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Top 10 things to do in Madagascar

July to September is humpback whale watching season on Ile St Marie

1. From July to September it's humpback whale watching season, so head to Ile St Marie at the southern most tip of Madagascar for the best sightings.

Wander down the magical Avenue of Baobabs

2.  To the west of the island, visit the 'Avenue of the Baobabs' at sunset for a magical stroll through these fairytale-like trees. Up to 800 years old, baobab trees are a legacy of the dense tropical forest that used to cover the land.

Antananarivo - Madagascar's picturesque capital city

3. Discover opulent palaces and vast markets as you wander through the vibrant streets of the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo.

Head to Nosy Be, the island's number one beach destination

4. Make a beeline for Nosy Be, Madagascar's number one beach destination, for some serious R&R and the finest swimming and snorkelling

Andringitra National Park, Madagascar

5. Find solitude (and some of the most challenging climbs in the world) in the Massif de l'Andringitra

Swim in the hidden pools of Isalo National Park

6. Splash about in hidden pools and trek through the sandstone formations, canyons and dense flora of Isalo National Park looking out for the 'Bara' nomadic people who live here - hire a knowledgable guide to make the most of your visit.

Discover the rainforests of Mantadia National Park

7. Weave past colourful chameleons and frogs in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, as you listen out for the whale-like call of Madagascar's most famous resident - the black and white Indri Lemur

8. Head for the unspoiled reefs and pristine waters of Nosey Tanikely which are guaranteed to thrill the most experienced snorkeller with plenty of coral and sea turtles to spot!

Lemur, Madagascar

9. Discover your inner David Attenborough. Look out for the 12 species of lemur (including the elusive golden bamboo lemur) and a diverse wildlife as you hike through the cool forest of Ranomafana National Park

Ring-tailed lemur, Madagascar

10. Enjoy close encounters with ring-tailed lemurs amongst the orchids and tomb rocks of Anja Reserve