Vanuatu – Volcanoes, Ocean and Culture

Vanuatu – Volcanoes, Ocean and Culture

In our bungalow on the remote Tanna island, we saw and heard the Mt. Yasur volcano erupting several times every hour. The next day we drove through the desolate and windswept ash field in front of the volcano. As we looked at the stairs to the rim, we felt rumblings, smelled sulfur and saw plumes. We proceeded onto the ridge in our closely monitored group. By this time, everyone had on their hard hats, goggles, and dust-masks and were looking into the crater, while resisting the strong winds. Dusk was approaching and eruptions…continue reading →
Mauritius – Water Sports, Mountains and Blend of Cultures

Mauritius – Water Sports, Mountains and Blend of Cultures

Introduction We were looking forward to going to Mauritius to explore and relax after weeks of exhausting travel in Madagascar. After all, it is famous for its watersports... eye-catching mountains... and colonial architecture. We knew it was culturally diverse, but it really hit us on our first day when we were lost in a forested area, driving by gigantic Hindu statues. We saw an event hall which was having a celebration. We drove in and saw two men outside and asked for directions in English, the language of the government. They were answering…continue reading →
Madagascar Road Trip – Avenue of the Baobabs and Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

Madagascar Road Trip – Avenue of the Baobabs and Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

Introduction Madagascar split off from Africa and India about 160 million years ago resulting in the evolution of a staggering variety of endemic animals and plants. Living in this awesome biodiversity is a unique culture mixing elements of South Asia and East Africa. It is no wonder that Madagascar is on the essential destinations-list for seasoned international travelers To see them, we had to travel great distances only where off-road vehicles can manage, by women with pasted-faces and children in mud-and-grass hut villages, across rivers, while praying we don’t get stuck, across other…continue reading →
Madagascar Road Trip – Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks

Madagascar Road Trip – Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks

Introduction Madagascar has incredible biodiversity, few countries in the world rival it. This distinctiveness alone is enough to justify traveling there. However, that is not the whole story. It has a fascinating culture, mixing Asian and African elements. In addition, photographers are enthralled with the country’s majestic and diverse landscapes. One of the best ways to experience it is to travel on Route Nationale 7 (RN7). While on this road, we marveled at the terraced plots of crops, passed farmers in their wood wagons, swerved around families walking on the road, proceeded slowly…continue reading →
Madagascar Road Trip – Antananarivo to Andasibe

Madagascar Road Trip – Antananarivo to Andasibe

Introduction For decades, Madagascar was on my bucket list. I had seen pictures of breathtaking mountain and forest landscapes. I was enthralled by the fact this island separated tens of millions of years ago from Africa and India and its flora and fauna evolved differently than the rest of the world. I pictured a giant Galapagos Islands but inhabited by a unique culture that was different from the rest of Africa. Well, I finally made there and it more than lived up to expectations. I saw the awesome biodiversity including baobab trees... ...chameleons...…continue reading →