Rusty Rainforests   Leaves glisten in the morning light. A clearing in the trees allows the magpie robin's song to filter onto our jungle trail from the cloud-covered shadows beneath. 
       
     
  Counting Nuts   A grey parrot guards his collection of dry fruit and nuts in a busy Ranomafana market.
       
     
  Peaceful Girl   Feeling very much at home around the local farming community, this parrot awaits left-over produce to be thrown her way.
       
     
  Curious eyes   I have kept parrots and parakeets for many years and always found the depths of their beautiful dark eyes to be a mix of curiosity and gentleness. 
       
     
  Banana Leaves   The jungle humidity and soft morning light settle on these fine plants. Pull away a leaf and you may be welcomed by a frog, a spider or a large millipede.
       
     
  Tram Lines   Drops of moisture settle on the parallel veins of a banana plant.
       
     
  New Growth   Young saplings reach for the sky where old hardwoods once stood.
       
     
  Plant Characters   The leaves of various plant species meet in the foreground of Ranomafana's vast rainforest, like differently-shaped characters meeting at a local market square.
       
     
  Strangler Spiral   Nature's twining staircase, a young strangler fig begins its parasitic cling on an old tree.
       
     
  Forest Beginnings   New shrubs begin their speedy growth from the forest floor, clamouring over one another in search of sunlight.
       
     
  Leaf-Edge   A romantic setting for an insect couple in love, the edge of this leaf offers sensational views of the forest.
       
     
  Delicate Growth   Ferns and epiphytes bring vibrance to the lower and middle reaches of the forest canopy.
       
     
  The   Undergrowth   Strangler figs twine around older hardwoods.
       
     
  Tropical   Skies   Natural skylights allow lemurs to keep a watchful eye out for birds of prey.
       
     
  Forest   Shade   Bracken and ferns thrive on the moist forest floor.
       
     
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  Blaze   of   Lichen   The fiery colour of this lichen stems from the acidic bark on which it grows.
       
     
  New   Growth   A young fern begins to sprout its first leaves.
       
     
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  Lush   Hills   Verdant forest carpets the mountains that surround the Ranomafana rainforest reserve.
       
     
  Forest   Buds   Small fig species and berries supply most of the lemurs’ diet.
       
     
  Wisps   of   Moss   The humidity of Ranomafana’s primary rainforest allows moisture-loving mosses to grow in abundance.
       
     
  Blades   of   Light   A young sapling catches the morning sunlight on its straight leaves.
       
     
  Living   Jewel   The carapace of a dead beetle glistens under the morning light like a precious stone.
       
     
  Epiphytes   Galore   Mosses and ferns grow up the barks of trees to reach the rays of light above.
       
     
  Leaves   in   Focus   Light floods the forest floor through gaps in the canopy foliage.
       
     
  Forest   Bracken   Overhangs of ferns and bracken crowd every corner along this river.
       
     
  Thorny   Scrub   Spines cover the barks of these hardwood trees as vines and strangler figs hang across their branches, creating natural pulleys and walkways through the forest.
       
     
  The   Oxen   Drive   Farmers lead their oxen to rich pastures in the lowland valleys.
       
     
  Cattle   Patterns   Docile cattle laze in the languid afternoon air.
       
     
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  Jean-Marc   With his torn red shirt against the backdrop of his traditional baked clay home, this young boy was a delight to photograph.
       
     
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  Efosi   and   Eliza   Two inseparable friends jostled for space in front of the camera and smiled politely while having their photo taken.
       
     
  Anja,   Nanette   and   Tomasi   Three siblings decked out in their best Sunday clothes hurried towards the camera before making their way to Church.
       
     
  Anja   and   Nanette    These two sisters shoulder so much responsibility, cooking for their families and caring for their siblings from a very young age.
       
     
  Efosi’s   Smile   Taking pride in her pink Sunday dress, Efosi poses outside her home, made of baked clay bricks. The rich pastures in the valleys around Ranomafana have awarded these villagers a good harvest.
       
     
  Husso   and   Tomasi   An older friend, keeping an eye out for any trouble on the side, shares a photograph with young Tomasi.
       
     
  Happy   Trio   Tomasi, Pepita and Eliza line up awkwardly to have their picture taken. Nervous smiles will soon erupt into burst of laughter.
       
     
  The   Stone   Game   I never quite understood the rules of this game but it involved separating groups of stones with a stick, then piling the rubble into small mounds before players fell into a frenzy of excited stone-trading and swapping.
       
     
  The   Stone   Game   Piling stones into small mounds.
       
     
  The   Stone   Game    Separating groups of stones with a stick.
       
     
  The   Stone   Game   Once the stones are ready for trading, the game turns serious with notes of paper money hovering above the rubble.
       
     
  Anja   The eldest of four siblings. Anja led her brothers and sisters towards me and my camera as they were making their way to Sunday mass. Her farming village in Ranomafana created the perfect backdrop for their portraits.
       
     
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  Anja   She had a confident way about her, taking the responsibility of leading her siblings to school in her stride.
       
     
  Julie   and   Rosie   Like most young children in tucked-away communities, these two girls were not quite sure what to make of my camera. However the mischievous pair quickly started crying out for one photo after another.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Efosi   Best of friends huddle together for a photograph in their village.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Efosi   Two girls begin to hold back giggles as the camera starts clicking away.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Efosi   All control is lost as Pepita bursts into laughter.
       
     
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  Pepita   I loved taking photos of this little girl in a too-large denim shirt.
       
     
  Eliza,   Sonia   and   Pepita   You learn so much about kids’ characters by the way they line themselves up for a photograph. Eliza organized her friends into an order of height, whilst Pepita was more than happy to look on.
       
     
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  Rosie    Rosie shields her eyes from the strong sunlight above. The mid-day sun in Madagascar is a veritable force.
       
     
  Julie   Casting a suspicious glance at her mischievous friends, Julie then peered right down the lens.
       
     
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  Efosi   Dropping the camera down to a child’s height helps us see the world through Efosi’s eyes.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Rosie   These two friends could not stop giggling in front of the camera.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Rosie   A tourist taking photos in a rural village is so often a source of amusement for the young residents.
       
