A curious lemur peeks down from the canopy to see what treats the visitors may have brought.
Endemic Wonder Land
About 300 miles east of southern Africa, across the Mozambique Channel, lies the island of Madagascar. Best known for its lemurs (primitive relatives of monkeys, apes, and humans), colorful chameleons, stunning orchids, and towering baobab trees, Madagascar is home to some of the world's most unique flora and fauna. Almost all of Madagascar's reptile and amphibian species, half of its birds, and all of its lemurs are endemic to the island; meaning they can be found nowhere else on earth. Malagasy culture is as endemic as itís plant and animal life. A cross between Asian and African heritages, the islands food, music and customs are unlike any elsewhere.
Land Of Lemurs
Nine-tenths of the world's lemurs, such as the tiny mouse-sized Microcebus lemur, are only found in Madagascar. The lemurs vary in size, color, behavior and character such as friendly Macaco lemur on the island of Nozy Be, the black and white striped Catta lemur of Berenty Reserve, the mighty leaping Sifaka lemur, and the massive Indri lemur.
The Afro-Asian origin of the Malagasy has produced a people with complicated and fascinating beliefs and customs. Belief in tradition, in the accumulated wisdom of the ancestors, has shaped the Malagasy culture. Respect for their elders and courtesy all fellow humans is a part of the tradition. In general travelers to Madagascar will find a welcome smile, incredible food, beautiful music and many happy to make a new friend.
Madagascar is home to as many as 12,000 plant species. In fact 85% of Madagascar's 12,000 plants are endemic. Of these, 75% are used in herbal medecine and in pharmacology. Even anti-cancer drugs (vincristine, vinblastine) have been derived from the Madagascar rosy periwinkle. Other interesting tid-bits about Madagascarís fauna include the nearly 1000 known species of orchids ( 85% are endemic) and the primitive flowering plant Takhtajania perrieri . The Takhtajania perrieri belongs to Winteraceae family and existed around the same period as the dinosaurs.
While most don't think of Madagascar as a beach destination, it has over 1,800 miles of pristine beaches. Madagascar's coastline makes a wonder finish to an impressive adventure.
Select a safari from the menu on the left to see what wildlife and cultural adventures await you in Madagascar