Spotlight on Madagascar

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ToursByLocals now has local guides working in 105 countries! The latest nation to add to our global network is Madagascar. If you have children (or if you love animated movies) you probably associate this country’s name with dancing lions and witty zebras, but of course a visit here will show you something far more unique, beautiful and evocative than even Dreamworks Studios could imagine.

Madagascar is considered part of Africa, yet it lies almost 400km off shore and many of its peoples have more in common with their Southeast Asian ancestors than continental Africa. It’s the fourth largest island in the world (any guesses for the top three?); it split from the African landmass around 135 million years ago, and from the Indian landmass 50 million years later. This separation allowed plants and animals on the island to evolve in complete and splendid isolation. As a result, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot in which over 80% of its plant and animal species are found nowhere else on Earth; the nation is consequently regarded as one of the world’s top conservation priorities.

Our local tour guide, Ravo, offers everything from one to ten days tours of his homeland. With Ravo you can spend a full day exploring around Madagascar’s dramatic capital city, Antananarivo, where you can hike through the stunning highland landscapes, meet lemurs, and visit the World Heritage site of the Queen’s Palace. Or take many days to explore the highlights of this fabled island, from the thousand year old Avenue of the Baobabs to the wilderness of its national parks and reserves.

Take a look at the images to the right of this article to gain an understanding of the scope of Madagascar’s bio-diversity. And if you ever go, be sure to share some of your photos with us on our Facebook Page! We’d love to hear all about your Madagascar adventure.
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