Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world, famous for its incredible biodiversity and uniqueness of its wildlife. Over 90 percent of the wildlife population is found nowhere else on earth. A visit to this land of mountains, rainforests, beaches and rivers, is a truly unforgettable experience.

Madagascar. Unique Island Country.

Madagascar, which was previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is situated off the south-eastern coast of Africa and is the 4th largest island in the world. It is also a country of its own. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, as well as, a number of smaller islands surrounding the mainland.

After the watershed split of the great continent Gondwana, Madagascar broke off from India, consequently forming a large island, which allowed plants and animals existing on the land to evolve in relative isolation. Nowadays, Madagascar is famous for its incredible biodiversity and uniqueness of its wildlife. Over 90 percent of the wildlife population is found nowhere else on earth, making a visit to this land of mountains, rainforests, beaches and rivers, a truly unforgettable experience.

After colonisation by France, Madagascar has received great French influence, which is evident in the food produced on the island and the language spoken. Aside from French, the locals in Madagascar speak their native tongue, Malagasy.

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Very few people speak English on the island and traditional beliefs are still vastly adhered to, making this magnificent land an original travel destination.

The distinctive ecology has led some ecologists to refer to Madagascar as the Eighth Continent. More than 80% of Madagascar's plant species are found nowhere else in the world, including 5 plant families.

Madagascar is the world's principal supplier of vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang. Canoe journeys through the quiet waters near these spice plantations are very fragrant, giving Madagascar its nickname, the Perfume Island.

Lemurs are only indigenous in Madagascar, and this large island is home to a large number of chameleon species, while the only real predator on the island is the fossa, which belongs to the mongoose family.

Southern Madagascar  boasts a diverse terrain and includes must-see destinations such as Fort Dauphin and Isalo National Park, which is often referred to as Jurassic Park due to its mountainous make-up. There are superb hotels and many opportunities to enjoy world-renowned scuba diving on the white beaches of Southern Madagascar.

Antananarivo  is the bustling capital city of Madagascar and this is where most movement passes through. The appearance of the city and its buildings shares a likeness to Asia; however, the overlying flavour of Madagascar is totally unique and Tana offers a real sense of Malagasy culture.

Nosy Be  means "big island" in the Malagasy language. It is the largest and busiest of the numerous islands that lie off the north-west coast of Madagascar. It has excellent fishing on offer, as well as, unforgettable diving opportunities, and water sport activities.

How to Get There

Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights for visitors to Madagascar. Ivato International Airport is an airport located in Antananarivo (Tana), the capital of Madagascar. Ivato Airport is the main hub for Air Madagascar and the majority of flights around the island originate from here, which is a good thing considering the bad state of the roads. Besides the big cities, lots of little hamlets are also served via light air transfers.

By road is the only inexpensive way to get around, but Madagascar's roads are mostly very poor quality (except for two routes leading in and out of Tana). These road excursions will take guests into beautiful forested areas; however, if there is a time limit on the journey, travellers should be reminded that these trips will take a while longer than expected.

There are not many direct routes on land and the many small towns are accessible via one road only, meaning guests should be advised on which routes to take should they be self-driving. The best option is light air transfer to destinations on the island.

Madagascar Game Viewing Activities

The east coast of the island is almost entirely rainforest, which provides the chance to see brown lemurs and a variety of birdlife, as well as the rare, pure white Decken’s sifaka. The great variety of flora includes aloes, orchids, and baobabs. The deciduous forest is home to over 50 species of birds, 7 species of lemurs and the rare stump-tailed chameleon.

The Avenue of the Baobabs is an extra-ordinary stand of huge baobab trees. Located 45 minutes north of Morondava on Madagascar's west coast, the Avenue of Baobabs is one of the most visited sites in the Menabe Region. Some of the trees are over 800 years old and reach a height of over 30m. Truly a photographers paradise and especially beautiful at sunset.

The Emerald Sea, between April and November, is famously known as one of the best kite-surfing and wind-surfing spots in the southern hemisphere. Guided Kayaking at Ile Sainte Marie allows guests to explore the coastline of beautiful Sainte Marie with a local guide. Explore villages and relax in hidden coves, while admiring the crystal clear and calm water.

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Sun Safaris organises African & South American safaris, holidays and honeymoons. We are based in Cape Town, South Africa. Both continents are specialized and complex, yet exciting destinations. For this reason, Sun Safaris aims to help you make well-informed travel decisions by calling on our extensive knowledge and first-hand experience, providing you with up-to-date travel information, and to ensure all your enquiries and bookings are handled efficiently.

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