Madagascar,

Best of Natural Madagascar

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Tailor-Made Tour
16 Days
From £3637
GEOIP Not Available
Primate Watching
Birding
Whale Watching
Beach
Snorkelling and Diving
Culture and Archaeology
Photographic
Rainforest

Tour Introduction

16 Days from £3637
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

This breath-taking natural history programme features some of Madagascar’s most exceptional wildlife and remarkable scenery whilst staying in comfortable accommodation throughout. 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 quick moving 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.

There is also a stunning stretch of coastline where there are opportunities for snorkelling and whale watching (July – September) plus a visit to the extra special Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. This little visited park with its 15km-long Salt Lake home to flamingos and rare Madagascar plovers and sandgrouse and unique pachypodium forest containing ancient baobabs (one is over 3,000 years old) and blind albino cave fish makes for another highlight.

Full Itinerary

Price from £3637
GEOIP Not Available
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

Today your holiday begins in earnest with a drive to the east (5 hours in total but with stops) from Tana to Andasibe.

In the evening, you can 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

Today we rise early to drive 1 hour 30 minutes north on a bumpy track to Mantadia National Park. Here we can enjoy 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 the best location to spot the acrobatic 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.

This afternoon you can return to the lodge to rest. In the evening take another night walk in the nearby Orchidee Park for nocturnal sightings.

Staying at Andasibe Lemurs Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Mitsinjo Reserve

Today explore the community managed Mitsinjo Reserve on morning and afternoon guided walks where there is an excellent opportunity to see the indri up close.

The local guides at Mitsinjo have habituated several groups of indris which often come lower in the trees to take a closer look and sometimes receive a handout of their favourite leaves. This intimacy makes for an unforgettable sighting and also photographic opportunity. Take a final night walk in the forest here once dark.

Staying at Andasibe Lemurs Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Andasibe Reserve

This morning visit the Analamazaotra (Perinet) Reserve to enjoy more lemur encounters. This section of forest is the best location to see the stunningly beautiful diademed sifaka as well as the common brown and eastern grey bamboo lemurs. Chameleons and endemic birdlife and fascinating insects will be other highlights.

In the afternoon return by road through rice growing country back to your hotel in Tana for the night.

Staying at Lokanga Boutique Hotel. . Includes Breakfast.

Day 6
Honko Mangroves

Transfer to the airport and take flight to Tulear in the arid south of the country.

From Tulear, transfer 30 minutes to the Honko Mangrove Project for a guided tour of the sustainably managed and restored mangrove ecosystem of the Bay of Ranobe. On your leisurely and interpretative walk on boardwalks through the mangroves look out for mudskippers, mangrove crabs, dragonflies and Madagascar swamp warblers.

Later after lunch continue 10 minutes to your beachside hotel in Ifaty. Wetlands along the journey can offer sightings of Madagascar plover, painted snipe, greater flamingos and other waders. Enjoy time at Leisure.

Staying at Les Dunes d'Ifaty. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Ifaty Spiny Forest

Morning to explore the local spiny forest habitat, dominated by the thorny Didiereacae, or octopus, trees and the local baobab, Andansonia rubrostipa (fony).

As well as learning about the flora, this is a superb birdwatching area with a number of special endemic bird species to see including the sub-desert mesite and the brilliant long-tailed ground roller. There are also many reptiles ranging from the three-eyed lizard and warty chameleon to the blonde hog-nosed snake.

Later in the morning we will also take a boat trip to hopefully spot humpback whales offshore.

During the middle of the day we have some time at leisure to relax by the beach or pool. In the early evening we will return to the unique spiny forest and stay till dark to spot the fascinating nocturnal wildlife of the forest.

Staying at Les Dunes d'Ifaty. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Zombitse and Tulear

Staying at Auberge de La Table. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Anakao

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Anakao – Tsimanampetsotsa

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Anakao

Staying at Anakao Ocean Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 12
Antananarivo

Staying at Louvre Hotel . Includes Breakfast.

Day 13
Andasibe

Staying at Andasibe Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 14
Mantadia National Park

Staying at Andasibe Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 15
Perinet Reserve

Staying at Au Bois Vert . Includes Breakfast.

Day 16
Depart Antananarivo

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Madagascar Northern Madagascar

Couleur Cafe

Overview

A relatively new hotel and one of the best in Antsirabe, Couleur Café has sixteen comfortable rooms with large private bathrooms surrounded by beautiful gardens. Each room has comfortable beds and a fireplace, and been attractively decorated. The friendly and helpful staff are always on hand and free Wi-Fi is provided in the restaurant, though it can be patchy.

