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Madagascar, an intricate world of charismatic lemurs and technicolor chameleons, ancient baobab trees and pristine white sand beaches, spiny forests and expansive coral reefs, carpeted foliage crawling over red earth, verdant rice paddies, arid deserts and an ancient culture isolated for 165 million years.

This is an unforgotten land, off-the-beaten-track in all the right ways and begging any avid Robinson Crusoe to adventure through this incredibly breathtaking island paradise. Home to 5% of the world’s wildlife species, 80% of which are endemic here, new species – both alive and extinct – are still being discovered including the 10-foot tall flightless elephant bird (extinct for thousands of years), or the bones of a dwarf hippo.

An elaborate stage show plays here between exciting wildlife and raw wilderness, and you may have the entire scene to yourself.

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Photo by Amy Reed on Unsplash

White Sand Beaches, Pristine Reefs, Marine Life

The beaches are stunning, fringed with palm trees and powder white sand. The underwater world is even more captivating. Crystal clear waters provide the perfect playground for an array of tropical fish, sea turtles, and an untouched, flourishing coral reef system. Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and private boat charters to paradisiacal islands provide a paradise for ocean lovers. May to October is the season of the humpback whale, where the annual migration of 7,000 come from Antarctica to breed. In tow, dolphins and manta rays are common sightings.

Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (10)
Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (9)

Lemurs and Exotic Wildlife

What makes Madagascar famous is its curious and bold lemur population. 105 different species are found exclusively on this island, including the Golden-crowned sifaka, Perrier’s sifaka, Crowned lemur and Aye-aye. Each different in personality and looks, these intriguing creatures are entertaining for hours on end. Journey onward to discover the world’s largest and smallest chameleon species, with eyes curiously jolting from side to side and ever-changing color patterns. Glimpse the rare and energetic fossa in its natural hunting ground. Set your eyes upon a multitude of colorful, endemic birdlife. Witness turtles lay their eggs on the beach or if you are lucky, hatchlings as they wiggle their way to the water’s edge.

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Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (16)
Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (5)

Scenic Views by Heli Safari

Soar over Madagascar’s dramatic landscapes by helicopter, taking in jagged limestone mountain ranges from the Jurassic era, lush jungles, caves and underground rivers, waterfalls, mangroves and desolate red earthen plateaus. Touch down in the jungle, and hike in search of lemurs and other curious creatures and indulge in a gourmet picnic lunch before your helicopter whisks you back to your island home for the evening.

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Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (6)
Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (1)

Avenue of the Baobab Trees

A striking landscape and iconic image of Madagascar, this region of striking sky-high baobab trees nestled among green grass and contrasting brown earth make the Avenue of the Baobabs a bucket list for many travelers. The baobab tree can grow to 98 feet tall, and 36 feet wide, living up to a thousand years. These trees can be found throughout the country, but this particular spot is Instagram and postcard-worthy.

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2photo Pots 498ujzgcwa0 Unsplash

By Foot, Bicycle, Boat or Aircraft

Adventures await via a multitude of platforms. Lace-up your hiking shoes for a wander through the dense jungle in search of wildlife or mosey with your bicycle past local villages. Take a scenic drive through mountainous roads, board a light aircraft for a panoramic flight overland or cruise an archipelago of islands for the day on a sailing boat. No two days will ever be the same in Madagascar, and transportation here is part of the adventure.

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Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (14)
Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (7)

Where To Stay: The Miavana

World-class luxury in a land of rare wildlife, the incredible paradise of Miavana awaits. Located in the idyllic island of Nosy Ankao which boasts some of the country’s best beaches, this is one of the most exclusive properties worldwide. Scenic helicopter excursions to far off jungles and landscapes are calling. Boat trips to tropical wonderlands await. From here, you can snorkel the abundant reef system right offshore. Wildlife opportunities are plentiful, from lemur spotting to 4×4 wildlife safaris by day and night. A personal butler is on-hand for your every desire and each villa features a private pool and soaking tub overlooking the ocean. The concept is intertwining luxury with conservation and supporting the local community, so there is a win-win for everyone.

A journey to Madagascar is a wild exploration in pursuit of heart-stopping wilderness, exotic wildlife and truly invokes the spirit of adventure. Let us design you an experiential voyage today.

Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (15)
Rothschild Safaris Madagascar (2)