Anja community reserve

Anja Community Reserve Madagascar

The Anja community reserve

The Anja community reserve is located in the southern part of Madagascar and was declared by the government of Madagascar protected in 1999. It is strategically located but not easy to get to due to the bad roads that are found in the country but even after the hectic ride, one can still enjoy the beauty that the reserve offers. It is surrounded by a water body that provides water to the different animals that live in the reserve.

Anja community reserve

The reserve was set up so that it would protect the ring tailed lemurs that were being hunted by the locals. The meat was being sold to foreigners and this led to the reduction in the number of lemurs in the area. When the locals saw that they had reduced on the number of the lemurs, they decided to set up a rule that would forbid anyone from eating lemur meat and this is how the reserve idea came up. And ever since it was set up, there has been an increase in the number of ring tailed lemurs in the country.

The Anja community reserve is one of the top most visited ecological site in the whole of Madagascar. It is situated in the middle of Granite Mountains and is filled with a rocky landscape and that is why to some people it is referred to as the Rock Park. The Park is mostly visited by tourists because the lemurs that are found in the reserve are easily spotted due to their large number and easy access.

 A cultural visit the tombs in the area

The Anja community reserve is a known place for preservation of tombs and other ancient regalia and this has been going on for more than 200 years. The local people who live in the area have always buried their dead on the rocks that are found in the area and these surprising are still used up to this day although many of them cannot easily be accessed.

The forest before its conservation was where many people always hid especially during the wars that were between the two local tribes in the area known as the Merina and the Batsileo. Over 250 people would hide in the reserve and feed on   the plants and water that was found in the reserve. Even before the French came into the country there was evidence of people living in the forest and the remains that were found on the rocks. When you visit the reserve, you will be able to get to know more about the tombs and the history surrounding them and the people who used to live there. When it comes to burying the dead, the deceased is tied to a ladder which is made by the locals and pulled upwards to the tombs for the final burial.

The three granite mountains that are found in the area also have a cultural story to them. They are commonly referred to as the three sisters and they have numerous caves that are attached to them. When you visit the caves, the guide will tell you all the sacred stories that are attached to the caves and it is why the area is considered sacred by many.

The wildlife located in the community reserve

The Anja community reserve is known for the wide number of wildlife that is located in the area. Some of the species that are found in the reserve include snakes especially the Tree Boa which is only dangerous when provoked, the Ampaha, the ring tailed lemurs, lizards and these come in three species which include the Dangalia, the Girdled lizard and the Katasataka lizard all which can be seen in the different parts of the reserve especially on rocks or trees, the Sora which is seen only at night and many more others.

Since most of the wild life that is found in the reserve is endemic, you get to experience something that cannot be explained but can only be got here. And therefore the best thing to do is pack a bag and take that long journey to the Anja reserve and get to see the wonderful things that it has to offer.

Birding in the reserve

Birding in the Anja reserve is not as common as wild life viewing but can be done in the few selected areas that were gazette for birding. The reserve has eleven bird species that habitate in the different trees in the reserve and these are all endemic to the country. When you go for birding in the reserve, the only easy way to view these birds is by getting a strategic location that will be shown to you by the guide and you will get to view all the bird species in the reserve. They might seem quite few in number but their unique characters cannot be seen anywhere else and that is why you should not miss an opportunity of viewing these colorful birds while at the reserve.

 

The plant species in the area

Whether you are a botany fanatic or not, the wide range of plant species that are found in the reserve will call to you. Most of the plant species that are found in the Park are used for medicine by the locals and that is why they are reserved and the different types of plant species include the Orchids, desert spiny trees and the saxicol. The ecological nature of the reserve is one of the biggest reasons as to why many tourists go to the reserve so that they can see and learn more about the plants. But as the tour guide takes you through the different plants and their use, some information is retained in order to protect the Malagasy medicinal culture.

Hiking in the Anja community reserve

Hiking is one of the most participated in activities by the various tourists in the Anja reserve and it can be done using two major hike routes that is the large loop and the small loop. All treks within the reserve are done in the presence of a tour guide who will explain everything that you will see while on your trek and to avoid accidents. The routes that are normally used for trekking are always referred to as circuits by the local people and the tour guide and the said circuits always have a specific number of people. The two routes that are used for trekking include the following:

  • The small loop

The trek on the small loop will take you roughly two hours to complete and it is not as strenuous as the big loop. You will find other tourists on this route and it can also been taken with your whole family. On this route you will see various wildlife like the lemurs, a few snakes and bouts of vegetation which will be explained by the guide. The best time to use this route is from April to November but note that it will be extremely crowded.

  • The large loop

The large loop is a route that goes through the mountainous side of the reserve and it is quite strenuous to take. To complete this trail you will need six full hours with a few rests along the way. The hike is good for all those who do not love crowds and are adrenaline addicts as few people take this hike due to the many hours spent trekking along it. When you get to the finishing point of the trek you will get to see the whole reserve from a different point of view.

Requirements needed in the Anja reserve.

There a few requirements that will be needed from you when it comes to gaining access to the reserve and these include the following:

  • Guide fees

Payment of the guide fees is recommended and a must because you will not be allowed to explore the reserve on your own unless when a tour guide is available. The guide fee depends on the number of people in the group and they are split into two that is the guide in training fees and the primary guide fees. Be sure to plan for this and a tip for them if you have but this is not a must.

  • The entrance fees

The entrance fees for everyone who enters the reserve are a must since it is this money that is used to maintain the whole reserve. The reserve has a lot of endemic flora and fauna that needs to be conserved and since the reserve does not receive any funding form the government or any other organization, it uses the entrance fees to do the conservation.

  • The camping fees

There are no nearby accommodation facilities so most people resort to camping within the reserve. But when you decide to camp in the reserve, you will need to pay a small fee to accommodate you and the price also depends on how many people that are going to camp.

Anjajavy Reserve

Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve Madagascar

The Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve

The Anjajavy private nature reserve is found on a small fishing peninsular that is located in the north western part of Madagascar. It is found in a very remote area and it has a beautiful view that can be enjoyed by the different people who come to Madagascar for their own holidays that is honeymoons, getaways, work holidays, relaxing and others.

Activities that can be carried out in Anjajavy Reserve

There are various activities that can be carried out in the Anjajavy Nature Reserve and these include the following:

Cultural visit to the locals

The local people who live in the area were the Reserve is located are…. And they have quite a unique culture that you would not want to miss out on knowing. They also have a lot of souvenirs that you can buy from them at an extremely cheap price, get to taste the local food and enjoy folk songs that are sung for the children by their parents in the evening. You will also be able to participate in the fishing process with the locals and get cute clothes that are hand designed by the locals and also get to mix with them to know more about their lifestyle.

There are two villages that you can visit so as to get to know the local people and these include the Amodro Ampasy village and the Anjajavy village. The best time to visit the Anjajavy village is on Sundays where you will be able to engage in the market day that is conducted under a mango tree every morning. You can use any available means of transport like road or water so that you get to meet these local people.

The Amodro Ampasy village can be visited any day and here you will be able to mix with a lot of local of people, get to visit the NGO schools and Dispensary that has greatly improved the education in the area and you can buy the crafts that are sold by the locals as the money got from these crafts is used to develop the village.

 

 

 

Birding

For all those that enjoy birding, the reserve has unique bird species that might interest you. The different bird species that can be seen in the reserve include the kingfisher, the sacred Ibis, the Madagascan harrier hawk, the paradise birds and many more others.

Lemur tracking

The lemur is the most famous primate in Madagascar and it can be seen in the various mangrove forests that can be found in the area. Trekking of lemurs in the reserve is mostly done in the morning in the months of October and December and the trekking is done using clearly marked trek trails and with the help of an experienced tour guide to take you through the reserve.

Wildlife viewing

There are various wild life that can be seen in the Reserve which include the Lemurs, the Fossa which is known to be the largest carnivore animal in Madagascar that preys on the Lemur, frogs, snakes, chameleons, different species of lizards and many more others.

The Reserve in 2018 introduced the Giant tortoise species which has been extinct for more than 750 years. The Giant tortoise scientific ally known as the Aldabrachelys gigantea is still leaving in captive mode in the reserve but will later on be re-introduced so that they are free to roam around their habitat. These can be seen when you visit the caves that are found in the reserve and the coconut grove where they are being kept at the moment. Do not miss this chance to see the extinct tortoise with your eyes by visiting the reserve.

Trekking

Trekking in the reserve is mostly done when one has a final destination where they want to go within the reserve. You can go a nature walk, wildlife viewing walk, village trek and other fun filled treks. Some of the treks that you can take while on a visit to the reserve include:

 

 

  • A trek to the Sakalava cave

The Sakalava cave is found deep within the reserve and you can first use a car but the rest of the journey is always done on foot. The inside of the caves has stalagmites and stalactites that you do not want to miss and the most interesting bit about them is that locals always attach spiritual stories to them.

  • A trek to the creek

Anjajavy is located on a peninsular and has various creeks and you will be able to trek from one creek to the next and enjoy all that nature has to offer. You can also have your packed lunch from here or a picnic with your family and mostly for those who live their privacy.

  • A trek through the Baobabs

The trek through the baobab trees which are referred to as the crab highway and it is an exciting trek that can be taken by both the children and the old. Through this route you will be able to see the different bird species, limestone caves and you end your trek with a fishing expedition.

Take a botany class

For all those who love plants this is the best to visit due to the various unique plants that are found in the area. The Reserve is filled with over 13000 plant species which can be seen in the various parts of the reserve and these act as habitation grounds for the various wild life that is found in the Reserve. It also has numerous species of flowers and these add on the beauty of the Park as they come in different shades of color.

The Reserve is also filed with mangrove forests and baobab trees which can be seen as you trek through the reserve.

Transportation to the Anjajavy nature Reserve

The reserve is located in a very remote area and the best way to get there is by using air transportation. There is a light aircraft that is used to transport tourists from the capital city of Madagascar to the Reserve and this makes several trips to and from the Reserve. The standard time taken on this flight is 40 minutes to one hour.

When you get to the reserve you can use cars for your game drive but the best way to enjoy the wild that it has to offer is by trekking. The trekking will be done with the help of a tour guide and you will get to see and feel the wild of Madagascar and also get to take as many photographs as you want.

When to visit the Private Nature Reserve

The when question is always connected to the different activities that one wants to do when they visit the Reserve.

For those that love birding, the best time to visit the reserve is between the months of November and December since most of them can be seen during the rainy season.

Game viewing in the Reserve can best be done between the months of July and October and it is the peak season for the reserve and this is because during the months of May and June, the wild life is always hard to spot.

For all those that love Lemur trekking, the best months are October and November. Since most baby lemurs are born in the month of October, you will be able to see various lemurs during this month jumping from one tree to the next.

Amphibian watching can be done in the months of November and December due to the rains that are received in the area. Amphibians become more active especially when there are rains and most of them can be seen at night.

The months of January to March are not recommended due to the Fact that there are heavy rains during this period and the country receives cyclones which might end up being harmful to visitors. If it is possible wait until these months are over and then plan your visit to the Reserve.

Accommodation facilities in Anjajavy private Reserve

The Anjajavy Nature reserve has one accommodation facility that can be used by the different tourists and this is the Anjajavy hotel. The Hotel has wonderful gardens that can enjoy from the comfort of your room which is self-contained and has a private balcony.

The Hotel has over 24 villas all facing the beach, the rooms are spacious and decorated uniquely to give each room a uniqueness of its own and they have free WIFI and air conditioning in each room. The Hotel also has a restaurant where they provide tasty local Malagasy food and the food can be served anywhere of your convenience like the gardens, terrace or the beach given the weather is appropriate. Unlike other hotels around Madagascar, these allow for the easy stay of children as they have family rooms, there is a swimming pool where you can easily relax from and you get to enjoy all the beach activities that you can think of.

Fianarantsoa

Fianarantsoa City Tours & Things To Do

The Fianarantsoa city

The Fianarantsoa city is located in the southern part Of Madagascar filled with various tourist attraction sites that will make your trip to the Island memorable. The location of Madagascar itself is the best because it is an island that separated from the African continent which was a result of continental drifting.  Fianarantsoa is an old city that was built over 100 years ago in the 18th century and it has a lot of things that you will see when you visit it with just a booking through us to ensure that your travel arrangements are made and there is no worry about anything.

Fianarantsoa

The different tourist attractions sites that you should most definitely visit when you get to Fianarantsoa in Madagascar include the following:

Explore the Andringita Mountain

The Andringita is located in Fianarantsoa and it is one place that you will want to visit once you arrive in Madagascar. The Mountain is a good destination place for most people who love trekking as it gives you the best terrains that will challenge you once you start the trekking. There are several trek trails that are clearly marked and these are the ones you will use with the help of an experienced tour guide.

Before you go for trekking a small fee will be needed before you can access the trails on the mountain. The trails are a bit hard to finish with one of them taking two days before completion. This means that you will have to prepare properly before you set out for the trekking expedition in order to enjoy it and there are also several accommodation facilities and camping sites in the area where you can rest and have a fun stay after the trek.

Visit the Ambalavao

Known to be one of the best places to visit for all those that visit the country due to its unique culture and other tourist attraction sites in the area, you will not be disappointed with your visit.

The Ambalavao has a factory that deals with making Malagasy fashion and other papers which are exported to numerous other countries. The paper was originally mad from the bark tree and it has just evolved over time. It is a decorative type of paper and this is used in the whole of Madagascar and the rest of the world.

The other factories found on the area deal in production of clothes most especially silk which can be found on the Malagasy market or exported outside the country. All these have made Madagascar famous on the export market and your visit to the area will give you a chance to visit the factories and get to see how they manufacture their goods.

Visiting the cities in Fianarantsoa

Fianarantsoa has one of the oldest stone towns in Madagascar and it has a lot to offer. There are many things to see especially the old town buildings that were constructed in the early 19th century. The buildings have creeping plants all over them and the best part of it is the quiet nature of the Place. A visit to the place will give you a chance to go back in time and experience the 19th century world as you pass through the different alleys.  A tour guide will be there to tell you all about the history of the place. The different cities that you can visit while you are in Fianarantsoa include the following:

  • The Ambozontany city and you will be able to see the Lake Anosy and visit the cathedral while in this city.
  • The Anatirova city, this is where the local palace is located and you will get to see the town where the queen used to have her morning and evening walks from.

After taking a walk through the old town in Fianarantsoa, you can also take a walk through Tanana city which is known to the locals refer to as the lower city due to its location down the hill. In the lower city you will get a chance to find out how to make some of the best local teas in the country and also purchase some of the best souvenirs from the local shops hence helping the local community improve on their living standards.

Visit the vineyards

Fianarantsoa has a lot of vineyards and that is why it is referred to as the capital of wine. The wine that is produced can be bought at any shop in the country and it is produced by the local people. A visit to the place will leave you with enough knowledge about how grapes are grown, harvested and how the wine is also produced and packed and when you visit during the harvesting season, you can still help with picking and sorting the grapes.

Experience the cultural events

When you visit Fianarantsoa, you will get to experience and enjoy the cultural events that are always prepared between May and September and these are mostly organized by the locals who live in the area. There is a specific one arranged every year known as the Betsileo and this is where you are supposed to run into the Centre of the pen and pull the bull down to the ground by using their horns. It’s a great experience and you would not want to miss it and you will experience all kinds of culture found in the country.

Take a walk through the Ranomafana

Ranomafana National Park is one of the best parks on the Island of Madagascar and it was formed in 19991. The Park is filled with a lot of animals like the lemur, many bird species that are endemic to Madagascar and greenery that will give you a run for the money that you would have paid for your visit to the Park. Trekking can also be carried out in the Park as there are several marked trails that you can use while trekking in the park and although some of them are hard, there are other trails that are a bit easy to take and all this is done with the help of a trained tour guide who will ensure that you understand all that you are seeing by explaining everything and making sure that you are comfortable.

You will also get to visit the Ranomafana baths that the locals believe can cleanse you of all the bad omen. Given the fact these hot springs boil to a degree of almost 38 degrees Celsius and their wide nature has attracted a lot of tourists from all over the world. You can even try to boil an egg from the springs while resting after a long trek in the day.

Visit the Vangaindaro town               

This is located in Fianarantsoa in the southern part of Madagascar and it has several tourist attraction sites especially parks where you get to see the different animals that can be found in the parks and you get you see all these when you visit the area. Some of the tourist attraction sites that are located in the area include:

  • The Midongy National park, this has a lot to offer when it comes to animals and plants. You get to carry out different activities like hiking, nature walks to the villages around the park, vie the various wild life that is found in the Park like the lemurs, chameleons, the fossa and different bird species and many more activities.
  • The Manombo reserve is also located in the area and you get to see the different animals that live in the area especially the endangered species of lemur that live in the trees found in the park.

Visit the Ampamaherana forest

The forest is located a few kilometers away from the rail way station and it is quite a sight to see. The forest is a good place to rest for tourists as it gives you a good glimpse of the wild in Madagascar and you also get to nature walk through the park and do some bird watching.

Explore the Kianjosoa hill

The Kianjosoa hill is located in the western part of the country and is what one would consider a good sight for the eyes. Up on the hill is where you will find a large statue of the Virgin Mary and her son Jesus and it can be seen from a distance due to its large size.

The hill also has an interesting history that is attached to it and it dates back to the tribes of Tahala and the Merina. These had their military bases at the Kianjosa hill and this is where they used to train from. But then one day as a child was playing, they hit the child of the prince and in his anger he asked why they had hit his child Isoa if the court was his and this is how the name Kianjosoa came up and it can loosely be translated to as the court of Isoa from the Malagasy language.

Tsimanampetsotsa

Tsimanampetsotsa National Park Madagascar

Tsimanampetsotsa National park was named after the famous lake that is located within the park and it was declared a national park in 1966 although its protection and conservation started a few years earlier in 1927. It is commonly known as a safe haven for birds which makes it a top birding destination for birders. The Park is located in the south western part of Madagascar and your journey will not be complete without you visiting this magnificent Park.

The park is filled with a unique landscape, plant species and animals that can only be found in the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. The only to experience the paradise in Tsimanampetsotsa is by contacting us so that we organize for you the best trip to this wonderful place. The locals who live in the area are the Mahafaly who act as security to the locals from the thieves and they are known as warriors by many.

When you visit the Park you’ll be able to see the sole saltine lake that is found in the area and where the Park derives its names. The saltine lake does not allow fish to habitat within the lake but it is a good place to relax specially after a long trek. If you want to see the different types of fish the only place that you will be able to see them is if you visit the various caves that are found in the Park.

The other unique thing about the park is that it has three different landscapes that can all be viewed from within the park. These three landscapes include the following:

  • The red sand dunes that are found at the coast.
  • The plateau that is located within the Park and is covered with lots of thickets.
  • The Banyan and baobab trees cover up the last landscape of the Park.

There are also several activities that you carry out when you visit the park and we have listed some of here so that when you are planning your trip, you know exactly what you are going to do once you arrive in Madagascar.

Trekking through the Park

Like any other park on the Madagascar Island, the park is good when it comes to trekking and during these treks you will be able to see the various points of the Park from different views and most of the routes that are used when it comes to trekking are known as circuits.

The circuits always have a specific number of people that are guided by an experienced tour guide and there are different circuits that pass through the park and these are:

  • The circuit of Andaka

The circuit of Andaka is short as compared to other circuits and it has a very good view when it comes to trekking. It is located along the shore of Lake Tsimanampetsotsa and it provides a good view of the flamingos that can be seen lounging around the lake shores.

  • The circuit of Andalamaike

The Andalamaike route passes through the best botanical part of the park. It passes through the part of the park which experiences a semi desert climate and a walk through this circuit will have you see the different plant species and get to know how they adapt to the drought conditions found in the Park. This circuit also gives you a chance to view the lemurs, various bird species, turtles and an underground cave which you can explore for as long as you have the guidance of a tour guide.

  • The Tsiamaso

If you have a deep love for exploring caves, this is the best circuit to use because it will take you through the various caves that you will find along the Path. These caves have an interesting story attached to them which was brought up by the locals who live in the area known as the Antambahoaka.

You will find stalagmites and stalactites inside the caves and it is believed that they are the cause for the frightening story that is known by the locals and not forgetting the blind fish that lives in the caves.

  • The circuit of Emande

The circuit of Emande has the most interesting things to see as compared to the others. You will be able to see different bird species, the lemurs and get to know where the lake gets its source from. The word Emande means irrigation and therefore expect to see various reptiles and enjoy the shores of the Lake as well. You will also be able to learn more about the locals that live in the area and get to know about their unique culture as you relax along the Lake.

The hikes in the area are hectic and you will need a lot of breaks, proper clothing and enough water and this is due to the bad hot weather experienced in the Park.

Birding in the area

The park is known to be one of the best destinations in Madagascar when it comes to birding due to the various bird species that habitate in the area. The Park has a recorded number of over 110 bird species and the best time for one to view the birds is between April and November as the birds will be seen at the Lake shores and the trees where they stay.

Some of the bird species that can be found in the park include both the dwarf and lesser pink flamingos that are always seen at the shores, crested croots, Newton hawks, gray headed lovebirds, silky cockoos and other birds that you will see when you get the chance to visit the Park. So to all bird lovers, grab your binoculars, cameras and other equipment that is needed and come enjoy the endemic bird species in Madagascar.

The wildlife in the Park

The wildlife that is found in the Park is also endemic to Madagascar and it varies from reptiles to the different types of lemurs. You will be able to see various lemurs jumping form one tree to another and the different reptiles that include chameleons, lizards, snakes and many more other animals in the country.

The Flora in the Park

The Tsimanampetsotsa Park has exciting plant species that will give all botanists a field trip especially during the blossoming season. The park has almost 200 plant species some of which are endemic to the Madagascar Island and examples of some of these include baobab trees which are believed to be over 2000 years old, ficus trees, Didierea trollii, acacia pashypodium, kalanchoe beharensis and the coastal forest which makes up almost the entire forest.

The various tree species that are found in the park are all due to the limestone soil that is found in the park mostly red in color and the red plateau itself is also a sight to see for the tourist who visit the Park.

 

The climate within the park

Park is usually hot and dry and this happens throughout the year. It’s located in the driest place in the whole of Madagascar and it receives relatively low rainfall even with the presence of the salt lake that is found in the area. So when you are planning your trip to the Park you need to pack appropriately so that you are not inconvenienced. Carry enough water and proper attires especially during hikes.

The Tsimanampetsotsa National Park’s location is not that remote but when it comes to driving to the park but due to the bad roads in the country, you will need extra time so that you can get to the Park. This can be experienced throughout the whole country and note that the road trip will be extremely bumpy and not pleasant but in the end it will be worthwhile especially after you reach this paradise Park. There are flights that fly directly to the park although these come at an extra cost although they are more popular than the road transport due to the fact that the roads leading to the Park are so sandy and when the little rains in the area come in, the roads become extremely impassable.

Accommodation facilities

There are many accommodation facilities that can be found around the Park but the nearest of them all is the Anakoa Occan lodge and the lodge offers various facilities that will be to liking. It offers self-contained rooms, private balconies and good local food that is prepared by the chefs.

Due to the climatic conditions that are found in the area, there is hardly any facility within the Park and the other reason as to why there are no facilities within the Park is due to the rampant thieves that are found in the area. The park might be with a lot of thieves but tourists are assured of their security while visiting the park.

The park is a haven for all those who seek want their privacy and that is why it is one of the most loved destinations in the country.

 

Masoala National Park

Masoala National Park Madagascar

The Masoala National Park

The Masoala National Park is located in the North Eastern Part of Madagascar on the coastal peninsular. Masoala is a Malagasy word which can easily be translated to as the eye of the forest and it was named by the first inhabitants of the Park who are believed to have been living in the area since the 15th century. The dominant tribe around the Park is referred to as the Betsimisaraka although there are several other small ethnic groups that can be found in the area.

Masoala is considered to be one of the wettest place in Madagascar and for all those that are planning to visit the area should actually be able to carry necessary clothes that match the weather that is found in the area. For all those that are planning to go for trekking the best months to visit the Park are between September and December as these are considered the driest months of the Park and for the rest of the months the rains keep on coming and if you can bear with the rain and the bad roads, then you can visit any time of the month.

The Masoala is extremely diverse when it comes to plants and forests and it is the only place in the country where the forests literally grow into the ocean and their view is one you do not want to miss when you visit the area. The Park has twenty well trained tour guides who will help you when it comes to visiting the different areas in the Park and these will explain everything that you are going to see and what to do.

The Masoala National Park was established in 1997 and it is one of the big reserved areas in Madagascar. The Park, before it was made a protected area was encroached on by the several locals that live around as they cut down the trees to get firewood, land for farming and settlement and this led to many plant and animal species.

The Park is separated into three parts that is the Ambodilafa which is the southern part of the Park, the Tampolo in the west and the Ifaho in the Eastern part of the Park. All these parts are known as marine grounds and they offer the best views around the park. The Park was made a UNESCO heritage in 2007 due to its unique animal and plant species. The Park can easily be accessed through the different points in the city like the Antalaha by road or you can use the boat through Maroantsetra. Getting to the Park might not be easy but if you try to book everything early you might get the best of everything from the trip.

 

The Masoala National Park has a lot of activities that one can carry out when they visit and some of the activities include the following:

Birding in the Masoala

Masoala National Park had over 102 bird species and almost 60% of these are all endemic which enables all bird lovers to have fun while in the area. The different bird species that can be viewed include the pitta ground roller, the red breasted Coua, the Madagascar serpent eagle, the brown Mesite, the grey crowned greenbul, the Henst’s goshwawk, the Madagascar crested Ibis and many more others. The different birds live in different habitats and this is where you will find most of them but remember that birding in Masoala is done in the mornings for better lighting.

Lemur trekking

There are various lemur species that can be found in the peninsular of Masoala like the Aye-aye, the red ruffled lemur, the black ruffled lemur and these can be trekked. The lemur trekking is mostly done in the mornings because it is the best time to see them as compared to the afternoons where they are hard to spot. Besides the mentioned types of lemurs, the Masoala National Park has ten different species of lemur and all these can be tracked down easily with the help of a tour guide.

The Flora in the Park

The park is known to have various plant species that you cannot find anywhere else. Masoala has over 600 different plant species and most of these are used by the locals to get medicine for when they fall sick. Most villages in Madagascar lack hospitals and those that are available cannot be afforded by most of the locals and that is why they use the local medicine for tree leaves, stems and roots to treat themselves of the various ailments. A tour guide will take you through the various tree species but they might not divulge into all the information about the different medicines because most of the Malagasy people like keeping some of their secrets to themselves.

 

 

Wildlife viewing in the Park

There are various wildlife that can be viewed in the area and these include the various types of chameleons, the snakes, and amphibians like the toads, the different types of fish that can be found in the lakes around the Park, snails and a great view of the corals that were formed due to much erosion that took place many years ago.

The carnivores in Masoala

Madagascar is known for not having no predators as compared to other African countries but there are two that are found on the Island and one of them is the rare Mongoose. The brown tailed Mongoose has only been sighted in the Masoala and it is the only other carnivore that can be found in the Madagascar although it is less known due to its near extinction. They are extremely hard to spot and that is why you need to look closely in order to see one.

Visit the local villages

The best way to visit these villages and get to know the different locals is by walking through as this will give you a chance to talk one on one with some of them. Through the conservation of the Park many children have got the chance to actually acquire education and other services that were not there before and this has been done as some of the things that are done by the government so that the economy around the Park improves.

Your will be able to see the various schools that were constructed, get to taste the good local food that is prepared by the different locals, meet and get to know more about their unique culture that is practiced, buy some souvenirs from the locals, get to know how the local beads and the clothes and many more. Their stories that are always nice to listen especially in the evenings after a long day. And when you are planning your visit to the villages, you need to make sure that their leader is aware of your visit and you will need to go with a tour guide who will help with the translation and getting around.

Trekking

Trekking is one of the best activities that can be carried out when one visits the Masoala and there are several routes that one can use in the park when trekking and some of them are tedious but worth the try. The trek routes that can be used include the following:

The coastal route

The coastal route is one of the two that are used for trekking in the park. It is a bit hard to use the route due to its hard course and it takes over ten to fourteen days to complete. The route will take you through the park, through the coast to the different villages that are found in the area. On this route you can rest a bit in the different camps that are set in the wild.

The inland trail

The inland trail takes three to four days and it is the shortest of all the treks in the Park.  The route takes you through the corridor of Ambatolendama where you will be able to view the wider part of the park and see the various wildlife and plant life that is in the Park.

Remember that both trails are not easy to take on and therefore you need to be prepared by taking the different gears needed for trekking like hiking shoes, a walking stick and a potter who will help you carry your luggage as they will be hard to carry while trekking.

When you visit the Masoala Park, you get to pay a small fee that is used by the people managing the park to set different projects that help the community, the locals and also improve on the Park’s outlook and help care for the animals. There are a lot of potters that will help you with your luggage as you tour the Park and you will need to carry some money for the tips. The children normally pay only 25000AR while the adults pay only 45000 AR whereas the potters are paid 12000AR for your luggage.

Zahamena

Zahamena National Park Madagascar

Zahamena National Park

The Zahamena is located on the Eastern coast of the Island and is filled with rainforests making it one of the best destinations in Madagascar. It is referred to as paradise due to the lush forests and the wide range of wild life. The park has one of the biggest rain forests in the world and this alone makes it a good place to visit. The park has several wildlife that it shelters and these include over 45 mammals, several bird species, reptiles and many more other animals.

Zahamena

The Zahamena National Park is divided into two parts and these are the western part and the western part. The two parts are divided by villages that are found in between and most tourists who visit the area are always looking for something new or botanists who want to check out the different tree species that are found in the park.

The Park has different kinds of vegetation and all these depend on which altitude that they are all lying on that is the highest point has montane forests that are dense due to the good climate received there, the lower part of the Park receives have mostly canopies and the middle part of the village constitutes of pines and ferns. All these are always green almost throughout the year irrelevant of where they are found and the bi climate that is found in the Park should be experienced by everyone.

The park is protected by both the government and the locals who do not want the forests to be cut as that is where they get the medicine that they use when it comes to treating themselves and that is why the Park has maintained its true nature form. So if you have a love for true nature or just want to experience the cool breeze then this is the right place to be in Madagascar.

Visit the Bemoara Natural pool

The natural pool at the Bemoara is located right in the middle of the park and it is a sight that you do not want to miss seeing. No one knows how it came about but it is one of the most beautiful things that can be seen at Zahamena. The beautiful scenery that it gives off is just enough to pull you in and it also helps you relax after a long day trekking through the park and some locals get water from the pool and use it for cleansing from the . It also has a campsite where you can relax with your friends as you enjoy the wild.

A botanical tour through the Park

This is for all the plant lovers who want to see the various plant species and get to know more about them. The rain forest is known to have a lot of medicines that are used by the locals to treat their ailments. A local tour guide will help you by explaining more about the trees but note that not all the secrets will be told because the locals do not want to divulge all their information and secrets to foreigners. Some of the tree species that can be found in Zahamena include ferns, montane tress, shrub bushes, mangrove trees and many more others.

A visit to the villages

The villages are located in the middle of the Park and they separate the Park into two parts that is the Eastern and Western part. The villages have locals of different ethnic groups and you cannot visit the Park without visiting the villages. The local are extremely welcoming and when you visit the area you will be able to get yourself some souvenirs like handmade baskets, Malagasy designed clothes, beads and many more others and the sweet food that is to die for that is cooked by the locals.

