Discover the magic of Madagascar

Zaritha van Wyngaardt at the Sacred banyan Tree Madagascar

In this article, we will embark on a journey to uncover the magic of Madagascar, exploring its rich cultural heritage, incredible natural wonders, fascinating wildlife, and sustainable tourism initiatives that aim to preserve the island’s treasures for generations to come. Get ready to be amazed by the wonders that await on this extraordinary island destination.

1. Madagascar is an island of wonders:

Welcome to Madagascar. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

As you step foot onto this magical land, prepare to be greeted by lush rainforests teeming with exotic wildlife, pristine white sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, and crystal-clear turquoise waters that beckon you to dive in.

Madagascar is a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. In Zaritha’s own words… “Madagascar is nature on steroids.”

Madagascar biodiversity
The Biodiversity of Madagascar. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

From the iconic baobab trees standing tall against the horizon to the vibrant chameleons blending seamlessly into their surroundings, every corner of this island holds a secret waiting to be discovered.

Madagascar Chameleon
Discovering chameleons during a forest walk in Madagascar. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

2. Biodiversity and the unique wildlife of Madagascar:

Mdagascar is a true biodiversity hotspot. Venturing into the lush tropical rainforests, you’ll encounter an extraordinary variety of life forms found nowhere else on Earth. Among them are the charismatic lemurs, a diverse group of primates that captivate with their playful antics and distinctive calls. These fascinating creatures have evolved in splendid isolation, adapting to their specific habitats and becoming ambassadors of Madagascar’s ecological richness.

Lemur Madagascar
Hello, Mr. Lemur! Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

During her stay in Nosy Komba, “The Island of Lemurs,” Zaritha had a unique interaction with one of the lemurs. This particular lemur seemed to be particularly fond of her, as it refused to leave her alone and even perched itself on her head.

Madagascar lemur
No caption required 🙂

Nosy Komba is a circular volcanic island off the north-west coast of Madagascar. It is located between Nosy Be and the main island. It is extremely popular among tourists.

3. National Parks and Reserves:

Madagascar’s natural beauty is best experienced by visiting its spectacular national parks and reserves. One such gem is Lokobe National Park, located on the south-eastern side of Nosy Be, a popular island off the coast of Madagascar.

Lokobe National park Madagascar
Boat-ride to Lokobe National Park. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

Lokobe National Park is home to the remaining endemic vegetation of Nosy Be, including ylang-ylang, vanilla orchids, and ravenala. It is also known for its black lemurs and the beautiful Nosy Be Panther Chameleon.

Nosy Be Panther Chameleon Madagascar
Nosy Be Panther Chameleon at Lokobe National Park. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

4. Nosy Be Island’s exquisite beaches and coastal charm:

Escape to the captivating Nosy Be Island, also known as “The Perfume Island.” With its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush vegetation, this tropical paradise is the perfect destination for beach lovers.

Nosy Be Island
Escape to the captivating Nosy Be Island. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

Relax on the soft sands, take a dip in the inviting sea, or indulge in water sports like snorkelling and sailing.

snorkelling Nosy Be Island
Zaritha enjoyed snorkelling at Nosy Be Island.

Don’t forget to explore the island’s vibrant markets and immerse yourself in the local culture and flavours.

Malagasy Cuisine
Simply delicious. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

5. Historical and sacred sites:

5.1. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Step back in time and explore the historical wonders of Madagascar. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage. Discover ancient royal palaces, sacred sites, and traditional architecture as you wander through this sacred hill. The panoramic views of the surrounding landscape are simply breath-taking, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and culture enthusiasts.

Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
Royal Hill of Ambohimanga. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

Read more about the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga in our previous article.

5.2. The Sacred Banyan Tree in Andoany (Hell-ville)

Venture beyond the humble Mahatsinjo village, just a little north of Andoany (Hell-Ville), and you will discover an awe-inspiring sight: a majestic sacred banyan tree.

sacred banyan tree madagascar
At the Sacred Banyan Tree Site. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

Planted with great reverence by the esteemed Queen of the Sakalava tribe back in 1836, this extraordinary creation stands as a testament to the enduring power of nature and human connection.

sacred banyan tree site madagascar
Entrance to the Sacred Banyan Tree Site. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

Every year, the Queen of Nosy Be pays homage by embarking on a special journey. During this pilgrimage, she partakes in a sacred tradition of sacrificing a majestic zebu for blessings and divine protection. As a mark of respect, those who approach the sacred tree are kindly asked to remove their shoes. Additionally, if you find yourself with bare legs, worry not! The kind locals will graciously provide you with a beautiful wrap to maintain your modesty and honour the customs of this enchanting place.

malagasy locoals sacred banyan tree
Friendly locals will assist visitors at The Sacred Banyan Tree Site. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

6. Shopping and cuisine in Antananarivo:

6.1. Analakely Market

Analakely, Antananarivo’s main market is not just a place to shop; it’s an experience like no other. The market is alive with the energy of local vendors passionately selling their wares – from fresh produce and spices to handmade crafts and clothing.

Madagascar merkets
Rice and grains at Analakely market in Antananarivo. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

Each stall tells a story, offering a glimpse into the rich culture and heritage of Madagascar.

analakely market madagascar
Locals shopping at Analakely Street Market. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

6.2. Lunch at Café Du Musée:

This is a must-do in Tana! With chocolate being infused into every dish on the menu, prepare to embark on a delightful journey of decadence and indulgence.

Café Du Musée
Lunch at Café Du Musée. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

“The food is absolutely exquisite! From foie gras with chocolate ganache to baked crab dusted with cacao, and the pièce de rĂ©sistance: strawberry-pepper tomato sorbet. And the grand finale: spiced hot cacao – it was so delicious, I nearly died and went to heaven, with my toes curling in deep delight.” – Zaritha van Wyngaardt

6.3. Dinner at The Nomad by San Cristobal

At The Nomad, every dish is a masterpiece crafted with passion and precision. From the moment you enter, you will be greeted by warm hospitality and an ambiance that exudes elegance and sophistication. As you take your seat, let your taste buds anticipate the culinary journey that awaits them.

The Nomad Antananarivo Restaurant
The Nomad, Antananarivo. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.

7. Conservation Efforts and Eco-Tourism Initiatives:

Madagascar is not just a place of incredible natural beauty; it’s also a place where dedicated conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives are making a difference. Local communities, organisations, and tour operators are working together to protect the island’s unique ecosystems and wildlife. By supporting sustainable tourism practices, you can help preserve the magic of Madagascar for future generations to enjoy.

Lemur Madagascar
Madagascar is a destination where dedicated conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives are making a difference. Image credit: Zaritha van Wyngaardt.


With our well-travelled CEO, Zaritha van Wyngaardt at the helm; we offer corporates, leisure and group travellers the support to enjoy authentic travel and events in a variety of vibrant local and international destinations.

The Obvious Choice
Zaritha van Wyngaardt. Owner: The Obvious Choice.

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