Thursday, June 14, 2007

Enjoy Safari Holidays to the African Island of Madagascar

The beauty of safari holidays in Africa is that there are numerous itineraries to stunning beaches and islands around the east coast with the Indian Ocean. The largest of all these islands is Madagascar which is in fact the fourth largest island in the world. Although there is no big game in Madagascar it is incredibly biodiverse. Because at one point the land mass of Madagascar broke off from the coast of Africa, the animals there evolved differently. As a result Madagascar has some of the most fascinating wildlife anywhere on the planet including striking creatures such as ring tailed lemurs, with their long tails and huge eyes. Madagascar is also a cultural melting pot making it one of the most rewarding places that offer safari holidays. As well as traditional safaris on four-by-four vehicles to the reserves it is also possible to use Madagascar as a base for an island hopping trip through the country. Furthermore for an unforgettable experience you can sail around the coast on the classical African dhow boats.
 
Safari Holidays to the National Parks of Madagascar
As well as numerous wildlife reserves, strict nature reserves and private reserves there are 20 different national parks in Madagascar. The Masoala National Park is in the north east of the island and it encompasses the Nosy Mangabe Reserve. With 2,300 square kilometres of protected rainforest it is the biggest national park on the island and, having been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, a must-see if you come here for safari holidays. As well as 10 species of lemur and various frogs and owls that live in the forest, the park also has an expanse of coastline where it is possible to see humpback whales.
 
If you are interested in trekking then the Isalo National Park has a variety of challenging terrains. Another place with a huge cross-section of rare animals is the Andringitra national park. Visitors to this large area of ravines and mountains can see hundreds of species of birds as well as lot of lemurs and frogs. Most of the park is dissected by the Tropic of Capricorn so your safari holidays are sure to be hot and steamy.
 
What should you know about Safari Holidays to Madagascar?
Unfortunately though Madagascar is such a unique place it is also troubled. The country has had an unstable history so you should also check out the political situation on the Foreign Commonwealth office website before travelling. However your luxury safari holidays operator will be able to give you guidance so follow their advice and you will be fine. The best time of year to go to Madagascar is from March to December as the other three months of the year constitute the rainy season. Animals to watch out for are the stray dogs which can sometimes be found wandering through the cities. If you are keen to visit the capital Antananarivo don't go out on your own at night.

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