Madagascar rose to stardom after the success of the Dreamworks film that put this Island on the map for people of all ages. It comprises 250 islands and is home to 30 million inhabitants, this collection of paradisiac Islands is an awesome location to add to your dream holidays.
As the main stars of the film highlight, Madagascar is a haven of countless species and animals.
June to October are the best months to visit if you are an animal lover, with around
300 species of birds, 260 species of reptiles and hundreds of species of insects, and an estimated 253 mammals including humpback whales and the famous lemurs.
Zoologists estimate there are 60 -100 species of Lemurs and lemurs are some of the world’s oldest living primates only endemic to Madagascar. Forests and the greenery of Madagascar depend on the Lemurs as they are careful speed disperses, and key distributors in the eco-system.
Due to the unique status of Lemurs and the holistic relationships lemurs have with Madagascar the Malagasy government actively promotes ecotourism, understanding the curiosity many tourists have when it comes to meeting this curious charming animal. The government and tourist organisations ensure stress-free and careful visiting environments that consider the well-being and productivity of Lemur enclaves. As threats of rainforest undergrowth loom due to poaching, and climate issues, Lemurs are prized members of Madagascar.
It is estimated there is a mind-boggling 15,000 plant species, with over 80% of this collection unique to the Island. This allows for endless views of nature that promise to be different each time. Orchid lovers can expect about 860 different types with about 60% endemic to the Island. The local knowledge on plants is mind-blowing with tales and myths recounting stories of healing properties.
This remarkable tree is iconic with the African continent, nicknamed the ‘Tree of life’ and the ‘Mother of the Forest’. There are only 8 species and 6 of them are found on the Island. These humungous trees loom 30 meters high and span 9 meters wide. The complete benefits of the tree have endless stories of healing including balancing blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation and optimising digestive health.
Ranomafana National Park
If you could only do one thing in Madagascar it would be to visit this National Park. The Park has it all lush rainforests, 12 species of cute and unique lemurs, high altitudes varying from 800-1200 meters, hot springs, beautiful birds, and an active consideration and conservation program that considers nature and humans in unison.
Isalo: the Malagasy Grand Canyon
Often compared to the American Grand Canyon, Madagascars 80,000 hectares in the south
Are a formation of prehistoric grandeur. Millions of years ago this wonder was beneath the sea, and now you can be one of the very few visitors (estimated 30,000 a year) to get immersed in Isola for extreme views and unique adventures in the wild.
The Bemaraha Tsingy
A UNESCO world Heritage Site, this pre-historic space has seen centuries pass. The water and wind erosion have created a spectacular wonderland landscape, that is accessible with rope ladders, bridges, cable routes and tours uniquely designed to showcase the karstic and limestone landscapes.
A combination of all the Islands equals around 5000km of beach coastlines. Tourists, locals and lovers of Madagascar can never tire of the stunning silver strips of beach along the Indian Ocean. Traditionalists will enjoy the lack of high-rise resorts preserving the landscape.
Nosy Be, Sainte Marie is considered one of the most popular beaches of Madagascar, Nosy Be has it all for the perfect beach experience plus more. It is also the ideal location to view the spectacular show of baby whales and their mothers.
Other beaches worth visiting include Baie de Sainte Luce to the south coast of Madagascar, Plage de Ramena to the North, Île aux Nattes and Île Sainte-Marie. The choices are never-ending and it is recommended to ask the locals for their top tips.
Malagasy culture is a beautiful mixture of its cultural encounters, a family of African, Arab and Indian relatives. The cuisine represents that with Asian spices, tropical ingredients, and seafood stars. Rice is a huge component of Malagasy cuisine with the word to eat translating literally to eat rice. Expect aromatic curries, meaty stews, tangy pickles and inventive rice dishes.
As for desserts, rice flour creates interesting textures and Koba cake is made of peanuts and rice flour is a great souvenir. Sugarcane, fresh fruit desserts, and patisseries will leave your mouth tingling for more.