The villages that are located at the strip give you an insight on how the local people live and before you go to the village, you need to make an appointment with the village head so that the locals can be prepared and not shun you and it is also is a sign of respect to the elders and respect to the elders is widely acknowledged in Madagascar.

Trekking through the Zahamena

The Zahamena’s location is just perfect for trekking as you get to enjoy the great nature that is given off by the various trees in the Park. The Park has different landscapes that is the high mountain part of the Park and the lowlands and all these give you a chance to explore both the terrains and find out which one suits you perfectly. And there are several trekking routes that you can use to nature walk into the park and these include the following:

  • There is a trek trail through the park and this is the shortest. When you use this trek you will get a clear view of the wild animals and also rest or camp near the waterfall that marks the end of the trail. The trail is used by many especially those that love camping and due to the fact that it is short.
  • The Eastern trek route is quite long and is steep as compared to other trek routes. It is locate on an escarpment which makes it hard for the young children to use this route. The trek takes two days to complete and therefore you will need a lot of energy to take this route.
  • The last route goes straight to the center of the Park and on this route you will be able to see the different lemur species jumping from one tree to the next, get an incredible view of the Lake Aorta and the natural pool that is found in the Park. The beauty about taking this route is that it takes one day to complete it and there is a camping place available especially at the natural pool

The wild life in the Zahamena National Park

There are different wild life that can be found in the Zahamena National Park and these include the following:

Bird species in the park

The Zahamena has over 112 bird species that can be viewed and most of these are endemic to the Island. Some of the bird species that can be seen in Zahamena include the helmet vanga, the red owl, the brown Mesites, the Madagascar serpent eagle, the crested ibis, the velvet asity, the red tailed newtonia and the blue Coua.

Before you head for birding in the Zahamena, you will need a few equipment that will help you when it comes to birding and these include cameras, binoculars, a hiding place so that you can view them easily without disturbing their peace and you will also definitely need a tour guide who will take you through the process. This is one of the best places where one can view as many birds in one sighting but it has to be done in the mornings.

The animals found in Zahamena Park

Zahamena National Park several wild animals that can be viewed any time that you want to visit the Park and some of them include the following:

The Lemurs

The lemurs are an endangered species that can be seen in the different parts of the Park and some of the lemur species that can be found in Zahamena include the Masoala fork marked lemur, the white ruffed lemur, the weasel support lemur, the Crossley’s dwarf lemur, the northern bamboo lemur, the Aye-aye, the hairy dwarf lemur and many more.

The Fossa                                                                                    

This is one of the largest predators on the Island and it normally feeds on the endangered lemurs. The fossa looks like a cat and can jump from one tree to the next. It has no specific time as to when it hunts that is it can hunt day and night as long as they are hungry. The fossa is becoming endangered because of the lack of the big lemur primates to feed on.

The Mongoose

The Mongoose looks like a weasel and it is also another predator that can be seen in Zahamena national Park. They are extremely thin and long and these prey on the various snakes that are found in the park and they kill the snakes by putting their sharp teeth on the snake’s head and they bite down hard until the snakes die.

The National Park also has other species that live there but in few numbers and these are the different types of amphibians, snakes, fish and many more others.

It is tucked away and not everyone knows about the Park but once you visit it, you will not be disappointed and you will want to go back and also take some friends with you. You can contact us and we arrange for you a trip to the Zahamena National Park and we will give you the best deals from arranging the transportation to the accommodation facilities and other things needed for your trip.

Zombitse

Zombitse Vohibasia National Park Madagascar

Madagascar is an Island that is located in the Indian Ocean East of the East African coast and it is the only country in the world that does not have the big five animals like other African countries. The country has a lot of National parks and today we are going to look at the Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park which is neighbouring the famous Isalo National Park.

Zombitse

 

Zombitse-Vohibasia National park is located in the south Western part of Madagascar. The park was created in 1997 and it became one of the many preferred destinations in Madagascar. It is the Park can easily be accessed all throughout the year depending on whatever you want to do when you visit the Park. Although the Park was established in 1997, the area had been protected and gazette for wildlife conservation since 1962.

 

The name Zombitse-Vohibasia is derived from the three reserved areas that are located within the park. Vohibasia means the hill of pistols and it is filled with savannah grasslands. The name hill of pistols came about due t the constant fighting between the Merina people who lived in the central highlands and the people who used to live in the south many years ago.

Zombitse means dense forest and it came about because of the dense forests that are found in the area most of which always become dry during the dry season.

 

The Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park is divided into three parts and these are the Vohimena, the Zombitse and the Vohibasia and all these three sections make up the whole Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park. It covers over 36.3 kilometres and is filled with savannah and dry grasslands which act as habitants to the wild animals that live in the area.

 

The park is also found in the same area as the Isalo National park and it is serviced by the Onilahy and the Mangoky Rivers. There are various trails that can be used to gain access into the park and all these can be used when one wants to enter into the Park.

 

The cultural trip to Zombitse National Park

There are also three different ethnic groups that live near the Zombitse-Vohibasia and these are believed to have been living in the area for many years. These groups include the Mahafaly, the Bara and the Antandroy and these are known pastoralists who rear the Zebu cattle.

When you visit the Park, you will be able to see the different cultural practices that are done by the locals and see the beautiful decorations that are done by them like the coloured graves which are done by the Mahafaly, paintings of stones and the zebu horns. You can also get some souvenirs from the locals like beads, decorated horns and many more. Get to know more about the cultural norms that are practiced by the locals and enjoy the local food that is prepared by them and enjoy the evening stories that are told by the elders around a camp fire.

 

The Flora and fauna in the Park

The Zombitse National park is commonly known for the unique flora and fauna that is found in the park. Most of these plants and animals cannot be found anywhere else in the world especially the bird species and below are some of examples of the flora and fauna.

 

  • Birding in Zombitse- Vohibasia

The park is known for the large number of birds that are habitate from there. If you are a fun of birding, this is the best place to see since the Park has almost half the number of registered endemic birds in the country. Some of the bird species that can be found in the park includes the Lantz’s brush-warbler, the Madagascar hawk owl, the Vangas, Kittliz’s plovers the Madagascar sandgrouse, the Appert’s greenbul which can only be seen here and many more other bird species. The park has almost ninety different species and the best time to see all these bird species is in the morning because this is the only time that the birds will be up and about and can easily be seen unlike in the afternoons and evenings.

  • The wild life in Zombitse-Vohibasia

The National park has a lot of wildlife that varies from each other and all these are recorded with the national park. Some of these include two carnivores, 33 reptiles, 15 mammals, eight amphibians and 95 registered birds in the Park.

Like any other Park in Madagascar, the Zombitse-Vohibasia does not have any predatory animals unlike other countries in Africa but there are a variety of wild life that is found in the Park and most of them are endemic to the Madagascan Island. The island is filled with a large number of butterflies which makes it a colourful place to visit as the place. The different species of butterflies are attracted to the Park due to the presence of the mineral soils that are found in the area.

Some of the other wildlife that is found in the Park include geckos that come in different colours, the Madagascar Iguanas, there are seven species of lemurs some of which include the Zombitse sportive lemur, western fork- marked lemur and others that can be seen jumping from one tree to the next in the dry forest and other reptiles.

Most of the animals that are found in the Park are not poisonous but you should still be vigilant where you pass so that they don’t bite you never the less.

 

  • The plants in Zombitse-Vohibasia

The Fauna found in the area is quite unique and it fills the whole park. It is filled with baobab tree that cover up most of the park and the savannah vegetation which covers the other half. The park also has the Didiraceae, orchid trees and the pachypods some of which are sometimes used as medicine by the local people.

 

The Infrastructure leading to the Park

 

When it comes to infrastructure, we are going to look at the transportation and accommodation facilities so that you know what to expect when it comes to visiting the Zombitse Park.

 

The transport means that are commonly used by both the locals and tourists are road and water transport although road transportation is the most frequently used even for shorter distances. There are some places whish cannot easily be accessed by road and therefore you will need a boat to transport you to your final destination.

 

The park is located along one of the most visited areas of the country but like any other road in Madagascar, the ride along the roads leading to the park is not as smooth as one expects it to be. The roads are so bumpy and terrible to drive on and that is why it is advisable for one to hire a driver who is well equipped with driving on the roads. And not forgetting even if the distance to the park is not long, it will seem so due to the bad roads.

 

When it comes to accommodation facilities within the camp, there is nothing there besides some toilets of which they are so old and not well catered for and that is why it is advisable for one to get accommodation outside the park.

Most of the accommodation facilities that are found in the area are just a few minutes away from the park and they are better than those found within the Park.

There is a campsite that is located outside the Park and it is only eight kilometres away from the park while others are located in the next town although they are also just thirty minutes away from the Park.

 

When you get to the town you will be able to get accommodation facilities that fit into your budget and your needs and therefore you should book early with us so that we help you with all the necessary preparations needed so that you have a comfortable stay as you enjoy the Zombitse- Vohibasia National Park.

 

The National Park has been encroached on mostly by the locals even though it is illegal. They normally clear and burn the forests so as to create space where they will rear their Zebu cattle from. They also clear the land so that they can plant their rice and this has created a big threat to the endemic wildlife that is found in the Park.

When you visit the Park, there are four trips that are offered around the Park and these can take one hour to five hours and these are offered to mostly a group of six people for each trip. The groups are known as circuits and the smaller the group, the better because it gives you ample time to explore the whole park and get to know the different animals that are in the park.

The whole group pays a little sum of money to the guides who take you through the Park and make sure that you do not miss out on anything.

nosey be Madagascar

Nosey Be Tours & Things To Do

Reasons as to why you should visit Nosey Be

Madagascar is located east of the East African coast and was separated from the African continent years back. With its separation came separate tiny Islands that are found within the country and one of them which is considered the biggest is known as Nosey Be.

The word Nosey Be can loosely be translated as ‘big Island’ from the Malagasy language and it is located in Madagascar. It is the most visited beach in the country due to the various activities and tourist attractions that can be found in the area. The Nosey Be also various wildlife that can be seen and some of these include the famous Lemur which is an endemic to the Island.

nosey be Madagascar

There are various reasons as to why you should visit Madagascar especially Nosey Be due to the different tourist attraction sites found in the area and the many activities you can carry out and these include the following:

Get to explore the Hell-Ville

Hell-Ville is the considered to be the capital city of Nosey Be and it’s also known as Andoany. It was named after admiral de Hell who was a French governor during the colonial times. The city is charming and does not resemble anything like its name Hell-Ville suggests. There are several things that you can do when you get to the capital city like the different markets where you will get to buy all the fresh vegetables and other foods sold straight from the gardens, try Karaoke singing in one of the many bars that are located in the capital, visit the different shopping Centres and also get to meet the different ethnic groups of people who are living in the area. Hell-Ville is also filled with old colonial buildings and these will give you an insight on how people used to live during the French colonial era.

Exploring and diving at Nosey Be

At the sea shores of the Nosey Be, you will be able to view the humpback whales and some dolphins that are always washing up to the coast irrelevant of the weather. Whale watching can mostly done from the months of September to November and the reason as to why these are these best months is that in most countries the water becomes too cold for the whales while the water in Madagascar the water remains warm even during the winter season and this attracts many whales to the area. And due to the presence of the many coral reefs in the area, you will also be able to engage in diving.

Besides watching whales, you will also get to see the different fish species, participate in fish sporting and also get to see turtles on the shore. Therefore if you are tired of your daily routine in Madagascar, Nosey Be will give the much needed change in routine with all the fun activities.

Meet the locals

What better way to get to more about a place than meeting and mixing with the locals? The strategic location of the Nosey Be in the southern part of the country gives you ample time and chance to visit and mix with the locals who live in the area. You will definitely need a local guide who will take you through the different villages and will act as an interpreter for you since most of the people living in the area normally speak French and Malagasy.

When you meet the locals you will learn about their different heritage, the difference between their cultures and also get to buy the locally made crafts from beads, clothes, hair accessories and not forgetting the delicious food that is sold both at the road sides and in restaurants.

Visit the Mont Passot

Mont Passot is paradise in Madagascar with all that it has to offer. It is one of the various Islands that are found on Madagascar and it is one of the few that gives you the perfect sunrise and sunset views in the country and with the dormant volcano that in the area, viewing of the two has been made quite easy.  There are three routes that you can use while hiking and these include the Antsahamanavaka route which takes you through the forest past the waterfall, the Amparihibe hike route which will take you through the plantations of ylang-Ylang and sacred lakes and lastly the Antsidihy route which provides borders with the perfect view of the different endemic species in the area.

For all those that love hiking, this is also a perfect place for you to exercise due to the presence of the volcano. The Passot is surrounded with a large number of crater lakes which amount to eight and these can be explored, used for fishing and you get to see the Nile crocodiles.

Visit the Antananarivo

Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar and one should not miss out on visiting it while on a tour in Nosey Be. There are various tourist attraction sites that you will be able to see when you visit this crowded city and what better to find out the different things you will see other than by visiting Nosey Be and getting to know them.

Join in the Music festival

Nosey Be Island holds one of the best music festivals in Madagascar and it is normally held either in the months of May or June. The festival takes close to four days and many people will come from all over the world just to get a glimpse of this four day festival.

You will experience the good traditional music played during the festival because the music played unites all the different ethnic groups that are found in Madagascar, join in the carnivores and other special events that are carried out during the festival.

Visit the Nosey Islands the island

Near Nosey Be are two Islands which provide the perfect place for shopping and other activities. The two Islands include the Nosey Komba and the Nosey Iranja are separated from each other by a simple strip of sand and these have various shops, activities that you can carry out while on your trio to the Island.

  • Nosey Komba

Nosey Komba is a Malagasy word which means the Lemur Island and it is just adjacent to the Nosey Iranja and it is a home to many black lemurs. A visit to the Nosey Komba will give you a chance to get a close up with the black lemurs as they jump from tourists’ shoulders trying to get a grab at the food or whatever you will be holding in your hands.

  • Nosey Iranja

The Nosey Iranja which is located in the southern part has various bird species which is perfect for birders, it has the rare species if hawksbill turtles and various plant species like palm trees, coconuts and not forgetting the luscious beach where different activities can be carried out. It can be enjoyed by both the children and the adults.

Get to know the culture in the country

Nosey Be has a great and rich culture as it has a very large number of people living in the area. You will find Africans, Indonesians, Arabs and other ethnic groups here and they will all give you a warm welcome. The rich Malagasy culture will be experienced in Nosey Be as you take part in the different cultural activities that are organized by the Madagascar government and you will also see the oldest Indian cemetery that was constructed during the colonial era.

When you visit Marodoka which is one of the towns that are located in Nosey Be, you will get a clear view of the remains of the first Arab Mosque in the country and in this same area you will find the locals who put it upon themselves to protect all the cultural heritage sites and these are known as the Ravinala. And as you mix with the Malagasy people, get to know the different phrases that they use like ‘mora’ ‘mora which is a reference to how they live their life with a slow motion pace.

Shopping in Nosey Be

You cannot go to a foreign country and not do some shopping for some unique souvenirs and this also applies to Madagascar. The island has a lot to offer when it comes to souvenirs and your visit to Nosey Be will leave you mesmerized with all the unique things that you will find in the different gift shops and from the locals around the Island.

The food in Nosey Be

Nosey Be is known to have different ethnic groups of people living in the area and this means different kinds of food sold. The food that is sold in the markets located in Nosey Be is always fresh from the gardens and cheap depending on the season. Try out the different fruits on the market, the local cuisines that are prepared by the locals and many more other dishes like French cuisines.

 

 

lemurs Madagascar

Kirindy Mitea National Park Madagascar

Kirindy National Park is located in the south western part of Madagascar and it is located near the coast. The park is a home to various lemur species including the world’s tiniest primate known as the Berthe’s mouse lemur which is endangered at the moment. It is an extremely small park covering up to only 280 miles. Kirindy Mitea national Park was formed in 1997 and it was opened up for tourist in 2007 making it one of the few new national Parks in Madagascar. The Park is also known for having the largest number of recorded primates in the whole world making it a top destination for all tourists.

Kirindy is in Malagasy and it means ‘a dense forest with wild animals’ and some people refer it to as the Kirindy Nord. The Park is rarely visited by tourists because it is located extremely far away from the capital city of Madagascar and it is the perfect spot for all those that do not like crowded places.

lemurs Madagascar

Activities that can be carried out in Kirindy Mitea national Park

When you get the chance to visit the Kirindy National park, you will find that there are a lot of activities that you can carry out from game viewing, photography, birding, hiking, visiting the beach, mixing with the local people and all those that we have not mentioned. Some of the activities that you can enjoy on your visit to the National Park include the following:

Hiking through Kirindy national Park

Hiking is one of the activities that can be carried in the Kirindy National park and due to its small size it is the only way that one can enjoy the luxuries of the Park and get to see almost everything close up.

The landscape that is found in the Park is naturally flat making hiking an easy task for everyone including children. You can hike through the forests with your family and experience the breeze given off by the savannah and mangrove forests that can be found in the area. The trek trail can lead you up to the coast where you get to enjoy a boat r canoe cruise. You will also get to see the pink lesser flamingos on the coast, enjoy a botanical class and view the lemurs that are always swinging from the mangrove trees. The trek through the Park can last for about three to five hours and you will need some equipment if you are into hiking which include hiking shoes, sunscreen, water and light clothes.

The wildlife in the Kirindy Park

Wild life varies from reptiles, mammals, insects, birds and all these wrapped into one basket give you a you a unique experience when it comes to visiting the Park. The various forms of wildlife that you will find will leave you with an experience that you will hardly forget and will force to keep on coming back to Madagascar so as to experience the good natural things that are found in Kirindy Mitea National Park.

The park has unique wildlife that can be seen and some of these are endangered species. It is a one stop center for all lemur lovers as you will get to see the different lemur species which include the ring tailed lemur, the red tailed sportive lemur, the red fronted lemur and the dancing Sifaka lemur. The park is also a home to the Fossa cat which feeds on the lemurs but they are also endangered at the moment and spotting one has become extremely hard as the years go by.

Other endangered wild life that lives in the area includes the leaf nosed snake which is extremely hard to spot unless when you are searching too hard, the Kapidolo, tortoises and lemurs. Kirindy is also a home to some of the most unique reptiles in the world and most of these can be spotted during the rainy season and at night. Some of the reptile species include the Furcifer labordi which is the shortest lived chameleon in the whole world as it lives for only five months. The five months give it ample time to mate and new offspring crops up before it dies out. You will find over 70 bird species that habitate in the Park and most of these bird species are endemic so do not miss the chance of exploring them.

Other activities carried out near Kirindy National Park

Besides visiting the National park and viewing the different wild life species, there are other activities that one can carry out while they visit the Kirindy Mitea National Park and these include the following:

  • A visit to the Park will have you visit one of the best mosques in the area and you will get to see how it was constructed and its uniqueness.
  • You can also get a chance to mix with the locals who live in the nearby villages and get to know more about their cultures, eat their tasty food and enjoying the folk songs and stories that are told by the elders in the area.
  • You can visit the beach and enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze at Morondava.
  • If you get the chance you can also visit the magnificent Maria Manjaka Namahora cathedral that is admired by all those who visit the area. It can be seen while at the Park and you can get a good chance of entering and admiring the inside of the worship Centre.

 The climate experienced in Kirindy

The National Park experiences a short rainy season and for the most part of the year, it is always hot with over 30 degrees Celsius. The Park experiences both the semi desert and dry tropical climate which is experienced throughout the southern part of Madagascar. And because of the hot weather that is experienced you will need to pack effectively and have a lot of water on you while visiting the area. Do not forget to also carry water purification because the water in Madagascar is not all that safe to drink.

When to visit Kirindy Mitea Park

Kirindy National park experiences two seasons and these highly determine when one should visit the park and when not to visit the Park. The dry season is the best time to visit the Park as the roads leading to the park will be passable. The dry season in Kirindy normally begins in March and runs for nearly nine months before the wet season sets in. although it is the best time to visit the Park it is advisable for one to be well prepared since the temperature rise to abnormality and you might end up being perched.

The rainy season is also a good one if you are into animal and plant viewing. During this period, the Park rejuvenates with a lot of greenery and you get to see most of the animals during the wet season since they all become active during this time. But remember that the roads leading to the Park are extremely hard or nearly impossible to pass during the rainy season.

Accommodation in the Kirindy Mitea National Park

The Kirindy Park is extremely small as compared to other parks found in Madagascar therefore making it hard for the Park to have accommodation facilities within. The accommodations that can be used are found in the neighboring areas and many people just wake up in the morning so that they start on their exploration of the Park early.

Even though the park does not have any accommodation facilities, they have toilet facilities where one can easily go and relieve themselves and these were constructed by the German government. These are cleaned regularly so you will be assured of clean toilets throughout your visit to the Park.

The Park’s small size means that you will not be able to have game drives within but all the exploration will be done on foot. You will exercise and at the same time see the various animals that are found in the park and there is no other way you can experience the wild in Kirindy other than by walking through it. All the nature walks and explorations will be done with the help of an experienced tour guide so that you do not get lost and get to enjoy the stories that are told during the exploration.

Kirindy is known to be the only reserved forest that is still standing without being encroached on Madagascar and a visit to the area will leave you in awe of how the country has a lot to offer especially when it comes to forests and the wildlife.

When it comes to visiting the Kirindy Mitea National Park, we offer the best offers with favorable and fair prices for everyone who wishes to visit the country any time. We will deal with all the accommodation and transportation needs so that you do not have to worry about any arrangements and get to enjoy your vacation. freely.

Andasibe Mantadia National Park Madagascar

The Andasibe- Mantadia National Park

The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is located in Alaotra Mangoro in the eastern part of the country and it is only four hours away from the capital city of Madagascar. Part of Madagascar and it is a combination of two reserves that is the Mantadia forest and the Analamazoatra reserve. The Park was formerly known as the Analamazoatra and it has just been changed of recent so do not be alarmed when some people still refer to it using the old name. The word Andasibe is in Malagasy and it can loosely be translated as the ‘Big camp’ due to its vast nature.

As we earlier on discussed, the park is made up of two reserves and the Mantadia covers the larger Part of the park with over 120 kilometers squared and it will take you almost an hour to get to Mantadia. The Andasibe side also offers nature walks throughout the Park and these can take two to three hours.

The park has many wildlife animals that can be seen and most of the time it is always the first time for someone to see these animals, birds and insects. The park is also has a waterfall where you can relax after a long day trekking and you can also view the Ranomafana hot springs which are nearby.

The wildlife in Andasibe-Mantadia

The Parks is a good place where tourists can go for birding. It has a recorded number of bird species that amount to over 100 and all these can be viewed throughout the Park. Most of the bird species that are found in the park are endemic and these include the wagtail, Madagascar Falcon, long eared owl, the Madagascar green sunbird and many more others. A visit to the park gives birders a chance to see these rare birds and they also get to take some photos while birding.

The Andasibe Park is also filled with a lot of animals that can be viewed by tourists once they visit the park. You will be able to see the Indri-Indri, various reptiles like chameleons, snakes, lizard, geckos and many more and these can easily be seen during the rainy season and at night since this is the only time that they are extremely active. The Andasibe is also famously known for its large number of frogs that are can be found in the various parts of the Park.

The Indri-Indri is one of the many species of Lemur that is found in the Andasibe national Park. Everyone who visits the Park is guaranteed to see at least one or two in the trees. The Indri-indri looks like a baby panda due to the black and white markings that they have on their bodies although they are a lot thinner than the Pandas. The noise that they make cannot be forgotten that easily and the noise that sounds like a wail carriers over 30 kilometers through the Park.t

How to get to Andasibe National Park

There are several taxis that can get you to the Park and there is a passenger train that will get you to the Park more easily as compared to the road transportation. The train station is located just two meters away from the entrance of the Park and it seems the much better option although it might be crowded.

You can also get a personal car which will take you to the Park especially if you want your privacy. The park fees are paid at the entrance of the park and you are given a permit that will help you access the different parts of the Park. The Park has several places that you can visit and you will need an experienced tour guide to help you traverse the park.

When to visit the Park

The best time to visit the Park is during the month of October but it is open to tourists throughout the year. It has the highest number of visitors who trek through the forest to see the various animals that are in the park including the popular Indri-Indri and other wildlife in the area. The park is highly visited and therefore if you want to get the best services you need to book early so that you do not get disappointed.

Accommodation facilities in Andasibe

There are different levels of accommodation facilities that are found near the Park and these cater for all visitors irrelevant of your budget. The accommodation facilities come into different categories that is high end hotels, budget range accommodations and the middle range accommodations

Budget/ low range accommodation

There is only one low range accommodation facility near the Andasibe and it is the Hotel Orchidees. The Hotel Orchidees offers you with various simple rooms which are not self-contained. You have to share a bathroom that have warm running water with the rest of the guests. They also offer good food at their restaurant which is at a low cost although you need to book in advance before you travel.

The middle range accommodations

The middle range accommodations around the Andasibe include the following:

The hotel Feon’NyAla

This is located near the National Park and it is surrounded by a small lake which makes it a calm place for relaxing for all those that had a long day. The rooms are extremely spacious and self-contained and within the vicinity of your room you can hear the different birds chirping away in the morning. They also provide chalets that can house over seven people and the choice is yours to choose whatever you want as your accommodation room.

The Grace lodge Andasibe

This is located one kilometer away from the National Park. The lodge offers bungalow rooms which are self-contained and provide privacy to all the guests. They have hot water in the bathrooms and offer goo local cuisines and have a swimming pool where you can relax especially after a long day at the Park.

The Mikalo Hotel

The Mikalo Hotel is located just as you enter the town and it offers good facilities to the tourists. They have spacious self-contained bungalows and the beauty about using these accommodation facilities is that they allow camping if that is what you want to do. They also provide breakfast and lunch to the tourists that consists of both local and international cuisines.

The high end accommodation

There is only one accommodation that falls under the high end and this is Vekona Forest Lodge and is located only six kilometers away from the Park. It is one of the best accommodation facilities around the Park. They have standard rooms that include double rooms, single rooms and triple rooms and all these are self-contained.

They offer free WIFI, have a tennis table and a swimming pool for relaxations and a very good trek route through the forest and you get a chance to also enjoy the good food that is prepared at the hotel.

The climate experienced in Andasibe

The Park normally experiences cloudy conditions and this makes the Park have a cool temperature almost throughout the day and you should also be ready for a rain pour which can happen throughout the whole day.

The weather in the area is mostly due to the presence of the rain forests in the area. Although if you are into trekking, you will have to do it on days that are sunny to avoid the slippery routes within the park.

The Park can also be visited at night and this gives you ample time to see the nocturnal life in the Park.  A night walk through the forest reserve will avail to you the different nocturnal life that is located in the Park for example you will be able to see the chameleons that normally come out at night, the furry eared dwarf lemur, the Eastern woolly lemur and the Goodman’s mouse lemur. All you need is to pack a heavy touch that will help you see the animals clearly and heavy clothes to reduce on the coldness that is always experienced in the Park during the night hours.

When you are visiting the Park, remember to pack appropriately especially when it comes to clothes. You will need to carry some heavy clothes that will protect you from the rain or you can carry water proof clothes to avoid getting wet.

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park can be explored separately that is you can first visit the first part of the Park which is the Mantadia where you will be able to see the golden lemurs lounging in the trees and trek through the Park and note that the trails that are found in the Mantadia side are extremely steep. The other Part which is the Andasibe can also be explored on the same day and the good thing about the trails is that they are not as steep as the ones in Mantadia. All this can be experienced as long as you book early enough to enjoy the Park.

 

Ifaty tours

Ifaty Tours & Things To Do

Ifaty in Madagascar

Ifaty is comprised of dusty villages that are located near Tulear. It is best known for the fishing activities that are carried out by the local people and other tourist attractions that are found in the country. There are various villages that make up the Ifaty region and these are Ambotsibotsike, Mangily, salary and the Andavadoaka and most of these can easily be accessed by use of a canoe.

The Ifaty is extremely dusty and you have to be prepared for the long journey as the ride to the fishing village will not be as comfortable as you expect it to be due to the bad roads that are found in Madagascar.

Ifaty tours

A visit to Ifaty will have experience a lot of things through the different activities that you will be able to carry out when you visit the place and some of these activities include the following:

A visit to the different villages found in Ifaty

The salary and Andavadoaka are some of the towns located in the Ifaty region and they are both located in the North. The villages are surrounded by hiking bays making them the best destination for anyone who loves scuba diving and snorkeling. You will also enjoy other activities that are carried out by the locals and the easiest way to get to the two villages is by use of a canoe.

The Mangily village is one of the few that you will see when you visit the Ifaty region and it has a lot to offer to tourists like a nature walk through the baobabs, a trek through the forest of Mikea and quad biking in the reserve of Domergue. You will also get to meet the local people who are extremely welcoming and get to know their different ways of life.

The Ambotsibotsike village is located in a mangrove and the private nature of the village make it a top destination for all those who visit Ifaty. The village can be reached by walking with the locals, bike riding, quad biking or horse riding but either way the feel the mangrove give off will make you want to stay here for a few days. You will be able to get to know the different culture that is practiced by the locals, get to mix with the fishermen and learn some fishing skills and participate in other activities carried out in the area.

When you visit the above villages, you will be able to learn more about the cultures of the locals living in Ifaty, the history behind the famous dusty village, participate in the fishing activity and also get a chance to taste the special Madagascan food prepared by the locals.

Visiting the Reniala Nature Reserve

The Nature reserve is worth the visit as you get to see various lemur species that are kept in the rescue Centre that is found in the area, watch the different bird species most of which are endemic to the area and get to trek through the baobab trees using two clearly marked circuits. The trek will take you about one hour and half on one circuit and forty five minutes on another. The unique reptiles that are also found in the reserve are a sight that you do not want to miss out on and these can normally be seen during the rainy season because this is when most of them become extremely active.

Spend some time at the beach

Ifaty has some of the best beaches in Madagascar and there is no way you are going to visit the Ifaty without relaxing on the several beaches. Grab that towel and head down to the beach to soak up the sun and engage in the various activities that are carried out at the beach with your family.

Scuba diving and snorkeling

Scuba diving is one of the most participated in Ifaty due to the presence of the many coral reefs in the area. The different villages have very lovely spots where these activities can be carried out and sometimes the accommodation facilities that offer to take their guest for scuba diving as one of the services that are offered at their facilities. And therefore if you an adrenaline addict you do not want to miss out on scuba diving in Ifaty as it is refreshing for the body.

The equipment that is used for scuba diving and snorkeling is provided from the

Sport fishing

The Ifaty is known best for its fishing activities that are carried out by the locals. When you visit the area, you will be able to enjoy the fishing with the locals but this will be done with the help of a tour guide. The fishing in Ifaty is mostly done using local means and on handmade canoes and this is what makes the fishing encounter exciting. You get to catch some fish which you either throw back in the water or take back to the shore to be prepared over a large fire that is prepared by the locals. And on this exciting fishing adventure you also get to learn the different local and traditional ways of how the fish that is caught is preserved.

Accommodation facilities in Ifaty

The accommodation facilities that are found in Ifaty and these are classified into three that is the budget accommodations, the middle class accommodations and the luxury accommodation facilities.

The budget accommodation facilities

The ‘Mora’ Mora

The Mora hotel provides guests with comfortable rooms that are surrounded by a beautiful garden and a swimming pool where you can relax from but you will have to share some facilities like the bathrooms with other guests but they provide good meals throughout your stay.

The chez Daniel

The chez Daniel is quite simple in its facilities as they have basic rooms and shared facilities like toilets and bathrooms but have hot running water and they also have good simple meals.

