Madagascar Wildlife: Endangered Oddities and Icons with Daniel Austin
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  
Daniel's 2017 group in Berenty  
Mossy leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus) is best sought in Andasibe  
Blue coua is commonly seen in Andasibe-Mantadia's rainforest  
Aye aye at Le Palmarium reserve  
Fosa at night!  
Giant coua is easily seen in Berenty  
Giant jumping rat at Kirindy  
Daniel's 2017 group in Berenty watching a Ringtailed lemur  
Daniel's group being observed by Verreaux's sifakas in Berenty  
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  
Verreaux's sifaka hand on spiny Octopus (Didiera) tree, Berenty  
'Dancing' Verrreaux's sifaka in Berenty Private Reserve  
Crested coua in Berenty  
17 day tour
Prices from
£5695

Tour Highlights

  • Aye ayes and Ruffed lemurs at Le Palmarium
  • Indri, Diadem Sifaka and Brown lemurs in Andasibe-Mantadia
  • Baobabs galore in the Menabe
  • Chance to seek Fosa and other rare wildlife in Kirindy
  • Ringtails and 'dancing' Verreaux's sifakas of Berenty
  • Rainforest, dry forest and Spiny Desert
  • Fascinating Malagasy culture
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I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Wildlife: Endangered Oddities and Icons with Daniel Austin

Madagascar Wildlife: Endangered Oddities and Icons with Daniel Austin

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 taken small groups of wildlife enthusiasts around Madagascar with us for several years, and if his 2018 tour which he co-led with Hilary Bradt is anything to go by, this year's adventures promise to be a wonderful experience. 

The tour begins with a journey to the Palmarium Private Reserve in the eastern lowlands,  where among many lemurs, the main objective is to see the Aye aye, which 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 reserve is a wildlife photographer's dream.  

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

Read more about this tour


Day 1
21 October 2019: Departure
Fly from London Heathrow overnight with Ethiopian Airlines to Antananarivo via Addis Ababa.
Day 2
Day 2
22 October 2019 - Arrival in Antananarivo
On arrival in Antananarivo off your international flight, you will be welcomed and transferred to Relais des Plateaux to meet the rest of the participants and overnight.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 3
Day 3
23 October 2019: Antananarivo - Le Palmarium
We depart after a leisurely breakfast in 4-wheel drive vehicles eastwards down the escarpment and into the lowlands, where we drive to Manambato Village.
 
Here we transfer by motorised boat in the late afternoon to Le Palmarium to stay 2 nights, all meals included. Some of the prolific diurnal wildlife should be in evidence from the time we arrive at the hotel, on the shore of Lac Ampitabe.
 
After dark, we have a superb introduction to Madagascar's wildlife - we visit a wooded islet off the lodge, where some habituated Aye aye live. Making 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 4
Day 4
24 October 2019 - Le Palmarium private reserve
We explore the rare tract of East coast littoral evergreen forest that is protected by the Palmarium. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen - it is one of two or three of the country's most sought-after places for wildlife photography. Indigenous to the region are species like the vociferous and nationally scarce Black and white ruffed lemur, which here is very confiding. There are also many reptiles and frogs about.
 
In the evening, those who wish can return to see the Aye ayes again as it is just such an unusual experience.
Accommodation: Le Palmarium
               
Day 5
Day 5
25 October 2019: Le Palmarium - Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
After breakfast, transfer by motorised boat to Manambato village, from where you drive back up to the escarpment for a three-night stay in the deservedly popular Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, home to a great variety of iconic Malagasy rainforest denizens. Perhaps most impressive among these is the Indri, largest of extant lemurs at about the size of a female chimp. Hearing their whale-like calls emanating from the dense rainforest canopy is unforgettable - pure Malagasy magic at its best.
 
Enjoy an introductory in the afternoon and a night walk in Mitsinjo Parc, a rainforest managed by proactive NGO Association Mitsinjo, in search of wildlife including Goodman's mouse lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, Madagascar long-eared owl and various chameleons and frogs.
 
Accommodation is at the excellent Mantadia Lodge.
Accommodation: Mantadia Lodge
           
Day 6
Day 6
26 October 2019: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Explore the beautiful primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park, about 37km from Andasibe. Here, slopes are steeper than they are in 'Perinet'/ Andasibe and Analamazaotra. Key species include Indri, Diademed sifaka, Red-bellied lemur, Ruffed lemur and birds including Pitta-like and Short-legged ground-rollers; Velvet and Sunbird asitys; Gray-crowned greenbul and Coral-billed nuthatch vanga among many others.
Accommodation: Mantadia Lodge
           
Day 7
Day 7
27 October 2019: Andasibe
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: Mantadia Lodge
           
Day 8
Day 8
28 October 2019: Andasibe - Antananarivo Airport - Morondava - Kirindy
This morning, drive 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 Marofandilia Forest, via Baobab Alley. Stay 2 nights in the rustic but highly praised Camp Amoureux, managed by the NGO FANAMBY. They have - and continue to - done a lot of work in the region to try to protect these increasingly fragmented dry forests.
 
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. Back around the camp, look for the tiny Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, now Endangered as it is found only in the Menabe Antimena Protected Area.
Accommodation: Camp Amoureux
             
Day 9
Day 9
29 October 2019 : 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: Camp Amoureux
             
Day 10
Day 10
30 October 2019: Kirindy - 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. On arrival in the capital just before 4pm, transfer back to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 11
Day 11
31 October 2019: Antananarivo - Fort Dauphin - Berenty Private Reserve
We transfer to Ivato Airport to check in for the 07h40 Tsaradia flight to Fort Dauphin on the south-east coast. This town is the gateway to places such as Madagascar's most famed protected area, Berenty Private Reserve - which is where we are headed to next.
 
