Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

Fort Dauphin is a new port which has been to export titanium from the nearby mines. Until the port was built cruise ships had to anchor offshore, however due to political instability we were told that we were the first ship to visit this area for 4 years.

It was a beautiful sunny day so we had excellent views of the nearby beaches and mountains.

During the morning the ship's crew had a lifeboat drill, which lasted for an hour or so. Towards the end of the drill the crew disembarked and lined up in the port.

Then one of the inflatable lifeboats was lowered and automatically inflated once the box was opened. The white box on the right is the lifeboat's cotainer,

We'd wanted to go on the tour to the Reserve, in the hope of seeing some lemurs, but the trip was fully booked. However Colin and Elsa decided not to go, as Colin wasn't feeling too well, so we bought their tickets.

We were taken to the car park at the beach in a shuttle bus where there were several vehicles ranging in size from small mini-buses to 30 seater buses waiting to transport us to the Nahampoano Reserve. On the way we passed several small villages,

These kids were having a great time keeping cool in small pool.

We were surprised to see lots of rice paddies but later discovered that rice is the staple food in Madagascar. Most of the houses were made from reeds, palm trees and bamboo. A lot of them were on raised platforms.

The Nahampoano Reserve used to be the botanic gardens before independence and some of the walkways are still maintained.

There are several 'bamboo forests' in the reserve. They range in size from a few metres to well over 20m in height.

Kevin is standing beside some of the largest bamboos in the reserve.

 

We did get to see one group of lemurs, well hidden in the trees as it was very hot in the afternoon. They took very little notice of us so we were able to get to within a couple of metres of them.

 

These guys were making oil from eucalyptus leaves.

A group of local dancers near the shop in the reserve.

On our way back to the port we had a good view of the ship.

We left Fort Dauphin that evening.

The first sunset we'd seen for several days as most days it had clouded over in the late afternoon.

At sea, on board the MSC SInfonia.

Mauritius.

Reunion.

Ile St-Marie, Madagascar.

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar.

Maputo, Mozambique.

Diary

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