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Travel news article: Madagascar Sun 18-02-2018

Selected Article 502 Travel Madagascar: Latest Articles, trips, news, travel destinations - Madagascar - trips: Tour Article502
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Madagascar: The Eighth Continent

Landing in virgin island in the Indian Ocean with the rich flora and fauna on earth

You stand at the door of the plane and the warm, moist air in surprise and surrounds you with a sense of adventure. On long trips compensated more easily than the nearby European destinations: after twelve hours flight is from Paris to Madagascar, the island across from the east coast of Africa. Here you do not need to know the "right addresses" to have fun. Whatever you do once you arrive is unprecedented and exciting.

The capital, Antananarivo or sooner 'Tana', is built in the heart of the island on the lake Anosin near the third highest peak in the country with 2,642 elevation. The Tana is crowded and noisy as most African capitals. You're not even in the exotic paradise dreamed, but Tana will win the African clutter and outdoor bazaars where district Analakely sold tropical fruits, fish and seafood, handmade textiles, paper from papyrus and silver jewelry. In Analakely can hear live bands playing salegy and get into the rhythm of exploration with the popular dance music of Madagascar became fashionable in Europe.

With a pirogue in Madagascar.

The paths around the island by car is not easy; even smaller distances seem vast. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, a country slightly larger in size than France.

From Tana traveling with short domestic flights to all the coastal towns and islands of the country. Most resorts offer accommodation in traditional wooden huts with roofs of leaves that are built on the fringes of tropical forests. Remember with a smile the phrase "including transportation to / from the airport" as you give your bags to the car that welcomes you warmly and insists on carrying in your hotel. Following the instructions of the coach climb surprised with steers to look totally bored, like characters in cartoon film.

Preparing for the trip had read about the safari parks in the country, but reaching start to wonder how much more Nature can fit into the frame than that unfolds in front of you on the road to the hotel. Robust plants with lush growth, tall green grass, colorful butterflies, strange cries of animals and birds that you've only seen in documentaries.

Centuries before travelers civilized western cities seeking peace and seclusion in luxurious resorts, found shelter in Madagascar many rare animals, birds, and about three thousand species of butterfly. For the unique biodiversity shows, environmentalists called the island "eighth continent" and its natural wealth can only be compared with Brazil. Some of the rarest species of monkeys (lemurs), chameleons, red frogs, iguanas, raccoons, woodchucks and brindled reptiles, ducks and butterflies live freely in major national parks in the country. Most of the rare species of animals and birds that live on the island exist nowhere else in the world. Some are likely to visit unexpectedly, but always with a friendly attitude, and enjoy a refreshing Pina Colada on the porch of a wooden hut - bungalows: Your monkey with the colorful coat will close and I will sheepishly way around in amazement, mirroring your own reaction to such similarities will remember Darwin's theory.

The advantage for the visitors of vast national parks of Madagascar is that they can admire the animals and birds from very close (and night tours are made in light of the lens), because the animals that live here are not aggressive and reptiles are not poisonous. Excluding crocodiles and mosquitoes. Among the first will protect the local guides who know well the secrets of the jungle. In the second fight will be protecting your space and your sleep. And if not previously considered essential accessory for a bed to desk, here you will love it.

Safari hinterland in

In Madagascar, there are still several truly unexplored regions. A great mountain with towering peaks, the Highlands or Hauts Plateaux, divides the island into two varying landscape, climate and culture. In the east, there are dense tropical forests that lead to narrow shoreline of the Gulf of Mozambique. The impressive Canal des Pangalanes are a network of lakes, canals and rivers-natural and artificial-posed to two thirds of the eastern coastline. On the west side of Highland lies the savanna and the arid plains with the impressive baobab, trees that look like they are planted upside down, some with age almost one thousand years. In the central mountain range there are many rice fields, while the landscape gives the red color soil in which Madagascar has the nickname "red island".

For those who want to experience the true adventure (and make nice pictures) there are several organized tours with 4x4 crossing the valley baobab and enter deep into the rainforest. Always accompanied by the experienced local guide in the tent next to the river, learn to fish using traditional techniques of Malagasy, descend the river with canoes and night of free camping. If you get hungry during the journey through the woods, the driver will climb with distinctive comfort to the nearest tree and return with a Salto to offer you a juicy and delicious exotic fruit: mango, papaya and lychees.

Returning to base your relax with a massage from skillful hands on the beach of the hotel and enjoy dinner in seafood and fresh fish and specialties influenced by the cuisines of all the people who passed through here.

Totem and Taboo

Able sailors from Southeast Asia, Indochina and Borneo were able to reach the island with wooden pirogues before two thousand years. The tribe brought Malagasy rice and settled on the island of organizing production in plantations. The Arabs came here in the 7th century, and the first European arrived in Madagascar in 1500. It was the Portuguese who arrived Diego Diaz randomly coast when his ship lost its way sailing for India. After 1700 the island received many pirates, including Americans who got here from the excellent quality of Malagasy rice and moved to South Carolina. Madagascar was a French protectorate until 1960 while retaining its own local government.

Today the population of the island has a unique cocktail of features with great anthropological interest since it combines elements of Asian, the Arab, European and African cultures that passed through here. The approximately twenty Malagasy tribes retain animistic rituals that remain the same for thousands of years, and taboos or fady, the prohibitive rules. To prevent the hurricanes often affect the island, the locals put seashells and horns of animals around the baobab which attribute magical powers and is taboo (forbidden) to touch the offerings, as well as walk around the tree with the once clockwise. Beyond the taboo, the Malagasy are very hospitable smiles and express their gratitude to those who come to visit their distant country.

