Incredible journeys to Madagascar with DOOK!
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Madagascar Tour Packages
Explore Madagascar with DOOK
Madagascar - Dreamy. Raw. Wild. Wonderful...
See the spectacular sights of this unpolished gem with Dook
The fun-filled scenes from ‘Madagascar’ – a popular Dreamworks movie that captured our hearts with awe and the comic lemur, King Julien, swinging to the beats and singing ‘I like to move it, move it’, surely did justice to why Madagascar is today famed as a dreamy island. Subsequently, the film's imagery of the rare bug-eyed lemurs, emerald-hued mountains and waves crashing at the exquisite beaches started to capture the traveller’s imagination in the same way Disney’s “The Lion King” sparked curiosity among the travellers looking forward to exploring the wild lands of Tanzania. The mere thought of idyllic Madagascar is enough to invoke the images of all things exotic and tropical.
Though this island, on a world map, appears to be no more than a tiny fragment broken from the eastern flank of Africa, it is nearly the size of France or Texas and the third-largest in the world. Located off the east African coast and isolated in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is truly a wonderland of biodiversity but majorly unexplored. The flora and fauna of Madagascar are incredibly unique due to its remote evolution - a nature haven as well as the cradle of endemic species and the only place on the planet to find a wide variety of lemurs in the wild. What is equally fascinating is an eclectic mix of otherworldly landscapes ranging from tropical jungles, crystal white beaches fringed by palm trees to Tsingy’s stone forests and spiky formations followed by the unmissable postcard settings of distinctively shaped Baobabs!
Madagascar is only waiting for you to discover the treasures it holds. What is holding you back? Book the exciting Madagascar tour packages with us.
Languages: Malagasy and French. English is spoken by only a few people in the country
Currency: Malagasy ariary
Driving Side: Right
Best Time to Travel: From April to mid-December
Despite being endowed with an abundance of tourism assets, it remains way far off the tourist’s map, which also makes it the most ideal and reclusive break away from the routined hustles. Explore the unique and interesting island of Madagascar and you will be left with nothing but a sense of admiration. Home to numbers of endemic flora and fauna with a portfolio of the most peculiar and unique species like the lemurs, brilliantly coloured lizards including geckos and chameleons, spiny hedgehog-like creatures and the fossa, Madagascar truly makes for a perfect setting of any Dreamworks or Disney movie.
Beginning your Madagascar tour in the city of Antananarivo is a perfect start; you can make your way to the stunning, rich with wildlife, Ranomafana National Park which shelters 12 lemur species as well 118 bird species. From here, you can head out to explore the distinctive landscapes of Isalo, where you can see spectacular canyons and go horseback riding. Nosy Be archipelago is another paradisiacal island where you can let your hair down and click some Instagram worthy pictures because the backdrops here are to die for! Do not miss Île Sainte Marie, an island full of tiny bays, beaches, appetising seafood and a laid-back vibe like no other. It is also a great place to go snorkelling and watch the whales in action! Further moving to the south, explore the forested trails and the spectacular palm-fringed beaches adorning the coastline and finish off the journey by surrendering to absolute serenity and seclusion.
These are just the bits of what this captivating island has to offer. Take an in-depth journey with our bespoke Madagascar Holiday Packages and learn what makes it such an incredible place to visit!
Attractions on the ‘wander-list’:
1. Antananarivo: The lesser-explored ‘city of thousands’
Vibrant and energetic, chaotic yet delightful, Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar dwells in a commanding position, being built on a series of hills and with an urban framework. The city has grown from a palace-land where once the kings lived to today’s modern-day Tana (usually termed by its informal shorthand) that now sprawls across the hills and has become the economic powerhouse of the country.
It is mentioned as “the city of thousands”, referring to 1000 treasures to discover and is a rich journey ideal for the young and the old, the solo trippers and families and even for the honeymooners. While the history fanatics may opt for a route to the royal palaces or historical sites to soak up the history of the capital and take a closer look into Malagasy culture, the wildlife enthusiasts, on the other hand, will relish every moment spent discovering the endemic animals of the Tsimbazaza Park or Lemur’s Park of Mandraka. The surrounding areas of the capital also allow you to practice a variety of outdoor activities such as canoeing, horseback riding, tree climbing or trekking in mountains.
What further adds to the lively flavour of the city is its food; the scrumptious local cuisines justify the richness of Malagasy gastronomy. Also, when you head back or onward to your destination, do not forget to carry a stash of vanilla beans and spices like pink and white pepper that abound the main local markets of Antananarivo.
