Massif de l'Andringitra
Andringitra (An-drintch) is a majestic central mountain range with two gorgeous valleys on either side, the Namoly and the Tsaranoro (sometimes called the Sahanambo, for the river that runs through it), forming a paradise for walkers and climbers. One could easily spend a week hiking in this area.
Parc National de Ranomafana
Ranomafana appears after a fantastic entrance through a dry rocky valley spotted with two-storey highlands houses. After a long day’s travel, it feels like you have reached a mysterious island. The air is fresh and cool, and the nearby presence of the forest, with all of its strange sounds, alluring.
Tsiribihina River Region
One of Madagascar's top wilderness destinations, the region between Antsirabe and Morondava is home to the beautiful Tsiribihina and Manambolo Rivers, the spectacular Unesco World Heritage–listed Parc National des Tsingy de Bemaraha and the Réserve Forestière de Kirindy with its population of fossa (Madagascar's largest predator).
Parc National de l'Isalo
Parc National de l'Isalo is like a museum dedicated to the art of the desert canyon. Gorges here are filled with yellow savannah grasses, sculpted buttes, vertical rock walls and, best of all, deep canyon floors shot through with streams, lush vegetation and pools for swimming. All of this changes with the light, culminating in extraordinary sunsets beneath a big sky.
Strung out along a series of perfect semicircles of white-sand beaches and looking out over turquoise waters, Anakao is laid-back in the finest tradition of small seaside Malagasy settlements. It's our pick of the options along the Southern Reef coastline. Excellent sleeping and eating options round out a fine all-round destination.
Île Sainte Marie
The best thing about Île Sainte Marie is that it contains all the ingredients for a great vacation and great travel. This is a very long (57km), thin, lush, and relatively flat tropical island surrounded by beaches and reef, and spotted with thatched villages. The port of Ambodifotatra, a quarter of the way up the western coast, is the only sizeable town.
Parc National de Marojejy
The Parc National de Marojejy is one of Madagascar’s great undiscovered parks, a fact all the more astonishing because it is one of the best managed and easiest to get to. You can fly from Antananarivo to Sambava or Antalaha, jump in a taxi, and within an hour or two you are off on a world-class trek.
Île aux Nattes (Nosy Nato)
What a lovely place this is. Île aux Nattes is a classic tropical island, with curving white beaches and overhanging palms, a turquoise sea with waves breaking over the reef, a gentle breeze, and a lush green interior. While only a brief pirogue ride (Ar5000 return) from the tip of Sainte Marie, or a mere walk at low tide, there’s a palpable sense of isolation and adventure.
Parc National de Masoala
The magical Masoala (mash-wala) Peninsula is the site of a 2100-sq-km national park containing one of the best primary rainforests in the country. It also encompasses three protected marine areas: Tampolo Marine Park on the peninsula’s southwestern coast, Cap Masoala Marine Park at the tip of the peninsula and Tanjona Marine Park on the southeastern coast.