Madagascar Highlights

by Hilary Bradt and Daniel Austin

Madagascar Highlights

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About this book

Madagascar's isolation means most of its mammals, birds, and plants exist nowhere else on earth.
This guide showcases the best of the island with details of all the sights included in tour operators' itineraries; trips along the Route Nationale 7, around Nosy Be, days trips around Antananarivo, and tours to the east and southwest of the country. Detailed maps include 'the top spots' - the six places most favoured by tour operators, and a birders' map identifies the island's key locations to spot birds. An authoritative chapter on conservation discusses many of the islands projects and outlines how visitors can help. With full colour photographs throughout, this handy book also acts as a field guide to lemurs, chameleons and a host of other exotic plants and animals.

About the author

Daniel Austin is a naturalist and photographer who spent more than a year exploring Madagascar. Hilary Bradt is founder of Bradt Travel Guides and has visited Madagascar more than 30 times as a tour leader.

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Press reviews

'Madagascar Highlights will leave you brushing imaginary red soil from your shoes and sniffing phantom vanilla beans in the air. Austin and Bradt's evocative guide couples the authority of long experience with a child's bursting enthusiasm. When you pack your bags for Madagascar, don't forget it.'
Peter Tyson Author, 'Madagascar: The Eighth Continent'
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Contents

Introduction vii
Introducing Madagascar 1
1 History and People 2
History 5
People 12
2 The Natural World 24
The world's oldest island 26
Habitats and conservation 30
Plant life 34
Wildlife 40
3 Planning a Trip 62
When to visit 64
Booking a trip 65
Your itinerary: 20 top attractions 70
Red tape 79
Getting there 79
Health and safety 80
What to take 83
Organising your finances 85
4 On the Ground 86
Health and safety in Madagascar 88
Getting around 92
Visiting protected areas 93
Eating and drinking 94
Banking and foreign exchange 96
Shopping 98
Media, communications and business 100

Madagascar Highlights 103
5 Antananarivo and Surrounds 104
Antananarivo 106
Andasibe area 120
6 RN7: The Route South 128
Antananarivo to Ambositra 132
Around Fianarantsoa 140
Ihosy to Toliara 152
Ifaty 162
Anakao 165
7 Taolagnaro and Surrounds 168
8 The North and Islands 178
Antsiranana and the bays 180
South of Antsiranana 186
Islands of the northwest 196
9 The Remote West 204
Mahajanga and the northwest 206
Morondava and the west 214
10 Eastern Adventure 222
South of Mananjary 224
Pangalanes Canal and Toamasina (Tamatave) 228
Northeastern rainforests 234
Ile Sainte Marie 245

Malagasy language 250

Selected reading 254

Index 258