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Madagascar Tourist Guide

Madagascar

A large island in the Indian Ocean off the south-eastern tip of Africa, Madagascar has historic connections with France and Britain but is now an independent state. One of the main agricultural products of Madagascar is vanilla and Coca Cola is an important customer and trading partner. The geographical separation of Madagascar from Africa has allowed numerous species of plants and animals to thrive in isolation and many are not found anywhere else in natural habitats. The port of Taomasina on the east coast is main entry point for seaborne travellers arriving from Mauritius or Reunion.

The Canal des Pangalanes is a waterway of natural freshwater lakes linked by man-made canals that half the length of Madagascar's east coast, meaning a boat cruise is a delightful way to explore the country. The canal was cut during French colonial times and it remains a vital artery for transport and trade. The waterway passes by traditional villages and small islands and is lush with Mangroves and other aquatic vegetation.

Beside Lake Ampitabe, the third largest lake of the Canal des Pangalanes, there is Bushhouse Lodge, a delightful eco-tourist accommodation project made up of bungalows in the wilderness. From here you can visit the Palmarium, a nature reserve where you can encounter Madagascar's most famous jungle inhabitant, the tame and friendly lemur, in its natural habitat. You'll also see endemic palms, orchids and other exotic plants native to the island. You may also see chameleons - famous for their changing skin color, and among the local bird life, scops-owls, cattle egrets, guinea fowls and whistling ducks.

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