One of the most unspoiled and extraordinary places in Africa is the island of Madagascar. The landmass was created when it sheered off from the the Gondwana supercontinent 165 million years ago; a geological event which created an isolated environment in which a unique set of plant and animal life could evolve. The result is one of the most biodiverse places in the world – in fact, 5% of all known animal and plant species can be found here, and here alone.
Its unusual wildlife population includes the iconic lemurs, fossa (a cat-like predator), more than 300 different bird species, two-thirds of the world’s chameleons, vividly-coloured frogs and butterflies, and an astounding variety of marine animals. Incredible trees and plants also abound here, such as towering baobabs, the fan-leaved travellers’ palm, a multitude of orchids and the “spiny desert”, a deciduous thicket in southern Madagascar that is extremely ecologically significant and contains hundreds of highly endangered plant species.
Apart from a breathtaking natural heritage, Madagascar is also known for its epic landscapes, vibrant culture and the potential for one-of-a-kind adventures. Explore any number of the country’s secluded national parks, go off-road driving in a 4×4, scuba dive the crystal clear waters of the third largest reef in the world, or spend an energetic day hiking, mountain biking, kitesurfing, rock-climbing or canoeing. There are also plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind on the island’s spectacular palm-fringed, white-sand beaches or simply embracing the local lifestyle of taking things “mora mora”, literally meaning “slowly slowly”.