Madagascar

Madagascar has been isolated from the African landmass for approximately 165 million years and its flora and fauna evolved in isolation from that time onwards. The island is one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas, and is internationally renowned as a wildlife tourism and ecotourism destination, focusing on lemurs, birds, and orchids. More than half of the island’s breeding birds are endemic. Other native species include the red-bellied lemur, the aye-aye, and the indri (the largest lemur species).

One of the best places to observe the indri is the Analamazoatra Reserve (also known as Périnet), four hours away from the capital. The presence of the indri has helped to make the Analamazoatra Reserve one of Madagascar’s most popular tourist attractions.

Historical sites can be found throughout the country, but mostly in the capital, such as the Royal Palace or Rova in Antananarivo or the sacred hill of Ambohimanga nearby, both UNESCO world heritage listed sites. A popular route from Antananarivo to Tulear in the south passes through several towns noted for their handicraft: Ambatolampy (aluminium foundry), Antsirabé (gemstones, embroidery, toys), Ambositra (marquetry), and Fianarantsoa.

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