Your wedding plan is set and everyone is looking forward to where you will disappear to for your honeymoon. I guess you have even been inundated with options, however, if Madagascar is not on the list of your possible honeymoon destinations; you should consider placing it there, especially if honeymoon to you is a cool getaway and an opportunity to relax, on white stretch of beach where shade is provided by lazy palm trees. Even if you are not preparing for honeymoon; whether you are a nature lover, wildlife buff or/and adventure seeker, Madagascar is your best bet for a getaway. Here is why:
One really does get into a fix while trying to place Madagascar on a continent. The Island was once on the African coastline before it pulled off about a hundred million years ago into the India Ocean to become a stand alone island—so what do you call it, a county or continent. This simple fact is however significant as it plays important roles in defining the rich biodiversity of the Red Island. In Madagascar, you can revel in the colour and vibrancy of the villages and towns, wonder at the beauty of the rainforests, and laze on some of the pristine beaches, but what make this country especially unique is its rich biodiversity.
It is often said that one does not appreciate what he has until he loses it. The fear of this aphorism holding true in Madagascar is already spurring various international organizations into action in a bid to save some of the world’s most endangered species of plants and animals which are found only in the country.
Tourists heading to this destination therefore must be prepared for an adventure into the world of endangered wildlife species, many of which are not found anywhere else on this planet.
This is where more than one percent of the world’s species resides, so it is the global biodiversity hotspot thronging with endangered and rare species of creatures who survive on the isolated island, thanks to lack of interferences especially from humans. This more than 2500 square miles large area is where endangered wildlife species such as the Madagascar serpent eagle, the fox-size carnivore known as the fossa, and the silky sifaka, one of the world’s most endangered primates live; it is also the only wild spot to find red-ruffed lemurs, which inhabit Masoala’s tall fruit trees.
Day 1: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Travelers from outside Madagascar arrive on the Island often at the Ivato International Airport when coming by air. Get in and take in the city, find a cosy hotel to lodge and have a splendid rest on your first day before heading out to explore the Island. Depending on when you arrive, you can explore the city’s landmarks and attractions which include Tsarasaotra Park/Bird Island, Lake Anosy, Antongora, among others before veering out.
Days 2& 3: Antananarivo / Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Périnet)
This Park is part of the plans to preserve the endangered wildlife species. Madagascar has 70 species and subspecies of lemur, the indri, as well as a thousand different orchid species, a plethora of medicinal plants, and a neon spectrum of chameleons many of which are endangered. There is a lot to see at the park while taking a walk around. This is an opportunity to have close-up encounters and outstanding photo-shoots around rare creatures.
Days 4 & 5: Ranomafana National Park
It is quite a distance from Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Périnet) so returning to Antananarivo and flying to this area will be a good idea. This park houses 12 species of lemur, various chameleons and other reptiles, the fascinating but rarely seen fossa, and more than a hundred bird species so there is so much to look out for here.
Days 6 & 7: Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park / Ifaty
Bird watchers will love this site. It is one of the Island’s finest bird watching locations with the rare Appert’s greenbul, iridescent souimanga sunbird and, as always, lemurs. A journey to Reniala Reserve takes you into one of the world’s most endangered biomes. Endemic species here include rare birds and octopus trees.
Day 8: Ifaty Beach
Cap the tour with a visit to one of the nicest beaches on African soil, the Ifty beach. This is a dream-come-true beach for those who have always longed to relax on white stretch of beach where shade is provided by lazy palm trees. The stretch of coastline here is lined in parts by fishermen’s houses, and is flanked by coral reef which can be explored with goggles and a snorkel or on the surface from a colourful dugout canoe. The best time to visit this location to catch sight of whales is between July and August.
Whatever you reason for visiting Madagascar, you can only be assured of one thing; which is enough vibes to give you a holiday. It is a less traveled, nevertheless nice and interesting Red Island that one should not miss in a lifetime.
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for www.afrotourism.com
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