Dream Journeys: Madagascar
Off the beaten track, rich in nature, culture and ideal for those looking to explore somewhere still relatively untouched by tourism.
We’ll start with a look at Madagascar’s land based activities before we head out to the coast to see just what lurks beneath the waves. The main island is vast, but there are some smaller ones off the coast. Back on the main island you’ll find the capital of Antananarivo, the bustling heart of Madagascar and a city filled to the brim. Madagascar is still relatively untouched by tourism, so there aren’t a whole lot of really touristy things to do. However, in this case that only adds to the charm, being able to visit a city and not feel like you’re constantly surrounded by tourists, but getting an authentic take on a place. We recommend visiting the Queen’s Palace, the Prime Minister’s Rainilaiarivony's Palace and the Museum of Art and Archeology. We also suggest visiting one of the many open air markets, ideal for buying souvenirs. Away from the capital we also recommend visiting Isalo National Park where you’ll find eroded sandstone formations, mountains, waterfalls, gorges and canyons. In the park you can also see sacred tombs as well as plenty of wildlife including the iconic ring tailed lemur.
The island of Nosy Be is another must-do, as are a visit to nearby Nosy Koomba. Nosy Be is the biggest tourist spot in Madagascar, though even here there’s not a vast tourism industry. What you will find is glorious beaches, healthy coral reefs teeming with sea life and beautiful scenery. Nosy Koomba is home to a great many families of Macaco, a species of lemur. It’s far quieter than Nosy Be, so the ideal place to enjoy the tranquillity of the forest with only the wildlife for company. Around these islands is also where you’ll find the best snorkelling and diving, with plenty of healthy coral reef to tempt you into the water. Fish are in abundance, and deeper you’ll find plenty of turtles, reef sharks and rays. If you go out on a dive you can also happen across manta rays, dolphins, whale sharks and, if the season is right, humpback whales (Sep-Nov). There is also a place called Manta point which is often frequented by them, but there are no guarantees. One of the most popular sites is the Marine Park at Tanekily Island, where you can explore one of three different dive sites.
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