On arrival we will be met and driven about 4 hours inland along rutted roads through varied scenery, to Berenty Reserve where for three nights, we stay at the rustic Gite d'Berenty, all meals included.
 
Along the journey, we make stops to see endemic flora, including Pitcher-plants, then Triangulated palms, and finally when we have crossed the Ranopisa Pass and are in the sub-arid southern 'spiny desert' or Androy, some specimens of the large south Malagasy Baobab species, Adansonia za.
 
While at Berenty, we will be taken on day and night walks to enjoy quality observations (and photo opportunities) of iconic Malagasy wildlife including Ringtail lemurs (the national mammal) and Verreaux's sifakas.
Accommodation: Berenty Lodge
         
Day 12
Day 12
01 November 2019: Berenty Private Reserve
We have the day for exploring Berenty and enjoying what is always a wonderful and rewarding wildlife experience.
 
Birds we should encounter include the stately Giant coua, which can be seen wandering around the forest floor in the gallery woodland section of the reserve. Up in the trees, its relative the Crested coua can be seen, as well as members of the celebrated endemic Vanga family, notably noisy Sickle-billed vangas, Hook-billed vangas and Chabert's vangas.
 
Accommodation: Berenty Lodge
         
Day 13
Day 13
02 November 2019: Berenty Private Reserve
Our second full day to immerse ourselves in the southern Malagasy wildlife experience which Berenty has to offer its guests.
 
We should quite easily see reptiles such as Madagascar ground boa, Collared iguanid and a variety of skinks and geckos. Night walks are enjoyable in this reserve, with White-footed sportive lemur and Grey mouse lemurs frequently spotted. There's also a large and raucous roost of Madagascar flying fox in the reserve and nocturnal birds include White-browed owl (best place in which to see this species) and Madagascar nightjar.
 
A favourite with visitors is the Hissing cockroach, which can often be seen here at night. Other distinctive invertebrates include the Flattid leaf bug.
Accommodation: Berenty Lodge
         
Day 14
Day 14
03 November 2019: Berenty - Nahampoahana - Fort Dauphin
We depart Berenty after breakfast for Nahampoahana, a popular arboretum and wildlife sanctuary not far outside of Fort Dauphin. (This place is highly praised by wildlife photographers, too).
 
Once back in Fort Dauphin, we have dinner and overnight in the Croix du Sud Hotel.
Accommodation: La Croix du Sud
       
Day 15
Day 15
04 November 2019: Fort Dauphin - Antananarivo (flight)
We transfer to Fort Dauphin Airport for the Tsaradia flight back to Antananarivo: 10h05 - 11h55. On arrival in Antananarivo, we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Amhohimanga, about 24km from the capital. Here we have lunch at one of the country's best restaurants, Banana Rova.
 
After returning to Antananarivo, we visit Akany Avoko, supported by Money for Madagascar. Transfer to Relais des Plateaux. We enjoy a farewell dinner with Daniel and Harry, and overnight at the hotel.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 16
Day 16
05 November 2019: Departure
In the morning we will take a tour of the capital city highlights including a visit to the Artisans market for some souvenir shopping, before we transfer to Antananarivo Airport to check in for the Ethiopian Airlines flight departing 14h30 to Addis Ababa.
 
Remain air-side on arrival in Bole Airport and check in 3 hours before the departure of the onward Ethiopian Airlines flight departing to London early the next morning.
Day 17
06 November 2019
Depart Addis Ababa at 01h20 on the Ethiopian Airlines flight to London, arriving Heathrow at 06h35.

Pricing Information & Dates

17 day tour, from £5695 per person
Price Includes
Return international flights from London Heathrow to Antananarivo (Ethiopian Airlines, economy class seating)
Domestic Tsaradia/Air Madagascar flights
Airport taxes
Airport facilitation
Services of tour leader Daniel Austin throughout
Services of experienced Malagasy guide throughout
Services of drivers and of national park/reserve guides
Park permits
All transfers and transportation in 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.

If you do not need us to book the Ethiopian Airlines flights (which we book on an ad-hoc basis), you can deduct
£700 from the tour price per person.
If you would prefer for us to book another carrier for international flights, do contact us to discuss options - we
will be pleased to assist

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Pangalanes Canal
  3.   Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  4.   Kirindy Forest
  5.   Berenty Private Reserve

Accommodation on this Tour

Berenty Lodge
Berenty Lodge
Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar
Berenty Lodge has 31 en suite rooms, and is located in one of Madagascar’s oldest reserves, established by the De Heaulme family in 1937. Breakfasts are served in the snack-bar, near the bungalows, from where you can watch wildlife while you dine.
         
Camp Amoureux
Camp Amoureux
Kirindy Forest, Madagascar
Camp Amoureux In Marofandilia forest, about 44km north of Morondava, this simple but well-tended camp, managed by proactive NGO FANAMBY (the Malagasy 'arm' of Conservation International), is......
             
La Croix du Sud
La Croix du Sud
Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar
Located in the centre of Fort Dauphin, La Croix du Sud is a simple hotel with 32 en suite rooms facing into a quad, where there is an attractive tropical garden. Rooms are equipped with satellite TV, telephone and mini-bar.
       
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......
               
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.
       

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