Now that the coronavirus spread has officially been labeled a global pandemic, travel plans for summer 2020 are looking more and more in jeopardy. It can be hard sometimes to differentiate between misinformation, precautions, and facts, but at least the recommended measures by the World Health Organization and CDC somewhat being implemented. Global tourism is taking and will take a major hit as airlines have cancelled flights, hotels empty, and more travel restrictions are now in place. But just like the Spanish flu of 1918, this too shall pass, and though we won’t go back to our old normal, we will have to adjust to the new normal. Flights and hotels will reopen and people will go on vacations. It might take a while, but it will happen. In the meantime, you can get a leg up on next years’ holiday and start planning, or at least visualising your summer 2021 vacation.
So for our latest inspiration of places to visit: Madagascar. Most people’s knowledge about it doesn’t extend beyond the animated film Madagascar. A shame really, because Madagascar is way more than that. East of Mozambique and west of Mauritius, Madagascar is really a year-round destination teeming with wildlife and nature. Having developed in isolation after the island broke away from continental Africa around 180 million years ago, it is packed with so much biodiversity very few countries on earth can provide. Nearly all of the reptiles, amphibians, half the birds and the lemurs cannot be found anywhere else on the planet except for this little island. The large mammals that dominate the continent are also interestingly missing in Madagascar. The only exception is the hippo, which, because of its relative isolation, has evolved to a species, like most of the animals in Madagascar, unique only to the island.
Madagascar’s tourism sector is not as large and developed as other African destinations, say Tanzania or South Africa. The small numbers of visitors is related to many factors. Getting to the island is a challenge and expensive due to the small number of airlines operating there. Most routes will take you through Johannesburg OR Tambo airport. Once in Madagascar, getting around can prove even harder, as most roads are in poor conditions and internal flights are costly and unreliable. But if you can make it through the difficult part, the journey is all the more worth it. Madagascar is wild and unspoiled and spectacular. So here are some places to check out if you do make it!