Skip to content

Category: Travel

A leap in lepidoptery

In early 2018 I was back in my second home, Madagascar, to get my fix of sambos, lemurs and other wildlife. Once again I had the pleasure of spending some time with SEED Madagascar’s conservation programme in Sainte Luce. SEED provide unique volunteering experiences working with the fabulous endemic wildlife and people of Madagascar – […]

Continue reading…

The Lost Lion

Barely twenty minutes had passed before we had unexpected visitors: a herd of six elephants coming up fast behind the loudspeaker car. Frantically, we signalled to cut off the recording, as the elephants didn’t look happy. Seeing our urgent semaphore, the occupants turned, and noticed the herd approaching. Cutting the sound off they froze, the […]

Continue reading…

Photo update: Madagascar highlights

I’ve finally finished uploading photos from the last year in Madagascar over on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielgwood/collections/72157639075496673/.

Continue reading…

Lemur shock

Perhaps naïvely, I didn’t think the situation was anywhere near this bad. In fact, of the 13 lemur species I saw last year in Madagascar, only one is listed as “Least Concern”, i.e. the green slice of the pie chart. Most of the rest are listed as Endangered or even Critically Endangered by the IUCN […]

Continue reading…

One Year in Madagascar

In a few days I’ll be back in Heathrow after an unforgettable year in Madagascar. It’s hard to describe any time in this beautiful country without employing a few clichés. The people continue to amaze me with their resilience, ever-present smiles and welcoming friendliness. Sure, as a vazaha you attract more than a few curious […]

Continue reading…

Soanierana finished

Back in January, we broke ground on the most exciting project of my year with Azafady in Madagascar: Soanierana CEG. A two-room brick and concrete school building, it would add capacity to an overcrowded middle school attended by around 560 students. With just 4 classrooms available before we started, most students were receiving just half […]

Continue reading…

Travels in Madagascar: Wildlife in Ranomafana

Part two of my adventures travelling from Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin with my friends Emily and Tom. Catch part 1 here. Leaving Andringitra and the mountains behind, we went on to Fiarantsoa by 4×4, then met our driver for the next few days, Mamy. A jovial, chatty guy, he was also a careful driver and […]

Continue reading…

Memory lane – Emagnevy

I first came to Madagascar as a short-term construction volunteer, way back in April 2012. Having fundraised almost £2,000 (thanks to generous donations from my family and friends), I joined Azafady’s Pioneer programme for three amazing weeks, and spent the time repairing a wooden primary school (read the old blog posts here). For me it […]

Continue reading…

Travels in Madagascar: Antananarivo to Andringitra

In the break between my third and fourth schemes with Azafady, I finally got the chance to do a little bit of travelling around Madagascar. Together with Emily and Tom (also Azafady volunteers!) I spent 9 days working my way from Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin, taking in scenic towns, a couple of national parks, and […]

Continue reading…

Soaeigna: Urban sanitation

Open defecation occurs where people have no choice but to defecate outside, onto the ground, often in full view of other people1. It affects around 15% of the World’s population, almost entirely in poor areas. Besides being unpleasant to live with, it’s very bad for the health of the community – flies and other pests […]

Continue reading…