Eastern Madagascar covers an extremely diverse range of landscapes and climates. The hilly and forested north is home to a great variety of lemur species, best seen in the Parc National d’Andasibe Mantadia (also known as Périnet). Four hours east of Antananarivo, it offers exceptional lemur viewing and is the only place in Madagascar where you can see the largest of the species – the indri.
At the coast, the Canal des Pangalanes is an absolute must-do for the more adventurous traveler. The bustling waterway provides a livelihood for numerous fishermen, whose traps you will pass through on your way up the canal which terminates at Tamatave, one of Madagascar’s largest sea ports.
A short flight north of here will bring you to Ile Sainte Marie, an idyllic, palm-fringed atoll which is the premier destination for humpback whale watching from July to September. A tropical island paradise of palm-fringed beaches, it seems like time has stood still here with traditional fishing villages to explore. To its south is the smaller island of Ile aux Nattes which is a peaceful haven thanks to being car-free and works perfectly in combination with time on the main island.