• Gecko, Madagascar

Discover the best parks and attractions in Madagascar

As the fourth largest island on earth protecting a spectacular array of wildlife and the highest biodiversity on the planet, Madagascar’s attractions lie largely in its national parks and special reserves. The habitats are wide-ranging and shelter thousands of species of plant and animal life, of which an estimated 80% are not found anywhere else on earth, due to its astonishing isolation. So important is the preservation of Madagascar’s national parks and sanctuaries and their endemic species, that the institution ‘Madagascar National Parks’ was founded in 1990 to assist in conservation of natural resources across all national parks and reserves. The parks and attractions themselves range from the popular Andasibe which almost guarantees indri lemur sightings, and Berenty Reserve with its dancing sifakas, to private islands such as Nosy Tsarabanjina and the mountainous waterfall-clad terrain of Amber Mountain.

Madagascar’s national parks are some of the most unique in the world, unfortunately however they are also some of the most threatened, with illegal logging and mining destroying some of the island’s pristine habitats. Visiting Madagascar ensures that resources are directly invested back into this unique island and gives it a chance of surviving as one of the world’s truly unique bio-diversity hotspots. .

Leopard Chameleon | © Shutterstock M Brand

Andasibe National Park – only 3hrs or so drive from the capital of Antananarivo, Andasibe National Park and Mantadia Reserve offer you a truly unique insight into the initial fauna and flora of Madagascar. The emotive morning calls of the indris – the largest living lemur – are a hauntingly beautiful reminder of how fragile our planet’s wildlife is…

Ranomafana National Park – one of Madagascar’s prime examples of lush rainforest. Home to the rare golden bamboo lemur as well as approximately 11 other lemur species and 30 endemic species of bird. The fossa can also be found here and is Madagascar’s largest mammalian carnivore. They like forests and can be found at altitudes of over 2,000 metres. November to March, during the hot and rainy season, Ranomafana is also an excellent spot for reptiles.

Isalo National Park – one of our favourites, not so much for its wildlife, but through what it exudes in its diversity. A huge rock massif and savannah plains, setting off an extraordinarily contrasting climate to the rainforests of the east. October and November see the peak of lemur birthing season. Isalo and the Anja reserve are best for this.

Ile Sainte Marie – set off the east coast of the Madagascan mainland, Ile Sainte Marie is a great island getaway either at the start or end of your safari. An ideal spot for whale watching during the months of July – September…

Masoala National Park – not for everyone, but definitely for us! Masoala National Park remains rustic – but that is what we like - and provides the last remaining primary rainforest of Madagascar. Huge trees, wild lemurs and exotic coastlines with whale watching in the Bay during the season.

Anatananarivo – also abbreviated to ‘Tana’, this is the capital of the island. Whilst most African cities are a big ‘turn off’, Tana has atmosphere with its red tiled roofs, Parisian boulevards and never-ending buzz…

Ankarana National Park – unique limestone rock pinnacles, wild jungles and fast flowing rivers, Ankarana is a truly remarkable place to visit. With 11 species of lemur to add to this, Ankarana is one to watch.

Ifaty – one of the original beach destinations when Madagascar opened up, Ifaty is located in the south east of the island and has a number of properties overlooking the sand beaches.

Mikea National Park – with 63 speices of bird and 9 species of lemur, Mikea is one of Madagascar’s newer parks and provides a welcome break from the more well-known parks of Andasibe and Ranomafana. Definitely worth a visit for a more rugged experience.

Nosy Be – whilst Nosy Be does suffer from being visited from a number of cruise ships, it still has an alluring quality that is easy to fall for. With its street lined cafes, vanilla plantations, and beach getaways, Nosy Be is a nice place to stop, take a breath and relax.

Amber Mountain National Park – located in the northern reaches of Madagascar, Amber Mountain is a beautifully cool park with volcanic lakes, waterfalls and jungle scenery. A variety of lemurs and amphibians abide here providing for a great helicopter visit from ‘nearby’ Miavana.

Makay -  just go there. Unexplored, unheard of and few have ventured into he Makay. Basic camping but with some of the most stunning scenery and unhabituated wildlife on the island of Madagascar.

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PARKS AND ATTRACTIONS OF MADAGASCAR

Chameleon, Madagascar

Amber Mountain National Park

Appropriately named due to the resin from the trees, a park of wildlife, waterfalls, volcanic lakes and rainforests.

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Madagascar by Shannon Wild

Andasibe National Park

Wake up to the haunting calls of the indri of Andasibe, the world's largest lemur, before tracking them during the day!

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Verreaux Sifaka, Madagascar

Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve

Anjajavy Lodge is a private Relais and Chateaux property in its own exclusive nature reserve and home to the bouncy dancing sifakas.

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Madagascar by Shannon Wild

Ankarafantsika Nature Reserve

Ankarafantsika is home to the Coquerel's sifaka, endemic golden brown mouse lemur, fat tailed dwarf lemur and a variety of trails!

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Tsingy, Madagascar

Ankarana National Park

Ankarana National Park consists of unique limestone tsingy rock pinnacles, this park is also home to crowned lemurs, dwarf lemurs and sportive lemur.

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Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antananarivo

Antananarivo is an atmospheric if not slightly chaotic city with some hotels located on the hillsides affording great city views.

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Ringtail lemur, Madagascar

Berenty Reserve

Berenty Reserve offers up close and personal lemurs and excellent photography with ring-tailed lemurs, dancing sifakas and a variety of reptiles.

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Ifaty beach in Madagascar

Ifaty

Ifaty is located on the south west coastline ideal for a few days of beach relaxation at the end of your safari through Madagascar.

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Ile Sainte Marie,Madagascar

Ile Sainte Marie

A beautiful tropical island located off the east coast, Ile Sainte Marie is home to the boutique Princesse Bora Lodge.

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Hiking in Isalo, Madagascar

Isalo National Park

Dramatic wind eroded and sculpted rock formations, Isalo National Park offers stunning trekking and cheeky lemurs roaming the canyons.

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Masoala National park, Madagascar

Masoala National Park

Masoala National Park offers pristine peninsular rainforest, with wilderness walks, lemurs, whale watching and wild coastline.

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Madagascar by Shannon Wild

Mikea National Park

Named after the Mikea, one of Madagascar’s last hunter-gatherer societies, this national park in the country’s southwest is home to spiny forest, white-sand beaches and the eponymous people who share the land with birds, lemurs, reptiles and other endemic species.

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Nosy be, Madagascar

Nosy Be

Nosy Be is a bustling island with some cosy lodges and also a staging point for private island retreats.

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Madagascar by Shannon Wild

Palmarium Reserve

Palmarium Reserve is a unique reserve with the chance to photograph various lemurs as they bounce across your balcony.

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Cryptic chameleon, Madagascar

Ranomafana National Park

True Madagascan rainforest, Ranomafana National Park offers forest walks, chameleons and a variety of lemurs including the fascinating bamboo lemur.

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