Madagascar has been populated by successive waves of migrants from various corners of the Indian Ocean. It is unlike anywhere else in Africa or Asia. There are fantastic sights to discover this unique history, but also numerous opportunities to meet local people and immerse yourself in their world: in village stays, long-distance trails, festivals, taxi-brousse (bush taxis) and Friday night discos.
MADAGASCAR TRAVEL FACTS
- Size: Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world. Measuring 587,040 square kilometres, it is more than double the size of Texas and nearly two-and-a-half times the size of the UK.
- Population: At the last official estimate in 2011, Madagascar’s population was just under 21 million, with a population density of 35 per square kilometre.
- Language: The country’s official languages are Malagasy and French, though English is increasingly important.
- Conservation: Madagascar has more than 40 national parks and reserves, managed by Madagascar National Parks.
- Religion: Traditional religious beliefs are still widely upheld in Madagascar, with some 4 million Roman Catholics, and 3.5 million members of the FJKM (the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar).
- Politics: Madagascar’s independence was returned to it, from France, on June 26, 1960. After years of chaotic dictatorship, the country now has a presidential, multi-party democracy.
- Biodiversity: Dozens of new species are discovered in Madagascar every year: more than 100 species of lemurs are now recognized and nearly 80 species of chameleons are endemic to the island.
- Leaping ahead: While Andasibe-Mantadia National Park’s most famous resident is the lemurs, the forests are also home to at least a hundred species of frogs – a figure that makes this the most frog-rich area on earth.
- Exports: Madagascar is associated with vanilla or rum and sugar cane, but the national crop with no equal is rice (vary in Malagasy), with the highest consumption per capita in the world – around 150kg per person (400g) or a pound of rice a day.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MADAGASCAR
The best time to travel to Madagascar depends on which parts of the country you want to visit and your interests. With its climate dominated by the Indian Ocean’s southeastern trade winds, the island has a clear seasonal cycle. n general, the austral winter (April to October) tends to be dry and warm, with higher temperatures at sea level and further north or along the west coast. This season – pleasant but cooler than summer – is great for sightseeing, though many animals are less active and some species hibernate. However, on the other hand, June to September is when to visit Madagascar for whale-watching, with pods of humpbacks gliding along the east coast on their northerly migration. From November to March, a hot, wet summer sees heavy rains lash the eastern slopes and highlands, and ferocious cyclones batter the east coast. At the start of the summer, when showers are light and infrequent, November is often recommended as the best month to visit Madagascar for wildlife-watching.
Fall (March through May)
Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel warm. Highs range from 87.5°F (30.8°C) and 83.3°F (28.5°C) with colder temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 4 to 11 days of significant precipitation per month. Fall is the busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.
Winter (June through August)
The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the least precipitation with 4 to 5 days of precipitation per month. June – August is fairly slow season for tourism in Madagascar, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly less.
Spring (September through November)
Spring daily highs range from 88.2°F (31.2°C) and 81.5°F (27.5°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 3 to 6 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably priced.
Summer (December through February)
Weather is perfect this time of year in Madagascar to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 88.5°F (31.4°C) and 86.4°F (30.2°C). On average, it rains or snows a great amount: 8 to 15 times per month. These times of year are the second busiest with tourists.
WHERE TO STAY IN MADAGASCAR
There are many Madagascar resorts which chalk out exclusive offerings including accommodation, food, and different activities. However, the luxury resorts here offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can enjoy the island with your family or take your partner there as a surprise.
While there are a lot of accommodation options in Madagascar, here’s a list of the ten best resorts that’ll make your stay even more experiential!
- Andilana Beach Resort - Nosy Be, Madagascar
Surrounded by water on three sides, this place is one of the most beautiful Madagascar resorts with two beach views. You can opt for a premium category suite done in Italian tastes or the lower ones, the Rooms. Both categories come with balconies, differing in size and view. One of the highly rated Madagascar Nosy Be resorts, this place has three restaurants offering international and local cuisines. The bars here work with experienced bartenders creating the perfect cocktails, fruit smoothies and different blends of coffee.
