we should ask for the bill and give the money to Ny. Because his company had paid forward. It was mentioned on the voucher.

 Further information we did not get, so this again, was some new adventure.

The driver picked us up at 14:00u. and we were dropped by the entrance of Vohimana Park some 20 minutes later. So, and what now? The entrance contained 3 people, who only could talk French. After showing the voucher, they were asking if we wanted a guide. No, not yet, we wanted to drop our stuff and see the room were would sleep. Maybe later. They did not understand. After some weird talk in French, Dutch, English, hands en feets, Sabine a little bit in panic, the guy who spoke 3 words of English (yes, no and direction) led us to the little village. It was cloudy, fortunately, so the walk to the village was not that hard, but we were glad when we reached it.

The walk inland led us by the village where our 'guide' lives. We passed a building site where a pipeline for water is coming. The road became a path, going to be smaller and smaller. The end of the track was a walk over a railway. We crossed men walking carrying big pieces of wood. Finally we reached it. We were introduced by the hostess. French only. After a lot of effort we arranged some kind of schedule to fill this day and the next morning. First we dropped our stuff in some kind of huge bungalow. At that moment we were the only tourists present. The bungalow was not really completely ready, but sufficient enough to sleep in. No, no, that's not correct. Maybe you get a wrong impression. Yes, there was no warm water and there is a generator, but the building and the room were lovely.
Microcebus spp. juvenile
Almost completely made out of wood, with a balcony view that is superb.

Anyhow, our first balade that afternoon was a revelation. A small scaled circuit containing a chameleon. Again, but this time the dude with the odd nose. We went to the cascade and river and the sightings again were great. No lemurs, but hey no problem. Enough orchids who were planted there.

The nocurnal walk was a fantastic experience. Directly at the beginning we saw a baby mouse lemur. More chameleons, a night-butterfly and researchers. They were passing by, walking to their research centre nearby. The frogs were high up in the trees, to bad. But at the end we got a nice glimpse of an adult mouse lemur. It was so sweet. Perfect photo's! Completely lucky we went to 'our' bungalow to eat. The hostess had made a diner-a-deux on the first floor of the bungalow. It looked like an auberge. It had a weird, beautiful sphere. We were almost treated like king and queen. Completely satisfied we went to room and went to bed. Because the generator went off around 21:00u. so it was completely dark, we did read a little bit with our headtorches, but felled quite soon in sleep.

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Microcebus spp. juvenile
Microcebus spp. juvenile
Homo sapiens
Homo sapiens
Microcebus spp.
Microcebus spp.
Microcebus spp.
Microcebus spp.
Ceyx madagascariensis
Ceyx madagascariensis
Vohimana
photo by: Torwart