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17+ Things to Do in Madagascar: Best Sites to Visit, Places to Go & More

17+ Things to Do in Madagascar: Best Sites to Visit, Places to Go & More

Summary:

Looking for the best things to do in Madagascar? This guide is packed with things to see and places to visit, from nature to culture to food and more.

When you think of traveling to Madagascar, you might first be reminded of the popular animated movie. While this eponymous movie series does reflect some of the island’s wonders, it doesn’t nearly do it justice.

There are a plethora of things to do in Madagascar, with each experience being more breathtaking than the last. If you’re traveling to the island nation soon but doubtful about what to do in Madagascar, you’ve come to the right place. This list of the top places to visit in Madagascar is just the tip of the iceberg as there are so many more things to try!

bull market in Madagascar
A “bull market” in Madagascar means something completely different than one in New York City. Taken by G. Node via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Here’s our list of best things to do in Madagascar:

1. Swim with Sharks

Swimming with sharks is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that many people don’t get to have while visiting Madagascar. With the picturesque waters in Madagascar, it’s only fitting that you should go to Nosy Be and dive with whale sharks. In the Madagascan Reefs, you get the opportunity to swim with various marine wildlife, including whale sharks, stingrays, and manta rays. If you’re looking for something unique to do in Madagascar, this definitely fits the bill.

2. Go for a Walk in La Corniche

children walking on a road near Manja Madagascar top things to do
Children walking on a road near Manja, Madagascar. Taken by B. Yido via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

If you’re someone who enjoys relaxing views and leisure activities, you’ll love Mahajanga. Mahajanga is home to La Corniche, a picturesque promenade. Along both sides of the street, you’ll be privy to gorgeous views, palm trees, and street food. Perfect for all tourists, families to young adults alike, taking a relaxing walk down La Corniche is among the top things to do in Madagascar.

3. Visit a Crocodile Farm

Located in Antananarivo, Croc Farm is one of the top tourist attractions in Madagascar. This farm is home to (obviously) crocodiles, but it is also where chameleons, toucans, and even lemurs live. Families love to visit this stunning gem. The farm is a private breeding ground for crocodiles, and it is also a store and restaurant where you can purchase and enjoy crocodile goods. It’s one of the amazing places to go in Madagascar, so you won’t want to miss it.

4. Go Whale Watching in Ile Sainte Marie

Still wondering what to see in Madagascar? There’s something special about looking out on calm waters, waiting for a whale to breach the surface. Whether it’s due to a whale’s sheer size or just how majestic these mammals are, whale watching is a unique experience to do in Madagascar, and it’s one you certainly will remember for a lifetime. In Ile Sainte Marie, you can experience the migration of humpback whales that have moved from the South Pole to Sainte Marie for breeding. As you can imagine, the experience is something special and it’s easy to get why it’s a popular activity in Madagascar.

Related Read: 7+ Madagascar Facts: Fun Trivia On the Food, Culture, History & More

5. Paraglide in Andanoka

If you’ve never been paragliding before, there’s no better place to experience this activity than Madagascar. Paragliding here provides you with the opportunity to experience the Malagasy landscapes from high up in the sky. You’ll be able to enjoy the view of Tsaranoro’s granite cliffs and all the beautiful nature scenes around. While it may get your adrenaline flowing, it will easily be one of the best things to do in Madagascar and your whole life.

6. Go Island Hopping

Tsarabanjina beach is one of the best places to go in Madagascar
Tsarabanjina is a small island off the coast of Madagascar, one of many featuring beautiful beaches and great swimming spots. Taken by S. Bianchi via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Thinking of where to go in Madagascar? Go island hopping! Madagascar’s lengthy coastline (it’s the world’s second-largest island country, after all!) is home to a wide variety of picturesque islands. If you’re someone that enjoys spending time on beautiful beaches and enjoying warm ocean waters, you’ll probably love going island hopping in Madagascar. Plenty of tour companies offer packages designed to take you to all of the beautiful islands on the coastline, letting you hop from one to another, where you can sail out on catamarans, walk on beaches, and even go snorkeling.

7. Go for a Hike in Tsingy National Park

woman hiking across wooden bridge in Madagascar
Taken by H. Bartley via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Going for a hike in one of Madagascar’s national parks is a great way to take in all of the stunning beauty and landscape of Madagascar. Tsingy National Park is home to world-renowned hiking trails and limestone peaks. Here, you can explore the park’s forests, gorges, and canyons on a hike. You can even camp out in the stunning park and look for lemurs and other indigenous wildlife. It’s truly an activity to do in Madagascar that you won’t want to miss out on.

