Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island. It has a narrow coastal plain, and high plateau with mountains in the centre. The highest point is Maromokotro at 2,876 meters. Madagascar’s volcanoes have not erupted in historical times. 

The climate of Madagascar is tropical along coast, temperate inland, arid in the South. Natural hazards include periodic cyclones, droughts, and locust infestations. Environmental issues include soil erosion resulting from deforestation and overgrazing, desertification, and surface water contamination with raw sewage and other organic wastes. There are several endangered species of flora and fauna unique to the island.

Antongil Bay in northeast Madagascar is a world famous breeding ground for humpback whales. Avenue of the Baobabs is a well known group of baobab trees in western Madagascar. There are 157 protected areas listed for Madagascar, including 26 national parks, 4 marine parks, 1 national marine park, 3 strict nature reserves, 22 special reserves, 1 classified forest, 1 “not reported”, 26 locally managed marine areas, 2 hunting reserves, 20 protected harmonious landscapes (Paysage Harmonieux Protégé), 1 marine protected area, 14 proposed protected areas, 1 natural resources reserve (Réserve de Ressources Naturelles), 1 proposed marine park, 1 collaborative fishery management area, 5 new protected areas, 3 biosphere reserves, 2 natural world heritage sites, and 20 wetlands of international importance.

The Lemur Conservation Network unites over 50 conservation organisations working to protect the world’s most endangered group of mammals. The Malagasy ministry of the environment, ecology and forests (Ministère de l’Environnement, de l’Ecologie et des Forêts) links to the French language website “Madagascar National Parks” at The Madagascar Biodiversity Fund is a private Malagasy foundation, created in 2005, that supports biodiversity and protected areas. Civil society organisations working on environmental activism include FANAMBYFondation Tany Meva, and Madagasikara Voakajy. In 2017, one environmental activist working to end rosewood trafficking was imprisoned, and another was sentenced to prison for speaking out against gold mining.

Biosphere Reserves:


Most of the population lives on the eastern half of of the island. Madagascar was one of the last major landmasses on earth to be colonised by humans. The earliest settlers were from present-day Indonesia, and arrived in the 4th century. The island attracted Arab and Persian traders as early as the 7th century, and migrants from Africa arrived by the 11th century. Madagascar was a pirate stronghold during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and served as a slave trading centre into the 19th century. The island was ruled as a colony of France for 64 years, from 1896 until independence in 1960.

The Ministry of Tourism of Madagascar maintains a French language website at The National Tourist Office of Madagascar maintains a bilingual website at The University of Antananarivo maintains an Institute of Civilization Museum of Art and Archeology in the capital city. Civil society organisations supporting sustainable development include Andry Lalana Tohana (associated with The Andrew Lees Trust), Azafady (associated with SEED Madagascar), and Sadabe (associated with Mitchell Irwin).

A project of FANAMBY, Friendly Camp is a group of nature lodges around the island. Saha Forest Camp is an example of the Friendly Camp lodges. MadaCamp is not just about camping, but an independent wiki with quite a bit of detailed information on Madagascar. Tourist centres include Nosy Be in the North, and Andavadoaka in the South. Blue Ventures runs a field research site next to Andavodoaka village, with opportunities for qualified scuba volunteers. Air Madagascar is a major carrier in and out of the island country.

Cultural World Heritage:

Natural World Heritage:


  • Colonial memory, hospitality and tourism in southwestern Madagascar – D Picard, CN Moreira – 2016
  • Multivariate Granger Causality among tourism, poverty and growth in Madagascar – H Rakotondramaro, L Andriamasy – 2016
  • An Analysis of Biodiversity, Sustainability, and Ecotourism in the VO.I.M.MA Community Managed Forest, Andasibe, Madagascar – C Knowlton, C Walton – 2015
  • An Evaluation of Destination Management Systems in Madagascar with Aspect of Tourism Sector – D Aurélien, RJ Desiré – 2014
  • Determinants of Destination Management System (DMS) and Tourism Industry Assessment of Madagascar – D Aurelien, J Zhao – 2014
  • Lemurs and tourism in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar: economic boom and other consequences – PC Wright, B Andriamihaja, SJ King… – 2014
  • Tourism and conservation in Madagascar: the importance of Andasibe National Park – D Newsome, S Hassell – 2014
  • Trees, tourists and trade-offs: the political ecology of rainforest tourism, forest clearance and biodiversity conservation in Madagascar – IR Scales – 2014
  • Who wins and who loses? Unpacking the “local people” concept in ecotourism: a longitudinal study of community equity in Ankarana, Madagascar – LL Gezon – 2014
  • Ecotourism, poverty and resources management in Ranomafana, Madagascar – B Sarrasin – 2013
  • Tourism, conservation and development in Madagascar – IR Scales – 2014
  • Tourism return frequency demand in Madagascar – R Randriamboarison, F Rasoamanajara… – 2013
  • Ecotourism in Madagascar: How a Sleeping Beauty is Finally Awakening – H Mehta, M Pawliczek – 2012
  • Made in Madagascar: Sapphires, Ecotourism, and the Global Bazaar – A Walsh – 2012
  • Coat condition of ringtailed lemurs, Lemur catta at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar: I. Differences by age, sex, density and tourism, 1996–2006 – A Jolly – 2009
  • Ecotourism in Madagascar: How – M Pawliczek, H Mehta – 2008
  • Madagascar: No welcome for sex tourism – M Degha, I Ti – 2008
  • Tourism in Madagascar: Foster Destination Awareness to Support the Growing Ecotourism Cluster – R Fidely, L Yan – 2008

Madagascar Data