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Madagascar holidays will leave you spellbound as you wander among giant baobabs and explore landscapes like no other on earth. Madagascar is an abyss of wildlife, birdlife, variant habitats and ecosystems. Madagascar also boasts wildlife found nowhere else on the planet.
With this in mind, we highly recommend speaking to Rob, one of only a handful of highly experienced Madagascar experts in the UK. He has designed countless trips across the country over the last decade and spent a huge amount of time exploring the majority of Madagascar. For honest expert advice contact Rob for more info or call him on +44 7791 360170. For our US visitors please visit the Madagascar vacation page.
- Madagascar is home to a wide array of unique wildlife including the famous Lemurs of Madagascar.
- 93% of its mammals, 98% of its reptiles and amphibians, and 89% of its plants are only found on this island.
- Its habitats range from tropical rainforests and huge fields of razor-sharp limestone pinnacles to massive baobab trees, caves, mangroves swamps and white-sand beaches and islands.
- At around 1,500km long with over 4,800km of coastline, planning a trip there requires meticulous attention to detail.
What are the top sights in Madagascar?
What a toughie! Madagascar is an incredible country and visitors really are spoilt for choice when it comes to ‘top sights’. If you’ve seen the DreamWorks Animation, “Madagascar”, you’ll be very familiar with the country’s lemurs (all of which are endemic), but in truth, it has some of the most unique wildlife in the world. It is one of just 17 countries in the world with Conservation International’s ‘megadiverse’ status. Don’t forget the island also has 4,800 km of magnificent coastline and clusters of picture-perfect islands which makes this a superb spot for some marine life, too. Iconic shots of the country usually include baobabs (aka the ‘upside-down tree’) and are home to 7 out of the world’s 8 species. The reality is that Madagascar offers a huge variety of wildlife and habitats and therefore combining rainforests, dry deciduous forest, islands and beaches with the rich local culture will make a holiday here a total win. It really does depend on your interests, though but trust us when we say there will be something to suit everyone. The best thing to do is pick up the phone to speak to our Madagascar specialist (and MD!) Rob so he can help you to plan the perfect trip.
Is Madagascar a good holiday destination?
We just love Madagascar. Bet you didn’t know that it’s actually the fourth largest island on the planet, and at 587,041 km², it’s even bigger than Germany! One of the reasons that it is such a rich wildlife destination is that it wasn’t discovered until 500AD which gives it 300,000 years of extra time without Homo sapiens than the rest of Africa. It is, therefore, a wildlife (and nature) enthusiast’s dream. Although its tourism infrastructure is not as developed as some of its African cousins like South Africa and Tanzania, the tourism industry is growing and there are some superb lodges and camps across the country that offer fantastic experiences. In addition to the country’s rich and diverse culture, the pull for many will be Madagascar’s diverse habitats. You’ll find tropical rainforests and huge fields of razor-sharp limestone pinnacles as well as massive baobab trees, caves, mangroves swamps and white-sand beaches and islands. The country offers a number of exciting activities which make it a brilliant holiday spot. From kayaking, diving, hiking and horse riding to taking it easy on a secluded beach. There really is something for everyone.
When is the best time to visit Madagascar?
Madagascar has a really diverse climate, which means that some times of the year are better than others - depending on the things you’d like to do, of course. It’s worth bearing in mind that the wettest months are January through to early March when the island experiences its yearly cyclone season, but as a general rule the rest of the year is open season! April is a relatively quiet month to visit post-cyclone so you’d be able to experience some super quiet beaches and superb lush landscapes. Between July and September, you’ll get the opportunity to see humpback whales in several areas along the coastline, which combines beautifully with some super weather for beach bumming. From September to December the weather will be much warmer and wildlife will be thriving. You’re therefore likely to see lemurs at their most active, with their young being born from October onward. This time of the year is also great for seeing whale sharks off the coast of Nosy Be island in the northwest. Remember, we are here to help you plan so give us a call and we can help you design the perfect itinerary!
What is the best length of time to visit Madagascar for?
There are so many different areas and experiences in Madagascar, and in an ideal world, we’d send you there for at least six full weeks so that you can fit it all in and even that would be pushing it! As specialists in the region, we feel very strongly about combining at least two of the main regions to get the most of your Madagascar holiday, but three would be better. It may sound obvious, but the country is essentially split into four key areas - North, South, East & West. Each region boasts a variety of habitats and ecosystems and will therefore bring a new feel to the overall island experience. In our opinion, you will probably need at least 2 weeks to do two or three regions properly (ideally 2.5 - 3 weeks!). And who wouldn’t want to include some well-deserved beach time at the end of an exciting adventure? Yes please! Ultimately it really is about giving us a ring so that we can work together to figure out what will suit you and your loved ones best.
