Reniala private reserve is a small protected area of only 60 ha. It is managed by an environmental association that goes by the same name as the reserve. Reniala means baobab in Malagasy.  It is located near the village of Ifaty-Mangily (right next to the village des tortues). In Reniala you get to see the spiny forest biome which only occurs in the south-eastern part of Madagascar. There are thousands of plant species in the reserve as well as some incredible baobabs. Not only are most of the baobabs quite old, some of them have quite unsual shapes, such as the rhino baobab or the tea-pot baobab.

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Sunset on the beach , pirogue , Ifaty , Madagascar

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Sunrise on the beach , Ifaty , Madagascar

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Video Village des tortues , ONG , Mangily-Ifaty , WWF Youth Volunteer programme , Madagascar : https://vimeo.com/46276169

The village des tortues is about half an hour away from Toliara ( if you go by car , it’s an hour and a half if you go by Taxi brousse ) . It is owned by a French NGO ( SOPTOM , who also created Gonfaron in the Var in France ) . The village des tortues runs a breeding and conservation programme with endangered tortoises and turtles . When we went to visit the village our guide informed us that they had new spider tortoises (Pyxis arachnoides ) also known locally as Kapila that were seized from a taxi brousse . The Spider Tortoise is found only in the coastal areas of southwestern Madagascar, from the coast up to 10-50 kilometres inland going as far north as Morombe . This small Madagascar chelonian with a carapace of only fifteen centimeters is currently listed as critically endangered . Turtles and tortoises (Radiated Tortoises have been collected in the past by Asian smugglers for their livers and to be sold as pets ) in Madagascar are sold on the black market as food ( bush meat , the eggs are also sold as food ) or as pets . The burning of wood for charcoal and hatsake ( slash and burn agriculture ) is a major threat for the spiny forest biome . WWF has been doing  a lot of aerial surveillance to fight against deforestation . Aerial imagery has shown that deforestation rates are significantly higher over the last five years ( in some areas you can see a dramatic change in the landscape in just a year , especially areas where people do a lot of hatsake ) Even though there’s a ban on those practices ( both of those species are protected nationally under Malagasy law ) the turles and tortoises are still being caught by thousands . Image.

 

Club Vintsy , Ankilimalinika : Teaching the students what a compost is and why it’s important to have one in the school

 

Club Vintsy , Ankilimalinika : the students digging a hole for the compost

 

Christophe (WWF Youth Volunteer) helping the students to finish digging the hole for the compost

 

 

 

 

During my first night in Toliara I stayed in l’hôtel Palétuvier. I was pretty tired from the car journey from Ankilimalinika to Toliara ,it takes only two hours but the road is really bad and it’s quite a bumpy ride. As I was trying to fall asleep I kept hearing noises (that sounded a lot like bird calls to me) . I went to the terasse to see if I had any bird visitors but I didn’t see anything. I went back
to bed and heard that sound again. This time I looked up and saw a gecko above my bed. As I looked around the room I saw
another one near the TV and one on the floor .

Baobab , Madagascar

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