Madagascar, Wildlife Tours

The Wildlife of Northern Madagascar’s Magical Forests and Reefs

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Group Tour
17 Days
From 3095
Off The Beaten Track
Photographic
Primate Watching
Rainforest
Snorkelling and Diving

Tour Introduction

17 Days from  3095 per adult. Prices based on rates applicable at the time of costing which may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote

Led by one of Madagascar’s most experienced tour leaders, this exciting small group tour takes in the less visited but highly rewarding National Parks and marine life of Northern Madagascar.

Take a look at our short film here for an overview: Wild Madagascar Film

Accompanied by local expert guide Daniel Razafimandimby, this unique holiday will take you to rainforests, dramatic limestone pinnacles, dry tropical forests and warm tropical island waters surrounded by spectacular marine life.

Appealing to wildlife enthusiasts with an adventurous spirit, this small group itinerary aims to reveal to you some of Madagascar’s most weird and wonderful animals. It will be a rewarding journey of great variety – both scenically and for the breadth of wildlife encountered. You will experience rainforest, tsingy pinnacles and sweeping Indian Ocean beaches. We search for the world’s largest and smallest species of lemur and chameleon (and many in between) as well as the strange, expertly camouflaged leaf-tailed gecko and vividly coloured day geckos and rare birds – during the tour, please bear in mind the staggering fact that most of what you will see can be found nowhere else on Earth.

Areas visited include ANALAMAZAOTRA, MANTADIA and MONTAGNE D’AMBRE NATIONAL PARKS for diverse rainforest habitats; ANKARANA NATIONAL PARK for peculiar tsingy karst geology and dry deciduous tropical forest; and the lovely L’HEURE BLEUE LODGE on NOSY BE. Plenty of wildlife – lemurs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates – will be seen in all the various locations and parks visited. During your time on Nosy Be, two private boat trips have been included – one to admire the acrobatics of Humpback Whales and the other to (hopefully) snorkel with Whale sharks.

The group size has been kept deliberately small (maximum 10 people) to afford good wildlife-viewing, give best access to your leader and guides and encourage congenial camaraderie as you share exciting experiences with other like-minded people. A reasonable level of fitness is essential for your enjoyment as some of the walks – although taken at an easy pace to suit the group and to facilitate good wildlife watching – can be strenuous due to the terrain and climate.

Click here for full tour details

Full Itinerary

Price from  3095 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Antananarivo

Arrive Antananarivo (Tana). Met on arrival and transfer to your hotel.

Staying at Au Bois Vert. Includes No Meals.

Day 2
VOIMMA Reserve

Transfer by road (c 4-5 hours in total but with stops) from Tana to Andasibe.

In the evening, explore the community managed VOIMMA Reserve, part of Analamazaotra that receives fewer visitors than surrounding forest areas and is particularly good for night walks. This walk may reveal the nocturnal Goodman’s mouse lemur, the Eastern woolly lemur, and the furry-eared (Crossley’s) dwarf lemur, plus sleeping chameleons and frogs.

Staying at Andasibe Lemurs Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Mantadia National Park

Early morning drive (c.1 hour 30 minutes) north on a bumpy track to Mantadia National Park. Spending the morning exploring the wonderful primary rainforest of this vast protected area with its special wildlife.

The majestic old growth rainforest of Mantadia is a good location to spot the agile black-and-white ruffed lemur. Colourful Baron’s mantella frogs may be seen as well as interesting array of insects and special birdlife. Avian highlights could include the beautiful pitta-like ground roller, nuthatch vanga and red-fronted and blue couas.

In afternoon, return to Andasibe. For those interested a visit to the Lemur Island can be arranged . In the evening, take another night walk near the lodge.

Staying at Andasibe Lemurs Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Perinet Reserve

Morning walk in the Analamazaotra (Perinet) Reserve to enjoy some close sightings of the magnificent tail less indri. This section of forest is also the best location to see the stunningly beautiful diademed sifaka as well as the common brown and eastern grey bamboo lemurs.

In the afternoon we will transfer (5 hours) back to Tana with a couple stops at points of interest en route. Transfer to the hotel.

Staying at Au Bois Vert. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Montagne d' Ambre

Transfer to the airport and catch MADAGASCAR AIRLINES flight to DIEGO SUAREZ.

On arrival in Diego, transfer 45 minutes south to our lodge on the edge of a wonderful private rainforest reserve to settle in and have lunch. In the afternoon, explore the Montagne d' Ambre National Park. This is the oldest National Park in Madagascar and protects an isolated mount of rainforest in an otherwise semi-arid landscape.

Return to the lodge for dinner and once dark, take a night walk in search of nocturnal species.

Staying at Nature Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 6
Montagne d' Ambre

Morning and afternoon guided walks to explore the national park. The park is home to the beautiful crowned lemur and Sanford’s brown lemur as well as rare birds such as the Madagascar crested ibis, Madagascar pygmy kingfisher and the local Amber Mountain rock thrush.

