Madagascar

Things to do in Madagascar

Discover the 'must do's' of Madagascar

To this day this tropical island still remains largely undiscovered and unvisited, with tourists almost being put off by the sheer uniqueness of this quirky island. To combat that, we have therefore outlined below some of our favourite things to see and do in Madagascar, the best times to do them and where to stay to make the most of these experiences.

The fourth largest island in the world, with endemic fauna and flora, untouched tropical beaches, and the only place in the world to see lemurs in the wild, Madagascar has a huge amount to offer. 

Whale watching

The east coast is the hot spot for some world class sightings as humpback whales migrate through this eastern oceanic corridor, even using it for calving. The best times to see whales is between the months of July and September as they populate the area specifically around Ile Sainte Marie. Our favourite property on this offshore island is the lovely Princesse Bora Lodge, a boutique property with beach bungalows and great cuisine. One thing to do during your stay – a must in fact – is to spend a morning out with the MEGAPETRA whale research team; your time will be spent out with the whales and assisting the team to collect useful data used in their everyday studies of monitoring the migrating patterns of these marine giants.
  • Best place to see whales in Madagascar: Ile Sainte Marie
  • Best time to see whales in Madagascar: July to September

Not what you would think of when visiting Madagascar maybe, however whale watching is a ‘must-do’. 

Track the cheeky lemurs

From the tiny egg-cup sized mouse lemur to the morning calls of the teddy bear-esque Indri, Madagascar offers something truly unique for the wildlife lover. For those wishing to see the renowned dancing lemurs (sifakas) then the southern reserve of Berenty is world renowned as well as the Relais and Chateaux private reserve of Anjajavy. Nothing however can beat the lazy ring-tailed lemurs which can be caught spread out sunbathing as the early morning sun comes over the horizon. If lemurs aren’t cuddly enough for you as they are, then make sure you visit during the months of October and November when it is baby lemur season, ideal for those photographers amongst you!
  • Best place to see lemurs in Madagascar: Andasibe, Berenty, Anjajavy, Isalo, Ankarafantsika
  • Best time to see lemurs in Madagascar: June to December

Unique in its own right, there is only one place in the world where you can spot lemurs in the wild and that is Madagascar. 

the Medicinal Baobabs

Whilst the trees themselves can be found dotted around this tropical island, the hotspot – and the ideal location for photographers – is the Avenue of Baobabs located in Kirindy. This majestic avenue is lined with huge baobabs making for giants in the surrounding countryside. The best time to visit the Avenue is sunrise or sunset so you can take advantage of this spectacular setting in the best light. Aside from being a tourist attraction, baobabs have also been used locally for hundreds of years as sources of medicinal remedies, are often useful water resources as rain is trapped in their huge trunks forming pools for wildlife and even humans to drink from, and even refuges for wildlife with the network of branches and huge trunk forming the ideal hiding place from predators.
  • Best place to see the baobabs in Madagascar: Avenue de baobabs, Kirindy
  • Best time to see the baobabs in Madagascar: sunrise and sunset

Whilst these weird and wonderful trees can be found in other destinations, Madagascar offers the true diversity and baobabs in all their majesty. 

Relax on the beautiful beaches

From private islands to luxury retreats, here are a few of the options available to you if you want to wind down at the end of your safari…Anjajavy - a beautiful Relais and Chateaux property located on the west (north-west) coast of Madagascar. Located in its own private nature reserve, Anjajavy offers authentic luxury on the beach whilst at the same time being able to explore the reserve under your own steam – don’t be surprised if at afternoon tea you are joined by a troupe of dancing sifakas as they skip across the lodge lawn! 

Tsarabanjina Island – this beautiful private island used to be the sister hotel of Anjajavy. Set off the coast of Nosy Be off the north western coastline of Madagascar, Tsarabanjina can only be accessed by float plane or a rather speedy sea transfer! Cosy beach bungalows, great diving and a sand floored bar makes Tsarabanjina a great place to wind down and the ideal spot for a lazy few days at the end of a honeymoon. Princesse Bora Lodge – located on Ile Sainte Marie off the east coast of Madagascar, Princesse Bora Lodge is an intimate property combining perfectly with the forests of Andasibe (ideal for Indri watching) as well as the cosy private reserve of Palmarium. Princesse Bora Lodge is also the ideal location for setting out with the Megapetra whale research team for a spot of whale watching between the months of July and September.

  • Best beaches in Madagascar: Ile Sainte Marie, Anjajavy, Ifaty, Nosy Be
  • Top beach lodges: Tsarabanjina, Princesse Bora, Anjajavy Lodge

Aside from its vast quantities of bizarre wildlife, Madagascar is also the ideal place for a little bit of beach time. 

Explore unique geographic variations

From the slightly chillier high plateau (the location of the capital of Antananarivo) to the hot southern deserts of the south, Madagascar offers it all. From the rainforests of the east and dramatic rock formations of Isalo, to the tsingy (spiky limestone rock formations) of the north and baobab lined avenues of the west, Madagascar surprises you at every turn, making for a truly unique holiday of a lifetime.
  • Best places for unique landscapes: Isalo, Ankarana

This may seem a slightly bizarre attraction to list as something to ‘see and do’, however the sheer geographic diversity of Madagascar is not to be overlooked. 

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