The Reniala reserve hotel

The Reniala is located in a secluded place where you can easily do birding from. It has simple rooms where you get to share the toilet and it has only cold water.

The chez Micheline

The Chez Micheline has simple basic rooms with shared facilities and it is the cheapest in Ifaty. It has good meals but has no running water and neither does it have any electricity.

The Mid-range accommodation facilities

The hotel Le Tonga Soa

The hotel has self-contained rooms with hot running water and they are located in an extremely comfortable and safe place with a swimming pool surrounding it and inside a gate with a library and a private balcony where you can enjoy your delicious meals from.

The Chez Cecile

The chez Cecile have modest rooms which are self-contained rooms which are extremely comfortable, offer good meals that is breakfast, lunch and dinner, a private balcony adjacent to your room, a bar where you can relax from and they also engage you in the various activities that are carried out around the hotel and Ifaty as a village.

The La Voile Rouge        

If you want to experience the wild in Madagascar, this is the accommodation facility that you should use due to its strategic location in the wild. They have extremely comfortable rooms that offer the privacy that you will need and not forgetting the good food that is served at the hotel.

The Hotel Vovo Telo                                     

The Hotel Vovo Telo has comfortable self-contained rooms which are located at the beach giving you a nice view from your room. They also provide nice meals which include both international and local Madagascar cuisine and they also have a disco in case when they are bored.

The luxury accommodation facilities

The Ifaty Beach club

These have standard bungalow rooms which are self-contained and found in a quiet and private place. They have extremely tasty Madagascar food and is surrounded by palm trees that add beauty to the place. The double rooms go for 41 euros whereas the triples go for 46 euros and the singles go for 64 euros. They provide hammocks to the visitors and have an active dive Centre.

The hotel Bellevue

This is located in Ambolimailaka and has a very luscious garden where you can relax from. The single rooms go for 90,000 Ar, the double rooms for 117,000 Ar and the triples and quadruplets go for 126,000Ar. The rooms are self-contained and well as air conditioned.

The Mangily Hotel

These are located at the Ifaty beach and they have 25 spacious bungalows that are self-contained and have everything that you need. They also have 24/7 room service and organize scuba diving and snorkeling for the guests that are interested.

The Bamboo club

At the bamboo club, single rooms go for 60 euros and the doubles go for 41 euros. They have well-spaced bungalows that are extremely comfortable especially after a long day touring the Ifaty and you get a clear view of the beach and the garden from your rooms.

 

 

Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park Madagascar

Isalo national park in Madagascar

Located in the south western part of the country in the state of Fianarantsoa and it is has one of the best biodiversity nature in the country. It is partially a desert like place and yet it also experiences rain which leads to the lush greenery found in the Park. The best time to visit the Park is during the dry season as the trails leading to the park will be easy to use unlike during the wet season when they are slippery.

Isalo National Park

The history about Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park was founded in 1962 and is one of the most popular national Parks in Madagascar. Although the park is constantly plagued with fires, the government in Madagascar is doing all it can to make sure that the park maintains its natural state so when you visit the country, you will be able to see the glorious Park without worry. The Park has a lot of things that it offers you one of the best sceneries in the country.

The drive to the Park is a long one due to the bad roads that are found in the area and this makes the journey itself tiring before you carry out any activities at the Park. It is very hard for you to get there on your own and that is why it is advisable for one to hire a driver who will be able to drive through the better roads so that you can get to the Park in time.

Getting someone who knows the ins and outs of the Park is the best idea since preservation has been done by both the government and the Bara local people who are believed to be the first settlers around the park.

Things To Do In Isalo National Park

There are several activities that you can carry out especially when it comes to visiting Isalo national Park in Madagascar and these activities include:

Camping in the Isalo National Park

If you want to enjoy the wild the best place to go is Isalo national Park where campsites are always there waiting for you. There are two camp sites in the Isalo and these are the Namaza and Analatapia and these have the best facilities when it comes to camping. You will be rest assured of a good rest when you get there especially for those who have been hiking or trekking. They provide you with tents where you can easily put your sleeping bags and get refreshments before enjoying the stars when nightfall sets in.

Getting to meet the Bara people

These are believed to have been living in this area for a very long time and they are the habitants of the Isalo Park. The Bara people have a lot of customs that they follow and as you visit the park, the tour guides will tell you about the unique way of life of the Bara and their culture and you can still have a nature walk to the village where they live. You will get to know about the following when you visit the Isalo National Park.

  • When the Bara lose their loved ones, they walk around the entire village in order to ward off bad spirits and they also cut off their hair as a sign of respect for the dead and mourning.
  • The Bara are known pastoralists and they have reared the Zebu cattle for a long time. When a boy is being initiated into adulthood, the Zebu cattle are used in rituals that transform a boy into a man.
  • They are always burying their dead inside the caves.
  • When a man wants to get married, they are supposed to steal cattle in order to prove that they will be able to take care of their wives.

You will be able to experience all the above only if you book that safari to the Isalo National Park. You will not regret your trip to the Park as you will also be able to get some souvenirs from the local people.

Hiking in the Isalo National Park

If you love hiking then you should not miss the trip to the Isalo National Park. The Park’s strategic location and landscape offers you one of the best hiking trails you will not find anywhere else in the country. The different hiking trails can be completed in just hours from the time you begin the hike but note that you will not be able to go through the hike trails alone and that is why we provide experienced tour guides who take you on this wonderful journey through the park.

The different trails that can be used when it comes to hiking through the Isalo National Park include:

  • The Masalo trail

This is the mostly used trail when it comes to hiking through the park. It passes through the southern part of the park and you get to view the largest part of the park when you use this route. And it is also easy to use when it comes to hiking.

  • The Namaza circuit route

The Namaza route is a bit tiring when it comes to trekking since it is extremely long as compared to other trekking routes and you might end up paying extra money to the tour guides due to the time taken to finish the trek. If you know that you are not that fit then it is better not to go for this route because it is not for not for the faint hearted although the experience is worth it. And while you are using this route you will be able to view the different canyons and caves that are found along the way.

  • The piscine naturelle

The trek through the piscine is always done on foot and it is one of the best hike treks around. This route leads through the part of the park where you will be able to view the glorious waterfall in the park, the different caves and canyons where you can easily rest from when you are tired and get refreshed using the available water body.

  • The canyon des singes

The canyon des singes is also used when it comes to trekking and is famous more than the piscine naturelle. It can be translated to as the canyon of monkeys and has thick trees that make it a bit hard for one to penetrate through and that is why you will need a guide to direct you as to where to go exactly so that the trek does not become difficult. And just like the name suggests, you will be able to see the different species of lemur the endangered monkey species jumping from one tree to another and they are only found in the country.

Enjoy trekking through the Isalo National Park as you enjoy the beautiful scenery that it has to offer. The different trek routes will show you all the hidden treasures of the Park and what better way to spend your day enjoying good scenery than by visiting the Isalo national park.

Things to Do in Isalo National Park & Wildlife To See

Madagascar is known to have very unique wildlife that most of it is endemic to the country and some of it is found in the Isalo National Park. The park has a variety of animals but the most common one is the Lemur which can either be seen in the trees during day. You will also be able to do birding while you are in the park as it has a lot if endemic birds that you will not find anywhere else in the world, re[tiles like snakes, chameleons and many more others.

Most of the wildlife is not dangerous in any way and that is why it is extremely safe to walk through the Park but this does not mean that you are just going to wonder around the Park alone. You will need a tour guide who will take you through the Perk in order to avoid accidents the accidents that might happen when you are alone.

You must be wondering why there are no other wildlife like the predators in the country but this was due to the separation of Madagascar from the African continent millions of years ago. When the separation happened, most of the predators like lions, cheetahs, big animals like buffalos, elephants were all left on the African continent and only those endemic few were left on the Island. The unique wildlife found on the Island is just enough to make you pack your bag and you go for a tour to the Isalo national Park.

There is no better way than spending your trip at the Isalo national Park. The beautiful scenery that the park has to offer is just some of the few things that can attract you to this Park. Grab a bag and contact us to help you with all the necessary paperwork that is needed for one to come to Madagascar because we will be able to help you.

Antananarivo tours

Antananarivo Tours & Things To Do

Antananarivo

Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar and is one place you do not want to just pass through as you are heading to the different parts of the country because it also has its own attractions that you wouldn’t want to miss. The locals normally refer to it as Tana and as the capital city, this is where you will first land because it is a home to the Madagascar international airport. Therefore before you head to the different parts of the country, first tour the capital city because you will be mesmerized with whatever you will find. The different places and activities that you can carry out within the capital city Antananarivo include the following:

Antananarivo tours

Visit the crocodile farm in the city

The croc farm is a popular park that is located near the international Madagascar airport in the Antananarivo. It is known as a croc farm due to the high number of crocodiles that are found in the park. The croc farm is always open every day from 8:00am to 5:00pm and all adults have to pay a small fee in order to gain access to the park but young children under the age of eight enter for free.

You will be able to see numerous crocodiles and probably get a chance to see them and not forgetting the park is also a home to other numerous animals like the famous lemur, chameleons, snakes, the fossa and a wide range of bird species that are endemic to Madagascar can be viewed. The feeding of the crocodiles normally happens during the lunch hours so you can plan your visit to match with the feeding time but if you are into birding, then morning hours will work for you perfectly.

Visit the Anglican cathedral

The Anglican cathedral was constructed in 1889by White William and Alfred Anker who saw to the completion and unique design that we see today. You must wondering what is so good about seeing the Anglican cathedral and it is the way it was constructed. The cathedral was constructed in a  Gothic setting and if you do not know what gothic looks like, then you must visit the cathedral and also get a chance to view the inside of the cathedral.

Shop at the Analakely market

Your visit to the Analakely market will give you an insight of how chaotic life can be in Madagascar. It always has a wide range of people moving up and down looking for things that they are going to use in their daily life. It might not be your dream place for touring but it will definitely give you an insight of how the Malagasy people live every day.

The market will give you a chance to get yourself some fresh food, vegetables and fruits from the different stalls in the market and you will also get a chance to taste some of the local food that is prepared by the locals and sold in the different stand stalls. Although you should be warned that the area has a lot of people who can pick pocket you so it is best to leave all that you think is valuable to you and stay with only some cash that will help you purchase the different things from the market.

Go for birding at the Tsarasaotra Park

The Tsarasaotra is a small park that is located in the center of Madagascar and it is the perfect place for all those who love birding. Its location gives it easy aces and it has a lake within which is Lake Alarobia and this is where most of the birding is done as it harbors the fourteen bird species that are found in the Park. There are various endangered birds that can be seen and the most common two include the Malagasy pond heron and the Meller’s duck. And since the park is privately managed, you will need to part with an entrance fee and the tickets can be got but after prior booking otherwise you might find that it is fully booked.

Explore the Musee de l’Art et de Archeologie

This is located at in the village of Tana which is located in the city center and it was established in 1970. It has a lot of archeological things that amount to 7000 and these can be viewed when you visit the place. It is the perfect destination for all those that love history as these objects will tell you the hidden history of Madagascar as a country and it is protected by the Antananarivo University.

The objects project the different tribes that are found in Madagascar and on a lucky day you will be able to participate in discussions that are held by the different speakers that are invited by the University curator.

 

 

 

Explore the Ambohimanga

The Ambohimanga hill is considered to be sacred by the different Malagasy people and it is also known as the royal hill. This is where the royal kings and queens of Madagascar used to stay before the French came to the country. A pilgrimage to the hill will give you an insight of how the Malagasy people lived before the colonial era set in.

In the area, you will get to see the queen’s palace which was constructed with a lot of glass everywhere and the dilapidated place of the last king which is a big contrast to the queen’s palace. You will also be able to able to see the various graves that are found in the area and most people now make a pilgrimage to the area to worship and due to its significance when it comes to the culture of the Malagasy people and that is why it was declared a UNESCO heritage in 2001.

Explore the Rova complex

The Rova palace is also known as a fine place to rule and it was formerly owned by the rulers of the Madagascar. It is located on a hill and can easily be seen by everyone all the way from the city Centre. It is not in its previous glory due to the fire that gutted it in the year 1995 but it is still worth the visit as you get to see the ruins first hand and also get to view the royal cemetery.

Visit the French Institute of Madagascar

For all those who are in love with culture and want to see some action then this is the best place to be. They hold everything from song concerts, plays live performances and anything that connects with music dance and drama. And in order for you to be able to view these performances, you need to book your ticket early and contact the institute through their websites. This was put in place to show and make people understand the different cultures that are found in Madagascar and the how the different cultures blend into one to off one community.

The lemur park

The lemur park is usually open from 9:00am to 4:00pm and its strategic location makes it a good place for one to meet and get to know more about the endangered lemurs. There are various lemurs that can be seen moving around the Park and you will also get to see all the different kinds of plant species that are found in the park and these can give any botanist a field trip. You will also be able to see the various chameleons, turtles and other species that habitate in the area on your nature walks in the Park and the park has clearly marked routes that you can use during the nature walk.

Visit the Immaculate Conception cathedral

The cathedral that is located in Antananarivo the capital city of Madagascar and the beauty of the place can only be compared to that of the capris cathedral. The first construction of the cathedral begun in 1873 and ended in 1890 and if you are not impressed with the outside, take a stroll through the inside because it has its own unique beauty as compared to the outside. The ornate décor gives it a lasting impression and not forgetting the glass that was used to beauty it and when you get the chance you can also attend mass in the cathedral and it is also used as the archdiocese of Antananarivo.

A trip to the Musee Andafiavaratra        

The Musee Andafiavaratra is a place where you will be able to see some of the store away things that were rescued by the different people from the burning place. It has various portraits of the different rulers especially kings that ruled Madagascar before the colonial era, a fossilized skeleton and you get to know the history of the different kings and queens who ruled over the country. It was once a house of the former prime minister of Madagascar known as Rainilairivony and the pink color that id decorated on all the walls is something to view especially with the wall portraits against them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

amber mountain national park

Amber Mountain National Park Madagascar

The Amber national Park located in the Northern part of the island was created in 1958 and it is one of the few areas in the country that experiences different climatic conditions as compared to other areas in the country. While other parks experience semi-arid conditions, the amber park is always green throughout the year as it receives rainfall more.

The park is one you should not miss when you visit Madagascar as it has a lot to offer when it comes to activities that you can carry out and that is why we are here. We can help you organize your safari to Amber national Park at an affordable cost and we assure you that you will not regret your trip with us to this wonderful place.

amber mountain national park

The Flora and Fauna found in Amber Park

The different species of wild life that have been recorded and are found in the Amber National Park include snakes, chameleons, frogs, geckos and other animals like the Lemur.

There are also 75 bird species that are found in the Park and 35 of these are endemic to the Madagascar Island and some of these bird species include the Amber rock thrush, the long billed bernieria, the Pitta-ground roller and many more others.

The flora found in the Park consists of three different types which make up the    vegetation that is found on the Park and these include the dry deciduous vegetation, the Montane rainforest and the mid altitude rain forest vegetation. This acts as a habitat for the different animals that are found in the park. The Park also has over 1000 flora species that different botanists have gone to see and study and these include the lianas, orchids and ferns and these grow in the rarest kind that can only be found in Amber National Park and you do not want to miss out on viewing the path of a thousand trees that has a lot of exotic tree species that you will not find anywhere else.

Besides the wild animals and different bird species that that are found in the park there are also other tourist attractions that make the park a good and favorable destination for all tourists and these include the following:

The waterfalls, these are found within the park and they offer a resting and refreshing place for tourist especially if one has been hiking. The backdrop it offers is also good for those who want to take photos as souvenirs for the trip.

The lakes that are found in the Park, here you will be able to view the different water species in the lake, refresh your selves and also go for a boat ride on the lake.

Amber National Park Hiking & Things To Do

If you want to discover all the jewels hidden in the amber national Park, hiking is the only way that you will be able to discover all that you are not aware of. The park has a lot to offer and that is why it became a top destination for many tourists. The different routes take different timing when it comes to hiking and that is why one must choose the best hiking route that fits into their fitness. When you join all the trekking routes their total distance amounts to over 30 kilometers and all these are marked trails so if you are to enjoy you’re trekking, you should not veer off the trails.

There are three common routes that are normally used when it comes to hiking through the Park and these include:

  • The Cascade Sarcee

This is the most commonly used route for hiking and it leads to a waterfall that is believed to be sacred and a grotto. It is quite popular due to its easy terrain when it comes to hiking.

  • The cascade Antankarana

This is of medium distance when it comes to hiking and can be taken even by the children.

  • The cascade Antomboka

This is the worst and difficult route to use while trekking and it is not for the faint hearted. It is extremely narrow but has a beautiful waterfall to it that drops to 80 meters below.

The park will also give you ample time and a chance to trek up the Amber Mountain which is extremely close to the Park. There are several other routes that you can use when you want to trek through the park and these rare the Lac Maudit, the Lac de la coupe Verte and the Grand Lac all which will help you explore the Park to the fullest. The trek through the Park normally takes two days but it can also be done in one day if you have other places to visit or you are on a tight budget.

When To Visit  Amber national Park?

As we have already established, the park is located on an elevated land and that is why it receives a different kind of climate as compared to the rest of Madagascar. The Amber Park has two seasons and that is the dry season and the rainy season.

  • The dry season

The dry season is always cool and the best time for all birders. This season comes in between March to November and it is about clear on some days although sometimes it still rains.

The cool temperature offers tourists a good chance to view the birds and carry out other activities that are not as tiring.

  • The rainy season

The rainy season normally comes in around December to April  and it is never the best time to visit the Park as the roads  and trails leading to the park are always flooded making it extremely hard for one to go anywhere in the park.

It is always advisable for one to carry warm clothes when they are visiting the Park during this time to avoid the cold.

Sometimes the seasons interlope into other months making it hard for one to determine when the dry season will end and the beginning of the rainy season. All these seasons have their ups and downs and w below is a list of the best months and worst months as to when you should visit the Amber National Park.

  • The best time to visit the Park are between September and November.
  • The worst times to visit the Park are between June and August. These are the months where the Park experiences winter and the months of December to April because this is when the Park is experiencing a lot of floods due to the heavy rains.

As you visit the park, remember to take anti-malarial tablets with you so that you do not fall sick and some insect repellent.

 

Where To Stay in Amber National Park

There are several accommodation facilities that can be found within or around the Amber National Park and some of these include the following:

  • The Mantasaly

The Mantasaly is located just an hour away from the Amber national park. It is located on a beach and will give you access to the beautiful scenery that the beach has to offer. They have single and duplex rooms where one can have their privacy while they rest, the hotel provides a good hefty breakfast and lunch, bar beach activities, free WIFI, transportation and it has a very good view of the Amber National park.

  • The Iharana Bush camp

The Iharana bush camp is located only five minutes away from the Park and it has one of the best facilities that you would not want to miss. They offer free dinner, breakfast and a bar. The rooms are self-contained and each is decorated in a very unique way and they also offer assistance when it comes to getting tickets into the park.

  • Hotel la Belle Aventure

The hotel offers free WIFI to the guest, breakfast and lunch, self-contained rooms which offer privacy to all those who stay there, laundry services and each room goes for 20 dollars per night. The hotel is 42 minutes away from the Amber National Park.

 How to get to Amber Mountain National Park

The Park can easily be accessed through different routes the easiest being the Diego Suarez route where you can use either taxis or get a private drive but remember to use four by four wheels so that you do not get stuck along the way.

If you are coming from Antananarivo, the best route and means of transportation is the best is air transportation and the local air line offers direct trips to the park and these take roughly two hours.

The Amber National Park is strategically located and the beauty that it offers should not be missed by anyone who visits Madagascar. And note that not all the activities that you can carry out when you visit the park have been mentioned but when you visit the Park, you will be shocked at how many surprises you will get in just the few hours that you will spend in this glorious Park.

baobab Madagascar

Morondava Tours & Things To Do

A visit to Morondava

Ever been to a place that has almost everything that you would want to look at for more than two or three days? The answer is the Morondava city in Madagascar. Morondava is located at the western coast of Madagascar and as a city has a lot to offer to all those who visit the area as there are numerous tourist attraction sites that are found both with on and near the Morondava city. Planning trips to Morondava is extremely easy for as long as you get the best people to take you around the city. Once you get to Madagascar, you will be able to make the different arrangements so that you can go around and visit the town. Before you visit the city you will need to know the different cultures that govern the state, the dos and don’ts like not taking pictures of locals without their permission and many more others.

baobab Madagascar

 

Places to visit and activities that can be carried out in Morondava

There are several places in Morondava that you can visit to carry out the different activities that will make your trip worth it and some of the best things that one can do when the visit the Morondava include the following:

Explore the Baobabs in love

The baobabs in love are two baobab trees that grew while entwined together and this makes them look like lovers. Their close proximity is where the name of the baobabs in love came from. You cannot therefore visit the Morondava without taking at least one photo in front of them as they are believed to give those who are in love luck and help all those that are searching for love.

Visit the Swiss forest

The Swiss forest is also known as Kirindy National reserve and it is a top destination for many tourists who visit Madagascar. The Park has several wild life that you can view from the birds, chameleons to the lemurs which are all endemic to the Island. Tourists who love trekking can also enjoy the different clearly marked routes that are found in the Park and these can only be accessed if you have a trained tour guide with you.

You cannot access the Park especially during the rainy season which is between January to April and this due to the fact that with the poor roads that keep on flooding and have numerous potholes leading to the Park, it is extremely hard to access it and some activities might not be carried out due to mud that is on most of the trucks and the cyclones experienced during this time.

The Kirindy National Park is just two hours from the Morondava city Centre and you will have a good time while visiting it and doing the various activities that can be carried out in the Park.

Visit the Tsingy de Bemaraha                    

The Tsingy de Bemaraha is one of the reasons as to why one should visit the Morondava. The beautiful scenery that is given off by the limestone peaks and the various wild species that are found in the National Park. It is one of the tourist attraction sites that you get to see the moment you get to Morondva and this is because of its proximity that is only 200 kilometers.

Some of the activities that can be carried out at the Tsingy include lemur trekking, botany studies, visiting the locals, birding and many more other exciting activities. It was made a UNESCO heritage site to preserve its natural beauty and that is why you should visit the place so that you get to see this unique beauty on your own.

A visit to the Morondava markets

Like any other places that are found in Madagascar, Morondava has a small market that you visit. The market have various commodities that are sold like fresh vegetables, fresh food straight out of the gardens, different kinds of meat and all the Madagascar specials. The market is also a good place to mix with the locals but do not forget to go with all the bargaining skills that you have as this will help you in getting all the good market products but at a fair price. The only downside about visiting the market is that it is infested with a lot of flies and therefore you should go to the market well prepared. The market is also located just at the roadside giving it easy access to whoever wants to do some shopping.

Visit the villages in Morondava

The local village also known as the fishing village or Betania and this is where the Vezo people live. Getting to the village is by use of a local canoe that is made by the locals and on your trip you get to see various bird species that are always at the coast in search of water and food, a gorge and many people carrying out activities on the coast. When you get to the village, you will get to know more about the locals and their nomadic life that sees them move from one place to the next on sea.

Vezo is Malagasy for people who fish and ‘when you get to the village’, you will learn how they fish using the local methods, how they preserve their fish by either smoking or sun drying it and learn how some local dishes are prepared and the beauty about it is that you get to taste the food that is believed to be the best. Therefore as you visit the Morondava city, make sure that you visit this small town and get to know more about the Malagasy culture.

Relax at the Morondava beach

Morondva is the perfect place for one to relax not with the exclusive beach. There are various beaches in Madagascar but the Morondava beach is the best as it offers tourists more than just relaxing in the sand. There are many restaurants in the area where you can dine from after the day at the beach, you get to see fishermen move around from their fishing expeditions, do all the fun games that can be carried out on a beach and then also get a chance to interact with the locals as they frequent the beach too.

Visit the Avenue of Baobab

The avenue of baobabs is one of the top tourist attractions located in the Morondava and they can be seen lining up on either side of the road as they rise up to the sky. There are over two different species of baobabs in Morondava which are endemic to the Island. The Avenue of Baobabs has been declared a National monument so that the locals stop cutting them down. The baobab trees species that can be found at the avenue include:

  • The Andansonia Grandidieri which is the most famous baobab in Madagascar and this is due to the fact that they rise up to 30 meters high to the sky and are almost three meters wide. They are also known as the upside down trees due to the way they grow.
  • The Belon’I Tsiribihina is another baobab species that can be found on the avenue of Baobabs and to be exact, it is only 40 minutes away from the Nosey Kely.

Entering the avenue of Baobabs is extremely free and you will get to see all the beautiful things that you can only experience when you visit the avenue of baobabs like enjoying the sunset with the ones you love, get to see the new baobabs that are being planted by the government and also get to support the local people who live in the area by buying a few things from the gift shop that is located in the area. These trees are still being cut down by the local people and that has led to the avenue of baobabs to be a protected area so that they are not turned into extinction species like everything else and therefore visiting the place will give it more significance.

Travelling through Morondava can be hectic like the rest of Madagascar. The roads are not in any good shape and the ride is always bumpy that is why you need to be ready for it and since the roads are not good, you also need to be at least an hour early to every place that you visit so that you are not late as the distances become longer than they are.

How to travel to Morondava

Travelling to Morondava can either be done by plane or car depending on your budget and what you want to use. Those that use road transportation get to feel the good side of the road and feel the wild as you pass through the high way. It might take long to reach your destination but the drive will be worth it. And for those that use transport get a view of the city form above seeing it in a new perspective.

Madagascar Queens Palace

Madagascar Historical Sites & Landmarks

Madagascar as a country is fast becoming one of the top destinations for everyone who wants to for a safari and this is all because of the unique things that are found in the country from the national parks, birding, culture ,landmarks and many more and historical sites are one of them. The rich history of Madagascar from the colonial times is one that you will want to experience first-hand especially since it comes with the evidence of the various colonial buildings that are scattered all over the country from the both the French and the British.

Madagascar is also filled with a lot of ethnic groups that give you a road trip as you get to know more about their cultures. It is believed that Madagascar had no life when it became an island apart from the animals and plants but when the trade started at the East African coast by the Arabs, this became their stop point for the various traders and this is how the different ethnic groups came to be in the same area and these include the Arabs, the Indians, Africans, Malaysians and Indonesians.

Madagascar Queens Palace

The different inter marriages that occurred before created a diversity on the Island and with the coming of the French colonialists, the country increased on its cultural diversity. The people in Madagascar speak Malagasy as their local language and their official language became French.

Madagascar is known to have a lot of tourist attraction sites to see and some of these include historical sites. Historical sites in Madagascar mostly portray the colonial era, the wonderful culture portrayed by the Malagasy people and some of these include the following:

The Soarano train station

The Soarano train station was constructed during the colonial time and it was one of the main transport means that was used at that time. The rail station was the major one in the capital city although at the moment it is rare to see anyone passing through it and at the moment it is being used for mostly commercial purposes. You can visit it to see the old ways and how the old station looks like at the moment and get to see the enormous building that was once where the ticket were sold and where everyone waited for the train.

 

The queen’s palace

The las queen of Madagascar was known to be extravagant and she was the first person to actually fight against the French colonialists until she lost. When you compare her palace to the king’s palace, the queen’s palace is nothing when you compare the both of them and yet they are within a walkable distance from each other. The queen’s palace is located on the highest hill in Antananarivo and it was constructed by a German architect who made it a unique site for all those who go to visit the area. The palace is filled with glasses everywhere and you get to see your reflection in every room that you enter in.

This was a home to many royals of Madagascar and all these have been buried in the graves that are found on the royal hill. There are various other small buildings that are next to the palace and this gives it an authentic look as compared to the its surrounding and the beautiful history that can be seen in the place and the stories that are told by the tour guides are worth the visit.

The Andafiavaratra palace

The Andafiavaratra palace was owned by the prime minister of Madagascar during the colonial times and it is located in a place that was originally owned by the British. The palace was constructed like a British palace and it has very large rooms inside which are decorated in a pink color with various wall hangings showing the different wall hangings of various Madagascar leaders and a tour around the Palace will give you chance to get to know some good history about the country.

The Trano Gasy houses

The Trano Gasy houses were constructed during the Queen Ranavalona II’s regime and they were houses for the missionaries. The Gasy houses were constructed like boxes all stacked in one place and this same style was copied by the various locals and to this date you can get to see the boxed houses in the villages. They are mostly grass thatched and they give off a beauty that cannot be seen during the modern times in the county. Visit the original Trano Gasy to see the original housing and marvel at their uniqueness.

 

 

The Andohalo cathedral             

The Andohalo cathedral is located in Madagascar and is one of the historical sites that you can get to see when you visit the country. The cathedral was constructed during the French colonial era and it almost looks like the Notre Dame in France. If you cannot afford to travel to France then this is one way to see a replica of the cathedral but a bit smaller than the Notre Dame. The marble that was used to decorate the inside of the church is also another thing that you do not want to miss. Therefore visit Madagascar to get a glimpse of the Andohalo Cathedral.

The Ambohimanga hill

The Ambohimanga hill was made a UNESCO heritage because it is the only one that has remained in the country. It was constructed by the Melina ethnic group and this is the last one that is still standing. If you want to look at one of the best pre- colonial housing in Madagascar that was constructed uniquely by the Melina highlanders then this is your perfect opportunity.

The L’Avenue de I ‘independence

This is located in the capital city of Antananarivo the capital city of Madagascar. Market places are found in this area and on either side of the L’Avenue de L’ Independence street you will find well decorated colonial houses that will remind you or show you of the colonial times and for those that did not experience it, you will get to know the colonialists lived and also get a chance to buy some merchandize from the meat and produce dream.

There are also stair cases where you get to rest but this can only be done in the evening since during the day it always seems crowded and you get to carry a picnic basket as you try view the colonial houses on either side.

The Hotel de Ville                

The hotel de Ville was constructed in 2009 and it was constructed in the same exact spot where the 1972 protests happened leading to the burning of the town hall that year. Although the town hall was burned down, the Hotel de Ville still gives off the town hall beauty in the way it was built. You can visit it any time of the day but you need to be extremely careful about your property as it may be pick pocketed by anyone due to the large crowds found in the area.

The Ambohitsorohitra

The Ambohitsorohitra was formerly the palace where the president of Madagascar used to stay. During the 2009 coup, the army invaded the Palace and no one is staying there to date. The army attacked the presidential palace because they actually wanted to topple the president and when the president escaped from the palace, it became kind of a museum since the army had promised to attack it again if he came back to the same place and that is why the president no longer resides here because the army promised to come back and raid in case he ever started living there again The Palace is now just for show and they have started giving tourists and locals a tour around the Palace.

The Mahandrihono Palace

The Mahandrihono palace was constructed by the Madagascar king and it was meant for his children. Within the stone walls of the Palace, you will find several other small houses where each child to king used to live so that he could easily monitor them and avoid a coup to his kingdom.

The king was an extremely polygamous man and he had a lot of children and that was why he ended up building the Mahandrihono palace so that all his children could live in the same compound and be easily monitored.

The historical sites in the country might not be so many but when you look at them, you will be able to know more about Madagascar through old buildings, stories told by the different people that you will find in the country. And after exploring the historical sites that can be found in the country, you will also get a chance to visit other tourist attraction sites that can be found in the close vicinities with the sites.

And if you want to see all these historical sites in Madagascar, you just need to contact us and we will be able to arrange everything for you from transportation to accommodation.

