Off the southeast coast of Africa lies the huge island nation of Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world. It boasts of unique flora, fauna and animal species such as the Lemurs. This biodiversity can be enjoyed by visiting the numerous, well-maintained parks and reserves.
Read on to find out about the top things to do in Madagascar.
1. Visit the Avenue of the Baobabs
A place where 20 – 25 Baobab trees are graciously lined up in rows along the dirt road between Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina, a staggering stretch of about 260 meters (853 feet). This is the most visited tourist location in the region and draws heaps of attention owing to its striking landscape.
Avenue of the Baobabs
Address: RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Quick Tip: Visit in the mornings for the perfect daylight conditions and great pictures
2. Lokobe Nature Special Reserve, Nosy Be
This is a small local reserve but beautiful and worth a visit. One would find stump-tailed chameleons and leaf-tailed geckos, black lemurs and the huge boa constrictor on this edgy trail. There is also a small village where you can treat your taste buds to great food and shop for some souvenirs to take back great memories.
Lokobe Nature Special Reserve
Address: Nosy Be, Madagascar
Contact: +261 327673364
3. Ranomafana National Park
Ranomafana is one of the pioneers and well-known parks of Madagascar. Home to a vast species of flora and fauna, the most unique of them being the Golden Bamboo Lemur, this park attracts visitors in huge numbers due to its biodiversity.
Ranomafana National Park
Address: Haute Matsiatra, Fianarantsoa 301, Madagascar
Contact: +261 207552302
4. Lemurs' Park (Antananarivo)
This is a small, private reserve, but the only park in Madagascar which is home to 9 different species of Lemurs. One can observe closely enough to touch them even in their natural habitat. When you buy the entry ticket, a guide accompanies you to tour the entire park. They are very knowledgeable and explain about the different species of the park with great energy. Lemur’s Park is a nice 1-day getaway around the Tana area.
Address: National Road # 1, PK 22, Katsaoka Imerintsiatosika - Ampefy Road, Madagascar
Contact: +261 331125259
Operational during: 9am to 5pm everyday
Website: Lemurs’ Park
5. Tsiribihina River
If you are on a short trip to Madagascar, a two and a half day trip on the Tsiribihina River is all you need to take, to see the notable wonders of this island. You can spend these days watching birds, lemurs, chameleons; sleeping under the stars, swimming under the waterfall, interacting with the local people, eating around a fire and just relaxing. There are several reputable companies that lead tours ranging from 2-days trips to 8-9 days trips.
Address: Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar
6. Isalo National Park
Isalo National Park’s landscape consists of eroded sandstone formations which have been found to date back to the Jurassic period. This park has thus, come to popularly be known as the Jurassic Park. Deep canyons, Tapia forests, vast grasslands and palm oasis can all be viewed in this humungous park. So trek along the mighty landscapes or throw yourself in the nearest shallow pool or do both, the choice is exclusively yours!
Isalo National Park
Address: Isalo, Madagascar
Contact: +261 334940236
Website: Isalo National Park
7. Explore the beaches in Diego, Anakao and the islands of Nosy Be, Sainte Marie, & Nosy Ve
Surf, swim, and get a tan on some picturesque and unspoiled beaches of Madagascar. Diego, in the northern region, has pristine beaches with almost no tourists; Anakao boasts of white sand beaches in perfect semi-circles. If you are looking for a quiet getaway, head to one of the islands amongst Nosy Be, Sainte Marie or Nosy Ve. The turquoise waters and idyllic beaches there are worth a million bucks.
8. Get an advanced diving certificate at the diving hotspots
If you are a diver or aspiring to be one, you should be heading to the professional diving institutes, especially in the regions of Nosy Be Islands or in Diego. Madaplouf Diving is one such center where you can attend scuba diver patent courses through 1 to 3 stars, for PADI. Lessons concern different qualifications from open water to Divemaster. So head there, get certified and dive anywhere in the world.
Contact: +261 208693865
Website: Madaplouf Diving
9. Tsingy Rouge Park
A trip up to the Tsingy Rouge Park is recommended to observe the beautiful Rouge formed on account of a geological phenomenon of erosion. The Tsingy Rouge is a stone formation of red laterite formed by erosion of the Irodo River in northern Madagascar. It can be a rough terrain to travel to, but a ride by a 4X4 should help. The landscape, a palette of all reds imaginable, serves as a humble setting for stunning pictures.
Tsingy Rouge Park
Address: National Park Outside Diego Suarez, Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) 201, Madagascar
Contact: +261 320536533
10. Whale watching in Madagascar at Saint Marie on the eastern coast
If you are in Madagascar between June to September Sainte Marie islands is the place to be. Large herds of humpback whales make their annual migration from the Antarctic to the sheltered waters of Sainte Marie. They come to the warm waters to mate and give birth. The best way to see humpback whales as they move and jump out of the sea is going aboard a fast motor launch with a whale watching specialist. One such organization is Cetamada – the conservation specialists who promote responsible whale watching. They not only organize trips but also educate and raise awareness related to the marine environment and the research.
Whale Watching in Sainte Marie
Address: Cetamada, Port Barachois, Ambodifotatra, 515 Sainte Marie
Phone: +261 328197300
Website: Whale Watching with Cetamada
Beautiful nature - to the eyes and the soul!
As breathtaking as the Madagascar nature is, so is the culture here. The locals are warm and welcoming. More than 70% of the population of this island nation is below the poverty line, but the Malagasy culture is rich and the people loving. It’s due to this that this island is one of the safest countries in Africa. So don’t think twice, just come and refresh your soul with a dose of nature sure to last a lifetime!
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