The island nation of Madagascar, or Malagasy as it was formerly known, is located to the southeast of the African mainland, in the Indian Ocean. It is famous for it's rich and unique flora and fauna.
The landscape is defined by mountain ranges of the central highlands running in a north-south direction. Highest peak is Maromokotro (2876 m), part of the Tsaratanana Massif in the north of the island. The east coast is a straight and narrow strip of lowlands separated from the ocean by a 800 km long lagoon. The actual beach is very steep and dangerous (sharks). Towards the west the central highlands rise up abruptly, offering a variety of landscapes ranging from eroded hills and granite outcrops to volcanic formations, lakes and a north-south rift valley. The west coast is broad with sedimentary formations and good natural harbors. In the southwest semi-desert conditions prevail. Most of the remaining rainforests are found on the steep hills along the east coast. The central highlands and west coast are largely savanna.
Long and short hikes are possible inside the numerous national parks and in many nature reserves, such as Masoala, Andasibe, Bemaraha, Ankarana, Andringitra, Tsingy de Namoroka etc. Do bring your camping gear, and prepare yourself for tropical and humid conditions.
- Roessler Susanne: Madagaskar. Insel-Reiseführer.
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