Madagascar,

Madagascar’s Whale Sharks, Lemurs and Tsingy

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Tailor-Made Tour
Family Holiday
10 Days
From £2493
GEOIP Not Available
Primate Watching
Beach
Snorkelling and Diving
Budget
Photographic

Tour Introduction

10 Days from £2493
GEOIP Not Available
per adult & £1767 per child. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

A fantastic easy-going wildlife itinerary taking in Northern Madagascar’s top natural attractions both above and below the water. This relaxing itinerary is suitable for both families and those who wish to experience the marine and terrestrial wildlife highlights with minimal time spent travelling. Other regions of Madagascar can easily be added on to this route, but it also works perfectly with flights in and out the tropical island of Nosy Be.

After staying at a high comfort Hotel on Nosy Be with some time to explore the rainforest of Lokobe Reserve; home to a population of inquisitive black lemurs, rare Hawk’s sportive lemurs and colourful panther chameleons. Next you move on to a charming lodge on the edge of the cool Montagne d’Ambre National Park.

Here you can explore Madagascar’s oldest National Park, full of endemic fauna and flora including some very special creatures such as crowned lemurs, giant leaf-tailed geckos and miniature Brookesia chameleons; the second smallest reptile on earth is easily found here.

From here an interesting drive takes you to the spectacular tsingy of Ankarana. Tsingy is a dramatic karst limestone geological feature peculiar to Madagascar, and a visit to this moon-like landscape is a very memorable experience. Wildlife is also common in the sunken forests and caves within the impressive rock formations.

The final destination is a return to the sun kissed island of Nosy Be, where you can relax by the warm sea for coral reef snorkelling or diving. The highlight though is a very special opportunity to snorkel alongside some of the Ocean’s gentle giants: whale sharks, mobula rays and green turtles.

Full Itinerary

Price from £2493
GEOIP Not Available
per adult & £1767 per child. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Nosy Be

Met on arrival into Nosy Be airport. Transfer 35 minutes through various plantations to your hotel.

Staying at Ravintsara Wellness Hotel. Includes Dinner.

Day 2
Lokobe Reserve, Nosy Be

This morning pick up and transfer to the village of Ambatozavavy. From here continue by pirogue (a local dugout canoe) for the scenic journey through mangroves to the nature reserve of Lokobe. This 740-hectare rainforest reserve is located in remote the southeast corner of Nosy Be and supports a wide range of wildlife.
The reserve is most noteworthy for its population of inquisitive black lemurs and the rare Nosy Be (Hawk’s) sportive lemur. The reserve is also important for its reptile (50 species) and frog (35 species) diversity and the beautifully marked panther chameleon is a common here.

Staying at Ravintsara Wellness Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Montagne d'Ambre National Park

Transfer to the airport and take domestic flight to Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), in the northern tip of Madagascar. Meet your new guide and driver on arrival and transfer 45 minutes south of the airport to your lodge on the edge of Montagne d'Ambre National Park.

In the afternoon take your first walk in this old growth rainforest, home to a wealth of endemic flora and fauna. Take a night walk in the evening for exciting nocturnal wildlife such as leaf-tailed geckos, frogs and the Montagne d'Ambre mouse lemur, fork- marked lemur and dwarf lemur

Staying at Nature Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Montagne d'Ambre National Park

Explore Montagne d'Ambre National Park on morning and afternoon guided walks.

This wonderful park is an isolated mount of rainforest in an otherwise semi-arid landscape and was the first National Park to be established in Madagascar. Walk the trails in search of crowned and Sanford's brown lemurs as well as birds such as Madagascar crested ibis, Madagascar pygmy kingfisher and the local Amber Mountain rock thrush.

This forest is home to at least 11 species of chameleon (many of them only found here), including one of the tiniest reptiles on the planet: the Montagne d'Ambre leaf chameleon (Brookesia tuberculata). In the evening take another night walk.

Staying at Nature Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Ankarana Reserve

Today make a long but interesting drive through the landscapes of Northern Madagascar to Ankarana Reserve. If of interest break the journey with a stop at the Red Tsingy.

Arrive at your lodge in the afternoon with time at leisure and to settle in.

Staying at Ankarana Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Ankarana Reserve

Today explore one of the country’s most exciting and unusual reserves. Ankarana protects a spectacular area of limestone pinnacles known as tsingy as well as sunken tropical dry deciduous forest with many trails to walk; some are easy going while others are more adventurous.

