• Madagascar

    An exuberant and bountiful nature

  • Full Country Name Republic of Madagascar
  • Capital Antananarivo
  • Language Malagasy, French
  • Form of Government Republic
  • President President Hery Rajaonarimampianina
  • Population 22.92 million
  • Gross Domestic Product $462.97
  • Currency Malagasy Ariary

Welcome to Madagaskar

Madagascar, a huge fascinating island nation located 392km off East of Africa´s coast, is the fourth largest island in the world.

Having developed in isolation, the island is famed for its unique wildlife; home to thousands of animal species, like the lemur -found nowhere else-, not less important are the country´s rainforests, beaches and reefs.

Near the busy capital, Antananarivo, is Ambohimanga, a hillside complex of royal palaces and burial grounds, and the “Avenue of the Baobabs,” a dirt road lined by massive centuries-old trees.

Madagascar boasts 5,000 kilometers of coastline, measures 592,000 km² wide and its highest peak is Mount Maromokotra.

Top Destinations in Madagascar

Map Select Icon Select

16_Madagascar-01
  • Icon for Coast location type Ifaty - Mangily
  • Icon for Airport location type Antananarivo
  • Icon for Park location type Masoala National Park
  • Icon for Park location type Ranomafana National Park
  • Icon for Park location type Andasibe-Mantadia
  • Icon for Other location type Tsingy de Bemaraha
  • Icon for Park location type Isalo National Park
  • Icon for Island location type Nosy Be
  • Icon for Other location type Avenue of the Baobabs
  • Icon for Other location type Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
  • Icon for Other location type Cap Sainte Marie
  • Icon for Coast location type Icon for Coast location type Ifaty - Mangily
  • Icon for Park location type Icon for Park location type Masoala National Park
  • Icon for Park location type Icon for Park location type Ranomafana National Park
  • Icon for Park location type Icon for Park location type Andasibe-Mantadia
  • Icon for Other location type Icon for Other location type Tsingy de Bemaraha
  • Icon for Park location type Icon for Park location type Isalo National Park
  • Icon for Island location type Icon for Island location type Nosy Be
  • Icon for Other location type Icon for Other location type Avenue of the Baobabs
  • Icon for Other location type Icon for Other location type Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
  • Icon for Other location type Icon for Other location type Cap Sainte Marie
  • Coast

    Ifaty - Mangily

    The quiet coastal area of Ifaty, featuring the villages of Ifaty, Mangily and Mandio Rano is only some 25km north of Tulear, but the road is so bad that it takes about two hours to drive there! Compared to Anakao, which almost has the same characteristics, Ifaty has an easier access.

    There are numerous hotels, mainly built out of traditional materials. For travelers, this place is synonymous for relaxation and beautiful beaches, mostly welcomed after a long trekking tour.

    The beaches are beautiful and its closeness to Tulear, where most trips to the South end, make Ifaty a well worth trip to lay down on the beach and do some snorkeling.

  • Park

    Masoala National Park

    The Masoala National Park extends from the ocean to 1311m altitude on 230,000 ha of primary forest. Of the 10 species of lemurs identified here, the Vari flamboyant red peel stands out. The rich fauna of Masoala accounts for rare or unique species like the green lizard, the owl red tomato frog or the serpent eagle.

    Its three marine parks (Tampolo West, South Ambodilaitry and East Ifaho) are favored sites for kayaking or snorkeling. A simple mask there is enough to enjoy the marine flora and fauna´s rich colors.

    From july to september, Antongil Bay is a privileged place for friendly humpback whales from Antarctica. A replica greenhouse with plant and animal elements rigorously authentic to Masoala is today one of the main attractions of the zoo of Zurich.

  • Park

    Ranomafana National Park

    Ranomafana´s name has long been associated with hydrotherapy. Today it evokes more the treasures of the eastern forest and Ecotourism. Since june 2007, Ranomafana and five other parks of the East coast were collectively recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

    Nestled in a very humid mountainous area, which earned it the nickname "Land of Mists", the second most important spa site of the island offers alternating landscapes between verdant cliffs and rivers dotted with waterfalls. It is home to 12 species of lemurs!

    Ranomafana is a mecca for bird watching, has 114 species of birds endemic to Madagascar, watch and listen especially in september-october. Chameleons are here the most colorful and attractive; tree species have special value for medicinal use. In the undergrowth, pandanus, ferns, orchids, lianas and strangler figs accentuate the tropical forest.

  • Park

    Andasibe-Mantadia

    About 138km East of Antananarivo, the Andasibe National Park is the most popular of the Protected Areas. It is actually composed of two parts: the Mantadia Park and the Reserve of Indri Analamazaotra on an area of 16,000 ha.