- Mantasaly Resort - Andovokonko Bay, Madagascar
One of the best places to kitesurf in the world, this beautiful property is based out of northern Madagascar. The geography here combined with the wind speed makes it an ideal spot for surfing. The place has around 32 rooms with 16 beach bungalows featuring balconies and sun beds. You will also find one classy restaurant serving all kinds of dishes. And to top it all off, the BaoBar Lounge will whip up the tastiest cocktails in the entire area.
The best family resort in Madagascar, this place has different activities to explore the island better. The property has around 35 bungalows which are identical in structure, unlike most other Madagascar resorts. The bungalows come with an outdoor porch, double bed, a living room, bathroom – everything to fit a family of five. The place has its own sports centre where you can pick things like sailboards, canoe and snorkelling equipment up from. The pool here faces the sea with green-blue waters with a separate children’s pool nearby.
- Laguna Blu Resort - Andavadoaka, Madagascar
Another beach resort, this beautiful but small property is perfect for couples looking to spend some time together. The 1-kilometre long sandy beach here makes the perfect setting for long romantic walks. The place has fourteen bungalows divided into three different categories, all with sea view. You can also enjoy snorkeling, motorboating, whale watching and hikes in the forest around. The restaurant, with a panoramic view of the ocean, offers African and Italian cuisines with seafood featuring prominently in most dishes.
One of the few Madagascar all-inclusive resorts, this property from the Constance Group is chic. Rooms are done hammock style, available in two different types which have the same features but are located on the North and South beaches respectively. The food here is made of local, fresh produce pairing different wines with dishes around the world, done in new, innovative ways by the chefs. The whole package makes this place one of the most preferred Madagascar honeymoon resorts.
- Cote Ouest Palissandre Resort & Spa - Nosy Kely Morondava, Madagascar
Located in Nosy Kely, this beautiful resort is done in local ways with granite stones and rosewood. There are 30 bungalows here all of which come with a private terrace as well as a sea view. The poolside restaurant and bar here offer all kinds of food and drinks. You will particularly like relaxing with a massage at the spa here after a day out. Surrounded by coconut mangrove, the place has activities like deep sea fishing. The shop here is full of little items like scents and local craftwork, which will remind you of Madagascar back home.
Located in the North East of the country, this Green Globe certified resort makes conscious efforts to not disturb the local ecology. Food is made of local, fresh products, and massages are done with oils distilled locally. The place has four different categories for accommodation, all with some or another kind of view. You can attend poolside barbeque parties here or enjoy whale safaris. The natives here are also extremely welcoming, which makes for a perfect stay!
- Azura Resort & Spa - Foulpointe – 502 Toamasina, Madagascar
Located in Toamasina, this golf resort is luxury incarnate. You can enjoy kayaking, volleyball and soccer on the premises. The place comes with a swimming pool, and the beach itself is a ten minutes walk from the rooms. The ground floor rooms all come with private pools and the property has a total of about 36 suites. You can also keep up with your workout routine at the gym/fitness center here.
- Princesse Bora Resort - Nosy Boraha 515, Madagascar
Built like a lodge, Princess Bora Resort is ideal for couples. Complete with over three different kinds of villas, the place offers a one day trip to Cocobay where you can snorkel and barbecue fish. The property itself has a grill restaurant, different bars, a wine cellar along with a rum distillery. You can also enjoy massages with rainwater, wild honey and ivahona oils at the jungle spa here, making it one of the best Madagascar holiday resorts.
One of the most famous Madagascar luxury resorts, this five-star eco-luxury place has everything you can dream of. There are fourteen exquisite villas here, done in water and air elements (think turquoise) offering direct beach access. The piazza or village is a shared space with an infinity pool, rooftop bar and three different eating spaces. You can go for lemur treks, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, hiking or paddleboarding at Miavana Resort Madagascar. If all that is not enough, you can book a half day helicopter safari to explore the northern side of the island.
ACTIVITIES TO DO & WHERE TO GO IN MADAGASCAR
This comprehensive list is all you will need when looking for things to do in Madagascar - activities are ordered by popularity based on ratings received by people who have done them..
