The 20 things to do and see in Madagascar

Located in the Indian Ocean, the huge island of Madagascar, this island of red earth, this place with a thousand fantasies, is a place of discovery and travel. Between its climate, its fauna, its flora, its incredible landscapes and its adorable population, how not to fall in love with this island?

Whether you like sport, cultural activities, parks, fishing or lounging on a beautiful beach, the island of Madagascar offers its thousand and one beauties both African and Asian.

We give you our 20 essential ideas to know what to do and what to visit in Madagascar:

 


– Antananarivo
Antananarivo, formerly Tananarive in French, is the capital and the largest city of Madagascar. The Malagasy capital is one of the most dynamic cities in all of Africa, and here you will enjoy rich historical, architectural and cultural sites throughout this city built on several hills, with palaces and churches along its streets. paved.

The city is divided into 3 levels: the Lower City, the Middle City and the Upper City. Go for a walk along the Independence Street: this is certainly where you will find many beggars, but you will really be in the heart of the city, closer to the locals. Visit the castle of the Queen (about 10,000 Ar / pers) through its gardens, and do not hesitate to take a guide (25 000 Ar more) that will teach you a little more about the history of the country. You can also go for a walk around the Anosy Lake which sits in the middle of the city center.

 


– Ankazobe
This city is located about 40 kilometers from the capital, Antananarivo. Unlike big cities, the streets are not paved and you will find the red earth that contrasts with the elements and the immaculate sky.

To find trinkets, to discover the true Malagasy community, to admire places full of charm, typical, this is the perfect place to stock up on memories. However, if you do not have a lot of time on your trip, this is not a must-visit place on the island, but Ankazobe remains a nice place to visit.

 


– Itampolo
A little piece of paradise, on the southwest coast of Madagascar, with a beach of white sand as far as the eye can see, where outrigger canoes wait to go to sea. Because Itampolo is a charming fishing village, specialized in lobster .

 


– Nattes Island
Located at the south of the island of Sainte Marie, the island with the Mats is a true paradise in Madagascar. It is a recognized site for hiking trails but also for its beaches. This place is for anyone who wants to reconnect with Mother Nature, be in harmony with the environment and enjoy, if possible, the unique spectacle of humpback whales.

 


– The island of Nosy Be
Nosy Be is the largest and certainly the most beautiful seaside resort of Madagascar, located off the northwest coast. Its tropical climate and superb location make it a perfect holiday destination. The beaches of Nosy Be are ideal for swimming because they spread gradually, remaining shallow for miles in the water. They are peaceful and you forget all the stress, with canoes abandoned in the sand and calm off.

 


– St. Mary’s Island
In the east of Madagascar, this island can enjoy the beach and coral reefs for those who love to scuba dive. However, most tourists come because it is an excellent spot for whale watching.

 


– The Alley of baobabs
The Baobab Alley or Baobab Avenue is a group of baobabs that line the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region of western Madagascar. Taking this route is both magical and impressive. It is a row of about 20 to 25 large baobabs along a 260-meter dirt road in the middle of the pastures between Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina.

The striking landscape of this very “photogenic” place attracts travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited places in the region. Since 2007, the Ministry of the Environment, Ecology and Forests has given this place the status of temporary protected area, which is the first step towards the classification of “national monument” in Madagascar.

To get there, you have to go to Morondava, which you can reach by road, by plane or by sea. By car, you have to leave the famous RN 7 in Antsirabe and take the RN 44 towards Morondava ( 600 km or 9 hours drive).

 


– The Tsiribihina River
One of the unique ways to explore the country is by canoe or canoe trip on the Tsiribihina River. There are many reputable companies that organize excursions and some even offer camping on the shore and cooking under the stars while wildlife surrounds you and soothes you before you fall asleep.

 


– Belo sur Mer
For lovers of beautiful beaches, that of Belo sur Mer is the ideal place to meet. You can relax at leisure while admiring the canoes that come back and go fishing. Here, it is interesting to go see the salt works and watch the carpenters working on the ship producing schooners following a 19th century model.

 


– Bay of the Dunes (Antsiranana)
About twenty kilometers from Diego-Suarez, the “Three Bays” follow one another (Sakalava Bay, Pigeon Bay and Dunes Bay). The latter, with its white sand, attracts more and more people: with its turquoise water, breathtaking seabed, wild coast, you have the impression that this little piece of paradise is within your reach and that no one can tear you off.

