Few places on earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature

Madagascar, a huge island nation off the southeast coast of Africa

The country is very unique: 5% of all known animal and plant species can be found here, and here alone. The remarkable fauna and flora is matched by epic landscapes of an incredible diversity: you can go from rainforest to desert in just 300km. Few places on earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature. Making the best of it, however, can be challenging (and expensive): Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island and its roads are dismal. But those who relish an adventure will come into their own: the off-road driving is one of a kind, and there are national parks that only see 100 visitors a year, regions that live in autarchy during the rainy season and resorts so remote you’ll need a private plane or boat to get there.

With 5000km of coastline, 450km of barrier reef and 250 islands, no stay in Madagascar would be complete without a few days on the island’s shores. Divers will revel in the choice of sites, from underwater ‘cathedrals’ to shipwrecks, and will relish the chance to see rays, whale sharks, reef sharks and many other kinds of sharks. Snorkelers will be awed by the sheer grace of turtles and marvel at the rainbow of colors displayed by corals and fish. For those keen to keep their heads above water, the idyllic beaches will prove hard to resist. And once you’ve swayed in your hammock to your heart’s content, you can join a local fisher for a pirogue (dugout canoe) trip, go sailing to explore nearby islands or board a whale-watching boat to admire humpbacks breaching – one of nature’s most majestic spectacles.

The Capital is Antananarivo and the countries population boast some 23 odd million.

Fast Facts

Highlights

Rare wildlife and vegetation unique to the island, exotic rainforests, idyllic beaches, whale watching, diverse culture.

The Island

Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island. A biodiversity hotspot, with landscapes that range from mountainous rainforests to desert to tropical islands.

Geographical Location

Located off the South-Eastern coast of Africa between latitudes 12-26° S, with 5000km of coastline, 450km of barrier reef and 250 islands. The Eastern, or windward side of the island is home to tropical rainforests, while the Western and Southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to tropical dry forests, thorn forests, and deserts and xeric shrublands. The capital, Antananarivo, (referred to as “Tana” by the locals) is found towards the centre of the island.

Population

Made up of a mix of Bantu, Arab, Portuguese and Indian cultures.

Language

Malagasy is the official language and is generally spoken throughout the island. French is mostly spoken as a second language. Many residents also speak English.

Time

Madagascar is one hour ahead of South Africa on East African Time or UTC +03:00

Climate

The combination of South-Eastern trade winds and North-Western monsoons produces a hot rainy season (November–April) with frequently destructive cyclones, and a relatively cooler dry season (May–October).

Currency

Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)

Health Requirements

Malaria: The malaria mortality rate is among the lowest in Africa, due to the highest frequency use of insecticide treated nets in Africa.

Trading Hours

Restaurants: 11.30am to 2.30pm (lunch) and 6.30pm to 9.30pm (dinner)
Shops: 9am to noon and 2.30pm to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to noon Saturday

Activities

Snorkelling; Sailing Hobbies Cat; Kayaking; Beach Tennis Volley; Volleyball and Pétanque (Game of Bowls); Aqua Gym; Walks; Board & Card Games; Scuba Diving; Sports Fishing; Excursions; Weddings & Honeymoons; Boutique shopping; Massage room

Madagascar

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. At 592,800 square kilometres Madagascar is the world’s 2nd largest island country.

13th Jul 2020

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26th May 2020

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26th May 2020

Time + Tide Miavana