Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, located off the southeast coast of Africa. Offering unique flora, fauna, and animal species including Lemurs; and pristine beaches; Madagascar provides unforgettable family holidays and romantic honeymoons.
Madagascar is one of the most bio-diverse countries on earth. Home to thousands of species of plant and animal life; of which; about 80 percent are not found anywhere else on the planet. This makes it a true nature-lovers paradise.
Lemurs are the most famous animal unique to Madagascar and there are about 50 different types. Other exotic creatures include Dwarf Chameleons, Giant Jumping Rats, and Tomato Frogs. These are mainly, but not only; found in Southern Madagascar.
The island extends 1,000 miles in length and 360 miles at its largest width; which is more than twice the size of Great Britain!! Madagascar is famous for pepper, vanilla, and of course; lemurs. The main languages spoken are Malagasy and French.
With 5,000 kilometers of coast, the beaches in Madagascar are uncrowded and a major attraction for divers and sunbathers. The main beach holiday towns and resorts are in Northern Madagascar.
From eco-safaris to luxury honeymoons or family getaways, this island is the perfect setting for a tailor-made adventure. We recommend Madagascar to travelers who are not in a rush; used to long drives in 4×4 vehicles and are flexible.
Madagascar is a malaria area so please consult your doctor or travel clinic at least 6 weeks before traveling.
The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo; often shortened to Tana. It has a distinctly French atmosphere. Road, as well as shop signs, are mostly in French.
Tana is much like other African capitals; crowded, polluted, and noisy but it certainly does have parts that are worth exploring. The city is built on three levels; on the upper level; is the Queen’s Palace and associated Royal Village or Rova Palace of Justice; Palace of Andafiavaratra. Now a national monument; it was once the residency of the Merina Dynasty; which in the 19th century, united all Madagascar for the first time.
The main market is found on the lowest level; in the ‘pavilions’ at Analakely. Antananarivo is a great place to shop for Malagasy arts and crafts.
Andasibe National Park
The Andasibe-Mantadia corridor is in the foothills of the eastern escarpment of Madagascar. The 154 km2 park consists of two protected areas; namely; the special Reserve of Indri d’ Analamazaotra and the National Park of Mantadia Analamazaotra; which is better known as “Périnet”.
In addition to the Indris; you should also see woolly lemurs, grey bamboo lemurs, red-fronted lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, and Diademed Sifaka; one of the largest lemur species.
Both Perinet and Mantadia are sanctuaries for birdlife. The area is the best Ground-Roller (related to Kingfisher, bee-eaters, and rollers) reserve in the country. Altogether; this area boasts 112 bird species, 11 lemur species, 39 reptile species, and also 36 frog species. Other species of mammals include the Lowland Streaked Tenrec. Tenrecs are widely diverse; as a result of convergent evolution, some resemble hedgehogs, shrews, opossums, rats, and/or mice.
Madagascar Weather and when to holiday
There are two distinct seasons – the hot and rainy season; which is between November to April (summer), and a cooler dry season from May to October (winter). During the rainy season especially; the roads can be in a bad state of repair.
The most popular time to visit is July & August.
Top Tip: If you are flexible and looking for the unexpected; or if you want to meet extraordinary people, then go and discover this fascinating island!