Mada­gas­car. Is­land of beauty

Avion Luxury International Airport Magazine - - TRAVEL -

There ex­ists a cor­ner of the planet where evo­lu­tion, over mil­lions of years, has cre­ated a spec­ta­cle: Mada­gas­car. This con­ti­nen­tal is­land, the fourth largest in the world, is a valu­able trea­sure trove with such a va­ri­ety of plants and an­i­mals that it is con­sid­ered to be a Noah’s Ark in the mid­dle of the In­dian Ocean. Twice the size of Italy, it has a unique ecosys­tem and im­mense wealth of bio­di­ver­sity: 90% of its flora and fauna is en­demic, and who­ever wants to see 300 species of but­ter­flies, 54 species of chameleons, or even 255 species of birds and 12,000 species of plants, must come here. To ad­mire the nat­u­ral and land­scape beauty of the north-western part of the is­land, our ad­ven­ture be­gins in An­tana­narivo, the cap­i­tal. The city, lo­cated on a high plateau at al­most 1,300 me­tres alti­tude, en­joys a fresh cli­mate. The first pro­tag­o­nist of this trip is the sea, with all its wealth of won­der­ful sto­ries and fas­ci­nat­ing sights. Nosy Be is reached af­ter a short flight from Tana. Best known for its white sandy beaches and coralline sea, this is­land offers re­sorts and ecolodges in the shade of tow­er­ing palm trees, just a few steps from the wa­ter’s edge. From Mont Pas­sot, lit­tle more than a hill over­look­ing the vol­canic lakes that pierce the land­scape of the is­land of Nosy Be, we visit farms with colo­nial houses that lie at the cen­tre of acres of land cul­ti­vated with vanilla, pep­per and ylang-ylang. Among the ar­ray of beau­ti­ful small is­lands that crown the ar­chi­pel­ago of Nosy Be, we con­tinue to­wards Nosy Saba, trav­el­ling 140 kilo­me­tres to reach the town of Antso­hihy and board a speed boat. Along the sides of the road we pass vil­lages and zebu, the lo­cal cat­tle with enor­mous horns. Nosy Saba is just 10 kilo­me­tres off the main­land and, in a small boat, we pass through man­grove trees and murky waters to where the bay opens up and large waves throw spray out from ei­ther side of the bow.

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