Madagascar - Enigmatic Wildlife Tour with Marius Burger
Fossa are best sought in Kirindy  
Verreaux's sifaka is plentiful at Kirindy  
Madagascar giant gold-barred skink, Kirindy  
Conspiracy of Red-fronted lemurs, Kirindy  
Oustalet's chameleon, Menabe Antimena PA  
Giant jumping rat can only be seen in Kirindy  
Big-headed gecko, Kirindy  
Fork-marked lemur is easily seen at night in Kirindy  
Gray mouse lemur, Marofandilia Forest  
Fossa in Kirindy  
Red-fronted sportive lemur, Kirindy  
Chameleon at Baobab Alley near Kirindy  
Giant coua is often seen in Kirindy  
Coquerel's coua, smaller than Giant coua, is resident in Kirindy  
Endangered Suarez Baobabs, Montagne des Francais Reserve  
Chameleon with Nosy Lonja in background, Diego Suarez  
Gaping threat display of Leaf-tailed gecko  
Giant leaf-tailed gecko, Fontenay Park  
Mossy leaf-tailed gecko, Montagne d'Ambre (Craig)  
Spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko, Montagne d'Ambre (Craig)  
Petite Cascade, Montagne d'Ambre  
Perrier's black sifakas, Andriafiamena Andavakoera (Daniel)  
Sickle-billed vanga behaves like Africa's wood-hoopoes  
Blue vanga  
Rufous vanga can be heard duetting in the forest at Andrafianema  
Ankarana sportive lemur  
'Tsingy' limestone pinnacles, Ankarana Est (Mike Unwin)  
Exploring a wildlife trail, Ankarana Est (Derek)  
Male Crowned lemur  
Tsingy limestone pinnacle formations, Ankarana Ouest (Derek)  
Giant hognosed snake, Ankarana  
Collared iguanid lizard, Ankarana  
Crowned lemur female (MTB)  
Male Black lemur  
Panther chameleon (male)  
Aye aye at Le Palmarium private reserve  
Blue coua is plentiful in Andasibe-Mantadia  
Diademed sifaka (Critically Endangered) is easily seen at Andasibe  
Pitta-like ground-roller is found in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park  
Brookesia supercilliaris (stump-tailed chameleon)  
Endangered Black & white ruffed lemur is approachable at Le Palmarium  
Seeing and hearing Indri makes for a wonderful ending to this tour!  
Tour leader Marius Burger in the field (in Borneo)  
Marius works hard to locate those critters!  
Marius Burger in the field, South Africa  
19 day tour
Prices from
£8250

Tour Highlights

  • Indri, various Sifakas and many other lemurs
  • Chameleons, from gigantic Parsons and Oustalet's chameleons to tiny Brookesias
  • Couas, Vangas, Newtonias and other endemic birds
  • Six endemic Baobab species
  • Incredible night walks throughout the trip, delivering oddities such as Aye ayes
I'm enquiring about: Madagascar - Enigmatic Wildlife Tour with Marius Burger

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I'm enquiring about: Madagascar - Enigmatic Wildlife Tour with Marius Burger

Madagascar - Enigmatic Wildlife Tour with Marius Burger

Madagascar
We are very proud to be offering this Enigmatic Wildlife Tour in collaboration with our partners Tropical Birding, to a fine selection of Madagascar's awe inspiring wild places. As is the case with other Enigmatic Wildlife Tours, the objective of the tour is to reveal to a small group of participants more than just the usual flagship species; which the majority of tour groups come to see.
In this regard, the tour leader is absolutely key, and we are absolutely delighted to once again be working with respected author and herpetologist, wildlife photographer and conservation biologist, Marius Burger, who has been to Madagascar some 30 times, mostly to lead tours but also to do research. (Marius has a Malagasy tree frog named after him, Boophis burgeri). 
 
The Tour Leader:
Marius Burger is an author, researcher and wildlife photographer. He has compiled 120 faunal specialist reports for a variety of environmental consultancies and biodiversity projects; published 43 scientific, peer-reviewed papers and 73 semi-scientific/popular articles and he has presented 49 papers at international or national symposia.
Marius spent many years conducting field research and conservation work in countries such as Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mozambique. He is co-author of Chameleons of South Africa, and the Atlas and Red List of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, For the latter, he led the South African Reptile Conservation Assessment field surveys over three summers, covering more than 100,000 km. With his phenomenal prowess when it comes to locating a myriad elusive species in oftentimes challenging terrain, and his extensive experience in Madagascar, this group will be sure to chalk up many more critters than would otherwise be the case.
 
