6 Cool Facts about Madagascar… authentic Island, a world apart

1.  Island

madagascar island

Madagascar is a largely unknown island in the Indian Ocean and unique in that it is one of the only places in which 80% of the species of plants and animals are endemic to that region only.  Madagascar located 400 km off the east coast of Africa, south of the equator, and is the fourth largest island in the world.

2. Whale Watching

madagascar whalewatching

From July to September, humpback whales come to calve and mate in Malagasy waters after swimming over 5000 km from the Antarctic.
Whale-watching is governed by strict behaviour standards, so as not to put the whales under stress and ensure tourists’ safety.

The most popular spot is the island of Sainte Marie and in particular the Channel, where the newborn baby whales can thrive at ease beside their mothers.  Not to be separated under any circumstances! Marine safaris are often extended into the evening with very informative talks. As for the Whale Festival, which carries on from previous events, it is now sponsored by a world-famous TV show personality.

3.  Birdwatching

birdwatching madagascar

Madagascar has a relatively small number of bird species (285). But 110 of them are endemic and this tally is rare elsewhere in the world.  The birds in Madagascar are extraordinary, and there are nine areas in particular that the keen birder will want to visit; however if you go to just one of them, a decent range of the endemic birds will be found.

  • All  year round, especially from October onwards
    The Tsimanampesotse National Park is a nature reserve with colonies of flamingos, plovers and other waders.
  • The Ankarafantsika National Park has 129 bird species of which 75 are endemic, such as the osprey’ the tripe-bellied hawk, there are many more…

4.  Parks and Reserves

parks madagascarMadagascar boast 19 national parks, 8 marine parks, 5 general nature reserves and 11 special reserves.  There are three national parks in the eastern rainforest, Ranomafana National Park, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Masoala National Park.
madagascar map

5.  Fauna & Flora:

fauna madagascar

Madagascar’s rich and unique biodiversity favours the development of exceptional plants and wildlife.  
There are six plant families that exist only on Madagascar, and 1,000 orchid species. Of animals it has thousands of insects, over 300 species of frog, five bird families, 270 known species of reptile at least, and more than 100 mammals, including the lemurs, a whole group of primates endemic to the island.

6.  Spectacular scenery

scenery madagascar

Colourful scenery in the eastern rainforest, hills and mountains, most of the rocky in the central highlands.  Grassland and bush in the south and extensive western grasslands crossed by red-bedded rivers.


Photos and Text:

Courtesy of Madagascar Tourism Board

Official Tourism website:  http://www.madagascar-tourisme.com

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