Volahanta Raharimanana

Volahanta Raharimanana

The struggle of young people with the access to health services seem to be not finished yet, especially in terms of sexual and reproductive health. However, having access to such services are so vital in meeting youth’s needs regarding their sex life and their capability to reproduce. Further, having access to good and adequate health services that would prevent HIV or any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and improve sexual and reproductive health remain a fundamental right for young people.

Around the world, millions of adolescents either boys or girls face barriers to maintain their sexual and reproductive health due to many factors such as the lack in the access to essential information and services as well as safe, effective and affordable contraception methods. In fact, these are mainly seen among girls who are increasingly at high risk of being coerced into unwanted sex or marriage resulting in early and unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, STIs, unsure childbirth and stillbirth. Adolescent boys are apparently at risk as well – both young boys and girls are vulnerable to STIs including HIV and appear to be disproportionately affected by HIV (UNFPA).

Understanding the obstacles preventing young people from getting access to good healthcare services so as to accurately solve them
These inadequacies in the access to health services among young people are mostly present in developing countries, where reproductive health problems are a leading cause to ill health and death for women and girls of childbearing age according to the UNFPA. A team of teacher-researchers and students from the University of Antananarivo conducted a study on sexual and reproductive health among young key populations in Southern Africa. The study consisted in assessing cases of African adolescents struggling with the access to healthcare services and the factors increasing this inaccessibility. For the case of Malagasy adolescents who have been surveyed, only 38 percent of both sexes have acknowledged that they already reached out to a healthcare provider to tackle issues on sexual and reproductive health. It is important to note that girls are slightly more numerous than their male counterparts. In fact, this low percentage is due to several factors which include the persistence of the taboo around sexuality. Affordability is one of the main obstacles for young adolescents upon the access to care services. Difficulty of access to contraception for minors is seen mostly in public health sectors, compelling youngsters to come with parents, and most importantly the failure of these public health sectors in providing good quality healthcare, which spurs young people to go to private health centers.

Nevertheless, despite such obstacles, issues on the access to sexual and reproductive health services for young people have been already addressed bymany international bodies. These entities strongly work on how they could help in supporting adolescents’ health and rights by delivering supportive health programs; such as the UNFPA who works with ministries, NGOs and other partners to advocate for and support the efficient delivery of a youth-friendly healthcare package of services which include universal access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information, a scope of safe and affordable contraceptive methods, special and quality care for all pregnant women and girls, counseling and the prevention andmanagement of STIs. Another organization which is also highly committed in promoting quality health services and products in more than 45 countries is PSI; and Madagascar is among these countries which have benefited from PSI’s healthcare programs. In fact, PSI Madagascar already works with the Malagasy government in the purpose to integrate innovative sexual and reproductive health programs into private networks and public facilities to reach rural and remote areas with mobile clinic services. At the same time, PSI Madagascar also focuses on prevention activities to reduce STI’s like HIV by expanding facility and community-based HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services available to all Malagasy young people dispersed in the 22 regions of Madagascar, mostly known as “key populations”.

Getting informed about the existence of these programs would be of great help for young people in improving their sexual and reproductive health and in being empowered by these ones.


Sources: UNFPA / PSI / Professor Jane Freedman, et al. « Santé sexuelle et reproductive chez les jeunes « populations clés » à Madagascar ».HEARD Madagascar research report 2020.

Choosing what degree program to take on as a freshman may feel like quite challenging at first. The choice is crucial: to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of science (BS) degree.

Freshmen students must decide which specific degree program to pursue and be conscious about the real benefits of enrolling in a program. In fact, a bachelor’s degree opens doors to a wide variety of career options that will enable the students to increase their earning capacity and job opportunities after graduating. At the same time, such an undergraduate degree is an important stage to step in if they need to get more specialized in a field that may broad knowledge and further their skills on that chosen field of education. In the USA for instance, there are over 5,000 colleges and universities which may offer the same program but with different degrees: BA in psychology or a BS in psychology for example.

There is not as much distinction in whether taking a program in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, since both BA and BS degrees are both four-year degrees that require 120 credits for graduation. They mainly approach topics differently and offer quite different programs, depending on the school. In fact, colleges and universities each identify their own requirements and designations for the BA and BS degrees they offer. So, the degree designation depends on the college since some offer only BA degrees whereas others provide only BS designations. There are also other institutions which offer fields of study in both degrees with conjoining courses (collegechoice.net).

