Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tours 2017
A conspiracy of Ringtail lemurs, Anja  
Indri at Andasibe-Mantadia, where it is a flagship species  
The endangered Greater bamboo lemur is best sought in Ranomafana  
Largest of all chameleons, Parson's chameleon inhabits Andasibe  
Typical Highlands architecture  
One of the numerous species of Boophis tree frog found in the rainforest at Ranomafana  
The animated diurnal Ringtailed mongoose, one of the island's 9 endemic carnivores (Gerald Cubitt)  
The widespread but rare Black and white ruffed lemur can be seen at Ranomafana  
Long-tailed ground-roller, Ifaty: this rarity is best seen here.  
The endangered Golden bamboo lemur is reliably seen only at Ranomafana  
'Ruinforme' dry sandstone formations in Isalo National Park.  
Giraff weevil, one of Madagascar's numerous 'small scale marvels'.  
16 day tour
Including flights and transfers
Prices from
£3895

Tour Highlights

  • Indris, Verreaux's sifakas, Ringtails and other Lemurs galore!
  • Colourful chameleons, geckos and a plethora of tree frogs
  • Woolly, Dwarf and Mouse lemurs during night walks
  • Mesites, Couas, Ground-rollers, Asities, Vangas and other endemic birds
  • Intriguing Malagasy culture
  • Rainforest and Spiny bush; Orchids & Baobabs
I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tours 2017
I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tours 2017

Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tours 2017

Madagascar

Our very popular and successful set, small group tours allow you to explore some of Madagascar's spectacular, protected areas for their compellingly unique wildlife in a diverse range of habitats. You will see many species of lemurs, endemic birds, reptiles such as chameleons, and an unsurpassed array of plants, from baobabs to orchids.

These tours are led by experienced, higly-praised, professional guides. In locations where there are trails of varying grading, two parks guides are enlisted to take care of partipants: one for those preferring a more moderate pace, and one for those preferring a slower pace.

The itinerary includes a coastal stop at Ifaty, bordered by spiny bush. Accommodation is always in the best available lodges or hotels at each of the locations in the itinerary.

Should you wish to add individual extensions before or after the tour to other protected areas, or to a beach location, let us know and we can tailor-make something for you.

We will also be pleased to quote with other international carriers - ask us for details.

Group size: minimum 6 - maximum 10.

Read more about this tour


Day 1
Day 1
Antananarivo
Fly with Air France from London (or other selected regional airports) to Antananarivo via Paris CDG. On your arrival late this evening you will be met, assisted with currency exchange and transferred to Relais des Plateaux, a comfortable hotel only 10 minutes drive from the airport to stay overnight with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 2
Day 2
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park ('Perinet')
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. Your tour leader and driver will meet you and give the group a briefing. Depart on the 4hr drive east along good tarmac roads to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, the country's number 1 'must see' protected rainforest site. Located in the central-eastern escarpment, Andasibe is perhaps best known for key species such as Indri (largest of all extant lemurs), birds such Red-fronted coua and Coral-billed nuthatch vanga, and 'herps' including Mossy leaf-tailed gecko and the critically endangered Golden mantella, the area's flagship frog. Take a guided introductory walk in Andasibe where trails are mostly graded as 'easy'. After dinner, take a night walk across the road in Analamazaotra Forest Station which is administered by proactive NGO Association Mitsinjo. Stay in Vakona Forest Lodge or Sahatandra River Hotel.
Day 3
Day 3
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
After an early breakfast you will be taken to the rainforest at Andasibe, where the main objective is to see - among other species - the remarkable Indri. Hearing their whale-like calls emanating from the mist-enshrouded rainforests in the early mornings, is pure Malagasy magic at its best. During the dawn chorus birding is wonderfully productive too. In the quieter middle part of the day, visit Lemur Island, a refuge for lemurs confiscated from trappers. Another rainforest walk can be done in the mid afternoon and if you wish, a second night walk in Analamazaotra to catch up on species previously missed out on.
Day 4
Day 4
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Today you will be taken on a visit of the beautiful 10,000ha primary rainforest national park of Mantadia. It is about 37km north of Andasibe and holds a select band of mammals, birds and 'herps' not necessarily present at Andasibe. Key attractions include Diadem sifaka, Black & white ruffed lemur, Scaley and Blue-headed ground-rollers; Parson's chameleon and colourful Mantella baroni frogs, among others. The scenery here is beautiful.
Day 5
Day 5
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park - Antananarivo
During the morning you will be taken on a final rainforest walk in Andasibe-Mantadia, during which you can seek species previously not seen. A visit will also be made to the reforestation project under way by Association Mitsinjo: this is one of the many inspiring initiatives now being supported by Money for Madagascar. After lunch, drive back to Antananarivo in time for dinner and overnight at Relais des Plateaux.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 6
Day 6
Antananarivo - Tulear (flight) - Ifaty
You will be transferred to the airport after breakfast for the flight to Tulear on the south-west coast. This is the most arid corner of the island and the natural habitat around it is mostly sub-arid 'spiny thicket' or Euphorbia-Didieraceae thorn bush. It is remarkable in places, being comprised of much bushy Euphorbia interspersed with drought-resistant trees and plants including Bottle baobabs (here Adansonia rubrostipa) and spiky Octopus trees (Didieraceae family). The endemicity rate among this floral assemblage is remarkably high and people come here also to seek some rare, range-restricted birds and reptiles. They include the Long-tailed ground-roller (pictured). Stay for 2 nights in the very comfortable Les Dunes d'Ifaty.
Accommodation: Les Dunes d'Ifaty
 