    For the treasuring fauna, Andasibe houses 11 species of lemurs and the largest Indri Indri, recognizable by his impressive cries, only visible in its natural environment as it doesn’t stand captivity. Also to be found here are many species of birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians.

    Flora on the other hand is characterized by lush rainforest, and many species of ferns, epiphytes, lianas sacred orchids and dwarf palms. The park has an Interpretation Centre, as well as landscaped areas with picnic and campsites.

  • Other

    Tsingy de Bemaraha

    The spectacular mineral forest of Tsingy de Bemaraha stands on the western coast of Madagascar. Tsingy is the Malagasy word for “walking on tiptoes” and the nearly impenetrable labyrinth of limestone needles justifies this name.

    The whole protected area, designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1990, comprises a surface of 1.575 km². This remote area was not a tourist trek until 1998, when the southern part (723 km²) was declared a National Park.

    The northern section is an Integral Reserve so tourists are not allowed to enter the zone. The reserve’s canyons, gorges, undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps display an astonishing richness of fauna and flora, which have not been completely recorded. The rate of endemism is about 85%, and 47% are even local endemic!

  • Park

    Isalo National Park

    Created in 1962 and principal natural curiosity of the southern route, the Isalo National Park is chronologically the second of Madagascar and covers an area of 81,000 ha.

    Erosion has carved fantastic shapes into the sandstone, ranging from steep hands reaching towards the sky, with boulders seemingly balanced precariously on their base. Sacred ground, it also houses the graves of ancestors of the Bara tribe, dug into the cliffs to deter looters.

    One of the best introductions to the park is through the House of Isalo, an Interpretation Centre 9km from the village of Ranohira. Isalo provides sequences of canyons and sandstone peaks ranging from red to pink, among other amazing sites.

  • Island

    Nosy Be

    Off the beaten track, the Nosy Be Archipelago is situated off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Its tropical climate and superb location makes it Madagascar’s beach-resort destination per excellence.

    Though Nosy Be’s clear inclination towards mass tourism, it is yet a largely sleepy place with sugar cane plantations, rum distilleries, ylang ylang bushes, lounging lemurs and little air of expectation.

    Not to forget that this still beautiful archipelago offers some amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities and some primary forests with a great wildlife.

  • Other

    Avenue of the Baobabs

    The Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs is a prominent group of baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region.

    It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, the first step toward making it Madagascar's first natural monument.

    Along the Avenue in some 260m long segment are remaining some 20-25 trees about 30 meters in height, of the species Adansonia grandidieri, endemic to Madagascar. Some 20-25 more trees of this species grow in nearby rice paddies and meadows.

  • Other

    Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

    The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga consists of a royal city and burial site, and an ensemble of sacred places. It is associated with strong feelings of national identity and has maintained its spiritual and sacred character both in ritual practice and the popular imagination for the past 500 years.

    It remains a place of worship to which pilgrims come from Madagascar and elsewhere. Ambohimanga dates from the 15th or 16th century, and developed into the capital city in the 18th century.

  • Other

    Cap Sainte Marie

    Beautiful beaches, high sandstone cliffs and caves offer a dream landscape in the southern tip of Madagascar. Between the waters of the Mozambique Channel and those of the Indian Ocean, Cap Sainte Marie is windswept and offers the look of "end of the world."

    From July to November it is possible to observe the migration of humpback whales and their calves. There are also the remains of Aepyornis eggs, the largest known bird that some associate with the bird-rock legends of Sinbad the Sailor.

  • Icon for Coast location type

    Ifaty - Mangily

    The quiet coastal area of Ifaty, featuring the villages of Ifaty, Mangily and Mandio Rano is only some 25km north of Tulear, but the road is so bad that it takes about two hours to drive there! Compared to Anakao, which almost has the same characteristics, Ifaty has an easier access.

    There are numerous hotels, mainly built out of traditional materials. For travelers, this place is synonymous for relaxation and beautiful beaches, mostly welcomed after a long trekking tour.

    The beaches are beautiful and its closeness to Tulear, where most trips to the South end, make Ifaty a well worth trip to lay down on the beach and do some snorkeling.

  • Icon for Park location type

    Masoala National Park

    The Masoala National Park extends from the ocean to 1311m altitude on 230,000 ha of primary forest. Of the 10 species of lemurs identified here, the Vari flamboyant red peel stands out. The rich fauna of Masoala accounts for rare or unique species like the green lizard, the owl red tomato frog or the serpent eagle.

    Its three marine parks (Tampolo West, South Ambodilaitry and East Ifaho) are favored sites for kayaking or snorkeling. A simple mask there is enough to enjoy the marine flora and fauna´s rich colors.

    From july to september, Antongil Bay is a privileged place for friendly humpback whales from Antarctica. A replica greenhouse with plant and animal elements rigorously authentic to Masoala is today one of the main attractions of the zoo of Zurich.