The reserve contains one of Madagascar’s highest densities of lemurs with the crowned lemur and nocturnal Ankarana sportive lemur abundant. Other wildlife includes the ring-tailed vonsitra, colourful day geckos, huge colonies of bats, ground boas and Madagascar harrier hawks.

Staying at Ankarana Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Nosy Tanikely

Today drive to Ankify past plantations and villages specialising in different produce and perhaps stop at a local vanilla plantation if of interest. continue by boat (45 mins) from Ankify dock to the Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve.

The stunning white sand beaches of Nosy Tanikely are also the gateway to some of the best coral reef snorkelling in the Indian Ocean. Enjoy the warm sea temperatures clear water and dazzling diversity of marine life here including hawksbill turtles, rays, octopus and colourful reef fish. Transfer back to Nosy Be and your hotel by the beach.

Staying at L'Heure Bleue. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
The Bay of Nosy Be

Today enjoy a shared excursion into the Bay of Nosy Be in search of whale sharks, mobula and manta rays and giant green turtles.

The whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean today and juvenile sharks pass through the warm, clear and plankton rich waters of Nosy Be between October and December. This protein-rich habitat is equally ideal for manta and mobula rays and also attracts dolphins and rare Omura’s whales. Due to the conditions at this time of year there are excellent opportunities to sensitively swim alongside whale sharks, rays, dolphins and turtles.

Staying at L'Heure Bleue. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Nosy Be

Today enjoy a day at leisure by the beach with various optional activities available.

Staying at L'Heure Bleue. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Nosy Be

Enjoy the morning at leisure before your transfer to the Nosy Be airport and onward flight.

Includes All Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Madagascar

Ravintsara Wellness Hotel

Overview

The Ravintsara Wellness Hotel is a tranquil resort on the island of Nosy Be. With a relaxing atmosphere, the hotel is perfect for leisure enthusiasts who want to discover the Madagascan island life.

Ravintsara has 20 bungalows (sea and garden view) and all are equipped with air-conditioning, fan, safe, minibar, flat screen TV with satellite channels, Internet, telephone, king size bed and a desk. The comfortable bathrooms are equipped with double sinks, a jacuzzi and a shower as well as a separate toilet.

The resort is facing Sakatia island on the west coast overlooking spectacular sunsets.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
20
Facilities

Enjoy Malagasy and international dishes at their gourmet restaurant which also offers a cooking show once a week and Sunday brunch on the beach. The lounge bar offers a selection of light meals all day long. Other facilities at Ravintsara include the beach bar, complimentary wifi, swimming pool overlooking the sea, a children’s play area, water aerobic classes, fitness classes, table tennis and board games. The spa within the gardens has a range of treatment rooms as well as steam room, Jacuzzi, beauty salon and hairdresser.

Optional Activities

Diving, snorkelling, day trips to the islands, catamaran day trips and sightseeing excursions.

Madagascar Northern Madagascar

Nature Lodge

Overview

A small, friendly and comfortable lodge situated just 15 minutes’ drive from Montagne d’Ambre National Park with lovely views down to the plains of Diego. Accommodation is in one of twelve simple wooden bungalows, each with a private bathroom. The garden with its pathways, tropical plants and sweet-smelling shrubs, are a delight too.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
12
Facilities

Facilities include an attractive restaurant furnished with rosewood and other local Malagasy woods offering authentic and refined cooking, including both French and local Malagasy cuisine, plus a bar and terrace for relaxing. There is also Wi-Fi available in the reception and the friendly staff are sure to make your stay an enjoyable one.

Local Wildlife

Look for the localised Montagne d’ Ambre fork-marked lemur, Montagne d’ Ambre mouse lemur and the only recently described Montagne d’ Ambre dwarf lemur alongside many species of endemic frogs, giant and mossy leaf-tailed geckos, snakes, stick insects and other wildlife

The reserve contains at least 11 species of chameleon, including one of the tiniest of them all the Brookesia tuberculate and the beautiful panther and elephant ears chameleons.

Optional Activities

Explore the Montagne D’ambre National Park. The park, an isolated mount of rainforest in an otherwise semi-arid landscape, contains many lemurs, as well as birds such as Madagascar crested ibis and pygmy kingfishers. Walk the trails in search of lemurs including the beautiful crowned lemur, Sanford’s brown lemur as well as many reptiles and birds such as Madagascar crested ibis and the local subspecies of forest rock thrush.

Madagascar Northern Madagascar

Ankarana Lodge

Overview

The recently renovated Ankarana Lodge is located approximately 1 km from Ankarana National Park with superb views over the local savannah.