     
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  Anja’s Home   Most houses in Madagascar are constructed from wood and corrugated metal. The very wealthy might afford a stone or concrete building.
       
     
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  Pepita   Her large water bowl by her side, Pepita follows the dusty track towards her home on nimble feet. It was a wonderful experience to come across a village so happily settled in their daily routine.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Eliza   As well as the contrasting light and shadows in this image, I love the contrasting looks that the girls are giving. Eliza, the older friend looks comfortable and self-assured, with one step placed forward. Pepita looks at the camera, suspicious of this disruption to her Sunday morning.
       
     
  Pepita   and   Eliza   All smiles once again.
       
     
  Tomaye   A farmer watches on as his children play outside the village chapel. The verdant hills of central Madagascar are largely agricultural and most families live off their own fields and plantations. Zebu cattle is another main source of livelihood.
       
     
  Floriane   Squinting under the intense sun, this young girl from Ranomafana was only too happy to have her photo taken on her doorstep.
       
     
  Off   to   Play   With Sunday mass over, these children scrambled out to play on the village streets.
       
     
  Fosu   One of the youngest in his play group, Fosu approaches our cameras cautiously.
       
     
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  Children   of   Ranomafana   A small crowd gathers in the warm afternoon light.
       
     
  Children   of   Ranomafana   Children pose outside their school in the small farming village of Ranomafana.
       
     
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  Children   of   Ranomafana   Everyone is called in for a group photo in one of the farmers’ fields.
       
     
  Boy   in   the   Barn   A young boy retreats into the quiet of his father’s barn as his friends play with anything they can find on Ranomafana’s dusty tracks.
       
     
  A Mother’s Bliss   A young mother looks elated after seeing a photograph of her young daughter.
       
     
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  Running   through   the   Stalls   A young girl dashes past a group of older boys playing table football.
       
     
  Table   Footy   A group of boys huddle around a football table.
       
     
  Table   Footy   Gang   Table football and horseplay rule the day for this group of young boys.
       
     
  An   Intense   Game    Table football provides the highest level of entertainment for this group of boys in Ranomafana village.
       
     
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  Brothers   in   Arms   Members of the same village group are eager to have their photos taken. Young men are attracted by life in the much busier cities, such as Antananarrivo but make the long journey home during harvest times or for important celebrations.
       
     
  Nicolette   and   Baby   Fausa   A young girl looks after her baby sister while supper cooks in the clay home behind her. Women in rural Madagascar traditionally fill domestic roles.
       
     
       
     
  Watery   Fields   The setting sun is reflected in the still water of these paddy fields whilst a soft whisper of smoke escapes a farm’s chimney. French-style farmhouses are found throughout the rural hills of central Madagascar.
       
     
  Mother   and   Son   A young boy is hoisted across his mother’s back as she makes her way through the paddy fields.
       
     
  Marie   This young girl was so shy. The sight of a camera must have been a very new experience for her.
       
     
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  Marie   Using a chicken to cover her face, Marie hides from the camera.
       
     
  Marie   The soft clucking of her chicken provides some source of comfort for this young girl, so very shy of the camera.
       
     
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  Madagascar   Beats   A young boy turns up the bass on his portable radio. When you grow up on the streets, music is an universal source of entertainment.
       
     
  Angele   and   Philipe   Angele photo-bombs her brother Philipe. One truth kept ringing true while I spent time with these children - that they were happy enough living on the streets and in the fields, playing with wooden toys instead of the tablets and smartphones of today’s generation.
       
     
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  Banana   Leaves   Dew drops catch the morning light as they course down the veins of this banana plant.
       
     
  Lush   Forest   Evening light gives these plants a rusty colour.
       
     
  Climb   to   the   Top   The tallest trees form the forest canopy above.
       
     
  Forest   Rays   The afternoon sun winks through thorns, hardwoods and saplings.
       
     
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  The   Undergrowth   Lemur trails line the forest floor.
       
     
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  Gentle   Waterways   Placid lakes dot clearings in the forest undergrowth. They make perfect resting spots and drinking holes for lemurs and other endemic wildlife.
       
     
  Gushing   River   Water flows out of natural springs before entering the brackish lakes below.
       
     
  Evening   Lake   Many bodies of water are sacred in Madagascar, with spirits in the guise of lemurs and chameleons ready to avenge their homes should they ever be disturbed.
       
     
  Canyon   River   A stream of water cuts through this limestone canyon in the centre of Ranomafana rainforest.
       
     
  Natural   Blinds   Thick leaves and spindly branches allow the perfect amount of sunlight to filter through.
       
     
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  Sky   High   A dead tree, perhaps burned during a lightning strike or forest fire, accompanies a group of younger hardwoods as they reach for the clouds above.
       
     
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  Forest   Drapery   Leaves, branches and flowers create the perfect backdrop for the intricacies of life in Ranomafana.
       
     
  Green   Slopes   The base of an extinct volcano in southern Madagascar is carpeted in thick vegetation. Water running down the slopes settles as dew and moisture on those thick leaves.
       
     
  Elephant-Eared   Chameleon   This small chameleon species opened one eye to observe us on our night expedition.
       
     
  Pin   Stripe   A small chameleon species hangs motionless on a leaf, its flank decorated by an ochre stripe. At night chameleons tend to gravitate towards the lower reaches of the forest scrub.
       
     
  Night   Leaves   Dew drops glisten under torch light on a night expedition through Ranomafana rainforest.
       
     
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  Ranomafana   at   Night   The night is never still, with nocturnal mammals, amphibians and insects read to stir up a racket.
       
     
  Forest   Hues   Twilight over the forest-clad hills creates an abundance of warm colours.
       
     
  Bursting   with   Life   Ranomafana’s undergrowth teems with life, evident by the shrill calls of hundreds of bird species and the sound of lemurs chasing one another in the trees. Frogs and insects create an equally loud cacophony at ground level.
       
     
  Rain   on   the   Way   Clouds seemingly form out of nowhere to shower the forest below with rain.
       
     
  Evening   Colours   The forest and its inhabitants begin to settle down for the night.
       
