Mad for Madagascar: A Holiday Guide

The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa may have made “Hakuna Matata” a household phrase, but its actual meaning has gone unheeded. A holiday in Madagascar introduces tourists to the concept of mora-mora, where living life to the fullest and taking the time to do it is the norm. Leave all worries and go on a Madagascar holiday.

Under the vast blue sky and the in the shade of majestic mountains, the possibilities are infinite. Explore a cave, take a canoe ride, climb the rocks, go paragliding, or dive into the sea. Take a whole day (or week) to appreciate the magnificent wildlife. Madagascar is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, most of which can’t be found anywhere else. Meet the brookesia chameleon, tiny as a finger and looking like a leaf; the many frog species which range from neon green to tomato red; and the lemurs, from the ring-tailed to the white-collared. Unfortunately, the famed elephant birds are now extinct; they once stood up to ten feet tall, and each egg could “make an omelette to feed 150 people.” The terrain is diverse too, including rain forests and dry forests, rice paddies, mangroves, dry deserts, and more.

The culture is vibrant, and age-old dances and songs are still performed, just as animism and superstition remain. Tradition is also alive in the cuisine, and meals are a communal affair. A mat is placed on the floor, and food is shared by everyone sitting around. Vary amid ’anana is a mix of rice, leaves, herbs, and meat, while lasopy is a vegetable soup flavoured with meat bones. Alcoholic drinks include toaka gasy, made from cane sugar and rice; litchel, with lychee being the main ingredient; and the famous Three Horses lager. Madagascar is called Vanilla Island for a reason, with the bean thrives in its desserts.

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