Madagascar Tailor-made Holidays

Reef & Rainforest is the UK's longest-established specialist for Madagascar, having operated there since 1992

Madagascar

Reef & Rainforest is the United Kingdom’s longest-established and most experienced specialist tour operator for Madagascar. It takes a long time to truly know the island, which is bigger than France with many hidden attractions, and our knowledge leads to superlative tailor-made and group tours there.

Our director, Alan Godwin, first went to Madagascar in 1992 when it was still a rigid communist dictatorship with few visitors, awful roads and hotels, abject poverty and clapped-out Citroen 2CVs literally held together with rubber bands. He clearly saw the potential, however, and persevered: now Madagascar has improved infrastructure and a good range of high quality accommodation. And of course, its unique wildlife is as wonderful as ever.

Back then our groups were led by Hilary Bradt (Bradt Travel Guides’ founder and author of the first ever travel guide to Madagascar) but our clients endured poor accommodation and infrastructure – the wildlife made up for it, though. Things have since improved considerably: many good hotels, lodges and resorts have opened; the roads and vehicles are far better; the parks have upgraded their accommodation; the guiding has become much better; and the food is even more delicious.

Wildlife tourism has emerged as a major source of foreign income for Madagascar. By visiting Madagascar, you contribute directly to the conservation of its precious remaining forests with their unique wildlife, and the welfare of its people who are among the poorest (yet friendliest) in the world. Your presence facilitates the hiring of park rangers who guard the precious reserves from illegal logging, slash-and-burn farmers and bush-meat hunters. Fees paid to local guides and hotel staff salaries percolate down through the poor communities near the parks. Isolated lodges such as Anjajavy and Eden Lodge fund local schools and clinics. It all adds up.

Wildlife-wise, our clients are regularly seeing such rarities as wild ring-tail lemur, various sifakas, predatory fossa, giraffe-necked weevil, helmet vanga, flatid leaf bug, and perhaps the oddest of all Madagascar’s mammals, the nocturnal aye-aye. Added to that are the three main habitats: wet rainforest, dry tropical deciduous forest and the unique spiny forest, found only in Madagascar’s far southwest. Our expert English-speaking guides are all tried, tested and trusted to deliver to you a marvellously memorable journey to the Big Red Island.

Come with us to Madagascar and you will see in the best possible way what makes the Big Red Island so special.

Madagascar Wildlife Holiday Ideas

# Tailor-Made Tour

Beaches, Tsingy and Wildlife of Northern Madagascar for Families

A well-paced itinerary showcasing many wildlife and landscape highlights finishi...
# Group Tour

The Wildlife of Madagascar’s Magical Forests with Oliver Smart

Discover the unique and photogenic wildlife of Madagascar's three key forest eco...
# Group Tour

A Magical Overland Journey in Madagascar (Small Group Tour)

Our ever popular magical overland journey through Madagascar taking in all its i...
# Tailor-Made Tour
# Family Holiday

Madagascar in High Comfort for Families

A luxury Madagascar holiday with plenty of lemurs, chameleons and other wildlife...
# Family Holiday

Family Friendly Fun in Madagascar

A carefully designed to appeal to cost-conscious families wishing to experience ...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Wild Madagascar in Comfort

An extra-special itinerary crafted to provide minimal travel, rustic chic luxury...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Highlights of Madagascar for the Active and Adventurous

This adventure will reveal the hidden charms of a Madagascar that few are lucky ...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Best of Northern Madagascar and Perinet

An ideal trip for those wishing to travel in a good degree of comfort at a gentl...
# Tailor-Made Tour
# Family Holiday

Madagascar’s Whale Sharks, Lemurs and Tsingy

This gentle itinerary showcases Madagascar’s most exciting underwater life alo...
# Tailor-Made Tour

Best of Natural Madagascar

A breath-taking natural history programme featuring exceptional wildlife and rem...

Featured Accommodation

Arotel, Antsirabe

Recently upgraded, the Arotel offers the most luxurious accommodation in Antsira...

Le Royal Palace

A smart and modern business style hotel, located in central Antsirabe. ...

Centrest Sejour

A recently renovated lodge on the outskirts of Ranomafana village and close to t...

Andasibe Lemurs Lodge

Wake to the song of the indri at this comfortable lodge, ideally placed for rain...

Ravintsara Wellness Hotel

With its extraordinary setting and its wide range of facilities Ravintsara Well...

Thermal Hotel Ranomafana

A wonderfully restored hotel offering one of the most modern accommodations for ...

Destination Map

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Madagascar: -18.766947, 46.869107

Best Time To Visit Madagascar

Travel between the end of April and end of November is preferable to avoid the wet season, with April/May and October/November being best for animal activity. Notwithstanding some geographical variations, June to September normally offers dry, cooler weather. From September to November, many bird species are displaying, nesting and in breeding plumage, and baby lemurs can be seen clinging to their mothers. Try to avoid late December to early April – wet season.

Travel Info

Flight Time
11 Hours

Time Zone
GMT +2

Best Visited
April to November

Language Spoken
Malagasy & French

Population
22.92 Million

Area Specialist

Ian Loyd

There is one main bugbear when travelling to Madagascar – Air Madagascar. It frequently changes its domestic flight schedules in a seemingly random way, playing havoc with painstakingly designed itineraries. The good news is that we are so experienced in sorting out the ensuing problems that most tours still run smoothly : if not quite the same, then as near as possible to the original. It takes years to “know” Madagascar, and you can be 100% sure that we do.

If you have any questions regarding travel to Madagascar please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

It was lovely to meet Helen face-to-face and to devise the ideal trip with her – her enthusiasm for Madagascar certainly confirmed us in our choice of destination. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, seemed genuinely interested in their work and in interacting with tourists. Invaluable in spotting wildlife and discussing uses of local medicinal plants. [Our escort guide] was a delightful companion on our journey in Madagascar and very solicitous of our welfare. We were thrilled by the wildlife. Without the keen insight and knowledge of our guides we would certainly have failed to spot the giraffe-necked weevil and stick insects. The night walks were very productive – several mouse lemurs. The first sight of indris was an especial thrill as was the sight of a sleeping mouse lemur in broad daylight. Perhaps the most rewarding experience occurred when the lemurs came to us – six ring-tailed lemurs in Isalo, sifakas on the balcony in Anjajavy, flocks of grey-headed lovebirds on the lawn at breakfast. An excellent tour which gave us a good insight into the wildlife and potential conservation issues in Madagascar. We had opportunities to visit local communities. We were most impressed by the efficiency in ensuring a trouble-free and very enjoyable time in Madagascar. Our tour leader and driver were delightful and very hard working. We shall certainly look forward to booking a further tour with you.

Mr & Mrs V - Ashprington, Devon