Explore more of Madagascar
Madagascar is not known as one of the more traditional vacation locations, but there is certainly a great deal to recommend it – known as “The 8th Continent”, you will encounter a real diversity of landscapes, scenery and climate zones, along with unusual yet abundant wildlife, including of course, the famous lemurs, of which there are 32 species throughout the country! There are also a huge variety of other small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects to be seen and heard across the national parks and rainforest reserves.
From a central arrival point into the country of the attractive capital Antananarivo, you can branch out in any direction – or all of them! The eastern highlands are home to the Perinet-Analamazaotra Special Reserve, where some of the best sighting of lemurs are to be had and the birdlife is exquisite. The Ranomofana National Park is a mid-altitude montane rainforest reserve towards the south of the country, characterised by steep slopes and differing forest types and is home to yet more lemur species and is known to be one of Madagascar’s richest wildlife sites. For differing scenery the Isalo National Park offers huge sandstone hills eroded over time into unusual formations, impressive gorges and canyons, grassy plains and fertile river valleys, while on the west coast at Morondava you can visit the famous ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’, a prominent and spectacular group of baobab trees lining the dirt road.
As if the unusual scenery and wildlife wasn’t enough, there are also some exquisite long white sandy beaches on the north and western coasts, which lead to superb coral reefs, both shallow for snorkeling and deeper for diving. So it is perfectly feasible to base your whole vacation in Madagascar and enjoy the wildlife, the scenery, the culture and the beach without crossing any other borders!
To travel through the country, it is generally recommended to undertake an over-land road journey accompanied by an English-speaking knowledgeable private guide who will draw your attention to everything you see and enhance your experience no end, and also offer an interesting cultural and historical insight into this former French colony.
The tourism infrastructure in Madagascar is not yet as developed as mainland Africa, and 5-star properties are few. However, there are many rapidly improving 4-star accommodations, an excellent guiding network, and a real sense of unspoiled wilderness and unique adventure that is perhaps missing from more mainstream African destinations.
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