Madagascar, “the land of the lemur”, is truly a unique wildlife holiday destination. It is the world’s fourth largest island and lies off the south-east coast of Africa. Having been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years the island’s wildlife has evolved differently to anywhere else on earth. Madagascar and the smaller outlying islands are the only places that lemurs can be found in the world.
As well as a huge variety of lemurs, the island is home to civets, mongooses, reptiles, frogs and a variety of rare birds. Habitats range from verdant rainforest to deciduous forest and mountain peaks to the heat of the desert.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is the combined area of the Special Reserve of Indri d’Analamazaotra (also known as Périnet) and the Mantadia National Park. This is the most easily accessible rainforest on the island and is home to 14 lemur species including the largest, indri lemur. Orchids thrive here and hundreds bloom between September and January. Birds such as the Madagascar yellowbrow and serpent eagle, and reptiles including the large Parson’s chameleon and leaf-tailed gecko can also be found here.
Ranomafana National Park is one of six national parks found in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Atsinanana Rainforest. This cloud forest is a refuge for many lemur species including the rare aye-aye, as well as the Malagasy striped civet, mongooses, 115 bird species and 90 different types of butterfly.
Isalo National Park is reminiscent of a scene from a Wild West film with deep canyons and impressive sandstone formations. As well as providing a splendid panorama the park is also home to a wide range of amphibians, mammals and birds.
Kirindy Private Reserve is an area of rare dry deciduous forest and is the only place where the world’s smallest primate, the giant jumping rat, is found.
Madagascar with its tropical climate, varied scenery, friendly locals and above all its abundant wildlife, is sure to make an impression on you.