Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and it’s natural beauty and ecological diversity of makes it feel like a country forgotten by time. A veneration of ancestry and tradition pervades the national culture, a reverence that is reflected in the country’s architecture, art and social manners. Be ready to have a great time in this exotic Island!
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.ROYAL HILL OF AMBOHIMANGA
Home once to the Madagascar Royalty it is considered as one of the country’s most sacred spots for the last 500 year. This historical village is surrounded by a wall built in 1847 made with a mortar made of lime and egg whites. The compound includes the former home of King Andrianampoinimerina, with walls made of solid rosewood, and artifact of the island’s great king, including drums, weapons and talismans.
The Queen Palace was almost completely destroyed by a fire in 1995. The gate of the palace is "protected" by a carved eagle, the symbol of military force, and a phallus, the symbol of circumcision and thus nobility. Tombs of the country’s greatest sovereigns were built within the Rova - the plain grey ones are those of the kings, while the queen’s are painted red. From the place you also have a 360° view of Tana and its 12 sacred hills.
3.ARBORETUM D’ANTSOKAY – TULEAR
It was establish in 1980 by a Swiss botanist and conservationist. It is a small and very peaceful arboretum featuring a collection of 900 unique plants from the "spiny forest" endemic to Madagascar. You can also visit the interpretation center, a small museum and the shops.
The pedestrian Haute-Ville is the most attractive part of town and is famed for its architecture. Dating back form late 19th and early 20th century the two storey brick houses with steep roofs, balconies, tumbling plants with cobbled streets offers great views of the town and surrounding countryside. The imposing Ambozantany Cathedral is one of six churches on the hill.
5.AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS
Lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’I Tsiribihina and the most visited location in the region, this famous group of trees is worth visiting. Up to 800 years old, the Baobab trees stood in a dense tropical forest. The forest were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the famous baobab trees.
6.IIE SAINTE MARIE
Today the island is one of the top tourist attractions in Madagascar. The island’s array of protected bays and inlets drew pirates to Ile Sainte Marie on the east coast of Madagascar during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the shallow waters of Baie des Forbans you can view the wrecks of several pirate ships stranded after the pirate attaches. It is ideal for snorkeling in the still, clear water and during summer and early fall you can the the Migrating Humpback whales visiting the island.
Explore the country by taking a river tour by pirogue or canoe. After a long day on the river you camp on the riverbank and cook under the stars as all manner of wildlife surrounds you and lulls you to sleep.
8.ISALO NATIONAL PARK
Sacred to the Bara tribe whose burial sites are marked by mounds of tiny stones placed in crevices in the rock face. The park is home to Madagascar’s most stunning scenery with the landscape consisting of eroded ruiniform sandstone formations dating back to the Jurassic period. In the deep canyons with riparian forests, palm-lined oases, fire resistant rapia forest and open grasslands and the best place to see the ring-tailed lemurs and white sifakas dance and jump.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around in Madagascar is by taxi-brousse. Other transport available is tuk-tuks, charette (wooden cart drawn by a pair of zebu cattle), pousse-pouse (rickshaw) and cyclo-pousse (cab attached to a bicycle).
The best time to visit Madagascar depends on your itinerary. Madagascar has two seasons, a hot rainy season which starts in November and last until April and a cooler dry season which starts in May and last until October.