Thinking to get away from your busy city life, into the wild, on an exotic island, sitting on sandy beach enjoying a sunset with a loved one? Then it is time for that dream vacation that had been postponed for so long, and head to Madagascar, a place like no other on earth. Resting on the island are various species of plants and animals alike, most of them unique to Madagascar only. It is not only a heaven for wildlife adventurers but also for family vacations.
Madagascar, one of the largest islands on earth is located 300 miles off the African coast, has developed into an extraordinary tourist destination for observing nature in its best form. It is a spectacular image of biodiversity, with rainforests and barren steppes. Hosting more than 10,000 different species of plants, and most of them are not found anywhere else in the world including the famous Baobab tree, the island has many nature parks home to various kinds of animals, the biggest attraction being lemurs, which alone have more than 90 species. Its rich and enthralling culture tells the long story of various cultures which have rested in the region and evolved into a united Malagasy culture.
Madagascar is no short of beautiful sites that will enhance your vacations. Antananarivo, commonly known as Tana, is the capital and has its unique French image and atmosphere. French is widely spoken and understood in the region. The Queens Palace is the most dominating in the city as well as the Palace of Andafiavaratra, which is one of the national monuments. At the lower level of the city is the famous market of Analakely. There are many other tourist spots around the capital such as Mantasoa; a perfect picnic spot lined with pine forests, the area has an artificial lake as well. Another place of interest is Andasible, located 140 km from the capital is a nature reserve, which is the home of the indri, a rare kind of lemur; the reserve also holds different species of orchids. Toamasina, located on the east coast is a main port with bustling markets, on the north side of the town is the famous Ivolina zoological and botanic garden, which is the home to numerous species of plants as well as variety of animals. In the southwest part of the island is Toliara, located on the coast, and is lined up with beaches tailored perfectly for all sort of water sports, from skin diving to water surfing, you will find it all. The national parks are famous for their variety of rare and near extinct birds and lemurs. One of the biggest is Tsingy de Bemaraha Nature Reserve, spread over 150,000 hectares, it is located in the Bemaraha Plateau. Located in the south west of Antananarivo is Parc National de L'Isalo with deep canyons and widespread forests and grasslands, turning it into a perfect hiking spot.
Tips and comments
While planning a trip to Madagascar, one should start beforehand, because the embassies may offer delays in giving visas, though it is not a problem if you are choosing a vacation package from a good and reliable travel agent. To avoid problems in currency, consult your local bank, as on the spot currency exchange might not be a very good option and not a very good start for such a vacation.