Exploration in solidarity lands



The Context

Madagascar is a big island off the Southeast coast of Africa. It is one of the 5 poorest countries in the world and 75% of its population lives below the poverty level (less than $1.90 per day). Its Human Development Index (HDI), as defined by the UN, places it 164thth out of 189 countries, which highlights significant and persistent shortcomings in schooling and health care. This almost ubiquitous poverty and development backwardness is caused in large part by cyclical political crises linked to corruption, poor governance and disengagement of successive governments.

The frequent natural disasters (cyclones and floods) do not allow the country to develop either. Indeed, agriculture, an activity that is very dependent on climatic hazards, provides a living for four out of five habitants and in particular rice culture, which provides a beautiful landscape. Madagascar also has a large herd of zebus, which not only provides the main meat consumed in the country, but also feeds an important clandestine traffic especially in times of famine.

However, Madagascar has incredible natural resources that could bring important revenues to the country, in particular the production of vanilla, which represents 85% of the world’s production, and the potential of mining resources, notably cobalt and nickel, which is estimated at 800 billion dollars in total. These immense natural resources can also be seen in the diversity of landscapes and the richness of the fauna and flora.

Moreover, Madagascar has 2% of the world’s biodiversity and 85% of endemic species, which are found nowhere else, such as lemurs and certain species of baobabs. This explains why tourism is one of the first economic activities of the country, with around 300,000 people who visit the country every year, but the development of tourism cannot be at its full potential because of its insecurity, corruption and poverty.


  • Madagascar is a country that leaves no one indifferent. On the one hand, the richness of its landscapes and the incredible diversity of its fauna and flora are fascinating. On the other hand, the immense poverty of the population, outside the capital, can be uncomfortable or difficult to bear. However, the traveler, who does not stop at first impressions, discovers people of great kindness, who welcome you with open arms and are ready to share everything even though they have practically nothing, and above all who have an impressive joie de vivre This exploration mission also allowed us to highlight, despite the abandonment and disaffection by government, that many initiatives are developed to allow the population to survive following natural disasters or to have access to a minimum of education and health care. On the one hand, communities in rural and remote areas are trying to create, in collaboration with local organisations, small structures to welcome travelers, thus enabling them to obtain a complementary income. On the other hand, associations or individuals are creating more comfortable tourist structures, part of the profits of which are used to help the population. But the situation remains fragile and, at the slightest problem, the communities can quickly find themselves in a situation of extreme poverty.
  • 18 accommodations / 86 experiences
  • New partnerships with Malagasy organizations (associations and local agencies): MAHAY Expeditions, MATOR (Madagascar Tourisme Rural), BEL AVENIR, ANTSO RE (Association Nationale de Tourisme Solidaire et Responsable). The French organization : TETRAKTYS.

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