- See A Magical Universe Of Baobabs At Andohahela National Reserve
For travelers looking to experience nature up close and personal, the Andohahela National Reserve is a must do part of any itinerary. The baobabs that grow freely here are too special a sight to miss out on! The baobab is the national tree of Madagascar. With 7 distinct species of this curious looking tree, Madagascar can boast the greatest variety of baobabs on earth! Each species is distinct, and they are a breath taking, spectacular, and almost unbelievable sight! With their bloated trunks and misshapen forms, these trees look like something out of a fantasy novel. One place where visitors can see baobabs in their natural habitat is the Andohahela National Reserve. The reserve is situated in south east Madagascar and is located just 40 km outside of Fort Dauphin. Visitors are treated to nearly 80 000 hectares of pristine nature reserve featuring 3 different ecosystems. The reserve is mainly mountainous and forested with a wide variety of vegetation and wildlife. For accommodation, guests can choose between the lovely hotels in Fort Daupin, or camp in one of the 4 campsites. The Andohahela Nature Reserve was awarded the “Best new tourism project abroad” by the British Guild of Travel Writers in 1999 and the reserve continues to go from strength to strength. But at the Andohahela Nature reserve, it’s the baobabs that are the main attraction. After all, how can you go home from a Madagascan holiday without photos of these bizarre trees? Whatever you do in Madagascar, be sure to include a trip to the magical universe of baobabs at Andohahela National reserve!
- Watch The Whale Migration Around Baie D'antogil
Located on the northern edge of the east coast of Madagascar, Baie d’ Antongil is a whale watchers dream location. The deepest bay in Madagascar (it measures 60 km long by 30 km wide) Baie d’ Antongil plays a crucial role each year to the Antarctic humpback whales as they make their yearly northern migration. From the months of June through to September hundreds of humpback whales meet and cavort in its deep waters. Baie d’ Antongil (or Antongil Bay as it is referred to in English) lies against breathtaking vistas of craggy mountain peaks and dense, lush rainforest. (It remains one of the last places on earth where you can still view virgin coastal rainforest). The humpback whales make the most of their time in this warm watery paradise with acrobatic displays as they court and mate with one another. All this activity leads up to the month of August when the females begin to calve. The whales then spend the remainder of their time in the bay with their calves, preparing them for the long and cold trip home. All local boat operators have been trained according to the guidelines set down by the Wildlife Conservation Society (guidelines which have since been passed into law) ensuring that the whales and their environment are treated with sensitivity (thereby also ensuring a higher degree of safety for the whale watcher). Whale watching trips occur regularly throughout this period and can be arranged quite easily (either through your tour operator or via the concierge at your hotel).
- Enjoy Dhow Sailing From Nosy Be
Equipped with its lateen (a triangular sail mounted at an angle), the dhow, which is a traditional Arab sailing vessel, has become a popular mode of transportation in various coastal regions in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean area. Traditionally used to transport goods from place to place, one can also enjoy sailing in this fun island-style way in Madagascar. Nosy Be is one of the main islands in northern Madagascar where one can experience this sailing adventure. The island is connected by an airport which allows for easy access to the main town Hell Ville where the dhow adventure starts. When one arrives and walks through this modest yet enchanting town you would still find women wearing face masks made from ground powder. Sailing adventures in Nosy Be generally lasts from 7 to 8 days. Usually after settling in, one would be transported to the Hell Ville port, be greeted by the dhow skipper, crew and tour guide and set off sailing around the Nosy Be island. The following days would be spent travelling to surrounding islands such as Ankazoberevina, Nosy Iranja, Nosy Iranja (the Island of Turtles), Nosy Tanikely also known as the Small Island enjoying breakfast, lunch and supper on the way. During this journey one could participate in various activities such as snorkelling, visiting a marine reserve, fishing and you might even have the chance to see dolphins riding the waves alongside the dhow. The adventure usually ends with sailing back to enchanting Nosy Be, leaving you to reminisce over this unforgettable experience.
