Lying off the east coast of the continent, Madagascar is the largest of the African islands. The island is a melting pot of French and African influences with a wonderfully friendly and kind people at the heart of it.
Geographically, it is a varied island, with grasslands, mountains, rainforests, pristine beaches and even deserts. Madagascar is legendary for its profusion of wildlife and flora, 80% of which is found nowhere else on earth. From chameleons the size of your fingernail and the tomato frog, to humpback whales and of course the many different lemurs! There are about 100 lemurs species identified to date, each favouring a different habitat. The birdlife is just as prolific.
Highlights include the Avenue of Baobabs, island hopping in a dhow, snorkelling, and kayaking around the Masoala Peninsula – home to three marine parks and a rainforest.
You could of course just put your toes in the sand and simply enjoy the endless ocean views. Nosy Be is a popular beach destination connected to mainland Madagascar by ferry. It’s awash with bright colours, tuk-tuks, old colonial buildings and busy markets selling fresh seafood and spices.
Accommodation comes in all shapes and sizes, from hotels and no frills tented camps to ultra luxury resorts on private islands in the north. Take your pick!
Best time to travel: May to October.