The 18 tribes of Madagascar are very loyal to local customs. I was fascinated by Famadihana, a festival in which the bones of dead ancestors are unearthed and paraded around the tomb to live music.
Ra, Original Diver
Despite being the fourth largest island in the world and a mere 250 miles off the coast of mainland Africa, Madagascar remains a largely undiscovered corner of the continent and as far as we're concerned, that's all the more reason to love it.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Lemurs, lemurs and more lemurs! Every variety of this dancing, jumping, singing, furry beast can be found here, and only here
- There's great whale watching on the island paradise of Ile Ste Marie - humpbacks come to calve in the warm seas from July to September
- Dive the islands of the Nosy Be archipelago and find your own castaway beach - it's a genuine chance to leave the modern world behind
From the gallery
Madagascar Luxury Holidays: The Detail
There's no denying that Madagascar is unique. An astonishing 80% of the country's flora and fauna is endemic to the island. A fascinating mélange of African, Asian, Arabic and European cultures is evident wherever you are, from the rice paddy fields in the valleys to the Arab style pirogues on the river and the clapped out Renaults which rule the streets of Tana. Even the name of the capital, Antananarivo (hence Tana, to those in the know), is exotic and the rest of the country certainly lives up to that reputation. Quite the heady mix when it comes to a luxury holiday, in our humble opinion.