- See The Madagascar Sights From A Quad Bike
Madagascar presents some wonderful sights which can be fully explored and experienced if one went on a quad-bike through the enchanted island country of Madagascar. With its blend of wildlife and botany as well as breathtaking natural sights, a quad-bike ride will allow one to have a better view of this island’s magic, especially if they go through Parc National de Ranofana. This park can be entered through Ambodiamontana village which also provides insight into what life is like in the rural village far from the capital Antananarivo. Apart from a feel of the village life, the park boasts of about a dozen species of lemurs and a number of refreshing streams. A quad-bike ride through the capital city of Madagascar, will present a regenerating experience after seeing the colonial French architectural designs which punctuate the entire city. One can also travel on their quad bike to the coastal area of Ifaty, to soak in the sun, palm trees and the pristine sandy white beaches. There are also the offshore breezes, and the cool tropical serenity which surrounds the village and if you‘re fortunate to be doing this between July and August, you will certainly get a glimpse of the whales along this tropical road.
Surfers will go to the ends of the earth for the perfect wave. Exploring unexplored is an open invitation for any surfer! The thrill of going back home and telling your friends about your amazing time in an exotic location is hard to beat! You surfed in uncharted territory, what could be better! Madagascar is becoming a destination for surfers in the know. Warm waters, great climate and friendly locals make for an amazing surfing trip. The Ambinanibe Ballade is a fairly well known beach break located in the south east of Madagascar. This spot is named after the vast and beautiful plains that surround it. This spot is reliable and a great stop on any surfing itinerary. Best surfed in winter, the Ambinanibe Ballade is the kind of spot you want to tell your friends about. The Ambinanibe Ballade is not for the fainthearted, there are powerful rip currents, sharks and rocks in the path of the breaking waves. For travelers who are looking for a vacation that is purely about surfing and relaxation, a Madagascan holiday is a superb choice. This picturesque beach offers easy access to the botanical park as well as a chance to participate in the local culture with dancing or drumming. There are some great surf spots within a short distance from the Ambinanibe beach. The closest break is Baie des Singes which is less crowded but not as consistent, other nearby breaks include Libabona Beach, Monseigneur Bay, Fort Dauphin and Evatra. As remote and relatively uncrowded surf spots become harder and harder to find, surfing the Ambinanibe Ballade is a must!
Diving is the best way to explore the magic of marine life up close. It’s kind of like taking a hike through the ocean, with nothing between you and those made-for-film fish. Scuba divers are generally avid explorers and enjoy the idea of discovering treasures underwater. In 1999, a diver discovered some pirate shipwrecks off the coast of Madagascar dating back Diving in Madagascar is a real treat; the warm Indian Ocean is attractive to both people and marine life. In these turquoise waters diver can see up to 30m ahead. And what a sight awaits you! A dazzling variety of pristine coral reef, as well its many colorful inhabitants like brightly colored fish and manta rays, sea turtles, and some small shark species are a common sight while scuba diving here Before you go diving you will need to spend some time gaining the required basic qualifications. Beginner divers will learn the basics of handling the equipment before heading out with a dive master. If you are already an experienced diver, skip the lessons and organize an expedition by boat to some of the more untouched parts of the reef. You don’t need to head out far to see and experience the coral reef. Please remember to leave the coral reef in tact, many parts of the Madagascan reef have died as a result of careless tourists, don’t be one of those tourists! Some of the top spots in Madagascar to go scuba diving include; Ifafy Beach and St Augustin Bay. The Nosy Be Archipelago is situated in the northwest of Madagascar and offers visitors easy access to some of the magnificent little islands. Nosy Tanikey and Nosy Sakatia come highly recommended as top class diving spots as well. If you are fortunate enough to be visiting our lovely island, a scuba diving trip is a must. Come, explore the deep and dive Madagascar!
- Visit The Legend Of The 2 Waterfalls On Mountain Andringitra
Andringitra National Park in Madagascar is a true gem. Nowhere else in the world will you experience such diversity and beauty in such a natural setting! Truly epic landscapes surround you and it is easy to be bowled over by the sheer magnitude of the mountains and plains. Taking a hike up to the highest point is highly recommended, with rising altitude comes many different and special species, some of which can only be seen in this area. According to local legend, the 2 waterfalls named Riandahy (the Queen) and Riambavy (the King). The story goes that the King and Queen after years of being unable to conceive, gave a sacrifice and swam in the waters, and soon after had a baby. These waterfalls are regarded as sacred by the locals, a fact which probably contributed to the success of conservation efforts in the area. The locals believe that swimming in the waters will help infertile couples conceive, so careful! The 2 waterfalls tumble dramatically over 250m and are quite a remarkable sight! The hike up to the waterfalls is flanked by exquisite scenery. From wet tropical forest to alpine meadows, the variety is almost unbelievable. Visitors can stay at the Tsara Camp, which consists of ten tents. If you are looking to explore off the beaten path, this area is relatively unknown and unexplored. Dramatic landscapes, interesting animals and of course the legend of the 2 waterfalls on mountain Andringitra are well worth seeing!