A Bachelor of Arts is designed mostly to prepare undergraduates with creativity, critical thinking skills, as well as with good communication skills. They are required to take a variety of liberal art subjects associated with humanities such as literature, history, language, communication, and social sciences. Even though a BA degree provides a variety of study fields and a diverse list of courses in a particular major – as it focuses on a broader and liberal arts curriculum – students enrolling in this degree program are in some ways free to choose a certain area of study that they feel interested in and on which they may desire to focus much more to mold their education and skills on the field. In contrast, a Bachelor of Science is more of a specialization in a particular field of study. Students who are interested in a specialization or a career in science are more likely to take a BS track. This natural predisposition and predilection for science allows learners to take focused classes so as to prepare them for their ideal jobs in scientific fields or in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

As a matter of fact, a BS degree generally encompasses technical and scientific majors such as engineering, technology, mathematics, computer science, nursing, and biochemistry. There are also some colleges which offer the BA and BS degrees in the same area of study such as in education, business administration, laws or political sciences and economics. However, it differs only in the curriculum which essentially depends on the degree designation. Students enrolling in a BS in economics may be found to take classes in science, mathematics, statistics, and data analysis; whereas those who are in a BA economics may be found dealing with English, literature, and history. This proves that no matter what degree program you decide to pursue, whether it is a BA or a BS – depending on your career goals – there is always a large scope of studies that may be associated to one another available to undergraduate students.

Sources: nu.edu (National Education) /studyusa.com

Born Jill Tracy Jacobs, Jill Biden, Joe Biden’s wife is the current first lady of the United States.

Compared to other first ladies in US history, Jill Biden is quite a different one since she chose to pursue her career at Northern Virginia Community College and keep a paying job while serving as first lady of America. Indeed, she decided to keep her day job just after moving into the White House. Primarily known as a college English teacher, Dr. B– as her students are used to calling her – dedicated her life to teaching and supporting her American citizen counterparts.

Dr Biden holds four degrees, including a Master in English from Villanova University and a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware. Since she met Joe Biden, she has not ever stopped studying and then working really hard while perfectly fulfilling her duties as mother, devoted spouse, and second lady during Obama’s presidential term. In fact, she has always been there present for her husband every single moment like the first time when Biden announced his bid for the presidency in 1987 but of which he then dropped out in 1988 until she urged him to run for the presidency again in 2007.

Toward serving as second lady between 2008 and 2017, Dr Biden worked alongside former first lady, Michelle Obama and has already been people-oriented as they together launched in 2011 the “Joining Forces” initiative. This has been essentially created to encourage members of the public and the private sector to find big and small ways to support service members, veterans, theirfamilies, and their caregivers; and the program focused generally on education, employment, and wellness (MilitaryTimes.com). Even after leaving the White House in 2017, she continued to work with military families and support military children through the Biden foundation. Just a few days before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Jill Biden as a military mother – her late son, Beau, had served in the Delaware Army National Guard – renewed her vow to pursue her undertaking on helping troops and their families, but most importantly military-connected children.
The current first lady has always been a very dedicated and committed woman. In fact, apart from being an educator, a military mother and grandmother, a second lady and currently serving as first lady, she is also well-known for being a best-selling author. Some of her writing works include: “Where the Lights Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself”, “Joey: The Story of Joe Biden”, and “Don’t’ Forget, God Bless Our Troops”.

Sources: Business Insider/ whitehouse.gov/ Military Times

Peace Corps celebrated its 60 years of service on the 1st of March, involving all the Peace Corps volunteers and community in commemorating the 60th anniversary which was under the theme “The Peace Corps through the Decades: Sixty years, Countless stories”.

This year, Peace Corps week ran from February 28 to March 6 with events that almost went virtual which included a leadership forum, a video showcase on the history of Peace Corps, a virtual talk, and a festival. Peace Corps week focuses mostly on commemorating President John F. Kennedy’s establishments of the agency as well as world peace and friendship, volunteerism and service. Since its founding, over these six decades, Peace Corps volunteers have already counted for more than 240,000 American people willing to serve in over 140 countries worldwide.

The story of the creation of Peace Corps
Peace Corps first started with John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 to 1963. He established it in 1961 in the form of agency aiming at granting an opportunity to American citizens to serve in developing countries so as to promote peace, friendship and volunteering services. It has even been said that the concept of creating such an agency for peacemakers and volunteers took place at an unexpected moment with an impromptu speech from President Kennedy.

