Madagascar Wildlife: Endangered Oddities and Icons with Daniel Austin: 2020
Fosa in hunting mode  
Oustalet's chameleon at Kirindy  
Sickle-billed vanga (Jan Gersag, Rainbow 2018 group tour client)  
Indri, largest of the lemurs, can be seen only in Madagascar  
Black & white ruffed lemur, Palmarium Reserve  
Giraffe-necked weevil, male, Andasibe. (Craig)  
Mossy leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus) is best sought at Montagne d'Ambre  
Blue coua is commonly seen in Andasibe-Mantadia's rainforest  
Aye aye at Le Palmarium reserve  
Fosa at night!  
Coquerel's coua, Kirindy  
Giant jumping rat at Kirindy  
Daniel's 2018 group in Ankarana Est  
Daniel's 2018 group in Mandresy Cave, Ankarana  
Daniel's 2017 group studying Red-fronted brown lemur in Kirindy  
Grey mouse lemur in Kirindy  
Daniel's 2017 group planting Baobabs near Kirindy  
Indri and youngster, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park  
Baobab Alley in the Menabe (Daniel)  
Red-fronted brown lemur leaping in Kirindy  
Big-headed gecko, Kirindy  
Uroplatus gigantea is quite common in Fontenay Private Park  
Male Panther chameleon - the species is common in the Northern region  
Tsingy formations at Ankarana National Park  
18 day tour
Prices from
£7495

Tour Highlights

  • Aye ayes and Ruffed lemurs at Le Palmarium
  • Indri, Diadem Sifaka and Brown lemurs in Andasibe-Mantadia
  • Baobabs galore in the Menabe
  • Fosa, Giant Jumping rats and other rare wildlife in Kirindy
  • Leaftailed geckoes and chameleons at Montagne d'Ambre
  • Perrier's black sifakas in Andrafiamena
  • Tsingy, baobabs and wildife in Ankarana
  • Colourful reefs at Nosy Tanikely
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I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Wildlife: Endangered Oddities and Icons with Daniel Austin: 2020

Madagascar Wildlife: Endangered Oddities and Icons with Daniel Austin: 2020

Madagascar

Join Madagascar expert, tour leader and author of Bradt Guide to Madagascar; Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitors Guide and Madagascar Highlights, Daniel Austin, on a fascinating journey to seek some of the island's most endearing, weird & wonderful and also, most endangered inhabitants.   Daniel has led small groups of wildlife enthusiasts around Madagascar with us for several years, and if his 2016,2017 and the 2018 tour which he co-led with Hilary Bradt are anything to go by, this and next year’s adventures promise to be  wonderful experiences.

The tour begins with a journey to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park ('Perinet'), which surely is Madagascar's number 1 must see protected rainforest, for its iconic and Critically Endangered Indri, Diademed sifaka and many other flagship species of the eastern rainforest band.  During the time in Andasibe-Mantadia there will be wonderful guided wildlife walks.  Then travel down to the Palmarium Private Reserve in the eastern lowlands, where the main objective is to see wild Aye ayes. These nocturnal, cat-sized lemurs epitomise all that is bizarre about Malagasy life forms. Because most of the wildlife in the privately protected tract of east coast littoral forest at Palmarium is so well habituated, the site is a wildlife photographer's dream. 

The next leg of the tour entails a flight to the west coast town of Morondava, from where you travel about 2 hours north to Kirindy and Marofandilia forests. These seasonally dry deciduous forests receive some protection in the Menabe Antimena Protected Area.  Visitors come here from all over the world to look for an extraordinary assemblage of mammals, including Fosa (Fossa), the island's largest carnivore; the Endangered Giant jumping rat and various lemurs, notably our tiniest relative, Madame Berthe's mouse lemur.  To reach Kirindy, you pass through the 'baobab alley', a group of Grandidier's baobabs standing like sentinels presiding over a landscape converted  for pasture. Again, day and night walks are scheduled in this extraordinary area. Additionally, you will have the chance - as our previous groups have - to plant an endangered, endemic Baobab at the habitat restoration site managed by the NGO FANAMBY, which will be visited.  A quick flight from Morondava will have you back in Antananarivo, which acts as a centrally located 'hub' for those who wish to experience the country's incomparably varied ecotypes.

