Thursday, 26 February 2015

Poor People but Neat

Bamboo grows all over in Madagascar
Lemurs look very cuddly
Very clean villages
On our cruise, we were dropped off at Fort Dauphin on the southern tip of Mozambique where we elected to take a bus tour to the National Park (unpronounceable name) to see the lemurs.  This involved about an hour on a very ancient, non-air-conditioned bus which also had no microphone for the tour guide so, sitting at the back and bounced around quite a lot we couldn't hear what he was saying. I thought once or twice that the bus would get stuck in the mud once we were on the ground road but despite two anxious moments we finally arrived at the park.  It's a disjointed experience descending on an area where perhaps 1500 tourists are being steered around at five minute intervals in groups of about 25. Such is the nature of cruising. However, we did see lemurs, which seemed rather attuned to the tourists as the guides tended to hand feed them (forbidden) pieces of banana.  Nice and cuddly they looked too.  I tried to think of myself as an intrepid David Attenborough on one of his animal programs circa 30 years ago, but alas, things are so commercial now. Not so the inhabitants of the villages near to the park. They live in bamboo huts and are so poor there is actually no rubbish lying around because they can't afford to buy anything in a tin or plastic container. Their lives revolve around what they can grow: rice, yams and fruit.  And there are so many member of our party was approached by a local woman who begged her to take her baby. At home here in South Africa we also have our poor townships: however they feature many double-storey brick homes (built without planning permission) and all have satellite TV dishes and there are mountains of rubbish everywhere. Houses built for them by our government for free have shacks in their tiny gardens full of refugees from other countries who pay exhorbitant rents.  Life is full of ironies. I guess no refugees go to Mozambique.

1 comment:

  1. Wow lemurs in their natural habitat. That is a very quaint and clean looking village. It also appears to be quite mountainous there. It looks like you had a lovely trip despite the discomforts of the tour bus.