Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, has a storied past. Originally a part of the Indian subcontinent, it drifted away from the Asian mainland in prehistoric times. Ever since, this island has evolved on its own, in relative seclusion from the rest of the world, making it unique in every sense of the word. Here are some of the unmissable sights and experiences waiting on this charming island!
A World Heritage Site, the Tsingy National Park is a natural wonder whose highlight is the park’s namesake tsingys. These otherworldly limestone structures – which can best be described as needles sprouting upwards from the ground – are formed due to erosion over millennia and look straight out of a sci-fi magazine! This extraordinary topographic feature also acts as an exceptional ecological niche, so expect to spot some of the rarest endemic species of the island here.
One of Madagascar’s most curious features is the baobab trees whose sheer size will stop you in your tracks. With an unusually large trunk that grows ramrod straight towards the sky and a skeletal canopy at the very top, these un-treelike behemoths are strangely beautiful, and are bes t enjoyed going down the Avenue of Baobabs in Menabe.
Photo by: Dennis van de Water/ shutterstock
The island’s wildlife is without a doubt its crowning glory. With over a hundred species of lemurs and over two hundred species of amphibians and reptiles each, Madagascar is literally teeming with wildlife. Apart from the critically endangered lemur species like Perrier’s sifaka, keep an eye out for the curious aye-aye and the many species of colorful chameleons.
An island off the western coast of Madagascar, Nosy Be and its pristine beaches offer many scuba diving and snorkeling adventures. The island also offers cheap accommodation and delicious food, making it an ideal destination for water babies and island hoppers.
Between the months of June and September, Madagascar’s coasts welcome humpback whales as they migrate to the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the chilly Antarctic to breed and calve. You can catch these gargantuan creatures lithely riding the waves off the beaches of Ile St. Marie to Madagascar’s east.
Photo by: ANDREYGUDKOV/ iStock
Just like its varied ecology, the culture of the warm and friendly Malagasy people of Madagascar is unlike any other in the Indian Ocean. First settled in 500 CE, the island became an important port in the Indian Ocean, with people from the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Europe migrating to this island. Hence, discovering the culture of this delightful island is a journey that takes you all over the world. The capital city of Antananarivo is the best place to enjoy the varied music, dances and cuisine of Madagascar, without burning a hole in your wallet too!
With Air Seychelles, getting to Madagascar is all the more easier – with five flights out of Mumbai to Seychelles and two flights per week from Seychelles to Madagascar, what better way is there to explore the mystery and excitement of these two unique islands in the Indian Ocean?
To know more, please visit www.airseychelles.com
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