The day after his campaign for presidency, Senator John F. Kennedy was just passing by the University of Michigan for a night but thousands of students from the University waited for him to deliver a speech. In fact, the future of the world’s prominent volunteer community lied in a challenge issued by President Kennedy. He challenged the crowd to contribute two years of their lives to help people from the developing world. This is an extract of his speech: “How many of you who are going to be doctors are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives travelling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute. But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past”. One year following this speech, he signed an executive order establishing officially the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. Peace Corps volunteers have now served in over 60 countries which include Madagascar. Peace Corps’ program for Madagascar debuted in 1993, and from that year until 2020 about 1,574 Peace Corps volunteers are estimated to have completed their service within different communities in the regions of Madagascar.

However, due to the pandemic COVID-19, for the first time in Peace Corps history, Peace Corps volunteers around the world have been evacuated from their posts resulting in the suspension of all volunteering activities and projects. Let’s just hope the situation will be getting better soon!

Sources: state.gov/ peacecorps.gov

Everything has changed! The pandemic has taken the world by surprise leaving a mark that is more likely to never disappear.

Many lives have been shifted, the world’s economy has been disrupted and social and cultural issues have risen. As a result, new different norms and measures had to be implemented to prevent the virus spread such as social distancing. Social distancing – one of the main prevention measures set up – is still considered the most effective way to fight the deadly virus. Amid the pandemic, people have been called to stay home and cut off links to the outside world and all ties to anyone else apart from the family members living in the same house. That means, no more communication, no more interaction, and no more socialization have been allowed. Due to such a sudden social unrest, many problems related to culture and society came out. Many countries now struggle in preserving some of their culture, customs, and habits. Some of the most common social habits are being cast aside during the global pandemic outbreak: the handshake and the hug.

For a lot of people, handshakes and hugs are common forms of greeting, or more or less of a custom for certain individuals. When people meet standing closer than six feet apart, they tend to give a kiss to one another, have hugs, give high fives, give a pat on the back, greet with fist bumps, or squeeze other’s shoulder. Today, such forms of greeting and little points of social contact have become suspicious gestures and seem not to be possible anymore. Anthony Fauci, an American physician-scientist and immunologist, who was hosted for an interview in April 2020 with the Wall Street Journal podcast, suggested Americans should never shake hands again to stop spreading the disease: the “no to handshakes!”

It is no secret that some people already hated being hugged or shaken hands even prior to the pandemic; and they may probably rejoice seeing how these habits are now finally vanishing. However, what they do not realize is that social touch, categorized as a non-verbal communication, is one of the most powerful forces in human development, essentially and largely contributing to physical and emotional wellbeing. Indeed, it has always played a vital role in many different aspects of people’s daily lives. Hence, it would be weird to no longer see people interacting via touching. Anyway, there is still what is called the“elbow bump”, which seems to replace handshake and has become today’s new form of greeting among people, whether it is between classmates, workers, or family members.

It is well known that coronavirus has hugely changed the way people communicate and led to a kind of awkwardness and uncertainty. However, these should not impact how people see one another.

Sources: National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine / TIME / Carissa J. Cascio et al., 2018. Social touch and human development

Every country, whether it is independent or not, has exclusively its own official currency.

What generally distinguishes a state from one another is first its language and then its currency. These two elements play a key role in defining national identity as they reflect the country’s cultural value and symbol.

A brief history of the Malagasy currency
Madagascar’s official currency is “Ariary” and has the ISO standard code of MGA. Ariary is a unique currency since it has been categorized as one of the only two non-decimal currencies in the world along with Mauritania’s ouguiya. Both currencies have sub-units that are a non-decimal fraction of the main unit: one ouguiya from Mauritania is the equivalent of five khoums and one Malagasy Ariary is worth five iraimbilanja (enacademic).

