Wildlife of Madagascar
Ringtail lemurs, Madagascar's national mammal  
Fosa (Fossa) are best sought in Kirindy  
Giant coua is easily seen in Berenty  
Mossy leaf-tailed gecko is often see in Mitsinjo rainforest  
Boophis phyrrus, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (D Austin)  
Male Parson's chameleon, biggest chameleon of all  
Largest of the extant lemurs, the Indri can only be seen in its Malagasy rainforest home  
Male Giraffe-necked weevil, Andasibe (Craig)  
The 'dancing' Verreaux's sifaka in Berenty Reserve  
The remarkable Fringed leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus)  
Critically endangered Diademed sifaka, Andasibe-Mantadia NP (Craig)  
Common brown lemur is found in Andasibe (M Bigey)  
Crested coua, Berenty (also seen easily at Kirindy)  
Grandidier's baobabs in deforested land at 'Baobab Alley'  
Eastern lesser bamboo lemur, Andasibe (Daniel Austin)  
Madagascar lunar (comet) moth  
Pittalike ground-roller, Andasibe-Mantadia (Olivier Langrand)  
Black-and-white ruffed lemur is found in Mantadia (Max)  
14 day tour
Including flights and transfers
Prices from
£3975 - £4295

Tour Highlights

  • Indri, Parson's chameleon and other rainforest rarities in Andasibe-Mantadia
  • Ringtails, Verreaux's sifakas and bizarre spiny forest flora at Berenty
  • Fosa, Giant Jumping rat and Madame Berthe's mouse lemurs in Kirindy
  • Experiencing Madagascar's incomparable diversity
  • See the work of inspiring NGOs such as Association Mitsinjo
I'm enquiring about: Wildlife of Madagascar

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I'm enquiring about: Wildlife of Madagascar

Wildlife of Madagascar

Madagascar

The wildlife hotspots in this private, guided tour can be visited in any order, depending on domestic flight schedules and lodge availability. You will get to explore three of the most prominent wildlife hotspots of Madagascar: Andasibe- Mantadia National Park in the eastern rainforests, Kirindy Forest*** in the critically endangered western tropical deciduous forests and the famed Berenty Private Reserve in the arid southern sub-desert zone or 'Androy'.

You are likely to see an incredible range of Madagascar's endemic wildlife, notably lemurs, from the biggest (the Indri) to the smallest (Madame Berthe's mouse lemur), and from the most iconic ( Ringtail lemur, the national mammal) to some of the most endangered (Coquerel's and Diademed sifakas).

You also stand an excellent chance to tick off a wide range of endemic birds and reptiles, notably wonderful chameleons, tree frogs and other fascinating animal oddities.  

You will be accommpanied by a dedicated, professional, English-speaking wildlife expert Malagasy guide and driver during this trip, which can be tailored to suit individual requirements.

*** For the Western dry deciduous forests, Kirindy (near Morondava) can be substituted with Ankarafantsika (near Mahajanga) depending on the time of year and specific interests. (Birders are better off for example, choosking Ankarafantsika).

Read more about this tour


Day 1
Arrival
Depart on the Air France flight from London Heathrow (or another UK airport) to Antananarivo via Paris CDG. You will be met, assisted and transferred to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight, breakfast included.
Day 2
Day 2
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Perinet)
Your professional wildlife expert guide and your driver will collect you from your hotel. Travel east along good roads in your private 4WD to Vakona Forest Lodge in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (about three hours by road) for a 3-night stay with breakfast and dinner included. You will be taken for an introductory guided rainforest walk to seek lemurs, endemic rainforest-dependent birds as well as fascinating reptiles and frogs. After dark, you will be taken for a guided night walk either at Mitsinjo rainforest or in a small, privately protected rainforest parcel managed by a local guide association, VOIMMA.
 
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
           
Day 3
Day 3
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Early morning guided rainforest walk in Andasibe ('Perinet'). Here, you will be looking for Indri (the largest of all the lemur), the 2ft long Parson's chameleon, Diademed sifaka and endemic birds such as the Blue coua, Madagascar blue pigeon, Lesser vasa parrot, Crossley's babbler and Nelicourvi weaver.
 
After lunch, you might wish to visit the impressive tree nurseries of Association Mitsinjo , where some 100 species of endemic rainforest trees are being cultivated as part of a reforestation programme. Alternatively, visit Lemur Island.
 
