The northeast of Madagascar, crossed by hazardous roads, is still an enclave away from it all. Yet it is here that travellers discover the preserved soul of the island. Along the Indian Ocean are great stretches of fertile land suitable for the cultivation of the tropical orchids that give their name to this part of Madagascar: ‘the Vanilla Coast'.
In a 4x4, from Ambilobe in the Marojejy National Park up to the Masoala peninsula (to be crossed on foot) it is the fragrance of this delicately sweet spice that carries over between beautiful landscapes—especially in July and August, when the vanilla pods dry slowly in the sun. In smaller settlements, such as Maroantsetra at the end of the road, time seems to stand still amongst the old colonial houses. The Vanilla Coast exudes a unique atmosphere that rewards any who venture into its unknown lands.
Marojejy National Park
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