Rich in natural and cultural diversity, Madagascar is home to some 5% of all the world’s known animal and plant species. A staggering landscape, the planet’s fourth largest island is filled with a breathtaking mix of rainforests, beaches, coral reefs and highland massifs, making it a paradise for lovers of nature and the great outdoors. Its infrastructure can be a challenge, but the rewards are bountiful, providing opportunities to visit completely unspoiled national parks, watch whale sharks and humpbacks in their natural environment and enjoy some truly unique wildlife.
The island is home to an abundance of flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Some 90% of Madagascar’s plant and animal life is endemic to the island including its lemurs, its cat-like fossa and over 60% of its bird species. It can also boast over two-thirds of the world’s species of chameleon. The human culture on the island is equally diverse, with Malagasy traditions borrowing from the influences of Southeast Asian, East African, Arabian and even European ancestry. Ethnic sub-groups still adhere to beliefs and practices that make them unique amongst their peers, whilst the island’s artisans have, over the years, developed skills that have seen them inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
For the true adventurer, few places on earth offer the scope and diversity of this stunning island treasure house.