Places to Travel in Madagascar

Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is a country bonded to Africa. Located on the western side of the Indian Ocean, Madagascar departs from Africa's mainland via Mozambique Channel. In this article we have compiled information on the general features of and places to visit in Madagascar.

Marco Polo describes Madagascar as ''an island of indefinite wealth in Africa'' in his memoirs. As a result of the confusion, the country was called Madageiscar, a different reading of the city of Modagishu in Somalia. This name was used by Marca Polo for many years and the island continued to be mentioned in this way.

The country, which is covered with dense forests before it was discovered, lost a lot of these forests with the increase of the population. According to the year 2014 statistics, the population of the island was around 23 million. In addition, the official language of the country is Malgasian and French. Half of Madagascar's population believe local religions such as animism and worship to ancestors. Besides of local religions, those who believe in Christianity is around 41%.

Antananarivo, meaning "City of Thousands" in Malgasian, is the capital and largest city of Madagascar. Antananarivo, also called Tana in short, is the center of the country's politics, economy, education and culture.

When to go Madagascar?

There are different climates throughout the country due to its geographical position. The country is generally hot and rainy in November and April. Between May and October, Madagascar is characterized by an arid and cold weather. The annual average temperature in the country is 25 degrees. It should be noted that the eastern coasts of the country are caught in tropical storms over certain periods.

Nosy Be Island

Nosy Be Island, sits on the north-west of Madagascar, is the most touristic region of the country. The population of the island, which has an area of 320 km, is around 80 thousand. Nosy Be, which means "big island" in the Hungarian language, was known as Assada during the period of French colonial

Nosy Be Island is located on the Mozambique Canal, and is surrounded by small islands called Nosy Komba, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia, and Nosy Tanikely. The rare species of frogs and chameleon species live in Adada. In addition, there are Omura Balinas, a species rarely found around the island.

Nosy Be Island, which has a tropical climate, is hot and humid during the winter season. The all-inclusive holiday destination in Madagascar is only in this island. For this reason, this is where the country's tourism is in the forefront.

Corsairfly, Air Madagascar and Air Italy firms has direct flights to Fascene Airport in Nosy Be Island from Europe.

Île Sainte-Marie Island

Île Sainte-Marie, on the eastern side of Madagascar, is also known as Nosy Boraha Island. The administrative district of the island, which is on the transit route of humpback whales, is Analanjirofo. The island, has a population of around 30,000, is famous for its pirate legends and dives made to the region of sharks.


Antsiranana, situated in the northernmost of the Madagascar Island in the Diana Region,  has a population of about 120,000. One of the most important ports in the country is located in this city. The city, which was used as the military base of the French Armed Forces until 1974, has now become one of the places of the country to travel.


About 250,000 people live in Mahajanga, in the Boeny Region, where is north-west of Madagascar. Mahajanga, which means "City of Flowers" in Hungarian language, has the second biggest harbor in the country.


Toamasina, is in the region with the same name "Toamasina", on the eastern side of Madagascar, has a population of about 280,000. The city, 215 kilometers away from the capital, Antananarivo, serves as a geographically natural port. The city was almost completely destroyed after the the violent storms that took place in 1927 and 1986 and, rebuilt.

Isalo National Park (Ranohira)

The closest cities to the Isalo National Park in the Ihorombe region on the southwest of Madagascar are Ranohira, Toliara and Ihosy. Isalo National Park, founded in 1962,  is proud of its sandstone formations, deep canyons, pastures and palm trees.

You can rent guides and coolies who carries your belongings in Ranohira. Trekking areas within the park can vary from a few hours to a week. Natural swimming pools in the park are among the most attracted to tourists.

Ranomafana National Park (Fianarantsoa)

Ranomafana National Park, located close to the city of Fianarantsoa, is one of the tourist destinations to see in Madagascar. The National Park, consists of some rare plant and animal species, includes tropical forests of 41,600 hectares. Ranomafana National Park, founded in 1991 to protect Madagascar's biodiversity, is also on the Rain Forests World Heritage List. At the end of the park you can see the Center Val Bio, a biological research center, founded in 2003 and run by the University of Stony Brook.

Some of the lemur species living in the park are extremely rare and under protection. Ranomafana Village, close to the park, has many hotels. You can also camp on the edge of the main road leading to the park, or you may stay at the Center Biological Research Center.

Tsingy de Bemeraha National  Park (Melaky)

Tsingy de Bemeraha National Park in Madagascar's Melaky Region, also known as the Stone Forests, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The National Park, has two geological formations named the Great Tsingy and the Little Tsingy, is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The karst plateaus that form together with the erosion of the high springs of underground water are wort visiting. The name of the region in Turkish meaning is "land that can not be walked with bare feet". The national park houses several rare plants and animals.

Masoala National Park

Masoala National Park in the north of Madagascar is the largest protected area in the country. A large part of the park, located both in the Sava region and,  Analanjirofo Region. The Masoala National Park, forms a 2,300-square-foot rainforest and 100-square-meter marine park, was established in 1997.

Masoala National Park, a home to different plant and animal species, has three marine parks named Tampolo, Ambodilaitry and Ifaho. Besides having the most attractive underwater environments in Madagascar, these areas are suitable for snorkeling and surfing. In addition, every year in July to September, humpback whales pass through here and use breeding grounds, during the period of migration.

Masoala National Park is accessible from the Maroantsetra and the Antalaha towns.

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Moramanga)

The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in the Alaotra-Mangoro Region on the east side of the country is 150 kilometers away from the capital Antananarivo. The area, which ranges from 800 to 1260 meters in height, has a generally humid clime. In Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, where is mostly rainy, has many endemic species including lemur species.

The rain forests on the national park were nominated for the World Heritage List in 2007.

Andringitra National Park

The Andringitra National Park, located in Haute Matsiatra Region, was established in 1969. The park, which is part of the Atsinanana Rainforest, entered the World Heritage List in 2007.

In 1927, the mountainous area in the park was declared Important Nature Conservation Area. The people of Bara who livestock, the people of Bara Hraonga who grow rice and, the people of Betsileo live in the Andringitra National Park.

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