Updated: Nov 13
Just over 250 miles off Africa's southern coast, Madagascar is a tiny island nation that has risen to fame through tv shows and movies. But there is more to this remote island nation of 26 million locals. There are major cities and major wildlife, unlike any other place on Earth. This off-the-beaten-path is known to be challenging to access and uncharted. That is no reason to leave it off your travel list. In this week's blog, we are going to understand what makes Madagascar a must-see destination.
Having separated from Africa almost 160 million years ago, Madagascar has endless quantities of unique wildlife. There is something for every type of animal lover with endless species of lemurs, birds, frogs, and other wildlife that call the island home. The wildlife can be seen from all over the islands, but if you are looking for lemurs, in particular, be sure to visit Lemur Island. This is where lemurs that were once taken as pets are reintegrated back into the population and live out their lives on the beautiful island.
There are several large parks on the island that draws in a lot of tourism. The three major parks that are a must-do are Ranomafana National Park, Mantadia National Park, and Isalo National Park. These three vastly different parks all bring out the stunning beauty of Madagascar. There are plenty of hikes, sites, and animals to take in when exploring these destinations. One thing to note is that at each of these parks, you'll be required to take a guide that can help you along the trails, learn more about the history and ensure your safety when visiting the parks.
Though there are only six main cities on the entire island, countless others are dotted across the countryside. The capital and largest city is Antananarivo. It is home to over one million people and the heart of the country. Though this is the most populous, several others are can't miss cities. Another great city to take in is Mahajanga. This beautiful city is covered in rocks formation that looks like cathedrals. Plus, this is a great place to shop with the locals.
The people of this fantastic island are not to be overlooked. The people are as diverse as everything else on the island. There are over 20 different ethnic groups that have developed this country. The people are primarily of East African descent, and French is commonly spoken, but their common language is Malagasy. Their traditions are full of tribal history and a uniquely Malagasy tradition of taboos or fady. These taboos are passed through generations, and sometimes family connections can be traced through the fadys. Over 80% of the population lives in remote rural areas and relies on substance farming for their families. All of this is to say that the Malagasy are welcoming people with a rich and diverse culture to share.
Madagascar is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. From Nosy Be to the lesser-known but still impressive Île Sainte Marie, the beaches are perfect for relaxing, exploring, and soaking up the rays.
While there are many places to visit in the world, very few of them are are diverse and magical as Madagascar. This stunning island has unique wildlife, breathtaking beaches, and spectacular national parks. It is the ideal place to disconnect and rediscover the beauty of the life around you. Book a consultation today to learn more about Madagascar travel.