• Makay, Madagascar | © Untitled Film Works

Reforestation in the Makay

The aim of this ‘conservation through exploration’ trip is to educate, inspire, and raise both awareness and funds in support of critical reforestation programmes. This exploratory mobile camping adventure into the Makay promises to be a unique adventure: raw, invigorating, and unlike anything else in Madagascar.

Madagascar is an immensely rewarding, challenging and transformative destination, no matter where you choose to visit. Peeling back the country’s layers, the Makay stands out as a terra incognita: even within Madagascar, few people have heard of this extraordinary mountain range. Spreading over a staggering 4,000 square kilometres, the Makay is formed by the eroded remains of large crystalline rock massifs, and is home to unique landscapes and stunning biodiversity.

In May 2019, NWS Founder & CEO Will Bolsover travelled deep into the heart of the Makay alongside Evrard Wendenbaum, co-founder of the environmental organisation Naturevolution. Joining them were Vanity Fair’s Michelle Jana Chan, cinematic storytellers Untitled Film Works, an assorted conglomeration of scientists, and a crack team of Madagascar’s most experienced guides. Watch the video below to get a glimpse into the Makay.

The Makay remains little-known, presenting a high potential for new discoveries. Only a handful of scientific forays have been conducted here in the last decade, and evidence suggests that the Makay’s ecosystems can only survive untarnished for a few more years. Slash-and-burn agriculture is the principal threat and nothing can be preserved if this destructive phenomenon is not halted.

Consisting of hundreds of intricate canyons, the Makay is a natural labyrinth and a true safe haven of biodiversity. It has been home to unique biodiversity for millions of years. The route for this expedition will take you to places where few if any have passed before: you’ll swim, crawl, slide, jump, climb, paddle, and reach stunning heights right in the heart of the gigantic maze of the Makay.

Camping in river camps by night and hiking by day, not only will we be able to watch several species of lemur, but we will fully immerse ourselves in an outstanding natural environment that seems out of time.

EFC Madagascar Makay has humble beginnings and big ambitions. We aim for the trip to be a catalyst for raising awareness and significant funding for field projects, which will protect the Makay’s biodiversity and provide better living conditions for local communities. Evrard Wendenbaum, co-founder of the environmental organisation Naturevolution, accompanied NWS Founder & CEO Will Bolsover during his expedition to the Makay in 2019. He is confident that the Makay could provide a blueprint for future successful conservation projects across the globe.

Access to this remote location is challenging. Expedition participants should pack a good sense of humour and adventure along with their hiking boots. With several operational logistics in production to ensure safety and comfort, the EFC Madagascar Makay expedition is scheduled to take place in mid-2021, yet the need for awareness and funding is both urgent and time-sensitive. For conservation foundations receptive to receiving grant applications, please reach out to us so we can connect with the field organisations.

Contact a member of our team for your chance to join us on an Expedition for Change.