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Madagascar

5% of all known animal and plant species can be found only in Madagascar, making it unique. The island’s most famous resident is unquestionably the lemur. Still, there are many other exotic animals and flora to discover, including baobabs, insects, sharks, frogs, orchids, palm trees, birds, turtles, and mongooses. The list goes on and on. Climate change and population pressure threaten this biodiversity, giving each journey a feeling of urgency and purpose: tourism may be a force for good.

Epic landscapes of great diversity complement the fantastic wildlife. In only 300km, you may go from rainforest to desert. Few locations on Earth provide such a vivid mixture of nature. Sandstone cliffs, limestone karsts, mountains, lush slopes cascading with terraced rice fields, wet, dry, and prickly forests, and a laterite-rich soil earned the nation the nickname «Red Island.» When you have 5000 kilometers of coastline, the water is never far away, turquoise and beautiful in some areas but deadly in others.

Madagascar is a unique destination for adventure seekers. Off-road driving is phenomenal through national parks that only receive a few hundred visitors a year. There are resorts so remote that you need a private plane or boat to reach them. Some regions live in autarky during the rainy season. There are also more activities than you can fit in: hiking, diving, mountain biking, kitesurfing, rock climbing, and so on. Oh, and there are lots of natural pools, beaches, and hammocks to relax on.

Madagascar has been inhabited by waves of migration from different parts of the Indian Ocean. It is unlike any other location in Africa or Asia. There are great sites to learn about this unique heritage. Still, there are also many chances to meet locals via village stays, long-distance treks, festivals, taxi-brousse (bush taxis), and night discos.

Long-limbed indris swing and cry from high in the canopy in Andasibe National Park’s montane rainforests. At the same time, guided treks in Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve’s dry deciduous woods offer you the opportunity to view colorful frogs and chameleons of various sizes. You may even get a glimpse of Madagascar’s fearsome main predator, the elusive fossa. Île Sainte-Marie, an idyllic getaway, hosts humpback whales as they give birth between June and September.

Speak to a specialist to start planning your tailor-made expedition to Madagascar. Call, email, and arrange a video appointment with one of our experts or for ideas and advice.

MADAGASCAR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Antananarivo-Tana
  • Lemurs’ Park and Birding for Endemics in Tsarasaotra Bird Sanctuary

  • Exploration of Berenty Reserve Ecosystems

  • Kirindy Village

  • Marofandilia Reserve
  • Tana, King’s Palace

  • Chameleons & The Cloud Forest of Madagascar

  • Andasibe National Park

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Time and Weather

Madagascar has a warm tropical climate, but there are significant regional variations. In the interior highlands, a cooler and less humid environment is experienced.

There is a lot of rain throughout the year on the east coast, but the southwest is usually hot and dry. However, there is a wet season (November to April) and a dry season (May to October) throughout the country.

Winter is in full swing throughout the peak season (July and August), with moderate daytime temperatures and chilly evenings (cold in the highlands).

Temperatures are moderate in the middle of the year (April-June, September-December).

Everywhere, the rainy season is from January to March.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Madagascar is determined by the activities and sights you wish to see.

After the rains that fell between January and March, the land is lush and green, with lemurs and reptiles active and easy to detect.

While there are periodic severe rainstorms from April to June, they are interspersed with sunshine.

July and August are mild and dry, making this a great season to explore. The whales come in July and stay until the end of September on Île Sainte-Marie.

The weather is enjoyable between September and November, being pleasant and mild. This is also the time of year when jacarandas bloom and many lemurs give birth.

While it is hot in December, lemurs, reptiles, and tenrecs are active, making for excellent wildlife watching.

The New Path Expeditions’ favorite time to explore Madagascar is between September and October. A time when the temperatures are not too hot, and babies’ lemures just have been born.

Wildlife

Madagascar is a hotspot of diversity, offering a unique type of safari. You will not see the «normal» safari animals here; there are no elephants or lions. Instead, the island is home to more than 100 species of lemurs and a host of reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

Most of these animals are endemic to Madagascar. Of particular interest are chameleons, which vary widely in color, shape, and size.

The lemur is Madagascar’s emblem. But more strange and fascinating species are found there, including the spectacular fossa (a predatory feline), colorful and camouflaged chameleons, bizarrely formed insects and humpback whales in winter. Whether it’s the distinctive baobabs or the hundreds of orchids, the trees and flora are stunning.

The island’s magnificent wildlife and flora coexist with epic landscapes of incredible variety: limestone cliffs, granite karsts, lush hills studded with terraced rice fields, forests of all types, and laterite-rich soil, earning the nation the moniker «Red Island.»

With a coastline of 5000 kilometers, the water is never far away. For those looking for something different, this is the place to go.

Our Madagascar Expeditions

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Learn about MADAGASCAR

Articles about MADAGASCAR

Saving Madagascar Baobabs one at a time

Saving Madagascar Baobabs one at a time

The genus Adansonia -Baobabs- are found only in Madagascar (seven species), continental Africa (two species), the Arabian Peninsula (two species), and Australia (one species) Of the seven species in Madagascar, six are endemic to the Island. This endemic includes the...

The Dancing Lemurs (Verreaux’s Sifakas) of Madagascar

The Dancing Lemurs (Verreaux’s Sifakas) of Madagascar

Madagascar, the Island of endemics, holds the record of endemic species. Of course, Lemurs are the most famous animals that inhabit the Island, and most travelers search for them during a Madagascar Safari. Of the 101 species and subspecies of Lemurs that exist (The...

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Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

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