This evening, you could make a second night walk in Station Forestier d'Analamazaotra, administered by proactive NGO Association Mitsinjo. Here, you'll seek out the likes of Eastern woolly lemur, Sportive lemur, Furry-eared dwarf lemur and Goodman's mouse lemur. Its the best time to seek chameleons which initially reflect white in torch-light and if you are lucky you may see Mossy or Satanic leaf-tailed geckoes. You should find various species of Tree frog. Nocturnal birds resident include Madagascar long-eared owl and rare Collared nightjar.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
           
Day 4
Day 4
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Visit the beautiful 10,000ha of primary forest in Mantadia National Park with your guides. This rainforest holds a collection of rare mammals and birds not necessarily found in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, including approachable groups of Diademed sifaka and the vociferous Black-and-white ruffed lemur. Rare birds abound, as do interesting reptiles and frogs. Alternatively, you might prefer to explore more of the rainforest at Andasibe.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
           
Day 5
Day 5
Antananarivo
Today, take another guided rainforest walk in either Andasibe, or for keen birders, revisit Mantadia National Park which might reveal rarities such as Short-legged ground-roller (pictured), Gray-crowned tetraka, White-browed oxylabes and Red forest fody. Birders can also look out in rank roadside growth for species such as White-throated rail, Madagascar rail and Madagascar flufftail. In the mid- afternoon you will be driven back to Antananarivo to stay overnight at Relais des Plateaux Hotel with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 6
Day 6
Antananarivo - Morondava (flight) - Kirindy Forest
Transfer to the airport for the Air Madagascar flight to Morondava on the west coast. Your guide and driver will meet you and transfer you two hours north to Kirindy Forest, where you stay overnight at Relais du Kirindy, with all meals included. On the way, pass through the Alley of Giant Baobabs, where on both sides of the road, a small number of statuesque Grandidier's baobabs, still stand.
 
Kirindy, part of the Menabe Antimena Protected Area, is one of Madagascar's three best wildlife hotspots for fauna unique to the desperately threatened and highly fragmented western deciduous dry forests. Key species that visitors come to seek, include Verreaux's sifaka, Red-fronted brown lemur and at night, a selection of nocturnal lemurs that includes the World's smallest primate, Madame Berthe's mouse lemur. Other mammal highlights include Fosa, the island's largest carnivore (Kirindy is the best place in which to seek it) and the endangered Giant jumping rat, biggest of Madagascar's endemic rodents.
 
A wonderful range of birds which inhabit the western dry forests, occurs here. They include White-breasted mesite, Henst's goshawk, Coquerel's and Crested couas, Sicklebill and White-headed vangas, and Sakalava weaver. Reptiles abound, notably Collared iguanids, Giant hognosed snakes and Labord's and Oustalet's chameleons.
 
Night walks are superb here with plenty of rare wildlife in evidence in Kirindy and nearby Marofandilia Forests.
Accommodation: Relais du Kirindy
       
Day 7
Day 7
Kirindy Forest
You will be taken for early morning and then, afternoon guided forest walks to explore the easy trails in Kirindy Forest, where wildlife viewing is generally excellent.
 
Guided day and night walks in the (very) dry deciduous forests of Kirindy and Marofandilia tend to deliver a good mix of lemurs, great birds and diverse reptiles - see our separate 'Excursions' section or ask us for details.
 
Currently, less than 5% of western Madagascar's western deciduous forests remain - they are under severe threat and in 2017/8 suffered terribly. Never before has nature-based tourism made so valuable a contribution to the forests of Menabe Antimena Protected Area.
 
 
Day 8
Day 8
Kirindy Forest - Morondava (drive)
Morning to explore more of the delightful albeit extremely threatened deciduous dry forest of Kirindy with your guides.
 
Transfer back to Morondava with a stop at 'Baobab Alley' (a group of Grandidier's baobabs standing in degraded land on either side of the road) where if you wish, you can plant an endemic Baobab at the NGO FANAMBY's habitat restoration project site.
 
Overnight in Palissandre Cote Ouest with all meals included.
 
Day 9
Day 9
Morondava - Antananarivo (flight)
Morning at leisure in Morondava - your guide and driver can take you sightseeing, time allowing, if you want to gain an insight into Menabe-Sakalava culture. Transfer to Morondava airport to check in for the flight back to Antananarivo, where you will be met and transferred to Relais des Plateaux for an overnight stay with breakfast.
 
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 10
Day 10
Antananarivo - Fort Dauphin (flight) and drive to Berenty Private Reserve
Transfer to the airport for the Air Madagascar flight to Fort Dauphin on the far South coast of the island where you will be met and driven inland along deteriorating roads to the famed Berenty Private Reserve. Here you stay 3 nights in a bungalow at the recently refurbished Berenty Lodge (the new bungalows are highly praised, and food reviews excellent - November 2017 update) with breakfast and dinner included. This reserve was brought into the international spotlight largely thanks to the 40+ years of conservation work conducted by late primatologist Lady Alison Jolly, author of engaging books such as Lords and Lemurs and her recently released memoirs, 'Thank You Madagascar: the conservation diaries of Alison Jolly' which was launched in March 2015. It was Lady Jolly who wrote extensively on the country's national mammal, the highly terrestrial Ringtail lemur (pictured) and female dominance among lemurs.
Accommodation: Berenty Lodge
         
Day 11
Day 11
Berenty Private Reserve
Berenty is set in spiny forest surrounded by sisal plantations. It is Madagascar's most famous reserve and the easiest place to see Ring-tailed lemurs. By day, you will see numerous Ring-tailed and Brown lemurs and Verreaux's sifakas. (This is the place where visitors come to see the Sifakas 'dance', a reference to their sideways gait when they cross wide areas of open ground).
 