Is a Madagascar safari different from a traditional African safari?
In our opinion, yes – particularly if a traditional safari is considered to be wide open savannahs where you can spot typically African mammals like zebras, giraffes, lions, hyenas, buffalos, elephants and hippos! Madagascar sadly does not have any of these iconic animals, however, what they DO have is over 100 endemic species of lemur, more than 50% of the world’s chameleon population (including the smallest which is the size of your fingernail) and more than 11,000 endemic plant species including 7 of the world’s 8 baobab species. The island broke away from mainland Africa 165 million years ago and this has resulted in some incredibly unique wildlife (over 80% of which is actually only found here). And, who could forget those crazy fossa carnivores from DreamWorks Animation, “Madagascar”? Safaris on Madagascar are also not necessarily done on the back of a three-tiered safari vehicle, either. You can expect to get your sweat on during a hike or a horse ride, and if you’re up for a marine safari then you can dive beneath the waves to find all sorts of gems along thousands of kilometres of coastline. In fact, if you want to really get an all-encompassing safari fix then a trip to Madagascar is the best complement to a ‘traditional’ safari that there is!
How do Madagascar beaches compare to other beach destinations?
Madagascar boasts over 5,000km of Indian Ocean coastline and over 250 islands which are home to extensive mangrove systems and some of the longest coral reefs in the world. Given the country is best known for the magic on land, the country’s stunning beaches are pretty much a well-kept secret from the world and therefore fairly untouched paradises! Nosy Be is the most popular island resort which is in a super location to find whale sharks and humpback whales, but there are many other secluded islands which have crystal-clear waters and untouched white sands which are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. One such island paradise is Nosy Iranja, which is considered to be one of the ten most beautiful islands on the planet. The archipelago is rich in sea life, and just as the land is considered to be ‘megadiverse’, this rings true beneath the waves, too. The coral reefs surrounding Madagascar are not only beautifully coloured but are also home to a wide variety of marine life including 56 types of shark, 5 types of turtle (4 breeding), 34 types of whale and dolphin, and 1300 species of bony fish.
How to arrange a Madagascar holiday?
Easy – let us do all the hard work! Our Madagascar specialist is actually our Managing Director, Rob Morley. He knows this incredible island inside-out and will help you to plan the trip of a lifetime, making sure that you don’t miss out on one single thing. Here at Tailormade Africa, we get to know you and your loved ones and design your itinerary entirely bespoke, specifically to you and your group. It’s not just about picking the right places to visit, though and booking the right activities. Knowing where to stay and what to expect while in-country is part and parcel of making sure you get your perfect Madagascar holiday, and we’d be chuffed to bits to work with you. Just pick up and phone and let’s get planning!
What are the best Madagascar hotels and lodges?
Tourism is less developed here in Madagascar, which means that there are fewer choices when it comes to high-end places to stay. The good news is that we know all the best spots and have outstanding relationships with each of them, so you’ll be in the best of hands! If you fancy perching yourself on a beautiful island off the coast of the mainland, we have a few favourites, each providing a stunning setting in a different part of the country. We just love Time + Tide Miavana and Constance Tsarabanjina, both of which are found in the north, and who can forget the stunning Princess Bora Lodge & Spa off the Eastern coast? When it comes to our top lodges which provide a true sense of place, you cannot go wrong with Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest or Mandrare River Camp in the south! Anjajavy Lodge is also a clear winner with its Relais & Chateaux stamp, located on a private reserve on a peninsula of north-western Madagascar. Of course, these aren’t the only places we’d recommend, and our specialist Rob will be able to hand-pick the perfect spot for you based on what you’d like to get out of your bespoke Madagascar itinerary – just give us a call!
Madagascar Holiday Packages & Travel Ideas
Our Madagascar Travel Specialists
The Best Time For Madagascar Holidays
Madagascar has a really diverse climate, which means that some times of the year are better than others - depending on the things you’d like to do, of course. It’s worth bearing in mind that the wettest months are January through to early March when the island experiences its yearly cyclone season, but as a general rule the rest of the year is open season!
April is a relatively quiet month to visit post-cyclone so you’d be able to experience some super quiet beaches and superb lush landscapes. Between July and September, you’ll get the opportunity to see humpback whales in several areas along the coastline, which combines beautifully with some super weather for beach bumming.
From September to December the weather will be much warmer and wildlife will be thriving. You’re therefore likely to see lemurs at their most active, with their young being born from October onward. This time of the year is also great for seeing whale sharks off the coast of Nosy Be island in the northwest. Remember, we are here to help you plan so give us a call and we can help you design the perfect itinerary!