- Visit The Lost Palace & Royal Rova In Antananarivo
The beautiful city of Antananarivo perches on a hillside and exudes a mystical charm and an air of being lost in time. It is a city of contrasting moods best experienced by exploring its rambling streets. Antananarivo’s preserved architecture is an amazing mix influenced by tradition, missionary fervour and brief colonial past. Visit the Lost Palace & Royal Rova in Antananarivo which was once a symbol of hope and unity, a reminder to the Malagasy people of their proud heritage. Walk to the Lost Palace and Royal Rova along the maze of alleys and stairs linking the lower and upper city. Imagine the former grandeur when Madagascar’s Kings use to dwell here, the beautiful summer palace of the queen, the tomb complex containing the mortal remains of kings and Malagasy people, sadly destroyed by a devastating fire. All that remained was the original stone entrance and the stonework of the church. The Rova is now a museum displaying the salvaged collection of antiques, historical documents and royal artefacts. The city views from the Lost Palace and Rova is absolutely spectacular as you take in the redbrick topsy-turvy houses scattered along the hills, the beauty of the lake and beyond to the rice paddies; the spirit of days gone by envelopes you as you ponder on the optimism that were in the hearts of all Malagasy people. Major reconstructions aided from countries from all over the world are taking place to restore the Lost Palace and Rova to its former glory and hopefully it will retain its value of being one of the most interesting places to visit whilst exploring the extraordinary city of Antananarivo.
- Enjoy The Tsimbazaza Zoological And Botanical Garden
Antananarivo, Madagascar, is steeped in rich history and is saturated with wonderful preserved architecture which lends a mystical air to the enchanting city. Antananarivo will ensnare your heart with its astounding ambiance and amazing Malagasy people. Explore the sights of Antananarivo and enjoy spending a day at the interesting Tsimbazaza Zoological and Botanical Garden located just outside the city centre. Set in glorious tropical gardens dominated by giant palms and peaceful ponds, Tsimbazaza Zoological and Botanical Garden is a wonderful outing for the entire family to enjoy. Stroll along the paths leading to the astounding specimens of Malagasy fauna and flora that no longer can be found in their natural habitat. Get up close to view the antic of the variety of lemurs; observe the interesting insects, reptiles and captivating colourful chameleon species. Relax by the lovely ponds covered with a stunning array of blooming lily and other water plants while taking in the prolific bird life. In addition to the awesome natural surroundings, Tsimbazaza Zoological and Botanical Garden also has an outstanding museum with fascinating displays to enjoy. Check out the skeleton of the elephant bird; enjoy the collection of tribal carvings and the remarkable exhibitions of fossils and taxidermy. Tsimbazaza Zoological and Botanical Garden offer something for everyone, from the avid birder, nature lover, or the history buffs, a day spent at the zoo and beautiful environment of the gardens is an uplifting and informative experience.
- Explore The Royal Hill Of Ambohimanga
The enchanting capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo, is surrounded by 12 sacred hills of which one is Ambohimanga. A World Heritage Site and popular tourist attraction the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga is located only 20 kilometres from Antananarivo which makes it an ideal venue for a day excursion. Explore the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga set in a lush green countryside environment and a peaceful atmosphere. The charming village of Ambohimanga is undisturbed by the regular flow of pilgrims and tourists and has a wonderful serene character. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga is a significant symbol of cultural identity and has retained its spiritual and sacred appeal and remains a place of worship. Explore the compound which consists of a royal city, burial sites and an ensemble of sacred places. Take in the astounding views from the royal site which overlook the surrounding villages, the rice paddy filled plains reaching over the tranquil gardens and hilltops back to Antananarivo. The wooden buildings is an interesting blend of European and Malagasy influence, surprisingly small and unpretentious with a bedroom and meeting rooms simply furnished, yet it embodies the soul of the nation and will deepen your understanding of the Malagasy people’s rich cultural heritage. Stroll through the compound to the royal Zebu where pilgrims gather to pray, explore the historic museum and the ancient royal bath, or visit the royal burial sites on the two other hills. The tombs still plays an important religious role and therefore remains a sacred and special place. From the modest local guy sitting quietly on the steps playing his guitar, the unobtrusive way of selling tourist souvenirs, the spectacular surroundings and the rich cultural and religious history, the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga is truly a magical place and is not to be missed when exploring the sights and sounds of Antananarivo.