Day 7
Day 7
Ifaty
An early start: after breakfast, you will be taken to a nearby parcel of 'spiny bush' (there are two locally managed/protected parcels that are visited this day) to see the remarkable flora which travel writing legend Dervla Murphy so aptly Christened 'Nature's Botanical Lunatic Asylum'. In this otherworldly habitat you'll be able to seek some very rare birds such as the aforementioned ground-roller; Sub-desert mesite and LaFresnaye's vanga, along with rare or range-restricted reptiles such as Madagascar radiated tortoise (now critically endangered) and the strange little Three-eyed lizard.
Day 8
Day 8
Ifaty - Zombitse Forest National Park - Isalo National Park
This morning travel 20 minutes south along the recently tarred road back to Tulear, outside where you will stop at Arboretum de Antsokay, a delightful place for nature enthusiasts which showcases the strange sub-arid South's spiny bush habitat. Its also great for small wildlife - one can see many birds, reptiles and wonderful invertebrates. Continue traveling inland for just under 3hrs on a good, flat tarmac road to Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, where some very range-restricted species are found: you'll be able to look for Verreaux's sifaka; Hubbard's sportive lemur; the massive Oustalet's chameleon; Standing's day gecko and birds including the locally endemic Appert's greenbul and the stately Giant coua. After the nature walk in Zombitse, continue 1 hour to the sandstone massif of Isalo, where the country's most visited national park is located. Stay 2 nights at the very comfortable Relais la Reine
Accommodation: Relais de la Reine de Isalo
             
Day 9
Day 9
Isalo National Park
Your guides will take you to explore Isalo National Park. While much of the park is comprised of dry, 'ruiniforme' sandstone formations, trails do take visitors to verdant streamside vegetation. Here, you can look for Ringtail lemurs, Verreaux’ sifakas and locally endemic flora. The best known plant here is the dumpy 'Elephant's foot' Pachypodium, which flowers in September. Look on the lodge buildings at night for birds such as Madagascar long-eared owl, Madagascar white-browed owl and Madagascar nightjar.
Accommodation: Relais de la Reine de Isalo
             
Day 10
Day 10
Isalo National Park - Anja - Ambalavao
After breakfast, drive about 6-7hours east across the desolate central southern interior (Bara country) to a granite domes region which marks the entrance to the southern Highlands. Here, visit another deservedly popular stop, Anja Parc, a community- managed protected area near Ambalavao which is home to a thriving population of Ringtailed lemur, the island's national mammal. Overnight in Bougainvillier Hotel.
Day 11
Day 11
Ambalavao - Ranomafana National Park
A 3 - 4 hour drive north-east will take you to the upland rainforest of Ranomafana National Park, where seeing 5 species of lemur in a day walk is not uncommon. Key species include the Milne-Edwards diadem sifaka and adorable Red-bellied lemur. Ranomafana is also home to a number of rare bird species, including the Brown mesite, Rufous-headed ground-roller, Yellow-bellied sunbird asity and Pollen's vanga. Walks vary in length from a couple of hours to a half day. Your accommodation for 3 nights is the recently completely refurbished Thermal Hotel, now the best accommodation at this park. Enjoy an introductory walk in this very beautiful national park.
Day 12
Day 12
Ranomafana National Park
Explore wonderful Ranomafana National Park today. Here, look for lemurs such as the endangered Golden bamboo lemur (pictured), found almost exclusively in this rainforest. This icon of the park was discovered in the mid 1980s by primatologist Patricia Wright - who almost single-handedly put the park on the international tourism map and who established the Centre ValBio, which you may visit during your time at the park. Ranomafana is the only place where Broad-nosed, Golden and Grey (Eastern lesser) bamboo lemurs coexist. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, healthy climate and plentiful wildlife here.
Day 13
Day 13
Ranomafana National Park
You will have another day to explore Ranomafana's upland rainforest with your guides today. Aside from its many lemurs and birds, you'll have the chance to look for remarkable life forms such as the bark-mimicking Fringed gecko (Uroplatus). The area is especially good also for well known invertebrates such as the massive Madagascar comet moth and the day-active Urania moth. Orchids, Palms and Bamboos abound, the island holding more species of all three these plant groups than the African mainland does.
Day 14
Day 14
Ranomafana - Antsirabe
After breakfast and a final rainforest walk, begin the scenic journey northwards along the popular RN7 route, passing through Betsileo and then Merina territory, where you can see people cultivating rice, selling food on the roadside and at Antsirabe, numerous colourful rickshaws. Enjoy exploring some craft stalls and overnight in Couleur Café.
Accommodation: Couleur Café
     