 

 

madagascar baobab

Madagascar Plants

Plants in Madagascar

Madagascar as country has a lot of endemic plant species that can be seen when one visits the Island and these plants can hardly be seen in another place besides Madagascar. The country has more than 1000 plant species which are endemic and these all depend on the part of the country that you are in that is the western part of Madagascar normally consists of grasslands, the south western part of Madagascar has spiny forests whereas the East and central part of the country has tropical forests. The weather experienced in the different parts of Madagascar also highly influence the type of vegetation that is found in the different areas.

madagascar baobab

The Bismarckia nobilis

The Bismarckia nobilis also known as the Bismarck palm or Satrana is located in the North western part of the country and it is greatly used by the locals for various purposes. It has become endangered due to the many locals that cut it down when they want to roof off something like houses and partitioning of walls in a room. The constant mining in the area has also increase of cutting down the Satrana tree.

The Madagascar Ocotillo

The Madagascar Ocotillo is a rare species that can be found in the country and it is known always surviving the semi desert dry conditions that is even if the country does not receive rainfall throughout the year, it remains intact. The thick bark that it has helps it in storing water for a very long time and it can grow up to 15 meters high. The leaves are deciduous especially in the dry season although they are normally oval during the wet season, the flowers grow in large numbers and are either green or yellow. It is not extinct at the moment because sanctions were placed on it so that encroachment and cutting them down stops.

The Madagascar banana tree

The Madagascar banana tree can be found in the stony forests in Madagascar and there are only five stems in the whole country. Many of the banana stems in the country were spoilt by a virus that ate them up leaving them almost extinct and all these need to be kept safe. The government of Madagascar is trying all they can to ensure that the remaining few banana trees are well taken care of.

 

The Baobab trees

The baobab trees are some of the endemic tree species that are found in the country and these grow to be high with thick barks. Baobab trees in Madagascar also produces fruits which are harvested by the locals but these do not grow most of the year as they have a specific month in which they grow and become ready. Madagascar has three endemic species of the baobab and these include the following:

  • The Suarez monkey bread

The Suarez monkey bread is located in the city of the Diego Suarez and that is where they got their names from. These are smaller than the rest of the baobab trees and they rise below 20 meters and grow under other trees that are found in the area. They are also becoming extinct due to the increased deforestation in the country and that is why they are hard to spot.

  • The Za Baobab

The Za baobab is quite large and can be found in various places in Madagascar. There are different types of baobab trees that can be found in the different regions of the country. Za baobab grows about six meters wide and 40 meters high and they have a large base with a brown color.

The fruits of the baobab are oval shaped and have seeds inside that have the shape of a kidney and the flowers begin to blossom in the months of November and February. The tree can withstand dry conditions but not for long as it requires soil that is well drained.

  • The Perrier’s monkey bread

The Perrier’s monkey bread has a few trees left in the country and this is due to the fact that they have been cut down by the locals who want to clear land for agriculture and settlement. They grow to up to 25 meters high and they can easily be spotted in the Ambilobe village although they are less than twelve tree species of the Perrier’s monkey bread in the whole of Madagascar.

 

 

The octopus tree

This is found in the south western part of Madagascar and it is a tree species that are used to semi-arid conditions. The tree has thorny spiky leaves which are octopus like and these help it to sustain in the dry season by maintaining water in their stems and it can be seen in the different spiky thorn forests that are found in the different parts of Madagascar.

The Tahina Palm tree

The Tahina palm tree is located in the North western part of Madagascar in the Mahajanga Reniala Park. It is a short palm tree and it is becoming extinct due to the wild fires and grazing done by the animals.

The Darwin’s orchid

The Darwin’s orchid which is endemic to Madagascar grows on the Eastern coast of the country normally grows while attaching itself to other trees especially to trees with wide branches that have less or no leaves. It is extremely large and has a star shaped flower which comes out during the winter seasons. The star flower that appears on the Darwin orchid changes from green to white in like two days and the plant is considered as one of the most robust flowers in Madagascar. The trunk of the Darwin orchid either grows straight or curved and some people cut it down for firewood.

It has been cut down by the locals so that they get land for agriculture and settlement and at the moment it is facing extinction and that is why the government of Madagascar has put up sanctions on its trading without a license.

The Madagascar periwinkle

The Madagascar is mostly used for medicinal purposes especially in the 1950s to treat the diabetes. It can be found in the different gardens in the country and due to its popularity when it comes to medicine has ensured that the locals preserve it which has greatly increased its capacity in the country. The Madagascar periwinkle has a pink flower or white flower and this flower has been used to decorate people’s houses.

 

The traveler’s palm

The traveler’s palm is also an endemic to Madagascar and it can be found in the various parts of the country. It was named the traveler’s palm due to different theories attached to it one of being that it grows on an East to West line which acts as a compass to lost tourist and the other is that the stem has sheaths that hold water and travelers can draw it out and drink it in case they run out of water. It grows in a symmetrical way and rises up to 7 kilometers and it gives off a good backdrop for photographs.

The Tapia tree

The Tapia tree is located in the Norther highlands of Madagascar and it is locally known as the Tapia by the Malagasy people. They produce a sweet Tapia fruit which is sold in the different markets that are found in the country and it is a habitat for the silk worm which is referred to as the Borocera. It can hardly be found anywhere else in the world and the only time you can see it is if you visit the highland forests of Madagascar.

The Tapia tree grows only in the highland of Madagascar because of the humid and tropical rain kind of climate that is found in the area. This helps it grow in time before the fruit is harvested when it is ripe.

Most of the plant species that are found in Madagascar are used for different things especially medicine for the locals. Most of the locals cannot afford to go to the hospitals to get medication and that is why they use the various trees that are found in the country to treat the several ailments that come to them. The above mentioned plant species are not the only ones that are found in Madagascar as there are more to see once you get to visit the country and you can double your visit by also viewing the different animals that are found in the trees like the birds, lemur which are also endemic to the Island and also get to see other tourist attractions.

When you visit the Island of Madagascar, a tour guide will take you through the tour of the various tree species that are found in the country but they will not explain everything as regards to the medicinal value as the Malagasy people are always secretive of their knowledge, remember to also ask for permission before you take any photographs of the locals and read the guidelines that govern the places you are to visit.

fruits of madagascar

Madagascar Fruits

Fruits in Madagascar

Madagascar is a country that is known for a lot of things that are unique and this is where the fruits come in. this Island that was separated from Africa during the plate tonics time has different ethnic groups that are living in the country and this brings about the different types of fruit that are found in the country.

There are many fruits that can be found in Madagascar that cannot be found anywhere else in Africa but there are also some other fruits that you can be familiar with. Before you plan your trip to this Island, you need to know the different food that you can eat including fruits and the unique fruits that are found in the area.

madagascar fruits

 

The different fruits that can be found in Madagascar include the following:

Bananas

Madagascar has one of the best natural bananas in the world and you need to have a taste of the real thing. Most bananas that are sold elsewhere are not as nearly sweet as the ones found on the Island and you can get them for an affordable price.

The Baobab fruit

Not many people are aware of the fact that the baobab has a fruit but it does. The baobab fruit has an off white chalky flesh inside that is surrounded with a hard outer shell that is brownish in color. If you do not like the taste of the baobab fruit, then you can have a taste at the of the baobab juice that is made from the fruit because it is to die for.

The Mangosteen fruit

The Mangosteen is a bit rare and can only be harvested in the months of February and March. It has fruits that are surrounded by a thick purple flesh and it is the size of an orange. It is also extremely sweet and it has tiny green leaves that are found on top of the fruit.

The mountain apple

They look like apples but have a different taste to them. A bit red in color, they are extremely watery and mushy and not so nice like the normal apples but you can give them a try.

 

 

The Longan fruit

This looks like a lychee but a little bit smaller and they are a bit brown in color although the color differs greatly from the taste of the lychee and they are locally known as the Longano by the locals. You can find them in the various markets on the Island.

The jackfruit

Most jackfruit weighs around twenty pounds and they can be found in various markets in the on the island. They are spiky green on the outside and when they are ripe, they change their color to the either a red or yellow. You only eat the part that is surrounding the seed and throw away the seeds.

The grapefruits

Grapefruits can also be seen in the various markets across Madagascar and some families have grape trees in their backyards.

Coconut fruit

Coconuts are extremely common in Madagascar and there are various coco trees that are found on the island and these are always harvested when ready. They have a very hard outer shell and a creamy inside. You can either eat the inside of the fruit or take it as juice. Either way they are sweet to eat.

The Lychee

The lychee are known as litchi in French and letchi in Malagasy. They are rare when they are not ready but once they are ripe, they can be found almost everywhere and they are enjoyed by almost everyone who eats them. They are also extremely cheap since they are always many on the market.

There are two types of lychees and these include:

  • The red lychee

These are the most common in Madagascar and some people know them as litchi.

 

 

 

  • The Chinese lychee

The Chinese lychee is a pricklish ones and they are very succulent. Both the Chinese lychee and the red do not last long after being picked from the trees so they have to be eaten as soon as possible.

The Muskmelon

There is a specific type of muskmelon that is found in Madagascar called the Voatango and they can only be found in Madagascar. They are a type of melon and they have a really good taste when you eat them and they can be found at any restaurant in the country.

The breadfruit

These are starch like fruits that taste like cassava or potatoes when ready. they are green on top and almost look like jackfruits although way too smaller than them. They are harvested from the trees and then they are boiled the same way sweet potatoes are boiled and then served. They can be served as snacks or be boiled with a mixture of spices or vegetables and served with rice as a side dish. It has a lot of vitamins and potassium that provide a very good balanced diet to people.

Apples

Commonly known as poma in Malagasy, they normally grow in the central highlands. They are much smaller than the normal apples and not as sweet as the Vermont apples but it will not hurt to try them out and find out if you actually like their taste.

The custard apple

The custard apple locally known as the Voanjato is one of the best fruits that is found on the Madagascan Island. It is called Voanjato by the locals because of the many seed that are found inside the fruit. They can be found in any market that you can access.

 

 

 

Guavas

Locally known as the Angavo by the Malagasy people, these are the size of a lime and when they are ripe, the color inside changes to either red or it stays with a creamy color. There are two types of guavas that are grown in Madagascar and these are the strawberry guavas that rosy in color and the normal yellow/ green guavas.

Mangos

There are a variety of mangos in the country and they normally blossom between December and January. They are extremely cheap due to the large number of mangoes that are found in the country during that time. Most mangoes that are grown in Madagascar include the Indian and the Philippine mangoes.

The Papaya

The Papaya is common on the markets of Madagascar and they are not that expensive. They come in different shapes and sizes and they are green on the outside whereas when they are ripe the green gets a yellow on it and they are orange on the inside.

The persimmon          

Persimmons are small great fruits which are orange in color and they are also used to make jam. They are majorly known to be found along the Mediterranean but if you visit Madagascar, you will find a lot of them in every corner of the country.

Passion fruits

There are two types of passion fruits that are grown in the Madagascar that is the purple passion fruits and the yellow passion fruits. Both can give you excellent juice and you can actually get to see how the passion fruits are grown when you visit the gardens.

 

 

 

The plum fruits

The plum fruits are like apples and they also grow in highlands. They are red in color and can be bought in any fruit shops in the country although sometimes they are a rare sight especially throughout the year as they can normally be found during December and in Antsirabe. It is a tropical fruit that is rarely found in other African countries.

The Ambarella

The Ambarella locally known as the Sakoa, it is a rare fruit that is found on the Madagascan Island. It is quite ugly when you first look at it from the outside but it has a really good taste that is between a mango and orange flavor. If you just get a taste of the fruit and you will not be disappointed.

The star fruit

The star fruit is shaped like a star and it is a yellowish in color although you should note that before you try to eat it you should note that it is extremely sour but the good thing is that it is pretty to look at.

The raspberry                    

Raspberries are mostly found in Madagascar and they are known to be extremely sweet. The raspberry has a lot of flavor and it can be mixed in a lot of things and it is one of the few fruits that you should try them out when you visit the country.

Pineapples

When you visit Madagascar, you will be able to see various pineapple farms in the country and you will also be able to get a taste of the pineapples fresh out of the gardens. The taste of these pineapples is so refreshing you will want to taste them over and over them again.

madagascar travel

Madagascar Travel Tips

Madagascar is an island that is located east of the East African coast in the Indian Ocean. It has a lot of ethnic groups that live in the country and this came about as a result of the Island being made a stop over by the Arab trade that took place in the 18th century. The trade brought a lot of people together that is Indians, Indonesians, Arabs and Africans and later on the French who came to colonize the country leading the country to have a unique culture that can only be found on the Island.

Every country has their laws and customs that are meant to be followed by both locals and foreigners and this also applies to Madagascar. Therefore as you plan your trip to Madagascar make sure you get to know the different rules that govern the country so that you are not sidelined and arrested for something you did not know was an offence.

madagascar travel

Before you travel to Madagascar you will need to familiarize yourself with the customs that are in the area so that you have a peaceful stay in the country and some of the things you should be aware of include the following:

The currency used in Madagascar

The local currency in Madagascar is known as the Airy although previously it was known as the Malagasy Franc. The Island is a trade country and most of the local traders accept cash when it comes to transactions. Although there are some businesses that transact using visa cards and ATMS, a few locals still transact using the old Malagasy currency and that is why you need first ask which type of currency one is using when purchasing something in Madagascar and remember that the currencies do not have the same value that is five Malagasy Franc are equal to one Airy.

When travelling to the Island, make sure that you have the all the necessary money needed in the country and your visa cards where necessary.

Crime in Madagascar

There are a lot crimes committed in every country and Madagascar is not an exception. The crime rate in Madagascar is extremely low as compared to the rest of the African countries but this does not mean that crimes are not committed in the country and therefore some of the different crimes that are committed in the country and are punishable include the following:

  • The sex crimes in the country

Madagascar was previously known as one of the countries that has a lot of prostitutes in the whole world but recently, laws have been passed in the country prohibiting any kind of prostitution and whoever engages in it is prosecuted and taken to jail. Therefore a warning to all tourists who visit the country, however enticing it is you should not engage in any sexual transactions while still in the country lest you be arrested. And all children under the age of 18 should not be sexually abused and whoever is found doing it faces prosecution and a heavy punishment.

  • The bush taxis theft

Bush taxi theft is normally done at night and this is where the robbers set a trap along the way and they steal everything that is within your possession. This has been on the increase of recent and that is why it is advisable that you do not or limit your night travels while in the country.

  • Smash and grabbing in the streets

The smash and grabbing s always done in extremely crowded places or in jam. They will grab anything from you for as long as the car windows are open and sometimes it is carried out by both the driver of the taxi you choose and the locals. He will slow down the car so that whatever you are holding is grabbed.

  • Petty crime

Petty crime in Madagascar is often carried out in crowded places by the mostly teenagers who are always wandering around in search of something to eat and drink. They mostly target tourists because they believe they always walk with a lot of money and that is why they are pick pocketed most. Therefore you should be careful with your bag in crowded places.

  • The high way bandits

Travelling to the different parts of Madagascar can be calm until you meet the high way bandits although note that this does not happen all the time. These normally target the tourists who are coming from the different tourist sites at night and they set up road blocks which always slows t=down the cars and that’s when they get their way.

With the increase in crime in the country, the government of Madagascar is trying hard to work on the curb the vice and that is why you will find that there are security personnel almost everywhere in the country to try and control crime. The Madagascar government came out with a list of some places that are high in crime and these are Fianarantsoa and Toliara which are located in the southern part of the country as well as the capital city of the country Antananarivo. Therefore you should be vigilant in these places and if possible get a local tour guide who will help you while on your visit to the country.

Customs in Madagascar

Madagascar has a lot of customs that are followed by both the young and the old irrelevant of which ethnic group they belong to and some of the important customs that you should know about that are followed include:

  • Many people would love to visit the different villages and get to know more about the locals but before you go, you need to meet with the tribe head so that your meeting with the locals is smooth.it is all about etiquette and respect to the head of the tribe.
  • The respect of elders, when it comes to someone who is older than you in Madagascar you are supposed to accord them with all the respect that they deserve otherwise you might be shunned and it is taken s that of great importance.
  • The right title to use when addressing any person in authority is Tompoko which can loosely be translated as Sir or Madam.

Exports from Madagascar

Everyone would love to export something form Madagascar but there are some of few goods that have restrictions on them and you should be aware so that you do not make a mistake. These include the following:

  • Vanilla, you cannot export vanilla from the country which is more than one thousand grams.
  • Gemstones, you are not supposed to transport any gemstones or any other precious stones because they have been restricted by the government and anyone found transporting them without consent from the government is charged with illegal exportation.
  • All crocodile products from the meat to the skin are not supposed to be exported because of the 2010 government ban that was put on them. This was done because crocodiles were becoming extinct in Madagascar.
  • You are not supposed to export any endangered species of plants and animals in the country especially those that are protected by the government and this applies to fruits as well.

And when you want to export anything else in the country, you need to have proper documentation from the government that approves of all your activities and these include clearances and receipts.

Taking photos in Madagascar

When it comes to visiting a new country, we all want to take photos so that we remember all that we have experienced in that specific country but when it comes to Madagascar you will need to first get consent form the different local people before you take any photos.  Most Madagascar locals do not like it when their photos are taken and therefore you will need to first ask for permission and if they refuse don not take it the wrong way because that is their lifestyle.

The taboos in the country

The people in Madagascar are too suspicious and believe in taboos a lot and that is why they are on this list. The very many taboos that are in the country depend on the different tribal groups that is every tribal group has its own taboo and before you visit the Island you should try to find out the common taboos in the country so that you do not commit an abomination.

The taboos in the country are known as Fady in Malagasy and most of them are based on ancestors and not religion and some fady examples are some tribes are forbidden to eat certain types of food like the lemurs and pork, color red is not allowed at funerals but you can put on white, funeral marches are not done on Thursdays and others are forbidden from bathing in the rivers and lakes to avoid angering the ancestors.

When you learn all the above, your trip to Madagascar will be the best with all the knowledge you will have obtained.

madagascar sea turtles

Discover The Sea Turtles Of Madagascar

Discover the Madagascar sea turtles

Madagascar is an island that can be found in the Indian Ocean. It is believed to have separated from the African continent during continental drifting causing it to float away with some of the most unique plants and animals that at the moment cannot be found in any other country other than Madagascar.

The country has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism in terms of animal species and the trend at the moment is watching the sea turtles on the different coastal beaches of Madagascar. Even though sea turtles can be seen in other places, Madagascar is the perfect place for you to see them and study their wellbeing and also find out how they survive on the Island.

Sea turtles mostly live in seas and when they are looking for food, they can swim long distances even into oceans and then back to where they stay. They only leave the sea when it comes to laying and hatching of eggs.

madagascar sea turtles

Species of sea turtles

Madagascar ha fiver of the seven species that are found in the whole world and these five species are all endangered. The four species that are found in Madagascar are Marine turtles whereas one is a terrestrial turtle.

Marine turtles

The four species of marine turtle include the following:

  • The olive Ridley sea turtles
  • The Hawksbill sea turtles
  • The green sea turtles
  • The loggerhead sea turtles

Some species might be hard to spot but the easiest are the hawksbill turtles and the green sea turtles as these normally come out of the water to lay their eggs on the beaches. The turtles that are found in Madagascar are either terrestrial or marine turtles and all these can be observed in their habitats.

Terrestrial turtles

The terrestrial turtle that is found in Madagascar is known as the Radiated tortoise and it is one of the most beautiful tortoises in the whole world. The radiated tortoise has a black shell that is decorated with yellow beams that look like sun rays and it can live up to 100 years of age. These species can mostly be seen in the southern part of Madagascar in the plateaus, rise up to 50 cm and it had become endangered till the Malagasy people who refer to eating it as a Fady started protecting it. A Fady refers to omens that are committed by the people and once you commit the omen, a sacrifice has to be made in order for one to be cleansed.

The nesting of sea turtles

The sea turtles in Madagascar nest along the beaches where they were born. When it is time for them to lay the eggs, the female turtles return to the beach where they dig nests and lay their eggs. The hatching of the eggs takes about 60 days before the young turtles come out of the egg shells and then they follow the shadow that is created by the moonlight on the sea and head back to the water. They are then taken care of by the old turtles until they are ready to fend for themselves.

The sex of turtles can only be decided through one factor which is where the eggs have been laid. If the eggs are laid in a warm place the turtles turn out to be female and if the eggs are laid in a cold place the turtles turn out to be male.

When they come out of the water for nesting, they look for places where there is less disturbance because they are incredibly sensitive to any movement and that is why it is hard to see them during nesting as they try as much as possible to look for places where there is less disturbance.

After the laying of the eggs, the female turtles rub themselves with sand in order to distract the predators that come looking for the eggs. The whole process of distraction roughly takes two to three hours and when the rubbing of sand is done, the predators follow the scent of the females and move away from the eggs.

How can one watch the sea turtles in Madagascar?

Watching turtles can be done in different ways and you can chose which one you want suits you best. You can either get to see the turtles while snorkeling or go swimming with them. The other option is by sitting on the beach and waiting for them to come out of the water as they lay their eggs but this makes it hard to spot them depending on the season when you get to visit the country.

Where sea turtle watching is carried out in Madagascar

There are several places where you can go for sea turtle watching in Madagascar but there are a few that are famous for having them in plenty. One can decide to go for the nesting period or see them when they are under water. Some of the places where you can go for sea turtle viewing include the following:

  • The Ankazoberavina beach

The Ankazoberavina beach is where you can view the sea turtles nesting. The nesting is done in an extremely quiet place and it is a volcanic island which is surrounded with bush thickets and a white sand beach where you will be able to view them. The beach has an Eco lodge where you can rest and get equipment for sea turtle watching. Remember that when you are viewing the turtles you need to get a spot where they can’t easily sense you as they might hide when they sense anyone near them.

  • Nosey Tanikely

The Nosey Tanikely also houses various sea turtles and these can easily be viewed as they come out to lay their eggs and also search for food. Most sea turtles feed on jellyfish and sponges and you can easily view them from the Nosey Tanikely while taking a swim in the deep waters.

  • Mangily-Ifaty

Mangily-Ifaty is located in the Northern part of Madagascar and most of the tourists refer to it as the village of turtles due to having many sea turtles in the area. The Ifaty is made up of two small dusty fishing villages and the center that was constructed there helps in preserving the turtles that had become endangered due to poaching by the locals. The turtles are kept in the Mangily-Ifaty until they are old enough to be released to their natural habitats in the sea.

  • The Nosey Be

Known to be as one of the top destinations for most tourist who visit Madagascar, Nosey Be is one of the best places where you can view the turtles from. The turtles at Nosey Be can be seen when you go for snorkeling and swimming and during these activities, you will get to see the various types of turtles in the area, see their habitats and observe their living conditions. But if you visit during the right season, you will be able to see some sea turtles on the beaches as they come out of the water to lay their eggs or during hatching.

The sea turtles are becoming endangered in Madagascar due to the fact that their habitats are being destroyed and the increased poaching form the locals since there is a high demand for turtle meat on the Madagascan market.

Watching the turtles in Madagascar has become a very demanding activity that is now carried out by most tourists because it is not as tiring as trekking and it can be done by the whole family. Madagascar is known as the land of sea turtles and to learn more about these amazing creatures, you can book with us and we take you on a journey that you will not forget and we also provide a tour guide who will tell you more about the sea turtles and any other thing that you would love to know about them.

The dangers that sea turtles are facing

The sea turtles in Madagascar are facing a lot of dangers that are causing them to die off and some of them are caused by the various human activities. The waste products mostly those that are not recyclable that are poured into the sea causes most of the sea turtles to suffocate and die off, the other danger that the sea turtles are facing is the way their habitats are being destroyed still by humans through poaching for meat and loss of nesting grounds.

When you visit Madagascar to see the different things, make sure that you get to see the sea turtles because this will help with protecting them from harm.

For all those that want to relax and enjoy Madagascar with their whole family, sea turtle watching is one of the activities that you can carry out. There are several itineraries that we can provide for you with the best prices when it comes to sea turtle viewing and for more information, you can contact us on our website.

 

photo safari madagascar

Madagascar Photo Safari

Photo safaris in Madagascar

A photo safari refers to a safari where one travels all over the world to take photographs of the different places that they visit. A photography safari to Madagascar is one that you do not want to miss as there are several beautiful places with wonderful scenery that you can visit so that you capture everything through the eyes of the lens.

Most photo safaris depend on the activities that you want to carry out when you visit the country like birding, wild life viewing, and primate trekking, exploring the beach and visiting the different villages in Madagascar. The Island is known as the Eden of Africa and that is why it is the best photo safari destination due to its uniqueness from the rest of the world.

photo safari madagascar

Equipment that is needed for photo safaris

There are those things that are necessary when it comes to photo safaris and these cannot be left out because it is what you need to enjoy your photo safari in any given country. The equipment needed include the following:

  • A camera, you will need a good camera especially a mirrorless one in order for you to take good photos of whichever place you will be visiting in Madagascar.
  • A telephoto zoom lens that will help you take the best photos even from a distance.
  • You will need a bean bag to help you with the cameras.

As you head out for the photo safaris in Madagascar remember that there are people in the background of whatever feature you want and before you take that photograph ask them for their permission or if not you can ask them politely to first move away before you take the said photograph because most locals find it rude if you just take their photographs without permission.

Photo safaris in Madagascar can be done through three ways and these include the following:

  • Road transport

You can go for your photo safari while riding a bicycle or using a photo safari van. All these allow you to take the best photographs about everything that you see on the road and you get to make stops just to observe before taking the shots.

  • Air transport

Air transport allows you to take the needed aerial photos. This gives you a different view of the different tourist attractions in Madagascar.  We can charter for you a plane that can take you over the different places so that you get the perfect points when taking the photos.

The different places that you can visit for a photo safari in Madagascar are listed below so that you are spoilt for choice on exactly where to go.

Photo safari to the Isalo national park

The Isalo national Park is one of the few places in Madagascar where one can go for a photo safari. The Park has a natural swimming pool that can be seen when one goes for a trek through the Park and it’s commonly known as the Piscine Naturelle. The Piscine Naturelle is surrounded by a lot of greenery that makes it look like Paradise and the natural waters that are found in the pool also give it an eccentric look making it the perfect place for one to go for a photo safari.

You will also be able to take photos of the various wild life that is found in the Park for example the lemurs, reptiles, chameleons and the different species of birds that are considered to be endemic to Madagascar. Therefore get your camera ready to take all the beautiful shots that you can get of the piscine naturelle.

Photo safari to the Tsingy Bemaraha

There are several Tsingy formations throughout Madagascar but the best is the Tsingy Bemaraha and unlike other Tsingys that are red in color, the Tsingy Bemaraha is grey. When you visit the Tsingy you will get a chance to see the Tsingy Bemaraha national Park where various species of wild life habitate from like birds and lemurs and you get photos of these rare species that cannot be seen anywhere else apart from Madagascar.

The Tsingy is filled with spiky stones and that is why it is advisable for one to walk carefully while on a trek so as to avoid being pierced by one of the tiny sharp edges. It also has a bridge that connects the two Tsingys and this is the best place for one to take photos of themselves on the hanging bridge and it is the perfect place to also view the larger part of the Tsingy Bemaraha.

The Nosey Be

Nosey be is the largest Island in Madagascar and it is one of the most visited in the country. It has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism especially activities and some of these include visiting the Nosey Komba where you get to enjoy the beach activities, scuba diving and snorkeling, fishing, getting to know the locals and their culture and visiting the cathedral that is found in Nosey Be. The food that is prepared by the locals is also to die for and should not be missed as most of it is got straight from the gardens to the kitchen. The vast space that the Nosey be covers gives you a chance to take photos of the different places that you will visit including animals that can be seen in the Parks especially the lemurs and birds.

Photo safari to the Tsingy Rouge

The Tsingy Rouge is one of the many Tsingys that are found in Madagascar and one of the top destinations for a photo safari. The Tsingy Rouge as formed due to the rapid deforestation by the locals because they wanted more land for farming and settlement. The deforestation led to soil erosion that was extremely severe and this led to the formation of the red Tsingy Rouge. The color of the rouge varies between red and pink and this makes it good for photos especially when the sun is setting.

The Baobab Avenue

The Baobab Avenue is filled with different species of baobab trees that can be found on either side of the road causing a great scenery. In the Avenue of baobabs you will also find the baobab of love and these are two trees that grew while entwined in each other and many couples take photos here to get luck in their relationship.

The Avenue of baobabs has been declared a preserved area by the government due to the increased deforestation by the locals in Madagascar. This has great has greatly led to their increase in number and the government is also planting more baobabs on the Avenue to boost their species. Entrance to the avenue of baobabs is free and all you need is to carry your camera and go enjoy the setting sun while nestled between the huge baobab trees.

 

 

Primate trekking

Primate trekking can be done in most of the National parks that are found in Madagascar. The Lemur is a type of primate that belongs to the monkey family although it has some characteristics that differ from the monkeys. These can easily be spotted during November because this is when most of them are in the giving birth process and in this time you get to see the various lemur birth young and old at the same time. The lemur come with different species although some of the lemur species have become endangered due to being hunted down by the fossa and the reduction of their home through deforestation.

The reserves where the lemur can be found have trained tour guides who will take you through the trekking and you might spot a fossa in one of them. When you are taking photos of the lemur make sure there is no light to your camera as this will scare them away into hiding.

The Ifaty villages

Madagascar has a lot of villages that are scattered across the country and Ifaty is one of them. It provide the perfect place for one to have a photo safari. When you visit the Ifaty villages you will get to see the way they live, their fishing activities, how they sustain themselves and other ways that keep them together even when they are of different ethnic groups.

The Ifaty is known for being dusty but when you get to the village, there are numerous things that you can photos of including the old colonial houses that were constructed by the French. But before you take photos you need to first approach the clan head and ask for permission to visit the village and also ask the groups of people for permission to take their photos.

Preparing you for a photo safari is easy for as long as the necessary equipment is available and it does not matter whether you are an amateur or not, there will be someone who will train you on how to hold your equipment and what is needed to get the perfect picture.

 

 

cycling bike Madagascar

Cycling in Madagascar, Biking Tours

Madagascar biking tours

The uniqueness that is found in Madagascar is just enough to make you want to visit the country and experience it on your own and what better way to see the wilderness other than by cycling across the country. This can apply to all those that have love for nature and are willing both inland and outside the various tourist attractions and this can be achieved through booking with us so that we ensure you have a good cycling tour in Madagascar.  During the cycling tours, you will get a close look at the different animals in the National Parks, birds and you will also get to meet the different locals and learn more about their culture and customs.

The landscape in Madagascar is quite favorable when it comes to cycling and that is why we have various itineraries that we can draft for you and you get to choose which one works for you best and come and experience the wonders of Madagascar on two wheels.

cycling bike Madagascar

When we talk about cycling or bike riding tours in Madagascar, these are done from one state to another in the country and the cycling rides are connected. You will be riding from one city to the next and resting in the destination city before continuing with your cycling. Cycling in Madagascar can be done in various towns and cities across the Island and some of the places where you can go for your cycling experience have been stated below so that you get to choose where you would like to go although all the places have a lot to offer during the cycling tour.

The different equipment needed for bike tours

Before you go for biking, there are different equipment that you will need when it comes to bike riding and these include:

  • Riding gloves, these will help you get a good grip on the bicycle throughout the ride and will also help you avoid getting blisters on your palms.
  • Knee and elbow caps covers these help avoid bruises on both the knee and elbows in case of a fall during cycling.
  • A helmet is a must as you will not be around to go for the tour without one.
  • A bike is also a must as you cannot go for cycling without one but before venturing out make sure you check to see whether the brakes work and carry a tool box with you when you start your cycling trip.
  • A map showing you all the routes that you will use while cycling around the Island.