Most inhabitants of Madagascar live off agriculture and animal husbandry. In recent years, the government is trying to attract foreign investors by promoting ecotourism. For this purpose, constantly expanding the protected national parks in the country, while there are already initiatives organizations to rescue dozens of rare ecosystems atolls, coral islands around Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

From an ecological point of the island is threatened by the extensive logging that has wiped out a third of the vegetation from the 70s until today.

The development of tourism is booming at the moment. There are a few luxury hotels that offer accommodation in traditional wooden huts in papyrus, bamboo and ferns at the edge of dense tropical forests and small islands off the country.

The trip to Madagascar escape from the cliché of "quiet" holiday in exotic destination. Combining safari in unspoilt rainforest and diving in crystal clear waters full of coral and tropical fish, hiking in canyons, climbing the spectacular rock formations and metaphysical contemplation in night ceremonies, Madagascar is life experience.


16imeres tours in Madagascar to tour the main attractions of the country, along with the nearby islands of Mauritius and Reunion organized by Versus Travel (38 Posidonos Piraeus. T/210-41.01.601,
With direct flights from Paris, the journey takes about 12 hours.

When to go to Madagascar

From November to April is warm and humid rainy season, followed by drought from May to October when the weather is cool with the average maximum temperature at 22 degrees Celsius.


In the capital Tana

Hilton Hotel ( the well-known chain. Skyscraper with casino, spa, tennis, pool and Internet connection. € € € €
Palissandre Hotel (13, rue Andriandahifotsy, T / +261-20 22.605.60, On a green hill with its own restaurant and spa. € € € €

In private island
Constance Lodge ( Accommodation in thatched huts on private island Tsarabanjina. Cocktails at sunset, hammocks, a spa, swimming in white sand beach with crystal clear waters for diving and excursions to neighboring coral reefs. € € € €
Princesse Bora Lodge ( On the east coast, the island Sainte Marie, in a palm grove. Private beach, accessible only by boat or 4x4. You can join in observing Megaptera, a "joyful" recording whale sounds, behavior and everything else you ask the team that supports the owner of Princesse Bora, Francois Xavier Mayer. € € € €
Tsara Komba Lodge ( On the island Nosy Komba, «the island of the monkeys', 25 minutes by boat from Nosy Be. Six traditional huts on the white sandy beach. The hotel organizes fishing canoes, snorkelling trips or diving in tropical waters bottles and walks with a guide to the forest where live wild macaque monkeys. € € € €

The mainland in Madagascar.
Vakona Forest Lodge ( Inland, 140 km from the capital, at 900 altitude. Huts built in the dense tropical forest near the park Mantadia. Organized canoe rides on the river, horseback riding and hiking in the virgin forest. Accessible only by 4x4 postcard or € € €
Le Domaine de Fontenay ( An old French colonial style house converted into a hotel and hosts who want to admire the rare species of birds that live in the park Le Fontenay riverside. In Joffre Ville, close to the coastal resort Diego Suarez.

On the beach of
L 'Hotel Anjajavy ( Wooden two-story villa in an oasis of flowers filled with bird paradise peninsula Anjajavy. The luxurious resort offers water skiing, catamaran, fishing, mountain bike and hiking trails etched.

€ - to 60 €
€ € - to 110 €
€ € € - 200 € up
€ € € € - from 200 € and above


• The National Parks of Madagascar is a natural refuge for crocodiles, chameleons, birds, reptiles, butterflies and lemurs, the distant relatives of monkeys. Daytime and evening tours, possibility of overnight inside the park. The most important are: waterline Park, Park Ranomafana National Park Berenti, Jungle Perrin.
• Tsingys: Impressive limestone formations. The sunrise and sunset through the Natural Window, a natural square hole on the rock.
• Fort Dauphin: For many the best beach in the country, with three picturesque bays protected from the air surrounded by lush green hills.
• Hill Ampochimangka: World Heritage of UNESCO since 2001. It consists of the royal city, the necropolis and a complex of shrines and places of worship. It remains a place of worship and pilgrimage for five hundred years.
• Famadihana: Ritual of the Merina tribe in the mountain villages around the Tana. Families organize feasts in honor of their deceased relatives. The bones of the dead, followed unearths ceremony, gifts, farewell and burial of the dead. The presence of foreigners is considered a good omen, so you are welcome. From July to September.


• The rice (vary) of Madagascar is one of the best qualities of rice in the world. Try it with steak zebu (local beef) and chicken with ginger.
• The aromatic vanilla. The island is the main supplier of the world market with vanilla, used in the most famous soft drinks and desserts.
• The traditional drink is non-alcoholic ranon'ampango. There is also a local beer Three Horses Beer (THB), local wine from Ampalavao and strong rum Dzama served with fresh lime and sugar.
• Cocoa. The Chocolaterie Robert confectionery producing excellent chocolate truffles and other sweets with cocoa.
• The mofo gasy is a kind of bread made from sweet rice flour and baked in the glowing embers.


• Scuba diving, snorkelling and whales passing by that you can watch (the safe) the months of July and August.
• Hiking, mountaineering and climbing. The highlands near Ranohira is impressive rock formations of sand and quartz, carved by wind and water into ravines and steep cliffs.
• Hiking the canyon Canyon des Singes with a dip in the cold water of natural pools.
• Scuba diving on coral atolls for the research and protection of rare ecosystems and collaboration with international organizations and the Government of volunteers with or without experience in the village Andavadoaka by Blue Ventures


Time difference: 1 hour behind Greece in winter, this time in the summer.
Currency: Ariari
Language: Malagasy, French, some English.

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