8. Explore Caves in Ankarana National Park

Another park that’s a must-see in Madagascar is Ankarana National Park. The limestone caves are millions of years old. Even if you’re not a geological scientist, you’ll surely appreciate the wonders of this Madagascan sight. Exploring these stunning caves will be one of the most exciting things in Madagascar to do.

9. Take a Wildlife Tour

turtles on beach sand in Madagascar wildlife
Wildlife is one of the most interesting things to see in Madagascar. Taken by H. Bartley via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

If the movie Madagascar taught you anything, it should be that Madagascar is home to countless species of wildlife, flora, and fauna. The best way to experience all of these things is to take a wildlife tour on one of the many wildlife parks and reserves in Madagascar. It’s one of the essential things to do in Madagascar, and if you don’t partake in this activity you’re sure to be disappointed.

10. Take a Road Trip

Isalo National Park, Madagascar best things to do
Pass by the mountains of Isalo National Park, Madagascar on your road trip. Taken by B. Yido via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

If you’re an adventurous traveler, you should make time in your schedule to take a road trip to Fort Dauphin during your Madagascan stay. Fort Dauphin is home to countless fun activities, and you’re sure to have a blast driving and staying in the town.

11. Explore Amber Mountain National Park

Situated at the northernmost tip of Madagascar, Amber Mountain National Park is one of the most exhilarating Madagascan sights. This national park is large and full of wildlife, waterfalls and crater lakes. It’s one of the most diverse national parks that you’ll find in the world. While you can certainly explore this park on your own, it may be best to hire a guide to get the most out of your experience.

12. Visit Analamazoatra Special Reserve

Another Madagascan national park makes the list of the top things do in Madagascar. The Analamazoatra Special Reserve allows you to see a wide variety of indigenous wild animals and birds of Madagascar. To see the entire reserve, you should plan on spending up to six hours in the park.

13. Tour Ambohimanga

While in Madagascar, be sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ambohimanga Hill. This site was once a royal city and burial site, and it will give you a great view of ancient Madagascan culture.

14. Look for Lemurs in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

lemurs in Madagascar park
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park has 11 lemur species within. Taken by R. Laschov via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Lemurs are often the most common mammal associated with Madagascan wildlife. You can explore these cute mammals in their natural habitat in eastern Madagascar’s protected rainforest, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. The park also provides you with the opportunity to view orchids, waterfalls, lakes and dense forests, too.

15. Go for a Swim at Kimony Beach

Some of the best vacation activities and free things to do in Madagascar include laying on the beach. One of the best places in Madagascar to go to enjoy this experience is Kimony Beach. This secluded beach provides relaxation and endless hours of beach fun.

16. Visit the Capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo

Antananarivo is one of the best places to go in Madagascar
Antananarivo, Madagascar skyline. Taken by B. Ninaber via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Antananarivo, called Tana colloquially, is the bustling capital city of Madagascar. As the capital and largest city in Madagascar, you can find it full of culture, with all 18 Malagasy ethnic groups, along with many others from other countries and cultures. There is architecture unique to Madagascar, wooden houses with central pillars and intricately carved adornments. These trano gasy houses from the 19th century can be found particularly in the historic haute ville section of the city.

17. Walk Along the Avenue of the Baobabs

Avenue of the Baobabs is one of the best things to do in Madagascar
Grandidier’s baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri) lining the Avenue of the Baobabs, a dirt road going from Morondava to Belon’i Tsiribihina, Madagascar. Taken by G. Node via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

The Avenue of the Baobabs, sometimes called the Alley of the Baobabs, is a dirt road spanning the distance between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina lined with Madagascar’s quintessential tree, the Grandidier’s baobab. Because it offers such a unique photo opportunity for visitors, it has become one of the most popular things to see in Madagascar, especially in the Menabe region.

18. Just Have Fun!

boat on the Tsiribihina river Antsirabe Madagascar
Boat on the Tsiribihina River, Antsirabe, Madagascar going from Antsirabe to Grand Tsingy. Taken by A. Sánchez via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Madagascar is home to a host of different activities to do on your trip. The above list is just an introduction to all the pleasant things you can do during your stay. Have fun!

What did you think? We hope this list has helped you plan your trip to Madagascar. If you have any questions, feedback, or more things to do in Madagascar, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Sonia Novakivska
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Sonia Novakivska
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