At first glance, meetings with the Baras - the ethnic group living in these areas - were delicate. They were suspicious and had a hard time accepting that we were there to discover the beauty of this nature. The fact that we came from outside, with no other motivation than to discover this unique place, surprised them greatly.
Patiently, it took us three expeditions to get us accepted, and put forward our good intentions. Our approach was clear and without hindsight.
Together with the trackers and carriers, we traveled the massif in all directions. We had meetings, we had extraordinary experiences and, little by little, we exchanged our visions and our know-how.
Mutual respect and trust have been established naturally over time. Now, the different Bara families in the eastern foothills of Makay consider me their friend. For some, I became their father, some, out of respect called me Dada Tolo, Papa Tolo. But we are not of the same ethnicity. They are Bara and me Merina, two ethnic groups who have waged war, which is hard to forget for many more today. The Bara are of African origin, Bantu. They are great breeders of semi-nomadic zebu. We, on the high plateaus, we work the land and are of Melanesian origin.
Although we are all Malagasy, we have made real discoveries about each other. The mutual trust that has been built has allowed me to know their customs and their language, different from mine. In video: The crossing of the North Makay by Détours Madagascar One evening, by the fireside, we were discussing the future of our country and the dangers we face. I understood that they were the first actors in the defense of their environment, the first now and especially young people, to convey this message of nature protection.
This awareness is the most rewarding result for me. It gives a real sense to my presence at their side for over 10 years. Today, the entire Makay massif becomes New Protected Area. At Detours Madagascar, we are involved in its protection and management alongside Nature Evolution, a body mandated by the Malagasy State. This conservation must be controlled and take into account the aspirations of all. "
Antananarivo, June 15, 2016
The Makay massif according to Tolo, a shared passion "In the Makay, I fully live my passion, I consider it my home, I learned a lot in this sandstone massif since 2006, the first time I set foot in the southern part, which is now his most famous region. "