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Madagascar Travel Ideas

08 Jan Posted by in Africa | Comments
Madagascar Travel Ideas

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Madagascar is an island country, off the coast of Mozambique, in South-Eastern Africa. Madagascar covers a total (land and sea) area of 587,040 Km2 and it is the fourth largest island in the world. The lowlands cover the periphery of the island while the interior is dominated by the highlands from where rivers flow to either side of the mountains. The rivers that flow toward the East-Coast tend to flow faster and form dramatic waterfalls due to the existence of steeper slopes. The climate of Madagascar is diverse and depends greatly on land elevation. Generally, coastal regions have more of a tropical climate while mountainous regions are more temperate. The climate tends to be most arid in the Southern part of the island.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Image Credits:Pat Hooper

Having been in geographic isolation for millions of years, Madagascar has developed an eco-system with unique species of flora and fauna. Madagascar is currently covered by just a fraction of the forests that once used cover the island completely. This has been the result of extensive deforestation. What remains of the rain forests lies on the mountain slopes on the side of the East coast. The rain forest is home to most of Madagascar’s unique plant and animal species. One of the most recognizable endemic animals is the Lemur that appeared in the popular animated film “Madagascar”.

Scuba Diving in Madagascar

The pristine coral reefs of Madagascar make it an ideal destination for diving enthusiasts. Nossi Be is a volcanic island off the Northern coast of Madagascar and it is also a popular diving spot. If you dive with a diving center it is usually best to book ahead. You can also engage in water skiing and sailing in Lake Mantasoa at Ambohibao. You can participate in rafting activities in the highlands, on the side of the East coast where the rivers are rougher.

Trekking in Madagascar

Trekking and pony trekking are your other options for activities in Madagascar. These can be arranged by contacting companies that organize trekking trips and may last from a few up to several days. The trips will usually involve trekking towards a specific direction, North, South, East or West. Madagascar is also a good destination for those who love to fish. Terra Rouge, North of Nossi Be, is a great fishing spot.

Madagascar is hospitable all year round but many people would prefer to visit in April and May, just after the rainy season, as a very green landscape may be encountered at that time of the year. If one of your top priorities is to see the Lemurs, then consider visiting in September and October which is when the new Lemur babies arrive. If you are in Madagascar in September you will have the once-a-year opportunity to go whale watching at the Bay of Antongil.

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