Must see attractions in Madagascar

  • Top ChoiceSights in Morondava District

    Allée des Baobabs

    One of Madagascar's most recognisable images, this small stretch of the RN8 between Morondava and Belo-sur-Tsiribihina is flanked on both sides by majestic Adansonia grandidieri baobabs. Some of the trees here may be 1000 years old, with huge, gnarled branches fanning out at the top of their trunks – it’s easy to see why they’ve been nicknamed ‘roots of the sky’.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Antananarivo

    Musée de la Photo

    Opened in early 2018, this fabulous photography museum is Antananarivo's best museum. There are four small rooms showing films (in French, English or Malagasy) that offer a fascinating window on Madagascar's past using archival photos – subject matter includes the history of Madasgacar's seven largest cities, important Malagasy identities from the 19th and 20th centuries, a look at the work of an early Malagasy photo studio, Saklava burial traditions, child rituals and other themes.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Desert

    Parc National Isalo

    Isalo is one of Madagascar's most beautiful parks. It contains 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. Add all this to easy access off the RN7 and you understand why this is Madagascar’s most visited park.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Parc National Bemaraha

    Parc National Bemaraha

    If you visit one place in western Madagascar, make it Parc National Bemaraha. A Unesco World Heritage Site, its highlights are the jagged, limestone pinnacles known as tsingy and the impressive infrastructure – via ferrata (mountain route equipped with fixed cables, stemples, ladders and bridges), rope bridges and walkways. Guides are compulsory and cost Ar75,000/135,000 per half/full day for up to four people.

  • Sights in Parc National de Marojejy

    Parc National Marojejy

    This is one of Madagascar’s flagship parks. Consisting of more than 550 sq km of pristine mountainous rainforest, it covers the Marojejy massif, an area of magnificent scenery. Attractions here are the highly endangered silky sifaka alongside 10 other lemur species and myriad plants, birds and insects. It's accessible to those who want a fairly easy nature walk as well as those looking for a climbing challenge through several levels of montane rainforest.

  • Sights in The West Coast

    Andilana

    Far and away Nosy Be’s best beach, Andilana, at the island’s northwest tip, is a long stretch of pearly white sand, with water that’s true azure and clear as gin. It’s ideal for swimming and chilling for an afternoon, with gorgeous sunsets.

  • Sights in Réserve Spéciale Anjanaharibe Sud

    Réserve Spéciale Anjanaharibe-Sud

    A place of outstanding beauty and solitude, this little-visited 286-sq-km reserve is the northernmost outpost of the black indri. It is also home to the silky sifaka, white-fronted brown lemurs and some primordial trees. There are hot springs to visit, too. Getting here is half the fun: by taxi on a rutted road, on foot and by moto-taxi.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Ambohimanga

    Rova

    Poised atop Ambohimanga hill is the Rova, the fortress-palace. The walls of the compounds were constructed using cement made from sand, shells and egg whites – 16 million eggs were required to build the outer wall alone. Inside, there are two palaces: the traditional palace (1788) of the all-powerful Merina king Andrianampoinimerina, and the European-styled summer palace of Queen Ranavalona I (r 1828–61), constructed by French engineer Jean Laborde in 1870 (he was thought to be Ranavalona’s lover).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Antananarivo

    Rova

    Tana’s rova (fortified palace), known as Manjakamiadana (A Fine Place to Rule), is the imposing structure that crowns the city's highest hill. Gutted in a fire in 1995, it remains under endless restoration but the compound can be visited. The palace was designed for Queen Ranavalona I by Scottish missionary James Cameron. The outer stone structure was added in 1867 for Queen Ranavalona II, although the roof and interior remained wooden, much to everyone's regret in 1995…

  • Top ChoiceSights in Parcs Nationaux Masoala et Nosy Mangabe

    Parc National Masoala-Nosy Mangabe

    This 2100-sq-km national park contains one of the best primary rainforests in the country. It is famous for its vegetation, which includes rare hardwoods, bamboos, and dozens of species of fern, palm and orchid. Ten lemur species are found here, along with several tenrec and mongoose species, 14 bat species, 60 reptile species and about 85 bird species. It also encompasses three protected marine areas. The reserve is only accessible by boat, or on foot if you are hiking.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Parc National Andasibe Mantadia

