From Pangalanes Canal, travel up-country to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park 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 aka 'Perinet', there will be wonderful guided walks for diurnal and nocturnal wildlife.
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 in the seasonally dry deciduous forests which here, receive some protection in the Menabe Antimena Protected Area. Visitors come here from all over the world to look for an extraordinary variety of mammals, including Fosa (Fossa), the island's largest carnivore; the Endangered Giant jumping rat and various lemurs including our tiniest relative, Madame Berthe's mouse lemur. To reach Kirindy, you will pass through the 'baobab alley', a group of Grandidier's baobabs standing like sentinels in a landscape converted for agricultural purposes. Again, day and night walks are on the agenda in this extraordinary place. Here, you have the chance as our previous groups have, to plant an endangered, endemic Baobab at the habitat restoration site managed by the NGO FANAMBY,
A quick flight will have you back in Antananarivo, which acts as a 'hub' for people who wish to experience the country's three chief ecotypes, i.e. its humid eastern rainforests; seasonally dry western deciduous woods and its semi-arid southern 'spiny desert' zone. In Antananarivo there will be a visit to one of the NGOs which we support and an informative lecture by someone involved in conservation.
For the last part of the tour, fly south with Tsaradia to Fort Dauphin, from where a 4hr drive takes you to the country's most famed protected area, Berenty Private Reserve. Berenty was the location for many documentaries featuring Madagascar's national mammal, the Ringtail lemur, and perhaps the most endearing of lemurs, the acrobatic Verreaux's sifaka. This is where photographers come to see the sifakas 'dancing', a reference to their sideways hopping when they need to clear large distances of open ground between trees. As is the case with the other wildlife hotspots visited in this tour, there is plenty to see aside from lemurs: expect to tick off a fair list of the country's endemic birds; wonderful reptiles and frogs and fascinating invertebrates. Those keen on botany will not be disappointed: you'll see amazing Baobabs, diverse Orchids, rare endemic Palms and so much more.
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