Madagascar

Once part of the supercontinent known as Gondwana, Madagascar broke away from the rest of the world about 160 million years ago. There is nowhere else like it. The fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar is home to 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, a staggering 80% of which are unique to the country.

Everything about Madagascar is exotic. From its fusion of African, Asian, European and Arabic cultures which have moulded the Malagasy people to its vastly varied terrain which includes tropical rainforests, stunning beaches, highlands and deserts - a trip to this enchanting island will amaze even the most seasoned traveller. With less than one-fifth of the country's roads paved at the last count, getting around is an adventure in itself. The capital, Antananarivo or Tana for short, is right in the middle of the country and acts as the perfect springboard to head out and explore.

The south of the island is the country’s most visited region, and understandably so. The landscapes here are nothing short of incredible and you’ll feel as though you are on a National Geographic assignment as you make your way south from Tana through tropical rainforests, deserts and forests of baobabs. 

For nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, don’t miss the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park to the east of the island. Home to a whopping 14 different lemur species, including the largest of all, the Indri, the park also hosts over a hundred different bird species and the greatest variety of pre-modern mammals seen anywhere on the island.

Moving to the west, one of the island’s most recognisable sites is the amazing Avenue of the Baobabs. Linking Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina, the dirt road is framed by dozens of towering ancient baobab trees creating one of the most spectacular vistas in Madagascar.  And on the western coast, the spectacular mineral forest of Tsingy de Bemaraha and its nearly impenetrable labyrinth of limestone needles is a sight to behold.

Up north, Amber Mountain National Park is one of the country's wildlife hotspots, teeming with lemurs and chameleons where you can enjoy miles of hiking trails through stunning indigenous forests. Over on the northern beaches, you will find superb diving as well Madagascar’s most luxurious hotels, including Anjajavy, the country’s only Relais & Chateaux hotel.

FInally, the uber-luxurious Miavana, on the private island of Nosy Ankao in the northeast, is one of the most exclusive beach resorts in Africa. Nosy Ankao is set within the Loky Manambato Protected Area, a marine park of pristine coral reefs, offering snorkeling, diving, and even whale-watching just off-shore. On land, one can spot lemurs and turtles nesting on the beach.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Giraffes are six feet tall when they are born. They are the tallest animals on earth and they reach heights of up to 18 feet. Giraffes have the largest eyes of any land mammal and other animals of the African savannah use giraffes as sentinels for spotting predators. The tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 18 inches and they can reach their ears with their tongue!

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We do not subscribe to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy. Sample itineraries and cost estimates are meant purely as a guide. To find out more, please contact one of our expert travel consultants to plan a customized itinerary based on your budget and interests.