Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa. Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world. It is the home of five percent of the world’s plant and animal species, 80 per cent of them unique to Madagascar. Most famous among those are the lemurs. Madagascar and Mauritania are the only countries not to use a decimal currency. Its teeming fertile forests and geographical isolation have served to preserve and propagate ‘nature’s design laboratory’ in a mix found nowhere else on earth. Madagascar’s forests are a shimmering, seething mass of a trillion stems and dripping leaves.
Parc National d'Andasibe-Mantadia with its 12,810ha encompasses two distinct areas: the small Réserve Spéciale d'Analamazaotra (often referred to as Périnet, its colonial-era name, or simply as the Indri Reserve) in the south by Andasibe; and the much larger Parc National de Mantadia to the north. The park is easily accessed from Antananarivo and is a popular stop on tourist itineraries.
Antananarivo, better known in the short version Tana, is the bustling capital of Madagascar with about 2,000,000 inhabitants. Situated in the high plateau, the city was founded in 1610 by a Malagasy King. To protect the newly gained territory he left 1000 men behind and that’s how Antananarivo got its name (town of 1000).
This park was established in 1962 and covers 81,540 hectares of a wildly eroded sandstone massif. The grassy plains are surrounded by sandstone ridges sculpted into wild forms, and secluded in the rocks are many Sakalava Tombs. The Canyon des Singes ('Canyon of Monkeys') makes for an interesting day walk, and you'll have a good chance of seeing sifakas (a common lemur) leaping through the trees.
Morondava is a vibrant west coast town, well known for its seaside resort, laid-back atmosphere, and for being the centre of the Sakalava kingdom. Not only is it a prosperous rice-growing area, but it is also the southern gateway to the attractions of the west, such as the Kirindy forest, and the famous baobabs.
15 km away from the north-western coast of Madagascar lies the 321 km² large island Nosy Be. Here you can still discover a little paradise, which has been spared of mass-tourism. Climb on Mount Lokone (450m) or Mount Passot (350m) and you will be able to see Nosy Be in all its beauty: its jagged coasts, the numerous bays and lovely coves, the deserted beaches and the crystal clear water.
Ranomafana National Park was created in 1991, after the golden bamboo lemur was discovered there in 1986. Located 445 kilometres south of Antananarivo and 65 kilometres east of Fianarantsoa, this beautiful reserve protects a humid rainforest that is teeming with a vast array of wildlife. In addition to the golden bamboo lemur, other lemur species include the greater bamboo lemur, the red-bellied lemur, the grey bamboo lemur, Milne-Edwards sifaka, the red fronted brown lemur, the sportive lemur, the black-and-white ruffed lemur, the greater dwarf lemur, and the brown mouse lemur.
Toliara, which came into existence in 1895 and is also known as Tuléar, is Madagascar’s most recently established provincial capital. It is a regionally significant port and the major town of south-western Madagascar. 29km north of Tuléar, you can find Ifaty. It is popular for its huge variety of birds and its good possibilities to see endemic species. But there is lot more to see. Ifaty has a fascinating flora with bloated trees and plants and spiny, drought resistant trees.