The lodge has simple yet comfortable air-conditioned bungalows and more simple rooms, the more basic terraced rooms have air- conditioning and all have private bathrooms. There is 24-hour power for lighting and charging of equipment.

There is a large swimming pool with deck chairs and a drinks service, and there are plans to build a bar. The spacious bungalows overlook the pool and have private verandas. Although without air- conditioning the rooms have fans and two doors to improve the airflow.

There is a restaurant towards the back of the pool serving traditional Malagasy cuisine.

The main reason for a stay here is to visit Ankarana National Park, a spectacular tsingy area of eroded limestone pinnacles and sunken dry deciduous forest containing one of the highest densities of primates in the world – it has to be one of Madagascar’s most exciting reserves. Highlights include the various chameleons, leaf-tailed geckos and the northern ring-tailed mongoose.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
12
Facilities

Private bathrooms, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, restaurant, drinks service, swimming pool, terrace, 24-hour electricity.

Local Wildlife

There are 11 species of lemur in the park, including crowned, Sandford’s brown, northern sportive and greater dwarf lemur. Other wildlife includes ring-tailed mongoose, various chameleons and leaf-tailed geckos and the colourful Madagascar giant day geckos. The Madagascar crested ibis is also frequently seen here.

Optional Activities

Excursions in the Ankarana National Park could include visits to the impressive limestone karst pinnacles called tsingy, sunken caves, underground rivers and more.

Madagascar Northern Madagascar

L‘Heure Bleue

Overview

Completely renovated in 2012, L’Heure Bleue is an award-winning seaside hotel on the island of Nosy Be atop a headland overlooking the long sandy beach of Ambataloaka with its small hotels, restaurants and shops.

There are rustic wooden family bungalows (with mezzanine floors where the parents sleep) and double ones, and stylish new deluxe lodges which can also convert to family rooms. Each bungalow is equipped with mini bar, ceiling fan, safe, private bathrooms, 24-hour electricity, hot water and a terrace that overlooks the sea with private seating area.

The resort has won awards for its approach to environmental consideration and local community involvement. All of the bungalows have been designed using local and sustainably sourced materials and are full of charm.

The restaurant serves an a la carte menu of fresh Malagasy cuisine and buffet breakfasts. There is free Wi-Fi and a communal lounge and TV area. Near the beachfront is a swimming pool with bar service available.

Nosy Be, is a large volcanic island eight km off the north coast, and is the country’s most popular location for visitors seeking both beach relaxation and wishing to explore the surrounding smaller islands such as Nosy Komba, Nosy Sakatia and Nosy Tanikely. It is intensively cultivated with plantations of coffee, cinnamon, cocoa, ylang ylang and vanilla, leading to its being named the Perfumed Isle. Stunning viewpoints can be accessed overlooking eleven crater lakes, the jagged coast, and the sea towards the Radama Islands to the south and Mitsio archipelago to the north.

Certain areas are lively with bars and restaurants, while at others it is possible to find privacy in secluded coves lined with palm trees. Nosy Be supports some remarkable fauna, including a miniature frog, which grows to around 1cm long and the world’s smallest chameleon, roughly the length of a fingernail. Black lemurs can be found in Lokobe Reserve, a patch of protected rainforest in the southeast of the island.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
18
Facilities

Private bathrooms, ceiling fans, mosquito nets, 24-hour electricity, laundry and ironing service, outdoor swimming pool, communal lounge/TV area, free Wi-Fi, 24 hour front desk, private beach access, library, massage room, bar and restaurant.

Optional Activities

Diving, snorkelling, excursions to Nosy Komba and elsewhere on the island.

Route Map

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Ankarana Lodge: -12.968070, 49.138530
Nature Lodge: -12.468742, 49.202940
Ravintsara Wellness Hotel: -13.324174, 48.184166
L\'Heure Bleue: -13.389596, 48.196837

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Ethiopian Airlines fly directly in and out of Nosy Be three times per week via Addis Ababa on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Best Visited:

September to December

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Ian Loyd

Area Specialist

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

Loved it all! 17 species of lemurs, loads of reptiles and endemic birds. Did masses of photography. Highlights included male giraffe necked weevil, witnessing an indri howling and Verreauxs sifakas jumping through the trees in gorgeous early morning light. [Our guide] was great as were local guides. Very happy with the itinerary. We wanted it to be a wildlife holiday as that is our primary interest, but found the landscape variety and tribal dimensions very rewarding too.

Mr & Mrs S - Chichester