Types of Tourism in Madagascar
Madagascar is located in the area of the southern tropic, so it is warm here all year round. The length of the coastline of the island is 4800 km. Along the entire coast of Madagascar, there are quiet lagoons with white sand beaches, surrounded by coral reefs with a colorful underwater world.
In terms of tourism, the western coast of the island is the most developed, while sharks are more likely to appear on the east coast. The most popular beach resort in Madagascar is the island of Nosy Be. It is located 159 km southwest of the city of Antseranana.. Nosy Be area – 321 sq. km. Tourists love this island for its fun atmosphere – there are many restaurants and nightclubs, as well as for calm coastal waters and clean beaches. The most popular beaches of Nosy Be are Andilana (in the north of the island), the beaches of the nearby coral islands of Tsarabanina, Ankarea, Nosy Coba and Nosy Iranya.
Another popular destination on the west coast of Madagascar is the resort of Toliara . Sandy beaches here are surrounded by baobabs, and a 250-kilometer coral reef stretches in coastal waters. Anaku beach is located 35 km south of Tuliara. Here on the shore you can see a lot of painted pirogues, on which tourists are offered to ride on the surrounding waters. Not far from Toliara, the beaches of Batri and Ifaty are also interesting. Check top-medical-schools.org for travel information in Madagascar.
North of Tuliara, you can relax in the village of Ampasilava (50 km south of Murumbe), in Morondava , on the small islands of Nosy Andruta, Nosy Lava and Nosy Maru.
In the northwest of Madagascar is the port of Mahajanga. Popular spots here include the beaches of Grand Gavois d’Amburuvi, Kacepi, Radama Island and Bueni Bay.
The east coast’s most visited resort by tourists is Sainte Marie. It is located 150 km north of Toamasina. Since the end of the 17th century, the island has been one of the main bases for pirates in the Indian Ocean. Now, on this narrow tropical island, sandy beaches stretch along the entire coastline, which are surrounded by groves of coconut palms.
In addition to the island of Sainte Marie, in the vicinity of Toamasina, there are such seaside resorts as Manda Beach and Mahambu, and the small islands of Nosy Akuhu, Ile aux Prune and Ile aux Nattes.
No less good are Antungila Bay and the Masuala Peninsula in the northwest of Madagascar. The beaches here are adjacent to the densest rainforests of Madagascar. In the very north of the island is the port of Antseranana with the sandy beach of Ramena Beach, however, sharks often swim here.
In the coastal waters of Madagascar stretched coral reefs, which are very popular among divers. Diving is best here from April to August. Underwater visibility for the whole year is 10-30 m.
The most interesting dive sites of Madagascar are located in the vicinity of the island of Nosy Be. The main dive centers of the island are located in the Ambatoloaka area. The local marine park Nosy-Tanikeli is a paradise for lovers of snorkeling and diving. The diving depth in the park reaches 18 m, the underwater world is represented by turtles, octopuses, stingrays, parrot fish, clown fish and groupers. Dive site “Four Brothers” consists of four underwater rock formations with caves. The diving depth varies from 4 to 20 m. “Four Brothers” is suitable for beginners, because there are practically no currents. During the dive you can see turtles, lobsters, scorpion fish and crocodile fish. Very interesting place called “Organ”. It is an underwater mountain with many protrusions, similar to organ pipes, for which it got its name. Moderate currents are constantly observed here, which allow drifting in the water.
On the southwestern coast of Madagascar, a 250-kilometer coral reef stretches around the resort of Toliara. It is believed to be the second such reef, after the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia. Here you can see 250 species of coral, 750 species of fish, sea turtles, dolphins, humpback whales, whale sharks and an ancient fish species – coelacanth, which appeared 70 million years ago.
