Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Mavros Safaris tell Gentleman’s Journal why we should be travelling to the world’s oldest island

Over a century ago, the first of the Mavros family planted their roots in Zimbabwe. In the late 1800s, they took to Southern Africa as explorers and mapmakers, chartering and surveying all that had – until then – escaped the Western world. And, for over one hundred years, this passion and enthusiasm for exploration and travel has been passed down through the generations.

Today, the fifth-generation Zimbabweans know everything about the land they cover in Mavros Safaris. And, after childhoods spent wading through African rivers, climbing the magnificent trees and rescuing and raising wild animals as pets, the family’s one goal is now for clients to experience and know Africa as they know it. As home.

Madagascar, a magical island off the East Coast of mainland Africa, is home to tens of thousands of endemic species and is a truly remarkable country. From the amazing smells to the incredible coast line and the extraordinary animals that live there, the Mavros family have always found every facet of the isle fascinating – so here are their ten top reasons to visit.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Eye Eye Island

Travelling to your destination is equally a part of the experience in Madagasar! Getting to Eye Eye Island involves fording rivers, 4×4 through rainforests, and canoeing through darkened waters in Mananara. Here you have the best chance of spotting this reclusive nocturnal lemur.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

The Blue Pool

Jump in the these crystalline waters at the base of a waterfall in Isalo National Park, the ‘Grand Canyon of Madagascar’,

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

The Land of King Julian!

How many lemur species can you check off the list? From Julian’s ring tail to the tiny Mouse Lemur to the largest Indri-Indri, there are about 100 to discover.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Malagasy Culture

Humans first arrived 2000 years ago, creating a culture not African, not Asian, not Arab, but an isolated blend of the three. Curious visitors are welcomed warmly to traditional ceremonies, such as Famadihana, the ‘turning of the bones’ where communities gather to celebrate a late loved one. (Bring rum).

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Tsingy Stone Forest

A jagged stone landscape like nowhere else on earth, Grand Tsingy is an epic full day expedition through caves, suspension bridges and steep paths to reach the reward of this incredible view. Petit Tsingy offers a more gentle experience.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Rum Tasting

Tales of pirates and shipwrecks and rum surround the coastline, and beach goers to the tropical Nosy Be can visit a distillery for a taste or two of the island’s vanilla infused best.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Ylang Ylang

The intoxicating aroma of the “flower of flowers” permeates the island, and is said to calm anxiety and soothe the heart.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Whale Watching off Isle St Marie

July to September visit the “island of the pirates”, where Humpback Whales travel from the Southpole to give birth and raise their young.

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar


An ancient island rich with gemstones, Madagascar offers travellers the opportunity to choose raw or polished stones and have them fitted to a custom design. A beautiful memento from the journey and support to the local community.  

Top 10 reasons to visit Madagascar

Bring the kids

An African safariland where parents can rest easy and kids can play freely, as there are no predators or poisonous creatures. They frolic in search of frogs, lizards, chameleons and playful lemurs, then swim with sea turtles and watch for whales. Best playground ever.

To book the adventure of a lifetime through Mavros Safaris, see here

Further Reading