     
  Road   to   Civilization   An old lumbering route cuts its way through Ranomafana valley, the only accessible road through part of the forest. Birds of prey could be seen through the clearing in the trees above.
       
     
  Birding   A keen birder, Juan scans the tree tops for endemic species. A drongo later caught his attention here.
       
     
  Evening   in   a   Rainforest   As the calls of indris and cicadas hail the onset of evening, the rainforest descends into a magical array of colors and sounds.
       
     
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  Mist   Rolling   In   Moisture from the surrounding hills collects as wisps of mist to descend upon the lush valleys below. The wet environment is brimming with life.
       
     
  Hill   People   We met several villagers as we crossed from one rural village to another in Madagascar’s mountainous interior.
       
     
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  Happiness   in   the   Hills   These young children were only too happy to crowd around for a group photo in the central highlands of Madagascar.
       
     
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  Lumber   Worker   A boy’s hands show signs of a life spent laboring in the lumber industry. Forest wood is still a major source of fuel for much of the country.
       
     
  Wood   Cutters    Children earn their living by performing manual jobs in most rural settlements.
       
     
  Hotely   A dubious, yet colourful place to spend one’s night on the road.
       
     
  The   Barn   and   the   Bicycle   The emptiness of this place struck me. In vintage-photography style, an uncle and his niece in a red coat pick up groceries from the remotest of shops, reachable only by bicycle.
       
     
  The   Farm   Rain approaches a lonely farm on the hills.
       
     
  Muddy   Tracks   Wetlands surround these railway tracks on either side. Trains are solely meant for the transport of goods. The population cannot afford to use them.
       
     
  Abandoned   A red-clay barn has seen better days. Here it awaits the summer storms to turn it into mud.
       
     
  Traffic   Toys   Children sell toys made out of scrap metal, reflecting the lorries and trucks that drive past on the highway.
       
     
  Market   Streets   A busy market packs up as heavy clouds thunder into view. This street was in Finarantsoa.
       
     
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  Wetlands   Paddy fields dot the landscape in this lowland valley in central Madagascar.
       
     
  Fountain   in   the   Forest   The flicker of a waterfall announces its presence in the deep green swathes of rainforest that surround it.
       
     
  Watery   Trail   Footprints in the wet mud belong to locals, lemurs, fossas and birds alike.
       
     
  Quiet   River   A sluggish river flows through the primal rainforest, leaving an umber track in its wake.
       
     
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  Sounds   of   the   Forest   The Indri’s haunting call echoes through the leafy forest floor.
       
     
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  School   Outing   Back home, a school outing may have been a trip to a historical fort or a museum. In Madagascar, children are taken lemur-spotting in Ranomafana rainforest reserve.
       
     
  Epiphytes   Small plants grow along the length of larger trees, obtaining all of their nutrients and water from the air around them.
       
     
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  Rainforest   Delight   Patches of light filter through the dense canopy above, giving rise to young saplings and palm trees.
       
     
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  Forest   Steps   Wooden steps beckon one into the rainforest beyond.
       
     
  Green   Corridors    An abundance of endemic plant and animal life lives within the deepest reaches of this forest.
       
     
  Journey into the Interior   Some stretches of our rainforest adventure required the use of canoes.
       
     
  Forest   Road   The quietest stretches of forest path are where most fauna is spotted.
       
     
  Canopy   The foliage was so thick that even with the sun at its fiercest, most of the light was drowned out.
       
     
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  Wooden   Walkway   A bridge composed of polished wooden planks hangs limply above a flowing river.
       
     
  The   Plantation   An expat’s rubber plantation graces the edge of a verdant rainforest.
       
     
  The   Plantation   A rubber planter’s house and motorbike sit beside a muddy lane.
       
     
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  Reflections   A brown river catches the reflections of trees lining its banks.
       
     
  Canoe   Crossing   A string of canoes line the banks of a tranquil river.
       
     
  The   Plantation   Banana plants and rubber trees create a little oasis in the midst of thick jungle.
       
     
  Forest Clearing   Brackens and mosses fill up the void left by felled trees over large swathes of Eastern Madagascar.
       
     
  Ranomafana   F.C.   A muddy field would have to make do for this football nursery’s pitch.
       
     
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  Spider   Shadows   A large spider stalks its prey behind a veiny leaf. The stillness of night allows for a more covert operation.
       
     
  Hawk-Eye   Moth   The largest moth species known rests on a piece of bark.
       
     
  Dapples   of   Light   Another evening and light streams onto a football field in Ranomafana village.
       
     
  Termite   Temple   The ruins of a clay church lie abandoned in a forest clearing. They gave me the impression of a huge termite mound.
       
     
  Rusty Rainforests   Leaves glisten in the morning light. A clearing in the trees allows the magpie robin's song to filter onto our jungle trail from the cloud-covered shadows beneath. 
       
     

Rusty Rainforests

Leaves glisten in the morning light. A clearing in the trees allows the magpie robin's song to filter onto our jungle trail from the cloud-covered shadows beneath. 

  Counting Nuts   A grey parrot guards his collection of dry fruit and nuts in a busy Ranomafana market.
       
     

Counting Nuts

A grey parrot guards his collection of dry fruit and nuts in a busy Ranomafana market.

  Peaceful Girl   Feeling very much at home around the local farming community, this parrot awaits left-over produce to be thrown her way.
       
     

Peaceful Girl

Feeling very much at home around the local farming community, this parrot awaits left-over produce to be thrown her way.

  Curious eyes   I have kept parrots and parakeets for many years and always found the depths of their beautiful dark eyes to be a mix of curiosity and gentleness. 
       
     

Curious eyes

I have kept parrots and parakeets for many years and always found the depths of their beautiful dark eyes to be a mix of curiosity and gentleness. 

  Banana Leaves   The jungle humidity and soft morning light settle on these fine plants. Pull away a leaf and you may be welcomed by a frog, a spider or a large millipede.
       
     

Banana Leaves

The jungle humidity and soft morning light settle on these fine plants. Pull away a leaf and you may be welcomed by a frog, a spider or a large millipede.

