Explore a wild world of epic landscapes and endemic species on this unique adventure
Flight - 1 night
Antananarivo - 1 night
Andasibe - 3 nights
Antsirabe - 1 night
Ranomafana - 3 nights
Antananarivo - 1 night
Ifotaka - 3 nights
Fort Dauphin - 1 night
Antananarivo - 1 night
Flight - 1 night
A 16-day adventure to Madagascar, a unique land filled with curiosities
In a world of fading natural wonders, Madagascar is a nature lover’s paradise unlike anywhere else on Earth. From lemurs to baobab trees, everything about Madagascar is distinctive. Credited by Conservation International (CI) as only one of 17 ‘Megadiverse’ countries with unique flora and fauna and with more than seventy species of lemur, diverse landscapes and a fascinating culture submerged in rituals and traditions. See the endangered Indri Indri, whose distinctive call resonates through the forests; come close to playful lemurs and spot chameleons and eye-catching birdlife. Madagascar is a-one-of-a-kind destination that must be seen as this sanctuary is slowly disappearing.
Chauffeur Driven Transfers*
Naturalist on Nature Walks
Local Expert Tour Manager
Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow with Kenya Airways via Nairobi to Antananarivo.
Day 2 Arrive in Madagascar’s capital and largest city, better known by its shortened name of Tana. Stay overnight at the Palissandre Hotel & Spa. An evening welcome reception and briefing with your local tour manager is followed by dinner at the hotel. (D)
Day 3 Travel to Andasibe located in the mountains of eastern Madagascar. Enroute we will stop to look out for birds such as drongo and herons. Enjoy lunch in the historical city of Moramanga, one of the ‘hot spots’ during the rebellion of 1947. Our home for three nights is the Mantadia Lodge hotel near the National Park which encompasses a stretch of primary rainforest that hosts an incredible array of biodiversity. The rainforest comes alive at night, take a night walk with your guide to spot nocturnal dwarf and mouse lemurs in trees and other endemic species. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Today we explore VOI forest, part of Analamazaotra national park, a lush green forest, established 15 years ago as a community park to promote environmental protection and to provide employment to the local communities. Lesser visited, it is a quite reserve to experience the wildlife. There are well marked trails to traverse the park.Time permitting, we will also explore Maromizaha Forest. Transfer to the start of one of the park's trails before entering the rainforest on foot. The protected primary forest is a stark contrast to the replanted stretches of eucalyptus and pine trees that exist outside the park, with a verdant array of plant-life, and a chance of spotting some of the eleven lemur species that live here. A picnic lunch is taken in the forest. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Transfer to Analamazaotra Special Reserve home to the Indri Indri, the largest living lemurs with inquisitive black and white faces. Living in small family groups, these incredible animals can be heard for miles around when they sing a haunting howl which is even more powerful when experienced up close. Venture further into the forest for more spectacular flora and fauna such as the common brown lemur, grey bamboo lemur and the eastern woolly lemur, birds, orchids and unique reptile species. Lunch is taken at the Feon’nyAla Hotel restaurant located on the edge of Andasibe National Park, offering local cuisine. Continue to Vakona Reserve located on Lemur Island, watch lemurs dance and play across open ground and leap from tree to tree. (B, L, D)
Day 6 After breakfast, drive back to Antananarivo and take the national road to continue southward to Antsirabe through mountains, hills and rice fields where you can spot black herons and egrets. Learn about the daily life of the highlands and its typical scenery, meet people in local villages and markets. Arrive at Chambres du Voyageur Hotel for an overnight stay. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Depart the spa town of Antsirabe, continue to Ambositra and enjoy the landscapes of the highlands. En route visit Ambositra the capital of the Malagasy handicrafts and Madagascar’s woodcarving industry. Continue to Ranomafana through Ambohimahasoa where we leave the highlands behind and drive through tropical rainforests arriving at the Thermal Hotel late evening. (B, L, D)
Days 8 & 9 Two days exploration of Ranomafana National Park. Established in 1991, it was the fourth National Park to be created in Madagascar and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Head out to explore the park, famous for three out of the four bamboo lemur species; grey bamboo lemur, golden bamboo lemur and the greater bamboo lemur. You may also see Milne–Edward’s sifaka, characterised by a black body with a light-colored “saddle” on the lower part of its back, red bellied lemurs and red fronted brown lemurs. Ranomafana is excellent for birding, the best time for sightings being early morning. (B, L, D)
Day 10 Drive back to the national road and continue to Antananarivo via Antsirabe. Overnight at the Palissandre Hotel & Spa. (B, L, D)
