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Best Things To Do in Madagascar

Madagascar appeals to both animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. At national parks like Lokobe, Mantadia and Isalo, visitors can come face-to-face with creatures like lemurs, birds, chameleons and snakes, plus an array of trees and plants. Towering baobab trees are front and center at the Avenue of the Baobabs, while unique rock formations and ample hiking opportunities are available at Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve and Tsingy Rouge Park. But travelers will find more than just land-based activities here. Nosy Sakatia is one of the country's best spots for snorkeling with sea turtles, and at The Three Bays, vacationers can swim, windsurf and kitesurf.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Madagascar

Situated along Madagascar's west coast, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is home to impressive geological structures and a variety of endangered species. More than 328 miles of forests make up this UNESCO World Heritage site, where 11 kinds of lemurs, 17 types of reptiles, 6 bird species and more reside. But the standout here is the park's towering gray limestone pinnacles, which stand up to 328 feet tall.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve
Situated along Madagascar's west coast, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve is home to impressive geological structures and a variety of endangered species. More than 328 miles of forests make up this UNESCO World Heritage site, where 11 kinds of lemurs, 17 types of reptiles, 6 bird species and more reside. But the standout here is the park's towering gray limestone pinnacles, which stand up to 328 feet tall.
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#2

#2 in Madagascar

Free
As its name suggests, the 853-foot-long Avenue of the Baobabs is a stretch of giant baobab trees believed to be up to 800 years old. Though the avenue is situated roughly 405 miles away from Antananarivo, it offers close proximity to Kirindy Mitea National Park, which sits along Madagascar's west coast.
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Natural Wonders Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Avenue of the Baobabs
As its name suggests, the 853-foot-long Avenue of the Baobabs is a stretch of giant baobab trees believed to be up to 800 years old. Though the avenue is situated roughly 405 miles away from Antananarivo, it offers close proximity to Kirindy Mitea National Park, which sits along Madagascar's west coast.
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#3

#3 in Madagascar

One of Madagascar's most convenient parks to explore is Mantadia National Park. Located about 100 miles east of the capital city of Antananarivo, Mantadia National Park is home to 14 species of lemurs, plus 117 types of birds and 84 kinds of amphibians. Plant enthusiasts will also find plenty to admire here. More than 1,200 plant species grow in this lush park, 120 of which are orchids.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Mantadia National Park (Parc National Mantadia)
One of Madagascar's most convenient parks to explore is Mantadia National Park. Located about 100 miles east of the capital city of Antananarivo, Mantadia National Park is home to 14 species of lemurs, plus 117 types of birds and 84 kinds of amphibians. Plant enthusiasts will also find plenty to admire here. More than 1,200 plant species grow in this lush park, 120 of which are orchids.
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#4

#4 in Madagascar

Free
If you want to take in water vistas without trekking offshore to islands like Nosy Sakatia or Nosy Be, head to The Three Bays. Made up of three bays – Sakalava, Pigeon and Dune – this area features pristine beaches where activities like swimming, hiking, windsurfing and kitesurfing can be enjoyed. You'll also have ample opportunities to take jaw-dropping photos here.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
The Three Bays (Les Trois Baies)
If you want to take in water vistas without trekking offshore to islands like Nosy Sakatia or Nosy Be, head to The Three Bays. Made up of three bays – Sakalava, Pigeon and Dune – this area features pristine beaches where activities like swimming, hiking, windsurfing and kitesurfing can be enjoyed. You'll also have ample opportunities to take jaw-dropping photos here.
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#5

#5 in Madagascar

If your idea of a Madagascar getaway consists of hiking through a tropical forest and observing lemurs in the wild, then you must visit Lokobe National Park. Situated on the southeastern tip of Nosy Be, an island off Madagascar's west coast that's known for its picturesque beaches and sunsets, Lokobe National Park is one of the Sambirano region's only remaining forests. The park can only be accessed by motorized, canoe-like boats called pirogues, adding to its tranquil, unspoiled atmosphere.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Lokobe National Park (Parc National Lokobe)
If your idea of a Madagascar getaway consists of hiking through a tropical forest and observing lemurs in the wild, then you must visit Lokobe National Park. Situated on the southeastern tip of Nosy Be, an island off Madagascar's west coast that's known for its picturesque beaches and sunsets, Lokobe National Park is one of the Sambirano region's only remaining forests. The park can only be accessed by motorized, canoe-like boats called pirogues, adding to its tranquil, unspoiled atmosphere.
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#6

