A magical journey through Madagascar with Quentin Bloxam

18 Days from £5170 per adult. Prices based on flight fares at the time of costing & may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote
18 Days
Group Tour
Primate Watching

As former Director of Conservation Management at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Quentin Bloxam has been at the forefront of innovative conservation breeding projects in a quest to preserve endangered species from extinction. Quentin was with Gerald Durrell in Madagascar and is referred to as “Q” in The Aye-Aye and I book. Although a herpetologist by training, Quentin is equally familiar with Madagascar’s mammals, insects and birds. His many trips to the Big Red Island over the last two decades have imbued in him a profound love of the country and its unique attractions. His charm, personality and evident sense of humour, combined with his extensive knowledge of all things Malagasy and aptitude with wildlife photography, will ensure you gain the best possible enjoyment and results from your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Madagascar.

The tour visits many varied and wonderful wildlife reserves and National Parks, a little time by the coast and also takes the road less travelled from Antsirabe to Morondava to reduce the risk of disruption caused by unreliable domestic flights. Although there are some long overland transfers this does enable one to see much more of rural Madagascar and how the landscapes, vegetation and cultures change.

The itinerary visits the wonderful Kirindy Reserve, with eight species of lemur including the tiny Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur and acrobatic Verreaux’s sifaka. Other highlights here include the giant jumping rat and impressive predatory fossa alongside many endemic birds, reptiles and the iconic Avenue of Baobabs which can be enjoyed as the sun sets. Next comes the lush rainforest of Ranomafana National Park with its impressive palms, ferns and pandanus plants. The park is a refuge for the highly endangered golden and greater bamboo lemurs, beautiful pitta-like ground roller and over 120 species of endemic frog. Continuing south comes the community managed Anja Park and spectacular Isalo National Park, famed for its wonderful scenery and botanical oddities. There will also be an excursion to the little visited and highly rewarding Tsimanampetsotsa National Park for its ancient baobabs, blind cave fish, radiated tortoises, rare birds and unusual spiny forest. The final destination is the excellent rainforest reserves of Andasibe-Mantadia (Analamazaotra/Perinet) for unforgettable encounters with the impressive indri, black and white ruffed lemur, Parson’s chameleon and much more, providing a wonderful finale to this special journey.

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Itinerary

Price from £5170 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Antananarivo

Depart London. Arrive Tana, met on arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Staying at Relais des Plateaux. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2 - Antsirabe

Morning transfer to Tsarasaotra Lake in a district of Tana for some unusual urban birdwatching. Hundreds of egrets, herons, and waterfowl can all be seen around the lake and wetland habitats. In the afternoon drive 3.5 hours south through Merina villages and mosaics of rice fields to Antsirabe.

Staying at Coulear Cafe. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - Kirindy Reserve

Depart overland (9 -10 hours) by road to Kirindy Reserve stopping many times at various points of interest and to take photographs along the journey. You will also be able to see the different ethnic groups and see how the red soil changes to fertile farming lands around the town
of Miandrivazo where cotton, rice and tobacco are grown.

You will arrive at Kirindy in time for dinner and to take an evening night walk in search of nocturnal species. Species to look for include the bizarre giant jumping rat, big-headed gecko, scops owl and six species of nocturnal lemur including the tiny Madame Berthe's mouse lemur (smallest primate in the world).

Staying at Kirindy Gite. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Kirindy Reserve

Morning and afternoon guided walks in the Kirindy Reserve in search of its special wildlife. Highlights may include the acrobatic Verreaux’s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur, the impressive predatory fossa, narrow-striped mongoose and birds such as the white-breasted mesite and crested coua. In the evening take another night walk to see more nocturnal wildlife.

The 10,000-hectare Kirindy reserve is a rare remnant of Madagascar’s threatened dry tropical deciduous forest.

Staying at Kirindy Gite. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - Morondava

Enjoy another morning of guided walks in Kirindy in search of more of its special fauna and flora. After lunch return to Morondava (2 hours) stopping at points of interest such as the Twisted Baobab, local villages and wetlands for birdwatching. Arrive at the iconic Avenue des Baobabs at sunset in time for some great pictures of these 800 year old trees before continuing to your hotel.

Staying at Palissandre Cote Ouest. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Antsirabe

Morning transfer 7 hours across rural Madagascan countryside with stops at
points of interest to Antsirabe. Enjoy a city
tour in the afternoon and visit local handicraft workshops.

Staying at Coulear Cafe. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Ranomafana

Drive (4 hours) through Bestileo country to
Ranomafana National Park, en route stopping at the woodcarving centre of Ambositra. In the evening take a night walk in search of nocturnal wildlife such as rufous mouse lemurs, tree boas, endemic frogs, stick insects and leaf-tailed geckos.

