There's no denying that Madagascar is unique. An astonishing 80% of the country's flora and fauna is endemic to the island. A fascinating mélange of African, Asian, Arabic and European cultures is evident wherever you are, from the rice paddy fields in the valleys to the Arab style pirogues on the river and the clapped out Renaults which rule the streets of Tana. Even the name of the capital, Antananarivo (hence Tana, to those in the know), is exotic and the rest of the country certainly lives up to that reputation. Quite the heady mix when it comes to a luxury holiday, in our humble opinion.
Everything starts and ends in Tana, which is conveniently located bang in the middle of the island. From this central hub, you can head off exploring the country, but it is well worth spending a few days in the city at the beginning or the end of your holiday to sample some of the fabulous local cuisine, which the colonial French thankfully left behind, and to stock up on some excellent textiles for which the country is famed.
Heading out from the city, the south of Madagascar is best explored on an epic road trip from Tana to Tuleur through National Parks with some of the most extraordinary landscapes imaginable. Travel through desert canyons in Isalo National Park, tropical forests in Ranomafana, and the mountainous Tsaranoro Valley region, seeing the ubiquitous lemur on route.
The east coast of the country is home to a distinctly Caribbean vibe of spectacular beaches and islands that were the favourite haunts of buccaneers plying the spice routes in days of old. Fortunately the latter day visitor is more likely to see whales cruising offshore than pirate ships.
A Madagascar luxury holiday will certainly be unlike any other you've ever been on. This is, after all, a country quite unlike any you'll ever have been to.