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Travel Notes: Africa: Madagascar Travel Notes

Madagascar Travel Notes

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Madagascar Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Find Madagascar Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Madagascar.

About Madagascar

The Democratic Republic of Madagascar is the world's 4th largest island; situated 360km east of Mozambique.

Madagascar Country Background

At 1,571 km long, by 571 km wide, there are plenty of beaches and contrasts on Madagascar.

Map of Madagascar

A mountainous central spine separates the permanently damp east from the drier west, and sub-desert south.

Weather in Africa:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Africa.

Madagascar - The Island

Man is said to have arrived on Madagascar more than 2,000 years ago; by canoe from Melanesia, Polynesia, Indonesia - and joined later by the Bantu from Africa and Arabian traders - to make up this unique Afro-Asian nation.

The Merina and Betsileo peoples, who live in the interior of Madagascar, are the descendants of these early migrants from Indonesia.

The Portuguese, English, and French all had problems in their early attempts to colonise Madagascar; although the French did manage to hang around for thirty years during the 1600s.

Succeeding Merina monarchs took it in turns to befriend the English or the French, but relations were always strained.

Queen Ranavalona III finally gave in to the French at the end of the 19th century, and the country became known as the Malagasy Republic.

The name reverted back to Madagascar after Independence.

Air Madagascar:
Regular flights to Madagascar from France.

Madagascar National Tourism Board:
In Madagascar, visitors are advised to respect children, mothers, the elderly and rice fields.

Madagascar Photo Essay:
This web site is intended to illuminate the principles of ecology and evolutionary biology and to educate people about threats to biodiversity.

Visiting Madagascar

The cyclone season brings the rains to Madagascar from February to March and is a good time for flowering orchids.

Once the rains are finished, the countryside becomes lush and green from April to May.

Animals are least active during June to August (the coldest months), so it's probably best to visit between September and December; after the cool, dry winter but before the hot rainy season.

Nosy Komba:
Located between the mainland of Madagascar (Ankify peninsula) and the island of Nosy Be.

6 Things To Do on Holiday in Madagascar

With its exceptional diversity in geography, biodiversity and culture, there's something new for you to do each time you visit Madagascar.

The following are popular activities that you might like to consider:

Lazy Days at The Beach

Madagascar is famous for its fine white sands and calm, clear waters, making it ideal for a relaxing day at the beach as well as snorkelling when the tide is low.

Some ideals spots to experience the characteristic sandy white beaches include Nosy Ve, and Anakao.

Madagascar’s Unique Wildlife

Madagascar is home to some of the most extraordinary wildlife including lemurs, a rainbow-array of chameleon species and bird species you will find nowhere else in the world.

Berenty Private Reserve is a popular hotspot for wildlife viewing in Madagascar and is most popular for its brown lemur, ring-tailed lemur and sifaka populations.

Madagascar’s Unique Flora

Madagascar’s unique wildlife is sustained by its unique flora. Two recommended spots are Adohahela National Park and Mandena Conservation Zone.

Adohahela National Park

The reserve has three distinct zones of rainforest, spiny forest and the east-west transition forest, which is the last place on earth you will find the Triangle Palm tree.

Mandena Conservation Zone

The zone protects rare littoral forest (similar to coastal rainforest), with 60ha of wetlands. It includes 22 species of endemic flora and 200 large tree species.

Hiking & Walks at Andringitra National Park

The national park was established to protect the fauna and flora in the area. Its main attractions are its landscapes, vegetation and hiking.

The main hiking circuits offer a spectacular adventure of waterfalls, caves, medicinal plants, forests, granite peaks and escarpments, and an encounter with the characteristic ring-tailed lemurs.

Tombs & Sub-fossil Elephant Bird Eggshells

A day exploring Anakao fishing village by foot is rewarded by discovering some ancient tombs at the peninsula and fragments of sub-fossil eggshells from the extinct Elephant Bird (Aepyornis).

The elephant bird is said to have been so large in size that it could easily carry away a creature the size of an elephant.

Anakao Ocean Lodge:
A magical place that by strange and fortunate circumstances has remained an uncontaminated corner away from the more chaotic mass tourism routes.

Diving in Madagascar

Madagascar offers outstanding biodiversity amongst its reefs and islands. The coral reefs in this area have not been affected badly by coral bleaching (an effect of global warming) and you may come across almost every species of coral known in the western part of the Indian Ocean.

By boat you may come across dolphins and hump-backed whales, and underwater you may even be lucky enough to spot a whale shark.

Meta-Travel Members By John Simms.


Known as Tananarive, until 1977, Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar.

The capital is situated in a rice-growing region, in the central part of the island and began as a fortress of the Merina rulers, in the early 17th century. Their large palace can still be seen.

Hotels in Madagascar:
Find hotels in Madagascar with special online rates.

Hotels in Antananarivo

Hotel Carlton Antananarivo Madagascar - Official Hotel WebsiteCarlton Madagascar on FacebookCarlton Tana Tweets
Hotel Carlton Antananarivo Madagascar:
Rue Pierre Stibbe Anosy, Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Enjoy all the luxuries associated with a 5-star hotel in the historical district of Madagascar's capital city. The hotel's dining establishments include two restaurants and a coffee shop.

Join the Meta Travel Community to add your reviews Guests at the Hotel Carlton Antananarivo Madagascar were impressed with the stunning pool, excellent service and wonderful views.

Madagascar Railway

The train line in Madagascar goes from the capital, Antananarivo, to Toamasina; a seaport on the Indian Ocean.

Masoala National Park

Masoala National Park, in north-eastern Madagascar, is the country's largest and contains many animal species unique to Madagascar; including the red-ruffed lemur, Madagascar red owl, serpent eagle, and 22 species of rare butterfly.

Madagascar Language and Culture

The official languages of Madagascar are the Merina dialect of Malagasy - of Malayo-Indonesian origin - and French.

Traditional Music in Madagascar

The 22-string valiha, played at circumcisions and religious ceremonies, is the traditional instrument of Madagascar. It is often produced from an oblong wooden box and bicycle-brake cable.

Cactus Tours:
Experience more of Madagascar in a short space of time and get closer to Malagasy culture and life.

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