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Matador co-founder Ross Borden gets way off the trail in this African island nation. See what he finds.

I went to this corner of the world stoked to see the animals, landscapes, and sunsets I’d read about in the travel lit, but of course it was the beauty of the people and their way of life that really blew me away.

Photo Essay


About The Author

Ross Borden

Ross Borden is one of the founding members of Matador. He has lived in Spain, Kenya, and Argentina and currently resides in his native San Francisco.

  • Michelle Schusterman

    Gorgeous! Those trees are insane.

  • david miller

    thanks for taking me there hermano.

    looks like some some ppl with lives well lived.

  • Ameya

    Gorgeous and fascinating!! I almost feel like I’m on those beaches with them- looks like something just got added to my must-visit list! Thank you for this. :)

  • Nick

    These photos are great, Ross. But that one of the octopus is mad… too, too alien.

  • Adam Roy

    This is nuts! I love that you got to visit these unmapped islands…it makes me start itching to get back on the road. Which is what this site is all about, I suppose.

  • Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things

    Madagascar just moved way up on the list of places i have to go visit.

    Those trees are crazy!

  • Julie

    Ross, you’re killing me. I started looking at these and thought “Oh, 2′s my favorite. No 3, no 11, no 17.” But they’re all amazing. Thanks for sharing these.

  • Naomi

    You know, I feel like the only photos I’ve ever really seen of Madagascar have been of the wildlife…it was really spectacular to see the human side of things. And those trees! Am I the only one who never had any idea how massive baobabs can grow??

  • Kate

    These are beautiful. Not to diminish these in any way, because they are wonderful photographs, but it seems like it would be easy to take strong photos there (no, maybe not easy to take photos as good as these). Those rock formations are wild and the trees are giants!

    • Ross

      Nope, Kate, that’s very accurate. It’s the most photogenic place I’ve ever been in my life.

  • Abbie

    Those pictures are great! #11 is my favorite :)

  • Alexis Grant

    Oh these photos took me back. Thanks for sharing. Like Abbie, my favorite is #11. Madagascar is one of my favorite countries in Africa… And I just got the miss-it pang.

  • saveoursmile

    Misaotra … this is the Malagasy word for saying thank you … Thank you for sharing the beauty of my own country …Awesome pics by the way

  • Lola

    Love ‘em all! Beautiful spread.

  • barbiebabe

    thanks for sharing your photos they are amazing. What a humbling experience to see such happy faces with such little wealth.
    awe inspiring.

  • Linda

    Awesome photos. Those baobab trees are significantly taller than Togolese baobabs, which are squatter and knobbier. I would not like a tree house in a Malagasy baobab.

  • Theresa

    The human aspect you have captured in these pictures is what really strikes me. Awesome awesome awesome. Great baobabs! i think they are a different type…. but here in south africa we have one with an entire bar inside! super crazy trees.

  • http://Indiatravelpackages

    Some wicked photos of Madagascar here… check out that creepy octopus, wow!

  • Anna

    Those are amazing photos!

    Silly question, but what kind of lodging is around there?

  • lisa

    hello so since so much of Matador is about the pics any chance you can educate us about what camera you used, what settings etc. I still shoot film but digital seems to get all the shadow detail..what camera did you use for these please reply thank you

  • Janet Efrati

    amazing, wish I could go…

  • Charlotte Emilie

    I am leaving to serve in the Peace Corps in Madagascar in 20 days! These images are beautiful captures.

  • Charlotte Emilie

    I am leaving to serve in the Peace Corps in Madagascar in 20 days! These images are beautiful captures.

    • Kristen Borash

      Where are you going the last few weeks before staging?

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