You then fly up to the far North coastal town Diego Suarez) near where you walk the Baobab Trail at Montagne des Francais Reserve. There you can see two of the endemic Baobabs of the northern region. Continue just an hour southwards to Montagne d'Ambre National Park for an overnight stay. This is mostly to seek its impressive nocturnal herpetofauna which includes various species of Uroplatus (Leaf-tailed geckos); chameleons and some nocturnal lemurs.

Andrafiamena Andavakoera,makes this trip that much more special: this relatively new protected area has been much enjoyed by our guests to date, including Daniel's October 2018 tour group. Its tropical deciduous dry forest is home to one of the world's 25 rarest primates, the Critically Endangered Perrier's black sifaka. It is possible to see up to three of the family groups during a day walk here - a truly memorable experience not least considering there are less than 400 of these enigmatic lemurs remaining globally.

From Andrafiamena, travel to Ankarana - the 'Lost World Within a Lost World' - for a two night stay. Your time here will enable for you to explore sunken deciduous forests, caves and marvel at the otherworldly scenery created by the 'tsingy' limestone pinnacle formations. After having experienced Ankarana, travel through Sambirano country by road and then by speedboat to Nosy Be, where you visit the Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve, praised for its psychedelic underwater world. This makes for a wonderful end to a comprehensive and busy tour!

As ever, Daniel will be accompanied on this tour by ace Malagasy wildife tour guide, Harry (Hery) Rakotosalama.

Minimum group size: 6
 
Maximum Group size: 10

Read more about this tour


Day 1
Day 1
04 September 2020 - Welcome to Madagascar!
Fly on Air France from London or selected other UK airports to Antananarivo via Paris CDG.
 
On arrival late this evening, you will be welcomed at Ivato Airport and transferred to the very comfortable Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 2
Day 2
05 September 2020: Antananarivo - Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, meet the rest of the participants and travel in comfortable, air-conditioned 4-wheel drive vehicles to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, in the eastern escarpment.
 
Here, stay for 3 nights in Vakona Forest Lodge with all meals included.
 
During the balance of the day, enjoy an introductory walk in the mid-altitude rainforest here, which because of its diverse wildlife (notably Indri), has become the island's number 1 must see protected rainforest.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
           
Day 3
Day 3
06 September 2020: Andasibe- Mantadia National Park
This morning, venture into the world renowned rainforest of Andasibe ('Perinet'), in search of its Indri and many other flagship species.
 
In the evening, make a second nocturnal wallk, in the small parcel of rainforest protected by VOIMMA, an association of resident guides.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
           
Day 4
Day 4
07 September 2020 - Mantadia National Park - the primary rainforest experience
Today you'll enjoy the primary rainforest experience when you visit Mantadia National Park, about 37km north of Andasibe along a rutted road. Here, terrain is steeper and trails narrower than is the case in Andasibe. The objective will be to seek flagship species including Diademed sifaka, Red-bellied lemur and various rainforest-dependent birds such as the Short-legged ground-roller, pictured here.
 
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
           
Day 5
Day 5
08 September 2020: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park - Le Palmarium Private Reserve
After breakfast, transfer by road down the escarpment to Manambato village, where you will be met and transferred by motorised boat for about an hour to Le Palmarium, where you stay for 2 nights in an en-suite bungalow with all meals included.
 
After dark, enjoy the first excursion to see the extraordinary Aye ayes which live on a wooded islet in Lac Ampitabe.
Accommodation: Le Palmarium
               
Day 6
Day 6
09 September 2020: Le Palmarium Private Reserve
Today, explore the East coast littoral forest at Palmarium Reserve, in search of its prolific diurnal wildlife which will be very much in evidence from time you arrive at the hotel, on the shore of Lac Ampitabe.
 
