Madagascar is the most beautiful place in the world I’ve ever seen. Both nature and wildlife are breathtaking. Its superstitious people and unique culture are incredibly interesting.
There is a lot of shit going down though. The country is poor and knee deep in a political crises, the police is corrupt, farmers clear forests and lands. Not to forget the occasional outbreak of Malaria.
Most vehicles are old and the road conditions are tough. We were told to expect at least one breakdown on our trip.Finding a mechanic in Tuléar was driven by asking random people on the street for vague directions. We ended up in a small backyard accessible through an even smaller alley. Spare parts are rare, even at repair shops. So good drivers have a replacement for every eventuality with them.
The Zebu (a local cattle breed) is the most valuable trading good on Madagascar. They are used as draught oxen, but also their milk and meat is popular. You should also get one if you plan to marry. Because of their value, Zebus are often subject to theft. One of the main problems the Malagasy suffer from are rustlers.
Once a week, the countries biggest Zebu market takes place in Ambalavao. The whole day, people are arriving from all directions. Some of them have been on foot for days just to get a good deal for their animals.