A holiday in Madagascar is quite literally a unique experience. This epic island has been isolated for so long that it has developed wildlife and vegetation not found anywhere else in the world. Just one famous example is the lemur, and you can see different species of this cute critter in Masoala National Park. There's also Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, with its staggering stone forest, and let's not forget the stunning coastline, which offers superb surfing and kayaking. There's also the capital city of Antananarivo, which has one of the largest open air markets in the world.
There are no direct flights to Madagascar from the United Kingdom, but a number of airlines including KLM, Air France and Kenya Airways offer indirect flights from airports such as London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester.
When it comes to exploring the island during your Madagascar holiday, you can make use of the rail network, although the trains are by no means modern or entirely comfortable. On the plus side, they give you gorgeous views of the exotic landscape and they're cheap (go for a First Class ticket if you can). The roads in Madagascar are in a very poor state, with potholes, swampy bits and lots of reasons why your journey will take far longer than you predicted! It's better to let someone else do the driving, at any rate, and there are plenty of shared taxis available, which function like small buses and can be very cramped. Still, it all adds to the far-flung adventure of it all! If you want to get across the island quickly, and avoid those treacherous roads, you can make use of Air Madagascar's domestic flights - discounts may be available if you book in advance, so do check online or call ahead to find out what's on offer.
As the island is such a draw for tourists across the globe, there are plenty of cheap hotels in Madagascar to choose from. Consider which part of the country you're most keen on exploring and compare various locations and destinations online for the best deal - booking well in advance is always advisable.
Good, traditional food is easy to come by while on holiday in Madagascar. The good news it's also extremely cheap, so as long as you avoid any obvious tourist traps you'll be able to eat very well without impacting your wallet. Restaurants serve hearty meals of rice, meat and homemade yoghurt on the side, while many, many varieties of banana are sold as street food. Perfect to replenish your energy as you explore!
Updated 22nd May 2013
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