Okay, we can probably guess what you are thinking when you see Madagascar as our ‘off the beaten track’ location of the week. If you automatically think of lemurs and the animated film then you are not far off. But this African island has so much more than those black and white cuties with scarily human traits. Yes, there is a ton of flora and fauna to be spotted as you hike through the national parks, but there is also some of the best sea turtle snorkelling and simply beach holiday spots to check out. Here how you should spend your time on the island of Madagascar.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve along with the Avenue of the Baobabs are not something to be missed. The nature reserve features a ton of endangered species that you may never be able to see again, and yes, the lemurs are there as well. But what makes this place so special is the limestone towers that dot it. And once you see the Baobab trees which are said to be nearly 800 years old you will feel like you have really reached the ends of the Earth. Now that you’ve spent a fair amount of time on land, it’s time to get your feet wet and hit the beach at The Three Bays for some watersports and snorkeling.
Madagascar is relatively affordable for those looking for a mid-range vacation. The Anjajavy L’Hotel is about as luxe as you will find anywhere in the world and it belongs to the Relais & Châteaux family of elite hotels. If you want something a bit more budget friendly then L’heure Bleue offers lovely beachfront bungalows for less than a hundred dollars which can’t be beaten.
Known as Malagasy food it has a variety of influences from the closeby the Middle East, the French colonial era, and Austronesia. This means that you can expect a lot of rice, spice, and vegetables. Some must-try dishes are romazava which is made with braised beef and collard greens. There is also a plethora of seafood which includes mofo banana which is kind of like savory beignet style fritters. For dessert, you can have Koba akondro which is steamed banana and peanut cake. That is something truly unique and you will find that it is hard to eat more than one slice as it is a bit gelatinous.
Madagascar will be one of those places you never forget and you may find you want to return to see those stunning baobab trees.