A giant leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus fimbriatus). Its enormous mouth is fitted with more teeth than that of any other land animal, perhaps to help it capture frogs and other small, slippery animals that constitute its diet.
© Piotr Naskrecki
Imagine a place filled with small, curious-looking creatures roaming landscapes of lush forests and drier, sometimes spiny forests, where giant bottle-shaped trees mark the skyline. This is Madagascar. Eighty percent of the island country’s animals and 90 percent of its plants exist nowhere else on Earth. You probably already know of its lemurs – those leaping, sometimes striped primates that are among the oldest in the world. (They predate monkeys and apes.) More than 90 types of lemur exist in Madagascar, more diverse chameleon populations are found on the island than anywhere else on the planet, and more species of orchids are found in Madagascar than on the entire African continent.
Madagascar is one of those thousands of places travelers have to see before they die. For this reason – and because of its high-priority conservation status and commitment to poverty reduction – the country embraces ecotourism initiatives and welcomes responsible, ecologically sound tourists.
PRESS RELEASE: Leading Tour Operators Consider Madagascar
CI works directly with key stakeholders in Madagascar – communities, tourism agencies, tour operators and others – to ensure that tourism development contributes to economic growth, funds biodiversity conservation and improves human wellbeing. With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), we help to ensure that ecotourism brings tangible benefits to people living near and working to protect the island’s benchmark protected areas system and national parks.
IN DEPTH: Learn more about the Malagasy, the people of Madagascar.
You can help protect and preserve this fascinating destination by knowing it intimately before you go – learn about its unique species, understand its particular environmental stresses, research ecologically sound tour operators and activities, and do your best while in the country to protect the environment around you for future generations.
IN DEPTH: Explore more ecotourism destinations.