Lemurs, baobabs, rainforest, desert, hiking, diving and much more!
Madagascar is a dream destination for naturalists and outdoor adventurers.
The world’s most enigmatic island – discover more than you could imagine!
Madagascar is globally unique: 5% of all known animal and plant species can be found here and here alone. The island’s most charismatic animal is of course the lemur, but there are many more weird and wonderful creatures: the eerie-looking fossa (a cat-like predator), colourful and camouflaged chameleons, oddly shaped insects, spectacular frogs, graceful rays and turtles, several species of sharks, and humpback whales during the winter months. The botanical diversity is just as impressive, with distinctively shaped baobabs, the iconic Ravinala (traveller’s palm), hundreds of orchid species and the incredible and unique spiny forests of the arid south.
The remarkable fauna and flora is embedded within an ancient landscape, characterised by incredible diversity: you can go from rainforest to desert in just 300km. Few places on Earth can match the spectacular diversity Madagascar has to offer. There are sandstone canyons, limestone karsts, mountains and massif’s, fertile hills cascading with terraced rice paddies, forests of every kind – rain, dry, spiny – and a laterite-rich soil that gave the country its nickname of ‘Red Island’. With 5000km of coastline, the sea is never very far, turquoise and idyllic in places, wild and treacherous in others.
The origins of the Malagasy people are steeped in myth, but modern science concludes that successive waves of migrants from east Africa and various corners of the Indian Ocean have populated Madagascar. This cultural melting pot has evolved into an intricate set of beliefs and rituals that revere ancestors’ spirits and is largely based on animism. For travellers, attending a famadihana (traditional exhumation and reburial when relatives can communicate with their forebears) can be the highlight of a trip. There is much history to discover, too, from Antananarivo’s sacred hills to the pirate history of Île Sainte Marie.