After dark, take another excursion to see the well habituated Aye ayes - the eye-to-brain connection with this extraordinary animal - the size of a large, overgrown house cat and strictly nocturnal - is unforgettable.
Accommodation: Le Palmarium
               
Day 7
Day 7
10 September 2020: Le Palmarium - Antananarivo
Depart after a leisurely breakfast on the motorised boat transfer along the Pangalanes Canal back to Manambato, where you will be met by your drivers. Transfer overland back up to Antananarivo, to stay overnight in Relais des Plateaux.
 
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 8
Day 8
11 September 2020: Antananarivo - Morondava (flight) - Kirindy Forest
This morning, transfer to Antananarivo Ivato Airport to check in for the lunch time Tsaradia flight to Morondava on the central west coast.
 
On arrival, you will be met and transferred in 4-wheel drive vehicles north to Kirindy Forest, via Baobab Alley. Stay 2 nights at Relais du Kirindy, all meals included.
 
Make a night walk in Kirindy in search of its diverse nocturnal inhabitants which include the likes of Fosa, Giant jumping rat and nocturnal primates including Red-tailed sportive lemur, Pale fork-marked lemur and Gray mouse lemur. You will also be taken to look for the tiny Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, now Endangered as it is found only in the Menabe Antimena Protected Area.
Accommodation: Relais du Kirindy
       
Day 9
Day 9
12 September 2020 : Kirindy and Marofandilia Forests (Menabe Antimena)
Today and tonight, you will be taken on guided walks in these fascinating dry forests which are home to a plethora of highly threatened animals and plants. Trails are easy and generally, wildlife viewing very rewarding.
Accommodation: Relais du Kirindy
       
Day 10
Day 10
13 September 2020: Kirindy Forest - Morondava - Antananarivo
After a final early morning walk in the Menabe Antimena dry forests, travel back to Morondava Airport - once again passing the Baobab Alley - to check in for the early afternoon Tsaradia flight back to Antananarivo.
 
(Photo is of one of Daniel's 2017 tour groups planting endangered Baobab saplings at the habitat restoration site managed by the NGO Fanamby), near the famed 'Baobab Alley'.
 
On arrival in the capital this afternoon, transfer back to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight.
 
Tonight you will be joined for dinner by our friends from Akany Avoko, supported here in the UK by Money for Madagascar.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 11
Day 11
14 September 2020: Antananarivo - Diego Suarez (flight) - Montagne d'Ambre National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Antananarivo airport for the Tsaradia flight to Diego Suarez on the far north coast.
 
On arrival, you will be taken to the dry Montagne des Francais (about 30 minutes drive from the town), to explore the Baobab Trail - here you can see two of the northern Malagasy Baobab species, the large Adansonia madagascariensis and the Endangered, much more localised Suarez baobabs.
 
Then drive about an hour southwards to Joffreville where climate and vegetation are remarkably different than that you will have seen earlier today. Montagne d'Ambre National Park protects an isolated rainforest-clad massif where fauna is quite different than that found in the eastern rainforest band which you will previously have seen.
 
The main focus for tonight is a nocturnal walk, because herpetofauna is particularly rich here. You will stay overnight at Domain de Fontenay, where people visit the private forest park to seek diverse nocturnal animals, notably various species of Uroplatus geckos and Chameleons. With luck, Dwarf and Mouse lemurs will also be in evidence.
Accommodation: Domain de Fontenay
           
Day 12
Day 12
15 September 2020: Montagne d'Ambre National Park - Andrafiamena Andavakoera Protected Area
A half-day drive today after an early morning forest walk, will take you to the recently established Andrafiamena Andavakoera Protected Area, a corridor of tropical deciduous forest with some limestone substrate and caves.
 
For two nights, your base will be the well tended Black Lemur Camp, highly praised by our guests. (Daniel and Hilary Bradt's 2018 tour visited here and had a wonderful time).
 
Night walk after dinner.
Accommodation: Black Lemur Camp
                   
Day 13
Day 13
16 September 2020: Andrafiamena Andavakoera Protected Area
After an early breakfast, venture out from behind the camp up along the forest trail into the Protected Area in search of some of the habituated Perrier's black sifakas which are protected here.
 
