It's felt like a quick tour till now, even though we've done tons of things. Dar Es Salaam to Comoros Island to Madagascar to Seychelles.
We left Aldabra last eve to put some distance between us and the cyclone hitting southern Madagascar and Mauritius... we've got some swell today which is a first on this trip... it's been pretty much bath water up till now.
Ok, on to the sights:
The Comoros are an interesting piece of history, a mix of Indian/Arabian/African ethnicities and a legacy of French colonial rule until the mid 1950s I think when several islands voted to become autonomous and only one voted to remain French. Since then there have been many coups and power struggles in the autonomous new country and the standard of living is quite low while the French island of Mayotte remains stable and distinct. Our visit to Anjouan included a walk through a market and the medina area with winding alleyways, various mosques and merchant stalls, a neat up close look at one part of life there.
Overlooking the city and the port from a defensive fort built pre colonial to protect the island from slave ships if I remember correctly... our ship is the big white one on the pier just below my unintentionally but conveniently placed finger...
And entering the market area
We were just there for a day visit, then headed out across the strait towards the "red island"...
On arrival at Mahajanga, Madagascar, welcomed with singing and dancing
We visited the Ankarafantsika national park where the Durrell wildlife trust is involved with breeding endangered tortoises; it was amazing to drive for a few hours across open grasslands (that had once been great forests but have been cleared for grazing and farming) and then enter the park and suddenly we were in a tunnel of green, the road weaving through a High canopy of trees, the breeze was cool and moist... a drastic and lovely change.
Gorgeous textiles that a women's group had on display at the park HQ
Anjajavy peninsula visit