This unique landscape is made up of some of the most remarkable and incredibly diverse fauna and flora known to mankind.
Nearly 5% of all known animal and plant species can be found here, and here alone. Not many places, even on the African mainland offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature, varying vastly in as little as just 300km, which is all it takes to go from rainforest to desert.
The island's signature animals include the lemurs, giant chameleons and the weird-looking fossa (a cat-like predator). Frogs, weird-shaped insects, sea turtles and rays also make up the broad species list right up to humpback whales during the winter months. One of Madagascar's most photographed icons are the bottle baobabs found in the countries arid regions.
With little road network over the world's fourth-largest island, exploring the sandstone canyons, limestone karsts, mountains, fertile hills with cascaded terraced rice paddies and forests of every kind can be tricky.
For the adventurists, Madagascar provides much reward; hiking, diving, mountain biking, kitesurfing, rock-climbing, fishing, and with 5000km of shoreline there are plenty of natural pools, beaches and hammocks on which to recover, too.
For many, the real attraction is the turquoise and idyllic water that laps the islands shores in tourist hotspots, or hidden islands placed like gems encrusting one of the worlds most pristine and biodiversity-rich coastline.
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