And these can all be hired at a small price from the different shops that are found in the country or some tour travel companies provide them for you and all the cycling can be done only when you have a guide with you.

Biking through Antananarivo

Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar also known as Tana and this is where the cycling tour will begin from. The city has a lot of people and it is always chaotic and this means that it will be too crowded and therefore you should be ready for the chaos in the city. Straight from the airport, you get to rest before you venture out for the biking experience.

Antananarivo is filled with a lot of tourist attractions that you will see while biking and these include visiting the different markets, the cathedral, the crocodile farm, see the lemurs jumping form one tree to the next, the different birds that are found in the different Parks in Antananarivo and many more others and you will get to experience all this on a bicycle with all your friends.

Biking through Antsirabe from Antananarivo

The best way to tour Antsirabe is through biking. The landscape in the area does not actually allow you to use cars all the way and that is why if you want to go anywhere in Antsirabe, the best way to do that is by cycling. The Biking trip to through Antsirabe is about 50 kilometers and through this you get to mix with the locals easily and take as many outdoor photos as you want.

On your biking trip through Antsirabe, you will be able to visit the Lac Andriakiba Lake where you will get to after using a sandy and rock route during biking. The bike ride through the city can be done in one day and you can actually rest at the Lake as you enjoy your picnic and listen to the various stories told by the locals. The lake has a lot of Fadys that are not allowed to be done by the locals and foreigners for example, one cannot wash clothes from the Lake especially when they are silk and you are not to eat pork near the Lake.

There is also a story that is told by many locals about a girl who drowned during a swimming competition and she was pregnant. The competition was set up so that the winner could marry a rich man and when she drowned her ghost kept on wandering around the banks of the Lake till date and she can be seen very early in the morning. All these stories are told by locals and your tour guide who will take you through the bike riding session.

In case you do not have any equipment that you can use when it comes to biking, there are several equipment that is always for hire and this ranges from the bikes, helmets, water bottles, rubber gloves and any other that can be used while riding. The bike ride will take you through the various villages where you get to see children playing around, women preparing food, the schools found in the villages and the beautiful landscape in the area.

Biking through the Ranomafana

The ride through Ranomafana will give an insight of what the wild actually looks like in Madagascar.  The track in Ranomafana is filled with climbs up on hills, descents and straight roads and you can also get a few hours off cycling and get to track the lemurs in Ranomafana national Park, carry out birding although this is done in the morning due to the lighting, view other wild animals that are found in the Ranomafana National Park and many more others. Throughout your cycling, you will get to meet the different village people and get to know more about their culture and the National Park will be your resting place after a long day cycling. As you carry out your cycling skills, you will need maps and a tour guide to take you through the marked routes that are meant for cycling.

Biking through the Ambalavao from Fianarantsoa

Ambalavao is Madagascar’s wine city due to the wide production that is carried out in the city and it is located in the southern Part of Madagascar. The city is filled with a good landscape that will give you a chance to admire close up as you zoom past it on your bicycle and take some photos, mix and talk to the Bara and Bestileo ethnic groups of people who are the dominant locals living in the area, visit other tourist attraction sites in the area, visit the market and get to taste the wine in the evening as you rest after cycling the whole day.  The ride through the Ambalavao is one experience that you will not forget not with all the photos you will get to take while on your tour.

Ambalavao is also known as the city where the famous Antaimoro paper is produced from and you can visit the industrial part of the city as you cycle through. The cycling to Ambalavao from the nearest city is 77 kilometers and therefore you should go when you are well prepared.

Bike riding through Andringita National Park from Ambalavao

It is a much shorter distance when you bike ride from Ambalavao to Andringita and the cycling will take you over 47 kilometers to reach the Park. When you get to Andringita you will be able to view the highest summit in Madagascar and also get a chance to hike though the clearly marked trail treks. You get to make a stopover at the National Park and get to see the various wild animals that habitate in the park and some of these include lemurs, the different endemic bird species, reptiles and many more others. During the trek through the Andringita, you will find the grotto of the famous thief of the zebu cattle who was known as Ijajofo and also get to rest at the waterfall that is found in the Park and also used by the locals for cleansing them off their curses.

These are some of the places where you can go for bike riding in Madagascar but note that there are some others that have not been mentioned. Get in touch with us so that we can organize your bike tour through the Madagascar paradise.

madagascar foods

Madagascar Foods, Culinary Guide, Best Cuisines & Dishes

Food tours in Madagascar

When it comes to food in Madagascar, everything about it reflects the uniqueness of the country. The food that is prepared in Madagascar shows the different cultures that are in the country and it has its origins form the French colonialists, the Arabs mostly from Middle East, Indonesia and East Africa. Madagascar has a unique flavor when it comes to food and when you head out to the Island for a food tour be sure to ready your taste buds because you will not regret your food safari with us to the Madagascan Island.

madagascar foods

The food tours are organized according to the different dishes and type of food that is found in the country in the different area around the Island and some of these food tours include the following:

The vegetarian food tour in Madagascar

The Malagasy people grow a lot of vegetables and you will never lack when it comes to them as you pass through the different towns you will be able to see the different vegetable stands filled with whatever you need and the good thing about the vegetables on the stands is that they are always fresh out of the garden. And to all the vegetarians who visit the country, you should be able to get whatever you need in the country. Some of the vegetarian dishes that are found in Madagascar include:

  • Minsao

This is an extremely good dish that for all vegetarians that is prepared in the different parts of the country. It is a mixture of ramen noodles and vegetables. It is a good meal that should not be missed when you visit Madagascar.

  • The Lasary

This is a mixture of various vegetables into one dish and it is mostly served with rice. It is mostly tomato salsa and mixed with chopped parsley. This is served in the different restaurants around the Island and you should not miss it when you get the chance.

 

 

 

  • The Madagascan beans

The Madagascan beans are always served as a side dish with other vegetables although sometimes they are sometimes served as the main course. Cooked to a soft savory and simmered taste, they are usually white in color and they are the best for vegetarians. Make sure you have a helping when you get to the country.

The hot sauces in Madagascar

Madagascar is a country that is known for having a lot of hot sauces due to the fact that they have an Asian history. Are you a fan of hot sauces or you just want to try out the different sauces for the first time? Then the best place and time to do is by visiting Madagascar. Some of the hot sauces served in the country include:

  • The Archard

Mostly found in the western part of the country, the Archard is a blend of vegetables or green mangos and it is always blended in a lot of spices. It is a unique taste and you should have a go at it while in the country.

  • The Sakay

Not all the sauces that are found in Madagascar are hot but the few that are hot are worth the try. The Sakay is one of the few hot sauce dishes prepared in the country and it is prepared differently depending on who is preparing it. You must wondering why there isn’t a lot of hot pepper food and yet there are very many spices that are found on the market. But the answer is most of them end up being served as side dishes.

The Sakay is always orange in color and when you eat it, it feels like you are hot on fire and a taste of it will not hurt your taste buds.

The traditional Madagascar dishes

Madagascar as a country has a lot of local dishes that are extremely tasty and you would not want to miss out on these dishes while on your food tour. Some of the local dishes include:

 

  • The Tilapia a’ la Malagasy

This is a tilapia dish that is specifically prepared in the Malagasy way. The tilapia is cooked with ginger, greens, tomatoes, different herbs, onions and garlic which all leave the fish with an exquisite tender taste with a lot of favors.

  • The Romazava

This is a type of meat dish that is prepared by different chefs in the Madagascan country and it is prepared in a way that the meat is mixed in source of garlic, tomatoes, stewed greens all in one pan and it is cooked for a long time until when it practically falls apart.

  • The Ravitoto

You will be shocked to find out that the Ravitoto dish refers to mashed cassava leaves. The cassava leaves are cooked and some spices including coconut milk are added to the mashed leaves to give off a great taste. Sometimes it is mixed with meat especially pork and the taste between the sweetness of the meat and the bitterness of the leaves is a good balance you need to taste.

  • The Laoka

This is a blend of various Madagascan food and species like tomatoes, ginger, vanilla, turmeric and all these are mixed too get the best Laoka. It is mostly vegetarian but sometimes salted fish and meat are added to the mixture so before you order for it, you should first ask whether it is actually plain or mixed with the meat.

  • The Zebu

The Zebu is a type of meat that is got from a humped cow and it can be found all over the island. If you are a meat fun, then this is the right place to be. The zebu can be cooked in many ways but it is always served when it is tender and irrelevant of how it is prepared, it always tastes good and you can also get a chance to prepare it yourself with the help of the locals.

The popular snacks in Madagascar

Besides food, there are various snacks that are served in Madagascar and these include the following:

  • The Mofo Anana and Mofo

These are just bread fritters that are mixed with spices and greens. They can be served with different dishes like pumpkin fritters and they are the best when it comes to fritters in the country.

The French cuisines in Madagascar

Madagascar being a former French colony, it has different French cuisines that they have maintained and these are still served widely across the Island. If you cannot get these dishes in France, then you have a chance to get them in Madagascar. Some of these dishes include:

  • The Magret de canard

This French dish comprises of slow cooked duck and roasted duck breast and they are known as the traditional French dishes. This dish is the best when it comes to French dishes and it can be served at the different restaurants on the Island.

  • The Zebu au poivre vert

The dish is made up of local greens that are grown in the gardens around the island.  You will also find many of them being sold in the different stands in the market. Green pepper is used to make the sauce tasty and tis tangy mustard sauce should be tasted by everyone due to its great taste.

  • The Foie Gras

The foie Gras is loosely translated as duck liver and it is a special when it comes to food in Madagascar. The recipe for the Foie Gras has been used for over twenty eight years and it is a specialty that you do not want to miss to taste and you will find that it is exceedingly good.

The rice in Madagascar

When you talk about food in Madagascar, then be sure to eat all kinds of rice that is locally grown on the Island. Rice can be eaten for more than three times a day and if you enter into any restaurant and ask for food, the rice will cover the largest part of the plate. The rice can be cooked in different ways and this can be eaten with various other dishes.

The Madagascan desert

Madagascar is also known for her many deserts that are served with every meal and in order to enjoy your stay in Madagascar, then you need to ask for at least one serving of desert so that your food tour will be worth it.

  • The Koba Akondro

This is a steamed peanut and banana cake. It is dense and steamed with peanut, bananas, rice flour and sweeteners.  The cake is steamed in cake logs and sliced up for serving.

  • The Mofo Akondro

These are banana fritters that are sold in many restaurants or you can find them along the street food vendor machines and they are normally tasty when they are still hot.

When it comes to food tours in the Madagascar, it is all about knowing the different types of food that are grown in the country, where its sold and getting to taste the different cuisines especially if you ae a foodie.

 

Madagascar Frog

Madagascar Wildlife, Endemic Animal Species

Madagascar endemic animal species

Madagascar is known for her unique fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The unique animals that are found in the different Parks around the Island of Madagascar have made it become one of the best destinations in the world since they are all endemic to the Island. The combination of all these endemic animal species make it a paradise and a fun trip. There are many endemic animal species and some of the most common ones include the following

Madagascar Frog

The Tomato frog

The tomato frog can be found in the swampy areas around Madagascar. They are referred to as the tomato frogs due to their reddish orange color that resembles a tomato and this applies to the female ones and when it comes to the male ones, these have a reddish brown color and this is how you can tell them apart. They mostly feed on insects and other small animals and these are attacked in a unique way. They sit dormant in a specific position where they cannot easily be seen and give a surprise ambush to the prey. They are considered poisonous because they release a sticky fluid which chases away whatever wants to attack them.

The Indri

The Indri is part of the Lemur family and it is the largest lemur in Madagascar. They mostly move from one tree to the next and they can be found in the rain forests that are located in the Eastern Part of the country. Due to their long legs and wide feet, they can jump between trees that are thirty meters apart because they can firmly hold themselves.

The Indris weighs up to 10 kilograms and is considered as one of the protected animals on the Island due to the fact that they are becoming extinct. As a way of communication, they make a lot of noise to each other and this noise can be heard miles away. The Indri also live in groups of four to eight and there is always one male who leads all the groups.

The Aye-aye

The Aye-aye can be found in the forests that are along the coast of Madagascar. They can mostly be seen at night due to their nocturnal nature and considered one of the most endangered species in the country. Their dark brown color, long thin nails and big shiny eyes makes most people to kill them on sight as they are scary to look at. They hunt at night and feed on honey, insects, larvae, fruits plus any other type of food that they can find. They use their long clawed hands to move from one tree to the next, move over 4 kilometers in search of food and use their wide ears to listen to danger and while in search of food. The reason as to why they are reaching a point of extinction is that they are being killed on sight due to their scary nature and yet they are quite harmless.

The Panther chameleon      

The panther chameleon which is as big as a cat and over 20 inches long is one of the largest chameleons in the world habituating in the North western and central parts of Madagascar especially in the forests that are located in those specific areas. When it comes to telling which panther chameleon is male and female, color is mostly used as the males have bright colors as compared to the females and they all come in different shades of green red, blue, striped or orange.

The female chameleon panthers turn a shade lighter only during breeding whereas the male change their color while defending themselves after sensing danger or during breeding and the change of color is always done at a faster rate as compared to other chameleons. There are other conditions that affect the color changing of the Panther chameleon and these include the temperature, emotions of the chameleon and light.

The giraffe weevil

The giraffe weevil is commonly known because of its long neck, black shell and tiny legs. It can be found in many forests of Madagascar and they live on trees where they build their nests for resting and they are still many because they are hardly hunted down by any predator. The neck of the giraffe weevil ia about 2.5 centimeters although the neck of the males is three times longer than that of the female weevil and this makes them the largest weevils in the weevil family.

The giraffe weevil defends its self by using the red shell and its hind legs and this is mostly done when they are fighting other males in the mating season. Their long necks are also for building of the nests and this is done by the male giraffe weevil.

 

The Sifakas

The Sifaka is also part of the Lemur family although it is not as large as the Indri and more attractive to look at. The sifakas can usually be found in groups of six to ten living in trees and they normally feed on bugs, fruits and leaves and they weigh up to almost six kilograms which allows them to easily jump from one tree to the next.

The sifakas come in different shades that is black, grey, white and gold and there are three types of Sifakas that are found in Madagascar. These are the diademed Sifaka, the golden Sifaka and the Coquerel Sifaka. They are also endangered species due to the cutting down of trees by the locals but they are protected by the government.

The satanic leaf tailed gecko

This is a nocturnal animal are masters of color changing and that is why it is nearly impossible to spot one especially if they sit in one place without moving. The gecko can also be identified using the vein shaped structures that are found on top of its skin and this helps it camouflage its looks to resemble a withered leaf. They are endemic to Madagascar, about 15 centimeters long and come in different colors like yellow, grey, brown, orange and many more others. The satanic leaf tailed gecko rests during the day and then comes out during the night.

The satanic gecko is known to either open it smooth wide which is red in color or change color and this distracts its predators enabling it to escape easily.

The Fossa

The Fossa is the only carnivore on the Island and it normally feeds on the Lemur leading to it being endangered. The fossa have a red to brown coating and a very long tail which makes them to be easily distinguished from the rest and they weigh over ten kilograms and rise to over six feet. Unlike other animals found in Madagascar, the Fossa walks like humans using its hind legs and this has given it enough stability when it is jumping from one tree to the next.

The Fossa also jumps from one tree to the next and hunts both during the day and night which puts the already endangered lemur into more extinction. They feed on lizards, frogs, birds and they use their long sharp claws and teeth to tear into their prey pretty quickly ending their life. Although with the increasing the deforestation in the country, the Fossa is also becoming extinct because they no longer have where to stay.

The Madagascar Pochard

The Madagascar Pochard can be seen on the waters of Madagascar and was believed to be extinct until some were found floating away in the country. They are still endemic in Madagascar and in order to be able to identify them properly they have a grey beak, white to cream belly and their wings are brown to a reddish color. It is becoming more hard to spot due to the scarcity of food where it lives but you will still be able to see a few of the Pochard ducks swimming away on most fresh waters around Madagascar.

The Brookesia chameleon

The Brookesia chameleon is the smallest chameleon with a length of only 33 millimeters, found in Madagascar and it can be seen around the different parks in the trees, rocks and many more other places especially on leaves. They hide from their predators by acting dead which makes them look like dead fallen leaves. They usually feed on small insects that they capture with their tongues.

The Blue Coua

Madagascar has many bird species that amount to over 250 and most of these are endemic and one of the best birds that you should look out for is the Blue Coua. The Blue Coua belongs to the cuckoo family and is about 17 inches long, blue in color like the name suggests and extremely pretty to look at. Note that the blue they have alternates between a darker shade and a lighter shade of blue.

They build their own nests and lay one egg during the breeding and surprisingly they sit on their eggs until they reach the hatching process.

 

Madagascar Hiking

Madagascar Hiking & Trekking Adventure Trips

Hiking in Madagascar

Madagascar has a very good landscape that can be viewed from the airplanes before you set foot into the country. When you get to the country, the landscape provides you with enough possibilities of trekking and hiking which will be good for your health.

We can always arrange for you to go to the best hiking places in Madagascar and you get to enjoy these and much more as you tour the island. The breathtaking scenery in the country is one to die for and therefore you should not miss it.

Madagascar Hiking

There are not many places where you can enjoy your hike in Madagascar and most of them are in the different National parks that are located in the country. You must be wondering why most of the hiking trails are found in the national forest but this is because most of them are located on altitudes that allow some hiking to take place and these have different resting places in case you get too tired from the hikes. We have taken the liberty to introduce you to some of the best hiking areas on the island below:

Where To Go Hiking in Madagascar?

The highlands

The highlands are located south of Tana and it offers one of the best hiking places in the country. You will find the mountain of Ambondrombe here and there are specific hiking routes in the area which provide the perfect place for one to take a hike. There are also other projects that are that are found in the area and a route leading to the gold mines. The trek along the highlands normally take about two days for you to fully complete it.

The highlands are made up of different hills that are scattered all over the place and these can easily be accessed with the help of a tour guide. A visit to the Ambondrombe will have you take a hike through the villages and you will be able to see the different projects that the villagers have undertaken like the sewing. There is also a cave that you can hike to in the area and tombs and your hike will be worthwhile.

 

The Ankarana National Park  Treks    

The Ankarana national Park located in Diego Suarez in the northern part of the country. The Park is exclusively secluded and getting there will be a lot of work especially if you are hiking to the center of the park. As you hike up the park, you will find a campsite where you can easily rest after the long hike and due to its secluded location, you will be able to have all the privacy that you need and this part of the country can easily be accessed from the Diego Suarez.

The Andringita Mountains Hiking

The Andringita Mountains rise to a range of 2658 meters high and are one of the most frequented hiking places in Madagascar. It has very rocky steep routes that are not for the faint hearted but enjoyable. There are different routes that one can take and these are:

  • The 15 kilometer route that is filled with rare palm trees and has a natural swimming pool along it and this is known as the Isahavato route
  • The 18 kilometer route that is known as the Imaitso and you can enjoy birding and lemur trekking while on this route.
  • The 6 kilometer route that has sacred caves and cascades and this is known as the Asaramantira route.
  • The 13 kilometer route which is known as the Diavolana route and it is known to open to a landscape known as the lunar.

The decision of which route to use is entirely dependent on you as a person but just know that you will have fun on whichever route that you chose. The trekking to the summit will take about two days to be completed.

Trekking through Isalo national park

The Isalo National Park was established in 1962 and is located in the south western part of the country. The park is a home to many wild life and these include over 80 bird species most of which are endemic, fourteen nocturnal lemurs and over 500 species of plants found in the park. You will need an excellent guide to take you through the park while explaining about all that you will find.

The Isalo is not majorly known to have a lot of wild animals but there are other features that provide good scenery for the tourists especially the dense endemic plants that include the palms and elephant foots. There are several routes that are used to get into the park and some of these include:

  • The Namaza circuit

This trail is one of the longest when it comes to trekking and it might cost extra money but you will enjoy the view when it comes to the caves and canyons that are found in the area and you should note that it is the most challenging and therefore is reserved for mostly those that are fit.

  • The piscine naturelle

There is a natural cave found on this route and a beautiful waterfall that you can view as you trek through the park. It has a lot of canyons that are found there and these offer refreshments when one has finished the hike.

The trek will definitely be done on foot with an experienced tour guide and the cost will range between 20,000 Ar on foot minus the tour guide fees.

  • The canyon des singes

This can loosely be translated as the canyon of monkeys and it is the most popularly used route. It is filled with foliage that is too thick to penetrate but the good thing about this is that you will be able to see the different lemurs jumping from one tree to another. During the trek, you will need a tour guide who will take you through the treks. Sometimes the tourists also want to use vans but these are a bit more expensive as compared to the foot trekking.

But with all above trek trails, the best to use is found in the southern part of the park and it is called the Masalo route and it is considered the best because it covers part of the largest part of the park and you get to see all the beautiful scenery.

The Bemaraha National park

This is found in a remote place in the western part of Madagascar and it comprises one of the oldest limestone pinnacles in the country. The best time for one to visit the park is during the dry season as you will be able to hike up the reefs comfortably without slipping as it is during the rainy season. There are also two canyons in the area that were formed due to the erosion that took place when the rains washed away the corals and shells that were left by the sea. These canyons provide the perfect routes for hiking especially in the morning and during the hike, you can also get a chance to go birding while at it.

The Marojejy National Park

The Marojejy National park is located in the North Eastern part of Madagascar in two towns that is Sambava and Andapa. Previously the park had a lot of hiking routes that lead into it but they were all sealed off and only one of them remained.

There are three camps that are situated along the route and they are all well equipped for one to rest after a long day while hiking and it also leads to the Manantenina village where you will be able to see and interact with hem and get to know more about the country and the legends surrounding the park. Most of the hiking here is mostly done during the dry season because the wet season I an extremely bad one due to the slippery trekking routes that are found in the park.

The Masoala peninsula National park

The Masoala peninsula National park stretches out to the ocean and can be accessed through a small town known Maroantsetra. The trek in this park is mostly done during the mornings and evenings since this is the only time that you will be able to see the lemur that roams around the park. You will have to trek through the forests, the marine reserves and to places like the Tampolo.

When you visit the Madagascan Island, you will be able to go hiking and trekking in the different parts of the country and you will also need to get somewhere to stay after the hike. There are great facilities that you will find in the close proximities of the different hike areas.

While hiking in Madagascar, you will also be able to go birding and see the different bird life that is in the country, view the wildlife that is located in the area as the only way to really view all this plus enjoy the beautiful scenery is by taking nature walks and treks around the country.

tsingy national park

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park Madagascar

The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

Madagascar is one of the best destinations in Africa and this is because of the unique tourist attractions that are found in the area and one of these is the Tsingy de Bemaraha. The Park is extremely hard to reach due to the bad roads that lead to the Park but is also filled with a lot of wild life and plantations that are endemic to the country and that is why you should not miss visiting the Park while in Madagascar and some of these include over 15 bat species, turtles, 650 plant species, eight species of lemur and many more others.

tsingy national park

The word Tsingy is Malagasy word that can loosely be translated as walking on tiptoes and this is the due to the spiky nature of the several surroundings of the Park that were formed from the limestone spiky stones many years back. The spiky nature of the landscape is why people should be careful while carrying out nature walks through the Park.

The Tsingy de Bemaraha is one of the most breath taking tourist sites on the Island of Madagascar and one of the top most destinations in the country and due to its uniqueness it was made a UNESCO heritage site which means it is a protected area and no one is allowed to encroach on it. The Tsingy de Bemaraha is located in the North part of the Tsingy and is surrounded by a seasonal river known as the Manambolo River. The best way to see and get to the Park is by use of a boat on the River although you can go by road and get to the crocodile infested river as you head to the Park.

Activities that can be carried out in the Tsingy

There are several activities that one can carry out while on their visit to the Tsingy National park and some of these include the following:

Hiking in the Tsingy

The landscape that is found in the Tsingy is gives tourist a field trip when it comes to hiking. There are several routes and hiking trails that you can use for trekking but you need to be extremely ready for the trek before setting out. The trekking crew normally sets out in the morning while the second goes in at around midday and they always have a limited number of people to avoid congestion especially when it comes to hiking. The two trek trails that can be used when it comes to trekking include the following:

  • The Andamozavaky

The Andamozavaky is one of the trek routes that can be used in the Tsingy and gives you the perfect view of the stony pinnacles that are found in the area. This route goes through the forest and you emerge in the center of the various pinnacle and remember to carry drinking water while on this trail.

  • The Manambolo gorge trail

The second trek trail that can be used is the Ranotsara and this leads you out of the forest to the great view of the various limestone rocks that are found in the area but in order for one to use this route you will need a canoe which will lead you past the gorge and other interesting things to see.

Visit the locals

Just like any other city in Madagascar, the Tsingy is surrounded by different ethnic groups of people living there and a visit to the place will give you a chance to get to know the different cultures and customs that are practiced in the area. They have a lot of cultural things that you can buy as souvenirs and also get to taste the delicious meals that are prepared by the locals.

When to visit the Park

The best times to visit the Tsingy is from April to November during the dry season. The dry season is the best because during this time, the roads leading to the park are always dusty but a little bit passable as compared to the rainy season and note that the park is only open during the dry season.

Madagascar is known to have very bad roads and when it comes to the rainy season the roads are nearly impassable due to the mud and floods. The rainy season also makes it hard for tourists to enjoy trekking and that is why it is always best to time to the dry season for your visit to the Tsingy.

How to get to the Tsingy national Park

You can a hired personalized car or book with us to help you with the transportation of either privately or with a group of other tourists. The ride to the Tsingy will be extremely bumpy and the cause of this is the presence of the bad roads all the way from the capital city to the Tsingy and therefore you should be prepared for the road bumps and this might bring about a slight delay in your arrival to the Tsingy.

As much as getting to the Tsingy is bit hard, getting into the Tsingy National Park is harder due to the hard terrains that are found in the area. A tour guide will be there with you to make sure that you get to your destination safe and sound so that you enjoy your trip to the Tsingy de Bemaraha.

Accommodation facilities in and Near Tsingy

Due to the difficulty it takes for one to reach the Tsingy National Park, it is extremely hard to get accommodations nearby, there are a few that are in the next village and it also has three camping sites where you can rest especially those that love the wilderness at the night. Some of the accommodation facilities that one can use when they visit the Tsingy and these include:

  • The Tsingy lodge

The Tsingy lodge is filled with modest bungalows that are self-contained and these were constructed with the best local materials from the walls to the roofing. It is owned by a couple that live in the area and well managed as they provide one with the best services like the delicious local food and the 24/7 customer care. The location where it is found is safe and quiet allowing you the best rest after a long day in the Park.

  • The L’olympe du Bemaraha

The L’olympe du Bemaraha has several bungalow rooms ranging from single rooms to the quadruplets and all these come in different prices depending on the one that you want. It is located near the Manombolo River I a wall fence and they provide good meals throughout the day.

  • The Tana Ankoay

The Tana Ankoay has a very good environment that is conducive for your stay and they have self-contained rooms with hot running water which offer you privacy to the guests. They provide good meals and also offer transportation to the Park and a tour guide to escort you.

The three camp sites that can be found in the Tsingy include the following:

 

 

  • The camp Croco

The camp Croco is located near the ANGAP camp. It has bathrooms that have hot running water although the toilet facilities are shared and they provide good meals to the different tourists like local cuisines. They have large tents that can accommodate everyone but if you want to put up your own tent it goes up for 40,000AR.

  • The ANGAP camp

This is the cheapest camp in the Tsingy and can be afforded by any one. They have shared bathroom and toilet facilities but the downside is that you will need to carry the things that you will need to use. The only upside about using the ANGAP is that it gives you easy access to the Tsingy National Park.

  • The camp Manambolo

The camp Manambolo is located next to the ANGAP camp and it offers one basic accommodation and extremely tasty food. They also have a great view of the Park and you can either get a tent at a fair price or you can come with your own tent.

The Tsingy De Bemaraha is one of the country’s nature preserves and the scenery that it gives off is one of the few things that make the place a top destination for most tourists. Make sure that you book first especially during the peak season so as to enjoy your trip with less worries.

The entry costs to the Park are different depending on a number of days that you are going to spend in the Park and the different costs include:

  • Nine dollars for one day
  • Twelve dollars for two days

And the entry fees stated above are independent of the fees that you are going to pay for the local guides and the potters who are going to help you carry your stuff during the trekking period and it does not mean that that you get to only spend one or two days, you can spend as many days as you want in the Tsingy.

 

 

                                                                

madagascar sand

Madagascar Facts

Facts about Madagascar

Madagascar as a country got her independence on 26th June after the French colonialists left their country. Many people do not the exact facts about Madagascar as a country much less her history. Before you plan your trip to the Madagascan Island, it is best to know more about the country that you are trying to visit and here are a few things that make the Island a unique destination.

The death penalty

Madagascar had a death penalty for many years and it was handed down to all those that were found guilty and fit for the death penalty but in 2015, the country joined other countries all across the world and abolished the death penalty.

Sports in Madagascar

Whereas other countries have football or netball as their main sport, Madagascar has stuck to Moraingy as her major sport. The sport involves fighting between two people and the winner gets a surprise and it is where they use bare knuckles during the fights. It is extremely popular all across the Madagascan Island.

Wealth in Madagascar

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the whole world. Almost half her population is living in abject poverty and are illiterate making it hard for them to get a decent job to sustain themselves. Most of the locals in Madagascar are living off farming and this is how they sustain themselves and their families.

madagascar sand

The traditional wear

When it comes to clothes both the women and men put on the same thing. The traditional wear for the Madagascar people is known as the Lamba and it is put on by everyone irrelevant of the sex. The Lamba comes in different sizes and colors and they are rectangular and wrapped around the body and the length of the cloth depends on the height of someone.

The taboos in the country            

Madagascar has a lot of cultural taboos that you need to be aware of before you travel to the country and these are locally known as the Fadys. The tour guides who will be with you will try as much as possible to tell you the different don’ts so that you do not end up angering the locals by doing something that is considered not appropriate. Some of the taboos include:

  • You can never wear red to a funeral but you can wear it when going for sacrifices.
  • You can never eat the Angonoka tortoise because it is considered bad luck by the locals.

And when you commit a fady, a sacrifice is supposed to be carried out so that you are cleansed of all the bad omens that might happen to you if you don’t go for cleansing.

The wildlife in Madagascar

The wildlife in Madagascar is extremely friendly because you will not find any predators lounging around on the island. The only thing that would cause harm are the Nile crocodiles but these have been hunted to almost extinction because their skin is on a high demand when it comes to the Madagascan market. The rest are not so lethal and you will not find any dangerous snakes, spiders or anything that will scare you making it an extremely safe place for one to have a nature walk.

The road trips to Madagascar

Madagascar has a lot of roads but they are all in an extremely poor condition making it hard to travel on them. Your time in the country will be spent driving from one place to another even when the distance between the two places is short.

A visit to the Madagascar will teach you how to be patient and keep time. Due to the poor nature of the roads you will need to plan accordingly so that you get to your destinations on time. If you are to be at your destination at 9:00 am then you need to leave at 7:00 am and give yourself an allowance of an hour or else you might be late and You need to also be patient with the drivers as they cannot over speed when it comes to driving due to the nature of the roads.

The plants in Madagascar

Most of the plants that are found on the island are used as herbs. Madagascar has over 12000 plant species that have been recorded and all these are used to treat the different ailments of the locals like Leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and many more others.

Half the population of locals cannot access medical care due to the poverty that they face and that is why they end up using the plants to treat all their ailments.

