In MADAGASCAR, referred to as the "8th continent", nothing is what it seems. The island broke away from Africa over 160 million years ago, long before the existence of mammals, and while only a few hundred kilometres of sea separate the island from its original landmass, the two now hold few common features as evolution weaved its merry web over the ages.
Madagascar's plants and animals have evolved into some of the weirdest forms on the planet. In fact an astonishing 98% of its mammals exist nowhere else on the planet. There are over 70 varieties of lemur, including one that sounds like a police siren, as well as the world's biggest and smallest chameleons. The island nation is also home to over 60 different varieties of carnivorous pitcher plants and in the west of the island you can marvel at the iconic bottle-shaped baobab trees.
It's no wonder that Madagascar has now been declared as one of the world's number one conservation priorities by the WWF. The prime time to visit this astonishing land is just about on us with April to October being ideal. Packages are offered by the likes of World Expeditions including the 10-day Unique Madagascar from $2,390.