Though the name Madagascar conjures up images of tropical rain forests with exotic flying creatures and colourful chameleons, the country is also home to some spectacular and very dry desert scenery. The island’s diversity is mind-blowing, and one can have a complete change of landscape no matter which direction from Tana you take. The capital city, Antananarivo, is locally named “Tana” and conveniently situated in the middle of the country.
Travel east from Tana and you’re in a popular area called Andasibe where most tourists head to see lemurs in the forests or on to the controversial Vakona island where habituated lemurs jump onto your shoulder, begging for a bite of fruit. Fly south and slightly west, to access the weird and wonderful Spiny Forest where the several species of lemurs choose to live amongst the cactus-like Octopus trees.
The Eastern side of Madagascar spoils with beautiful tropical beaches and too many species of palm trees to possibly count. Rain forests filled with lemurs, chameleons, spiders, foot-long worms, bright red snakes and exotic reptile species are only some of the few exciting things you’ll discover on a day or night walk with your guide. One of the best things of Madagascar is that none of their snakes or spiders are poisonous, making this an ideal destination for all, including families with children.
West of Tana you’ll find the famous Baobab Alley in Morondova and to the North up the West coast you can see the strange formations of the Tsingy (needle-like limestone cliffs) that oddly also house many species of lemur, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Nosy Be is a tiny island off the tip of the north-west coast that has possibly the best accommodations in the entire country as it’s a world hot spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, whales and whale sharks as it’s on the protected Mozambique channel. This island is immaculate, and one can be forgiven for thinking you have reached heaven. Nosy Be has lemurs but is also close enough to the famous Madagascan vanilla and cacao fields to make an easy day trip!