Published by Bradt / Madagascar ISBN 9781841623412 / Madagascar Wildlife ISBN 9781841622453

The Madagascar Guide has a General Information section of six chapters, covering the following: The Country (including geography, climate, history etc), People and Culture (origins, beliefs & customs, language, and ethnic groups), Natural History (flora & fauna, ecosystems etc), Practical Information (when to visit, itineraries, what to take etc), Health and Safety and Madagascar and You (carbon footprint & responsible tourism). The next ten chapters cover the various areas of Madagascar – and covers the history of each along with details of the areas. There are three appendices covering the history, language and further information and an index. Inside the front cover there is a list of essential information along with a key to the symbols of the book. The photographs come in two blocks and are really not necessary (though lovely to have) – this book is informative and a pleasure to read containing everything you could want and perhaps a lot more that you didn’t know you might need.

Madagascar Wildlife also has a map at the front of the book, with the reserves marked on it. The contents include: a wonderful Introduction which covers technical terms and classification information, followed by sections broken down by types of habitat: Rainforest, Deciduous & Seasonally Dry Forests, the Southern Region, Threatened Wetlands, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Frogs, Invertebrate Conservation Issues, a chapter on Madagascar at night, Camouflage, further information and an Index.

It is stuffed full of pictures of all sorts of creatures.

I am visiting Madagascar next month – and I will no doubt come back full of stories of my own and will see if the books fulfill their potential in real-time. I have no doubt they will. The Bradt Internet site (www.bradtguides.com) looks to be informative and lists all their publications.Though I have bought in my time guide books by DK, Lonely Planet, Marco Polo, Rough Guides, Blue Guides and numerous others – I have never read a guide-book from cover to cover as I have with these – remarkably detailed, with an eye on making sure the books don’t get too technical – at times amusing, but always interesting – quite extraordinary.

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