Day 11 Early morning start for our flight to Fort Dauphin, TR 714 departing at 6.30, arriving 08.25, then continue by road to Ifotaka (approx. 4 hrs) and to Mandrare River Camp for three nights. On the wooded banks of the river from which it takes its name, Mandrare is a small safari camp in a remote location that really immerses you in unique culture and wildlife. Afternoon walk to the Sacred Ifotaka Community Forest filled with the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy Tribe, and a bewildering array of flora and fauna, unique to the spiny gallery forest. Enjoy an evening aperitif on the terrace before dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 12 Drive to the sacred gallery forests to the south of the camp, these forests are deciduous, dominated by tamarind trees which support a range of species including lemurs. The ring-tail lemur habituate the area in large family groups known as conspiracies. Later enjoy a sundowner watching the sun set and moon rise with a view across the Baobabs to the mountains beyond. In the evening local villagers from the Antandroy tribe perform traditional dances, accompanied by singing and music. (B, L, D)
Day 13 After breakfast continue to one of the nearby markets. See the full rich tapestry of valley life as people who have travelled for hours or even days buy and sell their local wares. With our expert guide to interpret all that you see, this is a rich fulfilling experience. Return to camp for a barbequed lunch. In the afternoon continue to the Forest of Zenavo, privately owned, the forest is excellent for night walks. We take a day into night walk, first spotting Sifakas and sleeping white-footed sportive lemurs, then once the sun has set we hope to see two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and sportive lemurs. Return to camp. (B, L, D)
Day 14 Depart the Mandrare Valley and return to Fort Dauphin by road. Overnight at the Croxi Du Sud. (B, L, D)
Day 15 You will be transferred from the hotel in the morning for the domestic flight to Antananarivo, flight TR715, departing at 09.30, arriving 11.25. Meet with your Tour manager and check-in for an overnight stay at the Pallissandre Hotel & Spa. Afternoon at leisure, this evening enjoy a farewell dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 16 Full day at leisure. Return flight to London via Nairobi. (B)
Day 17 Arrive London.
Madagascar safaris in themselves can be challenging, roads are rough, transport infrastructure is minimal and distances are long. While the majority of roads are well-surfaced, it is worth noting that Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world and the infrastructure reflects this. Some roads will be better than others, and at times a little patience, humour and flexibility may be required!
We do have some longer drives but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with stops at villages, to take photos and to stretch our legs. However, the efforts you need to put in are more than compensated for by the friendliness of the Malagasy people and the diversity of the culture, geography, climate, wildlife and people.
If you are prepared to put up with some of these challenges, then Madagascar offers a great return on your investment.
Set on a hillside in the heart of the city, the Palissandre Hotel & Spa opens the doors of friendliness and hospitality welcoming you in pure Malagasy tradition. Enjoy the outdoor heated pool or the terrace of the restaurant overlooking the city. WiFi throughout. Its 48 rooms have fine wood furnishings and are equipped with safe, mini-bar and TV.
A fresh-renewed hotel in the heart of the hills of Andasibe, with beautiful mountain views. Restaurant, bar, pool and Wi-Fi (free). 28 air-conditioned rooms with safe, hairdryer, mini-bar, TV.
A charming hotel nestled around a pleasant spacious garden. The main building has a communal lounge and dining table where guests can get to know one another and relax. Throughout the property there is warm, welcoming design that blends harmoniously with the beautiful natural setting. Restaurant, bar, pool, Wi-Fi(free). 10 rooms with private facilities.
Located within lush green gardens on the edge of the Ranomafana National Park, the Thermal Hotel is a restored building that offers all of the amenities of a modern hotel, including a restaurant serving local dishes and a cosy bar. The hotel is committed to sustainable tourism development in cooperation with the local community. WiFi in rooms. 21 spacious guestrooms are air-conditioned and feature safe, mini-bar and TV.
Set on the banks of the Mandrare River, overlooking the sacred community forests of the Antandroy Tribe, with its own avenue of baobabs, the camp offers luxury tented accommodation in a stunning setting. No WiFi. All seven guest tents are en-suite, have a four poster bed with mosquito net, a private terrace and river view.
per person in a twin room
Kenya Airways from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £1195
Business Class from £3995
Air travel and taxes, VIP return transfers*, 14 nights’ accommodation, full board, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, porterage, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
*On all of our Great Journeys, we provide a VIP chauffeur driven transfer for passengers living within a 70-mile radius of the point of departure. For those passengers that live outside of this 70-mile radius, we will provide the most competitive quotation for the additional mileage.
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