A Land as Exotic and Magical as Its Name, and the River That Runs Through It
With its limited and primitive roads and almost no tourist facilities, the best way to experience Madagascar is by paddling down the calm waters of the Mangoky River to the island’s remote and seldom visited southwest corner – a beautiful, untrammeled region of wild country.
The mini-continent of Madagascar is an isolated land that became a laboratory for evolution. Strange creatures and plants are everywhere on the 100-mile stretch of the river from Beroroha to Bevoay: more than 30 species of lemurs and 8,000 species of plants found nowhere else on earth, 3,000 species of butterflies, 7 species of baobabs, and half the world’s chameleons. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and passionate guides are indispensable. You can trek through rain forests and nature reserves, shop the colorful local markets, meet the gracious Malagasy people in their riverside villages and settlements, and have close encounters with the ringtail, indri, and sifaka lemurs (to name but a few of the animals that make this bizarre wildlife sanctuary an ecologist’s dream).
At the end of each of the eight wonder-packed days of rafting along the river, sandbar camps are set up under the evening sky. Being so close to the Tropic of Capricorn ensures that the spectacular sunsets linger the whole length of your first rum-and-lime.