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.
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. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.
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.
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 le Lodge, the country’s only Relais & Châteaux hotel. Located in a nature reserve, Anjajavy is home to no fewer than five critically endangered species, fifteen in danger of extinction and thirteen vulnerable to extinction. Coquerel's sifaka, common brown lemur, three species of mouse lemur are common here, and more recently the nocturnal Aye-aye has been reintroduced to Anjajavy. The endangered fossa, Madagascar's largest carnivore, also thrives in the reserve.
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 snorkelling, diving, and even whale watching just offshore. On land, one can spot lemurs and turtles nesting on the beach.
Lemurs, chameleons, baobabs, beaches, rainforest, desert: Madagascar has it all.
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