Staying at SETAM Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Ranomafana

Full day guided exploration of Ranomafana National Park in search of its special wildlife with a packed lunch. Ranomafana is home to an extraordinary diversity of fauna and flora including the highly engendered golden
and the greater bamboo lemurs, plus over 120 species of frog, many colourful endemic birds and pandanus plants.

The trails can be steep and tough but generally the going is moderate. Another night walk will be offered.

Staying at SETAM Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9 - Anja Park

Morning pick up from the lodge and drive (3 hours south) to Anja park with various stops on the journey. Visit the community-managed Anja Park to see habituated ring-tailed lemurs, offering good photographic opportunities.

Continue south to through ever-changing scenery to Isalo National Park.

Staying at Relais de la Reine. Includes All Meals.

Day 10 - Isalo National Park

Day to hike in Isalo National Park. The park, an eroded limestone massif, contains wonderful scenery and unusual plants like the endemic ‘elephant’s foot’ Pachypodium rosalatum and is a sacred burial ground for the Bara tribe. There are many interesting geological sites and places to swim in the park alongside its curious natural history.

Staying at Relais de la Reine. Includes All Meals.

Day 11 - Anakao

Early morning transfer to Tulear, passing sapphire mines and the transitional forest of Zombitse National Park en route. Continue by boat/road (depending on tides) to Anakao (1.5 hrs), a picturesque and authentic Vezo fishing village set on a sandy beach with outrigger boats lining the shore and friendly Vezo inhabitants. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 12 - Tsimanampetsotsa

Pick up from the hotel for a full day excursion to the recently-gazetted Tsimanampetsotsa National Park in the isolated far south west of Madagascar. This extra-special reserve is one of the least visited and most unusual in Madagascar. It has ring tailed lemurs, ancient baobabs (one is around 2000 years old), a spring-fed, 15 km long salt lake populated by flamingos, spoonbills, Madagascar plovers, a healthy population of radiated and spider tortoises and sunken caves in which live blind albino fish.

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 13 - Antananarivo

Morning pick up from the hotel and transfer by boat / road to Tulear. Take domestic flight back to Tana. If time allows take a city tour of Tana or rest at the hotel in the afternoon.

Staying at Relais du Plateaux. Includes Breakfast.

Day 14 - Mitsinjo Forest

Morning transfer to Andasibe and Analamazaotra (Andasibe-Mantadia) National Park, known as Perinet.

Afternoon excursion to Mitsinjo forest, a community-managed part of Aalamazaotra rainforest. The forest here supports weasel sportive lemurs, indris, the recently described Goodman’s mouse lemur, tree boa, many species of chameleons, leaf tailed geckos and frogs.

Staying at Andasibe Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 15 - Mantadia National Park

In the morning transfer further north and enjoy guided walks in Mantadia National Park. The lush primary rainforest of this park is an excellent location to see the beautiful diademed sifaka and the more elusive black and white ruffed lemur. Birds include the shy scaly-ground roller and velvet asity. Enjoy another night walk in the evening near the hotel. At night it is possible to encounter the Goodman’s mouse lemur, greater dwarf lemur and eastern woolly lemur as well as leaf-tailed geckos, pygmy chameleons, giant millipedes and an assortment of endemic frogs.

Staying at Andasibe Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 16 - Perinet Reserve

Morning excursions in the Perinet rainforest reserve and night walk. The reserve is the best place to see the largest lemur species, the indri, along with common brown and bamboo lemurs, Parson's chameleons and the bizarre giraffe-necked weevil. In the afternoon perhaps take an informative tour of Andasibe village.

Staying at Andasibe Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 17 - Perinet Reserve

Enjoy another morning walk in either Perinet or Mantadia reserves
perhaps to search for some of the more elusive lemur and bird species.
In the afternoon transfer 4 hours back to Tana. Day use of a room at Relais des Plateaux before your flight home.

Includes Breakfast.

Day - London

Depart Tana on flight back to London via Paris. Arrive London in the early afternoon.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

Flight Info:
Fly to Antananarivo via Paris from London on Air France.

Area Specialist

Ian Loyd
specialist_ian-loyd

If you have any queries about this tour please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

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Quality of wildlife: Excellent. We saw everything we wished for and more. All guides were excellent. English excellent, very comprehensive knowledge. [Our escort guide] in particular was superb with an encyclopaedic knowledge.

Mr D M - South Petherton

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Kirindy Ecolodge : -20.067050, 44.657240
Setam Lodge: -21.251798, 47.438965
Couleur Café: -19.867319, 47.039745
Anakao Ocean Lodge: -23.661004, 43.649526
Relais des Plateaux: -18.834180, 47.463010
Relais de la Reine: -22.645114, 45.331823
Palissandre Cote Ouest: -20.300007, 44.267781
Andasibe Hotel : -18.922638, 48.408489