The northern area of Madagascar is an almost perfect microcosm of the island’s attractions from magnificent beaches, to lush rainforests and striking landscapes of limestone karst known as Tsingy. Also known as the Diana Region, northern Madagascar is home to Diego Suarez and Nosy Be. Diego Suarez is becoming known as an enticing attraction with its lively mix of cultures and colours, a charming city with colourful buildings and tropical surroundings almost like a mini Rio De Janeiro. Nosy Be, Madagascar’s largest offshore island is also known as the “Ile aux Parfums” from the profusion of fragrant flowers and spices that are grown there and whose scent fills the evening air. Our Madagascar North Adventure, is specially curated to explore the best that this incredible region has to offer.
Diego Suarez is a cultural melting pot with Asian, Arab and African influences. This is reflected in the architecture, the cuisine, the music heard in streets or calling you to a nightclub, and even the style of dress of the locals. Quieter and quainter than the capital city of Tana, this is a great place to spend an afternoon and/or evening before heading off to the beach, mountain and forest attractions of the region.
Nosy Be is a dream beach destination. The climate is consistently temperate and offers a smorgasbord of water-based adventure activities such as diving, snorkelling, kite-surfing, and jet-skiing. Dotted with bougainvillaea and other typical tropical paradise flowers, the air is scented with vanilla, coffee, saffron and Ylang-Ylang all from the plantations that are found on the island. Delicious fresh seafood and stunning sunsets allow guests to have a truly magnificent beach holiday. Nosy Be is Madagascar’s biggest offshore island its name is literally translated to “Big Island”. It is surrounded by some smaller islands that make for interesting day trips, Nosy Sakatia is also known as Orchid Island and is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful islands of Madagascar. Nosy Komba is the home of the exotic Black lemurs and is also called Lemur Island due to this fact. An island that is completely uninhabited but home to a small marine reserve that offers excellent snorkelling is the tiny Nosy Tanikely.
Back on the mainland, you will find two amazing that national parks waiting to be explored. Montagne D’Ambre is an emerald green forest with misty mountain peaks and sacred waterfalls. The name translates to Amber Mountain in English and the amber is referring to the colour of the resin that seeps from some of the trees. A hiker’s paradise, there are well-organized trails and pathways and as one of the most biodiverse areas in Madagascar, you will be amazed by the various flora and fauna to be found, such as the world’s smallest chameleon and rare forest baobabs. Imagine a magical forest dotted with orchids, ferns, bats, and butterflies leading up to a mountain that is home to enchanting waterfalls and lakes. As the first national park in Madagascar, it is also the oldest.
For something completely different and unlike anything found elsewhere in the world, head off to the Tsingy formations of Ankarana Reserve. This ancient limestone plateau with razor-sharp spikey points hides underground caves and winding rivers beneath that lie beneath. The razor-sharp spikes are known as “Tsingy” which in Malagasy means “the place where one cannot walk barefoot” and they are formed by millennia of erosion from rainfall. This is another hiking mecca due to the incredibly unique landscape and wonderful trails to be discovered. The canyons and caves are home to one of the highest density of primates worldwide, a variety of lemurs can be found here including the largest and least disturbed populations of Crowned lemurs. Sanford’s brown lemur, Perrier’s black lemur, northern sportive lemur and dwarf lemurs, and another unique animal to look out for are the cave-dwelling crocodiles!
As you can see this region isn’t an either/or destination. It’s a beach and forest, mountain and mangrove swamps, culture, and wildlife. There’s really something for everyone and it’s just waiting to be discovered. Why not book your trip today?