The marvelous baobab


Im back in the land of baobabs and lemurs and a place very close to my heart. Nearly nine years ago Chris proposed to me here and I have the engagement ring he bought here to prove it. I’m in Madagascar!

This time it’s for work and there’s no Chris, so opportunities for romance; nil. Still I have been booked into a lovely hotel – all hewn mellow wood, artisanal accessories and a bed the size of a London spare room.

The management have taken the advice of Tripadvisor’s contributors and covered up the massive round hole in the bathroom wall giving direct line of sight from the toilet to the bed. “What can we see today through the round window?”


“Madagascar is what’s officially known as a biological hotspot, a self-contained reserve of unparalleled natural diversity, value and potential. There are eight endemic plant families, eighty different chameleons – half the species in the world – and most of the planet’s orchids. It’s the only place where you can see lemurs” AA Gill. So what great mammalian marvel did I spy when I was sat on my hotel balcony this afternoon? Two rats! They scuttled round the building and made a beeline for the fire escape.


There are two vegetarian choices on the menu and Ive already eaten one of them. It could be a gastronomical void.  Everything on the menu sounds better in French or maybe it’s their interesting translation. Even I know that puree de pomme de terre isn’t potatoe porridge (their spelling not mine!!). Ive started on my rations – a packet of marshmallows. The only trouble is they are crucial to the team building activity Ive planned on Wednesday. Maybe I can improvise with mashed potato!!


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