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Innumerable adjectives are used to describe Madagascar, as anyone who travels to this island-continent is inevitably enchanted and filled with wonder. They are most likely drawn to it for its unusual geology that forms majestic landscapes where extraordinary plant life thrives. Baobabs, kalanchoes and the aloes of Madagascar create a veritable botanical paradise for the many species of animals that live here.
Over 15 days, aboard Le Dumont-d'Urville, explore the red island during an expedition cruise combining encounters with the local communities, geological discoveries, and the opportunity to observe the native fauna and flora.
To the north of Madagascar, from the shores of Nosy Be - whose nickname used to be 'the island of perfumes' - you will begin your odyssey with a stop to discover the welcoming community of Nosy Komba.
In Mahajanga, you will explore Ankarafantsika National Park, home to numerous species of birds and lemurs, before heading to the picturesque and stunning Belo sur Mer. Here, enjoy a first encounter with the Vezo people, who are among the world's last 'sea nomads', and learn more about how they make their dugout canoes, used for trade.
Toliara, formerly Tuléar, comes into view at the mouth of the Onilahy River. Nearby, the wild expanses of southwestern Madagascar form UNESCO biosphere reserves thanks to their exceptional flora that will delight botany enthusiasts.
Along the vast beaches lined with dunes in Sarodrano, you will have the unique privilege of meeting and interacting with a small community of Vezos. You will visit their charming fishing village and sit with them in their authentic dugout canoes with square sails, to learn about their age-old seafaring skills.
Out at sea await turquoise waters and the natural pools of Nosy Ve, an islet of white sand that shelters a large colony of red-tailed tropicbirds.
It is now time to discover the fascinating Fort-Dauphin. More commonly called Tolagnaro, it is fascinating for its past marked by colonisation and for its natural environment where exceptional plant life has created a breathtaking décor.
After calling at Pointe des Galets on Réunion island, Le Dumont-d'Urville will reach Port Louis in Mauritius, where this unforgettable cruise will come to an end.
The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.