Lonely Planet Writer

Welshman is first to walk length of Madagascar

Welshman Ash Dykes from Colwyn Bay has become the first person ever to walk the entire length of Madagascar from north to south.

A view across the Madagascan mountains.
A view across the Madagascan mountains. Image by Chris / CC BY-SA 2.0

His entire journey took 155 days covering 1600 miles, which saw him summit the island’s eight highest mountains, trek across desert plains and through dense jungle. But the journey wasn’t without its difficulties: Dykes suffered a severe reaction from a spider bite and spent several days in hospital after contracting malaria. But a local tribe set his luck back in order after they gifted him a chicken  – which he named Gertrude – to ward off any evil spirits before his climb up Maromokoto, the country’s highest peak. Upon completing his journey Monday morning Dykes said: ‘This is, without a doubt, the hardest and most demanding challenge I’ve taken on – there were times it nearly broke me so reaching the finish line was quite overwhelming.’ Read more: bbc.co.uk