Divers will also be interested in the coastal waters of the island of Sainte Marie.. Among the local dive sites, one can single out a place called Pagoda, where groupers, moray eels, lobsters, sea turtles and rays live (diving depth – 12 m), Suanambo reef, consisting of black corals (diving depth – 28 m), Grouper Wall (diving depth reaches 40 m), the sunken 55-meter Kokoterae ship, which lies at a depth of 15 m, and the 8-meter Leopard fishing boat (diving depth – 34 m).
Madagascar is notable for the fact that it has been isolated from the mainland for 2 million years, so many endemic species of animals and plants live here. All of them are carefully protected in the national parks and reserves of the country. The animal world of Madagascar is represented by more than 50 species of lemurs, including the famous large Indri and “eye-eye mitten”, tenrecs, 7 endemic genera of viverrids, endemic species of crocodiles and one species of pygmy hippopotamus, narrow-mouthed frogs, geckos, iguanas, chameleons, boas, and over 50 endemic bird families.
The largest nature reserve of the island is the Tsingy de Bemaraha Nature Reserve., its area is 152 thousand hectares. It is located in the western part of the island on the Bemaraha plateau. Within the reserve there is a limestone plateau of Tsingy, composed of karst rocks; steep cliffs 400m high, breaking off to the valley of the Manambulu River; mangroves; lakes and forests in its southern part. 53 species of birds, 8 species of reptiles and 6 species of lemurs live here. Tsingy de Bemaraha offers canoe excursions along the Manambulu River, during which you can see a variety of landscapes, waterfalls and grottoes. Excursions depart from the cities of Antsaluva and Bekopaka.
In the north of Madagascar, 37 km south of Antseranan, there is the Ambergris Mountains National Park.. The park extends within the volcanic massif for 18.2 thousand hectares. It was established in 1958 to protect the rain forests that cover the slopes of the mountain, where you can meet the crowned lemur and Sanford brown lemur and see many orchids. The waterfalls and lakes of the park are very beautiful. La Grande Falls forms a picturesque lake where tourists can swim.
Isalu National Park covers an area of 81.5 thousand hectares. It is located in the southwest of Madagascar near Toliara. Isalu is a limestone massif with erosional landforms. The emblem of the park depicts the Elephantopus plant, which grows everywhere here. In addition to the animal and plant world, ancient burials that were discovered in caves are very interesting.
In the southeast of Madagascar is popular Andringitra National Park. Here, on 31 thousand hectares of land, vegetation ranges from tropical forests to high-mountain prairies. On its territory are the second and third highest peaks of Madagascar, where snow sometimes falls during the winter months, such a climate is observed only here. Perinet Nature Reserve is located
140 km from the capital of the island Antananarivo. Indri’s short-tailed lemurs, the largest of the lemurs, live here, as well as many species of orchids. The reserve is also famous for the fact that the largest variety of frogs in the world – more than 100 species – and the huge Parson’s chameleon live on 810 hectares of land. Night excursions are also offered to tourists in Perinet. West of Taulanaru is a private nature reserve Berenty. Berenty is dominated by “dry forests” because it receives little rainfall compared to other parts of the island. In these forests grow trees similar to cacti and baobabs. This reserve is a habitat for ring-tailed lemurs.
In Madagascar, it is also worth visiting the Ankavafantsina reserve (east of Mahajanga), where you can see the typical “dry forests” of western Madagascar; Ifatu Nature Reserve (29 km from Touliara), which attracts bird lovers from all over the world; Masuala Peninsula (in the north-east of Madagascar), with the National Park of the same name in the area of which the densest humid forests of Madagascar are concentrated, considered one of the last surviving primeval rainforests on the planet; “Pangalan Canal” (south of Tuamasina), which is a system of rivers, lakes and swamps surrounded by a relict rainforest; Lokobe Nature Reserve on the island of Nosy Be, where the remains of the “sambirano” forests with boa trees that once completely covered the island are protected, and where black lemurs are found; and Sainte Marie Island, where the seasonal migrations of humpback whales from Antarctica can be observed from July to September.