Réserve de Nahampoana

Southern Madagascar

This 0.67-sq-km forest reserve, 7km north of Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro), deserves much greater recognition. Its exotic tropical setting, with mountains for a backdrop, is prettier than Berenty. Add to this a robust and varied lemur population, including ringtail, sifaka, brown, bamboo and mouse species (some with the habit of dropping from trees to say hello), more-humane crocodile pens, extraordinary bamboo groves, night walks and a cooling sea breeze, and you wonder why so many people are driving west.

There are also bungalows (Ar120,000) and a restaurant, making this a peaceful alternative to staying in Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro) itself. Just grab a taxi.