World heritages in Madagascar

Madagascar has only three historical UNESCO heritages that have been recognized worldwide. These heritages include the Tsingy de Bemaraha that is located in the Eastern part of the country, the Royal hill of Ambohimanga and the Atsinananana that is filled with rain forests. These are great sites to visit especially if you are a fun of history.

Chameleons in Madagascar

Madagascar is a home to more than half the world’s population of chameleons. There is a recorded number of 150 chameleon species in the whole world but note that almost 59 chameleons are endemic to the Madagascan Island. When you visit the country you will be able to see the different chameleon species that you will not find anywhere else in the world.

The worship of ancestors in Madagascar

The Madagascan people always exhume their dead ancestors every after seven or nine years in a ceremony that is celebrated all over the Island by everyone. On this day many relatives are exhumed and taken care of by their living relatives by wrapping them in new fine clothes, changing everything that they were buried with and then food is prepared and eaten with the dead. And before the day ends music is put and they dance with their dead before they are reburied and this is done to show respect to them.

The Mad queen of Madagascar

The last queen of Madagascar was known as Queen Ranavalona III and she considered to be mad queen due to the things that she did in the country before the French arrived. Her reign was in the 18th century and she was extremely bad when it came to killing Christians and other people in the country.

During her reign, many people were killed and the population of the country greatly reduced because when was a fan of using poison to find out whether they were guilty. You were supposed to take the poison and if you died you were found guilty and if you survived you were innocent and the local people also believed that the poison was the final say in proving one guilty.

It was a one stop center for pirates

Many years ago the island did not have any other living persons on it and was devoid of human life but due to its strategic location, it became a big haven for most pirates. This mostly happened during the 17th century and you would find many pirates resting on the Island before continuing on their journey.

The diverse culture on the Island

The island has a number of people who have come from the different parts of the world. They settled on the Island due to the trade that was being carried out on the East African coast and many of the traders that carried out the trade settled here and intermarried leading to the unique ethnic groups in the country.

You will find Asians, Arabs and Africans all settled in the country and living harmoniously together. Note that the people who first settled on the island were not originally Africans but came from other countries like Pakistan, France, Comoros and Pakistan. These have brought about the different unique cultures in the country.

The Madagascan National flag

Madagascar’s National flag is a mixture of different colors and of which these colors all have a meaning attached to them. The colors of the flag are red, white and green and they stand for:

  • Red and white

The red and white that is on the Madagascan flag represents the origin of the Indonesians who are living in the country but they were also the original colors of the flag that was used by the Merina kingdom.

 

 

  • Green

The green on the flag represents the common people of Madagascar who are the Hova people who fought fiercely for the country’s independence and it also shows hope for everyone in the country.

The Eighth continent

Madagascar is known as the eight continent by many people all over the world because of its isolation from the rest of the continents. It was originally part of the African continent but split from it millions of years from it due to earth warping and settled in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The split caused many plants and animals to shift with it and that is why they cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

culture in madagascar

Madagascar Culture

The Malagasy Culture

Madagascar is known for a lot of things and one of them is the unique culture found in the country. Madagascar as a country is known for her mixed culture due to the numerous different customs that are practiced by the people found in Madagascar. The different ethnic groups found in the country practice different customs which makes the culture exciting to experience.

We try to do all that is necessary to make sure that you experience some of the things that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world and this is why we bring you the uniqueness of Madagascar as a country through the eyes of culture.

culture in madagascar

If you want to understand the Malagasy people more and their uniqueness from the rest of the world, a safari to the country will give you more insight to what makes them unique and some of the cultural practices that you will want to experience first-hand include the following:

They cut off the baby’s hair after three months

The act of cutting off the baby’s hair is known as ala-volo and it is carried out by a person known as the Tso-bolo.  A Tso-bolo is the person who has the best hair in the whole family and he or she is called upon when the baby is three months old to cut off the hair. This ceremony is carried out so that the baby is initiated into the society fully.

During the ceremony, the baby’s hair is cut off and mixed with honey in a bowl. Later on any available tuber food is also mixed with the hair and honey and the family members are obliged to eat this mixture. You do not have to participate as the ceremony is carried by only family members but you can sit back and watch and also listen to the different stories that are told by the elders during the ceremony. There will also be a tour guide who will translate for you all that you do not understand.

The Engagement ceremony                                                

Like in any other culture before the couple weds, the engagement ceremony has to be carried out at the bride’s place. The traditional engagement ceremony is known as Vodiondry and during this ceremony, the groom is supposed to publicly introduce himself to the family members of the bride and he has to ask the family of the girl for her hand in marriage officially from her family. And during this ceremony, the groom is supposed to bring presents to the family of the bride especially the siblings and her parents. When the girl’s parents consent to the engagement then the marriage ceremony can take place.

The umbilical cord of a new born baby                                     

Traditionally when a baby is born in Madagascar, the Umbilical cord and the attached placenta were given to the father of the baby to be buried at the entrance of the compound but of late due to urbanization the umbilical cord is buried anywhere around the compound where it will not be polluted.

The reason as to why the umbilical cord is buried is so that the baby grows up not be forgetful as for those whose cords are not buried or lost locally known as the tadi-poatra grow up to be extremely forgetful. And when the father of the baby is burying the umbilical cord, he should not turn his head in any direction until the act is done.

The Famadihana ceremony                                  

The Famadihana ceremony refers to the ceremony where bodies of the loved ones are exhumed and re wrapped before being buried again. The ceremony is one of the biggest ceremonies that is attended by many family members and it comes second after wedding ceremonies. It is carried out every after seven or none years and every family member is supposed to attend it unless otherwise.

It is done as a celebration of parenthood and life and in this ceremony, the bodies of the loved ones are exhumed, a lot of food is prepared and eaten while the exhumed dead are still around. Photos are taken and once they are wrapped in the new fabrics, the bodies are carried around by family members as they dance around before they are reburied.

Face north when sleeping

In Madagascar when it comes to sleeping notions, the head of the bed must face north all the time. The north according to the Madagascar culture is the place where power meets holiness and for all those that would want to gain power the bed should face north. And that is why the parents’ bed is always facing the North so that they gain happiness.

The respect of elders in terms of meals

When it comes to meals, the Madagascan people give a lot of respect and this is mostly practiced in the rural areas although it is also not lost in the other parts of the country. When food is served and there is a person who is older than the rest be it the parents, grandparents or a big sister and brother, no one is supposed to lift their spoons to start eating unless the elders do so. When the elders lift their spoon to start eating, that is when the rest of the people are slowed to lift their spoons and also start eating.

The beliefs about the different compass points

The Madagascan people have a beliefs that every direction one faces has meaning and it can either be good or bad. These have greatly helped them in keeping their life in order according to their different beliefs and the different compass directions mean the following:

  • Facing the North means power and holiness and that is why the head of the bed always faces the north.
  • The western side is where the doors face but these doors are mostly used when throwing out all the un-wanted things that are not used anymore.
  • The southern place is known to be a place where production of anything takes place.

If you intend on going for a safari to the Madagascar, you will need to understand all this so that you do not commit an omen while in the country.

The houses should face western part

All the houses in Madagascar face the western side due to some cultural sentiments attached to it. When one decides to build a house in Madagascar, the house is supposed to face the western side because the belief is that the best time to see and feel the sunshine is in the afternoon and that is why they should all be facing the west as the whole Eastern side is always fenced off with no windows or doors. The windows are always placed in the North due to the blessings associated with it and all the doors are always facing the North.

The blessings received from the elders

The act of receiving blessings from the elders is known as Ny tso-drano zava-Mahery and this is loosely translated as blessings are powerful. There are so many things that warranty a blessing from the elders before they are done and some of these activities include:

  • When one is going to work in the morning.
  • When one is going for any kind of examination.
  • When one is travelling to long distances

All these and many more are always successful for as long as the blessings are received from the elders especially the grandparents.

The rule of no funerals on Thursdays

The Malagasy calendar starts on a Thursday and that is why there is a rule of no burials on Thursday. When it comes to days of the week all the Malagasy people believe that there is a purpose and something that needs to be done on every day and Thursday is one of them. When one has a funeral on Thursday which is considered to be the first day of the week, it is believed that this will be the beginning of continuous deaths in the family. And that is why no funeral has never and will ever be arranged on a Thursday.

The Taboos in Madagascar

Most of the taboos that are found in Madagascar are built on stories that no one knows whether they are factual or not. Some of the taboos are that no one is allowed to eat the radiated tortoise especially by the Mahafaly tribe. This is because one day someone from the Mahafaly tribe cooked a tortoise but when one of them looked inside the pot, the heart of the tortoise was still beating and this scared them so much and that is why they were all forbidden from eating the tortoise.

There are a lot of places that are considered fady in Madagascar like the Ankarana National Park and if one commits a fady the only way to stop its consequences is by offering a sacrifice. Every tribe has its own Fadys and these rare not be disrespected or else face the consequences.

 

Madagascar beach holidays

Madagascar Beach Holidays

The Best beach destinations in Madagascar

Madagascar is known to have more beaches than anyone can due to its state as an island. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the water and white sand that is found on the ocean’s banks is more than what is found in any other country in the in Africa. Although some of the beaches that are found in the country are on off beaten track and offer little when it comes to beach activities, they can still be visited due to their unique surroundings.

Madagascar beach holidays

When you decide to visit Madagascar beaches, you will be faced with a lot choices to choose from and you might be misled and that is why we are going to look at the top best beach destinations on the Island and these include the following:

The Mahavelona beach

The Mahavelona beach is located in Mahavelona town on the coast of Madagascar in the north Eastern Part of the country on River Onibe. The beach is a good destination for all those who want to tan their skins, enjoy some beach games and the good thing about Mahavelona is that it is protected from the sea tides due to the presence of a coral reef that rises to over 150 meters high and the water is extremely calm as a result and therefore you can swim at the banks without worry. A provision of sea food is availed to you by the beach proprietors or you can carry your own picnic basket and enjoy it while at the beach.

The Nosey Komba

The nosey Komba is one of the beach destinations for all those that want to relax in Madagascar. It is located between the Mainland and Nosey be and has a good view of the Ocean. There are several activities that you can carry out at the Nosey Komba and these include canoeing, fishing, snorkeling, and you will also be able to do birding at the beach due to the availability of the different bird species that are found on Nosey Komba, view a few lemurs and get to enjoy some freshly prepared meals at the beach while enjoying your privacy.

The Ille Sainte Marie

Ille Sainte Marie is located in the North Eastern Part of Madagascar at the coast and it is sometimes called the Nosy Boraha. It is a perfect place for all beach goers who come to Madagascar to relax as you get to carry out many activities other than resting and tanning at the beach. The Sainte Marie beach is also a home to the famous pirates’ cemetery where most pirates that used to rest on the island were buried and here you will get to know the different stories that are told about the pirates especially in the evening over a bone fire.

It is also a perfect place to watch the different bird species that always fly low to the water while hunting for fish or worms, diving and snorkeling which is due to the presence of a coral reef in the area, see some rare animals that habitate in the area, playing in the sand, watching the humpback whales that migrate to the Island due to its warm water everywhere and many more others.

The Plage de Ramena

The Plage de Ramena is located in the Northern part of Madagascar in the town of Diego Suarez. It is a peninsular which makes it the perfect place for one to go and rest on the beach due to the privacy it offers. They have enough restaurants that provide local Malagasy dishes, sea food and other cuisines from different countries. A visit to this small village beach that is located at the coast will have you carrying out the different activities like snorkeling, fishing, swimming and canoeing.

The lle aux Nattes/ Nosey Nato

The lle aux Nattes is located in Sainte Marie and is one place you do not want to miss when you visit the island. It is located in an exclusively secluded area which provides a lot of privacy to all those who need it. There are various activities that you can carry out on the Nosey Nato beach and these include sun bathing, whale watching, snorkeling, fishing and many more others. The one hotel that is found in the area known as the hotel la Petite provides you with the best dishes which varies from local Malagasy dishes, seas food and some French cuisines.

Nosey Iranja

The Nosey Iranja is located in the southern Part of Nosey Be and is a top destination for all beach goers. The Nosey Iranja is made up of two islands that are separated by a thin strip of sand. The southern part of the beach is filled with turtles and that is why it is sometimes called the island of turtles due to the presence of turtle eggs that can be lying around the beach. The Northern part of the beach has a lighthouse which you can visit after resting on the beach. You get to swim in the water, watch the sea turtles, play with the sand and lie down a bit, pick some sea shells and tour the light house. The light house is quite a tall and when you climb to the highest point, you get to see the best view of the whole Island.

The Manafiafy beach

Manafiafy beach is one of the smallest beaches in Madagascar and it is located in the south Eastern part of the country at the coast. The one hotel that is located at the beach provides you with a lot of activities that you can carry out at the beach which includes snorkeling, bird watching, canoe riding, Whale watching especially the humpback which migrates to the country around September. The beach is the perfect get away for all beach lovers who want to avoid the chaotic scenes from the city Centres and want their privacy.

The Anjajavy beach

This is located near the Anjajavy National park and covers over 400 meters. It is filled with white sand where you can rest as you enjoy soaking in the sun and other beach activities. You can also get a chance to swim in the ocean and for those that are extremely scared of swimming form the ocean, there is an indoor swimming pool where you can swim from. There are meals that are provided and these include all kinds of sea food and local Malagasy cuisines. You also get to enjoy snorkeling and diving at the Anjajavy beach and also watch the Lemur in the neighboring National Park.

 

The Andovoke Bay beach

The Andovoke Beach is located in the south western part of Madagascar in a fishing town known as the Anakao. It is a perfect place for all those who love their peace and quiet mostly honeymoon couples. The beach is in a shape of a half moon and there are several activities that you can carry out while here and these include fishing, jet skiing, surfing, nature walks while enjoying the good meals that are provided by the hotel.

The Nosey Be

Nosey Be is one of the top most destinations in Madagascar and also the most expensive as it gets more visitors throughout the year as compared to the rest of the beaches. It has one of the largest beaches in the country. There are various activities that you can carry out when you visit the nosey Be and these include bird watching, resting on the beach, animal spotting, snorkeling and diving and many more others and you also get to swim in the water at the coast and enjoy a boat ride as well. For all those that do not like carrying out hard activities, you can enjoy an evening walk with your loved ones in the white sand across the beach in the evenings and while you are still there you can still at the Nosey be, you can also visit the farms that are inland and these are the vanilla and cocoa farms.

The Tsarabanjina beach

The Tsarabanjina can be seen at the Indian Ocean and it is approximately 40 kilometers away from nosey Be and the scenic beauty around it is the best when it comes to beaches. You can have nature walks on the beach barefooted, enjoy a boat cruise as this is the only way you will be able to access the beach and get to enjoy the good food that is prepared by the lone lodge that is found in the area.

The Mitsio Islands

The Mitsio Islands have the whitest beaches in the country and that is why they are sometimes referred to as the Maldives of Madagascar. The beautiful scenery that can be seen on the Island with the unique animals that are found in the area add to the beautiful scenery of the beach. There are also several hotels and accommodation facilities that you can use when you visit the Mitsio Islands.

Madagascar safari

Madagascar Safari Destinations

National Parks in Madagascar

Madagascar is an island that was separated from Africa many years ago. The Island can be seen and accessed by either air or water transport and it has different unique and almost extinct species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Uniqueness of Madagascar has made it one of the best destinations for all safari tourists to this island which is considered by many as the eighth continent.

The different organisms that are found in Madagascar can be found in the different National Parks that are located in the different parts of the country. The vast landscape which is bit hilly has enabled a few wild species to habitate in the different parts of National parks some of which include the famous lemur which can only be found on the Madagascan Island.

Note that you will not see any predators like lions and leopards on the island as most of them became extinct and that is why there are many small vulnerable wild animals in the parks. Some of the best parks to visit when you go to Madagascar include:

Madagascar safari

The Kirindy Forest

The Kirindy Forest is located in the south Western part of Madagascar and it can be visited in the two different seasons that it experiences. During the wet season, the forest is filled with lush greenery that comes from the baobab trees that can be seen lined up. And during this season you will be able to see various lemurs jumping from one tree to the next, different reptiles and many more other animals that come into the forest in search of food and a place to stay. If you are a fan of nature walks, the best time to take these walks is during the night as you will be able to see all the nocturnal animals as you enjoy the cool breeze given off by the trees.

When it comes to the dry season, you will find dry trees and leaves plastering the whole ground and during this period, the best thing you get to see are the shell versions of the forest that was during the dry season.

The Isalo national Park

The Isalo National Park is considered to be one of the best parks in the country and has four different routes that can be used to access it and all these have wonderful sceneries that they provide. The park is a home to a number of birds and animals and all these can only viewed when one travels to the park and sees the beauty by themselves. The different trails that are used to enter into the pack include:

  • The Masalo route is the easiest route into the Park and it is located south of the park. Most tourists use this route because it gives you a big view of the park when you use it.
  • The Piscine naturelle, this is normally used because it has a lot of canyons that can be found along the trail and tourists can refresh themselves from there but you will need a guide to go with you.
  • Namaza circuit and this is the longest route that enters the park but you will have a great view of the various caves and canyons and not forgetting the lemur. Although you should note that using this route will be much more expensive as compared to others.

The Ranomafana National Park

The Ranomafana national Park is located in one of the remote parts of the country and it is home to numerous lemurs. These lemur species are known to be endangered and finding them anywhere else in the world is close to zero as they can only be found in Madagascar. The Park is filled with rain forest trees that create a dense feeling to the park making it almost hard to penetrate it. The rain forests raise up to 1500 meters high and this is what gives the lemur chance to hide in the trees and jump from one tree to the next.

There are several trails which you can use to explore the forest and it is extremely advisable to go with a tour guide who will take you through the easiest routes when it comes to trekking and be sure to put on appropriate clothing so that you avoid scratches from the tree branches.

 

The Andringita national Park

The Andringita National Park is located near the Andringita Mountains which rise up to 2658 meters. The park has the Lemur species that habitate in the forests and it also has a lot of Flora that you will be able to see as you trek along the different routes that lead into the forest and you will also enjoy the view of the Mountains. The different routes that can be used include:

  • The Imaitso route and this is almost 18 kilometers long but it provides you with a good scenery of the lemur in the trees and the various types of birds that are found in the park.
  • The Diavolana trail and this goes through the forest to the lunar landscape. It is only 13 kilometers long.
  • The Isahavato trail is 15 kilometers long and the good thing about using this route is that it has a swimming pool where you can rest after trekking through the forest and it is decorated with a lot of palm trees that give off an exclusive feeling to the trail.
  • The shortest route with only 6 kilometers to it is known as the Asaramantira and along this route you will see the different caves that are located in the area.

All these routes show you the vast nature of the park and with whichever route that you use, you will not be disappointed as you explore the Andringita national Park.

The Andasibe National park

The Andasibe national park is located almost 150 kilometers from the capital city of Madagascar and it is a home to one of the rare lemur species known as the Indri. The park is filled with canopy trees that give off a willowing sound especially when the wind passes through the trees. The most accessible trail into the Andasibe National Park is called the Analamazoatra and when you use this trail you will be able to see the various wildlife that is found in the area like the endangered lemur that is the indri, the various reptiles and the Sifaka which habitate in the forest. Your hike will be worth it when you visit the Andasibe.

 

The Tsingy de Bemaraha

The journey leading to the Bemaraha Park is quite a long one and it can take you over eight hours to get there. It is located in a remote place where and can only be accessed from Morondava. Tsingy can loosely be translated as w here you cannot walk barefoot and this is due to the fact that there are two River crossings and of which these two Rivers are all infested with crocodiles. A visit to the National park will have you see the Sifaka, the various flora found in the forest, the crocodiles that are found in the River and the Lemur but these are hard to see. It is not an easy journey getting to the park and even the routes that are found in the Park are not easily passable but if you have love for adventure, then you should visit the Tsingy and explore the National park.

Ankarana National Park

The Ankarana national park can easily be accessed if you take a booking from Diego Suarez and it is located in the southern part of the country. You will be able to view the different bird species that are found in the area and the unique flora that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. And Park also has campsites that are found in the center of the Park where you can rest from after a long day of exploring. These camp sites offer exquisite resting bedrooms that are self-contained and you will have enough rest after the long day in the park. Their location makes it easy for you to access the park and enjoy the nocturnal life.

Marojejy National Park

Locate in the North Eastern part of the country, Marojejy National Park is one of the best parks to visit in Madagascar. It is not as big as the other parks but you will be able to enjoy the view given off by the numerous rainforests that are found in the area and not forgetting the Lemur species that live in the Park. A tour guide will take you the park explaining the different species of animals and trees that you will find.

Madagascar doesn’t have many national parks and wild animals to view but the few that are available provide the best of which you will not experience anywhere else and that is why you should book a trip with us to enjoy the country’s uniqueness from the other countries.

 

 

 

 

 

Madagascar birding

Madagascar Birding

Where To Go Birding in Madagascar?

The term birding refers to the act if watching and observing birds in their natural habitats using enhancement devises like binoculars and cameras. With Madagascar having the largest number of endemic birds in the whole world it has become the perfect birding destination for all birders.

There are not many species of birds in Madagascar but the uniqueness of the ones that are found in the country make your visit worthwhile as you get to see species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The bird species that are found in the country are reducing due to the fact that their natural habitats have been encroached on by the locals who keep on cutting down trees for settlement and agriculture.

 

Madagascar birding

What To Carry on Your Bird watching In Madagascar?

There are several equipment that you will need as you head out for birding in Madagascar and these include the following:

  • Binoculars

Birds are extremely sensitive to movement and sound and therefore you will binoculars so that you can be able to view them from a distance without disturbing them. They also help you see the bird species that stay hidden in their habitats.

  • A camera

A camera will help you take photos of the rare birds that you have never seen before and those that you would like to compare with the still photos that you have in your birding books.

  • An identification book

An identification book is one which has almost all the information about the different bird species that are found in a specific country. Identification books will help you easily identify some of the bird species that you will see as the book has vivid descriptions about the bird and a picture.

  • Food and water

As you are heading out for birding, you will need to carry some snacks and water because the places that you are going to do not have snacks for you because the bird habitants are located deep into the forests which makes it hard for one to purchase the food and therefore it is advisable that you carry enough water and food so that you do not get hungry while birding.

  • Hides

In order for one to carry out birding properly without any disturbance, you will need hides to do that. Hides refer to anything whether clothes or a bush thicket that helps you camouflage into the background so that you do not scare away the birds and they also help you observe the birds freely.

  • Insect repellents

Most birds in Madagascar are seen during the wet season and this is the same season as to when the insects are on the rise. In order to avoid insect bites while carrying out birding, you will need to carry some insect repellent to avoid becoming a meal to Madagascar insects especially mosquitoes.

  • A portable voice recorder

Birds communicate using call signs and sometimes the only to identify them is by having a voice recorder. This helps identify the birds using the sounds that they make.

Popular Birding Destinations in Madagascar & Top Bird Species To See

When you go for birding in magdagsacr, remember that it is coupled with wildlife viewing as the birds species are not as many as in other African countries. The different destination places that one can go to when it comes to birding I Madagascar include the following:

Birding at Mitsinjo

Birding at Mitsinjo forest is mostly done in the morning with the help of a tour guide. The different bird species that can be seen in the forest include the collared nightjar, the ground roller, the velvet asity, the Kittliz’s plover, the Madagascar wagtail, the Hottentote teal and other species.

The Andasibe National Park

The Andasibe National Park is just three hours away from the capital city of Madagascar Antananarivo and has one of the largest rainforests in the area. A trained tour guide will take you through the park where you will get to observe the various bird species and these include the sunbird Asity, the Madagascar Fluff tail, the red tailed vanga, the nightjar, the Madagascar pygmy king fisher, the blue vanga, the pittal-like ground, the spectacled greenbul, the greater vasa parrot, the rufous-headed ground roller, the Madagascar blue pigeon, the ward’s shrike-flycatcher and many more others. All these and more can be viewed in the morning because that is when the lighting is perfect and it is when most of them are up and down and can easily be spotted. There are no meals provided while birding and therefore you need to carry your own food or wait till you get back to your hotel and have your meals.

The Ranomafana national Park

The Ranomafana national park also has a variety of bird species that you can view and like the rest of the birding experiences, you are not provided with food but you can carry your own snacks and water. The different bird species that are found in the park include the red legged ground roller, yellow browed oxylables, the Meller’s duck, the Madagascar snipe, the Madagascar green pigeon, the white throated oxylables, the Madagascar turtle dove, the magdagsacr scops owl, the common Newtonia, the brown Mesite and many more other species.

The Mantadia National park

The Mantadia National Park is one of the best birding destinations that are found in Madagascar and the bird species that can be viewed from the park include the cryptic Tetraka, the scaly ground roller, the little Grebe, white throated rail, pitta- like ground roller, the Madagascar spine tailed swift, the Tylas, the white headed vanga and the egres.

The birding process is also done in the morning and you can always come with your own lunch since you will not be able to buy any during the exercise and all this will be done with the aid of a tour guide.

Birding at the Ampijoroa forest station

The Ampijoroa forest station is located in the Ankarafantsika and it has several bird species. The station is the main point of view where the main birding is done and the different species that you will see include the blue Vangas, the fish eagle, the Rofous chaberts, the parrots and many more others. And on top of birding you get to see lemur species that habitate in the same park and these are the mouse lemurs, the mongoose lemurs and the dwarf lemurs.

Birding at Lake Tsarasaotra

Lake Tsarasaotra is located in the capital city of Antananarivo and there are several endangered bird species that can be found either hiding from the hunters or using the Lake as their habitat and some of these bird species include the Madagascar little grebe, the Meller’s duck, the Madagascar pond heron, the black crowned night heron, the squacco heron, the white whistling duck, the humblot’s heron and many more other water species. The lake is a protected are and therefore you will find many of the birds that are being hunted resting on its banks.

Birding in the Analamazaotra reserve

The Analamazaotra reserve is a rainforest reserve and it houses a lot of bird species within its different habitats. When you get to the reserve, a trained tour guide will be ready to take you through the park and show you the different bird species which include the common sunbird Asity, Madagascar cuckoo shrike, the lesser vasa parrot, the hook-billed vanga, magdagsacr magpie robin, the brush warbler, the Madagascar wagtail, green jery, ward’s flycatcher, the Madagascar flufftail and many more other species.

Birding in Isalo national park

Isalo National park is located in the southern part of the country and also has various bird species that you view besides watching the different lemurs jumping from one tree to the nest. The birds that can be seen at Isalo National Park include the Madagascar Hoopoe, the African palm swift, the Littoral rock trush, the Madagascar Bee Eater, Namaqua Dove, the Souimanga sunbird, the Madagascar Turtle dove, the Madagascar buttonquail, broad billed roller and many more other species.

When To Go Birding in Madagascar? Best Time For the Birders

For all the bird lovers, the best months to visit Madagascar are October and November. During this time, you will be able to see the different bird species in their natural habitats and also get to learn more about their characteristics.

The birding trips that we take you on are always prepared in advance and at a slow pace so that you get to see the birds while taking your time and understand their ways. The different parks where the birding takes place always have local tour guides who take you through the process but in most cases some of these speak only English so you will need a translator so in order to understand everything that is being said. 

We organize birding trips to Madagascar so that the different people who come into the country get to see the different endemic species and also advocate for the saving of their safe habitats and this can be done with the various itineraries at a friendly cost that we have on our website.

Air Madagascar

Madagascar Flights

Madagascar…Madagascar!! With more than 18,000sq miles of beautiful white sand and palm beaches to enjoy, Madagascar has more.  Think of the rare Lemurs only seen in Madagascar, exotic unique plant species that thrive only on this island, chameleons, butterflies, insects, beautiful coral gardens and so much more…all found on one beautiful island Madagascar.

Making a choice on holidays to Madagascar may not be as easy, seeing that there are many places to visit in so little time yet all of them equally beautiful. If you choose, you can travel to Madagascar by sea, on an adventurous journey just like the early explorers. The are cargo ships to haul you here from Mombasa or Zanzibar, or use yacht from South Africa, Reunion islands of from Mauritius.

Air Madagascar

Flights to Madagascar

Think of Madagascar travel by air, you have unlimited options of airlines to Madagascar and airports to fly. Air Madagascar is the national airlines with flights from Antananarivo to Jo’burg, Nairobi, Mauritius, direct flights to Bangkok. You can also fly to Antananarivo Madagascar from New York USA using cheap Madagascar flights with stops in Paris, Johannesburg from where you pick direct flights to Madagascar with Air Mauritius

Some of the airlines with flights to Madagascar include

  • Intercontinental Airways
  • Air Austral
  • Air France (three times a week between Antananarivo and Paris
  • Air Mauritius
  • Corsair
  • Interair
  • Airlink
  • South African airways (flies direct to Antananarivo from Johannesburg)

Airports in Madagascar

There are several airports in Madagascar but Ivato Airport in Antananarivo the capital city is the busiest and handles more than 2,000 flights a week, from Europe, America, Asia and African cities.

Airport Name Airport Code
Ambanja VA
Ambatolahy AHY
Ambatomainty AMY
Ambatondrazaka WAM
Ambilobe AMB
Ampanihy AMP
Analalava HVA
Andapa ZWA
Andriamena WAD
Ankavandra JVA
Ankazoabo WAK
Antalaha Antsrabato ANM
Antananarivo Ivato TNR
Antsalova WAQ
Antsirabe ATJ
Antsiranana Arrachart DIE
Antsohihy Ambalabe WAI
Bealanana WBE
Befandriana WBD
Bekily OVA
Belo BMD
Beroroha WBO
Besalampy BPY
Betioky BKU
Doany DOA
Farafangana RVA
Fianarantsoa WFI
Ft. Dauphin Marillac FTU
Ihosy IHO
Ilaka ILK
Madirovalo WMV
Mahanoro VVB
Airport Name Airport Code
Maintirano MXT
Majunga Amborovy MJN
Malaimbandy WML
KWL Guilin
KWE Guiyang
HAK Haikou
HLD Hailar
HMI Hami
Manakara WVK
Mananara WMR
Mananjary MNJ
Mandabe WMD
Mandritsara WMA
Manja MJA
Maroantsetra WMN
Miandrivazo ZVA
Morafenobe TVA
Morombe MXM
Morondava MOQ
Nossi-Be Fascene NOS
Port Berge WPB
Sambava SVB
Soalala DWB
St. Marie SMS
Tamatave TMM
Tambohorano WTA
Tanandava TDV
Tsaratanana TTS
Tsiroanomandidy WTS
Tulear TLE
Vatomandry VAT
Vohemar VOH

 

Andohahela

Andohahela National Park

The Andohahela National Park is located a few kilometers away from Fort Dauphin and it covers over 76000 hectares. It is a home to very many rare species like birds which are recorded at a number of 150 species, 13 different species of lemurs and various plant species which give botanists a field trip. The Park is considered as a UNESCO heritage site and has been reserved to keep the animals and the various plant species found in the area safe.

The Andohahela National Park was declared in 1998 although it had been a reservation area for a lot of years. It has a very unique dense forest that can only be found here in the whole of Madagascar due to the preservation measures that are taken by the management of the Park. Part of the entrance fees that are paid before you can gain access to the Park are used to implement more conservation measures so that deforestation is reduced in the country.

The activities that can be carried out in Andohahela National Park include the following:

Birding and game drives in the Andohahela

The park has several bird species that are found in the Park and most of these bird species are endemic to Madagascar. They might not be many but their uniqueness is what you should not miss out when you visit the Park.

