Kilometre-long white sand beaches 
The pinnacle of Madagascar natural wonders 
The Kingdom of the Lemurs

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A fishing village on the Indian Ocean

Among the jewels of an MSC cruise to Southern Africa are the ports along the coast of Madagascar. During your holiday on an MSC ship, you will visit remote locations that will remain in your memory forever.

Anakao is probably everything you have always imagined an ideal village on the shore of the Indian Ocean to be: low houses, some shrubs, dry docked fishing boats with white sails, kilometre-long white sand beaches, and turquoise waves breaking on the foreshore.

When you disembark at Anakao, you will find a port full of laid-back fishermen. They will lead you by the hand through a discovery of the most beautiful beaches just a short distance from this magnificent location. Among the excursions offered by MSC Cruises, we recommend those focusing on Madagascar’s natural beauty. It is an island singular in its biodiversity: during prehistoric times, it was home to unique animals such as the dwarf hippopotamus, the fossil remain of which have been found on the island; while today, it is the kingdom of the Lemuridae family, the large-eyed primates with the curious striped black and white tails.

South of Anakao, a must-take excursion will take you to the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, a natural reserve for Madagascar’s endemic species that has been officially protected for over fifty years. The lake of the same name, the existence of which is a true miracle considering how rarely it rains in this part of the world, is home to a large colony of pink flamingos. Characteristic not only for its animals (especially reptiles) but also for its expanses of spiny plants, baobab and sand dunes, it is so magical that just a single cruise will not be enough to fully appreciate it.

Must see places in Anakao

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    A natural reserve the size of an entire county
    A natural reserve the size of an entire county

    A cruise to Madagascar in search of the unusual and exotic rarely disappoints. This giant, verdant laboratory of evolutionary theory has been separated from mainland Africa for long enough to have given rise to an astonishing array of endemic flora and fauna.

    Many of its native species are frankly bizarre, from immaculately camouflaged geckos to luridly coloured chameleons and frogs. Stars of a holiday to Madagascar, and the creatures that everyone wants to see, are the beady-eyed, cuddly-looking, acrobatic lemurs.

    Even the landscapes are somewhat weird – travel widely, and you’ll marvel at Madagascar’s strange, jagged pinnacles, lumpy hills and bulbous-trunked baobabs. Malagasy culture is highly distinctive, too. Many of the linguistic and ritual customs of the first islanders, who were Malay-Polynesian, remain today. Visitors will often hear talk of fady, meaning taboo – actions which should be avoided for fear of offending the ancestors and throwing the natural world out of balance.

    Pointing at sacred objects or bathing in certain rivers, for example, are fady. Being mindful of such conventions will earn you respect and is crucial if you’re invited to a traditional ritual such as Famadihana, the Turning of the Bones.