6 Must do Things in Madagascar

Wondering what people get up to on a vacation in Madagascar?

Go for a night walk at Mantadia National Park

If you’re planning to base your vacation in Antananarivo, you can’t miss the opportunity to take a tour of Mantadia National Park at night. Mantadia is one of the best places to go in Madagascar to see the famous Indri Lemur (biggest species of lemur in the world), which is famous for its whale-like sounds.

Besides seeing and hearing the Indri, you’ll be able to see other cool animals such as boa constrictors, geckos, chameleons, and other types of rare lemurs at the park. You can enjoy guided tours of the park during the day time, which is definitely the best time to view wildlife. However, taking a walking tour of the park at night offers by far the best experience!

If you aren’t planning to hire a car while in Madagascar, you can still get to Mantadia National Park from Antananarivo by hiring a private taxi or hop on a local taxi-brousse, which will cost around €5.

Go for a diving and fishing trip

Spending time in the water is, without a doubt, one of the must do things in Madagascar and one of the best places to scuba dive in the entire island is in Nosy Be (northern Madagascar).

In Nosy Be you’ll find diving centers, water rentals and plenty of tour operators such as “Plongee Toukoul”, “Scuba Nosy Be” and “Aqua Madagascar” offering scuba diving trips and fishing excursions.

Day trip to Lokobe Reserve

When traveling to Nosy Be, you'll also want to plan for a half-day excursion to Lokobe nature reserve (located on the southern coast of the island). Most hotels in Madagascar organize day trips to Lokobe Reserve so it’s a good idea to book the trip with the hotel you’re staying in.

Having said this, you could also make your own way to Nosy Be and book a guided tour of Lokobe Reserve with one of the many hotels in the island such as Vanila Hotel, Hotel la Caravelle, Auberge Aladabo and Hotel Espadon. If you prefer to stay within walking distance of the reserve, it's best you consider staying in either "Eco Village Fihavanana" or "Lokobe Lodge".

Ride the Tsiribihina River onboard a pirogue

Another cool thing you must do while in Madagascar is taking a pirogue (canoe) tour along the majestic Tsiribihina River. The canoe ride along the Tsiribihina River offers an amazing opportunity to fully experience Madagascar since you’ll be able to reach areas and villages that can only be accessed by boat.

The highlight of the Tsiribihina River canoe ride is definitely seeing the wildlife and the spectacular Tsiribihina Gorge.

Guided canoe tours of the Tsiribihina River start in the Miandrivazo village and can last anything from 2 to 6 nights. Tour prices can range from €360 to €1000 for two people, which typically includes camping equipment and meals. Booking operators you can use to inquiry about this trip include “Madagascar Tour Guide”, “Jean Be Tours” and “Madagascar-Tour”.

See the famous Grand Tsingy

The famous Grand Tsingy is a group of spectacular natural limestone formations that span a 200 square-mile area of the Bemaraha National Park. These spiky limestone formations (over 290ft tall) are so numerous that when viewed from above, they resemble a forest of rock towers!
6 Must do Things in Madagascar

You can actually climb the limestone towers, walk through them, and view them from the walkable suspension bridges, which offer a great vantage point to see lemurs springing from rock to rock.

Getting to Bemaraha National Park isn’t as straight forward as other parks, so the best thing to do is head to Morondava and hire a guided 4x4 tour to the park. Once there, it’ll be around €20 to enter the park and hire a guide for two days.

As far as accommodation options, you can choose to stay in one of the park’s campgrounds (e.g. Camp Croco, ANGAP camp) or stay at a lodge nearby such as “Hotel Relais des Tsingy”, “Tsingy Lodge” and “Hotel Orchidee du Bemaraha”.

Meet the lemurs up close and personal

If you’re visiting Madagascar with small kids or would like to see the elusive lemurs up-close, be sure to pass by Lemurs’ Park. This park is located in Antananarivo (around half-hour outside the city centre) and it is a great place to see the dozens of lemur species and other animals in a safe enclosure.

Lemurs’ Park is fairly cheap to get in but to get the best chance at seeing the lemurs it’s a good idea to visit the park during feeding time (around 10am).

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