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An island nation with a history of migration and colonial rule, Madagascar is also one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth and the majority of the plants that grow here can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Swim in sparkling blue coastal waters, embark on rainforest treks and hike through vast plains in this picturesque, wildlife-rich island.
Colonized at various times by both the French and the English, Madagascar has been an independent nation since 1960. Although locals mainly speak Malagasy, listen and you may also hear French and English, both popular second languages, being spoken.
Antananarivo, the capital city, is also known as “Tana” and is a fascinating place to learn about Madagascar’s history. Visit the palace complex, the Rova of Antananarivo. The palace sits on the city’s highest hill and encompasses a cemetery where past monarchs are buried. Time your visit to coincide with one of the traditional festivals that take place here, such as the Santabary Festival, a celebration of the first rice harvest, which usually takes place in April or May.
Madagascar offers plenty of thrills for adventure seekers. Go whale watching in the open waters of the Indian Ocean, hiking up Mount Tsiafajavona and paragliding in Isalo National Park. Look for lemurs, which are endemic to the island, at the dedicated Lemurs’ Park just outside Antananarivo. Other popular outdoor activities include guided tours to Sakaleona, Madagascar’s tallest waterfall.
Multiple airlines operate flights to Madagascar from Europe, Asia and Africa. Domestic flights are also readily available and are one of the easiest ways to get around the country. On land, join locals in using taxi brousse, also known as bush taxi. These minibuses carry passengers between towns and villages. Dress modestly in respect for the Malagasy culture and drink bottled water to avoid an upset stomach.
For a unique experience, participate in one of Madagascar’s sustainable tourism programs. These provide opportunities for outsiders to spend time in villages eating, working and learning trades, such as basket weaving, alongside the local residents.
Nestled on the beach, this Nosy Be lodge is 5.3 mi (8.5 km) from Madirokely Beach and 12.2 mi (19.6 km) from Lemuria Land Park. Natural Reserve of Lokobe and Lokobe National Park are also within 16 miles (25 km).
Located in the heart of Antananarivo, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Musee Andafivaratra and Ambohitsorohitra Palace. Mahama Sina Stadium and Independence Avenue are also within 15 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Nosy Be resort is within 20 mi (32 km) of Lemuria Land Park, Madirokely Beach and Natural Reserve of Lokobe. Lokobe National Park is 22.6 mi (36.4 km) away.
Located in the heart of Antananarivo, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Ambohitsorohitra Palace, Independence Avenue, and Musee Andafivaratra. Musee d'Art et d'Archeologie and Faravohitra Church are also within 15 minutes.
This family-friendly Antananarivo hotel is located in the historical district, within a 15-minute walk of Mahama Sina Stadium and Musee d'Art et d'Archeologie. Musee Andafivaratra and Ambohitsorohitra Palace are also within 1 mile (2 km).
This Nosy Be hotel is on the beach, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Madirokely Beach, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Lemuria Land Park and Lokobe National Park. Natural Reserve of Lokobe is 11 mi (17.8 km) away.
Nestled on the beach, this Antsiranana hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Antsiranana Cathedral and Independence Plaza. University of North Madagascar is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away.
Situated in Antananarivo, this hotel is in the same region as Ambohimanga, Independence Avenue and Faravohitra Church. Regional attractions also include Musee d'Art et d'Archeologie and Ambohitsorohitra Palace.