Madagascar is a sparsely populated island located 250-400 miles off the eastern coast of Africa, just south of the equator. At 1580 km long and 600km wide, Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island.
A nature-lover's paradise, it is filled with rich and fascinating opportunities for exploration. The mountains, rain forests, river valleys, coastal plains, grasslands, caverns and deserts offer a wealth of diversity and wonder.
Among its natural resources, Madagascar is home to nine-tenths of the world's lemur species. It is also considered to be a prime spot for serious bird watchers. With more than 10 000 varieties of plants, this tropical paradise is blanketed with one of the richest collections of flora in the world, including 1 000 different species of orchids and 6 different species of baobab trees.
The big RedIsland is surrounded by thousands of miles of deserted beaches scattered with the occasional fishing village. It has a unique fauna and flora and extensive unexplored barrier reefs full of marine life.
Once a French colony, Madagascar was granted its political independence in 1958. The official language is French. The local language with various dialects is Malagasy, which is a synthesis of Indonesian, African and Arabic elements.
The Islands "Nosy":
On the way from the Airport you will realize why the Malagasy people call it the ScentedIsland (Nosy Manitra). A powerful scent of spices wrap you with the perfume of ’ylang ylang flowers, coffee, pepper and vanilla. You can find all these spices in the ‘bazaar’ of Hell Ville, a perfect starting point for discovering Nosy Be. When you reach the harbour you can see the characteristic dugout canoes and the boutres, while just a little further there is the village of Mardoka where you can admire the ruins of the first buildings (Arabic) on the island.
The road that goes from Hell Ville to Andilana, on the extreme north, leads to all the most interesting places on the island: “The sacred tree”, a gigantic ‘ficus bengalensis’ whose branches and aerial roots form a cathedral with a diameter of more than 50 meters. AmpasindavaFalls, the typical village of Ambatoloaka where the ‘life’ of Nosy Be is concentrated: restaurants, hotels, casino, discos and boutiques.
On the same beautiful beach there is the village of Madirokely. Further north Dzamandzar, the centre of sugar cane and rum production; ‘the Lakes Drive’ which leads to the breathtaking view point of Mont Passot where you can admire a spectacular sunset over Nosy Be Bay, Russian Bay, the islands of Nosy Sakatia, Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Komba, Nosy Iranja and the Mitsio.