Introduction to the unique island of Madagascar
Madagascar, home to the dancing lemur, is a vast country, covering the same area as France and the Benelux put together, and just a little smaller than Texas. The island split from the main African continent at least 150 million years ago and, like the Galapagos, has evolved entirely on its own – over half the species of birds found on the island are regionally endemic, and of the indigenous mammal species, only two (bats) are found elsewhere in the world. And that’s not all, the list continues with 90% of the reptiles and 80% of the plant species also endemic.
Our expertise lies in southern and central Madagascar, covering a diverse range of habitats including spiny forests, tropical rainforest, open plains and sandstone ridges, and of course the coast and associated wetlands. Travelling through these areas will give you a great opportunity to see many different species of wildlife including a wide variety of lemur species, chameleons, insects and of course, the spectacular birds. Culturally, the island is an interesting mix of Afro/Asian influences, and the Malagasy people have their own form of ancestral worship with a complex structure of ‘fady’ which varies considerably throughout the island – even from person to person.
The north of the island is where the best beach destinations are found, some of which are quite spectacular, so it is easy to combine a few days of relaxation with more general exploration of the island.
Being one of the poorest countries in the world, it is important not to over-estimate the sophistication of the tourist industry but that said, Madagascar is unique and a holiday here can certainly never be repeated elsewhere.
For further information on Madagascar wildlife holidays please call us on 01787 888590 or contact us to speak to one of our safari specialists.