Buses in Madagascar

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world (as any story on Madagascar begins), is renowned for its natural beauty and biodiversity. And even though this is highly threatened there still is a great variety and much to discover. But Madagascar is also an island with an amazing cultural diversity. Uninhabited until 2000 years ago the first settlers came somehow from Indonesia. Terraced rice cultivation, a language belonging to the Malayan language groups, ancestral beliefs and asian characteristics in many people are evidence of these roots. But Arab and African influences came in the 13th century, Indian/Pakistani settlers arrived in the 16th century, European influence in the 19th century, colonisation by the French from 1895 until 1960 and the introduction of Chinese labour begining of the 20th century to build the railways have added to the amazing diversity. But at the same time the country is isolated, has a deficient infrastructure and belongs to the poorest countries in the world. Transport reflects this situation. From man-drawn rickshaws in provincial towns through horse-drawn carriages that were used until recently to numerous secondhand, sometimes very old buses, one can find it all. The Malgache capacity for rebuilding is incredible, as the bus in the picture shows: a 1950 Berliet bus merged to a 1970's DAF truck. Enjoy the pictures and add to it if you can!