The first time I guided visitors around Madagascar was in April 2001, the year during which there was a full eclipse and haven't stopped since!. As people say, my country is unique. And because I know my guests want a really special experience, I am always mindful to deliver my best for them. It is not always easy to meet everyone's expectations, but I aim to do what I can to ensure that my clients take great memories home with them.
One of the challenges of my work is trying to explain the very evident poverty which I see and which I feel in Madagascar, to western people when they ask me about it.
Choosing a favourite place or two is tricky -: there are so many different habitats and cultures. I really like the dry regions - places where it looks like things are dead but where in reality, it is quite lively. Tsimanampetotsa just inland from Anakao is a good example of dry bush with its old baobabs; strange vegetation; lemurs and numerous birds. My second favourite location is the Ankarana West (Ouest) part of Ankarana Special Reserve. Here you can see beautiful dry deciduous forest and a huge cave that is like a cathedral inside. At the end of the day, you can take in views over the tsingy - it is just outstanding!
I love wildlife, so very highly recommend Madagascar as a place for people who enjoy being out in nature. One place I recommend to everyone, is Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. You can see the biggest living lemurs (Indri) here. In all, the park has 13 species of lemur. It also protects great habitats for endemic birds like ground-rollers. And there are many chameleons and geckos. So anyone on their first visit to Madagascar really must explore Andasibe,
Tourism is one of the sectors that has a direct impact on local community life. Part of the funds earned from tourism can improve the education levels of kids living around our national parks, because more schools can be built and more teachers can be paid. As a result, development is more permanent and effective.. My hope is that our partners abroad in the tourism industry, will continue to promote Madagascar and boost its profile. .