A trip to Madagascar is high on the list for many wildlife enthusiasts, with over 80% of the flora and fauna found there being endemic to the island. Described as a kaleidoscope of nature, there is plenty of amazing species to go in search of. With aye-ayes, lemurs and whales, we believe Masoala National Park has it all! Here we tell you why we love this protected park in the far north of the country.
Explore the primary rainforests of Madagascar in search of the island’s weird and wonderful wildlife; looking out for lemurs, chameleons and geckos, before jetting off to the paradise coastal hideaway of Anjajavy- the perfect place to relax.
Combine a wonderful wildlife and rainforest experience with the chance to relax on the beach at the unique Masoala Forest Lodge on the peninsular in the north-east of Madagascar. There are plenty of activities on offer including whale-watching in season.
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.
Madagascar Mainland Beaches
Whilst many travel to Madagascar for its wildlife, with over 4,800 kilometres of Indian Ocean coastline complete with beautiful palm-fringed sands and coral reefs, the island also lends itself to time on the beach. The unique aspect of a beach stay in Madagascar is that you can combine it with wildlife viewing, for the ultimate Malagasy experience.
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Madagascar’s 4,800 kilometres of coastline is home to some picturesque beaches which are the ideal spot to relax after an exciting adventure around the island. A particular appeal about Madagascar’s beaches is that a number of them adjoin tropical forests, meaning that you can easily combine beach relaxation with wildlife exploration. Those who prefer to lie back and just soak up the beach atmosphere won’t be disappointed either with unspoilt beaches where it is possible to find your own slice of beach paradise for yourself.
The laid-back feel of the Malagasy coastline is perfect for a tranquil escape with the chance to experience local life with fishermen taking their wooden pirogues out on the crystal blue waters. Spend days snorkelling or diving off the coast and exploring the impressive coral reefs, or laze in a hammock in the shade of a palm tree if you prefer.
If the chance to go in search of wildlife during your beach stay holds appeal then the Masoala Peninsula and National Park on the northeast coast is well worth considering. Madagascar’s largest parks and one of the least visited, you have the chance to explore primary rainforest which runs along golden sandy beaches. This is the last stronghold of the red-ruffed lemur as well as the elusive aye-aye, although you will have to look carefully to spot them, making for a rewarding wildlife experience. In addition to lemurs (there are 10 species found here in all), there are some fantastic endemic birds including the stunning ground-roller. If you choose to visit between July and September there is also the chance to see migrating humpback whales during their calving season.
An alternative beach and wildlife combination is offered at Anjajavy, a private nature reserve in a remote fly-in location on the northwest coast. Protecting 750 hectares of dry deciduous forest, Anjajavy offers an incredible view as you come into land with deserted coves shouldered by dense forest. The pristine beaches at Anjajavy are truly incredible and give way to impressive coral reefs which are perfectly explored on snorkelling trips whilst on the land there are tsingy which overlook the coast and a huge amount of bio-diversity in terms of both flora and fauna. Birders have the chance to spot vasa parrots and the rare Madagascar fish eagle if they’re lucky, whilst lemur lovers will certainly not be disappointed with the chance to see Coquerel’s sifakas as well as iguanas and chameleons. This is the perfect way to combine an outstanding wildlife experience with wonderful Indian Ocean beaches.
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