For the true adventurer, few places on Earth offer the scope and diversity of Madagascar - a stunning island off the south-east coast of Africa which affords a unique treasure trove of flora and fauna and an often-overlooked cultural legacy stretching back two millennia.
Home to some 5% of the world’s known animal and plant species, including a staggering 60% of all chameleon species, lemur, fossa and six endemic species of Baobab trees, Madagascar is arguably one of the most ecologically unique countries on Earth, and as a result of its separation from the Indian subcontinent 88 million years ago – stands as the oldest island on the planet.
Our Madagascar tours explore these staggering landscapes of rainforest, white beaches, coral reefs, mountains and highland massif, all the while delving into the fascinating Malagasy culture and attempting to glimpse some of the country’s famous wildlife. Although its infrastructure can still be a challenge, the rewards for the traveller are bountiful, and for those willing to get off the beaten track, many of those rewards cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.
No conversation about Madagascar would be complete without at least mentioning its most famous resident, the lemur. There are over a hundred different species of lemurs on Madagascar, from the indri, which is the largest, to the ring-tailed, the most famous, and then to the Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, the smallest. These amazing creatures have adapted to all of Madagascar’s environments, from the alien limestone forests of Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, to the jungles of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
Not every visit to Madagascar is all about the wildlife, however, and although humans only arrived on the island permanently less than 2,000 years ago, the variety of cultures and influences from Arabia, Southeast Asia, Africa and even Europe, can clearly be seen in today’s vibrant Malagasy culture. On our tours we will meet some of these amazing people, like the Mikea, forest dwelling hunter gatherers whose lifestyle has remained almost unchanged in millennia. Or, the famous Zafimanary ship builders whose legendary skills have seen them inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Any traveller should also take some time to explore Madagascar’s surprisingly cosmopolitan capital of Antananarivo, a real focal point for the melting pot that is modern Madagascar.
So come and discover extraordinary Madagascar for yourself with Wild Frontiers on one of our outstanding group or tailor-made tours.
Madagascar has had quite well developed tourism infrastructure for a number of years, but make sure you also get off the beaten path onto dirt roads to appreciate the most authentic side of the country.