Magnificent Madagascar: Things to See and Do on This Beautiful Island Nation
Madagascar is a unique country with so much more to offer than just the talking lemurs portrayed in the movie of the same name. It is the fourth largest island in the world. Of course, the island has one of the most unique ecosystems on earth and features the world's third largest coral reef system. It is no surprise then that Madagascar has quickly become a popular tourist destination for travelers from around the globe. There is simply so much to see and do here, such as:
The capital city of Madagascar is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in Africa. Antananarivo proudly displays its rich cultural heritage through its beautiful buildings and various cultural sites. The colonial history of the city is still evident in how the city is divided - with the downtown level housing the ancient swamp, while the intermediate and upper level houses the old city, cathedrals and many upper-class residential houses.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy Madagascar's uniqueness is by taking a river tour along the Tsiribihina River. Tours are available either by canoe or pirogue (a type of canoe found commonly in the Caribbean and Central America). Such tours camp under the stars next to the river and the food eaten is always locally sourced, often caught in the river itself!
Avenue of Baobabs
The stretch of dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina is lined with enormously magnificent baobab trees. These giant baobabs tower into the sky and are an impressive feature to stand next to. The Avenue of Baobabs is one of the most visited regions in Madagascar and upon visiting them, you'll understand why.
Isalo National Park
Also known as the African Jurassic Park, Isalo National Park houses some of Madagascar's most beautiful scenery - deep canyons, hidden rock pools, grasslands, forests and sandstone formations. If you are want to spot a lemur, this is probably one of the best places to find one. If you enjoy religious history, you will also be interested to know that the Isalo National Park is a sacred place for the local Bara tribe, who bury their dead here.
For those of you who enjoy history, Ambohimanga Hill, a UNESCO world heritage site, should definitely be on your to-do list while in Madagascar. Formerly a royal city and burial site and later a summer palace, this enormous city is a feast for anyone who enjoys diving back in time.
For travelers who want to get in touch with nature, it is certainly tough to beat a trip to Madagascar. This beautiful island nation is sure to leave you speechless.