Having separated from Africa almost 160 million years ago, this sparsely-populated island is a nature lover’s paradise – home to an immense diversity of unique flora and fauna, including endemic plant species, chameleons, reptiles, and over 50 different kinds of lemur. Its spectacular landscapes are resplendent in their variety, from grassy plateaus to volcanoes, limestone karsts, dense rainforests, spiny forests, tropical islands and coral reefs. The country is a treasure trove of natural wonders and this is what travellers come to see.
Before you visit, it is important to be aware that Madagascar is unlike any safari destination on mainland Africa. The country is still very much off the beaten track so accommodation can be basic to moderate, roads poor and the food, simple. English is only reasonably understood by workers in the travel and hospitality industry, while French is used predominantly in urban, commercial and official situations. Malagasy is the lingua franca – and a little knowledge goes a long way!