The itinerary:
The itinerary begins with a stint in the central western lowlands, where we explore the fascinating Kirindy Forest, part of Menabe Antimena Protected Area. Our targets here include the likes of Fosa (Madagascar's biggest carnivore); Narrow-striped mongoose and a plethora of lemurs such as Verreaux's sifakas and Red-fronted brown lemurs by day, and at night, Pale fork-marked lemur; Coquerels giant mouse lemur; Red-tailed sportive lemur and the diminutive Gray and Madame Berthes mouse lemurs -  the latter (Endangered) exists only here and is scarce at best. We will also seek the endangered Giant jumping rat and Western big-footed mouse, among others . In terms of herps we should locate - among others - Oustalets chameleon and Fish-scaled gecko.
We fly back from Morondava to Antananarivo, which acts as a centrally located hub for tours encompassing various regions. The next part of our journey involves a flight to the far north coast. (Diego Suarez). 
From this very dry area, we make a quick trip to Montagne des Francais Reserve and then head an hour's drive south to the rainforest-clad Montagne d'Ambre for a 2-night stay. Like Kirindy, the private reserve at Domain de Fontenay, is usually exceptionally rewarding for nocturnal wildlife viewing. Many people come to Fontenay Private Park to seek the herpetofauna, which includes a few species of the remarkable Leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus). We have a strong chance to see various species of Leaf-tailed geckos, a wide variety of chameleons and frogs, as well as nocturnal lemurs (Arnhold's mouse lemur and Amber Mountain dwarf lemur are both common here). Montagne d'Ambre National Park also delivers mammals such as Sanford's lemur, Ring-tailed mongoose and Red forest rat.
We then travel to the recently protected area of Andrafiamena Andavakoera, where a population of one of the world's 25 rarest primates, Perrier's black sifaka, is the main attraction. Day and night walks in the tropical deciduous forest here, are delightful. Mammals resident apart from the sifaka, include Daraina sportive lemur, Ankarana sportive lemur and Crowned lemur. We will also look for Northern rufous mouse lemur and 'herps' including the robust Madagascar velvet gecko, Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, colourful Madagascar giant day gecko and chameleons including the unusual Petter's chameleon.
The next area on our programme is the otherwordly Ankarana National Park, which has that world class WOW factor when it comes to incredible landscapes. Here we're talking 'tsingy' limestone pinnacle-fields; caves and wildlife-rich deciduous dry forests. We'll look for Crowned and Sanford's lemurs; Ankarana sportive lemur and a variety of birds including Crested coua, Sickle-billed, Blue and Rufous vangas and 'herps' including the unusual spectacle of Madagascar cat-eyed snakes aggregating by the lakeshore at night to prey on frogs. Many of the island's endemic bat species frequent Ankarana's caves. 
 
We then travel through Sambirano countryside to Ankify and cross by speedboat to Nosy Be island. Here, an excursion to Lokobe National Park should reveal Black lemur, the critically endangered Hawk's sportive lemur and locally endemic Claire's mouse lemur. Herpetofauna is prolific in this small tract of Sambirano forest, with key species including Minute leaf chameleon (Brookesia minima); Red-legged girdle lizard, Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko and Northern big-eyed snake. 
The final section of our itinerary involves flying back to Antananarivo and travelling to the eastern escarpment for some time in the humid eastern region. First, we travel to the lowlands to explore the Palmarium Private Reserve by tranquil Lac Ampitabe. Here, people come to see habituated Aye ayes on a wooded islet in the lake. These epitomise all that is weird and wonderful about Madagascar's wildlife. Wildlife is prolific in this small tract of east coast littoral forest, with notable species present including the Critically Endangered Black and white ruffed lemur.
 
Finally, we drive inland to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, the country's number 1 protected eastern rainforest area. Here we'll explore the wildlife-rich rainforest by day and by night, to seek its diverse inhabitants Iconic mammals on the list include Indri, Diademed sifaka and at night, Eastern woolly lemur, Weasel sportive lemur and Goodman's mouse lemur. Birding is superb, with specials such as Blue coua and Coralbilled nuthatch vanga regularly being encountered. The area's herpetofauna is rich, with chameleons including the gigantic Parson's chameleon and the far smaller Nose-horned chameleon and Brown leaf chameleon. From Andasibe, we travel back to the capital after a busy but fascinating wildlife tour.    
 
 
 

Day 1
06 November 2021: Antananarivo
Welcome to Madagascar: on arrival into Antananarivo today, you will be welcomed and transferred to Relais des Plateaux, a comfortable hotel about 15 minutes drive from the airport, to stay overnight.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 2
07 November 2021: Antananarivo - Morondava (flight) - Kirindy Forest
We transfer to the airport to check in for the late morning flight to Morondava on the central-west coast.
 