Explore these Madagascar Regions
To help with the understanding of this vast and diverse country we have split our website into four distinct areas - Western Madagascar, Eastern Madagascar, Southern Madagascar and Northern Madagascar. Most people will only visit one or two of these areas in a trip, due to time and budget considerations, so it is all about finding the right area for your interests, travel personality and budget. A combination of speaking to us and getting a feel for the areas will achieve this. On the whole, in each area, you will find Lemurs, reptiles and amphibians, birdlife, diverse scenery and landscapes, and beautiful beaches. However, each has their own species and differences, so we can walk you through this.
Western Madagascar is home to some of the least accessible areas of the country but also houses some of the weirdest and most wonderful places. It may not be the easiest to get there, but for those who are prepared to make the effort, and in some cases have the budget, then it is well worth it. There are four main areas of interest in this broad Western part of the country, namely Anjajavy, Tsingy de Bemaraha, Avenue de Baobabs and Kirindy, which will normally all be visited in one trip.
Eastern Madagascar is the most accessible and therefore the most-visited part of the island which includes the unique capital, Antananarivo (often referred to as 'Tana'), one of the most popular national parks, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, to see the islands iconic wildlife, and is also a stunning tropical island escape. For those who are short of time, this area of the country can easily provide a fantastic 7-10 night trip combining culture, wildlife and beaches.
Southern Madagascar is hugely rich in wildlife, diverse in scenery and abounds with culture. Although with the RN7 route (the main road from the capital Antananarivo to the south-west town of Tulear) included within its confounds as one of the most popular tourist routes, there are some truly superb off the beaten track areas we highly recommend to our clients. There are three main areas of interest in this broad Southern part of the country that we have 'grouped together' for ease of understanding, Isalo National Park and Zombitse National Park, Tulear and Ifaty, as well as Ifotaka Community Forest and Sainte Luce Bay.
Northern Madagascar is home to a wide range of habitats including montane rainforest, limestone tsingy, remote beaches and idyllic islands. Some of these areas are relatively easily accessible, whilst others are more remote and costly to access, but if you have the time and budget well worth it! Visitors may just visit one of these remote areas before returning to the capital or look to combine the two mainland national parks over 4-5 nights, before heading to the beach. The North for us has five main areas of interest, Montagne D'Ambre National Park, Ankarana National Park, Nosy Be and its surrounding islands, Nosy Ankao home to Miavana Private Island and Masoala.
Why Tailormade Africa?
Madagascar Holiday Experts
Rob & Clyde are two of the most knowledgeable experts on holidays in Madagascar in the world and have travelled extensively across Madagascar, exploring everything it has to offer including the hotels, camps and lodges.
Madagascar Wildlife Specialists
With our well established, strong personal relationships with all of our ground operators and Conservation Management teams in Madagascar, we are always kept up to date on the most recent information of wildlife, conservation and accommodations, ensuring you get to see wildlife viewings like never before.
Bespoke Madagascar Holidays
With Tailormade Africa, no two safari holiday itineraries are ever the same. The combination of our in-depth knowledge of the country and taking the time to get to know all of our clients' travel personalities ensures truly bespoke itineraries and a trip specifically tailored to you.
Madagascar - A Country like no Other
Described as the eighth continent, it separated from mainland Africa 165 million years ago and today 93% of its mammals, 98% of its reptiles and amphibians, and 89% of its plants are endemic. Chief among them are 90 species of lemur, including the enigmatic aye-ayes and sifakas, chameleons the size of your fingernail, frogs, snakes, over 100 species of bird, humpback whales, dolphins, turtles and so much more.
Top Madagascar Hotels, Camps & Lodges
Book your Madagascar Holiday today!
Madagascar is a vast and extraordinary country, where tourism is still in its infancy; any trip must be well planned. There are simply too many areas and experiences to mention, so a good chat to discuss your interests is certainly needed. We have explored the country extensively and have strong local connections built up over many years of travelling there, to ensure you get the most out of your trip to a country like no other, so we look forward to planning this together.
At Tailormade Africa we are absolutely convinced that the key to a successful trip is in the small details. In combination with your own travel personalities, quirks and nuances, likes and dislikes, the planning of your safari is only truly possible if we, your Madagascar specialists, understand who you are. Please contact us or if you prefer, do drop us an email or call to have an informal chat. This will save you a lot of time and possible confusion and will immediately assist us in being able to completely tailor a Madagascar holiday safari to your wishes, budget and time considerations.
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