Madagascar for the First Time Visitor
Madagascar is huge, roughly two and half times the size of Great Britain, and it’s difficult to know how to get the best out of your first visit without some insider knowledge. We would recommend, unless you have an abundance of time, visiting either the north or south of the country.
A sifaka in Berenty Private Reserve
Cut off from the mainland Africa for millions of years, the island’s flora and fauna has evolved into unique species including 150,000 forms of life which are found nowhere else in the world, including all the numerous species of lemur.
It’s an undeveloped country and tourism is very new, which is one of the attractions, but it is also important to pack both a sense of humor and adventure.
Using the map below, two of Audley's Madagascar specialists, Victoria and James, highlight the routes they traveled and pick out a few of their favorite places along the way.
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Victoria takes us on a road trip around northern Madagascar (see map above).
Sampling lush vegetation, speared rock formations and untouched beaches, the highlight of the trip is always the weird and wonderful wildlife she encounters.
James takes on the classic traverse through the heart of the country.
He describes his journey from Antananarivo to Tulear (see map above) and reviews some of his favorite locations.
Madagascar country fact file
Population: 20.6 million
Area: 587,041 square kilometres
Languages: Malagasy and French
Religions: Malagasy mythology, Christianity and Islam
Best time to visit: July to November
Flight time from New York to Antananarivo: 20 hours