Madagascar is one of the largest island countries in the world, located several hundred miles off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. It houses numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, wildlife, national parks and picturesque beaches in the world. Planning on visiting this amazing destination? Here are five places that you should consider.
Avenue of the Baobabs
Baobabs are massive, elevated trees that can grow up to nearly 100 feet tall. These trees are native to Madagascar and can be found at different points across the island especially at the Avenue of the Baobabs. The Avenue of the Baobabs is a national monument and is locally known as the mother of forest. The most famous Baobab tree of Madagascar, the Adansonia Grandidieiri, can’t be found in any other part of the planet. They can reach 30 meters high and develop a trunk with a diameter of 3 meters. One amazing thing about this place is that, it is an instagram-ready picturesque haven for travelers who love photos! You can get the best photos at sunrise and sunset respectively.
This thrilling island, off the coast of Madagascar, has protected inlets and bays that were popular with pirates back in the 17th and 18th centuries. Chances of seeing a real pirate ship are most likely! Also, Île Sainte-Marie is home to the world’s only pirate cemetery! Head to Baie des Forbans to see remnants of a few pirate ships that sank in the shallow waters. You could also indulge in marine activities like diving and fishing and get to see the humpback whales just off the shores.
Masoala National Park
This national park is known for its biodiversity and it is home to several rare species like the bright red tomato frog, the red ruffed lemur and the leaf-tailed geckos. The park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was established in 1997 and encompasses several hundred miles of rainforest which also includes three marine parks. There are over 3,000 fish species including the humpback whales in Antongil Bay which you find during the breeding season housed in these marine parks.
Locally known as Tana, Antananarivo is Madagascar’s capital city. For travelers longing to explore more than the island country scenic landscapes, you will find a rich blend of history and culture. Head north of the city to find the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a royal city and burial ground that dates back to somewhere around the early 15th century. There is so much to do at Antananarivo, take a laid-back approach by strolling the colonial-era architecture and pop into markets, shops, and exquisite restaurants.
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is another awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madagascar. This park is a large forest of jagged limestone stone spires that jut out of the ground like needles. Hence the name of the park “Tsingy” which means ‘where one cannot walk barefoot’. The formation of these monoliths date back to around five million years ago. Platforms have been build throughout the park so as to allow visitors the opportunity to admire the natural formations up close without the fear of hurting their feet.