Best of Natural Madagascar

# Tailor-Made Tour

Best of Natural Madagascar

16 Days from £4785 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you
16 Days
Tailor-Made Tour
Primate Watching
Beach
Snorkelling and Diving
Photographic

This breath-taking natural history programme features some of Madagascar’s most exceptional wildlife and remarkable scenery whilst staying in comfortable accommodation. The itinerary takes you to some of the most unusual and contrasting landscapes in the diverse country; the eastern rainforests, rocky canyon lands, the bizarre spiny forest and a beautiful coastline with exciting marine life. It also enables you to hopefully see some of Madagascar’s most exciting and surprising wildlife with the impressive indri, mysterious aye aye, endangered greater bamboo lemur, agile black and white ruffed lemur, iconic ring-tailed lemur, stunning diademed sifaka and many hyper active mouse lemurs. There will also be plenty of endemic birdlife and reptiles, frogs and unusual insects such as the peculiar giraffe-necked weevil, in addition to the staggering diversity of different plants and trees.

Itinerary

Price from £4785 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Depart UK

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

Staying at Au Bois Vert. Includes Breakfast.

Day 2 - Antsirabe

After breakfast and some time to recover from your flight, visit Tsaraostra Lake in Tana for some wetland birdwatching. Later depart Tana passing Merina villages and mosaics of rice paddy fields to Antsirabe, an attractive Hauts Plateaux spa town founded by Norwegian missionaries and noted for its rickshaws and thermal baths.

Staying at Couleur Café. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - Ranomafana

After perhaps seeing some of the handicraft stalls in Antsirabe, continue the drive through Bestileo country to Ranomafana, stopping en route at the woodcarving centre of Ambositra. Arrive in Ranomafana in the afternoon and transfer to the hotel. After dark there will be a guided walk to look for nocturnal species such as the rufous mouse lemur and numerous reptiles and endemic frogs and insects.

Staying at SETAM Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Ranomafana

Morning and afternoon excursions in Ranomafana National Park. Ranomafana is an exceptionally rich high-altitude rainforest reserve where the very rare and locally endemic golden bamboo lemur and eleven other lemur species exist including the beautiful red-bellied lemur and large Milne Edwards sifaka. Birdlife is fantastic with numerous forest specialities to see such as the pitta like ground roller. Over 120 species of endemic frog have also been identified in the area.

The trails can be steep and tough but generally the going is moderate.

Staying at SETAM Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - Kianjavato Forest Reserve

Today transfer 1 hour 30 mins to the Kianjavato Forest Reserve. The Kianjavato Reserve and project is managed by the Madagascar Biodiversity Project and Lemur Conservation Network and was set up to research lemur ecology and threats in fragmented forests.

Spend the day exploring the rainforest, tree nursey and education centre at Kianjavato with a biologist studying two critically endangered species of lemur in the local area; the greater bamboo lemur and the southern black-and-white ruffed lemur. You can enjoy tracking both of these species with the help of local guides and GPS trackers. In the evening search for the elusive aye aye with the assistance of the research team.

Staying at SETAM Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Anja Park and Isalo

Transfer to Isalo, stopping at the community-run Anja Park en route to see a habituated population of ring-tailed lemurs and search for the impressive Oustalets's chameleon. Arrive in Isalo in the late afternoon and visit the interpretation centre or Window of Isalo if time allows.

Staying at Relais de la Reine. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Isalo National Park

Enjoy a 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. Wildlife is less diverse here but includes red-fronted brown lemurs, jewel chameleons and the localised Benson's rock thrush.

Staying at Relais de la Reine. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Zombitse and Tulear

Depart early for a 2 hour transfer to Zombitse National Park and then spend the rest of the morning exploring the park. Zombitse-Vohibasia acts as a transition zone between the dry and the humid forests of Madagascar with baobabs and numerous orchids. It is home to eight lemur species including the locally endemic Zombitse (Hubbard's) sportive lemur and a dark morph of the Verreaux´s sifaka. Birds are also a highlight with 85 species including Zombitse’s special attraction the rare Appert´s tetraka.

Continue to lodge in Tulear in the afternoon and rest. In the evening take a guided walk in the unique spiny forest to spot its special wildlife.

Staying at Moringa Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 9 - Anakao

Depart the hotel after breakfast and transfer by boat (around 2 hours) to the little visited village of Anakao; a picturesque and authentic Vezo fishing village. It is set on a sandy beach with outrigger boats lining the shore and friendly Vezo inhabitants. On arrival enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in the beautiful surroundings, or take optional activities such as snorkelling, diving or whale watching.

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10 - Anakao – 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 over 2000 years old), a spring-fed, 15 km long salt lake populated by flamingos, rare Madagascar plovers and other wading birds, and sunken caves in which live unique blind albino fish. The park is also excellent for reptiles with endangered radiated and spider tortoises and three-eyed lizards.

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11 - Anakao

This morning enjoy a pirogue excursion to the idyllic white sand island of Nosy Ve. The island is uninhabited and home to a rookery of red-tailed tropicbirds most of the year. You can also enjoy some snorkelling over the island's fringing coral reef. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure by the beach in Anakao.

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 12 - Tana

Morning pick up from the hotel and transfer by boat back to Tulear and by road to the airport. Take domestic flight back to Tana. Met on arrival in Tana and take a city tour of Tana if of interest.

Staying at Louvre Hotel . Includes Breakfast.

Day 13 - Andasibe

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

Afternoon excursion to Mitsinjo forest, a community-managed part of Analamazaotra rainforest. The forest here supports lowland streaked tenrecs, indris, the tiny Goodman’s mouse lemur, eastern woolly lemur and furry-eared dwarf lemur as well as Malagasy tree boa, many species of chameleons, leaf-tailed geckos and endemic frogs. Take a night walk once dark for the nocturnal species.

Staying at Andasibe Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 14 - Mantadia National Park

In the morning transfer further north and enjoy a guided walk 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 amongst many more. Enjoy another night walk in the evening near the hotel. At night it is possible to encounter many nocturnal lemurs as well as pygmy chameleons, giant millipedes and an assortment of colourful endemic frogs, camouflaged stick insects and much more.

Staying at Andasibe Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 15 - Perinet Reserve

Morning excursions in the Perinet rainforest reserve. The reserve is the best place to see the largest lemur species, the indri, along with common brown and eastern grey bamboo lemurs, diademed sifakas, huge Parson's chameleons and the bizarre giraffe-necked weevil. Perhaps also take a cultural tour of Andasibe village if of interest.

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 Au Bois Vert . Includes Breakfast.

Day 16 - 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 from London to Tana on Air France via Paris, or with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa or Kenya Airways via Nairobi.

Area Specialist

Ian Loyd

This itinerary is one of the best options for experiencing a wide range of Madagascar’s most different landscapes and its most spectacular wildlife whilst minimising internal flights.

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

I feel the tour was immensely enjoyable, well-constructed and gave a good overview of eastern and southern Madagascar. [Our guide and driver] are to be commended for their attention to our needs at all times. [Our guide] was outstanding – he couldn’t have done more to make our holiday better. I would have no hesitation in recommending Reef & Rainforest.

Mrs B J - Eastbourne

Route Map

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Setam Lodge: -21.251798, 47.438965
Au Bois Vert: -18.824275, 47.490774
Couleur Café: -19.867319, 47.039745
Relais de la Reine: -22.645114, 45.331823
Auberge de la Table: -23.413617, 43.755518
Andasibe Hotel: -18.922638, 48.408489