The fourth biggest island in the world and home to some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet, Madagascar is a must see for nature lovers. With influences from both Africa and other Indian Ocean islands the Malagasy culture is also unique.

Undoubtedly Madagascar’s most famous inhabitant is the ringtailed lemur. There are several species of lemur on the island, as well many species of chameleons, birds and tenrecs – a hedgehog-like mammal which is actually more closely related to elephants. Head to one of the many national parks on the eastern side of the island to spot these incredible creatures. Analamazaotra park has several easy walking trails including one aimed at children. Go in the morning for the best chance of spotting lemurs.

On the western side of Madagascar the forests thin out to become a desert studded with alien looking baobab trees and spiky rock pinnacles. At Tsingy de Bemaraha national park you can explore these weird rock formations up close with specially constructed bridges, ladders and walkways. Created by years of erosion by wind and water, some of the jagged peaks are hundreds of metres high.

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Read more on Antananarivo below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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