- Explore The Caves & Sight Lemurs At Ankarana National Park
Madagascar is a fascinating country and a spectacular treasure chest of natural beauty, intriguing culture and amazing wildlife that beckons to be discovered and explored. Located to the north of the country and south of the province of Antsiranana, the Ankarana National Park is a wonderland of surprises which includes unusual landscape formations and a high density of wildlife. Explore the extraordinary eroded grey limestone protrusions called tsingy which is truly a dramatic awe-inspiring vision. Stroll along the constructed boardwalks allowing easy passage to the caves and at the same time protecting the fragile rock pinnacles and unique plant life such as ancient Elephant Feet trees. Between the sheer cliffs lies a sunken deciduous forest harbouring rare wildlife and caves of which one is a fairyland of sparkling stalagmites and stalactites. The more fearless explorer can explore the cave crowded with bats or another cave harbouring crocodiles in the network of underground rivers. The natural sunken potholes displaying the forces of nature is also a phenomenal and captivating discovery. Enjoy the abounding lemur species watching you with their oversized curious eyes. Visitors may encounter the crowned lemur, Sanford's brown lemur, Perrier's black lemur, and dwarf lemurs. A variety of colourful chameleons and leaf-tailed geckos can also be found in Ankarana National Park. Hike the trails to really become part of the magnificent surroundings and to enjoy the incredible variety of plant, bird and wildlife. Exploring Ankarana National Park is a mesmerizing experience which will delight avid birders, nature and animal lovers and is unquestionably well worth a visit.
- Hiking at The Andringitra Mountains
The Andringitra Mountains, located in the South East of Madagascar, are a breathtaking feast for the eyes. You can imagine dinosaurs roaming the expanses or prehistoric birds soaring above the peaks. It’s sheer magic! Hiking is one of the best ways to explore any area, and in Madagascar it’s probably one of the best ways to experience the magic of this often overlooked holiday destination. When hiking you can expect to see many natural wonders. The Andringitra National Park boasts an impressive assortment of wildlife. Over 100 species of birds, 54 species of mammals including lemurs and bats, as well as many reptile species call this area home. The higher lying areas of the park are blanketed by tropical rainforest. The lower lying areas are home to some local settlements. Hiking is the only way to reach the more remote areas of the Andringitra national park, you might even have the honor of spotting a new species! Few hikers attempt to summit the impressive 2600m peak, but the surrounding area is so beautiful its well worth a try! Hikers can choose between short easy hikes, or longer over night hikes. Be sure to wear good quality hiking boots, take along water and slather on some sunscreen before heading out on your adventure. The weather in Madagascar is known to do a whistle stop tour of all four seasons in a day, so come prepared and double check the expected weather before setting out. If you are in Madagascar then a hike in the Andringitra mountains is a must-do item on the list! Come and experience Madagascar, it’s people and it’s natural wealth up close with a hike in the Andringitra mountains.
- Kitesurf Fort Dauphin And Diego Suarez
While there are many different attractions to bring people here, people who come to Madagascar have one thing in common – a keen sense of adventure! You might have seen kite surfers before, picture colorful kites dotting the shoreline and you can imagine what a picture perfect setting this can be for a day out. Kite surfing is similar to surfing, with a kite and harnesses attached to the surfer. Using just the wind, kite surfers can propel themselves through the water add the elements of the ocean swells and you have the ingredients for an awesome afternoon! Kite surfing has been described as exhilarating; the feeling of being in harmony with the waves and the wind is just magical Kite surfing has undergone some developments that offer beginners greater control. If you have never kite surfed before, a lesson can make all the difference. Controlling the kite, maintaining balance and learning to maneuver through the water can be tricky, and it’s best to be shown how. But once you get the hang of it you will have to be forced from the water! Fort Dauphin and Diego Suarez are already well known surf spots and many travelers come to experience the magic of the Madagascan waves. The relaxed atmosphere and locals attract all kinds of visitors, all looking for sunshine and a great holiday. Combined with the stunning surroundings, crisp white beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters, these areas are a haven for adventure hungry holiday makers with some time to spare! If you are visiting Madagascar be sure to make time for kite surf at Fort Dauphin and Diego Suarez! Be warned if you try it once you will become hooked!
