Madagascar feels a little bit like a mystical isle with odd creatures and landscapes found only in your imagination. The biodiversity on this massive island is high, making it one of the few nations on earth to be considered ‘megadiverse’ by scientists. That means nearly 80% of the plants and animal species are only found on Madagascar. You’ll discover whimsical creatures like playful lemurs, gorgeous orchids, and elegant Baobab trees amongst the island’s environments.
High biodiversity combined with low tourism numbers makes a winning combination! Intrepid travelers and those with adventure running through their veins will thrive off the rugged terrain of Madagascar. In fact, this country makes ‘off the beaten track’ seem like an understatement. That being said, there are plenty of small luxuries and comforts to be found in accommodation and experience. This island located off the coast of East Africa encapsulates desert, rainforest, reef, and mountain–all packed with an abundance of birds, animals, and plants which will simply blow your mind.
Throughout your journey, you will find the warmth of the Malagasy people a constant companion. While physically close to Africa, the Malagasy people share an intricate and layered cultural history. Modern-day Malagasy culture is an amalgamation of East African Bantu tribes, French colonialism, vestiges of Middle Eastern trade routes, and Asian agriculturalists. The vibe and energy of the nation pulsates through your every experience.
What we love about Madagascar
Leapin’ Lemurs! — There’s no denying that lemurs are magnetic personalities. Spending some time amongst some of the 105 different species of lemur is Madagascar’s iconic wildlife experience. Perhaps you will hear the haunting call of the largest lemur species, the Indry, as you walk through its deciduous forest home. Or maybe you will fortunately glimpse the smallest lemur; the Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur which stands 3-4 inches tall (9-11 cm). No matter which type you find along your expedition, encounters with these incredible, rare animals will leave you with indelible memories.
Local Flair — A rich cultural melting pot cannot be ignored on a Madagascar sojourn. Stroll the village markets for an assault on your senses, or sit with the traditional shaman to learn about traditional and natural medicines. Eat some of the local specialties like Zebu au Poivre, a local meat dish with pepper sauce or Romazava, the over-the-top national dish of varied meats prepared in a sauce of tomato, garlic, ginger and stewed greens. Meet the Antadroy, a fierce nomadic people who follow ancient traditions of ancestor worship. Discover the many facets of Malagasy society which are woven into the fabric of your trip through village visits and community-based conservation initiatives.
Coastal Living — Over 3,000 miles (4,828 km) of beautiful beaches and pristine tropical reef wait for you on your adventure. This is your quintessential chance to run off into the sunset and disappear from the world for a while. Tucked along the azure waters of the Malagasy coast, lie tiny islands housing exclusive resorts, beachfront bungalows, boutique hotels, and charming fishing villages. Enjoy boating, watersports, coastal walks in nearby reserves, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and a variety of terrestrial and marine life.
Madagascar enjoys a tropical climate year-round and can be visited at any time of year. From November through April, you can expect some lush landscapes due to rain with high humidity and intense tropical thunderstorms including cyclones. May through October brings drier conditions and cooler temperatures, with typically clear skies and mild clear skies and mild temperatures in the high 80s F (low 30s C). This is peak season for tourism.
Madagascar offers exclusive accommodation in remote areas. Camps and lodges tend to be less expensive than those in mainland African destinations. However, the infrastructure in the country is rudimentary and we often will recommend charting flights. This can increase costs substantially.
Prices vary widely from as low as $250 to $1000 (per person daily), dependent on season, accommodation, type of internal transportation, and individual needs/preferences.
Big Journeys Start With Small Steps
~ African Proverb