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Adventure Magazine

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Wild Horizons
Rivers, seas, and lemurs, oh my. By McKenzie Funk

Photo: man climbs palm tree
BEACH NUTRITION: An Explorers' Corner guide goes vertical for a coconut on the Masaolo Coast in Madagascar.

New trips to Madagascar are no surprise: In recent years the mysterious "eighth continent"—home to endemic species and a welter of habitats—seems to have drawn pioneers from every adventure outfitter of note. There have been rafters and mountain bikers, birders and divers, sea kayakers and jungle trekkers. Meager tourist visitation numbers tripled in the last ten years. Until now, though, no one thought to use sea kayaks quite like veteran guide Olaf Malver plans to on his November 2005 exploratory adventure. The trip, run by Malver's five-year-old, Berkeley-based travel company Explorers' Corner, will begin with paddling a remote but rapid-free stretch of the Manambolo River. The pace is slow, the forest thick, and the sandy beaches and native species (lemurs, iguanas, and Madagascar fish eagles) plentiful. "Kayaks keep us close to nature," Malver says. "It's the old Eskimo way of seeing wildlife—only in Madagascar." After the freshwater Manambolo and a few hikes in the interior jungles comes salt water: five days kayaking the island's newest national park, Masoala. Trailed by a support boat, you set up camps in sandy coves hemmed in by rocky headlands—as well as on desert islands in the warm Indian Ocean. By day you can snorkel spectacular coral reefs or hike into the Masoala Peninsula's littoral rainforest $5,290 for 20 days; 510-559-8099; www.explorerscorner.com.

Photograph courtesy of Olaf Malver

Twenty-five new trips made the cut to be included as one of 2005's best outfitter excursions. Read about each one of them in the November issue.

Additional Excerpts
From the print edition, November 2004

Adventure Travel 2005: Amazing excursions for the new year
Madagascar: Rivers and seas
and lemurs, oh my
Return to Zootopia: David Quammen revisits the Galápagos
No Margin for Error: America's most perilous peak
Pelton's World: Former no-go zones make a comeback

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November 2004

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