#6 in Madagascar

Although Madagascar offers several places to spot lemurs, one of its more unique animal locales is Anja Community Reserve. Located about 41 miles southwest of Fianarantsoa along National Road No. 7, this environmental and cultural preservation site strives to protect local flora and fauna within an inhabited area. Ring-tailed lemurs, chameleons, snakes and more live here, and the reserve's surrounding granite mountains feature two hiking trails, various caves and a campsite with water, restrooms and a shower area.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Anja Community Reserve
Although Madagascar offers several places to spot lemurs, one of its more unique animal locales is Anja Community Reserve. Located about 41 miles southwest of Fianarantsoa along National Road No. 7, this environmental and cultural preservation site strives to protect local flora and fauna within an inhabited area. Ring-tailed lemurs, chameleons, snakes and more live here, and the reserve's surrounding granite mountains feature two hiking trails, various caves and a campsite with water, restrooms and a shower area.
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#7

#7 in Madagascar

Isalo National Park woos visitors with its vertical rock walls, lush vegetation and picturesque waterfalls. Throughout this tropical paradise, travelers can hunt for reptiles and primates – there are more than 50 species living here – while strolling along 10 walking, hiking and bike trails. Some paths even lead to natural swimming pools, where you can cool off while taking in your surroundings.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Isalo National Park (Parc National Isalo)
Isalo National Park woos visitors with its vertical rock walls, lush vegetation and picturesque waterfalls. Throughout this tropical paradise, travelers can hunt for reptiles and primates – there are more than 50 species living here – while strolling along 10 walking, hiking and bike trails. Some paths even lead to natural swimming pools, where you can cool off while taking in your surroundings.
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#8

#8 in Madagascar

Although this attraction in northern Madagascar is a bit removed from the main roads, Tsingy Rouge Park's dramatic landscape cannot be missed. Featuring tall clay-like rock formations created by landslides and mudslides, this area's red rocks are often compared to the larger ones found at Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park.
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Hiking Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Tsingy Rouge Park
Although this attraction in northern Madagascar is a bit removed from the main roads, Tsingy Rouge Park's dramatic landscape cannot be missed. Featuring tall clay-like rock formations created by landslides and mudslides, this area's red rocks are often compared to the larger ones found at Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park.
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#9

#9 in Madagascar

Free
When you're in need of a break from Madagascar's parks and forests, head to the quaint island of Nosy Sakatia. This tropical oasis – which measures just 1 square mile – boasts an array of orchids but is best known for its water sports activities. Everything from sailing to fishing to snorkeling and diving is offered here, and you can even spend a night or two at one of the island's hotels.
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Natural Wonders Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Nosy Sakatia
When you're in need of a break from Madagascar's parks and forests, head to the quaint island of Nosy Sakatia. This tropical oasis – which measures just 1 square mile – boasts an array of orchids but is best known for its water sports activities. Everything from sailing to fishing to snorkeling and diving is offered here, and you can even spend a night or two at one of the island's hotels.
... more

#10

#10 in Madagascar

Although you'll have ample opportunities to spot lemurs in national parks like Mantadia and Lokobe, for even more chances to see these furry creatures, travel 16 miles southwest of Antananarivo to Lemurs' Park. This private, 12-acre reserve houses nine lemur species, as well as various lizards and birds and 70-plus types of plants. In addition to welcoming tourists, the park works with other Malagasy reserves to rehabilitate and breed lemurs.
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Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Lemurs' Park
Although you'll have ample opportunities to spot lemurs in national parks like Mantadia and Lokobe, for even more chances to see these furry creatures, travel 16 miles southwest of Antananarivo to Lemurs' Park. This private, 12-acre reserve houses nine lemur species, as well as various lizards and birds and 70-plus types of plants. In addition to welcoming tourists, the park works with other Malagasy reserves to rehabilitate and breed lemurs.
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