If you want to experience nature at it most unspoiled, Madagascar may be your dream destination. Situated approximately 750 miles off the coast of Africa, many of the species living on the world’s fourth-largest island evolved in isolation, which makes this flora and fauna unique to Madagascar. More than 90 percent of the country’s wildlife is indigenous. Most cheap flights to Madagascar land at Ivato International Airport (TNR), which is 10 miles west of the capital city of Antananarivo.
Flights to Madagascar
Ivato International Airport is served by Air France, Air Madagascar, Air Seychelles and Turkish Airlines among other carriers. Although, at present, Ivato offers little in the way of amenities for travelers, the airport is undergoing major renovations to improve its facilities.
Ground transport in Madagascar can be challenging, particularly during the rainy season since most of the country’s roads are unpaved. As a result, Madagascar has an extensive network of small regional airports. While many of these exist solely to facilitate local travel, six are set up to accommodate international travel. Flights to Madagascar can land at Antsirabe Airport (ATJ), Ihosy Airport (IHO), Besalampy Airport (BPY), Belo sur Tsiribihina Airport (BMD), Toamasina Airport (TMM) and Amborovy Airport (MJN).
Attractions in Madagascar
Close to the Ivato International Airport where most flights to Madagascar land lies Croc'Farm, a 7-acre park where you can get up close and personal with crocodiles, turtles, snakes and lemurs. Croc'Farm also raises crocodiles for commercial use, so you’ll find a “Croc burger” and similar dishes on the park restaurant’s menu. Ambohimanga, Madagascar’s original capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just 13 miles north of Antananarivo.
Madagascar’s signature attraction is the baobab trees that line the road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina on the western part of the island. These striking trees have been nicknamed The Avenue of the Baobabs. They are all that remains of a dense tropical forest that once covered this part of Madagascar.
An equally intriguing natural site on the southern part of the island is the Madagascar Spiny Forest, which is an ecosystem that’s so dry that trees have evolved into unusual shapes in order to adapt to the lack of water. Some of the trees are tall, branchless and covered with spines instead of leaves while others like the Pachypodium or “Elephant Tree” have huge bulbous trunks.
Travel Tips for Madagascar
The island features a network of national parks including Ranomafana, Isalo and Amber Mountain. The best time to visit is in July and August when the weather is balmy during the day and cool at night. The rainy season is from January through to March. Visas are required to enter Madagascar with visitors required to provide a return plane ticket on arrival. The World Health Organization recommends several routine vaccinations before traveling to this part of Africa. Taxis are available for charter for day trips across the island.
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