Country Nr 46 – Madagascar – the beauty and the environmental issues of the baobab trees

Country 46/196: Madagascar
Destinations: Morondava, Kirindy forest, Antananarivo

Madagascar is the land of the magnificent baobab trees, of lemurs, of fossas, of exceptional biodiversity, of friendly people, of bricks and rice, and the land of many amazing natural sights. ♥

What to do and what to see on Madagascar?

We wanted to visit Madagascar during the cool dry season, however, since we were already ‘in the neighborhood’ we had no choice but to do it during the hot wet season. It turned out that the rain wasn’t an issue during our visit, but the heavy rains before we came to the island made it impossible for us to visit some of Madagascar’s main attractions, such as Tsingy national park and Nosy Be. Luckily, we did manage to visit the place we were most excited about – the famous baobab avenue near Morondava. 🙂
Your options are quite limited during the hot wet season, but on the plus side, the country is also less crowded. 🙂

Antananarivo
We didn’t get to see a lot of the capital, but one doesn’t need to spend a lot of time there to see, that it’s a city of contrasts. There are some modern neighborhoods as well as some extremely poor ones. If exploring cities is your cup of tea, Antananarivo should definitely be on your to-do list. 😉 As for us, we were more interested in exploring nature.

Our stay at the beautiful Petite flower guest house
If you are looking for a relatively affordable, safe, and exceptionally beautiful place to stay in Antananarivo, and if you want to meet some truly amazing people, you should stay at the lovely Petite flower guest house. The owner, Lalah, is one of the most extraordinary people we have ever met. She designed the whole place herself, she painted the walls of the rooms, she makes sure they only serve the most delicious food (really – OMG), and she always goes out of her way to help her guests in any possible way. Besides, she supports the local orphanage by donating food and other supplies on a weekly basis. The place is situated ten minutes away from the airport, it offers a beautiful garden, a pool, a restaurant, a pool table, and the best company imaginable! 😉

Morondava and the Baobab Avenue
Morondava is a coastal town located on the western side of the island. The town itself is very colorful and vibrant and its beaches are pretty nice as well, especially during the cool dry season, during which the sea is not that muddy. In Morondava you will meet some exceptionally friendly people, explore their unique culture, and eat some great seafood. 🙂
However, Morondava is mostly known for the world-famous Baobab Avenue, a vast piece of land, where you can see some of the most iconic trees in the world – the baobab trees. Baobab trees are endemic to Southern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Australia, but here they form some of the most amazing sights on Earth. During the cool dry season, they are leafless and look like they have been turned upside down, however, during the hot wet season they thrive. The Baobab avenue is most beautiful (therefore most crowded) during the sunrise or sunset. 😉

Kirindy forest
One only goes to Kirindy forest in hope to see some animals. If you are lucky, you can spot different species of lemurs (there are eight of them in Kirindy forest – six of them nocturnal), giant jumping rats, fossas, common and greater hedgehog tenrecs, and a large variety of reptile species.
We took a morning tour of the forest and we were blessed to spot some dancing lemurs and some brown lemurs, different kinds of birds, and a fossa. Fossas usually avoid humans, but if they would feel threatened they could attack, so we had to keep our distance.
We were actually not sure whether to visit Kirindy forest, but in the end, we were happy we did. 😉

Environmental issues

As Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, biodiversity conservation is one of their top priorities and concerns. The island is home to more than 200,000 known species and 80% of them are endemic. Rapid population growth, the increasing demand for land and natural resources (for fuel, agriculture, and urbanization), and unsustainable harvesting of wildlife and endangered plants pose major threats to the island’s biodiversity. Climate change and its extreme weather patterns (including major droughts, flooding, and erosion) also impact the wellbeing of both the country’s biodiversity and its people. The rising sea temperatures and ocean acidity levels threaten coral ecosystems and other marine habitats of high value. In addition, sea-level rise around Madagascar is endangering communities and coastal ecosystems alike. The introduction of foreign species to the island and degradation due to tourist activity are also representing major threats to the environment.
One of the country’s main attractions – the majestic baobab trees are also endangered. They are threatened by the encroachment of agricultural land and by the trend of increasingly frequent droughts. Help save the beautiful yet endangered trees by signing the petition.

Found lots of LOVE on Madagascar. 😉 ♥

Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♡♡

Due to its great diversity, and many wonders of nature, Madagascar may be one of the most perfect places for an awesome honeymoon. 😉

* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.

*Are you planning a trip to Madagascar? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount! 🙂

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