MADAGASCAR WILDLIFE SAFARI
With 80 percent of its species found nowhere else on earth – including birds, chameleons and of course the lemurs – Madagascar is an animal lover’s dream destination.
This three weeks trip aims to show curious visitors some of its recognized highlights but also delve a little further off the beaten track to uncover the rural life and forgotten landscapes of this charming country. Starting in Antananarivo, our tour destination is the west of Madagascar where we do have the very beautiful baobabs avenue and continue to the remote landscapes to reach the incredible Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a jagged land of limestone pinnacles which we explore by boat and on foot. Travelling back to Morondava, we visit the famous ‘Avenue des Baobabs’ – one of Madagascar’s most iconic sights – and then take the flight back to Antananarivo and travel to the forests of Andasibe National Park and Akanin’ny Nofy, where we walk the trails in search of the indri and other lemurs, with great chances to see Madagascar’s extraordinary wildlife.
To finish the tour in beauty; we are heading to the north east where we have the chance to visit one of the most strikingly beautiful and wild areas of Madagascar. It is unique in the world, a place of dense, jungly rain forests, sheer, high cliffs, and plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Marojejy national park.
Much more than just a ‘highlights’ trip and with real opportunities to get off the beaten track, this tour goes further than most to offer a superb introduction to this most fascinating of countries.
Day 1: Arrival in Madagascar, we will meet and welcome you at the airport of Antananarivo and will transfer you to your hotel. Hotel Sakamanga or similar
Please be aware that your driver/guide will be waiting for you at the International Arrival gate. An airport sign with your name should be seen and you may have to look for a logo if the airport gets overcrowded. If you cannot locate your driver please remain calm and approach the Airport Welcome Service.
An announcement intended for your driver can be broadcasted there, and this will then become the rally point. In the case of an emergency or you cannot locate your driver, the emergency contact details are on your documents and you should call the mentioned numbers before attempting to leave the airport.
Day 2: Our driver/guide will meet you at your hotel and take you for a drive to Antsirabe. This is a 4 hours drive but scenery is beautiful and you would be able to meet the local and learn more about their culture and lifestyle.
You will stop in Ambatolampy to visit workshops where craftsmen building aluminium pots (one man can produce about twenty per day). Other workshops are dedicated to the production of "football games" featuring the best international teams. The frame is made of pine, players are made of aluminium and are hand-painted.
Ambatolampy (70 km south of Tana) is the largest town between the capital and Antsirabe (70 km south of Antananarivo). It is an important centre of auto mechanics where lots of taxi-brousse are usually repaired. But it is mainly known for its forging and foundry industry .
This small typical town deserves much better than just stop. The beauty of its natural scenery and its relatively cool climate invites like no other place for outdoor activities.
Arriving in Antsirabe, you will have lunch and make an afteroon city tour. Marvel at the skill of local craftsmen creating toys from recycled tin cans, wooden sculptures, zebu-horn jewellery, polished gems and minerals, embroidered tablecloths, silk scarves, raffia handicrafts and more. OVERNIGHT AT HOTEL TRIANON or similar.
Day 3: Long drive to Kirindy via the Baobabs avenue. You will stop at this beautiful baobabs avenue for photos.
This natural avenue of imposing Grandidier’s baobabs is one of Madagascar’s must-see sights. Located some 45 minutes from Morondava, on the dusty track to Kirindy Reserve, Baobab Alley is best visited around sunrise or sunset because the softer lighting brings out the red tones of the tree trunks and makes for a splendid photo opportunity .
BUT you will stop here again on thway back from the Tsingy and spend a moment for the sunset time;
This evening in Kinrindy you will do a night walk to find the smallest lemurs known as mouse lemurs and other night active animals. OVERNIGHT AT KIRINDY LODGE or CAMP AMOUREUX
Day 4: Morning visit of Kirindy private reserve before heading to Bekopaka village where the TSINGY of Bemaraha national park entrance is.
Kirindy is the best place in the whole island to observe FOSSA(The biggest carnivorious and cat-like of Madagascar) It also home to seven species of lemur. The most common are the common brown lemurs and the Verreaux's sifakas.
These long-legged, seven-pound lemurs, white with dark patches, leap among tree trunks high in the canopy, propelled by their powerful hind legs but continually maintaining an upright posture. The remaining species are nocturnal:
the rare Coquerel's giant mouse lemur and pygmy mouse-lemur, fork-crowned lemur, Gray mouse lemur, western fat-tailed dwarf lemur and red-tailed sportive lemur. Several bats, tenrecs, mongooses and rodents complete the mammal population.
40 bird, 50 reptile and 15 amphibian species are also found in this magnificent forest.
After the visit, drive to Bekopaka. NIGHT AT OLYMPE DU BEMARAHA HOTEL or similar
Day 5: Full day visit of the TSINGY OF BEMARAHA NATIONAL PARK;The spectacular mineral forest of Tsingy de Bemaraha stands on the western coast of Madagascar. Tsingy is the Malagasy word for “walking on tiptoes” and the nearly impenetrable labyrinth of limestone needles justifies this name.
The whole protected area, designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1990, comprises a surface of 1.575 km². This remote area was not a tourist trek until 1998, when the southern part (723 km²) was declared a National Park.
The northern section is an Integral Reserve so tourists are not allowed to enter the zone. The reserve’s canyons, gorges, undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps display an astonishing richness of fauna and flora which have not been completely recorded. The rate of endemism is about 85%, and 47% are even local endemic!
The limestone seabed rose to create a plateau around 200 million years ago, which was little by little eroded by heavy rainfalls until it became its actual shape. This massif is delimited to the east by the abrupt Bemaraha Cliffs, which rises some 300 to 400m above the Manambolo River valley and extends several tens of kilometres from north to south.
