A Magical Journey through Madagascar with Quentin Bloxam

# Group Tour

A Magical Journey through Madagascar with Quentin Bloxam

17 Days from £5491 per adult. Prices based on flight fares at the time of costing & may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote
17 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. New for this year will be a visit to the Kianjavato Forest and Conservation Project near Ranomafana. Here the group will have the opportunity to track GPS collared lemurs such as greater bamboo lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs and the nocturnal and elusive aye aye.

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 highly rewarding Zombitse National Park for its unusual mix of flora and highly localised species such as the Zombitse sportive lemur and Appert’s tetraka. There will also be an opportunity to experience the bizarre spiny forest of the south west at the Arboretum D’ Antsokay also home to rare reptiles, couas and localised grey-brown mouse lemurs.

The final destination is the excellent rainforest reserves of Andasibe-Mantadia (Analamazaotra/Perinet) for unforgettable encounters with the impressive indri, stunning diademed sifaka, Parson’s chameleon, tenrecs and much more, providing a wonderful finale to this special journey.

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Itinerary

Price from £5491 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 at leisure. Later in the morning transfer to the airport to take flight MD702 at 13.40 to Morondava arriving 14.40. (Flight time is subject to change). On arrival in Morondava, transfer to hotel next to the beach to rest and recover from your flights.

Staying at Palissandre Cote Ouest. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 3 - Kirindy Reserve

Morning transfer 2 hours to the 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. Take an evening night walk in search of nocturnal species.

Staying at Relais du Kirindy. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Kirindy Reserve

Another full day of morning and afternoon guided walks in the Kirindy Reserve in search of its special wildlife. In the late afternoon look for fossa and narrow striped mongoose around the Kirindy Gite.

Later in the evening take a night walk in search of more nocurtnal 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 5 - Morondava

Enjoy another morning of guided walks in Kirindy in search of more of its special fauna and flora. Later return to Morondava (approx 2 hours) stopping at points of interest such as the Twisted Baobab, local villages and wetlands for birdwatching. Enjoy the afternoon at lesuire by the beach. For those interested a return visit to Avenue of Baobabs at sunset can be arranged.

Staying at Palissandre Cote Ouest. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Antsirabe

Morning transfer 7 hours across rural Madagascan countryside to Antsirabe stopping 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 townof Miandrivazo where cotton, rice and tobacco are grown.

Staying at Coulear Cafe. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Ranomafana

Enjoy a short city tour in the morning to perhaps visit a few local handicraft workshops, then Drive (6-7 hours) through Bestileo country to Ranomafana National Park. Perhaps stop en route at the woodcarving centre of Ambositra for a leg stretch.

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 - Kianjavato Forest

Transfer to the Kianjavato Forest. Spend the day exploring the rainforest at Kianjavato with a biologist studying two critically endangered species of lemur in the local area; the greater bamboo lemur and the southern subspecies of black-and-white ruffed lemur. You can enjoy tracking both of these species with the help of local guides and GPS trackers.

In the late afternoon a researcher will take you to a nearby aye aye nest that they have been following. This is a unique oppurtunity to observe this rarely seen and wonderfully unusual lemur in the wild.

Staying at SETAM Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9 - Ranomafana

Morning and afternoon guided exploration of Ranomafana National Park in search of its special wildlife.

Ranomafana is home to an extraordinary diversity of fauna and flora including the highly engendered golden and the greater bamboo lemurs, Milne Edwards sifaka, plus over 120 species of endemic frog, many colourful endemic birds including pitta like ground rollers and pandanus plants. The trails can be steep and tough but generally the going is moderate.

Later in the afternoon around 1600 transfer to Fianarantsoa and the hotel.

Staying at Tsara Guest House. Includes All Meals.

Day 10 - 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 11 - 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 12 - Zombitse National Park

Early morning pick up (0700) from the lodge and drive (1.5 hours) to Zombitse National Park for a guided walk. This Park acts as a transition zone between the dry and the humid forests of Madagascar. The flora is especially rich within the protected area with baobabs and several orchids particularly common. The park is home to eight lemur species and you may see Verreaux´s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur and the locally endemic Hubbard´s (Zombitse) sportive lemur. Birds are also a park highlight with 85 species including Zombitse’s special attraction the rare Appert´s tetraka.

Later, continue by road (3 hours) to TULEAR and the Arboretum D' Antsokay for lunch and a swim in the pool. Afternoon walk in the arboretum, containing many of the strange spiny forest flora endemic to Madagascar, birds and reptiles such as the warty chameleon and Dumerils ground boa. Night walk in the evening.

Staying at Auberge De La Table. Includes All Meals.

Day 13 - Antananarivo

Morning pick up from the hotel and transfer 20 minutes to Tulear airport. Take domestic flight MD713 at 1210 to Antananarivo arriving 1315.
On arrival back in Tana transfer to Tsarasaotra Lake for some unusual urban birdwatching. Hundreds of egrets, herons, and waterfowl can all be seen around the lake and wetland habitats.

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 tenrecs, weasel sportive lemurs, indris, the recently described Goodman’s mouse lemur, tree boa, many species of chameleons, leaf-tailed geckos and endemic frogs. Take a night walk for nocturnal species.

Staying at Mantadia Lodge. 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, stick insects and more.

Staying at Mantadia Lodge. 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. Perhaps also take an informative tour of Andasibe village.

In the afternoon transfer 4 hours back to Tana. On arrival back in Tana check in to the hotel for the evening.

Later transfer to the airport to check in for the flight home.

Staying at Relais des Plateaux. Includes Breakfast.

Day 17 - London

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

Includes Breakfast.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

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

Area 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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Tour guide was perfect (Excellent++). Attentive and caring. Outstanding person. Became part of the family. Give her an award!!! Local guides very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and pleasant people to be with. Helen’s enthusiastic and sparkling voice was a pleasure to hear on the ‘phone. All questions answered in detail and printed information sent was helpful. You guys really cared. Very attentive in Madagascar and went well. Very pleasant and good driver. No corners cut and a well planned trip with all details covered. Perfect for us. Due to good guides and spotters we saw 16 species of lemurs and plenty of them. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see so many species and so close to us. Marvellous – very emotional. Lemurs are such wonderful gentle creatures. This trip was so well-designed for people like us. I will never forget this trip in my life. What a humbling experience it was. Some time in the future we will be back to see these special animals. In the mean time I look to our video footage of our time with the lemurs of Madagascar. Helen Cox – well done. Your company is at the top of our list.

Mr & Mrs M - Berkshire

Route Map

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Setam Lodge: -21.251798, 47.438965
Couleur Café: -19.867319, 47.039745
Relais des Plateaux: -18.834180, 47.463010
Relais de la Reine: -22.645114, 45.331823
Palissandre Cote Ouest: -20.300007, 44.267781
Relais du Kirindy: -20.066299, 44.596971
Auberge de la Table: -23.413617, 43.755518
Mantadia Lodge: -18.918703, 48.415681
Tsara Guest House: -21.455091, 47.079999