Africa

5 Not-to-Be-Missed Attractions of Madagascar

Also known as the Great Red Island, due to the predominant color of its soil, Madagascar is a unique ecosystem. Located 600 km away from the East-African Coast, this giant island split away from the Black Continent over 120 million years ago. Isolated from the rest of the world, Madagascar gave birth to some very unique species of animals and amazing landscapes. Here are the five not-to-be-missed sights of Madagascar:

Ranomafana National Park

Located in the southeastern part of the island, Ranomafana National Park is a 41,600 ha rainforest, with a huge diversity of wildlife. 12 species of cute lemurs and a wide array of lizards and birds call this place home.

white water river in Ranomafana

Ranomafana National Park is the best place to admire the animals that Madagascar is most famous for, lemurs. These funny-looking creatures couldn’t have survived alongside the more advanced wildlife on the African continent, but living untroubled in this isolated habitat, they survived and evolved into many different subspecies.

The park was established in 1991 in order to protect the island’s unique wildlife and to limit human damage on this protected area.

Tsingy de Bemaraha

The alien-looking karst limestone formations of Tsingy de Bemaraha are unique on Earth and have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, in 1990. The southern part of the area was transformed into a national park, open to tourists, while the northern side remains a carefully protected natural reserve.

tsingy

[Photo Credits]

The sharp cliffs of Tsingy de Bemaraha are not as harmless as they look in photos. Many have lost their lives trying to climb these natural stone-knives that reach 180 meters in height.

Tsingy de Bemaraha is located on the western coast of Madagascar and is accessible from the towns of Morondava and Antsalova.

Ile Ste-Marie

Known by most people as Nosy Boraha, this little island on the eastern coast of the Great Red Island was the center of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Famous corsairs as William Kidd or Thomas White made Ile Ste-Marie their headquarters because of its concealing vegetation and tough-to-navigate lagoons.

Ste Marie - un il?t rocailleux

Nowadays this old pirate haven is Madagascar’s best whale-watching spot and a great place for water sports like surfing, diving and fishing. Ile Ste-Marie is also famous for its beautiful white-sand beaches.

Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Often referred to as ‘the holy city’, ‘the blue city’ or ‘the forbidden city’, Ambohimanga is considered the birthplace of the Malagasy people and therefore, a significant symbol of cultural identity.

ambohimanga

[Photo Credits]

Although Ambohimanga is located just 20 km from the capital Antananarivo, it’s often ignored by tourists who come to Madagascar to see lemurs and admire the unspoiled sights on the island. It’s a pity because Ambohimanga is more than worth a visit, if only to see the Rova Palace, built using a cement made out of egg-whites, for the huge, circular front gate that takes 40 men to roll into position.

Sadly you’ll seldom find more than a handful of people visiting these great ruins.

Nosy Be (Nossi Be)

la spiaggia diventa sempre pi? grande

Translated ‘the big island’ Nosy Be is Madagascar’s largest, most popular holiday resort. It is surrounded by numerous other smaller islands like Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely or Nosy Sakatia, each of them a true tropical paradise. There are tons of things to do here, from laying on the beautiful beaches of Andilana and Amporaha to visiting the island’s highest point, Mont Passot, or checking out the markets on the outskirts of Hellville City.

Nosy Be offers a true spectacle of perfumes, with scents of ylang-ylang, vanilla, lemon grass and patchouli exciting your senses as soon as you step off the plane.

3 Comments for "5 Not-to-Be-Missed Attractions of Madagascar"

Madagascar attractions says on January 29th, 2010 at 10:28 am:

Certainly the places posted are one of the best attractions in Madagascar.

Parag says on April 5th, 2010 at 12:27 pm:

The city of Ambohimanga still has some of the original features it once had including the main gate and other ceremonial structures. It’s a great place to visit if you are akin to visit historical sites.
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