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Must See Madagascar Attractions
It is 2019, and it is time to turn over a new leaf. And there's no place better to do this than Madagascar, especially because most of its plant species are endemic to just this region. Whether it is Madagascar's spiny or tropical forests, every animal or plant species you come across will be unlike anything you've ever seen before. Before you plan your trip to Madagascar in 2019, here is a list of top attractions and landmarks in Madagascar.
1. Ranomafana National Park
Located in the southeastern part of Madagascar, Ranomafana National Park is known for its lush tropical rainforests. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rainforests of the Atsinanana. Ranomafana National Park protects numerous plant and animal species that only live in Madagascar including the critically endangered golden bamboo lemur. Popular activities within the park include nocturnal and daytime walks through the forests.
2. Nosy Be Island
Nosy Be Island is located on Mozambique Channel, off the coast of northern Madagascar. It is the most popular island resort in Madagascar and for good reason. Its warm crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches make every image of this island postcard worthy. Lokobe Reserve is located on the island as well as eleven crater lakes. Popular activities on the island include, snorkeling, scuba diving, whale watching, swimming, and hiking.
3. Isalo National Park
Arguably the most popular national park in Madagascar, Isalo National Park is located in the southwest part of the country. The park covers multiple terrains. Within the park, you can find limestone formations, caves, waterfalls, canyons, grasslands, and unique vegetation that covers this dry climate. Notable attractions in this park include the Canyon des Singes, Piscine naturelle, eroded rock formations, and Canyon des Makis. Isalo National Park exhibits just how diverse and beautiful Madagascar’s terrain is.
4.The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
Although Madagascar is most known for its natural scenery, the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga shows the Malagasy people’s deep-rooted culture and history. This fortified royal structure is located on one of the twelve sacred hills of Imerina. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga includes a royal burial site, pavilions, and designated places set aside for ritual practices. The indigenous people of Madagascar hold this site to the highest regard as a representation of their identity.
5. Île Sainte-Marie Island
Île Sainte-Marie Island is a small tropical island located off the eastern coast of Madagascar. The island’s storybook past borders between fact and fiction. A common occurrence when pirates are the topic of conversation. During the 17th and 18th history, pirates used this island as a pit stop due to its quiet waters. Today, you can even visit a pirate cemetery. Other activities include seasonal whale watching, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, and boating.
6. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is located in the western region of Madagascar. The park’s prehistoric limestone forests look otherworldly with its rigid edges. Due to heavy rains causing unsafe conditions for travelers, the park is only open during dry season (April-November). Contrary to its unhabitable appearance, the site harbors numerous animal species. For those brave enough, the big Tsingy offers hanging bridges across these pointed limestone formation. A visit here is truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
7. Amber Mountain National Park
Amber Mountain National Park is known for its profound diversity of animal and plant species. It is located in the northern part of Madagascar and is mostly encompassed by montane rainforests. Hikes through this park exhibit the site’s beautiful waterfalls and crater lakes. It also has over 75 species of birds, 25 species of mammals, and 60 species of reptiles. Compared to the other parks, Amber Mountain National Park is relatively accessible making it a good spot to visit.
8. Avenue of the Baobabs
Located in western part of Madagascar, the Avenue of the Baobabs is a display of Baobabs that surround a dirt road. These trees are nearly 800 years old and are an indigenous species to Madagascar. Baobabs are also an endangered species and numerous conservation efforts being made in order to preserve them. They offer food and refuge for several species of insects and animals. These bizarre and beautiful trees also have been the subject of many local folktales. The Avenue of the Baobabs is a must-see for anyone visiting Madagascar. Its majestic presence is utterly mystifying.
9. Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is located on the eastern side of Madagascar and is easily assessable. This primary forest is known for its biodiversity and heavy rainfall. It rains over 200 days a year here. The call of the Indri is practically the park’s theme song. The Indri is the largest species of lemur. It is critically endangered and cannot live in captivity which is why the preservation of this park is so important. The park also offers the beautiful lush forest where numerous indigenous species dwell.
10. Marojejy National Park
Located near the northern tip of Madagascar, Marojejy National Park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rainforests of the Atsinanana. Due to the parks variations in elevation, the park is very bioverse. The park, in its low elevation areas, has a lowland rainforest and a montane rain forest. At its higher elevations, the park has a cloud forest and mountain range. This unique park is a must-see for its biodiversity and stunning views.
54 Madagascar Tour Reviews - Summary
The top tour operators to Madagascar will focus on the country’s unique wildlife and biodiversity. Expect a lot of nature walks on your itinerary, often with an expert local guide who can help you spot Madagascar’s famous lemurs!
- Madagascar's Weather Overview: Live Weather, Forecasts, and Averages
- There are currently no travel advisory alerts about Madagascar but cases of the plague have appeared throughout the country.
- The World Health Organization has noted that travelers should be aware of their surroundings and take necessary protection measures. (updated November 10, 2017)
- Additional Information About Madagascar