There is a small restaurant serving traditional Malagasy and French cuisine. The food is very well presented and special diets can be catered for. There is also a small communal lounge area and a small selection of souvenirs available to buy.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
16
Facilities

Wi-Fi (only in restaurant), private bathrooms, restaurant, lounge, souvenir shop and gardens.

Optional Activities

The hotel offers easy access to Antsirabe for independent exploration.

Madagascar Eastern Madagascar

Setam Lodge

Overview

Setam is a comfortable small lodge situated in a pre-montane river valley close to the primary rainforest of Ranomafana National Park. In our opinion it is the best accommodation option in the area and a good base from which to explore the park. The rooms have comfortable beds, a wardrobe and bedside table and have excellent views towards the mountains.

Facilities include 24-hour electricity and pleasant gardens. Generous platters of good food using fresh ingredients are served in the main restaurant with its picture windows offering excellent views. Breakfast can be served on a large veranda, also with good views.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
20
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, private facilities, 24-hr electricity, private veranda

Local Wildlife

The park was created to provide protection for the very rare Golden bamboo lemur, which can be easily seen with the help of local guides. The park is also the best location to see the critically endagered greater bamboo lemur and the stunning Milne Edwards sifaka as well as red-bellied lemur, black and white ruffed lemur and red-fronted brown lemur. Over 100 bird species have been recorded in the park with specialities including the attractive pitta-like, short-legged and rufous-headed ground rollers, yellow-browed oxylabels, velvet and yellow-bellied sunbird asitys and brown mesite. Reptile and frog diversity is also very high with o'shaughnessy chameleon, Madagascar tree boa, three species of leaf-tailed gecko and numerous frogs.

Optional Activities

Guided wildlife walks into the Ranomafana National Park. The trails can be steep and tough but generally the going is moderate.

Madagascar Southern Madagascar

Anakao Ocean Lodge

Overview

This beautifully positioned new hotel is situated at one end of the village, with charming bungalows constructed from local materials, each with private bathrooms. There are 28 rooms in total, including 1 suite and 2 extra spacious family rooms. Most rooms overlook the beautiful Mozambique Channel with a small patio and sun loungers to enjoy sunsets. All rooms are equipped with modern amenities including, mini bar, electronic safety deposit box, air- conditioning and free Wi-Fi can be found in all the rooms.

Various excursions can be arranged with the hotel, such as boat trips to nearby islands including Nosy Ve, scuba diving and snorkelling on the fringing reefs, fishing, exploring the area by quad bike and visits to Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.

All the spacious rooms overlook the sea and feature modern amenities including flat screen TV, mini bar, safe, telephone, air- conditioning, mosquito nets and free Wi-Fi in all the rooms.

There is a long stretch of calm beach in front of the lodge with loungers and umbrellas and the sea is safe for swimming. The lodge has a dive shop with good scuba diving and snorkelling equipment available to hire alongside other watersports.

The large restaurant serves freshly prepared traditional Malagasy and international dishes on a set menu often featuring fresh seafood, but can cater well to special diets.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
28
Facilities

Restaurant, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, TV, mini bar, electronic safety deposit box, mosquito nets and a dive and water sports shop onsite.

Local Wildlife

Around the hotel itself is a good example of spiny bush habitat with birds such as sub-desert brush warbler and littoral rock thrush and reptiles such as the three-eyed lizard and Bernier's Striped Snake. On the offshore island of Nosy Ve there is an impressive red-tailed tropicbird colony and coral reef. Between July and September humpback whales can be seen further offshore on boat trips from the lodge.

Optional Activities

Excursions to Nosy Ve, snorkelling and scuba diving, village visits, quad biking and visits to Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.

Madagascar Eastern Madagascar

Andasibe Hotel

Overview

The Andasibe Hotel sits next to a tranquil small lake, surrounded by Eucalyptus close to the Andasibe village and reserve.

The hotel offers one of the highest levels of comfort in the area with 20 spacious bungalows with large comfortable beds. All have modern private bathrooms with hot water, and they all feature air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar, safe, a seating area and a small private terrace to relax on. There are also 10 more simple and smaller standard rooms. Wi-Fi is only available in the restaurant.

There is a spacious restaurant offering a wide selection of international dishes. There is a small swimming pool in the extensive gardens to enjoy, plus a small massage room where spa treatments can be arranged.

The hotel is an ideal base for those looking for a higher level of comfort while exploring the Andasibe Rainforests.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
30
Facilities

Private bathrooms, mosquito nets, air conditioning, TV, safe, mini bar, private terrace, lounge, restaurant, swimming pool, massage room and Wi-Fi is available in the communal areas.