  Tram Lines   Drops of moisture settle on the parallel veins of a banana plant.
       
     

Tram Lines

Drops of moisture settle on the parallel veins of a banana plant.

  New Growth   Young saplings reach for the sky where old hardwoods once stood.
       
     

New Growth

Young saplings reach for the sky where old hardwoods once stood.

  Plant Characters   The leaves of various plant species meet in the foreground of Ranomafana's vast rainforest, like differently-shaped characters meeting at a local market square.
       
     

Plant Characters

The leaves of various plant species meet in the foreground of Ranomafana's vast rainforest, like differently-shaped characters meeting at a local market square.

  Strangler Spiral   Nature's twining staircase, a young strangler fig begins its parasitic cling on an old tree.
       
     

Strangler Spiral

Nature's twining staircase, a young strangler fig begins its parasitic cling on an old tree.

  Forest Beginnings   New shrubs begin their speedy growth from the forest floor, clamouring over one another in search of sunlight.
       
     

Forest Beginnings

New shrubs begin their speedy growth from the forest floor, clamouring over one another in search of sunlight.

  Leaf-Edge   A romantic setting for an insect couple in love, the edge of this leaf offers sensational views of the forest.
       
     

Leaf-Edge

A romantic setting for an insect couple in love, the edge of this leaf offers sensational views of the forest.

  Delicate Growth   Ferns and epiphytes bring vibrance to the lower and middle reaches of the forest canopy.
       
     

Delicate Growth

Ferns and epiphytes bring vibrance to the lower and middle reaches of the forest canopy.

  The   Undergrowth   Strangler figs twine around older hardwoods.
       
     

The Undergrowth

Strangler figs twine around older hardwoods.

  Tropical   Skies   Natural skylights allow lemurs to keep a watchful eye out for birds of prey.
       
     

Tropical Skies

Natural skylights allow lemurs to keep a watchful eye out for birds of prey.

  Forest   Shade   Bracken and ferns thrive on the moist forest floor.
       
     

Forest Shade

Bracken and ferns thrive on the moist forest floor.

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  Blaze   of   Lichen   The fiery colour of this lichen stems from the acidic bark on which it grows.
       
     

Blaze of Lichen

The fiery colour of this lichen stems from the acidic bark on which it grows.

  New   Growth   A young fern begins to sprout its first leaves.
       
     

New Growth

A young fern begins to sprout its first leaves.

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  Lush   Hills   Verdant forest carpets the mountains that surround the Ranomafana rainforest reserve.
       
     

Lush Hills

Verdant forest carpets the mountains that surround the Ranomafana rainforest reserve.

  Forest   Buds   Small fig species and berries supply most of the lemurs’ diet.
       
     

Forest Buds

Small fig species and berries supply most of the lemurs’ diet.

  Wisps   of   Moss   The humidity of Ranomafana’s primary rainforest allows moisture-loving mosses to grow in abundance.
       
     

Wisps of Moss

The humidity of Ranomafana’s primary rainforest allows moisture-loving mosses to grow in abundance.

  Blades   of   Light   A young sapling catches the morning sunlight on its straight leaves.
       
     

Blades of Light

A young sapling catches the morning sunlight on its straight leaves.

  Living   Jewel   The carapace of a dead beetle glistens under the morning light like a precious stone.
       
     

Living Jewel

The carapace of a dead beetle glistens under the morning light like a precious stone.

  Epiphytes   Galore   Mosses and ferns grow up the barks of trees to reach the rays of light above.
       
     

Epiphytes Galore

Mosses and ferns grow up the barks of trees to reach the rays of light above.

  Leaves   in   Focus   Light floods the forest floor through gaps in the canopy foliage.
       
     

Leaves in Focus

Light floods the forest floor through gaps in the canopy foliage.

  Forest   Bracken   Overhangs of ferns and bracken crowd every corner along this river.
       
     

Forest Bracken

Overhangs of ferns and bracken crowd every corner along this river.

  Thorny   Scrub   Spines cover the barks of these hardwood trees as vines and strangler figs hang across their branches, creating natural pulleys and walkways through the forest.
       
     

Thorny Scrub

Spines cover the barks of these hardwood trees as vines and strangler figs hang across their branches, creating natural pulleys and walkways through the forest.

  The   Oxen   Drive   Farmers lead their oxen to rich pastures in the lowland valleys.
       
     

The Oxen Drive

Farmers lead their oxen to rich pastures in the lowland valleys.

  Cattle   Patterns   Docile cattle laze in the languid afternoon air.
       
     

Cattle Patterns

Docile cattle laze in the languid afternoon air.

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  Jean-Marc   With his torn red shirt against the backdrop of his traditional baked clay home, this young boy was a delight to photograph.
       
     

Jean-Marc

With his torn red shirt against the backdrop of his traditional baked clay home, this young boy was a delight to photograph.

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  Efosi   and   Eliza   Two inseparable friends jostled for space in front of the camera and smiled politely while having their photo taken.
       
     

Efosi and Eliza

Two inseparable friends jostled for space in front of the camera and smiled politely while having their photo taken.

  Anja,   Nanette   and   Tomasi   Three siblings decked out in their best Sunday clothes hurried towards the camera before making their way to Church.
       
     

Anja, Nanette and Tomasi

Three siblings decked out in their best Sunday clothes hurried towards the camera before making their way to Church.

  Anja   and   Nanette    These two sisters shoulder so much responsibility, cooking for their families and caring for their siblings from a very young age.
       
     

Anja and Nanette

These two sisters shoulder so much responsibility, cooking for their families and caring for their siblings from a very young age.

  Efosi’s   Smile   Taking pride in her pink Sunday dress, Efosi poses outside her home, made of baked clay bricks. The rich pastures in the valleys around Ranomafana have awarded these villagers a good harvest.
       
     

Efosi’s Smile

Taking pride in her pink Sunday dress, Efosi poses outside her home, made of baked clay bricks. The rich pastures in the valleys around Ranomafana have awarded these villagers a good harvest.

  Husso   and   Tomasi   An older friend, keeping an eye out for any trouble on the side, shares a photograph with young Tomasi.
       
