Madagascar is one of the most unique and diverse destinations in the Indian Ocean with amazing wildlife encounters on offer, scenery like no other and some of the most exceptional beaches to be found in this part of the world. It is incredibly important to travel to Madagascar with an open mind and realistic expectations, so that you make the most of your time here and don’t come home feeling disappointed. Here we give our rundown on how to prepare and what to expect.
Guide to Madagascar's top 10 wildlife species
Madagascar is fast-becoming the place to go for Africa old-hands looking for something new and for those wanting an assault of their senses. Regarded as the Eighth Continent because of its diversity of flora and fauna and unique melting pot of cultures, here we give the rundown on our top 10 species from this kaleidoscope of nature.
1. Diademed sifaka lemur
Remembering over 100 lemur species can be a challenge. Enjoy watching these lemurs hang out in Analamazaotra National Park, and remember them as the Creme Egg lemurs because of their unique colourings!
2. Parson’s chameleon
One of the most impressive chameleons, keep your eyes peeled in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and look up into the branches to try and spot him.
3. Indri indri lemur
Everyone loves the indri indri lemur because of its haunting calls in the morning and because it is the largest lemur species. Look out as it can jump to up to a metre through the air!
4. Leaf-tailed gecko
One of the most spectacular geckos imaginable, the leaf-tailed gecko effortlessly blends into its surroundings with its camouflaged tail which you can easily mistake for just another leaf. Our top recommendation for spotting them is in Ranomafana National Park.
5. Giraffe-necked weevil
No trip to Madagascar is complete without seeing this weird insect. With its bright red shell and unique jointed neck it is sure to be one of the most bizarre insects you’ll see on your trip to Madagascar.
6. Lowland streaked tenrec
Ever wondered what it would look like if you threw together a hedgehog, shrew and mouse and dropped them in a pot of yellow paint? Well, these weird creatures have the answer for you.
7. Ring-tailed lemur
King Julian! Surely the most famous lemur of them all. He likes to move it, move it…
8. Grey-headed lovebirds
Even if you aren’t a keen birder, we defy you not to be charmed by these lovebirds!
9. Brookesia chameleon
These chameleons can stand on the tip of your finger. They are chameleons in miniature and are mind-bogglingly small!
10. Comet moth
Moths wouldn’t normally feature high on most people’s “must-see” lists, but these moths look like they’ve taken steroids and spent the afternoon in a paint tin.