There are also endangered Northern sportive lemurs and various birds and reptiles to be seen. A packed lunch will be taken into the forest, so as to maximise chances of seeing the resident wildlife today.
 
In the afternoon, walk back to Black Lemur Camp and visit the nearby village; see the nursery managed by Fanamby and if you wish, plant an endemic sapling as part of the habitat restoration programme.
Accommodation: Black Lemur Camp
                   
Day 14
Day 14
17 September 2020: Andrafiamena Andavakoera - Ankarana National Park
Depart after breakfast to Ankarana Est, where you stay for two nights in Ankarana Lodge near Mahamasina Gate, all meals included.
 
This afternoon, a guided walk will be taken for tsingy formations; forest wildlife and after dinner, a short night walk in search of nocturnal animal life is on the programme.
Accommodation: Ankarana Lodge
           
Day 15
Day 15
18 September 2020: Ankarana National Park
Today you will be taken into Ankarana National Park, to marvel at the geological wonders packed into this 5km x 20km limestone fortress. There's also plenty of wildlife to be seen, including groups of Sanford's and Crowned lemurs; Ankarana sportive lemurs; various reptiles and birding is rewarding with the likes of Crested coua and Blue vanga being fairly commonly seen here.
Accommodation: Ankarana Lodge
           
Day 16
19 September 2020: Ankarana National Park - Ankify (drive) - Nosy Be (speedboat)
Depart after an early breakfast on the half-day drive through scenic Sambirano country, to the north-west town of Ankify. At the jetty, transfer by speedboat at noon, to Nosy Be (about 30 minutes). Stop at Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve to enjoy lunch and snorkelling.
 
Afterwards. you will be met and transferred to Vanila Hotel to stay overnight with all meals included. In the evening, you will be taken on an excursion for sundowners, to Mont Passot - on the way back down, keep a lookout for Black lemurs in the mango trees along the path.
Accommodation: Vanila Hotel
       
Day 17
Day 17
20 September 2020: Nosy Be - Antananarivo (flight)
Transfer to Nosy Be Airport to check in for the Tsaradia flight back to Antananarivo. During the balance of the day, you will be taken on a short guided tour of the capital including a visit to the Artisans' Market.
 
You will have the use of day /evening rooms in Relais des Plateaux.
 
In the later evening, you will be transferred to Ivato AIrport to check in for the flight departing after midnight to Paris CDG.
 
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 18
Day 18
21 September 2020: Departure (reluctantly!)
Fly from Antananarivo to Paris CDG (if taking Air France).
 
Remain air-side on arrival at CDG and connect with the lunchtime Air France flight back to London Heathrow or selected other UK airports.

Pricing Information & Dates

18 day tour, from £7495 per person
Itinerary Dates From Price
04 Sep 2020
-
21 Sep 2020
£7495
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 Daniel Austin throughout the tour
Services of experienced Malagasy 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: £550
Group size: minimum 6 - maximum 10.

Itinerary is based on Air France for international flights (2019 airfares so subject to change as these are booked on an ad-hoc basis). If you prefer to utilise another carrier, do let us know - we will be delighted to assist with booking flights.
Should you prefer to arrange your own international flights, please deduct £760 from the price per person as that is the equivalent of the Air France fare our tour price is based on.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  3.   Pangalanes Canal
  4.   Kirindy Forest
  5.   Montagne d’Ambre National Park
  6.   Andrafiamena Andavakoera
  7.   Ankarana National Park
  8.   Nosy Be, the Mitsio and Radama islands

Accommodation on this Tour

Ankarana Lodge
Ankarana Lodge
Ankarana National Park, Madagascar
Ankarana Lodge Location:Established by Yorke and Lydia Pareik who have lived in the Diego Suarez region for decades and who have a prodigious knowledge of the region, this comfortable, no-frills,......
           
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......
           
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......
               
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.
       
Vakona Forest Lodge
Vakona Forest Lodge
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar
This is a family-run property and the best hotel in the area. It has 28 comfortable rooms and bungalows, a pool and stables in a eucalyptus plantation and private reserve 7km from the entrance to Perinet. The lodge is 140 km from the capital, about 3 hours by tarred road.
           
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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