     

Husso and Tomasi

An older friend, keeping an eye out for any trouble on the side, shares a photograph with young Tomasi.

  Happy   Trio   Tomasi, Pepita and Eliza line up awkwardly to have their picture taken. Nervous smiles will soon erupt into burst of laughter.
       
     

Happy Trio

Tomasi, Pepita and Eliza line up awkwardly to have their picture taken. Nervous smiles will soon erupt into burst of laughter.

  The   Stone   Game   I never quite understood the rules of this game but it involved separating groups of stones with a stick, then piling the rubble into small mounds before players fell into a frenzy of excited stone-trading and swapping.
       
     

The Stone Game

I never quite understood the rules of this game but it involved separating groups of stones with a stick, then piling the rubble into small mounds before players fell into a frenzy of excited stone-trading and swapping.

  The   Stone   Game   Piling stones into small mounds.
       
     

The Stone Game

Piling stones into small mounds.

  The   Stone   Game    Separating groups of stones with a stick.
       
     

The Stone Game

Separating groups of stones with a stick.

  The   Stone   Game   Once the stones are ready for trading, the game turns serious with notes of paper money hovering above the rubble.
       
     

The Stone Game

Once the stones are ready for trading, the game turns serious with notes of paper money hovering above the rubble.

  Anja   The eldest of four siblings. Anja led her brothers and sisters towards me and my camera as they were making their way to Sunday mass. Her farming village in Ranomafana created the perfect backdrop for their portraits.
       
     

Anja

The eldest of four siblings. Anja led her brothers and sisters towards me and my camera as they were making their way to Sunday mass. Her farming village in Ranomafana created the perfect backdrop for their portraits.

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  Anja   She had a confident way about her, taking the responsibility of leading her siblings to school in her stride.
       
     

Anja

She had a confident way about her, taking the responsibility of leading her siblings to school in her stride.

  Julie   and   Rosie   Like most young children in tucked-away communities, these two girls were not quite sure what to make of my camera. However the mischievous pair quickly started crying out for one photo after another.
       
     

Julie and Rosie

Like most young children in tucked-away communities, these two girls were not quite sure what to make of my camera. However the mischievous pair quickly started crying out for one photo after another.

  Pepita   and   Efosi   Best of friends huddle together for a photograph in their village.
       
     

Pepita and Efosi

Best of friends huddle together for a photograph in their village.

  Pepita   and   Efosi   Two girls begin to hold back giggles as the camera starts clicking away.
       
     

Pepita and Efosi

Two girls begin to hold back giggles as the camera starts clicking away.

  Pepita   and   Efosi   All control is lost as Pepita bursts into laughter.
       
     

Pepita and Efosi

All control is lost as Pepita bursts into laughter.

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  Pepita   I loved taking photos of this little girl in a too-large denim shirt.
       
     

Pepita

I loved taking photos of this little girl in a too-large denim shirt.

  Eliza,   Sonia   and   Pepita   You learn so much about kids’ characters by the way they line themselves up for a photograph. Eliza organized her friends into an order of height, whilst Pepita was more than happy to look on.
       
     

Eliza, Sonia and Pepita

You learn so much about kids’ characters by the way they line themselves up for a photograph. Eliza organized her friends into an order of height, whilst Pepita was more than happy to look on.

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  Rosie    Rosie shields her eyes from the strong sunlight above. The mid-day sun in Madagascar is a veritable force.
       
     

Rosie

Rosie shields her eyes from the strong sunlight above. The mid-day sun in Madagascar is a veritable force.

  Julie   Casting a suspicious glance at her mischievous friends, Julie then peered right down the lens.
       
     

Julie

Casting a suspicious glance at her mischievous friends, Julie then peered right down the lens.

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  Efosi   Dropping the camera down to a child’s height helps us see the world through Efosi’s eyes.
       
     

Efosi

Dropping the camera down to a child’s height helps us see the world through Efosi’s eyes.

  Pepita   and   Rosie   These two friends could not stop giggling in front of the camera.
       
     

Pepita and Rosie

These two friends could not stop giggling in front of the camera.

  Pepita   and   Rosie   A tourist taking photos in a rural village is so often a source of amusement for the young residents.
       
     

Pepita and Rosie

A tourist taking photos in a rural village is so often a source of amusement for the young residents.

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  Anja’s Home   Most houses in Madagascar are constructed from wood and corrugated metal. The very wealthy might afford a stone or concrete building.
       
     

Anja’s Home

Most houses in Madagascar are constructed from wood and corrugated metal. The very wealthy might afford a stone or concrete building.

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  Pepita   Her large water bowl by her side, Pepita follows the dusty track towards her home on nimble feet. It was a wonderful experience to come across a village so happily settled in their daily routine.
       
     

Pepita

Her large water bowl by her side, Pepita follows the dusty track towards her home on nimble feet. It was a wonderful experience to come across a village so happily settled in their daily routine.

  Pepita   and   Eliza   As well as the contrasting light and shadows in this image, I love the contrasting looks that the girls are giving. Eliza, the older friend looks comfortable and self-assured, with one step placed forward. Pepita looks at the camera, suspicious of this disruption to her Sunday morning.
       
     

Pepita and Eliza

As well as the contrasting light and shadows in this image, I love the contrasting looks that the girls are giving. Eliza, the older friend looks comfortable and self-assured, with one step placed forward. Pepita looks at the camera, suspicious of this disruption to her Sunday morning.

  Pepita   and   Eliza   All smiles once again.
       
     

Pepita and Eliza

All smiles once again.

  Tomaye   A farmer watches on as his children play outside the village chapel. The verdant hills of central Madagascar are largely agricultural and most families live off their own fields and plantations. Zebu cattle is another main source of livelihood.
       
     

Tomaye

A farmer watches on as his children play outside the village chapel. The verdant hills of central Madagascar are largely agricultural and most families live off their own fields and plantations. Zebu cattle is another main source of livelihood.

  Floriane   Squinting under the intense sun, this young girl from Ranomafana was only too happy to have her photo taken on her doorstep.
       
