The island of Madagascar is a wildlife paradise filled with many exotic beautiful species that can't be found anywhere else in the world.


Madagascar is the world’s fourth island (after Borneo, New Guinea and Greenland), and is located roughly 400 kilometres off the eastern coast of Africa. The stretch of sea in between Madagascar and East Africa is called the Mozambique Channel.

This large island has a wide variety of habitats and wildlife, with new animal and plant species being regularly discovered and described.

Wildlife to spot in Madagascar

Illustration by Dawn Cooper

Fossa, Kirindy Forest

Fossas are Madagascar’s apex predator, a large mongoose-like carnivore that can grow to nearly 1.5m long (if you include the tail). Elusive and hard to spot, but Kirindy is said to offer better odds than other locations.

Aye-aye, Nosy Mangabe

Aye-aye on a palm frond, Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. © Thorsten Negro/Getty
Aye-aye on a palm frond, Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. © Thorsten Negro/Getty

The extraordinary aye-aye was introduced to Nosy Mangabe, which it was hoped would develop an ‘ark’ population. If you want to see any aye-ayes, you’ll have to stay the night.

Giraffe-necked weevil, Ranomafana National Park

These famously bizarre bugs are only found in rainforest on the east side of Madagascar. In the mating season, look out for males fighting for a female using their necks.

Indri, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

The Indri lemur is the largest of Madagascar lemurs
The Indri lemur is the largest of Madagascar lemurs. © Pierre-Yves Babelon/Getty

The indri is the largest-living lemur and, with its black and white, luxuriously thick coat, unmistakable for any of its relatives. Also renowned for their extraordinary calls, there are some habituated groups within the park.

Verreaux’s sifaka, Berenty Reserve

This lemur is renowned for its elegance, whether it’s leaping through the trees or bounding along the ground with its arms in the air. There are habituated groups at Berenty.

Ring-tailed lemur, Isalo National Park

Troop of ring tailed lemurs
Troop of ring tailed lemurs. © Justin Lo/Getty

If there is such a thing as the archetypal lemur, the ring-tailed lemur is it, even though it can only be found in the south. It feeds on the ground in groups of up to 30 individuals.