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Madagascar: Nature’s Paradise

Madagascar Cartoon

King Julien (the lion): Welcome to Madagascar.
Marty the Zebra: Mada-who-ah?
King Julien: No. Not who-ah. As-car
Culled from the 3D cartoon, Madagascar

Welcome to Madagascar, a country made popular by the 3D cartoon, Madagascar.
Since the film, many have warmed up to the idea of spending their holidays in the country that is located in the fourth-largest island in the world.
Previously known as the Malagasy Republic, its rich history tells of a story of the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar became a place of its own about 88 million years and witnessed humans settle in between 350 BC and 550 AD. Because of the uniqueness of this island, about 90% of its wildfire cannot be found anywhere else.
Here are some of the exciting places you don’t want to miss:

Avenue of the Baobabs
Is Madagascar’s first natural monument and one of the most visited areas on the island.
The centre of attraction, baobab trees, are about 2,800 years old. Interestingly, a love story follows two baobabs twisted into each other. Legend has it that two lovers betrothed to others sought the help of the god to make them stay together. The god granted their wish and turned them to baobabs trees. Their god also blessed them with children which are the baobab trees that can be seen in this region.

Rova of Antananarivo
This royal palace was once the home to the sovereigns of the Kingdom of Imerina in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as of the rulers of the Kingdom of Madagascar in the 19th century. The palace sits atop the Analamanga, one of the highest hills in Antananarivo.

The Rova held various important structures including the wooden-built “Queen’s Palace,” a cross-shaped wooden house, and nine royal tombs. It might interest you to know that the Malay people were way ahead of their time as the walls surrounding the village where it lies was constructed with a mortar made of white eggs and lime.

Tsarabanjina
Asides the 3D cartoon Madagascar, no other place evokes such nostalgia like the Tsarabanjina, a small island in the country.

Perhaps, it is best remembered as the island that played host to BBC’s Joanna Lumpley after she explored the island which has now been taken over by a hotel that still preserves the island.

Arboretum d’Antsokay
Enjoy the wonders of the Arboretum d’Antsokay, a botanical garden located near the city of Toliara in Madagascar. With over 900 plant species, over 30 species birds and reptiles as well as almost extinct animals such as the radiated tortoise, the Arboretum d’Antsokay boasts of having over 90% of them peculiar to Madagascar and welcomes you with its red sand.

Ankarana Massif Special Reserve
Looking for where to find a lemur? Look no further than the Ankarana Massif Special Reserve. Despite their look, they are friendly and are only searching for water. Amazingly, there are also, in abundance, yet to be described as blind fish. Giving these fish a name might just be the Eureka moment you have been waiting for. What is more? The Massif contains the longest cave system in Africa.

Ile Sainte Marie
Behold the Ile Sainte Marie where the waters are clear and perfect for snorkelling. If you are looking for some history of the waters, you will find the wrecks of pirate ships that attacked the Ile Sainte Marie during the 17th and 18 centuries. Be sure to visit during the Summer when whales migrate to the waters.

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