Many people have heard the name of the movie- Madagascar but only some of them would know that Madagascar is actually a whole Country. The Country, Madagascar, actually have some small islands in its territory. These islands lie in the Indian Ocean on the eastern coasts of Africa. It is regarded as the 4th biggest island across the world. Madagascar is a melting pot of various cultures as many Indians, Chinese, Arabs and migrants of other cultures live there together. Originally Madagascar is treated as a part of the Union of Africa but now its position as an African Union member has been reconsidered. Madagascar is a quite place and there have been no actions of violence when it comes to politics till now.
The ecology of Madagascar is quite healthy. Madagascar has been isolated from its neighbouring continents from many years so there are mix species of plants as well as animals. There are many unique species of plants and animals available in Madagascar that can’t be found in other parts of the world. Due to this reason some ecologists often call Madagascar the Eighth continent of the world. Since 1970s because of many human activities, Madagascar lost about 90% of its true forest and now most of its flora and fauna are endangered. Many tropical rainforests are on the eastern side of the island whereas tropical dry forests are on the southern and western side. But its dry forests are more preserved than its rainforests.
Any person of any nationality should have an initial tourist visa to enter Madagascar for not more than 30 days. Persons with passports of atleast six months of validation are also allowed to stay there. People should consult their respective embassy regarding the visa issues before making any decision of spending your long holiday in Madagascar. People should get updated about the latest travel advisories of Madagascar. Best way to reach Madagascar is by plane. The flight- Air Madagascar, popularly known by the name- Air Mad, offers its services from Milan to Nosy Be and Antananarivo. Air Madagascar is almost available from all the nearby countries like South Africa and Bangkok. The French flight ‘Air Austral’ also flies from Paris. Many other comfortable flights also provide weekly services. If people wish to travel by boat then there is only one direct link available to reach Madagascar. The path goes from the eastern coasts of Toamasina and Mauritius through Reunion.
Sightseeing in Madagascar:
The only UNESCO World Heritage Sight of Madagascar is “Tsingy de Bemaraha”. Tsingy de Bemaraha is also categorized as the largest reserve in Madagascar occupying an area of 152,000 hectares in total. The sharp plateau made of Limestone is quite famous among the tourists and is very fascinating to look at. The limestone plateau is decorated with pinnacles which are razor sharp and are known as ‘Tsingy’, also known by the name “Labyrinth of Stone”. A huge collection of bird species and lemurs can be seen in the deciduous forests. Sometime the rare species of white Decken’s sifaka can also be seen. The collection of flora includes the varieties of pachypodium, aloes, baobabs and orchids. There are almost 50 bird species and 7 lemur species with some stump tailed chameleons (also known as the Brookesia Perarmata) available. The areas are maintained by UNESCO are very much restricted. Thus, the areas which are open for tourists change time to time.
There is another adaptation of the Tsingy de Bemaraha which is quite small as compared to this one and is popularly known by the name “Tsingy de Ankarana”. The park comes on the way to Antisirana and therefore can be located easily. The speciality of this park is the three varieties of chameleons and lemurs available.
The next famous place of Madagascar is the “Avenue of the Baobabs”. Situated on the western coasts of Madagascar, this is the most visited site in Madagascar. The place is also considered as a candidate to replace one of the seven wonders of Africa. More than a dozen of unique trees can be located in this place. Many of the tress are more than 800 years old and are taller than 30 meters. Thus, the place provides a perfect photography set to the photographers.
Time for Some Fun:
Many adventurous and sporty activities are done in Madagascar. The most amazing one is the Kite and Windsurfing. These are done with a constant knot wind speed of 30 especially between the months of April and November. Madagascar is regarded among the best surfing places in the entire southern hemisphere. Another fun sport is Guide Kayaking through which one can explore the entire coastline of Sainte Marie. Guide kayaking offers you to view the whole country from a different angle. There is no need of one having some experience in kayaking as one can easily enjoy the sport in the calm waters of the island. Moreover, a Cheese Diving Competition is held every year in the island to promote diving in Madagascar. Divers from all over the world visit Madagscar to take part in this competition. Another popular activity in Madagascar is Deep Sea Fishing which is done on the Mitsio and Radamas islands where fishes like Wahoo, Kingfish, Sailfish and King Mackerel waits to get captures. Thus, the small islands of Madagascar offer a lot of adventurous activities along with its rich flora and fauna.