Owing to its isolation (it split from the Indian landmass around 88 million years ago) Madagascar has become a biodiversity hotspot and developed an extraordinarily wide range of endemic fauna and flora. In fact ninety percent of Madagascar’s wildlife is found nowhere else on earth, leading some naturalists to call it “the eighth continent”.
Most walking trips in Madagascar focus on the wildlife reserves and tropical lowland forests on the east side of the island. There are also beautiful hikes on the idyllic Indian Ocean coast at Sainte Maria Island, where migrating whales can be seen between July and September. Walking with specialist wildlife guides, you can observe a range of lemurs, chameleons, frogs, birds, butterflies and other insects including stick insects and the praying mantis. The flora is astonishing too, with dozens of eye-catching orchids and other endemic species.