2. Morondava: Gateway to Avenue of the Baobabs and more
A sun-drenched laid-back town on the coast of West Madagascar with beautifully remote beaches, swaying palm trees, small and snugly wooden houses, sprawling coves and rivers teeming with life- Morondava should be a ‘must explore destination in your Madagascar tour package.
Though it’s not a relatively touristy town, this peaceful seaside settlement is a famed gateway to the most iconic nearby attractions like Allée des Baobabs or Avenue of the Baobabs and the national park of Tsingy de Bemaraha and the Kirindy.
Morondava and the iconic Baobab trees are inevitably linked. You can find 7 out of 8 species of Baobab trees in the world in Madagascar and the Menabe region, including Morondava, is home to 3 of these species. Morondava, therefore, is one of the few places where the Baobabs are unobstructed by surrounding forests, providing means for some stunning photographs captured against silhouettes of the colour-changing sky. While exploring the region’s great nature reserves is for the more curious travellers, those looking for a relaxing beach break will find a range of accommodation and restaurants lining the boulevard that runs along Nosy Kely Peninsula.
Moreover, a planned excursion to Belo-sur-Mer, a little fisherman village will never be a bad idea as the beaches here are wonderful and the people so welcoming. A valuable tip before you visit the village - do carry along some sweets for the children as when they are offered the same, their generous smiles are more comforting than a formal thank you.
3. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park: The naturally wealthy marvel of Madagascar
The karstic landscapes, mangrove swamps, uplands cut into impressive 'tsingy' peaks and the undisturbed forests of limestone needles wrapped around by spectacular canyons and Manambolo River flowing at the foothills. All this and more describe the sheer diversity of Tsingy de Bemaraha’s landscape which is fair enough to give goosebumps to its visitors because unquestionably, it's a jaw-dropping beauty.
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990, the gigantic grey rock pinnacles here called tsingy, are one of the most spectacular sights in Madagascar. The name ‘tsingy’ makes sense after you see the spiky nature of the multiple surroundings around the park, marked by a labyrinth forest of gigantic limestone needles. These were formed from decades of erosion creating a dense network of crevasses, rifts and canyons. Due to its distinctiveness and abundance of natural wealth, the park was classified as a UNESCO site. But while these formations are remarkable and worth mentioning, they also offer habitation to various endemic species of plants and animals.
If you like lemurs, you will never fall short of sighting options here as the park comprises around 11 incredible species including the fat-tailed dwarf lemur, Cleese’s woolly lemur, grey mouse lemur, decken’s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur and more. The Madagascar iguana and the native long-tailed skink are among the notable reptiles found in the national park. A lot of bird species and around 900 native plants can also be sighted at the park. You can take short hiking tours around the park; wander around with ease taking pictures or just go on an exploration tour in pirogue through the rivers that border steep gorges and the sharp spikes of the tsingy.
4. Nosy Be archipelago: Serenity sprinkled across the coasts
Sitting off the northwest coast of Madagascar, Nosy Be archipelago has become a tempting tropical beach destination for travellers from around the world. But despite the popularity of its silky white sand beaches, amazing coral reefs and calm waters, the islands of Nosy Be remain unfussy and laid-back. The mind-calming visuals of the pirogues lying deserted on the sand, sunlight liberally drenching the beaches during the day and dusk and the dhows floating past off the shore are quite common here.
The island covers an extensive area of 300 km² with eleven volcanic crater lakes and beautiful beaches where many luxury resorts sit quietly along its coastline while the abundant adventure activities steal the show here. Adding thrill to your ultimate beach holiday, the beaches in the archipelago host water sports like scuba diving and snorkelling. For an ideal deserted island experience, there are various tiny, secluded islands in the vicinity such as Nosy Komba, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia and Nosy Tanikely. The islands let you hike through the lush rainforest and offer the opportunity to explore the exceptional fauna and flora of Madagascar including the sanctuaries providing shelter to Mada’s favourite bug-eyed lemurs and chameleons.
While some may choose to do the island hopping through a Dhow safari, others may opt for a quad excursion to discover the nearby attractions. Whatever is your reason to explore, the archipelago and its islands are full of little discoveries that lure you to visit at least once in a lifetime!
This sample itinerary from one of our popular Madagascar Tour Packages is hand-stitched with the finest of serene experiences as we make sure you have a beach holiday of a lifetime!
5. Ranomafana National Park: The abode of lemurs
A listed UNESCO World Heritage Site located on a gorgeous tropical island of Madagascar, Ranomafana National Park also called Parc National de Ranomafana is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the country and amongst the best kept natural marvels. Sitting at a high altitude but surprisingly accessible, the landscape of the park consists of thick drapes of lush rainforest with powerful rivers flowing through. Adding to the splendour is a rare portfolio of wildlife and almost over 100 different species of birds dwelling within the park.
