Most people visiting Madagascar do so for the wildlife, and there are a number of national parks and private reserves scattered throughout the country. Some are easier to reach than others – the dual Andasibe-Mantadia National Park area is just a few hours from the capital via a paved road, while other parks require days of driving and trekking to explore.
Scuba diving and snorkeling is exceptional in Nosy Be, and is also possible in other areas like Toliara. Be aware that the nearest hyperbaric chamber lies across the Mozambique Channel, and that outside of Nosy Be scuba equipment may not be up to expected standards, so exercise caution and be careful to minimize risks when diving. The condition of corals varies from pristine at Nosy Tanikely to completely destroyed elsewhere, and depending on time of year the visibility may exceed thirty metres, or may be reduced to zero by the outflow from rivers, which, due erosion caused by deforestation, can turn the ocean brown. In the far north near Diego kitesurfing and windsurfing are exceptional between April and November when a constant 30 knot wind makes the area one of the best surfing spots in the southern hemisphere. Kayaking and deep sea fishing are always rewarding water activities.
The UNESCO World Heritage site Rainforests of the Atsinanana is made up of six national parks along the eastern coast of Madagascar; Marojejy National Park, Masoala National Park, Zahamena National Park, Ranomafana National Park, Andringitra National Park and Andohahela National Park.