7 Things You'll Only Discover in Madagascar

Discover Madagascar
Discover Madagascar | © 2229018 / Pixabay
Photo of Domoina Ratsara
Freelance Journalist17 September 2018

Madagascar is a truly unique place – along with lemurs, orchids and another endemic species, its people also have many a special secret to share with anyone visiting the island nation. Read on for the most unique experiences you can have on the world’s biggest island nation.

Boundless generosity

Many ancient philosophies dictate how visitors should be treated by locals. The deeply entrenched philosophy of “vahiny” is practised by the Malagasy people to show generosity. Madagascar’s people are welcoming and genuine. Deeply sincere, they trust easily and are ready to do anything to make your stay with them as pleasant as possible. Kindness and generosity are a part of Malagasy life, especially for those who live in rural areas.

Malagasy children | © Rod Waddington / Flickr

The “moramora” way of life

Madagascar is referred to by locals as the country of “moramora”, meaning “slow slow”. This is roughly translated from the Malagasy language to mean “take it easy – things will happen when they happen”. This philosophy is about being focused on enjoying the present and knowing that tomorrow is another day. This way of thinking is spreading all over the world in reaction to the hectic way of life common in western countries. But in Madagascar this way of thinking has been passed down for generations and the Malagasy people are well accustomed to it.

Local Malagasy enjoying a swim in Madagascar | © Rod Waddington / Flickr

Eating organic food everywhere you go

Wherever you go in Madagascar, most vegetables and fruits are grown locally and the concept of preservatives and additives is still relatively unknown – as an added bonus food is comparatively cheaper and good quality. The Malagasy believe that some of their home-grown fruits have curative quality such as the soursop, a relative of jackfruit, and durian.

The soursop fruit, belonging to the custard apple family and a relative of the durian and jackfruit | © Tara Schmidt / Flickr

Madagascar’s “voluntary simplicity”

For those tired of living resource-intensive lifestyles and wanting to reconnect with a simpler way of living, Madagascar is the best place to learn how to do it. Spending a few days in Madagascar and observing how people live beyond a consumer-focused way of life helps people to reconnect with what’s really important. Referred to locally as “voluntary simplicity”, Malagasy people practise this form of sustainable consumption and demonstrate what is sufficient to live well in low-impact ways, while maintaining a high quality of life. Many make a conscious decision to use fewer natural resources and live in harmony with nature.

Unlimited holiday activities

Enjoy vacation with benefits. Madagascar is undoubtedly the best destination for active holidays and adventure activities. Here you can hike, trek, trail-run, rock-climb, bike, or go canyoning. Some places like Mahambo (which is located in the southeast of the island) are choice locations for surfing, diving, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.

Scuba diving in Madagascar | © Frontierofficial / Flickr

Outstanding nature

Lovers of nature instantly fall in love with this country and its fauna and flora. Biologists and scientists have continually been coming to the island to find paradise, since Madagascar is home to 80% of the world endemic animals and plants. Bear witness to the gentle transformation of its landscape from sandy beaches to lush greenery. Discover a large variety of desert plants like the cacti in the south and rare spice plants like vanilla in the north.

The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is a stone forest in Madagascar | © Marco Zanferrari / Flickr

Creative opportunities

Madagascar offers a vast range of film- and photo-friendly locations. From the turquoise water of the Indian ocean, the palm trees which fringe the east coast, and the mangroves and coral reefs in the western shores, to the great expanses of desert in the south and the sandy beaches surrounding the island, there is so much unique diversity to be found here. The country also provides an exciting and rare chance for filmmakers and photographers to document exotic biodiversity, cultural traditions, and amazing nature.

The Avenue of Baobabs near Morondava, Madagascar | © Frank Vassen / Flickr

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