     

Floriane

Squinting under the intense sun, this young girl from Ranomafana was only too happy to have her photo taken on her doorstep.

  Off   to   Play   With Sunday mass over, these children scrambled out to play on the village streets.
       
     

Off to Play

With Sunday mass over, these children scrambled out to play on the village streets.

  Fosu   One of the youngest in his play group, Fosu approaches our cameras cautiously.
       
     

Fosu

One of the youngest in his play group, Fosu approaches our cameras cautiously.

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  Children   of   Ranomafana   A small crowd gathers in the warm afternoon light.
       
     

Children of Ranomafana

A small crowd gathers in the warm afternoon light.

  Children   of   Ranomafana   Children pose outside their school in the small farming village of Ranomafana.
       
     

Children of Ranomafana

Children pose outside their school in the small farming village of Ranomafana.

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  Children   of   Ranomafana   Everyone is called in for a group photo in one of the farmers’ fields.
       
     

Children of Ranomafana

Everyone is called in for a group photo in one of the farmers’ fields.

  Boy   in   the   Barn   A young boy retreats into the quiet of his father’s barn as his friends play with anything they can find on Ranomafana’s dusty tracks.
       
     

Boy in the Barn

A young boy retreats into the quiet of his father’s barn as his friends play with anything they can find on Ranomafana’s dusty tracks.

  A Mother’s Bliss   A young mother looks elated after seeing a photograph of her young daughter.
       
     

A Mother’s Bliss

A young mother looks elated after seeing a photograph of her young daughter.

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  Running   through   the   Stalls   A young girl dashes past a group of older boys playing table football.
       
     

Running through the Stalls

A young girl dashes past a group of older boys playing table football.

  Table   Footy   A group of boys huddle around a football table.
       
     

Table Footy

A group of boys huddle around a football table.

  Table   Footy   Gang   Table football and horseplay rule the day for this group of young boys.
       
     

Table Footy Gang

Table football and horseplay rule the day for this group of young boys.

  An   Intense   Game    Table football provides the highest level of entertainment for this group of boys in Ranomafana village.
       
     

An Intense Game

Table football provides the highest level of entertainment for this group of boys in Ranomafana village.

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  Brothers   in   Arms   Members of the same village group are eager to have their photos taken. Young men are attracted by life in the much busier cities, such as Antananarrivo but make the long journey home during harvest times or for important celebrations.
       
     

Brothers in Arms

Members of the same village group are eager to have their photos taken. Young men are attracted by life in the much busier cities, such as Antananarrivo but make the long journey home during harvest times or for important celebrations.

  Nicolette   and   Baby   Fausa   A young girl looks after her baby sister while supper cooks in the clay home behind her. Women in rural Madagascar traditionally fill domestic roles.
       
     

Nicolette and Baby Fausa

A young girl looks after her baby sister while supper cooks in the clay home behind her. Women in rural Madagascar traditionally fill domestic roles.

       
     

  Watery   Fields   The setting sun is reflected in the still water of these paddy fields whilst a soft whisper of smoke escapes a farm’s chimney. French-style farmhouses are found throughout the rural hills of central Madagascar.
       
     

Watery Fields

The setting sun is reflected in the still water of these paddy fields whilst a soft whisper of smoke escapes a farm’s chimney. French-style farmhouses are found throughout the rural hills of central Madagascar.

  Mother   and   Son   A young boy is hoisted across his mother’s back as she makes her way through the paddy fields.
       
     

Mother and Son

A young boy is hoisted across his mother’s back as she makes her way through the paddy fields.

  Marie   This young girl was so shy. The sight of a camera must have been a very new experience for her.
       
     

Marie

This young girl was so shy. The sight of a camera must have been a very new experience for her.

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  Marie   Using a chicken to cover her face, Marie hides from the camera.
       
     

Marie

Using a chicken to cover her face, Marie hides from the camera.

  Marie   The soft clucking of her chicken provides some source of comfort for this young girl, so very shy of the camera.
       
     

Marie

The soft clucking of her chicken provides some source of comfort for this young girl, so very shy of the camera.

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  Madagascar   Beats   A young boy turns up the bass on his portable radio. When you grow up on the streets, music is an universal source of entertainment.
       
     

Madagascar Beats

A young boy turns up the bass on his portable radio. When you grow up on the streets, music is an universal source of entertainment.

  Angele   and   Philipe   Angele photo-bombs her brother Philipe. One truth kept ringing true while I spent time with these children - that they were happy enough living on the streets and in the fields, playing with wooden toys instead of the tablets and smartphones of today’s generation.
       
     

Angele and Philipe

Angele photo-bombs her brother Philipe. One truth kept ringing true while I spent time with these children - that they were happy enough living on the streets and in the fields, playing with wooden toys instead of the tablets and smartphones of today’s generation.

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  Banana   Leaves   Dew drops catch the morning light as they course down the veins of this banana plant.
       
     

Banana Leaves

Dew drops catch the morning light as they course down the veins of this banana plant.

  Lush   Forest   Evening light gives these plants a rusty colour.
       
     

Lush Forest

Evening light gives these plants a rusty colour.

  Climb   to   the   Top   The tallest trees form the forest canopy above.
       
     

Climb to the Top

The tallest trees form the forest canopy above.

  Forest   Rays   The afternoon sun winks through thorns, hardwoods and saplings.
       
     

Forest Rays

The afternoon sun winks through thorns, hardwoods and saplings.

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  The   Undergrowth   Lemur trails line the forest floor.
       
     

The Undergrowth

Lemur trails line the forest floor.

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  Gentle   Waterways   Placid lakes dot clearings in the forest undergrowth. They make perfect resting spots and drinking holes for lemurs and other endemic wildlife.
       
     

Gentle Waterways

Placid lakes dot clearings in the forest undergrowth. They make perfect resting spots and drinking holes for lemurs and other endemic wildlife.

  Gushing   River   Water flows out of natural springs before entering the brackish lakes below.
       
     

Gushing River

Water flows out of natural springs before entering the brackish lakes below.

  Evening   Lake   Many bodies of water are sacred in Madagascar, with spirits in the guise of lemurs and chameleons ready to avenge their homes should they ever be disturbed.
       