The park is also home to at least 11 species of chameleon many of them unique to the park. One of the highlights will hopefully be finding one of the tiniest of all reptiles in the world, the Montagne d'Ambre leaf chameleon: (Brookesia tuberculate).

Staying at Nature Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Andrafiamena Forest

Morning drive north of Diego Suarez to the charming Akiba Lodge in Anjahakely.

The drive will pass through dry forest, typical of northern Madagascar as well as many small villages, giving an insight to the tribes, cultures, history and landscapes of this region. The drive will take approximately 6 hours, depending on the local conditions.

Staying at Akiba Lodge Anjahakely. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Andrafiamena Forest

Today, explore the Andrafiamena Protected Area. This little-known wilderness protects a large area of hilly, semi-humid and dry deciduous forest. It’s home to a good range of wildlife and a friendly and engaging rural community.

The reserve is of most importance for its population of the critically endangered Perrier’s sifaka, of which there are only around 250 individuals left in the wild.

Explore the forest with the assistance of local guides from the village that are experts in locating habituated groups of the sifakas, so there is an excellent opportunity to see these rare lemurs. A visit here makes a real difference to their survival by supporting the community-based conservation work of the lodge.

Staying at Akiba Lodge Anjahakely. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Ankarana National Park

Morning departure for a scenic but bumpy drive of approximately 3 hours to Ankarana National Park.

In the afternoon, begin to explore the park, famous for its spectacular areas of ancient limestone pinnacles and karst known as tsingy as well as sunken dry forest.

Staying at Ankarana Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Ankarana National Park

Morning and afternoon guided walks in Ankarana to discover its fascinating natural history and geology.

There are also huge caves and underground canyons and we can perhaps include a visit the bat caves. Ankarana supports one of Madagascar’s highest densities of lemurs with crowned, Sanford’s brown and Ankarana sportive lemurs particularly abundant in the dry forests.

Staying at Ankarana Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Nosy Be

Morning departure for a drive of approximately 4 hours to Ankify stopping at a vanilla plantation on the way.

From Ankify, continue by boat (45 minutes) to the beautiful tropical island of Nosy Be. The rest of the day will then be at leisure to enjoy the seaside hotel.

Staying at L'Heure Bleue. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Nosy Be

Today, take a thrilling boat excursion into the Bay of Nosy Be to experience the rich marine life of this region. The principle aim will be to see humpback whales. Lunch will be taken on Nosy Sakatia, with time for snorkelling to observe green turtles.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Staying at L'Heure Bleue. Includes All Meals.

Day 13
Bay of Nosy Be

Today, take a thrilling boat excursion into the Bay of Nosy Be to experience the rich marine life of this region. The principle aim will be to see and snorkel with Whale sharks. Lunch included.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Staying at L'Heure Bleue. Includes All Meals.

Day 14
Depart Nosy Be

Morning at leisure. Later in the day, transfer by road 45 minutes to the Nosy Be airport to check in for your flight.

For example, depart NOSY BE (NOS) at 1535 on ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES flight ET 836 to ADDIS ABABA (ADD) arriving 1935.

Includes Breakfast.

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Tour Accommodation

Madagascar Eastern Madagascar

Au Bois Vert

Overview

Located a short drive from the airport and set in three hectares of peaceful and attractive gardens, accommodation is in rooms constructed using natural materials dominated by chunky wood and granite. All rooms have private bathrooms, satellite TV and safe. Facilities at the hotel include a swimming pool and a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.

The hotel is only 20 minutes from the airport so is an ideal location for a stopover.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
26
Facilities

Private bathrooms, TV, room safe, restaurant, swimming pool, Wi-Fi available in the lobby

Optional Activities

City tours can be arranged. Activities including mountain and quad biking, village tours and walking trips can be arranged offsite.

Madagascar Eastern Madagascar

Andasibe Lemurs Lodge

Overview

Situated just outside the village of Andasibe and next to the Sahatandra River, this friendly lodge is bordered by the Andasibe rainforest where the indri can be heard singing at dawn.

The Lodge was built in 2017 and offers a good standard of accommodation with 10 bungalows and 10 standard rooms.

All the rooms are clean and comfortable with modern private bathrooms and small terraces. The 10 bungalows offer more comfort with satellite TV, mini fridges, mosquito nets above the beds and are more spacious. All the rooms though feature mosquito screening, a safe, telephone and Wi-Fi.

Electricity is supplied by solar power and is available 24 hours a day. There is a welcoming restaurant with a menu that changes daily and includes plenty of fresh local produce. Meals are mostly of a European style and special diets can be catered for.

In front of the bungalows is a swimming pool available to all the guests of the lodge, which is very welcome after a morning walking in the rainforest. The lodge accepts Euros, US dollars and local Ariary as well as Visa and MasterCard’s with a 5% surcharge.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
20
Facilities

All rooms feature modern private bathrooms, fans and Wi-Fi in the rooms. The bungalows also feature a satellite TV, kettle, telephone, mosquito netting above the bed and a mini fridge. There is a restaurant and swimming pool and 24-hour hot water and electricity supplied by solar power and generators.