  • Icon for Park location type

    Ranomafana National Park

    Ranomafana´s name has long been associated with hydrotherapy. Today it evokes more the treasures of the eastern forest and Ecotourism. Since june 2007, Ranomafana and five other parks of the East coast were collectively recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.

    Nestled in a very humid mountainous area, which earned it the nickname "Land of Mists", the second most important spa site of the island offers alternating landscapes between verdant cliffs and rivers dotted with waterfalls. It is home to 12 species of lemurs!

    Ranomafana is a mecca for bird watching, has 114 species of birds endemic to Madagascar, watch and listen especially in september-october. Chameleons are here the most colorful and attractive; tree species have special value for medicinal use. In the undergrowth, pandanus, ferns, orchids, lianas and strangler figs accentuate the tropical forest.

  • Icon for Park location type

    Andasibe-Mantadia

    About 138km East of Antananarivo, the Andasibe National Park is the most popular of the Protected Areas. It is actually composed of two parts: the Mantadia Park and the Reserve of Indri Analamazaotra on an area of 16,000 ha.

    For the treasuring fauna, Andasibe houses 11 species of lemurs and the largest Indri Indri, recognizable by his impressive cries, only visible in its natural environment as it doesn’t stand captivity. Also to be found here are many species of birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians.

    Flora on the other hand is characterized by lush rainforest, and many species of ferns, epiphytes, lianas sacred orchids and dwarf palms. The park has an Interpretation Centre, as well as landscaped areas with picnic and campsites.

  • Icon for Other location type

    Tsingy de Bemaraha

    The spectacular mineral forest of Tsingy de Bemaraha stands on the western coast of Madagascar. Tsingy is the Malagasy word for “walking on tiptoes” and the nearly impenetrable labyrinth of limestone needles justifies this name.

    The whole protected area, designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1990, comprises a surface of 1.575 km². This remote area was not a tourist trek until 1998, when the southern part (723 km²) was declared a National Park.

    The northern section is an Integral Reserve so tourists are not allowed to enter the zone. The reserve’s canyons, gorges, undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps display an astonishing richness of fauna and flora, which have not been completely recorded. The rate of endemism is about 85%, and 47% are even local endemic!

  • Icon for Park location type

    Isalo National Park

    Created in 1962 and principal natural curiosity of the southern route, the Isalo National Park is chronologically the second of Madagascar and covers an area of 81,000 ha.

    Erosion has carved fantastic shapes into the sandstone, ranging from steep hands reaching towards the sky, with boulders seemingly balanced precariously on their base. Sacred ground, it also houses the graves of ancestors of the Bara tribe, dug into the cliffs to deter looters.

    One of the best introductions to the park is through the House of Isalo, an Interpretation Centre 9km from the village of Ranohira. Isalo provides sequences of canyons and sandstone peaks ranging from red to pink, among other amazing sites.

  • Icon for Island location type

    Nosy Be

    Off the beaten track, the Nosy Be Archipelago is situated off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Its tropical climate and superb location makes it Madagascar’s beach-resort destination per excellence.

    Though Nosy Be’s clear inclination towards mass tourism, it is yet a largely sleepy place with sugar cane plantations, rum distilleries, ylang ylang bushes, lounging lemurs and little air of expectation.

    Not to forget that this still beautiful archipelago offers some amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities and some primary forests with a great wildlife.

  • Icon for Other location type

    Avenue of the Baobabs

    The Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs is a prominent group of baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region.

    It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, the first step toward making it Madagascar's first natural monument.

    Along the Avenue in some 260m long segment are remaining some 20-25 trees about 30 meters in height, of the species Adansonia grandidieri, endemic to Madagascar. Some 20-25 more trees of this species grow in nearby rice paddies and meadows.

  • Icon for Other location type

    Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

    The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga consists of a royal city and burial site, and an ensemble of sacred places. It is associated with strong feelings of national identity and has maintained its spiritual and sacred character both in ritual practice and the popular imagination for the past 500 years.

    It remains a place of worship to which pilgrims come from Madagascar and elsewhere. Ambohimanga dates from the 15th or 16th century, and developed into the capital city in the 18th century.

  • Icon for Other location type

    Cap Sainte Marie

    Beautiful beaches, high sandstone cliffs and caves offer a dream landscape in the southern tip of Madagascar. Between the waters of the Mozambique Channel and those of the Indian Ocean, Cap Sainte Marie is windswept and offers the look of "end of the world."

    From July to November it is possible to observe the migration of humpback whales and their calves. There are also the remains of Aepyornis eggs, the largest known bird that some associate with the bird-rock legends of Sinbad the Sailor.