Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is home to thousands of plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. One of the last areas to be settled by humans, the natural beauty and ecological diversity of Madagascar makes it feel like a country forgotten by time. Madagascar’s extraordinary natural diversity has earned the country the nickname “the eighth continent”. A veneration of ancestry and tradition pervades the national culture, a reverence that is reflected in the country’s architecture, art and social manners.
Where to go
Nosy Be is a Madagascan island with beaches, plus wildlife in Lokobe Reserve Lemuria Land Park. Lokobe Strict Reserve is a nature reserve in north western Madagascar, located on south eastern side of Nosy Be, known for its black lemurs and the beautiful Nosy Be panther chameleon. Lemuria Land park , Lush animal park with lemurs and reptiles.
Nosy Tsarabanjina is a small island off the northwest coast of Madagascar in the Mitsio archipelago.
Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve
Also the Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve in the southern region of Madagascar’s and the largest natural reserve in Madagascar. The word “tsingy” refers to the pinnacles that dot the park’s limestone plateau. Located in the west coast, the park features a broad expanse of mangrove forest and home to seven lemur species, including the Deckens sifaka, a genus of lemur notable for its creamy white fur and black face.
Avenue of the Baobabs
The Avenue of the Baobabs is a group of trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape attracts tourists from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region. The Baobab trees, up to 800 years old, did not originally tower in isolation over the landscape but stood in a dense tropical forest. Over the years, the forests were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the famous baobab trees.
Ifaty is the name given to two dusty fishing villages on the coast of southwest Madagascar. Offshore, a 60-mile long coral reef is a natural barrier to rough sea waves, creating coastal waters that are ideal for diving, snorkelling and fishing. The desert inland area is known for its spiny forest, where the strange-shaped baobab trees have thrived for centuries.
Ranomafana National Park
Located in the south-eastern region of Madagascar near the village of Ranomafana. Ranomafana National Park is one of the nation’s most popular parks with the eastern section being the most scenic, with numerous streams splashing through densely forested hills. The park is home to the endangered golden bamboo lemur, an animal whose diet includes bamboo shoots that contain doses of cyanide that would be lethal to other animals, yet the charming golden lemur feeds on the bamboo with no ill effects.
When to visit
Madagascar has a diverse climate, thanks to its immense size and wide variety of habitats. The north is hot and humid, the east is wetter, and the south is arid. The wettest season is Jan-Mar, with cyclones in February, but outside of these months the best time to visit Madagascar depends on your itinerary.
The central highlands of Madagascar are cold and wet in May-October, but these months are the best time to visit Madagascar’s dry southwest – where temperatures in the summer (Nov-Jan) are unbearably hot. Oct-Dec are great for lemurs – babies are born at this time. Birds breed in Sep-Dec, while humpback whales arrive at Ile St Marie in July and August
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