Island adventures are a worthwhile experience for everyone to have at least once in their lives. Choosing which island to visit can be difficult however. While tourist hot spots can be fun, you’re probably going to leave with the same happy snaps and travel tales as all those who’ve gone before you. This is where choosing something a little less popular can not only give you an array of entirely new and unique experiences, but also ensure your trip is one that you will remember for the rest of your life. We take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider the island of Madagascar over that of the Maldives.
When it comes to the beauty of Mother Nature, Madagascar ranks a little better than the Maldives. While both islands have the long stretches of white beach, lapped at by the crystal waters of the surrounding ocean, Madagascar offers an incredible array of fauna and flora that is completely unique to its shores. It’s the only place where you’ll find lemurs, fossa and in fact 80% of life in Madagascar is indigenous (See the webinar from Haja, an expert on Madagaskar from Jenman Safaris). Landscapes in Madagascar range from dense jungles littered with tombs to towering mountain shapes, and everything in between – meaning that whatever your mood, you’ll find somewhere to go and something to see.
Maldives cuisine is traditionally based on three main items: coconuts, fish and starch. One of the most important dishes you can find on the island is known as mas riha, a curry that is cooked with diced fresh tuna. While it’s sounds tantalising enough, there’s quite an argument for the food of Madagascar to steal first place when it comes to any foodie lover’s idea of a worthwhile destination. Malagasy cuisine is a melting pot of the many diverse culinary traditions that have influenced its development over the last few centuries. Trade with Arab, Indian and European throughout the island’s history have enriched its cuisine as a result of the constant introduction of new ingredients and seasonings into the mix. If that doesn’t get your mouth watering then we don’t know what will!
Both islands are idyllic destinations for ocean lovers who enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving in the deep blue. Clear and warm waters make such activities an absolute delight, as does the multitude of species that live underwater. The Maldives offers a variety of activities that visitors can enjoy, but it’s on the island of Madagascar that truly unique experiences await. Teeming with fertile forests, the island has a spectacular collection of national parks that allow you to fully encounter the biodiversity that resides there. Alternatively, you can hop between islands in a traditional dhow while sipping on a delicious cocktail and resisting the urge to pinch yourself to check if you’re dreaming. Night walks show a whole new side to the island as you witness the playful antics of nocturnal lemurs and other animals, while a growing wine industry means you’re able to sample the sweet nectar of the grapes – and possibly bring home a few bottles to serve to your friends as you regale them with tales of your incredible island adventures. With so much to offer, the island of Madagascar certainly packs a punch for travel-lovers from all over – and we can pretty much guarantee that whatever you’re after, it’s there to be found in Madagascar.