The islands of the Indian Ocean conjure up images of crystal clear waters, shimmering white sands, and dhows sailing in the winds. All of them are different, each as spectacular and beautiful as the next, each having their own unique characteristics. The ‘East’ meets Africa here with the people of the islands a mix of African, Arab and Indian decent creating diverse cultures, religions and exotic food. Because of their remote location all the Indian Ocean Islands offer something exceptional. A visit to many of these islands will leave you feeling like you have left the rest of the world behind.
Madagascar has been virtually isolated from the outside world for millions of years, hence the plant and animal life has developed in bizarre and unusual directions. The most famous example is of course the lemurs, which exist only in Madagascar and display a range of interesting behaviours from singing like a whale (the indri) to gliding across the sand like a ballet dancer (the sifaka). Travelling in Madagascar is an adventure – transport is often unreliable, the roads are bad, and the range of good accommodations is limited. But if you are an intrepid traveller, Madagascar is definitely for you. I love the diversity of the scenery, the wildlife and the culture; and its many remote beaches.
Things to do
- Sail around the tropical islands of the Nose Be area
- Visit the Montagne de l’Ambre national reserve, a volcanic massif shrouded in rich tropical forest where a variety of lemur species can be seen
- See ‘The Avenue of the Baobabs’, a group of impressive baobab trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’I Tsiribihina
- Visit the Masoala Forest Reserve, one of the largest remaining areas of pristine rainforest remaining in the country with more wildlife species than any other area