Dreaming of a tropical getaway spent lounging on idyllic islands, trekking through verdant rainforests, hiking around jaw-dropping rock formations and spotting unique wildlife?
Then set your sights on Madagascar. Located in the Indian Ocean, about 743 miles east of Mozambique, this African paradise is the fourth largest island in the world.
Approximately 19,000 types of plants can be found in the country’s 47 national parks and reserves, but its one-of-a-kind animals are the main draw for nature lovers. All of the world’s 100-plus lemur species call this island nation home, as do more than 340 kinds of chameleons and a variety of birds.
Though you’ll likely spend some time in populous areas like Antananarivo (the country’s capital) and Nosy Be (a small island off the mainland’s northwest coast), Madagascar is filled with regions ripe for exploration.
Travelers can head offshore to snorkel around Nosy Sakatia or swim at The Three Bays, and photography enthusiasts can snap breathtaking pictures of the sun rising or setting over Morondava’s Avenue of the Baobabs.
Fitness buffs, meanwhile, have access to hiking trails at Anja Community Reserve, plus Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve’s towering limestone pinnacles, which are ideal for climbing.
If you’d rather have a more quintessential Malagasy vacation, travel deep into national parks like Isalo and Mantadia to watch lemurs, boa constrictors and more lingering in the trees.