Around 160 million years ago Madagascar separated from the eastern coast of Africa and subsequently detached from all other landmasses, leaving its ecology to evolve completely independently from the rest of the world. This natural isolation means that over 80% of the country’s flora and fauna exist nowhere else on the planet, making Madagascar a truly special place and a naturalists dream come true.
These unique ecosystems are spread over a wide variety of terrains and microclimates; the center is characterised by highlands, the east coast is covered in rainforest, the west is open savannah and the southern tip is semi-desert. While the climate is largely tropical, there are distinct variations according to altitude and other geographical and geological factors.
The ethnicity of the island is predominately Austronesian and East African Bantu with some Arab influence, however, the most famous endemic inhabitants on the island are the lemurs - 99 different species in all shapes, sizes, and hues.
There are over 12,000 species of plant including 170 different species of palms, 960 orchid species and 6 of the world ’s 8 different baobabs. Madagascar’s wildlife rates amongst the best in the world in terms of diversity, abundance, and approachability, it is simply impossible to convey the scale of the extraordinary natural bounty found on this island. Tropical Africa as a whole has only 3 times the plant species in an area 35 times larger the size.
The conservation of the island’s biological resources is key to its national development, if ever there was a place to support eco-tourism, it would be here. Combining lemurs, shockingly beautiful coastlines, diving, and extraordinary landscapes, with Malagasy hospitality, a safari to Madagascar is a wonderful adventure that will appeal to the naturalist and inner explorer.