Day 15
Day 15
Antsirabe - Antananarivo and departure
After a leisurely breakfast, depart Antsirabe through scenic Highlands country back to Antananarivo, where you have the use of day rooms at Relais des Plateaux. Visit some of the capital highlights with your guide. After a farewell dinner, those who are flying back to the UK with Air France, will be transferred to Antananarivo airport to check in for the Air France flight departing after midnight.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 16
Departure
Fly with Air France at about 01h00 to Paris CDG, where you arrive mid morning and connect with the regional Air France flight back to London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports), arriving back home at lunch time.

Pricing Information & Dates

16 day tour, from £3895 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Guide
Price Includes
* Air France international flights from London Heathrow or selected other airport to Antananarivo via Paris CDG (economy class seating) and departure taxes
* Air Madagascar domestic flights and departure taxes
* All accommodation and all meals
* Bottled mineral water in the vehicle.
* Park entry permits
* Services of your professional, experienced, English-speaking wildlife expert guide and of an experienced driver
* All private road transfers and transportation.

SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT: £630

2017 DATES:
02 - 17 SEPTEMBER (Fully booked)
16 SEPTEMBER - 01 OCTOBER (Fully booked)
21 SEPTEMBER - 06 OCTOBER (One spaces remaining/single room)
07 - 22 OCTOBER (Fully booked)
22 OCTOBER - 06 NOVEMBER (Fully booked)

Group size: minimum 6, maximum 10.
Price Excludes
* Visa fee (single entry 1 month visa currently 27 Euros, issued on arrival)
* Drinks
* Items of a personal nature (travel insurance, phone calls, laundry, gratuities).
Price Notes
PLEASE NOTE: flights are booked on an ad-hoc basis so airfares are quoted based on a low season fare and are subject to availability at time of booking.

At Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, some of the tours stay in Sahatandra River Hotel, others at Vakona Forest Lodge.

At Ranomafana National Park we have upgraded to the recently, completely refurbished Thermal Hotel, now the best accommodation at this national park.

At Isalo National Park we have changed the hotel to Relais la Reine, following feedback from the 2016 season.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  3.   Tulear
  4.   Ifaty
  5.   Zombitse-Vohibasia Forest National Park
  6.   Isalo National Park
  7.   Antsirabe
  8.   Ranomafana National Park

Accommodation on this Tour

Relais de la Reine de Isalo
Relais de la Reine de Isalo
Isalo National Park, Madagascar
Relais de la Reine de Isalo This firm favorite with visitors is next door to, and under same ownership as Jardin du Roy. Blocks of six spacious, en suite rooms are grouped around a courtyard. The......
             
Relais Des Plateaux
Relais Des Plateaux
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Relais Des Plateaux is positioned on the outskirts of Antananarivo and is just a ten minute drive away from the airport. Rooms are large and comfortable with air-conditioning and mini-bar. The hotel has a large outdoor heated pool and a spacious new restaurant.
   

Image Gallery

Reviews

'We enjoyed this holiday greatly. The itinerary was good but it was the local guide Mike who did a fantastic job on the ground to make the tour work seamlessly. Some of our fellow travellers were very experienced world travellers but we found their expectations to be very high to the point of being ridiculous eg complaining that beer was 'not cold enough'. Overall a fantastic holiday - Thanks!'

Mr Stevenson and Ms Dewberry
December 1, 2016

'Jessica was absolutely excellent. She always made sure everyone got the most out of the trip, according to their abilities. Setam Lodge had lovely food - the best on the trip! Another day in the park (Ranomafana) would have been good'. 

Mr and Mrs Brooks
October 26, 2016

'Gersica was superb and success of the holiday was all down to her. She is a treasure! Air Madagascar were for once very reliable. The pace of the tour and some distances travelled seemed unrelenting towards the end but we would not have missed any of it!.

We loved Les Dunes (Ifaty). Chilled out in bungalow overlooking beach. The Malagasy traditional meal at Setam Lodge was the food highlight of the tour. 

Gersica could not have been better organised, more considerate or more attentive. She is one of the best tour leaders we have experienced in over 30 years of travel on small group holidays'. 

Mr and Mrs Johnson
October 20, 2016

'We had a wonderful holiday - thank you. Our guide Gersica was fantastic - one of the best we have ever had and we have been travelling for years! She went out of her way to ensure each individual's needs were met and is so knowledgeable, too'. 

Ms Pearson & Ms Chippendale
October 12, 2016
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