One of the world’s last undiscovered corners, Madagascar, with unique flora and fauna and hugely diverse terrain, is like nowhere else on earth. Situated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern Africa, Madagascar is the world's fourth-largest island and widely thought of as the ‘Eighth Continent’. Having broken free of the African mainland around 165 million years ago, it is understandably culturally and geographically very different, having evolved independently with influences from as far afield as India and Malaysia.
Madagascar is split into four main areas: the central region of Madagascar is characterized by highlands, the east coast is largely covered by dense rainforests, the west coast is now open savannah and dry, deciduous forest, and the southern tip of the island is semi-desert with great spiny forests of cactus-like plants. Much of Madagascar's incredible flora and fauna is unique to the island with over 80% of the wildlife species found there being endemic including, lemurs, chameleons and a huge variety of butterflies. These species mean that several of Madagascar's national parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The diverse cultures in Madagascar and the range of flora and fauna make a visit to this island a unique experience, which will be rewarding for those with an adventurous spirit.