Madagascar as a travel destination still remains largely undiscovered and most first-timers or interested travellers may not know what to expect beyond lemurs and tropical beaches. While Madagascar is officially part of the African continent, the wildlife on the island has developed in relative isolation for thousands of years and it’s rather different from your typical African safari searching for the Big Five. Instead, this is a land of long-tailed lemurs and colourful chameleons. For clients who are curious about the Madagascar experience, we’ve compiled some useful information to assist you in briefing them on what to expect.
Getting out of the safari vehicle
In continental Africa, a safari vehicle is an essential part of your game viewing experience, and while they are usually open-air you are expected to remain inside it at all times for your safety. But on the island of Madagascar, while the animals certainly aren’t tame, they are by no means life-threatening. Which means most of your exploring can be done on foot. It’s a much more hands-on experience, allowing travellers to truly immerse themselves in their environment and feel like the explorers of yesteryear. Imagine walking through lush rainforests and catching the beady eye of a brightly coloured chameleon, or spotting a lemur hanging from a tree, or following a massive sea turtle as it grazes on seagrass in crystal clear waters. Here you can really explore at your own pace.
The World’s Fourth Largest Island
Madagascar may be an island but this doesn’t mean it can be circumvented in a day, in fact, you’ll need quite a few to explore it from top to bottom. It also isn’t only beaches and palm trees, although there are many of those, but is home to incredibly diverse landscapes ranging from lush mangrove wetlands to “spiny forest” limestone karsts and unique baobab alleys. So it’s not your typical island holiday, although with a coastline that stretches around the edge for 4,828 km, that element is there too – so you can actually experience the best of many worlds.
Accommodation in Madagascar ranges from the ultimate in luxury such as a beachfront villa with its own butler on a private island to eco-friendly chalets that may not always have electricity, of the two it is the latter that is more widespread. By selecting smaller owner run properties you are supporting sustainable travel as well as truly experience the charm of a Madagascan holiday. Those that insist on luxury will certainly have their needs met, especially as tourism to the country increases and offerings expand.
Guides in Madagascar are the ultimate experts when it comes to spotting interesting wildlife from astonishing distances as well as being excellent ambassadors for their country. They know everything there is to know about the country’s unique flora and fauna. They will also go out of their way to ensure that guests in Madagascar are always satisfied and leave the country with a goal to convince all their friends to see it for themselves.