Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. It is an utterly unique and truly spectacular destination, with diverse geographical features from rugged mountains to rolling highlands, arid deserts and canyons to wide sweeping white-sand beaches. Over 80% of its flora and fauna is found nowhere else on earth, making it a biologist’s paradise.
Largely untouched by tourists, Madagascar does not have the same infrastructure as other developing countries. This makes it all the more challenging and exciting as an expedition destination. Whether you are travelling by foot, boat, or taxi-brousse, every journey will be an adventure!
MADAGASCAR EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Here are just some of the incredible experiences you can choose from for your Madagascar expedition:
To get acclimatised to Madagascar’s climate, you can embark on a couple of easy treks. Explore the forests in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, or experience the arid heat of the Isalo National Park. There are also stunning treks to lakes Tritriva and Andraikiba, with opportunities to explore rural villages and learn about the way of life here.
Making a Difference
Previous teams have worked in rural communities and alongside local charities with renovation and construction projects including work, as well as spending time organising football matches and games with the local children. You could help build a new school, health clinic and tourism infrastructure; a valuable contribution to reforestation which helps local tribes establish vital income sources.
Madagascar Project Case Study –
Highland Village Community Project
Take a five-day trek and carry out project work at remote communities along the way. You get involved by helping to build classrooms, market stalls for a local weaving co-operative, and restore cyclone-damaged buildings. As well as contributing to development, you also get the chance to immerse yourself in Malagasy culture and learn about the ancient rituals of the remote areas you visit.
Children in the rural Madagascan villages will give World Challenge teams a very warm welcome.
There are a range of amazing treks in Madagascar catering for a range of physical abilities. The Andringitra National Park, in the south-east of the island, offers rewarding treks in its majestic mountain range. Climb Pic Boby (2,658m), the second-highest peak in Madagascar, and take in the spectacular views of neighbouring Pic Imarivolanitra.
A more challenging option, the highlands around Fianarantsoa really are off the beaten track. Trek along ancient trading routes through Betsileo villages, rice paddies, fields and the beautiful rainforest corridor. Arrive at the coast and if you are lucky you will be able to experience the madness of the ‘jungle express’ train back to Fianarantsoa.
Rest & Relaxation
Teams will be able to spend their rest and relaxation time enjoying Madagascar’s spectacular coastline. Teams can choose to simply relax on the beaches, or snorkel over some of Madagascar’s 450km of barrier reef. Madagascar’s coastline supports the third-largest coral reef system in the world and you could be lucky enough to spot all sorts of marine life, from sea turtles to humpback whales.
- Madagascar, East Africa coast.
- Population: 22 Million.
- Languages spoken: Malagasy, French.
- Time zone: GMT +2.
- Terrain: Rain and cloudforest, jungle, desert and coast.
- When can I travel there?: Apr- Dec.
- Climate: The climate is generally hot and subtropical. The north and east are wetter and the west and south drier. May to October is cooler, with plenty of sunshine, and the best time to go.
- Expedition Physical Rating: High.
- Expedition Duration: 21 to 28 days.
- Culture Shock: High.
- Typical accommodation: Local hostels and tents.
- Ideal for: A challenging, exciting and unique expedition destination.
- The language spoken is Spanish.
- Nearly half of the land of Madagascar is covered with forest.
- Madagascar’s isolation means there is a wealth of biodiversity including many species found nowhere else on earth.
- Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Its coastline is as long as 4828 km.
- Barely anyone speaks English so you are well advised to practice your French before you go!
- The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo, while its currency is Malagasy Ariary.
Shaun is our In-Country Agent for Madagascar and, as a tour guide there, he is our local source of expertise. Shaun is fluent in French and can also tackle some Malagasy!
NEW TO WORLD CHALLENGE?
Every World Challenge starts long before your students step on a plane. With our support, develop life skills and take ownership of:
- Destination and itinerary planning
- Fundraising ideas and events
- Budgeting and money management
- Preparation, fitness and nutrition
Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!