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Madagascar Forest Chameleon

Madagascar

Tailor-made Madagascar holidays from Gane and Marshall

Madagascar, the fourth-largest island in the world, lies in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Mozambique, and includes several much smaller islands in its diverse archipelago.

This wonderful island retreat is naturally an excellent destination for a beach holiday, but with a rich past and a diverse range of ecosystems, Madagascar is also an ideal destination for those looking to delve further into Africa's rich history and culture, or for wildlife enthusiasts looking to experience an alternative African wildlife holiday, away from the usual safari routes of Eastern and Southern Africa. Whatever attracts you to the island, holidays to Madagascar are always exciting and unique.

A prominent chain of mountains cuts through the centre of Madagascar, accounting for the differences - in landscape, weather and culture - between the eastern and western coasts. The fertile east coast is more densely populated than the west, with large swathes of rainforest and open lowlands, whereas the west coast has a savannah landscape. Southern Madagascar is dry and arid, notable for its spiny forests and great baobab trees - a complete contrast to the green east. Northern Madagascar boasts many of the island's most beautiful beaches and private island retreats.

Madagascar's islands are surrounded by turquoise seas, pristine beaches and coral reefs teeming with fish. In terms of biodiversity, Madagascar truly is one of a kind, and visitors retain long, warm memories of their holidays here. Of roughly 200,000 known species found in Madagascar, about 150,000 are endemic, making Madagascar a wonderful and unique wildlife destination. Endemic to the island are more than 35 types of lemurs and 3,000 species of butterfly, 1,000 orchids and 7 kinds of baobab tree. Madagascar also abounds with unusual and colourful flowers and other flora, as well as a diversity of reptiles, amphibians and birds.

Contact us today to start planning your holiday to Madagascar. You can get an idea of what's possible on the island by looking at our example Madagascar itineraries in the menu to the right, and do remember that we can prepare a tailor-made holiday for you taking into account your interests and budget.

Several of the images on our Madagascar pages are used with the kind permission of Kamili Safaris.

MADAGASCAR TRAVEL ADVICE

  • Travel in Madagascar during February and March is sometimes advised against due to the risk of cyclones. The east coast may have cold rain between May and September.

  • Madagascar's central plateau tends to be cooler and drier than the coast with average temperatures between 13-19c April to November.

  • The coastal temperature varies between 21-32c.

  • There is excellent whale watching off Ile Ste Marie between July and September.

  • Infrastructure is limited, and so your Madagascar holiday should not be rushed - plenty of time is needed to get the most from your visit.

Madagascar

Regions in Madagascar

Road to Isalo

Dry South

Southern Madagascar is a dry and arid land with a very different climate to the wet and lush eastern regions of the country. It offers it's own unique attractions, including some great hiking routes, fascinating baobab and spiny forests, and beautiful beaches at Ifaty and Isalo.

Madagascar travel - locals

Far North

The northern coast of Madagascar offers pristine islands and islets such as Nosy Be and Iranja, with some of Madagascar's best beaches. Elsewhere, much of the region consists of mountainous rainforest and fabulous inland reserves such as Montagne D’ambre and Ankarana. The capital of the region, Antsiranana, is a sleepy city enclosed within a bay.

Madagascar - lone common brown lemur

Green East

The Masoala Peninsula, one of the last remaining tracts of primary rainforest, dominates the north-east of Madagascar and stretches all the way to the coast line, meeting with tropical coral reefs and white sandy beaches. The area is wild and not easily accessible. As a result, the wildlife is excellent, with a dense bird population, as well as lemur, aye-aye and, along the coast, whales.

Madagascar chameleon

The Highlands

The Highlands form the central hilly region of Madagascar, dominated by the city of Antananarivo. To the south of Antananarivo, the highlands provide wide open spaces dotted with enormous granite heads. Here is found the town of Antsirabe. Healing springs and mysterious deep volcanic crater lakes have long attracted visitors to this region.

Madagascar - lone baobab tree

The West

The western regions of Madagascar are drier than the east, and consequently large pockets of deciduous forest flourish here, harbouring a wealth of rare endemic wildlife. We recommend a visit to Morondava and also Mahajanga, one of Madagascar’s largest commercial ports, surrounded by deserted beaches and canyons.

Example itineraries in Madagascar

Madagascar East and West

From the Pangalanes Canal to the Kirindy Forest Reserve, explore the contrasting sights and sounds of Madagascar’s eastern and western coastlines on this 13-day journey beginning and ending in Tana.

The South of Madagascar

Journey to the South of Madagascar on this 13-day tour. Beginning in the capital of Antananarivo, you'll travel south visiting the famous parks of Andasibe, Vakona, Mantadia and Ranomafana along the way, before continuing to the Dry South and Isalo, then ending on the coast at Ifaty.

Journey to the North of Madagascar

This itinerary takes in the best of Madagascar’s northern and eastern regions. Beginning in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, you will visit the eastern parks of Andasibe, Vakona, and Mantadia before flying to the reserves and beaches of northern Madagascar, including Amber Mountain, Anakarana, and Nosy Be.

Madagascar North (with Miavana)

Revel in northern Madagascar’s spectacular inland and coastal scenery on this 8-day luxury safari and beach itinerary, visiting Madagascar's newest and most luxurious beach retreat, Miavana.

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