The park has quite a unique selection of animals that are found there and most of them just like the birds are endemic. Some of the animals that you will enjoy during your game drive include the Aye-aye, the different lemur species, the Nile crocodiles, rare lizard, snakes and many more others. And just like in other national Parks in Madagascar, you will not find all the big five and other predatory animals that are found in Africa.

Hiking in the Andohahela

The Andohahela has one of the best hikes you can experience when it comes hiking and the beauty about Andohahela is that you can use different hike routes into the park which all offer a good view of the park.

The trek within the Andohahela National Park can be done in two days or one depending on what you want but you will need a tour guide who will take you through the best trails in the park. They are extremely safe but you will need guidance from someone who is extremely familiar with the Park. These hiking routes act as a division of the Park into three parts and they include:

  • The route at Tsimelahy

The Tsimelahy route can be hiked for two to three hours and it offers an interesting trek route for all those walking through it. The route is filled with various tree species and these include triangle palm and the Baobabs that come in different species. The trees make it extremely good for hiking since it offers a bit of shade to the trekkers and you can easily take photos along the way. The trees are a treasure because they are rare species and are good especially for botanists but it will be hard for you to see the Lemur along this route.

  • The Ihazofosty- Mangatsiaka

There is another route that is extremely famous and popular among the tourists because of its strategic location. It is liked most because it offers a short distance when it comes to trekking and it is strategically located along the river banks where one can easily get refreshments like water and rest a bit.

The route is almost flat out and simple to use and it only becomes difficult for a short while before you go back to the easy trek. Along this route, you will be able to see the various vegetation types that are found in the park, the waterfalls, the River and thorny bushes that are found along the Path. You will also be able to see the various wild life like lizards, lemur, snakes and other animals.

  • The circuit of Malio

This route can only be used but mostly during day and it leads to the Malio forest where you will be able to see the different rare wild life in the area like the different species of lemurs, the Aye-aye, lizards and many more others.

The climate experienced in the Andohahela

The climate experienced in Andohahela Park experiences three types of climate and all these are experienced in the different parts of the Park. The different parts of the Park have a unique vegetation pattern due to the climate in the area. Below is a pattern of how the different parts of the Park receive climate:

  • The central part of the Park experiences both the two rainy climates that is the warm and dry and the warm and wet climate.
  • The Eastern part of the Park experiences the warm and wet kind of climate. It receives a considerable amount of rainfall which has led to the presence of the rain forest that is found on that side of the Park.
  • The western side of the Park also experiences the warm and dry kind of climate. It receives relatively less rainfall as compared to the other parts of the Park and is covered with the unique triangular palm that can withstand such climatic conditions.

All these climates greatly affect the Andohahela Park and they determine which kind of wild life habitate in which part of the Park.

How to get to the park

The best route that can be used to get to the Park is from Fort Dauphin where you can get a van that goes through the Tsimelahy village but this is only possible if you are using private means. You will need to use a 4 by 4 van to get you through the bad roads that are found in Madagascar. You can also public means which will drop you off at the a road 8 kilometers away from Fort Dauphin and then you will have to walk from Ranomainty or dive the five kilometers that will get you to the Park.

When to visit the Park

The best time to visit the Park is between the months of April and October although you should put the different climatic conditions that the Park gets. This will give you a better insight as to when to visit and when to avoid the Park at all costs. The Park is accessible throughout the year and the activities that you want to carry out will determine when you will be able to visit the Park. The park fees also depend on the time that you are going to spend in the park for example if you are going to spend just one day you will pay 10,000 AR and if you are spending two days, you will have to pay 15,000 AR.

Accommodation facilities

There are various accommodation facilities that you can use when you visit the Andohahela national Park and some of these include the following:

 

  • Hotel Lavasoa

The Hotel Lavasoa offers self-contained rooms with a mosquito net and they offer you your much needed privacy. The rooms have a wooden floor, free WIFI and a spacious balcony where you get a clear view of the sea which is located at the Fort Dauphin. They have different rooms that can accommodate all kinds of people from single rooms, duplex rooms and family rooms.

  • The Le port Hotel

The hotel is located in Fort Dauphin and offers an amazing view of the surroundings including the sea from your private balconies. They have different types of rooms that is the Quad bungalow, standard rooms, double rooms and standard twin bungalows. All these have an en-suite bathroom and toilet and the beds are draped with a mosquito net due to the many mosquitos that are found in the area. From the vicinity of your room, you get a clear view of the gardens and there is also free WIFI in the hotel.

  • The Azura hotel and spa

The Azura hotel and spa has one of the best accommodation facilities and it is located in Fort Dauphin. The hotel has beautifully decorated rooms that are self-contained, they also have a private balcony where you can view all the activities that are carried out on the beach that is close by and each bed has a mosquito net. They also have good local food and some international dishes and provide free WIFI for all the guests.

The Andohahela has a lot to offer and not all has been written down in this article but when you visit the Park, you will be able to see the various jewels that are hidden within the Park in just one or two days.

A trip to the Andohahela National Park can easily be arranged by us and all you need to do is get in touch with us and we will give you the different offers and you chose what is best for you at an extremely affordable cost.

Andringita National Park

Andringita National Park Madagascar

Andringitra National Park is located in south eastern parts of Madagascar sheltering Mount Boby, which is the highest peak in Madagascar at 2658m above sea level. This Madagascar Park is important in the traditional life of the people of Madagascar at the same time offering much in terms of tourism in Madagascar.

Andringita is located 47 km in the South of Ambalavao in the region of Haute Matsiatra. The park covers an area of 3116 sq km of high altitude zones between 650m and 2658m above sea level.

There are 1,000 plant species in the National Park of Andringitra with much of the vegetation dispersing in the high altitude forests and the dense humid forests at the mountain foot slopes. Some of the exotic species in the park include the Aloe of Andrigita which blooms in June to September, Rhipsalis Baccifera, a cactus with luscious green leaves, the immortal (Helychrisum mirabile) with white flowers that open in July and August and the Osbeckia andringitrensis which is an endemic bush of Andringitra. The lense of a camera captures the best of Madagascar’s blossoms and palnts when you travel around June to Spetember

Wildlife

Andringitra National Park is home to more than 200 bugs, 7 crustaceans, 788 species of amphibians and 54 different species of mammals. Some of the regular sights of mammals in the park include the brown fur Lemur (Lemur Catta) which has a black and white tail often seen in Ocotber and November, Buteo Branchypterus-which is a white chested raptor found in the high altitude rain forests and many other animals.

The Furcifer campani chameleon is one of the colorful sights in the park. it has three yellowish strips on the flank and a medio-ventral light band. This reptile lays eggs in rainy season from January to March.

There are more than 100 different species of birds in the park including the Yellow bellied sunbird
(IUCN threatened species), Red Feathered Alectroenas Madagascariensis, the pollen (Threatened Vangidae family species), Madagascar blue pigeon and the rufous headed ground roller (IUCN thereatened species) among many others

Travel Guide

Several places are sacred in Andringitra National Park and its surrounding areas are sacred top the local people. Like other palces, tourists are not allowed to enter the park with pork while washing is the river is not allowed with moruning clothes and black pots.

Bring hot clothes and a raincoat in your suitcases, the time is fickle in Andringitra. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is an investiment for trekking and hiking adventures on Madagascar holidays. Refreshments and soft drink are available in the nearby towns of Ambalavao and Fuarantsoa.

Ankarafantsika National Park

Ankarafantsika National Park Madagascar

Ankarafantsika National Park is largely a dense dry forested eco-system crisscrossed by a series of water streams, lakes and other habitats for major endemic Madagascar fauna. The park occupies an estimated 13500sq km in the region of Boina. It is bordered by Mahajamba River in the east and River Betsiboka in the west.

More than 820 species of plants are found in the dry forest of which 70% are endemic to Madagascar and almost 0.9 of trees in the park are woody species.

Some of the notable species in the park include the Mpanjakabenitany-an endemic bush 15m high with deeply pierced flutings bearing fruits in September and May. Katrafay Malagasy (Cedrelopsis grevei) tree measures 5 to 22m high with a rough brownish peeling. Its wood is yellow and hard often used for aesthetics and construction purposes. The tree blooms in September to December. Other important trees in the forest park include Sakoanala and Lohavato trees.

Ankarafantsika National Park

Location

This Madagascar National park is located in north western region- 450 km from Antananarivo and 115 km from Mahajanga. The National Road N°4 crosses through the park.

Wildlife

Like other parts of Madagascar, Ankarafantsika National Park is home to lemurs and many other species of plants. Eight species of lemurs are recorded in Ankarafantsika: one strict diurnal species, two cathemeral species, five typically nocturnal species of which the famous Microcebus, the smallest in the world.

More than 120 species of birds live in the forest of Ankarafantsika. More than 70 of the birds in the park are endemic to the forests and lake shores. Examples of the birds in the park include the Rufous vanga Schetba rufa which is an endemic bird, Madagascar fish eagle which considered critically endangered species of raptors and the Van Dam Vanga-a rare species of threatened vanga. The best time to go birding in Madagascar is during the rainy season. Lake Ravelobe near the npark entrance is a breeding ground for fish eagles and other water birds in Madagascar. Other birds in the park include the banded Kestrel.

Accommodation

Camping is allowed in the park although visitors are encouraged to carry private camping equipment, tents, food, supplies and other material. Warm blankets are recommended for nights while a flash light or torch is needed for nocturnal tours in the forest.

Ankarana National Park

Ankarana National Park Madagascar

Ankarana National Park

Ankarana national Park is one of the oldest Parks in Madagascar and it was founded in 1956. It is located next to the Amber national park and the name Ankarana was derived from the local people the Antankarana that live in the area next to the Park. The word Antankarana is a Malagasy word which can loosely be translated as the people from the rocks and this is due to the rocky nature of the landscape where the Park is located. It is one of the few parks in the country that is surrounded by the rivers and this gives it a beautiful scenery to look at. The rivers are joined with different gorges, rocks that are made of limestone and other amazing things to look at. The park is filled with numerous plant species that spice up the vegetation of the Park and some of these include the peeling trees, baobab trees, Adenia trees and others which offer a good backdrop when it comes to taking photographs.

Ankarana National Park

The rivers are filled with crocodiles and that is why one should be conscious when crossing the river although it gives a chance to look at the Nile crocodiles that keep on swimming in the River. The Park is also filled with large forests that can be attributed to the rainfall that is received in the area which almost amounts to 2000 millimeters. The Tsingys found in the Park divide the Park into two that is the green dry forest and the dry savannah landscape these two have different habitats for example eleven lemur species live in the dry savannah landscape  whereas the rest leave them in the green landscape. The Park experiences a lot of hot temperatures and that is why the trekking should be done in the evening or morning so that you do not sweat a lot.

Where To Go Hiking in Ankarana Reserve

Ankarana reserve offers a lot to all those who visit and the best activity that you can carry out is hiking. When it comes to hiking, the Ankara is divided into three parts to suit the hiker’s interests and these are:

  • The Big Tsingy Ankara

The Big Tsingy Ankara hike is one of the most frequented parts of the forest during a hike because it offers one a good view of the forest including caves and other things along the way like the different Lemur species, the birds, various reptiles and the suspension bridge. You can also enjoy a picnic along the way after along hike but you should be aware of the sharp stones so that they do not cut you. The hike in the big Tsingy will take you an hours’ time although you can take the whole hike in two days.

  • The Tsingy Rouge

The Tsingy rouge is found between the Ankara National Park and the Diego Suarez and it is different from the rest of the Tsingy because they are extremely sharp especially at the edges. These were formed due to the increased erosion that took place leaving behind stones that varied in color between a reddish brown and vanilla color. The trail can be traversed for almost an hour and you get to see the beauty of the limestone stones and take wonderful close up pictures of the trail and the surroundings.

 

  • The small Tsingy Ankara

This is also a commonly used route when it comes to hiking and it is a much shorter one as compared to the rest. The starting point of the trek is on a flat surface but after passing through the smaller part of the Park, you start the climb up the stones and while here, you will get to view the different species of Lemur, birds, bats when you visit the caves and many more other beautiful things that can be seen in the Park.

After looking at the three segments that are found in the Park, there are some major trail treks that are normally used by the tourists and these include the following:

  • The first route is just 6 kilometers long and it lasts about three full hours before the trek is complete and the trail goes up to the Panoramic which is located at Ambohimalaza. This trail however is not commonly used by tourists and therefore if you are not a fun of crowd, this is the best trek trail for you.
  • The second route that can be used leads through the hanging bridge to the millions of limestone spikes that have become a major tourist attraction to many. You get to see them at a close range and take as many photos as you want and also learn about their history form the tour guides.
  • The other route that can be used when it comes to hiking is the route that goes through the big Tsingy Ankara passing through a place known as the sinkhole to the perte de Rivieres. The Perte de Rivieres normally appears during the rainy season making this route a water bed but the water is mysteriously sucked into the ground and the reappears in Mozambique.

Ankara Wildlife Safaris

There are numerous animal that are found in the Ankara Park and all these can be viewed when you visit the place. There is a recorded number of 96 bird species, 11 lemurs, snakes and bats. Most of the wildlife found in the Park is endemic to Madagascar and it is not always about the number of animals that you can see but about their uniqueness from the rest of the world. The different species of lemur that can be seen include the crowned lemur, the nocturnal sportive lemur, and the Eulemur lemur. The reptiles that can be found also include the rare panther chameleon, day geckos, golden hook nose snake, Henkel’s leaf tailed geckos and the Nile crocodiles that live in the caves found in the Park.

When to visit Ankarana Reserve in Madagascar

The best time to visit Ankarana is during the dry season which normally happens from the month of April to October. It is considered the best because then the roads will not be too slippery and you will be able to view the different wildlife better during the dry season although you should note that it is always extremely hot during the afternoons and therefore the best tie to go around the Park is in the mornings and evenings.

You can also visit the Park during the wet season although it will not be conducive due to the slippery roads. The rainy season normally happens between the months of December to March and if you are to visit Ankarana reserve you need to pack some warm clothes as it will be extremely cold due to the heavy rains although it can get extremely hot too during these months.

Where To Stay in Ankarana National Park

The Ankara national Park does not have many accommodation facilities as many of them are found either nearby or minutes away from the park, but you can arrange to have camping tents out up so that you can enjoy the wilderness. The tents can be put up by the tour guides but if you are not into night camping, you can opt for the hotels and lodges that are found near the park. Some of the accommodation facilities around Ankara national Park include:

  • The Ankarana lodge

The Ankarana lodge is located in the middle of a bush and it gives you the best feeling of a bush camp. They provide excellent meals, a bar and the rooms are in good condition although there is no WFI but this can be replaced by game watching.

  • Le Relais de l’Ankarana

The lodge is located just a few minutes away from the Park and it has very good basic rooms that are self-contained, good local cuisines and you also get a clear view of the Park beforehand.

How to get to the Ankarana National Park

The Park is located along the high way and it can easily be accessed by car and flights. The flight from Antsiranana to Ankarana takes over four hours and there are local flights that can take you to the Park at a given fee.

The road transportation that leads to the park is a bit bumpy and not pleasant like any other road in Madagascar and they have not been worked on even with the increase in tourists visiting the Park. But the bumpy ride will be worth it when you get to the park and get to see the magnificent rocks that are found in the area and the wildlife that you will not see anywhere else in the world.

The forests in Madagascar are faced with a problem of deforestation by the locals who clear the trees out so that they can be able to settle and carry out the various activities like farming and grazing. The only way to save these forests is by encouraging tourists to visit the parks so that they remain intact for tax collection and reservation.

Bay of Baly National Park

Bay of Baly National Park is located in the north western region of the island of Madagascar and is an acclaimed region of richness in bio-diversity. The Bay of Baly lies 150 km from Mahajanga, in the heart of the Soalala and Ambohipaky.

The park is an area of 5714sq km and is crossed by a series of small water streams and rivers such as Kapiloza which borders the park to the north and Andanomavo in the north pouring its waters into the Mozambique Channel.

 

Vegetation

Nearly 129 species of plants and trees are found in the park of which more than half are in the forests,24 species of Fabaceae, 9 Apocynaceaes, 9 Euphorbiaceaes, 8 Rubiaceace, 7 Anacardiaceae. The tree species most common are Gyrocarpuses americanus and Erythrephleums coumanga.

Wildlife

There are 13 species of mammals in the park of which h8 are primates, 37 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibian and others. Some of the animals in the park include the Plowshare turtle-Angonoka which is endemic to the waters of the bay sighted in the Beaboaly circuit during the months of December to May, lemurs and other animals.

An estimated 250 are recorded in the aprk of which one third are water birds and more than half endemic to the Madagascar island and the Bay of Baly. Regular sights include the Malagasy pond heron which is a threatened species that breeds at the bay and the Madagascar fish eagle-Ankoay sighted around Lake Sariaka in the months of May to Ocotber.

Madagascar hotel

Madagascar Hotels, Accommodation, Where To Stay

Madagascar is an island that was separated from the African continent years ago and is located on the Eastern Part of the East African coast. It is a wonderful place that many people are now heading to the country for vacations and relaxation. And as we all know that when plans a safari to a foreign country, there is need to be prepared especially in terms of accommodation and that is why today we are going to look at the different accommodation facilities that you can look at before travelling to the Island.

Madagascar hotel

The accommodation facilities that are found in the country are classified into three ranges that is the budget, mod range and luxury accommodations.

  • Budget accommodations

The budget accommodations are those that fit into a low budget. They have standard rooms and services although in most cases you will end up sharing some facilities like the bathroom and toilets.

  • Mid-range accommodations

These are mostly comfortable and they provide self-contained rooms although there are some special facilities that you are not going to find in the mi-range hotels but you will be comfortable.

  • Luxury accommodations

Luxury accommodations are often used by tourists that are working with a high budget. They are always comfortable, have all the services that one needs like WIFI, swimming pools, self-contained rooms and others that will be worth all the money you spend there.

Budget accommodations

Budget accommodations are rarely used due to the conditions that they are always in but the most commonly use are the mid-range accommodations and the luxury accommodations. Some of the budget accommodations found in Madagascar include the following:

The Ranche’d Isalo

This is just a few kilometers from the Isalo National Park and is surrounded by lush gardens filled with different kinds of fruit that is grown in Madagascar. It has comfortable and rooms that are basic but with good services. They also offer good delicious meals and you get the spectacular view of the Isalo Mountain.

The Le Paradisier

The Le Paradisier is located in Tulear and is built using stone. It has simple and comfortable rooms which are self-contained and they also offer delicious local cuisines that are to die for. It has a god view of the coast and you also get to eat some sea food and join in the trekking excursions that are prepared for the different tourists.

Mid-range accommodations

The various mid-range accommodation facilities that you will find in Madagascar around the various tourist attractions include the following:

The couleur café

The couleur café is located in Antsirabe in an extremely quiet place with no noise from the city center and is one of the best mid-range facilities in the area. They have rooms that are built with brick, wood and tiled allover and the rooms offer all the privacy that you want. They also offer good meals in the dining hall, a bar and a gift shop where you can get yourself good souvenirs from Madagascar.

The caliente Beach Lodge

This is located in the south Western part of Madagascar on the Tulear beach. The lodge offers spacious rooms which are self-contained and offers privacy to all their clients. They also have various activities that you can engage in like sports on the beach, swimming, tennis and others which will keep you entertained throughout your stay at the lodge. They have extremely delicious meals and also have a mini bar where you can spend your evenings from relaxing.

The Palm Resort

The palm resort is located in Tamatave near the airport at II Saint Marie and it is the nearest accommodation facility that tourists can use before they venture out to the different attraction sites. They have unique rooms which are all decorated to suit everyone’s personality, they are self-contained rooms and they also have a swimming pool where you can relax from and not forgetting the delicious meals that are provided from breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Susie’s place

Susie’s place is strategically located near the international airport of Madagascar and offers the best services especially for those that want to rest after a long flight into the country. They are located in a friendly environment with self-contained rooms which are spacious and comfortable allowing you the much needed rest before you continue with other activities. They also have good meals and the owners make sure that you have 24/7 room service if you need it.

The Sakamanga Hotel

The Sakamanga is located in Antananarivo in a very quiet place with well decorated self-contained with private balconies for each guest. You get to enjoy the wild while in the vicinity of your room, they also offer delicious meals and have a bar where you can relax from. It is the best place to stay especially after a long day exploring the Antananarivo National Park.

The Bellevue Hotel

This is located in the dusty Ifaty town and offers a wide range of services to its clients. They have several cottages which are grass thatched and these are spacious as well as self-contained and offers you a great view of the fishing village in the area and the rooms also offer you a good view of the beach.

Luxury hotels in Madagascar

Below are some of the five star hotels or luxury accommodation facilities that are found in Madagascar.

The Constance Tsarabanjina

The Tsarabanjina is located on a private Island that is located in Madagascar and it has one of the best villas around. It is an extremely good place for all those who love diving, trekking and enjoying the beautiful beach activities that can be carried out throughout the year.

They have 25 beautiful spacious beach villas which are self-contained. The rooms are grass thatched giving them a unique look, they are air conditioned and they also have private balconies where you can enjoy the view. The Constance Tsarabanjina offers great meals that are both local and international and not forgetting the good sea food that you will not taste anywhere else in the country, a lounge and when you visit the beach an umbrella is provided so that you do not get sun burn.

The Relais De La Reine

This is located near the Isalo national Park and offers the best accommodation facilities around Isalo. From the vicinity of your self-contained room, you will be able to see the rocky view of the Isalo and most probably take a hike when the need arises. They offer delicious meals and these can be delivered wherever you want to eat from, a private balcony adjacent to your room, a natural swimming pool and horse riding to keep you relaxed throughout your stay at the hotel.

The L’Heure Bleue

The L’Heure Bleue is located in Nosey Be on the Madirokey beach. It has wide and spacious luxurious bungalows and cottages which were designed to suit one’s tastes. The rooms are self-contained, have private balconies where you can easily rest from and view the beach scenery with all the privacy that you need. They also provide meals at any time of the day as long as you order on time and they offer various activities that will engage you and make your stay fun. You will also be able to enjoy the wildlife nearby like the Lemurs, dolphins, marine turtles, whales and many more others.

The princess Bora lodge

The princess Bora lodge is located in IIe Sainte Marie. It is less known but has good accommodation facilities that are well positioned so that you are actually able to do whale watching at the coast. You also get a private massage in your room which comes with a private balcony and is self-contained with a private balcony. Due to it secluded location, you get to enjoy the stroll on the beach with less people and you can also help out with collecting data on the whales and the best time to book the rooms at princess Bora is from July to September.

The Vokona lodge

The Vokona lodge is located near the Andasibe National Park. It has spacious self-contained rooms from where you can get a glimpse of the Lemur that jeep on jumping from one tree to the next, they have a private balcony, offer trekking excursions especially in the mornings, delicious meals that can be got from the lodge restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool and Wi-Fi to all the visitors who come to visit the famous Andasibe National Park.

The Anjajavy hotel

The Anjajavy hotel is located in Anjajavy and is the ideal place for all those that want to rest and keep away from the city life. It has spacious self-contained rooms, offers you all the privacy that you need due to its secluded location and you also get to watch the different lemurs that can be found in the Park especially the sifakas. It also provides its visitors with nature walks through the park and visits to the local people with the aid of a tur guide.

 

Madagascar is a magic casting island which is said to be the fourth largest internationally located approximately 400km from the eater coast of Africa. Wrapped in a very natural setting rich with attractions like wildlife, beautiful landscapes and the very immaculate sandy beaches; the island is one of the most toured destinations and has attracted thousands of tourists lured may of then to fly to Antananarivo. The well serviced, modern day and very luxurious accommodation facilities on the island have turned Madagascar into a haven for luxury that is not worth missing out.

madagascar lemur primates

Primates Of Madagascar

Madagascar is well known for its unique as well as diverse wildlife, it’s the major attraction that has drawn many tourists to the country. The lemurs are exotic animals that are inhabitant to the Island of Madagascar and the rest can be discovered in the bordering Comoros Islands. Lemurs are different species that are somehow hard to differentiate .Some are found in the wet rainforests of the eastern side of Madagascar. The dry spiny desert harbors some and this is situated in the Southwestern part of Madagascar.

Madagascar Lemur Primates Tour

You may be wondering why these lemur monkeys  are called primates ,This is because the current species that exist in Madagascar are small in size  and these include the tiny pygmy mouse lemur followed by the Indri along with the diademed sifaka which is slightly bigger compared to the rest. The lemur are just like the primates because they as well have grabbing hands with clear sight although with clear observation, you will notice that the two are quite different. The lemur’s rhinarium is often wet and the nose is so sensitive. Apart from the indri that has a long as well as furry tails that is used for stability, the rest of the animals are same. Stability is used when walking through the forest canopy. However the Indri’s tail can’t grasp compared to other monkeys that are discovered across the world.

madagascar lemur primates

A brief history about how these animals come into existence. Something to take note of is the fact that how and when these primates separated from their heredity that brought the birth of monkeys is still unpredictable. Although many think that by the time Madagascar split from the rest Africa, these animals were left behind.Scienetists say that these native animals come into existence right after Madagascar had split thousands of Kilometers from Africa. It’s said that the first group of the lemurs migrated from Africa by the help of the hanging vegetation during the time of the primate development and thereafter become rare in Africa.

Information About The Primates Of Madagascar

Currently there are about 89 species of lemurs in Madagascar. There are five main families and these include Daubentoniidae, Indriidae, Megalapidae, Lemuridae along with Cheirogaleidae.They are easily spotted when in groups. The Cheirogaleidae family consists of mouse as well as dwarf lemurs; these are smallest primates with gray or even lesser mouse lemur. These can only be seen in the nighttime. They are always isolated and rest in small numbers. The Lemuridae family comprise of lemurs like the red-ruffed, ring tailed along with the red-fronted species. They are acknowledged for their busy and long tails which they use for stability when they leap from the forest canopy. The Megaladapidae family consists of strong lemurs that are both seen during day and night. They feed on leaves. The Indriidae family is composed of species that are woolly and are the biggest among all families. The Daubentoniidae family consists of the unique lemurs that are called aye-aye.

Places To See The Primates

They are energetic and must see animals when in Madagascar, it’s a small animal that has gained its fame and this is because it has taken the position of the woodpeckers in the whole world. Its only seen during the night which may be difficult for some of the tourists on holiday to spot. Although with the help of tour guide, you may get an opportunity to search for it in the neighboring villages or in the reserves of Masoala located in the northern part of the Island.Accommodation in Madagascar ranges from luxury hotels,lodges,guest houses as well as apartments,these offer excellent services and facilities .

monkeys of madagascar

The lemurs can be discovered in several regions in Madagascar. All you have to do is to contact a reliable tour operator who is so familiar with best places for seeing these beautiful animals. Surprisingly these animals have spread around the island; they are seen in all sizes. Lemur tours usually take place along the island’s best reserves such as Spiny Forests, Andasibe along with Ranomafana.Arrange a tour to Madagascar and experience its natural beauty; it’s a fascinating country that ought to be visited in Africa.

visiting madagascar

When To Visit Madagascar

Best Time To Go To Madagascar

Madagascar is an all-round year destination for tourists but this entirely depends on the activities that you want to do in the country that is game spotting, birding, relaxing and other activities. We are going to look at when it is best to visit to visit Madagascar according to months so that you can get to know which months are good and which ones are not for visiting the country.

visiting madagascar

January

January in Madagascar is the beginning of the rainy season and this can come in quantities of over 340 millimeters. The heavy rains make it extremely hard for one to travel to the different tourist attraction sites like the National parks that keep on having slippery roads and floods due to the bad roads that keep on flooding from morning to evening.

Some hotels and lodges close during this period due to the heavy rains. It is not a peak season as the country gets few tourist this time of the year but it is only okay for those who do not mind the rain. There is also the likelihood of the country having cyclones during this month and that is why it is not advisable for one to travel to Madagascar during the rainy season especially in January.

February

It is not advisable for one to visit Madagascar during this month since it is the peak season of rainfall. During this month the rainfalls are extremely heavy and the roads in the country become even worse due to the slippery state that they are always in and the constant floods.

Most of the accommodation facilities and other tourist sites close during this month to avoid further damages that can be cause to them. For all those that do not want to mix with the crowds during the peak season, this is still not the right time for you to visit as you will not be able to access most of the sites.

March

March in Madagascar is still a wet season and one of the worst months for one to travel to the Island but even with the heavy rains, the temperature is still warm. The country around this time also experiences cyclones which are harmful and the various roads leading to the National parks and some hotels are closed off due to their flooded and muddy state. If you want to avoid crowds while visiting the country the best time would be beginning of December so that you avoid the cyclones that take up the rest of the months and therefore we advise all tourists not to travel to Madagascar during this month.

April

April is still a rainy month in Madagascar but there is a bit of relief from the cyclones that threaten the Island between the months of January to March. It is also a good time to visit the country as it will be the beginning of the sunny season and you will be able to see the beautiful scenery of the greenery in the different National Parks and other parts of the country. Since it is not a peak season, it is extremely conducive for all those that want to visit with fewer people in the country.

May

May is an extremely conducive month to visit Madagascar. The weather is not all that stable as it alternates between the rains and sunny weather but the beauty about visiting the country during this time is that the crowds will be less and you will be able to see a lot of tourist attraction sites with minimal pushing from the other tourists.

There will be a few showers of rain during this month but you will enjoy the view given by the greenery in the country, visit the Nosy Be and it is the best time for all those who love photography. You will be able to also see and participate in the various festivals celebrated by the locals. Therefore it is extremely advisable for all tourists who do not love crowds to visit the country.

June

During the month of June, the rain decreases drastically and you start to see more of sunshine. This is the same time when the plants in the country start flourishing and you will be able to spot a few animals in the wild playing about and for all those who love whale watching this is your month. You will be able to see the Humpback whales, see how rice is harvested and other cultural practices that are carried out by the locals. Do not be fooled by the sunshine, there might be abrupt showers of rain during this month so you need to be prepared.

 

July

July is an extremely good month for all those that want to visit Madagascar. It is however the beginning of the peak season and this means that if you want to get the best accommodation facilities and the best services you need to book earlier on in order to avoid inconveniences.

The country during this month experiences winter conditions and the temperature is always low and this gives tourists a chance to explore the country on foot. Due to the low temperatures one is able to trek through the various parks, visit the beaches, explore the rainforests that are found in the country and get to see the humpback whales that migrate to the country during this time, do some birding with the endemic bird species and also participate in Lemur trekking. Some of the Parks that are conducive to visit during this month include the Isalo which is good for trekking during this period.

August

August is a peak month for tourists in Madagascar due to the fact that it’s always holidays in Europe. This time of the month is good for spotting lemurs, birding and relaxing on the various beaches on the Island. The cool temperature experienced in August is always good for family time but you should come with extra money because since it is a peak season everything will be highly costed.

It might be extremely expensive to travel to Madagascar during the month of August but it will be worth it due to the many things that you will be able to accomplish while in the country. You can travel with your family because there are family packages available so that they are also not left out on this adventure.

September

September is still a peak season for tourists in Madagascar and it is one of the few best months for visiting the country. It marks the end of whale watching and there are hardly any rains during this month. You will be able to carry out the different activities like game drives through the Parks, birding, chameleons reptiles like snakes and many more others. It is quiet during this time of the month as compared to August since this is the time when children go back to school and it is also the best time to see other tourist attraction sites in Madagascar.

October

October is a very good month for tourists to travel to Madagascar. This time of the month the country receives warm temperatures and less rainfall which makes it travelling through the country easy. The mixture of rain and the warm temperatures lead to humidity in Madagascar.

