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Destination Details

Toliara, Madagascar

 

~~Saint Augustin (Anatsoano)

The small village of Saint-Augustin, located in a bay inlaid between two huge rocky walls that plunge vertically into the waves, was founded by a company of puritans in 1645, but the original trading settlement only lasted 18 months, and they finally abandoned the place. Here, in the perfect circle formed by the surrounding cliffs, the Onilahy river, one of the most majestic of Madagascar, flow into the sea. The wonderful bay was sought as shelter by pirates and slaves traders, and Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe, found inspiration in this fabulous setting for several for his writings. In the 19th century, the descendents of the Androvela royal family settled in Saint Augustin, being one of their best known kings the so called king Baba, who reigned from 1833 to 1849 and let oxen every three days to feed his dogs. The solemn Fitampoha ritual of the bathing of the relics is held every ten years. The last celebration was in June 2003.

Saint Augustin is located 37 south of Toliara and can be reched by taxi-brousse that leaves Tulear’s station at 13 pm.

A small wooden building is the home of local tromba (spirit), and also the place where all worship objects are kept. Visits are possible under request to the local chief (descendant of King Revino). If he agrees to receive you, you should observe the local fady, go barefoot, wear a lambaoany, make an offering and bring two bottles of rum.

 

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