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5 reasons to travel to Madagascar

Having fallen in love with the country, I could give you 100 good reasons for travelling to Madagascar, but I will try to be brief 

A destination far off the beaten track

When I go to Madagascar I know for sure that I will be making an exceptional trip to a country that is far removed from mass tourism. I know that I will meet a population that is very rich culturally, that I will discover breathtaking scenery, and I am always the certain that I will bring home unforgettable memories...

Remember: a trip to Madagascar is a chance to discover things that you will not see in any other part of the world...

A land of adventure

Madagascar also means the possibility to experience real adventure, roaming among the Tsingys that were formed by wind and water erosion of the limestone, creating fields of spiky, razor-sharp rocks as far as the eye can see... It also means travelling by bush taxi, hiking in the jungle at night to observe nocturnal animals and the nights spent in little villages in the bush. An unforgettable experience for me was, after 3 days of trekking through the centre of the island, the journey down the Manambolo River by pirogue, and arriving at Bemaraha National Park.

Breathtaking landscapes

What struck me during my first visit to the Red Island was the possibility to discover so many different landscapes in a single trip, depending on the region of the country.

The central Highlands, the cradle of the Merina culture, are characterized by hills and plateaus where rice and various subsistence crops are grown. The arid south, dotted with white sand beaches and turquoise blue water. The jungles of the east, the island of Sainte Marie and the Vanilla Coast. The mountainous north, which offers lush vegetation and spectacular rock formations. Finally, the semi-arid West, dotted with savannas and bush, the land of the baobabs which take on ever stranger shapes.

Exceptional wildlife

For me, Madagascar means lemurs, many species of which can be observed in all regions of the island. Sometimes perched high in the trees in search of nectar and fruit, sometimes jumping in the tall grass of the bush, they have never hesitated to pose for me in front of my camera...

But Madagascar especially means the majestic baobab trees, which seem to be planted upside down and whose tops can reach 40 metres in height. Madagascar is also the chameleons, whose colours and shapes have never ceased to amaze me, and the traveller's palms whose leaves store water and which we are told were true blessings to thirsty explorers.

A friendly population

Above all, Madagascar is a land with a very hospitable and respectful population which has enabled me to learn its techniques for crab fishing, the cultural importance of the zebu or even the use of plants in traditional medicine. I have also learnt about the construction of "dhows", these outrigger pirogues for travel and fishing, paper-making at Antemoro in Fianarantsoa province, the processes of vanilla farming, as well as a great deal of ancestral knowledge and legends. A visit to Madagascar also means meeting guides who are passionate about their country and who will help you discover its many wonders.
Simon Hoffmann
185 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018