On arrival, we travel in 4-wheel drive vehicles about 90 minutes north to Kirindy Forest, to stay 2 nights in en-suite bungalows at Relais du Kirindy.
 
Along the way we make a photo stop at the famed Avenue des Baobabs.
 
We will visit this fascinating forest on an afternoon and night walk, in search of its remarkable wildlife.
Accommodation: Relais du Kirindy
       
Day 3
08 November 2021: Kirindy Forest
We will make a morning and late afternoon/ night walk in Kirindy Forest in search of its wildlife. Trails are flat and the terrain is easy. (Weather will be hot so take very light, comfortable clothing.
Accommodation: Relais du Kirindy
       
Day 4
09 November 2021: Marofandilia Forest - Morondava (drive)
After an early breakfast, we visit Kirindy Forest to catch up on species previously missed. Afterwards, we travel back to Morondava to stay overnight in the relaxed and comfortable Palissandre Cote Ouest.
Day 5
10 November 2021: Morondava - Antananarivo (flight)
We visit a private forest site near Morondava before we transfer to the airport for the flight to Antananarivo.
 
On arrival back into the capital, we transfer to Relais des Plateaux for an overnight stay. (Tomorrow morning, we depart early again for the far north coast).
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 6
11 November 2021: Antananarivo - Diego Suarez (flight) - Montagne d'Ambre
We transfer to Ivato Airport to check in for the flight up to Diego Suarez on the remote north coast. On arrival, we travel in 4-wheel drive vehicles to the nearby Montagne des Francais Reserve where we do the easy Baobab Trail walk.
 
We then drive about an hour southwards to the rainforest-clad Montagne d'Ambre National Park. Here, we stay for 2 nights at Domain de Fontenay, which has a large private forest reserve.
 
This is where we make a night walk after dinner - the place is a treasure trove for wildlife enthusiasts.
Accommodation: Domain de Fontenay
           
Day 7
12 November 2021: Montagne d'Ambre
After breakfast, we'll visit beautiful Montagne d'Ambre National Park, to explore this isolated rainforest which is not part of the eastern rainforest band. As such, there's a high level of faunal endemicity with many new species having been described there during surveys over the last couple of decades.
 
We make another night walk as the nocturnal wildlife is so prolific here.
Accommodation: Domain de Fontenay
           
Day 8
13 November 2021: Montagne d'Ambre - Andrafiamena Andavakoera Protected Area
We drive along very variable roads to Andrafiamena Andavakoera, where we stay for 2 nights in the much enjoyed Black Lemur Camp, a community-managed property on a forested hillside.
 
Here we take afternoon and night walks in search of rare wildlife.
Accommodation: Black Lemur Camp
                   
Day 9
14 November 2021: Andrafiamena Andavakoera Protected Area
After breakfast we walk into the forest starting behind the camp. This excursion should bring us to one of the habituated families of Perrier's black sifaka, a critically endangered lemur of which the viable breeding population may number as few as 150 individuals.
 
We make another night walk after dark.
Accommodation: Black Lemur Camp
                   
Day 10
15 November 2021: Andrafiamena Andavakoera - Ankarana National Park
We travel along variable roads (with some stretches being potholed) to Ankarana Ouest, where we stay for 2 nights in the uniquely stylish Iharana Bush Camp.
 
In the late afternoon/early evening we will go up to a viewpoint in the 'tsingy' formations, where we enjoy sundowners. A night walk will take us to the lakeshore near the lodge, where we will look for snakes which congregate to prey on amphibians at night - this is a very unusual experience.
Accommodation: Iharana Bush Camp
                             
Day 11
16 November: Ankarana Est wildlife excursion
After an early breakfast we drive around the southern side of Ankarana to Mahamasina Gate, near where we take a wildlife walk along an easy trail. We also go to see the 'tsingy rary' formations. After lunch at Ankarana Lodge and another shorter walk, we drive back to Ankarana Ouest to stay overnight in Iharana Bush Camp.
Accommodation: Iharana Bush Camp
                             
Day 12
17 November 2021: Ankarana Ouest - Ankify (drive) - Nosy Be (speedboat)
We drive to Ankify jetty after breakfast, where we take a speedboat transfer to Nosy Be port. Here we are met and transferred to Vanila Hotel to stay overnight.
 
In the late afternoon, we take an excursion for sundowners to Mont Passot, where the sunsets are magical.
Accommodation: Vanila Hotel
       
Day 13
18 November 2021: Nosy Be - Antananarivo (flight)
This morning we make an excursion by road and boat to Lokobe National Park, which protects the last tract of Sambirano Forest on Nosy Be.
 
We transfer to Nosy Be airport to check in for the flight back to Antananarivo this afternoon.
 