The Malagasy ariary and iraimbilanja have traced their root in the pre-colonial period. Ariary means “silver dollar” while iraimbilanja is literally named “one iron weight”. During the colonial period, French “Franc” was introduced into the Malagasy currency policy and started circulating throughout Madagascar making it its official currency at that time; but in the late 1960s following decolonization, it was changed into Malagasy franc. Indeed, it was partly spurred by the Central Bank of Madagascar which took the initiative to issue banknotes in 1974. Founded in 1925, the Central Bank of Madagascar, once named “La Banque de Madagascar” inserted the Malagasy franc alongside the French already circulating in the Big Island. However, in 1945 it was replaced with Banque de Madagascar et des Comores and the Malagasy franc became the Madagascar-Comores CFA franc. It was in 2005 that the Malagasy Ariary has been appointed the official currency of Madagascar. Since then, the Cental Bank of the Malagasy Republic also translated to Banky Foiben’i Madagasikara has kept introducing notes under different denominations shifting from 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 francs to 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 ariary.

Depiction of the Malagasy banknotes
Since the Malagasy banknotes have been issued and printed between 1994 and 2004, each denomination has got its own specific feature. Indeed, all the notes are made up of emblematic images representing the riches of Madagascar. The four largest denominations were issued in July 2017 with a special focus on “Madagascar and its Riches” mostly depicting its economic activities, biodiversity, culture, and touristic sites. According to a decree released by the Banky Foiben’i Madagascar, here is a list of the current notes with their depiction:

• The 100-ariary note which measures 114 x 60 mm depicts the Cathedral of Ambozontany.

• The 200-ariary note measuring 119 x 63 mm depicts the Amber mountains waterfall.

• The 500-ariary note with 124 x 66 mm depicts the site of Ambohimanga.

• The 1,000-ariary note measures 196 x 69 mm and depicts the Kamoro bridge.

• The olive green 2,000-ariary note measures 134 x 72mm and features a lemur on the front side, and a tropical pitcher plant on the back side.

• The red 5,000-ariary note measures 139 x 75 mm and represents a waterfall in the Ranomafana Park on the front side and a humpback whale on the back side.

• The brown-yellow 10,000-ariary note which measures 144 x 78 mm shows a picture of the port of Ehoala on the front side, and a “Valiha” and “Zafimaniry” carved wooden objects on the back side.

• The blue 20,000-ariary note measures 149 x 81mm and displays the image of the nickel processing plant at Ambatovy on the front side, and vanilla, rice, and lychees on the back side.

As far as the value of Malagasy ariary is concerned, like any currency, there are times it may increase and sometimes decrease, but that does not necessarily mean it loses of its value.


Sources: BanknoteNews / Central Bank of Madagascar / Continental Currency

It is always impressive to see a military woman, isn’t it? Indeed, the armed services may be empowering, yet frustrating for women.

Joining the army has always been regarded as an act of bravery, as it is not always easy for soldiers who choose such a career path to put their own interest aside to serve their homeland. Astonishingly, women appear to get more and more interested and involved in the military services. Over the past few years, a fast-growing number of women have enlisted in the army. Across the armed services in the United States, today, women represent 16 percent of the enlisted forces and 19 percent of the officer corps. In 2017, the Marine Corps was made up of 8.4 percent of women. The same year, up to 20 percent of the Air Force were women. In recent years, the US military services opened doors for women in order to break the restrictions on combat roles that have been long caused a controversy and a global issue. In fact, the success story of women in the armed forces always tends to be overlooked as if military career was a prerogative that is granted only to men.

Today it has turned out to be no longer the case. Women have been shown to pave the way for themselves and for the next generation and to make a giant step towards new career paths that once were closed to them. Currently, women are now spotted on the frontline as far as active-duty military and army leadership are concerned.

As we celebrate the International Women’s Day today, here we are pleased to share this testimony of a woman officer in the Malagasy army relating her success story and experience as a woman in the army:

“It is still difficult for the Malagasy society to accept women as leaders in the armed forces as we still live in a society that is more or less patriarchal. Sometimes, our troops get confused when we give them orders; while there are some who admire us for our courage and our strength, for the military training is really hard. We even come to believe that it is not meant for everyone. More than that, some of our subordinates and chiefs do respect us and consider us real leaders. In fact, they do believe in our ability both at workplaces and in the field.

As for my first military experience, I could say that it was tough at the beginning. The process of shifting from the civilian to the military world encouraged me to give the best of myself and to go beyond my limits since the trials required real mental, physical, and intellectual strengths. Once I got accustomed to this sudden change, I felt like I found my place in the military. The training at the military academy lasted about three years. After I had completed it, I started working and I had to search for ways to deal with my duties and how to interact with my chiefs, as well as my subordinates.