- Go Snorkelling Around The Nosy Hara Archipelago
The great thing about snorkeling is that almost anybody can do it. There are no expensive courses or equipment required. You just pop on a mask and you are ready to see clownfish and eels swimming alongside you! Snorkeling is popular with many tourists; it’s an easy, inexpensive way to get up close and personal with some of the inhabitants of the coral reefs of Madagascar. The Indian Ocean is a temperate 27 degrees all year round and the crystal clear waters teaming with colorful sea life is inviting to those who interested in exploring the mysteries of the ocean. One of the best places in the world to snorkel is at the Nosy Hara archipelago in the northwestern tip of Madagascar. Swim alongside manta rays and sea turtles. The Nosy Hara archipelago comprises of around 12 small islands surrounded by coral reef. For visitors, this area is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of Madagascar. The WWF has started implementing conservation measures to protect this breathtaking attraction to survive. This coral reef is under threat from mans influence. Careless tourists touching coral reef, over fishing by locals and general exploitation of the ocean are leading to a massive decline in the amount of living coral reef in the world. Snorkeling is so easy, anyone can do it. Take a loved one and spend the day in water, up close with sea turtles, manta rays and even harmless sharks. It is estimated that 95% of the world’s coral reef will be dead by 2050. Do yourself a favor and go and visit the Nosy Hara Archipelago, take some snorkels and make a day of exploring this magical sight!
There’s no doubt about it, white water rafting is an adrenaline packed adventure from the moment you ride your first rapid. The thrill of conquering a challenging rapid is unlike anything else! It’s a mixture of skill, planning and luck to get down a rapid unscathed, a factor that entices many thrill seekers. Madagascar is a lesser known travel destination. For visitors who like to venture off the beaten path, a kayaking trip to Madagascar is an unbeatable journey! There are many unexplored rapids and spectacular scenery too. Lily Falls is one of the best intermediate rapids in Madagascar, it’s easy to access, navigate and offers an exciting 20m plunge! Lily falls was named after a local girl who drowned in the turbulent waters over 40 years ago. Lily Falls is also known as Chutes de la Lily by the locals and runs off from the Liliha River in the village of Antafofo. There is some debate about the best time of year to do the Lilly; some say the high waters are best between December and April. An important consideration is that the raised water levels invite more crocs than usual. While the crocs tend to stay away from people, it’s still a concern! If you are in the area during the rainy season, the falls are quite an impressive sight and an even more impressive photo. Come white water rafting on the rapids by Lily Falls and enjoy an unforgettable adventure complemented by beautiful scenery!
Few places in the world have such a variety of birdlife as in Madagascar. Madagascar, with its rustic appeal and rural setting is quite untouched by Western hands and nowhere is this more apparent than in the natural resources of the Ampijoroa National Park. In Ampijoroa, it is possible to see a vast array of bird life as well as spectacular flora and fauna. The Ampijoroa National Park is a western deciduous forest, and like the rest of Madagascar, has a rural approach to game viewing. All viewing happens by foot, as many areas do not have passable roads. Spend the night camping in Ampijoroa and awaken to the sounds of birdsong. At Ampijoroa National Park, there is also a variety of lemurs as well as reptiles to view. Lake Ravelobe is central to the park and home to the spectacular Nile Crocodile. If you are lucky, you can spot this rare and beautiful creature in it’s natural habitat. The birdlife in Madagascar is just breath taking and well worth a visit for enthusiasts and novices alike. Take along a birding book and enjoy crossing off the rare and beautiful birds you find in Ampijoroa and surrounds! The Ampijoroa National Park is home to the Madagascar fish eagle which is a rare and currently listed as critically endangered. Some other species to look out for include the Madagascar pygmy kingfisher, rufous vanga and the red-capped coua amongst others! Pack in your books and your binoculars; you are going birding in one of the most fascinating places on earth!