    Parc National Analamazaotra

    This is the most popular park within Parc National Andasibe Mantadia. The real draw of this reserve is the rare indri, Madagascar’s largest lemur, whose unforgettable wail can be heard emanating from the misty forest throughout the day, most commonly in the early morning. There are about 60 resident family groups of two to five indris each.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Parcs Nationaux Masoala et Nosy Mangabe

    Nosy Mangabe

    Part of Parc National Masoala-Nosy Mangabe, this thickly forested and mountainous tropical island is one of the crown jewels of the Antongil Bay. With huge soaring canarium trees arising from flying buttress roots, a rusty shipwreck piercing one side, waterfalls, a yellow sickle-shaped beach, foreign inscriptions and the omnipresent sound of the jungle, it is quite possibly the closest thing to a Robinson Crusoe experience you'll get. It rains a lot, though, so be prepared.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Parc National Andasibe Mantadia

    Parc National Mantadia

    Part of the Parc National Andasibe Mantadia, this park is about 17km north of Andasibe. Created primarily to protect the indri, Mantadia also hosts the black-and-white ruffed lemur. A quiet, beautiful area with numerous waterfalls and wonderful landscapes, it is undeveloped and seldom visited compared to its popular neighbour to the south, so if you’re here in high season it’s well worth the detour to escape the crowds.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Ambalavao

    Réserve d'Anja

    This 370,000-sq-metre reserve encompasses three mountain-size granite boulders (the three sisters) ringed at the base by a forest full of ring-tailed lemurs. Anja's lemurs are famous for sunning themselves on the boulders (generally early in the morning); there are around 800 individuals in the reserve and surrounding hills and they're very well habituated so you'll get the chance to get relatively close. The reserve is a completely community-run initiative and has been extremely successful, generating revenues and jobs for the village.

  • Sights in Boeny Region

    Parcs Nationaux Baie de Baly et Tsingy de Namoroka

    This isolated park is home to that peculiarly Malagasy landform, the tsingy, a dense forest of jagged rocky pinnacles interwoven with deep canyons filled with streams and trees. It's a bit like visiting the more famous Parc National Bemaraha, but without the crowds. Trails weave among the rocks, and rope bridges cross the canyons.

  • Sights in Boeny Region

    Grottes d'Anjohibe

    This series of subterranean rooms and galleries, some of them the size of buildings, are among Madagascar's most impressive. Stretching over 5km, and adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, the caves are penetrated by shafts of light from passageways and holes in the ceiling, giving an eerie feel. However, the stunning natural swimming pools (admission Ar20,000) of deep emerald-green are the main attraction. Each is framed by luxuriant vegetation and ravinala palm trees fanning their leaves like parading ostriches.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Parc National Andohahela

    Parc National Andohahela

    This 760-sq-km park protects some of the last remnants of rainforest in southern Madagascar, as well as spiny forest and a remarkable 12 species of lemurs. It also boasts 129 recorded species of birds, and a variety of amphibians and reptiles, including crocodiles. In short, this is one of Madagascar's most diverse parks when it comes to both landscapes and wildlife. Questionable security in surrounding areas is our only explanation for why the park remains so little known.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Central Madagascar

    Parc National Ranomafana

    The Parc National Ranomafana is a steamy hothouse of jungle bio-diversity where the hum of insects of is ever present and the wail and squeal of a dozen lemur species entices wildlife-watching tourists.

  • Sights in Antananarivo Highlands

    Lemurs' Park

    You'll find nine species of lemur at this private reserve, 22km west of the capital. It's a good place to visit if you haven't yet seen lemurs elsewhere, or if you need one final lemur fix before you go! The lemurs are free-ranging (except for the two nocturnal species, which are confined to rather small cages) and well habituated, so you'll see them up close. There are about 50 individual lemurs including Coquerel sifakas, ring-tail lemurs and black-and-white ruffed lemurs.

  • Sights in Parc National Montagne d’Ambre

    Parc National Montagne d’Ambre

    This wonderful national park is literally a breath of fresh air from the arid northern plains: at 1000m, it is generally 10°C cooler than Diego or Ankarana, even more in winter, and its luxuriant forests could not contrast more with the mineral beauty of the lower grounds. For visitors, the park provides lovely walks in gorgeous forests, with plenty of waterfalls and lakes to rest by.