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Top 20 Places To Visit in Madagascar

 

The lush oasis of Isalo National Park

On the  National Road 7 before reaching Tulear, do not miss a stopover in Isalo National Park, nicknamed as the  « Malagasy colorado ». The beauty of its landscape with an eroded sandstone massif dotted with "tapia" forest is breathtaking with several sites to visit such as caves, rivers, pachypodium and  deep canyons. The park is the home to 77 bird species, 39 reptiles and 400 plant species. Very important !  don’t miss the natural pool circuit, the gentle oasis with warm waterfalls.

 

 

Ranomafana National Park for ecotourism fans

 For nature lovers and hiking fans, the Ranomafana National Park is the idyllic site to visit located at 67 km North of Fianarantsoa city. A world heritage, its landscape dotted with dense  humid forests with its mountainous terrain offers splendid view. With 350 species of spiders, 115 birds, 90 butterflies, 74 insects, 58 reptiles and 26 lemurs … The park is a real fauna nest with 41,600 hectares of tropical rain forest.

 

The Sanctuary of The Baobabs Alley

 

Imagine a 30-meter Baobab Alley lining a land portion between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the southwestern region of Madagascar. It’s one of the most photographed sites of the Big Island especially at sunset. You will find species of endemic baobab to such as Adansonia grandidieri or the 800 years old  Renala one. If you visit the place in couple, don’t miss taking a picture in front of the intertwining baobab, a great souvenir to show your future grandchildren later … !

 

The inexhaustible source of the Amber Mountain

 To the North direction near the municipality of Joffreville, in the province of Diego-Suarez. Visit the Amber Mountain National Park with its dense and humid forest, an endless resource of wildlife with 75 species of birds, ideal for birdwatching, 59 reptiles and 7 lemurs. The park is also known as a precious wood loft wher eyou can find the  Dalbergia chlorocarpa and the Canarium madagascariensis. Moreover, its name comes from the amber-colored resin extracted from certain trees which is sometimes used by villagers for therapeutic purposes.

 

Palace of Andafiavaratra and its royal stories

 While staying in the capital, do not forget to go for a walk in the highest point of Antananarivo. Built in 1872 during the Malagasy kingship, Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony's palace has such a remarkable history and has become the museum of Andafiavaratra since 1997. The museum now houses rare objects recovered during the fire of the Queen's Palace in 1995 as tables, chairs and other royal accessories. Thedetour will bring you a lot of knowledge about the history of the kingdom of Madagascar.

 

 

Rova Manjakamiadana: emblematic figure of the capital

The emblematic monument of the Capital remains the Rova Manjakamiadana, otherwise known as the Queen's Palace. Manjakamiadana means « where it is pleasant to reign ». Perched on the upper town, the palace was built in the seventeenth century under the orders of King Andrianampoinimerina. It has five palaces, a necropolis and nine tombs. The Queen's Palace is a true witness of the history of the Malagasy kingship being  the royal residence since the 17th till the Monarchy ended.

 

Andasibe-Mantadia : a panorama of natural forest

 

On the East by the RN2, you will come across the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. With a great potential eco-tourism, the natural forest offers great biodiversity. You will find 20 species of 100% endemic orchids but also 117 species of birds, 84 amphibians, 72 mammals and 14 lemurs. You will see the famous indri indri also called Babakoto who with a little luck will make you hear its haunting vocal prowess.

 

Tsingy de Bemaraha and its breathtaking scene

 Fans of the most spectacular landscapes will not be disappointed. Located in the West of Madagascar, on an aerial view, the Tsingy de Bemaraha is formed by vast surfaces of wonderfully carved limestone blocks like labyrinths of limestone cathedrals. A veritable den of biodiversity, the park is home to nearly 400 animal species and 900 plants. As activity, you can go hiking, trekking, mountain biking or canoe down the two great rivers including Tsiribihina and Manambolo.

 

The private reserve of Reniala Park

 Reniala is a private reserve located at the exit of the village of Mangily Ifaty about thirty kilometers from Tulear. Also called Domergue Reserve, Reniala Park covers about sixty hectares with thorns and baobab foress. The park contains a great floristic richness with more than 1000 plant species and many endemic birds.  To name a few, we have the Uratelornis and Monias as well as turtles, lizards, snakes, microcèbes and pyxis. You will have the opportunity to observe the Capuchin of Madagascar, one of the smallest birds on the island.

 

Croc Farm: the best animal park

For a day, visit the animal and botanical park of Croc Farm near Ivato in Antananarivo. Located just three kilometers from the international airport, you can discover lemurs, chameleons and baobabs and of course crocodiles as its name suggests.. You will be able to buy a variety of leather goods in crocodile skin like bags, bracelets, belts, etc., in short one of your best memories in Madagascar.

