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Greetings All, 

I have often been asked whether I knew Madagascar - I can safely now say yes, very well! 

Last June I spent three weeks travelling all over this huge Island Country. It is certainly unlike any other place I have ever visited and in so many ways does not feel like Africa. 

What stands out most is the unique flora and fauna, epic landscapes of amazing diversity, dry and wet forests, the stunning coastline, the tropical islands and the delicious food (it was a French colony). 

For those who are a little more curious, it's a must see Country!! 

Yours laterally,
Nick Matthews, Laterallife London, UK.

Madagascar is utterly unique - 5% of all known animal and plant species are only found here. It is the world's 4th  largest island and in just 300 km you can travel from rain forest to desert… on the worst roads I have ever experienced! Madagascar has 500 km of coastline, extensive reefs and 250 islands. 

Beaches, snorkeling, diving and sailing around the islands are all very much on offer. Lemurs, chameleons, baobabs and rainforests all contribute to making Madagascar a dream destination. 

Best time to visit - July to October.



 

  Vakona Lodge.

 

 Three hours' drive from the capital Tana (Antananarivo) and you arrive at Andasibe. There are 4 National Parks here, where you are guaranteed to see close up at least 5 species of lemurs. Vakona Lodge is a superb hotel to stay at. Comfortable accommodation in bungalows, excellent food in the lodge, which overlooks a stunning lake nestled within the forest. 

Canoeing, horse riding, mountain biking on paths within the forest is all readily available. Great family hotel with lots to do for all concerned. 

Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina.

60 km and an hour by boat off the coast from Nosy Be (near Nosy Komba) lies the Mitsio group of islands. 

There you will find Tsarabanjina - a real Robinson Crusoe Island, with 25 thatched very comfortable air-conditioned beach villas spread over 2 beaches. 

To be honest you could be in the Maldives or the Seychelles but if it's snorkelling, swimming, diving, kayaking, sailing or just lying on the beach you are after, then this place certainly got my vote after those arduous Madagascan roads!! 

 

Litchi Tree.

 

Fly from Tana to the far North of Madagascar and you arrive at Diego Suarez. 30 minutes' drive inland is the town of Joffreville built in 1902 for the famous French Marshal, Joffre. 

This hotel has been beautifully restored with excellent facilities. Accommodation is at the rear of the property and the restaurant and bar situated within the house. It is located 3.5 km away from Amber Mountain National Park which is a fascinating area to walk and trek with its wonderful waterfalls and pristine forest. 

You will certainly see lemurs and very colourful chameleons as you hike along the pathway.

 

Anjajavy l'Hotel

Well for me this was the crowning glory of Madagascar, accommodation wise! Only the hotel's private plane gets you there. 24 villas facing the Mozambique Channel set on a string of divine beaches. It's 550 hectares of private reserve forest comprised of baobabs and rosewood trees which shelter the Verreau Lemur, birds of paradise, chameleons, the Cuvier Oplure (type of iguana). Fish eagles can regularly be seen flying along the coast. 

It has a glorious swimming pool, excellent boating facilities, numerous nature walks, superb cuisine and the fishing wasn't half bad either! 11/10.

Tsara Komba.
 

 You will find this gem of a hotel 20 minutes by boat from Ankify on the North-West coast of Madagascar. It is an 8 lodge hotel tucked away on the slopes of Nosy Komba Island. Each lodge has a seaview from their terraces. 

The surroundings are a private nature reserve home to lemurs, chameleons, hummingbirds, parrots, vanilla, cocoa and wild pepper. 

No roads here - just walking, canoeing or travelling by boat - a must stay! 

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