There are jewels scattered across the length and breadth of this beautiful planet. Some are known, while most are hidden, at times, in plain sight. These jewels are some of nature's most accomplished creations. Over millions of years of evolution, they have carved themselves into the wonders that take our breath away. One such nature's hidden wonder is Madagascar, and everyone on the planet should apply for a Madagascar visa and travel to this unusual island.
Where is Madagascar?It is the island nation that lies 400 kilometers off the eastern coast of the continent of Africa
. Madagascar is the second-largest island country in the world and home to a plethora of flora and fauna, most not found anywhere else in the whole wide world. Now we know the answer to the question of where is Madagascar. It is also one of the safest countries to travel to, but the question is, how would you go there?
How to travel to Madagascar?
One of the confusion that arises after where is Madagascar is always how to travel to Madagascar? The most practical way to reach Madagascar is by flight. None of the neighboring countries and islands has ferry services to the Island nation. Flights are available, and they aren't incredibly costly too.
Travel to AntananarivoAir Madagascar
is the nation's national carrier, and the most prominent air hub is Ivato International Airport, which lies a few kilometers away from the capital city - Antananarivo. There are direct flights to Ivato International Airport from Paris, Johannesburg, and Bangkok. One can also avail of Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, and Kenyan Airways to travel to Ivato. Some private charter aircraft from France and Italy fly to Nosy Be, which lies at the island's southeast corner. Johannesburg is an ideal place for a stopover since it attracts flights from all over the world. Visitors from Australia and New Zealand will find the South African city more suitable as a stopover than anyplace else. There are plenty of private charter flights that can be booked to fly to Ivato and Nosy Be. There is plenty of transport available from the International airport. You can avail private cars, shuttle taxis and ride the train too. It is a modern terminal with all the characteristics of an international airport, so going in and getting out would be similar to every other modern airport system in the world. Hence, one can travel to Antananarivo and fro to any part of the island nation with relative ease. So if you have to travel to Madagascar, get ready to fly. The usual "is it safe to travel in Madagascar" question will have a resounding "Yes" as an answer. Here are 11 Reasons why you should travel to Madagascar right now.
If for nothing else, then this should be the reason to travel to Madagascar. The black and white ring-tailed Lemur Catta is the most common species and is found in the wilderness. And they are the cutest ones on the planet. They have been classified as an endangered species, and efforts are on to increase their population. The nature parks dotting the island are a veritable playground for these harmless creatures. They often visit quite a few luxury resorts built in the middle of dense forests in large groups. Leave whatever you were doing and get hold of that phone or a camera if you are carrying on. These animals are meant to be clicked and framed forever.
If you have been to Madagascar and not been to Nosy Be or the islands surrounding it, you probably have to go back. The beaches of Madagascar are some of the most spectacular in the world. The southwest corner of the country is a beach destination for the beach-loving community of the planet. These beaches, in recent years, have also become top-rated sites for weddings and parties.
The local Malagasy cuisine has a profound French influence interspersed with local inventions. One such local creation is the Koba Cake. It is made out of peanuts and rice flour and is a rage among the native populace. The Koba cake has recently found its place among European food connoisseurs who mix it with vanilla toppings. Gift a few upon return to friends and family. Try out the Romazava, which is a concoction of leaves and meat. The Rice – Romazava combination is a delight for the gastronome. However, due to the varied availability of leaves, they tend to taste different in the different parts of the island. The Romazava can also be prepared without the meat and hence be palatable to vegetarians too.
4. The Baobab
Travel back to prehistoric times and imagine yourself to be amidst giant bottle-shaped trees, known as the Baobab tree. The locals call it the Reniala or the "Mother of the forest," these trees grow to heights of 30 feet. Baobabs are some of the most prolonged surviving plant types.
You might have been in awe of the Grand Canyon of the United States of America. Isalo has a slightly smaller version of it. The Isalo Garnad Canyon is one of the most visited National Parks countries, with the visitor count touching almost 40000 annually. Pertinent to know that these 80000 hectares of land in the South of the country used to be underwater millions of years ago. Pretty impressive, I know.
6. Affordable Living
Madagascar is one of the most affordable countries to visit and live too. Unless you are also particular about food and accommodation, there are rooms available at $12 and a wholesome meal at $6.
7. Surf Up
If we did talk about the beaches, then how can we forget about surfing. The surfing school opened in 2003 at Mahambo, and since then, surfers have flocked to the waves. The best time to visit is between May and October. The waves are significant, and the usual surf zone is quite spread out, making it ideal for the beginner and the professional surfer. If you happen to be neither of them, then lie and relax on the soft sand and let the ocean wind smatter your face.
8. Is it safe to travel to Madagascar?
Guess I have already answered that earlier, but I will still repeat it. Madagascar is one of the safest countries to have a trip. There has hardly been any news of crimes, and that should put every traveler to ease. However, it is always advisable to be remain alert while traveling. Now, is it safe to travel in Madagascar? Yes, it is.
9. What to do in Madagascar?
Now that we have answered "how to travel to Madagascar?" let us answer the next pertinent question, "What to do in Madagascar?". There are so many things to do in Madagascar. It is a madhouse of activities. Go nature walking, hit the beach, Surf till you drop, watch in marvel the massive high-rises called the Baobab. If you still have some energy left, fulfill your traveler appetite by discovering the wonder that is Antananarivo. The island is never short of surprises, and there is everything for everyone. Moreover, if you are a gastronome, discover some of the elegant watering holes in the capital city.
The capital of the island nation is a mix of French and Malagasy culture. Antananarivo is probably the most charismatic African capital given its history, and since it has been the melting pot of cultures and people. Visit the 17th century Royal Palace or walk down the city center. Time travel will be real. The chic street cafes are a rage amongst European travelers, and each of them has something unique to offer. A trip to Antananarivo cannot be completed without visiting the local marketplace. You will find some of the most exquisite African textiles, and if your negotiating skills are right, the deals are fantastic. Some of the other attractions are the Queen's Palace, Ambohimanga, an ancient fortress, and the Zoological and Botanical Garden. Antananarivo is a city of palaces, and hence there are quite a few of them. The Andafiavaratra Palace has been turned into a museum, while the 19th Century imposing Royal Palace stands guard atop a hill, overlooking the city and the suburbs. The Musee De La Photographie De is a museum of photographs and history, and there are plenty of artifacts to look at. A trip to Antananarivo will undoubtedly fill up whatever void is left in your soul.
11. The Bemaraha Tsingy
That is Madagascar's only World Heritage site and is also its oldest national park. Spread over 72300 hectares, the park created in 1927 has long been a fascination for geologists worldwide. The national park is a labyrinthine maze made out of limestone and is home to various faunas. Some of the rarest species of birds, lemurs, and reptiles can be found at The Bemaraha Tsingy. One has to make a four-day excursion to get a full tour of the national park. This travel is an essential part of "What to do in Madagascar?" Madagascar is one of the ancient geographical locations on the planet. Towering Baobabs to cute Lemurs, vast limestone labyrinths, to exquisite beaches, the island is a gift to humankind. Malagasy culture has thrived here for centuries, reflecting in their ways of Living and the cuisine. With the advent of technology and traveling becoming easier and affordable, the rest of the world is getting to know more about it. While rampant tourism does have its side effects, it also allows travelers to marvel at some of nature's majestic creations.