 

The unforgettable crossing of the Pangalanes Canal

One of the biggest advantages of visiting Madagascar is the crossings it offers in different places. Crossing the Pangalanes Canal invites you on a three-day cruise to visit the eastern partof the island. From Mahanoro to Mananjary or vice versa, enjoy a unique experience aboard a boat. On the program, watch the birds martins fishermen, chickens, fody, egrets, herons, etc. For a real meeting with the villagers, the boat will make several stop-village. The boat is equipped with  kitchen, toilet and dining room. Guaranteed fun!

 

Geisers of Amparaky for trekking

 The Amparaky Geysers are at 22 kilometers on the North of Ampef, ideal for mountain biking or hiking. The Amparaky Geysers are derived from the natural phenomenon of artesian wells which gives it its unique setting. You can visit the waterfalls of the Lily or go for a ride on the lake by pirogue. It should be noted that Ampefy is a popular place due to its peaceful setting and the unparalleled beauty of its landscapes.

 

Lake Tritriva: its myths and stories

 

Lake Tritriva remains a real tourist attraction for Antsirabe wity and the whole Vakinankaratra region. The lake is renowned for its myths and stories. It fascinates fans of tragic love stories. Indeed, it’s near this lake that two lovers suicided because of their forbidden love. Those who are not superstitious will see the beauty of this ancient, very deep crater with a dark green lake. You can reach the summit of Tritriva perched at 1881 meters, the detour is really worth it.

 

Nosy Tanikely for a dive in the big blue

 Nosy Tanikely is the Nosy Be Marine Park located in the North West of Madagascar. A true natural aquarium, the reserve marks the spirit with its exceptional corals and its wealth of marine fauna including sea turtles, dolphins and fish. The program therefore includes scuba diving, snorkeling and snorkeling. After jumping in the big blue, you can bask on the soft sand of Nosy Tanikely beaches for a nap or to admire the sea of ​​turquoise water.

 

Berenty Reserve : a haven for lemurs

 You can visit the Berenty Reserve at 80 kilometers in the Androy basin where the Mandrare river runs along. Dominated by a dense forest of tamarinds and thorny bush on red sand, the reserve founded by the Heaulme Family has been used since 1936 to protect lemurs. Large with its 1000 hectares of protected areas, you can meet nearly 2000 lemurs but also 102 species of birds and over a hundred species of turtles, reptiles, bats, etc. As long as you're there, take a tour of the Arembelo Museum to learn more about the Androy habits and customs.

 

The impressive mountain of Ankarana

 The spectacular mountain of Ankarana is a staple of a visit of the Northern region of Madagascar.  You will see caves, canyons and needles. Thanks to its spectacular panoramas, your hikes are likely to be thrilling. If you are a fan of climbing, you will find the ideal terrain among rocks with unusual shapes. Observe during your visit its faunistic reserve composed of 96 species of birds, 50 of molluscs, 14 of bats, 60 of reptiles and amphibians.

 

Blue Hill of Ambohimanga

Just 21 kilometers from the capital, you will discover the royal history of Imerina in the royal hill of Ambohimanga. Founded in 1700, the enclosure has seven gates with at the top the Royal Palace Mahandrihono, the former home of King Andrianampoinimerina. Do not miss the beautiful view of Ambatomiantendro, a huge rock on which kings and queens played a traditional game, the well known « Fanorona ». The site also includes tombs and royal basins and is surrounded by an impressive traditional wall.

 

National Park of Masoala

 Masoala National Park is located in the northeast of the island on the peninsula of Masoala. You can go hiking, diving, cultural visits and also ecotourism because more than half of the Malagasy mammals can be found there. You will see reptiles, marine fish, frogs-tomatoes and even with a little luck humpback whales. For babakoto fans, they will see 15 species of lemurs including the Aye-aye. On the flat park are rare birds such as the Eurycere Prévost, the red owl or the snake eagle.

 

The inexhaustible reserve of Pereyras

Located in Marozevo on the road to the East, the Pereyras reserve is a true fauna sanctuary where you will discover many aquatic and ornamental plants. Those who are fans of chameleons will find them with all sizes and colors as well as reptiles, chameleons, crocodiles, boas, bats, lemurs but also amphibians like the red frog and the dwarf frog. The Pereyras Reserve offers a beautiful setting with a valley adorned with rice fields and cliffs with mango trees.

 

Pirate Museum : Footprint of Stories

 When you visit Antananarivo, take a tour on the side of Tsaralalàna where you will be filled by the fascinating stories of Madagascar as a pirate's nest. The museum turns the clock back to the very first boat to reach the island in 1500 to the legend of Libertalia with  Captain Misson story, the Dominican priest Caraccioli and the British privateer Thomas Tew. The museum is full of models of boats, chests with thousand facets and historical evidence pirate presence in Madagascar.

Published on Wednesday, 16 January 2019 14:16
Written by F. RAFIDIHARINIRINA
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