The world's fourth-largest island, Madagascar divided from India 60 million years ago and since then has been steadily drifting across the Indian Ocean back to Africa, its distinctive wildlife evolving in isolation.
The result of this seclusion is an extraordinary mix of animals, up to 85 per cent of which is found in Madagascar alone. Here you can see the worlds largest chameleon - and the world's smallest if you're lucky - colourful frogs and lizards, magnificent tropical birds and of course, Madagascar's most famous residents, the lemur, of which there are over 50 species.
With rainforest to the east, deciduous forest to the west and highlands in between, this fabulous island nation is one of the world's key conservation projects. Baobab trees are another distinctive sight. As such, Madagascar travel plans are often focussed on the country's impressive national parks and nature reserves.