     

Evening Lake

Many bodies of water are sacred in Madagascar, with spirits in the guise of lemurs and chameleons ready to avenge their homes should they ever be disturbed.

  Canyon   River   A stream of water cuts through this limestone canyon in the centre of Ranomafana rainforest.
       
     

Canyon River

A stream of water cuts through this limestone canyon in the centre of Ranomafana rainforest.

  Natural   Blinds   Thick leaves and spindly branches allow the perfect amount of sunlight to filter through.
       
     

Natural Blinds

Thick leaves and spindly branches allow the perfect amount of sunlight to filter through.

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  Sky   High   A dead tree, perhaps burned during a lightning strike or forest fire, accompanies a group of younger hardwoods as they reach for the clouds above.
       
     

Sky High

A dead tree, perhaps burned during a lightning strike or forest fire, accompanies a group of younger hardwoods as they reach for the clouds above.

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  Forest   Drapery   Leaves, branches and flowers create the perfect backdrop for the intricacies of life in Ranomafana.
       
     

Forest Drapery

Leaves, branches and flowers create the perfect backdrop for the intricacies of life in Ranomafana.

  Green   Slopes   The base of an extinct volcano in southern Madagascar is carpeted in thick vegetation. Water running down the slopes settles as dew and moisture on those thick leaves.
       
     

Green Slopes

The base of an extinct volcano in southern Madagascar is carpeted in thick vegetation. Water running down the slopes settles as dew and moisture on those thick leaves.

  Elephant-Eared   Chameleon   This small chameleon species opened one eye to observe us on our night expedition.
       
     

Elephant-Eared Chameleon

This small chameleon species opened one eye to observe us on our night expedition.

  Pin   Stripe   A small chameleon species hangs motionless on a leaf, its flank decorated by an ochre stripe. At night chameleons tend to gravitate towards the lower reaches of the forest scrub.
       
     

Pin Stripe

A small chameleon species hangs motionless on a leaf, its flank decorated by an ochre stripe. At night chameleons tend to gravitate towards the lower reaches of the forest scrub.

  Night   Leaves   Dew drops glisten under torch light on a night expedition through Ranomafana rainforest.
       
     

Night Leaves

Dew drops glisten under torch light on a night expedition through Ranomafana rainforest.

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  Ranomafana   at   Night   The night is never still, with nocturnal mammals, amphibians and insects read to stir up a racket.
       
     

Ranomafana at Night

The night is never still, with nocturnal mammals, amphibians and insects read to stir up a racket.

  Forest   Hues   Twilight over the forest-clad hills creates an abundance of warm colours.
       
     

Forest Hues

Twilight over the forest-clad hills creates an abundance of warm colours.

  Bursting   with   Life   Ranomafana’s undergrowth teems with life, evident by the shrill calls of hundreds of bird species and the sound of lemurs chasing one another in the trees. Frogs and insects create an equally loud cacophony at ground level.
       
     

Bursting with Life

Ranomafana’s undergrowth teems with life, evident by the shrill calls of hundreds of bird species and the sound of lemurs chasing one another in the trees. Frogs and insects create an equally loud cacophony at ground level.

  Rain   on   the   Way   Clouds seemingly form out of nowhere to shower the forest below with rain.
       
     

Rain on the Way

Clouds seemingly form out of nowhere to shower the forest below with rain.

  Evening   Colours   The forest and its inhabitants begin to settle down for the night.
       
     

Evening Colours

The forest and its inhabitants begin to settle down for the night.

  Road   to   Civilization   An old lumbering route cuts its way through Ranomafana valley, the only accessible road through part of the forest. Birds of prey could be seen through the clearing in the trees above.
       
     

Road to Civilization

An old lumbering route cuts its way through Ranomafana valley, the only accessible road through part of the forest. Birds of prey could be seen through the clearing in the trees above.

  Birding   A keen birder, Juan scans the tree tops for endemic species. A drongo later caught his attention here.
       
     

Birding

A keen birder, Juan scans the tree tops for endemic species. A drongo later caught his attention here.

  Evening   in   a   Rainforest   As the calls of indris and cicadas hail the onset of evening, the rainforest descends into a magical array of colors and sounds.
       
     

Evening in a Rainforest

As the calls of indris and cicadas hail the onset of evening, the rainforest descends into a magical array of colors and sounds.

  Evening   in   a   Rainforest
       
     

Evening in a Rainforest

  Mist   Rolling   In   Moisture from the surrounding hills collects as wisps of mist to descend upon the lush valleys below. The wet environment is brimming with life.
       
     

Mist Rolling In

Moisture from the surrounding hills collects as wisps of mist to descend upon the lush valleys below. The wet environment is brimming with life.

  Hill   People   We met several villagers as we crossed from one rural village to another in Madagascar’s mountainous interior.
       
     

Hill People

We met several villagers as we crossed from one rural village to another in Madagascar’s mountainous interior.

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  Happiness   in   the   Hills   These young children were only too happy to crowd around for a group photo in the central highlands of Madagascar.
       
     

Happiness in the Hills

These young children were only too happy to crowd around for a group photo in the central highlands of Madagascar.

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  Lumber   Worker   A boy’s hands show signs of a life spent laboring in the lumber industry. Forest wood is still a major source of fuel for much of the country.
       
     

Lumber Worker

A boy’s hands show signs of a life spent laboring in the lumber industry. Forest wood is still a major source of fuel for much of the country.

  Wood   Cutters    Children earn their living by performing manual jobs in most rural settlements.
       
     

Wood Cutters

Children earn their living by performing manual jobs in most rural settlements.

  Hotely   A dubious, yet colourful place to spend one’s night on the road.
       
     

Hotely

A dubious, yet colourful place to spend one’s night on the road.

  The   Barn   and   the   Bicycle   The emptiness of this place struck me. In vintage-photography style, an uncle and his niece in a red coat pick up groceries from the remotest of shops, reachable only by bicycle.
       
     

The Barn and the Bicycle

The emptiness of this place struck me. In vintage-photography style, an uncle and his niece in a red coat pick up groceries from the remotest of shops, reachable only by bicycle.

