Travel to Madagascar
Madagascar, a country made famous to children and parents alike by the by animated movie, and infamous by the political oddities so common to many African countries. Madagascar is both an intriguing tourist destination and a dysfunctional democracy. Potential tourists thinking of traveling to Madagascar should not be put off by the political coup that recently saw the African Union considering removing Madagascar from the organization, it is a country whose attractions far outweigh such mundane matters, and the political situation will not affect the travel experience of tourists in the slightest as Madagascar remains a stable and safe destination.
The country comprises the island of the same name, which is the fourth largest island in the world. It is home to iconic African scenery, rolling savannas and grassy plains as well as less stereotyped visions of Africa, thundering waterfalls, rich greenery and tropical forests. Because of its isolation from the African mainland, the island has become a kind of independent ecosystem with a range of plant and animal life, as well as human culture, unique in the world. In fact, many ecologists refer to Madagascar as the world’s eighth continent because of this.
What to see in Madagascar
There is much to attract the international tourist to Madagascar, from island resorts to national parks and endangered species, this island is as under-looked as its scenery is beautiful.
This is the capital city of Madagascar, it is also the largest city and the country’s travel hub, therefore, when you fly to Madagascar you will inevitably pass through the Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo. Antananarivo is a huge bustling city and because it is the capital it is prone to many of the afflictions of most major cities including crime, overcrowding and urban poverty. There are a number of luxury hotels in the capital, and tourists interested in African politics will find the government buildings such as the Prime Ministers Palace, interesting, but beyond that it is best to get away to the more beautiful parts of the country.
This is the most popular tourist destination in Madagascar. Nosy Be is a lovely little island off the western coast of north Madagascar and because it is so popular it is very easy to get to, with direct flights from Europe offered via Corsairfly, Air Madagascar and Air Italy, which service the small airport on the island. At just 8km from the mainland there are also ferry services to and from the port of Ankify. Explore the Lokobe Reserve, which is home to the world’s smallest frog and smallest chameleon, as well as the heavily endangered Lemur.
Masoala National Park
This is the largest of the island’s five national parks and covers 2300 sq km of rainforest and 100 sq km of marine life, and because of its size it fills almost the entire Masoala Peninsula, which gives it a great deal of variety in plants and animals. Ten species of Lemur live here, as well as incredibly vivid birds, frogs, monkeys and on the offshore island of Nosy Mangabe, the famously elusive and nocturnal Aye-Aye, another species of lemur.
In addition, there are amazing land formation to visit while in Madagascar, the incredible Stone Forest, is one. This is a vast area of land where natural erosion of limestone by water has created a series of hundreds of jagged peaks soaring up into the air, surrounded by thick vegetation and animal life, giving the site its name.
Avenue of Baobabs is another site to see, this is one of the seven wonders of Africa on the west coast of the island this column of around a dozen trees is 800 years old. It is especially beautiful at sunset.