As an officer, I am proud of what I have been through, what I have learned, and who I am today. When you go on duty in the countryside, people get amazed to see that there are women in the army; and then they always thank us for serving the nation. When going on duty in urban areas, we are used to hearing people tell us that they wish their daughters would be like us”.

This Malagasy woman officer states that 10 percent of the total number of military officers in Madagascar are women, and the highest rank that women got thus far in the military position is “colonel”.

Here is her message to all the women who intend to enlist in the armed forces: “Well, to any young woman who wants to join the military, living as a female officer requires strength in all fields and patience. There are lots of challenges and duties, and once you have entered the world of armed forces, you have got to make it until the end. There is no way back. If you love it, you will make it even though it is hard. However, if that is not the case, I advise you not to commit to a military career. It may be deceitful for you when getting there”.


Sources: New York Times / Council on foreign relations (cfr.org)


What frightens you and what is your deepest fear? These are common questions that may pop up to people’s mind, yet to which they are not surely and correctly able to answer.

As a human being, fear is always present like faith and hope, and is first of all a state of mind that is mixed with emotion and then translated into its physical equivalent. Sometimes for example, when a person is found to face with a delicate or scary situation, either does this one immediately jump out of his or her wits; or just try to cool down and take it as if it was all under control. The most common fear that has been seen to paralyze people is the fear of failure.

Who will not be afraid of failing in one’s undertaking? People are so scared of being stuck that they have always searched for ways to avoid it at some point of their lives. Fear is one of the most powerful forces in life. It may affect one’s whole life: one’s thoughts, decisions, behaviors, and actions. As a matter of fact, fear takes many forms and is mostly known as “phobia”, which may happen like there are various things as small as they may be but scare us a lot. One person may be found to be afraid of even trivial things, yet easy to get out of; while there are people who may struggle with a fear that they cannot control and which they even find hard to handle with.This is the case of the phobia of failure as if you find yourself being constantly scared of making mistakes, avoiding failure at all costs or just being afraid of not achieving your goals, you may suffer from what is called “atychiphobia”. In other hands, there is also “achievemephobia” or when you are just close to your goal and/or on the verge of success, but then you might be self-sabotaging. At first blush, it may not look like a fear, contrary to the phobia of failure which is quite common and ubiquitous in people’s everyday life. Nevertheless, this is another type of fear that may also touch people, which sometimes appear to be latent at first. Indeed, the fear of success is real, yet remains unknown or overlooked by most people.

Ti Caine, a hypnotherapist and life coach based in Sherman Oaks, California explains how this fear of success exactly works. Success may happen like a process through which one person has set a goal, backed it with motivation, positive emotions and vibrations, and kept sustaining it with the right vision of the future until it is really fulfilled. However, there are people who do not grasp what this phobia is like and are sometimes found to be stuck at the last stage of success. It may happen like they are not conscious about how they are self-destructing themselves and their goals, and even worst, they have doubts about their worthiness to success. In fact, it may be induced by several factors such as the feeling of being rejected or besieged by relatives or friends, the feeling of being unloved if one keeps moving forward in one’s search for success. For people who struggle with this kind of phobia, the hypnotherapist suggests them to find and understand it well so as to tackle with the way they could escape from it. Some advices he would propose include the forgiveness, like what people who are afraid of succeeding needs to realize first that they let it happen making the fear hypnotize them to such a point that it rendered them to lose their real courage and power. So to combat it, the first step on which Cain insists is “to identify the fear zones”, after that “to forgive oneself”. How? Through asking some questions associated with the fear itself while pretending to be powerless like doing a kind of role playing. Some questions may vary, depending on each one, but here are some examples: What do I get to avoid? What emotion am I not willing to release? Or what am I afraid of losing if I succeed? These will help destroy the fear in the subconscious mind and redirect it again.

Whether it is achievemephobia or atychiphobia, these strategies are applicable to both kinds of fear.

Sources: Psychology today

How might it be to have a child who always gets outstanding academic performances and always behaves well?