On arrival we transfer to Relais des Plateaux, where we overnight.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 14
19 November 2021: Antananarivo - Le Palmarium
After breakfast, we head eastwards in 4-wheel drive vehicles to Manambato, where we are met and transferred by motorised boat to the relaxed Le Palmarium, for a two night stay.
 
Tonight we take a boat excursion to a wooded islet where there is a habituated population of one of the most extraordinary mammals on earth, the Aye aye.
Accommodation: Le Palmarium
               
Day 15
20 November 2021: Le Palmarium Private Reserve
Today will be fairly relaxed as the terrain in this rare tract of East Coast Littoral Forest is flat, and trails broad. We'll be able to see plenty of rare wildlife, notably the Critically Endangered Black & white ruffed lemur, which here is very approachable.
Accommodation: Le Palmarium
               
Day 16
21 November 2021: Le Palmarium Private Reserve - Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
We transfer back to Manambato, from where we travel inland to the country's best-known protected rainforest, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
 
We enjoy an introductory rainforest walk and after dark, a night walk in Mitsinjo Rainforest.
Accommodation: Mantadia Lodge
           
Day 17
22 November 2021: Andasibe-Mantadi National Park
We explore Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, to seek one of the resident groups of Indri, as well as Diademed sifaka and a host of other rainforest-dependent species.
 
After dark, we'll make another night walk to chalk up more nocturnal animals.
 
Accommodation: Mantadia Lodge
           
Day 18
23 November 2021: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park - Antananarivo
After a final morning walk in Andasibe, we drive back up to Antananarivo, where we have the use of day/evening rooms for those departing on Air France early next morning, or stay overnight.
 
Farewell dinner at a nearby restaurant, after an extraordinary trip!
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 19
24 November 2021: Departure
You will be transferred to Ivato AIrport to check in for your flight home.

Pricing Information & Dates

19 day tour, from £8250 per person
Price Includes
Return international flights from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Antananarivo****
Domestic Tsaradia/Air Madagascar flights
Airport taxes
Airport facilitation
Services of tour leader Marius Burger throughout the tour
Services of experienced Malagasy wildlife expert guide throughout the tour
Services of drivers
Services of reserve/ national park guides.
National Park permits
All transfers and transportation in comfortable, private, 4-wheel drive vehicles
Activities and excursions as detailed
All accommodation as outlined
All meals
Bottled mineral water
Price Excludes
Madagascar visa (35 euro, issued on arrival)
Drinks
Items of a personal nature (tips, phone calls, laundry, travel insurance)
Price Notes
Single room supplement: £615

**** If you do not require international flights, please deduct £900 off the tour price per person, as that is the return Air France economy class fare we have quoted on here, from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Antananarivo via Paris CDG.

Accommodation on this Tour

Black Lemur Camp
Black Lemur Camp
Andrafiamena Andavakoera, Madagascar
Black Lemur Camp In remote Parc Andrafiamena Andavakoera,  Black Lemur Camp is a recently opened property (2016); no-frills but comfortable and managed by proactive NGO Fanamby.It is about 4hrs......
                   
Domain de Fontenay
Domain de Fontenay
Montagne d’Ambre National Park, Madagascar
Domain de Fontenay Best known for its 300 hectare private forest park, this lodge is located near Joffreville so offers excellent accommodation for those wishing to experience beautiful Montagne......
           
Iharana Bush Camp
Iharana Bush Camp
Ankarana National Park, Madagascar
Situated about 16 km from the town of Ambilobe, Iharana Bush Camp has eight bungalows with en suite facilities (showers not bath tub). The design reflects a unique crossover between traditional Malagasy and African styling.
                             
Le Palmarium
Le Palmarium
Pangalanes Canal, Madagascar
Le Palmarium About an hour by motorised boat from Manambato village (which in turn is about 4 hours drive east of Andasibe) or 2h30min from Port Fluvial, Tamatave, this simple, relaxed and no-frills......
               
Mantadia Lodge
Mantadia Lodge
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar
Mantadia Lodge Sure to become the most sought- after accommodation servicing Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, this lodge, under the same ownership as Couleur Café in Antsirabe, was opened in......
           
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.
       
Relais du Kirindy
Relais du Kirindy
Kirindy Forest, Madagascar
Comfortable, no-frills accommodation with swimming pool, half an hour's drive from Kirindy Forest.
       
Vanila Hotel
Vanila Hotel
Nosy Be, the Mitsio and Radama islands, Madagascar
Vanila Hotel is a welcoming beachfront hotel run by the father-and-son team of Jean-Louis and Damien Salles and is one of the nicest on Nosy Be. It has good facilities and is an excellent base for scuba diving, sailing and deep-sea fishing.
       

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