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 Southern Madagascar

Relais de la Reine

Overview

This luxurious and peaceful hotel on the edge of Isalo National Park, blends in wonderfully with its surroundings. This is a very comfortable property with excellent facilities including a swimming pool, solar power and large rooms with stylish French inspired decor. Just behind the hotel, across the small stream lined with pandanus, is a pocket of small hills and canyons where Pachypodium and Aloe plants may be found.

Each of the spacious rooms have French doors that open out on to the gardens and feature air-conditioning, fans, safety deposit box, clothes hanger, luggage rack, bedside table and a modern attached private bathroom with 24 hour hot water. The hotel has a lovely restaurant with both outside and indoor dining areas and features superb French and Malagasy cuisine. There is also a lounge area with television and an inviting swimming pool which is a welcome sight after a hot day of walking in the National Park.

 

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
30
Facilities

Room amenities include air-conditioning, fan, safety deposit box and attached private bathroom with 24 hour hot water. Other hotel facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, small gift shop, free Wi-Fi and massage palor.

Local Wildlife

The locally endemic Benson’s rock thrush is one of the top birds to see here alongside more common endemics such as Madagascar lark, Madagascar cisticola and the lesser vasa parrot. Lemurs here include ring-tailed, verreaux’s sifaka and red-fronted brown lemur and reptiles include the stunning jewel chameleon, huge Oustalet’s chameleon and spiny-tailed iguanids are particulary common. There is also a spectacular locally endemic frog species; the Malagasy rainbow frog which can be spotted during the wet season. There is some exceptional botany too, including pachypodium, pandanus, endemic feather palm and various aloes, one of which is endemic.

Optional Activities

Wildlife watching and hikes in Isalo National Park.

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

Auberge De La Table

Overview

The main attraction of a stay at Auberge De La Table is the onsite Arboretum D’Antsokay which contains a wonderful selection of plants from the arid spiny forest ecosystem of Southern Madagascar. Wide flat paths make exploring the Arboretum easy and a very enjoyable experience for those interested in botany and learning about the medicinal uses of the plants.

Fauna includes birdlife such as the Madagascar buttonquail, green-capped coua, banded kestrel and sickle-billed vanga. Night walks with the resident guide are a great way to spot the locally endemic grey-brown mouse lemur and a variety of reptiles such as the large warty chameleon; (Furcifer verrucosus), the ocelot gecko (Paroedura picta), the tiny Lygodactylus tuberosus and the impressive Dumeril’s boa. During the day the huge Madagascar giant swallowtail butterfly sometimes appears near flowering bushes.

There is also an educational interpretation centre on site, focused on information and threats to the spiny forest.

The hotels accept Euros, US Dollars and Visa and MasterCard’s with a 3.7% surcharge.

 

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
9
Facilities

The Auberge de la Table has 9 comfortable bungalows designed for one to three people, all with a large double bed and a single bed available on request, a small but modern bathroom, mosquito nets, free standing fans, and tea and coffee making facilities upon request. Electricity is available 24 hours a day with solar panels. The water comes from a natural well. Hot water is obtained through solar water heaters.

The Dry Forest restaurant, named in honour of the dry spiny forest of southwestern Madagascar, serves meals on the terrace of the restaurant. The lounge bar offers a great place to have a drink before or after a meal. There is a library located next to the bar with a wide selection of books and games as well as free Wi-Fi being available in the public areas. Bikes are also available to rent and there is a swimming pool.

Local Wildlife

The Antsokay Arboretum is the main attraction, where nearly 1,000 species of plants are found on a labelled botanical trail. Grey-brown mouse lemurs are easily spotted here on night walks and a there is a good range of spiny forest specialty reptiles and birds found in the Arboretum including the Dumeril’s ground boa, warty chameleon, thick-tailed gecko, sickle-billed vanga, crested and running couas and banded kestrel. The rare red-shouldered vanga and Verreaux's coua can found in the spiny bush habitat at Tsinjoriake. Humpback whale watching, more spiny forest birdwatching and coral reefs can be found at Ifaty and Anakao.

Optional Activities

Explore the Antsokay Arboretum onsite or venture further afield to walk the Table Mountain Trail, part of the New Protected Area of Tsinjoriake. There is a fantastic view from the top showcasing the wild spiny forest habitat of the region. Visits to the local fishing villages, Honko Mangrove Project or birdwatching or whale watching in Ifaty or Anakao are also available.

Route Map

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Relais de la Reine: -22.645114, 45.331823
Andasibe Hotel: -18.922638, 48.408489
Anakao Ocean Lodge: -23.672977, 43.647525
Auberge de La Table: -23.413712, 43.755607

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:

Fly to Tana on Air France via Paris, or with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa or Kenya Airways via Nairobi. South African Airways/Airlink also have daily flights between Johannesburg and Antananarivo.

Best Visited:

April 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

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