Madagascar Wildlife Holidays and Natural World Tours
Madagascar is often referred to as the eighth continent. It is perhaps most famous for its endearing lemurs, but also boasts six endemic bird families, one of the most diverse floras in the world, and the world’s largest and smallest chameleons.
The haunting calls of Indris echo through the mist-filled valleys of the lush eastern rainforests where the trees are adorned with hanging gardens of orchids. We’ll explore the tropical south western coast where awesome baobabs and octopus trees form the unique ‘spiny forest’. The spectacular sandstone rock formation of Isalo National Park, home to the iconic Ring tailed Lemur, is sure to be another highlight. The nearby Canyon des Makis is home to the beautiful Verreaux’s Sifaka. Many of Madagascar’s gems are to be found amongst its reptiles, insects and amphibians. There’s the stunning gold and black Painted Mantella Frog and the improbable Giraffe-necked Weevil, and amongst a host of fine butterflies is the Brilliant Blue (not a blue of course!), Madagascar Green-veined Charaxes and a number of beautiful Graphium Swallowtails.
Scarlet Flame Trees line the streets of Tulear where an Aepyornis egg is on display in the small museum. The arboretum has, in collaboration with the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, created a herbarium with seeds of the many endangered succulents from the island’s extraordinary arid regions. Zombitse’s dry deciduous forests are home to Giant Coua, Rufous Vanga, and the really very strange-looking Madagascar Cuckoo Roller! Twelve species of lemur inhabit Ranomafana, Madagascar’s premier mid-altitude rainforest reserve. At night we can get up close to improbably tiny mouse lemurs while predatory Fanalokas pose for photos. Endemic bird species include Yellow-browed Oxylabes, Henst’s Goshawk, Pollen’s Vanga and the rare Yellow-bellied Sunbird Asity. Ten thousand hectares of primary rainforest is protected at Andasibe-Mantadia, home to the spectacular Diadem Sifaka. The birds are amazing too with many of the island’s most sought-after species such as Velvet Asity, Red forest Fody and the fabulous Pitta-like Ground-Roller. Mantadia is home to the garrulous Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur, colourful Parson’s Chameleon, stunningly cryptic Forest-floor Stump-tailed Chameleon, and the wonder that is the Lance-nosed Chameleon whose extraordinary nose appendage can be green and blue, tipped with blood red!
All aspects of the natural world.
Three or four miles a day, sometimes much less, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers. The terrain is mostly flat but we will also explore some rougher steeper trails at Ranomafana and Andasibe.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, accommodation and meals on the tour. National Park entrance fees. Services of your leaders. Please note: Drinks, tips and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 14. Only one leader will accompany a group of 7 or less.
We will stay at forest guesthouses and lodges of a medium to good standard throughout. All rooms have en suite facilities.
UK return flights are from London Heathrow or various UK Airports*, to Antananarivo, via Paris or Nairobi depending on which has the better schedule.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Mild, with temperatures ranging from a cool 10°C early in the mornings to highs later in the day of 25-32°C. We can expect occasional rain, but it should be largely dry and sunny. It is hottest on the coast, where we walk in the early mornings and late afternoons only.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.
Butterfly, bird and mammal checklists are available.