Madagascar – the fourth largest island in the world and an adventure paradise. Yet apart from Lemurs and Baobab trees many people know so little about this diverse and dazzling country. We love it so much that we’re highlighting three trips in 2016. Below are our top reasons to visit Madagascar in 2016 and why we think its a perfect adventure destination .
The World’s Eighth Continent
It’s called the eighth continent because it’s classified as a megadiverse country. Its isolation means most of its mammals, half its birds, and most of its plants exist nowhere else on earth. Check out the aye-aye, the flying fox, crocodiles, over 150 different species of chameleon and 930 species of orchids.
This incredible biodiversity means that you can travel from desert to rainforest in less than 300km and that when you pack, you should plan for just about everything.
Overland Is Best
When adventure calls, it’s usually calling from some pretty out-of-the-way places. This is perfect for filling our souls or getting our adrenaline pumping, but it’s not always great when it comes to transportation. Such is the case with Madagascar.
Notorious for delays and cancellations, it can be a headache trying to navigate domestic flights and you can easily end up spending your adventure holiday at the airport. We prefer overland. Hop in a 4WD, minibus, or riverboat and get to see the really remote parts of the island many miss.
The entire Mitsio Archipelago consists of about 250 islands and the main island of Madagascar has over 5000km of coastline and 450km of barrier reef. This makes for prime diving spots where you can see shipwrecks and underwater ‘cathedrals’.
If you prefer snorkelling you’ll be awed by the rainbow of colours in corals and reefs. If underwater isn’t your thing, find a local to take you out in a pirogue (dugout canoe) to visit the smaller islands, or whale watch. And don’t forget the most popular ocean front past time of all: napping in a hammock with a good book and a fruity drink nearby.
And yes of course…the lemurs!
Cute and cheeky and endemic to Madagascar, the lemurs are incredibly important in Madagascan tribal folk-tales. Many on the island view them as sacred protectors and often think of them as relatives to humans. They can display a range of interesting behaviors from singing like a whale (the indri species) to sashaying across the sand like a ballet dancer (the sifaka)!
If you want to experience this incredible island for yourself check out the adventures below:
Madagascar Off Road: this two week 4 x 4 adventure will take in many of the island’s highlights as well as getting you well off the beaten path.
Madagascar Overland: a 22 day tour using 4 x 4s, minibuses and private river boat will enable you to delve deep into the country’s culture, flora and fauna.
Madagascar Trekking Expedition: For the truly adventurous – a peak to sea trekking expediton which includes summiting Pic Boby at 2,658m (Madagascar’s second highest peak), plunging into some of the last untouched and virgin forests in the country and tackling a three-day expeditionary river journey in two-person whitewater rafts to the coast.