The world's fourth largest island, a naturalist's paradise with flora and fauna long extinct in Africa. The incredible number of unique species is due to Madagascar's early separation from the mainland, and the survival of mammals, such as lemurs, is partly due to the absence of big predators. It is a land of stark contrasts, both scenically and culturally, home to a wonderful mix of people whose laughter rings above the poverty which pervades the lives of many. There are officially 18 main 'tribes' or clans of Afro-Indonesian origin and their society is dominated by complicated and fascinating customs and beliefs. It is not for all travellers but, for those with a sense of adventure and a dose of determination, this country will repay you a hundred-fold.
Scenery, an array of environments from the bright green rice paddy fields in the highlands and magnificent granite mountains to a variety of rainforests at different altitudes, from desert-like southern areas to idyllic tropical beaches, from the awesome limestone pinnacles in the west to avenues of baobabs
Lemurs, 51 varieties, 35 million years' worth of evolution, some nocturnal, some easy to find, others very shy, but all amazing to see
Chameleons, 'with one eye in the future and one eye in the past', their slowness of movement enables them to be observed them with ease
Whales, for another close encounter, just off the coast of Ile Sainte Marie between July and September when the humpback whales arrive to calve
Fady, Vintana, Tody and Tsiny, a whole system of taboos and beliefs, and a complex sense of destiny and 'kharma', all manifested in the Malagasy daily life, makes a rich cultural experience for the traveller
Tropical climate with regional variations, but basically November to March is hot with variable rain, and April to October is mainly dry and mild. In the west rainfall decreases from north to south with the southwest being the driest part of the country. In the centre altitude plays an important role, and in the east there are no months entirely without rain with the possibility of cyclones between January and March.
Click on the titles below for links to see our suggested itineraries. But please remember that these are just some ideas and we look forward to helping you plan YOUR safari!
Intriguing Madagascar: Discovering some of the fascinating wildlife, cultures and colours of a multi-faceted country
A Route Less Travelled: With a private guide in totally contrasting areas of northern Madagascar before a few days on the beautiful castaway island of Tsarabanjina
Journey through Madagascar: Travelling by road with your private guide, exploring some of Madagascar's best National Parks in search of wildlife and visiting culturally interesting sites along the way with a relaxing interlude by the sea