This is the same month where most of the baby lemurs are born giving one a chance to see the various types of lemurs from the young to the old ones. This is also a good time to visit the beaches and do birding where you will get to see the different endemic species of birds in the country.

November

November in Madagascar is extremely hot as compared to the other months. This is a good month to visit the country as the roads are not as slippery as during the rainy season and one can do various activities like visiting the various National parks and see the wildlife, get to know the different plant species, do birding and relax at the beach. But due to the increase in temperature, you should carry protective gears for the sun like sunscreen, wide brimmed hats and a lot of water to quench your thirst. Do not also forget to carry water tablets as the water in the country is not that safe to drink.

December

December is also a rainy season in Madagascar and your visit to the country will have you get caught in the rains from the time. If you are planning on travelling within this month it is better if you travel earlier in the month since the rains will not as heavy as they are towards the end of the month.

When you visit the country in December, you will be able to see the various reptiles like snakes, lizards, chameleons which become extremely active because of the constant rains. It is not the best time to visit the beaches but you can visit the different cities in the country.

 

 

Madagascar will definitely be a favorite destination for anyone enthusiastic about nature. The blend of the sight of various endemic species plus the beautiful habitats on-land and in water, together with the culture and traditional history, it is an adventure worthy experiencing. Just don’t forget to carry your USA person with you and passport renewal and other services can be acquired online.

On arrival in Madagascar, visitors are usually astonished by the stunning landscape of the island. Persons interested in a close exploration of wildlife will notice that the verdant surrounding is a haven to several wildlife that you will come face to face with. You will certainly appreciate the natural beauty of the land on this island. Madagascar is a gem of diversity and more that 80% of the flora and fauna is endemic to the island. Being the fourth largest of all islands in the world, visitors are normally surprised by the wide range of habitats and the variety of landscapes. To discover more about the mysteries and wonders of the island’s climate and varying landscape, please read on.

Geography

Madagascar has three large geographical zones you can discover during your tours. First are the highlands found on the plateau in the heart of the island projecting to 4500 ft above sea-level and they are leading densely populated area on the island. The region is majorly covered with rice cultivated valleys. The red soil has been exposed by the severe erosion and it’s from this that the island is referred to as The Red Island. Second is the narrow but steep escarpment that extends over the east coast and in it are majority of the tropical rainforests. Third are the extensive dry plains that extend between the western highland boundaries towards the Channel of Mozambique.

Weather

The blend of the northwestern monsoon and the southeastern trade winds result into a rainy hot season from November to April plus a moderately cooler drier spell from May to October during the start of several Madagascar tours. Along the coastal areas, the climate is usually tropical while further inland it is mild. However, the south is drier and arid than other areas. The east coast receives most rain thanks to the heavy rain clouds that build up over the adjacent Indian Ocean. It is for this that the rain forest in this area has thrived.

Exploring

There are a variety of destinations to explore while in Madagascar like a series of man-made plus natural lakes interconnected by French canals on the eastern coast immediately inland, and they are referred to as the Canal de Pangalanes. However, the southern plus western regions of the island are habitats to tropical thorny forests, xeric scrub land and dry forests which are a haven to a variety of other flora and wild animals that can be explored through the various tours the island offers.

sightseeing in Madagascar

Madagascar Attractions, Things To Do

We have listed the best attractions and unique things to do in Madagascar.

Major Attractions In Madagascar

Parc National de L’Isalo

Within Toliary area, southwest of the adjacent Antananarivo is Parc National de L’Isalo which holds sandstone structures dated back into the Jurassic time. The national park hold fire-proof forests, open grasslands and deep canyons. It is a very stunning area ideal for hiking particularly in the canyons.

The plants and wildlife are also very spectacular and the park has over 15 lemur species, over 80 bird species and more than 30 reptiles. Many of these species are unique to this island and can’t be seen anywhere else on earth.  In Madagascar you will see the fire-proof Tapia plus Heza forests, and the riparian forest together with rivers. Therefore book a guide to take you through the exciting trail which runs between one to seven days but all worth experiencing.

isalo national park

Ranomafana National Park

Ranomafana National Park (hot-water in Malagasy)is the most magnificent forest on earth with a vast diversity of wildlife. There are more than 10 lemur species the spectacular golden-bamboo lemur and more than 120 catalogues species thirty of which are endemic to the island.

Being a rainforest, the wild animals are not the only attractions in the park but it is more like a magical woodland painted out of children’s’ story books. There are rare trees, carnivorous plants and medicinal trees together with various palm plus orchid trees. The small streams that converge into the Namorona River divide the forest.

Andasibe and Mantadia National Park

Initially being one forest, the Mantadia plus Andasibe National Park are now divided into two separate forests with the latter being adjacent to the Andasibe village whereas the former is a bigger park. These very thick humid forests hold some of the most unique plant species on earth. they are characterized by mosses, ferns, orchid and lians plus some valuable but rare tree species.

What To See

The indris call re lemurs that you shouldn’t miss. They are the biggest lemur projecting to one meter high and their weird cry echoes all through the park.  Unique about this park are the habituated lemur families open to human visiting. In addition to these are thirteen more lemur species, fifteen mammal species and close to one hundred species of birds such as the Madagascar Wagtail. There are over 45 reptile species including the leaf tailed geckos and the largest chameleon on the island.

sightseeing in Madagascar

There are various trails in the forest you can partake to view the wildlife and they usually include several sacred places of the long ago forest occupants.Madagascar is more of a huge playground in which nature experimented it wildness. There are several plant, reptile, birds and animals in Madagascar and a visit to the various national parks is the finest idea while on this island.Accommodation in Madagascar ranges from luxury hotels,lodges,guest houses as well as apartments,you are kindly recommended to book in advance to avoid any in conveniences.

 

 Attractions in Madagascar

Over time Madagascar has gradually become a famous holiday destination among tourists with hundreds of holiday makers jetting onto the island to enjoy the true African tranquil,, beauty and nature. The country’s good cultural and historic past has allured several people into visiting the islands. Listed below are some of the prominent tourist attractions in Madagascar that are most enjoyed by visitors and worth visiting.

Antananarivo

This is the capital city of Madagascar and it is commonly referred to as Tana by the local residents.  This capital unlike many in the world is comprised of several winding cobbled streets with small houses having wooden balconies plus shattered windows. The city lies on several hills which give it a cool highland locale. The city has very lively markets, numerous historic sites, architecture and most of all are the very hospitable people. The city is very ideal for trekking with spectacular views of the sunset over the backdrop hills.

The Queen’s Palace or Manjakamiadana

The Queen’s palace is a section of the enormous royal complex that was constructed for Queen Ranavolana back in the seventeenth century. Unfortunately, little of the palace’s previous beauty is seen today following the large fire that gutted the place in 1995 destroying most of the furniture. What remained was an empty hall of the queen’s palace, part of the tombs, a church and a stone gateway. Today reconstructions are still in progress although the place remains opened to the public at no charge.

The Ranomafana Hot Springs

These hot springs can be accessed by the bridge and seen near the previous Hotel Station. The baths are somewhat rural in style despite the magnificent setting which makes the facility rather a comfy place. The springs are popular for their naturally flowing mineral water which has a lot of medical importance such as helping with rheumatism, asthma and many others. Adjacent to the springs is a stunning swimming pool in which you can deep or float as you admire the scenic neighborhood.

Tsimbazaza Zoo plus the Botanical Gardens

A few kilometers from the capital Antananarivo lay the beautiful gardens together with the impressive Zoo which have attracted some of the largest numbers of tourist on the Island. In the zoo you will majorly find indigenous animals like the aye ayes, lemurs and the fossas. The botanical garden has is rich with various local plants and a very rich bird life which make it a perfect spot for bird watchers.  The place is opened daily from 9am to 5pm and entrance is at an affordable charge.

Antananarivo Crocodile Farm

This farm is a lake of hundreds of various sized crocodiles all living in the same environment. It is offers a very scenic view especially for first timers. Making a visit during the feeding hours which is at midday; will allow you to see a lot of activity among these crocodiles. This is a good place to visit particularly for individual who want to learn more about the history of crocodiles on this island. There is a gift shop and a wonderful restaurant in this place and it is opened daily from 9am to 5pm with admission at an affordable charge.

Things To Do in Madagascar

Other things to do besides visiting the primates of Madagascar

 

Participate in the Alahamadi Be

The Alahamadi Be is the New Year for all Malagasy people when it comes to tradition. The New Year celebrations take two days before they are complete and it is celebrated in the month of March. Traditional music rules over the whole event and the people go to the streets to congratulate each other upon reaching the New Year and you can join the various crowds although it is better if you leave most of your valued possessions in your room because they might be pickpocketed.

A visit to the Miniature studio

Antsirabe is where the Miniature studio is located and they can both be found in the southern part of Madagascar. The Miniature studio is where the locals use materials that are mostly recycled to make different things like small cars, bicycles, bags and many more others. There provide a free demonstration to the tourists especially for cars and bicycles.

You can buy yourself something from the shop if not just for the support of the community but note that you will need a local tour guide to translate everything for you as the demonstration at the miniature shop will be in French. They are extremely welcoming people and you can take as many photos as you want of the workshop for as long as you first seek for permission.

Join the Hiragasy celebrations

The Hiragasy celebrations are carried out in July and it is the traditional day when all the traditional entertainment is done and this ranges from music, sports, drama, eating and all these were carried out hundreds of years ago. Various competitions are carried out and you can participate in any activity that you want during these celebrations.

Take a stroll through the Gemstone factory

Madagascar is a country that is known to have a lot of gemstones although at the moment the government has put up a lot of sanctions against exporting of the gem stones as they were being smuggled out. The gemstone factory tour will show you how the gemstones are polished before being exported for sale and you also get a chance to search for gemstones with the employees after putting on protective gears.

Gemstones are part of the Madagascar culture as they are used when it comes to celebrations especially weddings and that is why you will find that the highest population in the country at least owns one or two gem stones in their homestead.

Join in the Fisemana ceremony

The Fisemana ceremony is carried out by the ethnic group of Antankarana   people and it is done as a cleansing ritual. This is carried out every year around June and it is led by the leaders who are known as the soothsayers. The ritual has always been done and it dates back many years ago which makes it a good one to go for especially for the tourists who want to know more about the culture in Madagascar but before you go for the ritual ask for permission from the elders so that you can participate fully.

Exploring the paper industry

The paper factory is locates in Ambalavao a small town in Madagascar and the paper that is made in the factory is exported to the different parts of the world. The paper is majorly used for art and it is made from the bark of the Havoha tree which is endemic to Madagascar. The beauty about visiting the paper making factory is that you will get to see how the locals make the paper using their hands and not machines.

The paper is cut out by the locals and then decorated with flowers and leaves before being left in the sun to dry before being packed to make books, lamp shades, notebooks and many more other paper materials. When you visit the factory you will get to see the way the tradition of making paper is done as this dates back to the 18th century.

Enjoy the Famadihana

You might not be able to engage in the Famadihana activity as it is carried out by only family members but you can be allowed to view the whole process only if you ask for permission from the ethnic leaders. The Famadihana is where the family members remove their dead relatives from their graves and have a celebration with them and this is mostly done as a sign of respect to the dead.

The dead are made to put on new silk clothes, food is shared while they are seated with their living relatives and they get to dance around with the dead bodies before they are reburied at the end of the day.

Visit the silk weaving studio

The silk studio is located in Ambalavao city and a visit to the place will show you how the Malagasy locals used to weave their silk clothes thousands of years ago as they still use the same techniques as before. The locals in Madagascar are known to make their own clothes from fine silk which are mostly used when it comes to celebrations like weddings and the one way you can get to learn how these are made is by visiting the studio.

The process through which the silk is made is a bit long but exciting to watch as you will get to see that they first pick the silk from the silk cocoons, boil wash and dry before it is spun around using hands. After that it is dyed and then later spun again to make the shawls and scarfs which come in different colors.

 

Enjoy the Santabary festival

The Santabary festival is carried out at the end of April to early May and it is carried out to celebrate the year’s harvest of rice. It has always been done from the ancient times as the festival shows how grateful the locals are for the rice harvests that they have received. The festival is filled with a lot of food, traditional music and dancing across the country and this is one festival that you do not want to miss out when you decide to take this safari.

Learn how to smelt Aluminum

The traditional aluminum factory is located in Ambatolampy a small town in Madagascar and here you get to see how Aluminum is smelted in the traditional way by the locals. When you get to the place, there will be a demonstration shown to the tourist about how the aluminum is smelted to created different products like pots, sauce pans and many more others. Do not forget to go with some bit of money to purchase some of the products that are made at the factory in order to support the community around it.

The decoration and transformation of the zebu horns

The zebu horns are got form a cow breed that is known as the Zebu which is the mostly reared breed of cattle by the locals. The zebu horns are sharp and long and these can be used to make different things that can be used in a homestead.

Visit the Zebu workshop and get to see how they make cutlery out of horns, necklaces, all types of jewelry and many more other things. The employees at the workshop will take you through a free demonstration and show you how they make the different products and you will also be required to at least purchase something from the workshop to support the noble cause.

 

Madagascar Tour Operators

Bradt Artwork.jpg
Enjoy your Holydays on Madagascar without any Language Barrier Experienced Travel Guides are at y...
MWA.jpg
I am an organizer of ecotourism circuits in Madagascar. Through my local agency Moramora West Adv...
image.png
Green Island Discovery Madagascar is the tour operator that will satisfy your curiosity about Mad...
Logo end.jpg
We are an incoming tour operator and DMC based in Antananarivo. We really excel at tailor-making ...
images.jpg
Tsaraventura is a solidarity tour operator based in Antsirabe, we are tailor made tours and offer...
Showing 5 results

 

monkeys of madagascar

Madagascar Tours

Welcome to the complete guide of visiting Madagascar. Find the top destinations, when to go, Madagascar tour companies, flights, tourist attractions, health, visa information, where to stay and so much more.

As you are visiting Madagascar, you will need to know the different things about the country because they will guide you through your whole stay in the country. We are going to look at the when you should visit the country, the requirements that are needed before you enter the country, the languages spoken and other vital information that will make your trip to Madagascar calm without interruptions.

madagascar lemur

The Best Time To Visit Madagascar?

Madagascar is an all year round holiday destination country and you can go for a safari any time that you feel like it. But remember that most of the time it is the activities that you want to do that determine when you are to visit the country.

Located in the Eastern part of the East African coast, Madagascar is an Island that has a lot to offer when it comes to trips and all you need to know is that you need to be prepared for the weather conditions that keep on changing from time to time are in the area. And since the best time depends on the activities, below are some pointers on when the best time is for one to go to this island.

If you are into lemur trekking, the best time to visit the country is between October and November during the winter season and this is because during this time, the Lemurs are often seen on ground level which makes easy to trek and you also get the chance to take a few photos. And during this same period, most of the lemurs give birth and therefore give you a chance to see both the lemur babies and pregnant lemurs that are almost giving birth.

There are two peak seasons for tourists in Madagascar and these are April to November. This period is a dry season and many tourists can be seen flocking the country to view the different tourist attraction sites in the country. It is also known as the festive season and you will get to enjoy the beautiful culture that is portrayed by the Malagasy people but not that since it is a peak season everything will be priced highly from transportation costs to accommodation facilities and if you are not a fan of large crowds, then this is not the best time for you to visit Madagascar.

The other peak season for tourists in Madagascar is from July to October and this normally is the start of the winter season and if you are to visit during this period, you should pack appropriately that is long sleeved clothes and sweaters or jackets that will help you keep warm and do not forget to pack insect repellent to ward off the insects especially at night.

Getting A Visa To Madagascar

The Madagascar visa prices greatly differ depending on the season but in most cases they are always between 35 to 37 euros. Before you go the country, you will need to fill in a migrations form and the visa form including a health form which will be asked for as soon as you land in the country.

If you are coming from a country where there are fatal diseases like Hepatitis B or yellow fever, then you are required to come with the health cards to show that you have been cleared or immunized from the diseases.

And not forgetting, it is better to walk with all the above documents as you travel to all your tours within the country because immigration officers might ask for them abruptly. The visa can go for as many days as up to thirty days and this gives you ample time to tour the country and get to know all the different hidden treasures of this wonderful island.

The Madagascan Currency

When you visit Madagascar, you will have to exchange your money at the forex bureau since most of the transactions are always done using the local currency. The local currency is known as the Malagasy Ariary or MGA and most people normally exchange their money from the airport because it is known to be cheaper than when you enter town. Your trip will be made quite easy if you have a visa card as these are accepted more than the dollars but if you do not get the chance to actually exchange your money at the airport, you can also go the different banks located in the city.

About Madagascar Tourism

The Republic of Madagascar is an island nation lying on the Indian Ocean, East of the African coast. It is neighbored by other island nations like Mauritius and the French Territory of Reunion in the East, French Territory of Mayotte in the North East and Comoros. Madagascar measures 587,000 square kilometers which makes it the fourth largest island in the world and the 47th largest country worldwide. It is the 52nd largest country in population and 174th in population density with a population of 21,290,000 people and a density of 35 people per square kilometer.

Most of the Malagasy people practice farming as a money making venture. However, the island nation is one of the world’s poorest countries with about 90% of its citizens living below the poverty line. Madagascar has also been called the “Eighth Continent” due to its unique diversity in wildlife, flora and its people and culture. Madagascar has two seasons, a hot rainy season from November through to April with cyclones caused by collision of the North Western Monsoon winds and the South Eastern trade winds and a cool dry season from May to October.

madagascar islands

 

How To Get To Madagascar

There are several flights that can get you into the country but if you are not aware of them or conflicted on what exactly to use when travelling to Madagascar, we can help you arrange for the flights and airport pickup so that you do not suffer with the airlines.

When you get to the country you will be able to use the different means of transport that are found in the country but the most used transportation is water due to the fact that it is an island. But there are also other transportation means that can be used and these include road and rail transport. All these will give you an opportunity to visit the country and get to the deepest routes of it.

What Languages Are Spoken in Madagascar?

The official language that is spoken in Madagascar is French. This id due to the fact that Madagascar was colonized by the French and after them leaving, the language was maintained as the official language.

The other language that is spoken in Madagascar is Malagasy and this is commonly used by the locals especially those who have not had a formal education. And of course there are a few people who try to speak English and this used especially when translating for the tourists who come into the country.

The name Madagascar was first recorded in historical explorer, Marco Polo’s memoirs where he talked about its biodiversity and other attractions. Previously called the Malagasy Republic, Madagascar had been part of the supercontinent Gondwana but about 160 million years ago, it broke off from Africa and floated away with the Indian Peninsular. It then broke off from India too, about 88 million years ago and the indigenous species of both plants and animals were allowed to evolve in isolation and become some of the rarest wildlife and plant life on the planet.

The first evidence of human existence on the island nation was archeological finds that dated 2000 years. Malagasy oral historians set the first occupation of the Island in 350 BC to 500 BC when groups of Austronesian came from South Eastern Asia sailing on outrigger canoes from Borneo. The Austroasians then practiced the slash and burn type of farming where they cut down whole rain forests, planted crops on the land until it got exhausted upon which they would seek a new rain forest to slash and burn. At around 1000 BC, Madagascar then got an infusion of Bantu tribes sailing in from the African mainland through the Mozambique Channel.

Such late dates of settlement make Madagascar one of the last major land masses to be settled on by humans. In the 14th Century, the bio diverse island would be discovered by Portuguese sea captain, Diogo Diaz, which would open the door to Madagascar becoming an important hotspot in the transoceanic trade. That small island north of Madagascar called the Nosy Boroha has even been proposed by numerous historians as the legendary pirate’s Utopia that was called, “Libertalia” where countless European ships were shipwrecked. The Island would then be occupied by the French in the 17th Century from whom they would get independence on 17th November 1960. All these peoples and cultures left a lasting imprint on the Island country which hence makes it one of the most culturally diverse societies on the planet, with a mixture of Borneo, Sumatra, Indonesian, Java, and African descent. See more facts about Madagascar.

touring

What Wildlife Do You Find in Madagascar?

Apart from unique people, Madagascar also has very unique wildlife. While on a safari in Madagascar, you will find that 90% of its flora and fauna is endemic to the island. It cannot be found anywhere else. The Hollywood movie franchise, “Madagascar” rightly portrayed the Ring Tailed Lemur as unique and regal in Madagascar. This unique lemur, which cannot be found anywhere else but Madagascar, is believed to be the ancestor of the monkey. Ninety percent of all lemurs in the world make a home in Madagascar. Everywhere else the lemurs evolved into monkeys.  The lemur is highly revered and worshiped by the Malagasy. They believe it carries the souls of their loved ones with it. However, that is about all the movie got right about the island. There are no lions, zebras, hippos or giraffes, and definitely no penguins! But the Malagasy don’t mind. They say they love the movie because it’s very funny. The lemurs however are on the brink of extinction and have been added on the Red List of threatened species. By visiting these primates, you will be contributing to the conservation efforts of these endangered animals.

Birding in Madagascar

birdwatching in Madagascar

Madagascar is one of the top vacation holiday spots for birding in Africa. Find more about Madagascar birding, field guides, top birders and destinations.

 

Madagascar has 350 species of birds, 150 species of fish, and 670 species of snails and countless other unique animals, some of which are at the brink of extinction because of human activities like deforestation. These include the carnivorous Fossa which resembles a cat and uses its strong tail for balance as it moves around in the Madagascar forests. This cat was immortalized in the Madagascar franchise but in real life, its habitat has been reduced by nearly 40%

Madagascar also has the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko named so because of the small horns it has on its head and what looks like a sinister smile. It blends well with its environment and when threatened it can mimic dead leaves with its tail which resembles insect-nibbled leaves.

Hissing cockroaches are also endemic to the island country. These cockroaches are Hollywood’s cliché for carnivorous insects that prey on humans in the movies. However the cockroaches actually only eat fruits that falls to the ground and only crawl out of hiding from within tree trunks for fear of being eaten. They use their air holes to hiss by blowing air through them and hiss during mating and with rivals in a hissing battle to find out who hisses loudest.

Other endemic animals include the Madagascar Foddy, a beautiful lightweight bird, the Long Eared Owl, Tomato Frog, Panther Chameleon which has the widest range of colors of any chameleon on the planet, and the Darwin’s Dark spider which casts one of the strongest web, ten times stronger than Kevlar.

Madagascar is also home to the famous Boabab tree which has a bloated stem in which it stores distilled water for use in the drier season. Animals also chew on the Boabab stem in the dry season to keep away dehydration. Some hollow Boababs are even used as shelter by bats snakes and birds and even humans. They are also used to make beers and juices.

THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN MADAGASCAR

tsingy national park

Find things to do while on your Madagascar tours.

The Tsingy de Bamahara National Park

Tsingy De Bamahara National Park is one of the most intriguing places to visit in the world. Located in Southern Madagascar in the Melaky Region, Mahajanga Province, the UNESCO listed world heritage site is a 250sq kilometer park made up of tall limestone obelisks with jagged spears that were created over many centuries by the movement of water and wind. The area is also called, “forest of limestone” and “limestone cathedral”. The reserve is a sanctuary for some of Madagascar’s rarest animals like 11 species of lemur including the white lemur. The obelisks or lime pinnacles are able to sustain different ecosystems both at the top and at the bottom of the forest as some animals can be seen hanging from the jagged spears of the limestone icicles. You can take a cycling tour here.

The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga is Madaga

scar’s most sacred place for the Malagasy. The historical village was the home of the Malagasy royalty, the Medina of the central highlands. The palace consists of a traditional grass thatched palace that was the abode of the all-powerful King Andrianampoinimerina. It is built in wood and a rosewood center pole that is said to have been carried thousands of miles from the coast and cost a few hundred slaves their lives in the process. King Andrianampoinimerina is also said to have hidden among the rafters whenever he got visitors and he would drop a pebble on his wife’s head to signal to her that the particular visitor was approved. You can also visit the king’s royal baths which he dipped in once a year and the water thereafter used for sacred purposes.

Next door to the King’s grass thatched palace stands, in contrasting fashion, Queen Ranavalona’s European style palace that was built for her by the French Engineer Jean Laborde. This palace was fitted with mirrors to help the Queen monitor her servants and prevent one of them poisoning her food.

The wall that surrounds the palace is also a marvel as it was built in mortar and 16million eggs. The Royal Hill is a marvel that will fill you with awe at man’s abilities and give yo

u an insight into Malagasy culture as you witness pilgrims who even today still leave offerings at the palace.

The Ille Saint Marie

Ille Saint Marie is a beach on the Eastern coast of Madagascar. It is very well known for having been a hotspot for pirates in the 17th and 18th Century. Shipwrecks of European trade ships that were on their way to trade across the inter-oceanic trade circuit can still be seen below from the shallow clear waters of the Baie des Forbans. The beach is also one of Madagascar’s most ideal places for diving, snorkeling, and clear water fishing.

The Ifaty

Ifaty is a combination of two dusty beach towns in the South West of Madagascar that are well known for their wonderful beach holiday resorts. The beaches have a 60mile long coral reef that harbors the coast from dangerous aggressive waves from the Indian Ocean. This makes for calm waters at the beach ideal for snorkeling, fishing and diving. Deeper into the inland also stands the famous Boabab trees that have lived for centuries. Some Boabab trees have even been known to live for 8 centuries.

The Avenue of the Boababs

Madagascar is home to some of the planet’s most intriguing and unique trees, the Boababs. Boabab trees have bloated stems in which they store distilled water for use in drier seasons. They also have few leaves which is probably a way to reduce water loss. Animals in the dry seasons eat the tree trunk to save themselves from dehydration. The Avenue of the Boababs is a group of trees lining the dirt road from Morondava and Beloni Tsribihina in Western Madagascar. These particular trees were part of an entire forest of Boababs which however got chopped down by the locals so as to farm the land. The Avenue was protected and left intact as an attraction for tourists and has indeed pulled in countless tourists every year.

tourism guide

 

The Ranomafana National Park

Ranomafana National Park is located in the village of Ranomafana. The most beautiful part of the park is the Eastern side which is covered in streams splashing against rocks through rainforest which makes for a scenic view that will set your heart to rest. It is the habitat of the Golden Bamboo Le

mur which, as the name suggests, lives on bamboo and a diet filled with cyanide which is dangerous for other animals but has no effect on them.

The Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park is located in Central Southern Madagascar and is well known for its varied terrain which is rather a contrast to the rainforest of Ranomafana Park. Isalo is covered in grasslands with steep canyons, sandstone and occasional pools with palm trees.

Antananarivo Holidays Madagascar

You can also visit the city of Antananarivo which is Madagascar’s capital city and economic center. It has unique sites like the Rova sitting atop one of Madagascar’s highest hills and was the home of Queen Ravalona II. It also houses the royal tombs of the former Merina kings and queens. You can also visit the Muses Andafivarata which was the Prime Minister Rainilaiariviny’s home. The prime minister is famous for having married three queens in succession. Queen Rasoherina, Queen Ranvalona II, and Queen Ranvalona III. He is also said to have been the power behind the throne.

Other parks include Amber Mountain National Park, Anja Community Reserve, Anjajavy Private Reserve, Fianarantsoa, Tsimanampetsotsa, Masoala National Park, Zahamena National Park, Zombitse Vohibasia , Kirindy Mitea, Andasibe Mantadia, Andohahela, Andringita, Ankarafantsika, Ankarana, Bay Of Baly

 

WHERE TO STAY IN MADAGASCAR

Madagascar has a lot of accommodation facilities that cater for everyone’s budget and they are all good to stay in. once you get the chance to visit the country, you need to be well equipped and at least know where you are going to stay once you get there. Some of the accommodations that can be accessed on the Island include:

hotels in madagascar

The bamboo club Ifaty                 

Located in the dusty town of Ifaty, the bamboo club offers one of the best facilities in the area when it comes to accommodation. They have bungalow rooms that have private washrooms and a terrace where you can enjoy the morning and setting sun from.

They also offer meals in their restaurant that include local cuisines, they have an outdoor swimming pool and offer private parking for all vehicles. They also offer free WIFI, a scenic view to the garden, an airport shuttle although this one comes at a free cost and they also allow pets.

The ITC lodge

The ITC lodge is located in Ranohira and it is located near the Isalo National Park.  They offer good meals at the restaurant, they offer a packed lunch for all those who want to go for picnics or game drives and they have an open bar where one can go for a drink. The rooms are very spacious and they have an inbuilt toilet and bathroom that is well equipped and a terrace from where you can see the setting sun and enjoy the view around the lodge.

They also offer car hire services and an offer for free transportation to the airport and the lodge also offers good terrains for those who love hiking.

There are so many other accommodation facilities that I have not mentioned here but they can be secured by booking with us early so that we get you the best accommodation that can fit into your budget and remember that if you are coming during the peak seasons you should prepare to spend extra money so come fully prepared to spend your extra change as you enjoy Madagascar.

Hotel Sakamanga:

Hotel Sakamanga is a midrange and top range hotel in Antananarivo. It has friendly atmosphere with friendly employees who will make your stay comfortable. It has a beautiful decor that is made up of many artifacts enough to fill up a museum, some of which are from Malagasy cultures. The rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat TV with cable, bathrooms with flush toilets, terraces where you can view the city. The famous Prime minister’s palace, Andafiavarata is only a 10 minute drive away.

L’heure Bleue:

L’heure Bleue is located on the tropical island of Nosy Be and overlooks the Madirokely Bay. The Crater bay is also 20 minutes away. Both these bays are good for snorkeling, diving, fishing and generally having a relaxing feel of a tropical atmosphere. The rooms at the hotel are housed in bungalows which have a very good view of the bay and the ocean. They have a terrace for relaxation, a breathtaking swimming pool, a bar and restaurant which serves both Malagasy and international cuisines, free WiFi, and tropical decor in the lounges.

Le Karthala:

Le Karthala is a nice guesthouse in the heart of the city owned by Antananarivo local, Marianne. It is one of Madagascar’s oldest guesthouses and they value the 18 year experience they have gained in catering to the needs of travelers. The guest house is homely and comfortable with beautiful rooms, a roof terrace on the roof for relaxing as you sip a drink and look over at the city. They provide breakfast and guests are free to use the kitchen at any time.

Tsara Guest House:

Tsara Guest House is a plantation-style guesthouse which is perennially popular among tourists to the capital. The communal spaces are commendable, the welcoming area, with a thriving fire; a glass-walled eatery serving appealing food and a beautiful outdoor terrace with great views. There are four categories of room from regular presidential suite.

Other good hotels to stay at are the Chez Francis which has a beautiful view of the city, and Hotel le Glaciers which has live music.

Any Healthy Vaccinations Required Before Visiting Madagascar?

Like any other country, Madagascar also has her own health sanctions that are supposed to be followed when it comes to tourists entering the country. The different proof vaccinations that are required from tourists in Madagascar include Hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, Malaria, MMR and typhoid. These will be asked for by the immigration officers as soon as you land into the country. And if you have a sensitive skin, you are also recommended to have sunscreen that will protect you from the tropical sun that is in the country and repellent to avoid insect bites especially during the cold weathers.

City Tours

Madagascar has very interesting cities to visit such as
Morondava, Ifaty, Antananarivo, Nosey Be

Is Madagascar Safe For Tourists?

Madagascar is extremely safe to travelers and everyone can visit the country whenever they want. But note that during election times you will find some be safe warnings especially in the big towns and city Centres and they are always warnings to all those who are not in support of the majority. This is never focused towards the travelers but it will not kill you just to be aware of the conmen.

Visit Madagascar