In May 2012 a team is attempting to walk across the world’s fourth largest island, in order to promote tourism in this impoverished nation.
In what will be the first recorded attempt at crossing the island completely on foot from coast to coast, the team will be treated to a life changing experience. The team will trek through coastal plains, remote hillside villages, swamps, jungles and rocky plateaus in the hope of seeing some of Madagascar’s famous and mind boggling array of wildlife. To top it off- literally- they will also summit Mount Maromokotro, the Islands highest peak.
Ali Wilde, expedition organiser, said of the journey, ‘It is going to be a real challenge- we will be walking up to thirty kilometres per day, carrying most of our own gear through all sorts of environments. In fact, parts of the forest that we intend to cross have never been explored and there are no trails, so all team members will have to get involved in cutting paths.’
Luckily there will be some local help. Gilles Gautier, a hardy Frenchman who has lived in Madagascar for over 20 years will be guiding the adventure.
‘We have climbed Maromokotro a few times, but never have we tried it from the east side. We will be venturing into new territory- trust the English to come up with an idea like this!’ He says with a shake of the head and a cheeky grin.
But it isn’t just a British venture - the team is open to all applicants and currently has Egyptian, American and Canadian team members and according to the organisers, Secret Compass, there are still a couple of places left for this once in a lifetime trip. ‘This is going to be the ultimate in overland expeditions’, said Ali, ‘and an opportunity to see Madagascar before deforestation destroys forever the unique wildlife and scenery of this incredible island.’