It is home to 12 lemur species, including the highly endangered but locally common Golden bamboo lemur. Other rare species’ sightings include the red-bellied lemur, eastern grey bamboo lemur, red-fronted brown lemur, greater bamboo lemur and more. Look out for a variety of bats, tenrecs, giraffe-necked weevil, striped civets, mongooses, colourful lizards and other creatures great and small peppering the landscape and you are sure to get enthralled.
Ranomafana draws thousands of people each year to its misty forest reaches, crisscrossed by the hiking track, where they walk past the roaring waterfalls while encountering the wildlife swarming the untamed lands of the park and finding peace in the melodious calls of birds. If this isn’t giving you the thrill chills, what else will!
Top Bucket List Experiences
1. Stroll down the iconic Avenue of the Baobabs
Where sunsets are truly magic to the eyes, where the real emblem of Malagasy flora- the baobabs pierce through the sky, where the laid-back vibes of the calm environs hold you in-this majestic place is called The Avenue of The Baobabs. It is truly one of those places that are better in real life than in any picture!
One of the legendary and the most photographed landmarks in Madagascar, this alley of the baobabs stretches along a 260 m road, where these majestic trees stand impressively tall, basking in the exclusivity of their species found nowhere else on Earth. While watching the most famous Baobab tree of Madagascar, the Adansonia Grandidieiri stays atop as the key highlight; seeing and getting photographed with the baobabs of love and stargazing at night through the baobabs are another few favourite experiences that are well worth the travel time.
2. Stopover at the lesser-visited abode of the wildlife - Amber National Park
Amber Mountain National Park was Madagascar's first national park - established in 1958 and is mostly known for its crater lakes and waterfalls. It takes its name from the ‘resin’ that is found growing on the local trees and is used by the Malagasy people for medicinal purposes. Snuggled near the northern edge of the country, this mountainous park rises out of the drier surrounding landscape but has a cool climate and some fantastically diverse backdrops.
Though the park seems to have plenty of natural marvels like waterfalls, volcanic lakes and rainforests, it also houses rare wildlife species like the bookesia micra chameleon which is the world’s smallest chameleon and can be seen at Amber Mountain National Park. Visitors here can opt to go out on a beautiful walking trail winding their way past the waterfalls or stay closer to the wildlife by booking the camps or lodges available within/ near the park.
3. A remarkable rendezvous with the whales of Madagascar
Every year, from June to September, the humpback whales, arriving by the hundreds, migrate from the waters of the South Pole, off the northeast coast of the country to breed and give birth. The whales remain close to the Ile Sainte Marie for four months - the time taken for the calves to grow up. In the meantime, you can go onboard in small groups to observe these impressive mammals gliding effortlessly through the blues, slapping their tails, striking the fins and rising out of water. And if you are the one in a luckier lot, you will perhaps be able to see the moving birth of a calf or his first life lesson with the mommy whale.
While Ile St. Marie off the eastern coast of Madagascar is the perfect hub for spotting the humpback whales from June to September, Nosy Be and Tsarabanjina on the western side offer some spectacular spotting opportunities from August to November. Keen whale spotters are in for a true delight as a unique rendezvous experience awaits them!
4. Explore the little-known piece of paradise- Ifaty
Ifaty, located on the southwest coast of Madagascar offers a perfect melange of marine and beach life. Although it’s quite low key and simpler than any other beach destination in the country, the opportunity for snorkelling in the coral reef patches near the barrier reef is a delightful experience.
Ifaty is around 25km north of Tuléar and comprises two small fishing villages-Mangily and Madio Rano. Between these villages, you will find plenty of resorts to choose from, making it an ideal beach destination to unwind after you’ve had active trekking and wildlife excursions on other parts of the island. Additionally, short excursions to Mangrove forests, shore caves and birding trips nearby are also feasible. With a range of activities, from diving, whale watching, surfing to sailing on a pirogue, from taking in the local life to relaxing on the unusually quiet beaches; you will never run out of options here!
5. Experience the extraordinary in Madagascar with Dook Travel Packages
Madagascar is the stage to the finest of the wild, bizarre but oh-so dreamy landscapes. Whether it’s the unexplored rare riches, the unique geological rock formations, never-seen-before wildlife including the rare lemurs, the untouched beaches or winding fishing villages worth exploring, a Madagascar trip booked with Dook lets you into a new world of extraordinary discoveries!
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