  The   Farm   Rain approaches a lonely farm on the hills.
       
     

The Farm

Rain approaches a lonely farm on the hills.

  Muddy   Tracks   Wetlands surround these railway tracks on either side. Trains are solely meant for the transport of goods. The population cannot afford to use them.
       
     

Muddy Tracks

Wetlands surround these railway tracks on either side. Trains are solely meant for the transport of goods. The population cannot afford to use them.

  Abandoned   A red-clay barn has seen better days. Here it awaits the summer storms to turn it into mud.
       
     

Abandoned

A red-clay barn has seen better days. Here it awaits the summer storms to turn it into mud.

  Traffic   Toys   Children sell toys made out of scrap metal, reflecting the lorries and trucks that drive past on the highway.
       
     

Traffic Toys

Children sell toys made out of scrap metal, reflecting the lorries and trucks that drive past on the highway.

  Market   Streets   A busy market packs up as heavy clouds thunder into view. This street was in Finarantsoa.
       
     

Market Streets

A busy market packs up as heavy clouds thunder into view. This street was in Finarantsoa.

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  Wetlands   Paddy fields dot the landscape in this lowland valley in central Madagascar.
       
     

Wetlands

Paddy fields dot the landscape in this lowland valley in central Madagascar.

  Fountain   in   the   Forest   The flicker of a waterfall announces its presence in the deep green swathes of rainforest that surround it.
       
     

Fountain in the Forest

The flicker of a waterfall announces its presence in the deep green swathes of rainforest that surround it.

  Watery   Trail   Footprints in the wet mud belong to locals, lemurs, fossas and birds alike.
       
     

Watery Trail

Footprints in the wet mud belong to locals, lemurs, fossas and birds alike.

  Quiet   River   A sluggish river flows through the primal rainforest, leaving an umber track in its wake.
       
     

Quiet River

A sluggish river flows through the primal rainforest, leaving an umber track in its wake.

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  Sounds   of   the   Forest   The Indri’s haunting call echoes through the leafy forest floor.
       
     

Sounds of the Forest

The Indri’s haunting call echoes through the leafy forest floor.

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  School   Outing   Back home, a school outing may have been a trip to a historical fort or a museum. In Madagascar, children are taken lemur-spotting in Ranomafana rainforest reserve.
       
     

School Outing

Back home, a school outing may have been a trip to a historical fort or a museum. In Madagascar, children are taken lemur-spotting in Ranomafana rainforest reserve.

  Epiphytes   Small plants grow along the length of larger trees, obtaining all of their nutrients and water from the air around them.
       
     

Epiphytes

Small plants grow along the length of larger trees, obtaining all of their nutrients and water from the air around them.

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  Rainforest   Delight   Patches of light filter through the dense canopy above, giving rise to young saplings and palm trees.
       
     

Rainforest Delight

Patches of light filter through the dense canopy above, giving rise to young saplings and palm trees.

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  Forest   Steps   Wooden steps beckon one into the rainforest beyond.
       
     

Forest Steps

Wooden steps beckon one into the rainforest beyond.

  Green   Corridors    An abundance of endemic plant and animal life lives within the deepest reaches of this forest.
       
     

Green Corridors

An abundance of endemic plant and animal life lives within the deepest reaches of this forest.

  Journey into the Interior   Some stretches of our rainforest adventure required the use of canoes.
       
     

Journey into the Interior

Some stretches of our rainforest adventure required the use of canoes.

  Forest   Road   The quietest stretches of forest path are where most fauna is spotted.
       
     

Forest Road

The quietest stretches of forest path are where most fauna is spotted.

  Canopy   The foliage was so thick that even with the sun at its fiercest, most of the light was drowned out.
       
     

Canopy

The foliage was so thick that even with the sun at its fiercest, most of the light was drowned out.

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  Wooden   Walkway   A bridge composed of polished wooden planks hangs limply above a flowing river.
       
     

Wooden Walkway

A bridge composed of polished wooden planks hangs limply above a flowing river.

  The   Plantation   An expat’s rubber plantation graces the edge of a verdant rainforest.
       
     

The Plantation

An expat’s rubber plantation graces the edge of a verdant rainforest.

  The   Plantation   A rubber planter’s house and motorbike sit beside a muddy lane.
       
     

The Plantation

A rubber planter’s house and motorbike sit beside a muddy lane.

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  Reflections   A brown river catches the reflections of trees lining its banks.
       
     

Reflections

A brown river catches the reflections of trees lining its banks.

  Canoe   Crossing   A string of canoes line the banks of a tranquil river.
       
     

Canoe Crossing

A string of canoes line the banks of a tranquil river.

  The   Plantation   Banana plants and rubber trees create a little oasis in the midst of thick jungle.
       
     

The Plantation

Banana plants and rubber trees create a little oasis in the midst of thick jungle.

  Forest Clearing   Brackens and mosses fill up the void left by felled trees over large swathes of Eastern Madagascar.
       
     

Forest Clearing

Brackens and mosses fill up the void left by felled trees over large swathes of Eastern Madagascar.

  Ranomafana   F.C.   A muddy field would have to make do for this football nursery’s pitch.
       
     

Ranomafana F.C.

A muddy field would have to make do for this football nursery’s pitch.

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  Spider   Shadows   A large spider stalks its prey behind a veiny leaf. The stillness of night allows for a more covert operation.
       
     

Spider Shadows

A large spider stalks its prey behind a veiny leaf. The stillness of night allows for a more covert operation.

  Hawk-Eye   Moth   The largest moth species known rests on a piece of bark.
       
     

Hawk-Eye Moth

The largest moth species known rests on a piece of bark.

  Dapples   of   Light   Another evening and light streams onto a football field in Ranomafana village.
       
     

Dapples of Light

Another evening and light streams onto a football field in Ranomafana village.

  Termite   Temple   The ruins of a clay church lie abandoned in a forest clearing. They gave me the impression of a huge termite mound.
       
     

Termite Temple

The ruins of a clay church lie abandoned in a forest clearing. They gave me the impression of a huge termite mound.