To relax, to sunbathe serenely, to have fun in the waves, to picnic in one of the caves while looking at the horizon and the blue sky, the Bay of Dunes is surely one of the favorite places of in love with the island. And we understand why …

 


– The Bay of Diego-Suarez
The bay of Diego-Suarez is located at the northern tip of Madagascar and owes its name to two Portuguese navigators of the 15th and 16th century. This bay consists of 4 bays, one of which is considered a sacred place. Discover this little corner out of nowhere, smell the atmosphere of the port city of Antsiranana, and finally visit the National Park of Amber Mountain, the beautiful beach of Ramena and many other places …

 


– The Falls of the Lily (Ampefy)
The place was formerly called Antafofo. His name changed when a colonist who came to live on the spot lost his daughter baptized Lily in the fall. The latter fell into the water as she played on the edges. The fall of the Lily is a splendid landscape not to be missed

 


– The geysers
A few hours away followed by a few kilometers of track of the capital, the Ampefy geysers, in the volcanic region of Lake Itasy.

An astonishing and impressive landscape with its ocher and red colors matching the surroundings.

 


– The Makis Canyons
From Ranohira, one of the beautiful walks to do is the Makis Canyon. With meadows as far as the eye can see, you will forget all your landmarks and suddenly, as you walk quietly, it is at this precise moment that lemurs will appear before your astonished eyes. Do not forget to take a guide with you because the terrain is not always secure and the slopes are sometimes slippery because of the wet stones.

 


– Isalo National Park
The Isalo National Park is currently the most visited park in Madagascar. Often called Jurassic Park, it is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island. The landscape of Isalo consists of eroded ruiniform sandstone formations dating from the Jurassic period, from deep canyons to riparian forests, oases lined with palm trees, fire-resistant tapia forests and open meadows.

It is probably the best place to see Catta Lemurs (Ring-tailed lemurs) and White Verreaux sifakas dancing and jumping. It is also a sacred place for the Bara tribe, whose funerary sites are noted by mounds of tiny stones placed in crevices on the rock.

For those who love trekking and hiking, the park is a bargain. Once you have taken a little height, you will have the chance to admire a sensational view of what is nicknamed the “Malagasy Colorado”.

 


– Marojejy National Park
The Marojejy National Park is located in the North-West of the island. With an area of ​​55,500 hectares, an incredibly dense forest that can reach 2000 meters above sea level, this place is now declared a nature reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the lower part of the park, you will find a real jungle both hot and dense and the higher you climb, the more you meet small forests: all this biodiversity offers the opportunity to shelter more than 110 species of birds, 140 species of snakes and dozens of lemurs. Today, this park is open to the public and is also a favorite place for hikers.

 


– Ranomafana National Park
Ranomafana is one of the most famous and most important parks of Madagascar. Created in 1991 following the discovery in 1986 of the golden bamboo lemur, Ranomafana Park has served as a model for subsequent parks and reserves in the country and even abroad. Note that once you venture into the more remote areas where most tourists do not go, it is then that you experience the real wildlife experience.

 


– Tsingy National Park of Bemaraha
Tsingy de Bemaraha is one of Madagascar’s newest parks (opened in 1998). The 72,340 hectares of Bemaraha are especially famous for their Tsingy, sharp limestone pinnacles up to 45 meters high. These unique formations in the world arouse the curiosity of botanists, geologists, environmentalists and biologists. Through the Tsingy are canyons and gorges rich in fauna and flora.

They are home to a number of animal species, including 11 types of lemurs (including Decken’s Sifaka, Red-fronted Lemurs and Madagascar’s Sea Eagle, one of the world’s rarest raptors). The Manambolo River Gorge, which forms the southern boundary of the park, is simply breathtaking and beautiful, and canoeing is possible.

 


– The Nahampoana Reserve
Near Tôlanaro (or Fort-Dauphin) is the Nahampoana reserve where you can discover many animals including the famous lemurs but also a diversity of flora that is just incredible: between eucalyptus, bamboo, hibiscus, camphor trees, you will not have enough of your eyes to immerse yourself in this greenery so present and so fragrant. Note that it is possible to take a dip in a waterfall.

 


– The Anja Reserve
Located 15 minutes drive from the city of Ambalavao in the center of the country, the park of Anja can be discovered day and night: you will be able to discover an extraordinary fauna between chameleons, lemurs and multicolored insects that play of illusion with floral elements. The visit is very pleasant and it is possible to make many photo breaks.

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