estled on the banks of the beautiful Itasy Lake in breathtaking Madagascar is the lush area of Ampefy. The scintillating magnificence of this volcanic substratum with its rolling hills adorned in green, untainted by the peril of mass tourism and overflowing with an extensive range of fauna and flora is exceptionally appealing to nature lovers. The precious beauty of Ampefy is highlighted by the Lily waterfall (Chute de la Lily), that thunders down a staircase of rocky clefts, sparkling in the radiant sunlight and finishing in a tremendous spray that fashions a nebulous mystical aura around her. Each iridescent cataract travels an invigorating journey over desert volcanic landscape, rice plantations and verdant fields before it plunges down with a glittering reverberating roar from the rocky massifs into a refreshingly clear pool of fresh mountain water that beckons out to anyone who would dive in and bathe in her coolness. To reach the legendary Lily waterfall, requires a 4x4 passage over picturesque volcanic hills dotted with quaint little villages made up of red mud houses with thatched roofs (typical to the central highland). Once you arrive, the most classical panoramic view awaits to take your breath away with the best rapid waters perfect for a white water rafting excursion. With Ampefy’s Chute de la Lily, one will not only make the most of their time immersing themselves in the blessing of nature, but good exercise, knowledge about the island and a collection of treasured memories awaits. There is no good enough reason not to visit the islands spectacular Lily waterfalls, after all, they truly are 100% pure bliss!
- Tsingy De Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve
Whilst taking a vacation in the African country of magnificent Madagascar, visitors will get more than spectacular sunset beaches, brilliant coral reefs or tropical jungle wildlife. On this “unique” island, the line between reality and fantasy is often blurred, the bizarre and mysterious fill the air that surrounds the strange yet delightful landscapes, customs and sights. Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is situated close to Madagascar’s west coast. The southern protected area is a fantastic national park that covers just on 650 square kilometres, whilst the northern end is a strict nature reserve covering 850 square kilometres. Visitors can access this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site by road from Morondava or by plane from Mahajanga or Antananarivo. The Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve encompasses limestone uplands that are cut into remarkable 'tsingy' peaks, forming a limestone needle forest, a striking canyon of the beautiful Manambolo river, high peaks and rolling verdant hills. The undisturbed mangrove swamps, forests and lakes are a sanctuary to the extremely rare and endangered lemurs and birdlife is abundant. Far from reality, the undiscovered treasures that makes the Island of Madagascar one of the worlds’ most beautiful are hidden there and still unspoilt.
- Shop At Zoma Market, The Second Largest Market In The World
Antananarivo the capital city of Madagascar is a unique blend of influences and truly blooms with unexpected surprises. Draped over a dozen hills at a high altitude, the city exudes an anachronistic, almost medieval appearance. It is in the centre of Antananarivo that the colourful vibrancy takes hold of your senses as you shop at Zoma Market, the second largest market in the world. Join the crowd and flow through the central plaza and adjoining alley ways to experience the magic of this large open-air market. The entire city centre is chocked with umbrella-shaded stands selling every conceivable item from tropical fruit to used car parts. Bargaining is part of the enchantment of the friendly smiling Malagasy people who energetically tries to sell their products whether you want to buy it or not, you will be persuaded by one haggler or another with a “good deal”. Although the Zoma is split up in several smaller markets, it is the Friday market along Avenue de l'Independence that is the most spectacular and enticing. Explore the stalls offering the entire islands’ produce, walk around lazily and discover some of Madagascar’s finest handicrafts. The woven fabrics, flower-imbued stationery, leather goods, embroidery, wood carvings, and jewellery made from polished gemstones, are exquisite and make for the perfect gift or souvenir. Enjoy the extensive variety and abundance of fruit, meat, and fresh flowers on offer. While you shop at Zoma Market, the second largest market in the world, take in the old colonial architecture and absorb the wonderful spirit and cheerful faces of the people. The amazing Malagasy people, a lively atmosphere, and a feast of products make for the Zoma Market to be an extraordinary shopping experience not to be missed while visiting Antananarivo.