It might be right to wonder which parents do not want their kid to display such a perfect image of being both a genius and obedient. That could be surely the dream of every parent! Yet, it might not happen like the way they always think it should or want it for many reasons. In fact, here adequate involvement of parents and family members in the education of a child is what is highly needed. Good education is not only a question of getting good marks at school; kids’ home environment plays a vital role in determining what kind of person the kid will become oneday. If parents want their kids to behave well and be successful in the future, they should above all participate in decision-making related to their education. Through parents’ participation, they create an environment that would allow interaction between both sides to take place. Then, it would facilitate the learning process of their children that spans over their lifetime. At the same time, it would probably encourage them more to study harder as they feel more secure seeing that there are people who really care for them and genuinely get involved in their well-being as a whole. Indeed, they feel comfortable wherever they are, whether it is at school or at home.

Here the issue is about how and what parent could do more in helping their children attain their goals both as a student and as a responsible grown-up in the future. To do so, parents and teachers should first be collaborative in making these things happen. It is the best and surest way how parental involvement would operate. In fact, this is a process through which parents and the school work together to improve the child’s education experience and academic performance. Some examples of parental involvement may include engaging in a discussion with the kid about their education experience after classes; helping them with homework; getting interested in what they do by knowing which school activities they chose to practice or get involved in and most importantly attending them; transmitting parental values and taking part in parent-teacher conferences. These are only school-related examples but there are more others that are likely to have more positive impacts on the whole education of a child, like how parents would raise their kids outside the school context; and correspondingly, it may surely engage more family members. Indeed, this is not a one-sided involvement process that includes only parent but also very importantly the entire family and other people such as caregivers.

Sources: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) / parentingforbrain.com

Tuesday, 23 February 2021 12:23

Exploring Nosy Hara National Marine Park

Are you a sea lover? Whether it is the case or not, you should not miss out the sumptuous marine spot in the North West of Madagascar.

Declared as a marine National park in 2012 thanks to its extraordinary landscape and seascape on the coastal region of the big island and has been under Marine Protected Area (MPA) since 2007, Nosy Hara, the little-known archipelago is categorized among the paradisiac islands in the world. The archipelago of Nosy Hara, located about 30 kilometers from cap d’Ambre is one of the beautifully discovered archipelagos in the region of Diana. These ones are made up of 15 small islands which most of them are uninhabited and remained intact. Some of these islands include Nosy Vaha, Nosy Lakandava, and Nosy Anjombavola. But, Nosy hara, the protected area which elongates over two to three kilometers of length is known as the most attractive and interesting one. This is due to its rich biodiversity with an outstanding landscape, as well as an abundance of sea resources. The island is covered by dry forest with huge trees and rocky cliff stones, well-known as “tsingy” that nestle up close to each other and squeeze everywhere on the island. Indeed, Nosy hara is called “mountainous island”; hara which comes from the Malagasy word harana essentially means mountains.

Fauna and Flora
So far as species are concerned, Nosy hara abounds in a variety of animal species, whether it is terrestrial or marine. Managed by Malagasy National Parks and funded by WWF, the archipelago has become a protected site and declared as a marine reserve. The little known paradisiac island with deep blue water inhabits about 400 marine species: 279 coral fishes species, 108 corals, 50 species of mollusks, three sea sponges, five species of sea turtles, whales and dolphins. It contains also more than 30 bird species, 20 reptiles and some amphibians. The National park of Nosy hara is mostly famous for being home to the world’s tiniest chameleon “Brookesia micra”, an endemic and threatened reptile species measuring less than 30 millimeters. Apart from the brookesia micra, other reptiles belonging to chamaeleonidae family are present in the dry forest such as the furcifer pardalis, also known as the panther chameleons, the gecko Paroedura fasciata, the velvet geckos or Blaesodactylus boivini, and the fish scale geckos (Geckolepis ssp). The fauna is so exceptional as the flora which features two species of baobas and pachypodiums standing tall as if they have served as the main decorations to the island.

Activities and park access
Even though the archipelago of Nosy hara is inhabited, activities are still available for tourists and holidaymakers. Two of the most popular activities on the island are swimming and snorkeling, since nosy hara is surrounded by coral reefs and is made of a vast natural aquarium of blue and crystal waters. It has even been said that the marine park is one of the world’s best places to snorkel at. Indeed, nosy hara is only accessible by boat; about 12 kilometers of boat trip from the port of Ampasindava, Antsiranana are needed to reach the known idyllic marine park of nosy hara. If you are an aquatic and nature amateur, but most importantly an adventurous, I urge you to go explore the archipelago of nosy hara along with its other small islands around. You will appreciate it!

Sources: ONTM / Madagascar National Parks

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