Lemurs, rare birds, chameleons, baobabs, orchids and many other weird and wonderful life forms await nature enthusiasts in Madagascar
See the best of Madagascar's wildlife with us
To see a fair spectrum of Madagascar's endemic wildlife you need to visit at least one site in each of the country's dramatically contrasting habitats: we recommend Andasibe-Mantadia National Park for the eastern rainforest experience, then Kirindy Forest for the tropical dry deciduous forests of the western lowlands. Round off the experience with a visit to Berenty Private Reserve in the sub-arid southern Spiny desert zone.
Pics © Craig Kaufman (CK) unless otherwise indicated
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Day 1: Fly to Madagascar
Fly from London Heathrow or selected other UK airports to Antananarivo, arriving late evening. You'll be welcomed and taken to Relais des Plateaux to overnight with breakfast.
Day 2 - 3: Begin the rainforest experience
Your dedicated professional wildlife expert guide and driver take you to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park where you stay for 3 nights in Andasibe Hotel or Vakona Forest Lodge on a half board basis. Make an introductory rainforest walk with them into this beautiful place, or visit lemur island.
Day 4: Madagascar rainforest magic: Indris and other endemic animal oddities
Explore the mid altitiude rainforest of Andasibe aka 'Perinet' with your guides, who know where to locate resident wildlife including iconic species such as Indri, Parson's chameleon, Blue coua and many more. Night walk with the guides who manage a small rainforest parcel, VOIMMA
Day 5: Mantadia National Park
Visit some primary rainforest in search of a host of rare species including Diadem sifaka and Pittalike ground-roller. Views from the ridges are lovely.
Day 6: Back to Antananarivo
Early morning rainforest walk followed by a visit to the tree nursery of Association Mitsinjo, an NGO that does commendable work in this area aimed at assisting permanently resident communities and habitat protection and restoration. You'll be invited to plant an endemic tree as part of ongoing reforestation work here - what better way could there be to really put something back into Malagasy soil?
Drive about 4 hours along a good road back to Antananarivo to overnight in Relais des Plateaux with breakfast.
Day 7: Fly to Morondava and drive to Kirindy via Alley of Baobabs
You'll be transferred to Ivato airport for the flight to Morondava on the hot, dry west coast. On arrival, your driver and guide take you via the famed Allee des Baobabs to Kirindy Forest for a two night stay in Camp Amoureux with all meals included.
Exploration of Kirindy and Marofandilia Forests should reveal the likes of endangered Giant jumping rat, Fosa and tiny Madame Berthe's mouse lemurs.
Day 8: Kirindy and Marofandilia Forests - Menabe Sakalava country
Explore the dry deciduous forest of Kirindy, where people come to look for Fosa in particular. Birders can seek the likes of White-breasted mesite, Coquerel's coua and Sicklebill vangas and those into herpetology should see gigantic Oustalet's chameleon and Collared iguanids.
Day 9: Drive to Morondava
After a final early morning walk in Kirindy, travel 2 hours back to Morondava, stopping along the way near the Baobab alley to visit another tree planting project, this time managed by FANAMBY, Here, you can make a contribution with a difference and plant a sapling of one of the three endemic Baobabs species that occur in the area!
Continue to Morondava to chill out and relax at the lovely Palissandre Cote Ouest with dinner and breakfast included.
Day 10: Fly to Antananarivo
As Antananarivo acts as a centrally located 'hub' for itineraries involving exploration of different regions of Madagascar, you fly back here today and your guide and driver take you back to Relais des Plateaux to overnight, breakfast included. Sightseeing is included in either Morondava and/or Antananarivo, flight schedules depending.
Day 11: Fly to Fort Dauphin and drive to Berenty
To round off your Madagascar Wildlife experience, fly south to Fort Dauphin today. There your guide and driver take you 4 hours along a frightful road (but the journey is very scenic) to Berenty Private Reserve. This allows you to explore the weird 'spiny bush' and some dry Tamarind woods, brimming with wildlife. Flagship species that people come from all over the world to see here include the Ringtail lemur, the 'dancing' Verreaux's sifakas and stately Giant coua. Stay 2 nights in Berenty Lodge on a half board basis.
Day 12: Berenty Private Reserve
You'll quickly see why this is Madagascar's most famed protected area: there's abundant wildlife and its easily found as the reserve has a well maintained grid of broad trails. You can also do night walks to seek the likes of Madagascar flying fox, White-footed sportive lemur and Gray mouse lemur.
Day 13: Return to Fort Dauphin
After a morning walk in Berenty, set off back to Fort Dauphin to overnight in Berenty Lodge's sister hotel, Croix du Sud, with dinner and breakfast included.
Day 14: Fly to Antananarivo and depart
You'll be taken to Fort Dauphin airport to check in for the flight back to Antananarivo. Here, you'll have a day/ evening room if flying out on Air France. Visit the Artisans Market for some souvenir and handicraft shopping. Evening transfer to the airport to check in for the Air France flight departing after midnight
Day 15: Fly back home
Early morning departure around 01h00 to Paris CDG, arriving mid morning. Connect with the lunch time flight to London Heathrow or selected other UK airports.
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Madagascar, Africa
Price per person is based on 2 adults travelling together, sharing in twin or double room accommodation and includes return international economy class Air France flights from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Antananarivo via Paris CDG; all domestic Air Madagascar flights; airport taxes; airport facilitation; all private transfers and private 4WD transportation; services of dedicated professional English-speaking Malagasy natural history expert guide and of drivers; excursions and activities as outlined; park permits and park guide fees; accommodation as outlined with meals as listed.
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