Madagascar is best known for its wildlife, and many visitors come here to seek out its biological riches.
How did the wildlife become so unique
Madagascar separated from Africa about 160 million years ago, then from India about 60 million years ago. Its long isolation means that life on the island evolved in a unique way and made it very different from Africa – you won’t see any elephants or lions here! About 80% of the living things on Madagascar are endemic, found only here. This incredible richness is what our wildlife tours focus on.
You can try to find both the smallest and largest chameleons in the world, and almost 100 species of lemurs, from tiny mouse lemurs to the big, loud Indri. And then there are the endemic birds, the reptiles and amphibians, and the plants! Madagascar is also home to six of the world’s nine baobab species, called “mother of the forest” here.
Habitats of Madagascar
Madagascar’s major habitats are rainforests along the east coast and in the north; dry deciduous forest in the west; and spiny forest in the southwest. The central High Plateau is largely de-forested.
Top wildlife sites
The Andasibe area ranks as the must-see site for all visiting naturalists.
Other top wildlife sites include Ranomafana NP, Tsingy de Bemaraha NP, Ankarafantsika NP, the Nosy Be area, Ankarana NP, and Amber Mountain NP.
Masoala, Marojejy, and Andringitra NPs are more remote than the destinations above, but hold some of the island’s most pristine environments.