Underrated & unspoilt – Madagascar is waiting!

Madagascar dream holiday

Madagascar, separated from mainland Africa, by about 400km of Indian Ocean, is a world of its own. Visiting the country, you get the sense that the people and its natural wonders have been left to their own devices, free from the influence of the outside world since the French left in 1960. The indigenous people of Madagascar are known as Malagasy, and speak French, Malagasy and a little English - generally. The capital, Antananarivo is a little chaotic, poverty stricken, and yet a fascinating place to visit with comfortable and well maintained hotels and B & B’s dotted around the city. If it’s something different you’re looking for, Madagascar will satisfy your every wish. You may spot an assortment of lemur species, indigenous chameleons and possibly even the tomato frog, given its name for its bright red colouring. The wildlife and natural scenery is raw, unique and special, and is in harmony with the local people, many of whom live their lives in small rural farming and fishing villages. Although the country survives under poverty, the locals are generally friendly, accommodating, and simply carry on with their way of life. However, like any place in the world, there are the elements you need to look out for when visiting a foreign country. Enterprising locals hang around the airport waiting to assist tourists to exchange money, find taxis and accommodation. You need to be quite firm with the guys as they will hound you until you give them enough cash. This can be tricky with a currency you are unfamiliar with, as they are quick on their toes and will extract notes out of your possession before you have time to calculate how much you are actually giving over. That said, be aware and conscious of your surroundings and explore this magnificent land from top to bottom, its beaches, forests, mountains, and villages or towns are truly spectacular if you have an open mind and an adventurous spirit. The top destinations to visit in Madagascar vary from beach locations, to tropical forests and mountains. Check out these top destinations and treat yourself to a unique island paradise holiday: Experience the History - Royal Hill of Ambohimanga Madagascar was one of the last places on earth to be inhabited by humans and therefore has a younger history to the rest of the planet, yet an immensely interesting one. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga has for the last 500 years been considered as one of the countries most sacred places by the Malagasy. It was an historical village that was home to the royalty of Madagascar. Discover the untouched beauty of Ifaty On the south-west coast of Madagascar lays a little piece of heavenly paradise. Ifaty is protected from extreme ocean conditions by a reef which is approximately 120km long, making it perfect for snorkelling and diving. The beaches are immaculate and Ifaty is not far from the Spiny Forest and a number of Baobab trees, some of which are up to 800 years old. Paradise knows no limits on the Ile of Saint Marie. Île Sainte-Marie, also known by its Malagasy name, Nosy Boraha is a small island about 8km off the east coast. The island is famous for having been visited by pirates on many occasions during the 17th & 18th centuries. Many shipwrecks are still visible just off the coastline. Although one of the most beautiful places in Madagascar it is less frequented by visitors than Nosy Be, making it the perfect getaway for a bit of relaxing beach time. During the summer and autumn months it is possible to spot Humpback whales as they visit the coastline on their migration. Madagascar may not be for the faint hearted, however the popular tourist destinations are easy going, comfortable and extremely beautiful. They offer the perfect beach getaway with loads of water activities, hiking, and nature reserves with guided tours. No matter what your sense of adventure, Madagascar is sure to fulfil your wildest dreams!