5 Things To Do In Madagascar
Madagascar is the world’s second-largest island country and is one of the unique places in the world. Located several hundred miles off the coast of Mozambique, it is a land with many different features, like golden shores, lush mountains, and amazing wildlife.
Here are the five best things to do in Madagascar:
Explore & marvel at Baobabs
Adansonia digitata or the African baobab is the most widespread tree species in the genus Adansonia. Baobab trees are fundamentally woven into the fabric of African folklore. In the past, Indigenous people depended on their products for survival, and as such, these unusual trees are often called the “Tree of Life.”
Madagascar is home to six types of endemic baobab; although they can be seen all over the island, the most popular place for baobab-worshipping is the Avenue of the Baobabs.
Swim with Whale Sharks
There is nothing like an encounter with the world’s largest fish, and those visiting Madagascar from September to December can do just that on the island of Nosy Be. During this time, these gigantic fish gather to feed on blooming plankton, and they can easily be spotted from the surface.
Despite their huge size, they are naturally docile and pose no threat to humans. Just don’t forget to look for Madagascar’s other marine life, which includes turtles, dolphins, and manta rays.
Discover flawless beaches
Some of the country’s best beaches are found on outlying islands in the North West like the Tiny Tsarabanjina known for its deserted sandy coves and crystalline seas; the island is only accessible by boat and offers luxury accommodations in the form of private beach bungalows.
Nosy Be is the place to go for Madagascar’s trademark beaches, located five miles off the coast of the main island. Nosy Be is a volcanic island that spans over 120 square miles. There are expensive restaurants, big resorts, beach parties, snorkelling, diving, fishing, and whale watching.
Although it is a volcanic island, no eruptions have occurred in record history. Also located in Nosy Be is the Lokobe Nature Special Reserve, the island’s last remaining lowland rainforest and a must-see if you’re in Madagascar to visit wildlife like nocturnal mouse lemurs, Madagascar long-eared owls, leaf-tailed geckos and Nosy Be panther chameleons.
Another beach is Kimony Beach, which runs for almost 4 miles along the West coast of Madagascar. Although the beach is a deserted place, you can enjoy a picnic where you can get their own food and drinks.
Enjoy Local Cuisine
Traditional Malagasy dishes usually consist of either meat, or seafood served with vegetables and rice. Some popular dishes to try include Koba comprising banana, peanut, and rice paste wrapped in a banana leaf casing. Foza sy hena-kisoa consists of stir-fried pork and crab served with rice. On the coast, fresh seafood dominates the menu. Wash your meal down with the local Three Horses Beer (THB). If you are up for it, try eating the crocodile meat burger.
Visit and explore parks
Parks in Madagascar are filled with different types of spectacular wildlife. Popular ones to visit include Isalo National Park, where you will find some 14 species of lemurs (Madagascar’s wonderful creatures), over 80 different birds; reptiles and amphibians like the Malagasy rainbow frog and the Madagascar boa, thick forests of pandanus trees, natural swimming holes; and geologic formations, such as plateaus, canyons, and pinnacles, within the park. Ranomafana National Park is the home of rarities like the short-legged ground roller and the yellow-bellied sunbird-asity. While exploring the island’s parks, watch out for other endemic species like tenrecs, civets, and the cat-like fossa.
Madagascar is full of striking scenery, but the most prominent of all is the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park; a remote place where water and wind spent over 200 million years carving the limestone into jagged peaks that look like a row of never-ending knives (hence the name Tsingy, which means “where one cannot walk barefoot”). To get around, you use rope bridges, ladders, and fixed cables.
In addition, there is the opportunity to look for 11 different lemur species, some of which are only found in this specific area.