Home to some of the richest rainforests in the world, it should be no surprise that Madagascar is a dream destination for anyone with a love of nature. Whether you are an avid birdwatcher, an animal enthusiast, or an admirer of flora and fauna, Madagascar is sure to amaze you with its many different species, some of which can be seen nowhere else on earth.
Madagascar is a great place to go birdwatching – home to around 280 known species; this alone should be enough to entice anyone with a keen interest in birding. However, when you factor in that of these 280 species, 100 are endemic to the island, the potential for an exciting birdwatching trip soars even higher. Of the different species, the five endemic families the mesites, asities, cuckoo-roller, vangas, and the ground rollers have to be the major attractions, certainly if you are set on seeing every bird family that the world has to offer, a trip to Madagascar is essential. Catching sight of these unique and beautiful birds will be a treasured moment for any birdwatcher, and even for those without a passion for birding.
The rainforests in Madagascar are home to a wide variety of different animals, making a visit to one of the islands many national parks an exciting experience for wildlife enthusiasts. Madagascar’s lemurs have to be one of the islands most famous inhabitants, indeed anyone who is a fan of the animated classic Madagascar is sure to enjoy catching a glimpse of these small primates in their natural habitat. Madagascar is also known for its reptiles and amphibians, which flourish in its rainforests. The chameleon in particular is renowned for inhabiting Madagascar, with half of the world’s species found on the island, although with its impressive camouflaging abilities you will have to have a keen eye to spot one; finding one of the 300 colourful species of frogs that inhabit the island may be a slightly easier task. Opt for a walking safari through the rainforest and you will be amazed by the wide aray of creatures you come across.
It is hardly surprising that Madagascar and its rainforests are home to a wide range of different plant species, again many of which are native to the island. Not to be missed, although it would be quite hard to if you tried, are the peculiar Baobab trees with their bulbous trunks which reach high into the sky. Other intriguing plants include the carnivorous pitcher plant which, as its name would suggest, looks rather like a pitcher and has the remarkable ability to consume prey. If you prefer flora of the prettier variety, then Madagascar’s numerous species of delicate orchid are sure to please you. Even those not usually excited by plant life will have a hard time not having their interests piqued by the bizarre and exotic types which are found in Madagascar. For the chance to see many of the different types of plant life we recommend a stay at Anjajavy L'Hotel which has its own nature reserve that is home to over 1,800 species of flora.
Found within the Indian Ocean, the waters that surround Madagascar are a great place to dive to see a variety of sea creatures that dwell off its shores. With a beautiful coral reef that is brimming with different tropical fish, diving here is an incredibly rewarding experience. It is possible to see sea turtles, dolphins and different whale species off the coast, and even to swim alongside the enormous whale shark if visiting between October and November. Even if you are not a keen diver, a boat trip will still enable you to see some of these incredible marine creatures, with humpback whales migrating with their calves to the island in large numbers between the months of June to September, making this an ideal time to go. Our top pick for those looking to see sea life has to be Nosy Iranja Lodge, known locally as Turtle Island, where you can see and aid in the conservation of sea turtles, as well as go whale watching and diving.
If you are interested in experiencing Madagascar’s varied and unique wildlife and plant life for yourself, visit our Madagascar page or call us on 020 7843 3500.
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