Local Wildlife

The Andasibe area is one of the best examples of Madagascar’s Eastern rainforests and is home to a fantastic selection of wildlife. In the Andasibe (Perinet) Reserve and its adjoining Mitsinjo and VOIMMA Reserves, the indri is one of the highlights, being the largest species of lemur. Other diurnal lemurs include the diademed sifaka, common brown lemur, Eastern grey bamboo lemur and the black-and-white ruffed lemur only in the nearby Mantadia National Park. Nocturnal species include the Goodman’s mouse lemur, furry-eared dwarf lemur and Eastern woolly lemur. In the community managed VOIMMA Reserve, the Parson’s chameleon can often be found along with the blue-legged chameleon and tiny brown leaf chameleon: Brookesia superciliaris. The smaller creatures of the rainforest are spectacular here with mossy leaf tailed geckos, colourful frogs and insects such as the giraffe-necked weevil. Birdlife is another highlight especially in the Mantadia National Park with scaly, pitta-like and short-legged ground rollers, velvet asity, red-fronted and blue couas, nuthatch vanga, Madagascar blue pigeon and pygmy kingfisher. The wonderful helmet vanga can also be found in the more remote Antavalobe Reserve.

Optional Activities

Walking in the wildlife rich rainforest reserves of Andasibe, VOIMMA, Mitsinjo, Mantadia and Antavalobe. Interpretive village visits are also available.

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

Akiba Lodge Anjahakely

Overview

Surrounded by beautiful mountains and mixed evergreen and deciduous forests, Akiba Lodge (formerly known as Black Lemur Camp) is nestled next to the Analamerana Special Reserve in the far north of Madagascar. The lodge has recently benefited from a refurbishment and  fits in well with a circuit of the north including Ankarana tsingy.

Akiba Lodge is run by the Lemur Conservation charity FANABY to encourage sensitive, community-based ecotourism to this little-visited region. The Analamerana Special Reserve is the last refuge of the critically endangered Perrier’s sifaka, of which only 250 or so individuals remain in the wild with none in captivity. The all-black Perrier’s sifaka is restricted to northern Madagascar where its population and distribution have been greatly reduced and fragmented by habitat loss for livestock, agriculture and, sadly, hunting. Visitors have a great opportunity to see this beautiful primate on a 45-minute walk from the lodge and such visits in turn help provide funding and employment to the local community who protect the forest.

Accommodation comprises ten clean and comfortable rustic chalets with private bathrooms (simple showers only) and mosquito netting . The main building boasts wonderful sweeping views down the valley and houses a restaurant, bar and lounge area. Local women serve the delicious perfumed white rice grown in nearby Anjahankely village. Solar power is used to provide electricity and Wi-Fi 24 hours a day and the staff are particularly friendly.

The wider area offers many other natural attractions: sandstone topography covered by rainforest, karst limestone formations within tropical dry forest, and transitional forests with highlights including abundant lemur life and a natural swimming pool in which to refresh. Visiting the village to see them making the special perfumed white rice is also fascinating.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Akiba Lodge has ten spacious but simple bungalows with private bathrooms, all built using local materials. Eight rooms are tented lodge style and two are larger family bungalows in semi-hard buildings.

Local Wildlife

The all black Perrier’s sifaka is the highlight species. This acrobatic species is severely threatened with extinction and is listed as one of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates by the IUCN. They are easily seen on a walk just 45 minutes from the lodge.

Other species include the beautiful crowned lemur, Sandford's brown lemur and Ankarana sportive lemur and northern rufous mouse lemurs could be spotted after dark. Ring-tailed mongoose and a variety of birds and reptiles can also be found in the dry forest.

Optional Activities

There are many trails you can choose to walk, caves to explore and also a small area of tsingy and natural swimming pool in the forest, all nearby.

You can also experience the special perfumed white rice of the local village, produced the Association of women during a visit to the local village.

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

Departure Dates

Tour Dates
Adult Price
Single Supp
16/10/2024
3095
735

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Fly to Antananarivo and out of Nosy Be with Ethiopian Airlines or return from Antananarivo with Air France or Kenya Airways.

Best Visited:

September to November

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.

Claire Pote

Area Specialist

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

[Our escort guide] was excellent – he had amazing vocabulary and was always good natured, patient and attentive. He provided us with a great commentary to the country and proved to be a brilliant wildlife spotter. Wildlife highlights: seeing a streaked tenrec, snorkelling with green turtles, the pygmy chameleons, the biggest giant millipede I’ve ever seen, a group of indris without the crowds and hearing their calls, seeing new families of birds – vangas and couas…Everything was a complete treat – my binoculars got a complete workout.

Mr D N - Bristol