A spectacular sunrise broke as we started to lower Zodiacs at the peaceful hour of 06:00. Light reflected perfectly off a sea full of traditional sail boats as a few intrepid explorers took the early shuttle to begin their adventure to Ankarafantsika. The late risers among us drove through the “city of flowers” to Lake Mangatsa, passing by the old baobab tree once estimated to be over 1000 years old, a focal point of the city and a sign of good luck when you circle around it 7 times. Lake Mangatsa could be defined as a photographer’s paradise, with glistening crystalline water and numerous lemurs.

To punctuate the amazing day, we were graced with 3 separate musical performances, organized by our onboard ethnomusicologist Jacob Edgar.