At night, look for White-footed sportive lemur, Grey mouse lemur, the newly recognised Red-and-grey mouse lemur, and Common and Lesser hedgehog tenrec. The park has a number of broad trails - your guide will take you for morning, afternoon and night walks.
Accommodation: Berenty Lodge
         
Day 12
Day 12
Berenty Private Reserve
Spend more time exploring Berenty either with your guides or independently. Aside from its iconic lemurs, you should see the large roost of Madagascar flying foxes or fruit bats (pictured, by Gerald Cubitt) and endemic birds including the stately Giant coua, Grey-headed lovebird, Madagascar magpie-robin and Sakalalva weaver. There is also an interesting museum and in the area, some fascinating dry country flora such as endemic Moringa trees.
Accommodation: Berenty Lodge
         
Day 13
Day 13
Antananarivo
Return to Fort Dauphin airport for a flight to Antananarivo where you will be met and taken to see the city highlights and have a day room at Relais des Plateaux. Evening transfer back to the airport to check in for the Air France flight departing after midnight to Paris CDG.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
       
Day 14
Departure
Air France flight departs at approximately 01h40 to Paris, arriving CDG at 11h25. Connect with the lunch-time Air France flight back to London Heathrow or another UK airport.

Pricing Information & Dates

14 day tour, from £3975 - £4295 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Guide
Price Includes
* Return international Air France*** flights from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Antananarivo via Paris CDG and airport taxes
* Internal Air Madagascar flights and airport taxes
* Services of a dedicated, professional, wildlife expert Malagasy guide and of private drivers throughout
* Private transfers and 4WD transportation
* Accommodation with meals as specified.
* All excursions as outlined, with national park permits and national park guide fees
Price Excludes
* Visa fee (35 Euros)
* Drinks, gratuities and items of a personal nature
Price Notes
*** Rates are subject to availability and seasonal variation. If you would prefer to fly internationally on a different carrier, we will be delighted to quote based on your preferred airline. Ask us for details.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  3.   Kirindy Forest
  4.   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.
         
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.
           

Image Gallery

Reviews

Hi Derek,

We had a fantastic time in Madagascar!  Rija was a great guide. 

I found Madagascar a beautiful country with fantastic wildlife, interesting geographical zones (spiny forest was a favorite) and people. I found the infrastructure astoundingly poor, save Air Madagascar which was actually pretty good.  A country so rich in natural resources and what could be a rich tourism industry but shackled with horrible roads, government corruption and a few rich business owners, seemingly foreign at that. It makes me want to write a white paper about my perceptions but who would read it, and how can effective change be made?  We are so fortunate to live in the USA and so many people here don’t realize it, too caught up in their petty first world problems which travel does so much to dissipate.  Maybe if the Bill Gates of the world who promote mega philanthropy took the drive to Berenty Reserve on a bumpy, deteriorating road (a very apt description, by the way) instead of taking a helicopter, more would be done.  Something as simple as a decent road from point A to B could go far to helping so many, even just going to market or school or anywhere.

I believe Lemurs are my new favorite primates. Another observation is how few birds there are, or insects even when walking through the forests in winter.  The spiny forest and the Tsingy were fascinating.  And the call of the Indri will soon be my new ringtone on my phone.

Thank you Derek for setting up this tour. It did not disappoint and did fulfill my expectations.

Sincerely,

Peggy

 

Ms P Free and Ms L Free
July 11, 2018

'Hi Derek 

We're all now safely back from Madagascar and just wanted to send our thanks for all you did to organise such an amazing adventure.  The lodges, guides and Marc  were all outstanding. As you warned us, we were affected quite a bit by Air Madagascar's unreliability but Marc and the office staff worked hard to make the changes as smooth and as comfortable as possible.

I do so hope that Air Madagascar sorts out its unreliable schedules before they manage to kill of the majority of tourism. 

We will definitely recommend Madagascar to all our travelling friends and will do all we can to help the great conservation work and tourism industry there.  It's an extraordinary country with the most wonderful wildlife and people.  We were made to feel very welcome and given the very best service people could offer. 

 Best wishes,

 JP'

 

 

Prowse Private Group
November 7, 2016

'Herilala was a SUPERB guide - he even went to Berenty with us!. Excellent holiday. Met all our expectations and exceeded on wildlife spotting. Very satisfied with Relais des Plateaux. Food was surprisingly good at Andasibe Hotel. Berenty is stunning for wildlife. La Croix du Sud had the best decorated bedroom and bathroom outside of Anjajavy: the photo in the itinerary does not do it justice.

Mantadia was excellent and order was reversed, which was the right thing to do because of the poor state of the road to the park and the long drive back to Tana.

The road to Berenty was very picturesque but 'deteriorating road' does not describe it......the driver was excellent and managed the jouney in 3 hours thanks to some superb rally driving!'

Mr Alderman and Ms Frost
October 6, 2016
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