A Magical Journey through Madagascar with Quentin Bloxam
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.