The western slopes of the massif rise more gently, and the whole western region of the reserve forms a plateau with rounded hillocks which slope away to the west.
To the north undulating hills alternate with limestone extrusions, while in the south extensive pinnacle formations make access extremely restricted. In the south of Petit Tsingy is the spectacular Manambolo Gorge where you can see waterfalls, lemurs and magnificent untouched forests.
Day 6: Drive back to Morondava; Hotel, but will stop again a the Baobabs avenue or the sunset time. Night at Hotel Chez Maggie or similar
Day 7: Take flight back to Tana then drive to ANDASIBE national park; do another night walk for more nocturnal lemurs and other animals.
Close to the capital, this is Madagascar’s most accessible rainforest reserve, and also one of the most rewarding. Frogs, reptiles and birds abound, but top of the bill is the indri, the largest of all living lemurs. These creatures sing a haunting song (reminiscent of whale song), which carries for miles across the forest.
Day 8: Full day visit of Andasibe -Mantadia national park. The primary forests of Andasibe-Mantadia contains a dense humid forest covered with lians, moss, fern tress and more than hundred orchids species blooming between September and Januar. Another common plants growing here are pandanus, ravinala palm-tree, tambourissa, bamboos and some precious wood, like palisander and ebano.
The extraordinary animal diversity is completed with another 15 mammal species, more than 100 of birds (many of them endemic, like the Madagascar yellowbrow, Madagascarbaza, Madagascar wagtail or the Madagascar serpent-eagle), 50 of reptiles, among them the biggest chameleon of the island, the boa manditra and many leaf-tailed geckos and more than 80 amphibians.
There are also a few local endemic fishes swimming in the small rivers and hundreds of insects, among them some extraordinary colourful and big butterflies. Night at an hotel
Day 9: Visit of Andasibe Analamazaotra park before heading to Manambato.
Andasibe-Analamazaotra national park is surely one of the most rewarding. Frogs, reptiles and birds abound, but top of the bill is the indri, the largest of all living lemurs. These creatures sing a haunting song (reminiscent of whale song), which carries for miles across the forest. Overnight in Manambato village at hotel ACCACIA or similar. Try local food for dinner
Day 10: Boat trip to Ankanin'ny nofy along the Pangalane canal..Known as the ‘nest of dreams’, this peaceful and relaxing haven is home to white sand beaches, forests, scattered orchids, strings of lakes and mangroves, all factors that have made the reserve to one of the most popular visits in the Pangalanes canal.
Located on a peninsula of about 35 ha. on the shores of Lake Ampitabe (which is separated from the Indian Ocean by a mere line of very thin coastal dunes, that sometimes are a few meters width only), this protected area is home to nearly 100 000 palm trees specific to Madagascar. Ten species of lemurs live in freedom in the reserve, as well as reptiles, amphibians and crocodiles.
Visitors can watch Indri Indri, sifakas, mouse and crowned lemurs and even the shy and extraordinary endangered Aye Aye.Night at Palmarium hotel and this evening , you will be taken for a night walk to find the very rare and extraodinary Aye Aye as this is one of the very few places where you could find them in their wild habitat.
It is now possible to see aye aye during your stay at the Palmarium Hotel (Akanin’ny nofy). There’s a little island, 15 minutes by boat (on the way to Manambato from the hotel) where 6 aye aye individuals live. -
Day 11: Boat trip back to Manambato, then drive back to Antanarivo,visit of the lake Tsarasaotra for birds before heading to your hote.
Day 12: Take a flight to Sambava . Arriving in Sambava, our driver /guide will meet you at the aiport of Sambava and take you for an hour drive to get to Manantenina whre Marojejy national park entrance is and where you start the trek to the park.
Marojejy is one of the most strikingly beautiful and wild areas of Madagascar. It is unique in the world, a place of dense, jungly rainforests, sheer, high cliffs, and plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.
The Mantella Trek takes you to Camp Mantella, about a four-hour hike from Manantenina. Camp Mantella (elevation 450 m [1475 ft]) has six cabins furnished with beds, mattresses, and bedding. It also has a large sheltered eating area with an assortment of cooking utensils.
A campground is located nearby for those who prefer to pitch a tent. This area of lowland rainforest is a good place to see several species of lemurs, many birds (including the helmet vanga) and many species of amphibians and reptiles. The beautiful Cascade de Humbert waterfall is a short walk (800 m) from the camp. For best wildlife viewing, we recommend at least two days for this trek.
Day 13: The Simpona Trek is a continuation of the Mantella Trek, leading from Camp Mantella up to Camp Marojejia (about a two hour hike). Camp Marojejia is located at the transition between lowland and montane rainforest (elevation 775 m [2540 ft]), and is perched on a hillside with stupendous views overlooking sheer granite outcrops and lush vegetation.
The camp consists of a sheltered eating area and four cabins furnished with beds, mattresses, and bedding. The name of this trek comes from the Malagasy name for the Silky Sifaka, a beautiful white lemur which is found only in this area.
To increase your chances of spotting this elusive animal, we recommend hiring a "Simpona Specialist" in addition to your guide. Plan on spending at least three days in the park for this trek.
Day 14: Another full day in Marojejy national park. Marojejy is one of the most strikingly beautiful and wild areas of Madagascar. It is unique in the world, a place of dense, jungly rainforests, sheer, high cliffs, and plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Night at Mantella camp
Day 15: Come out of the park and drive down back to Sambava. Night at Mimi hotel or similar.
Day 16: Take the flight back to Tana following by the flight out.
END OF TOUR
Tour Price: USD1870 per person (based on 2 adults sharing a room )
All accommodation with bed and breakfast (full board when camping in Marojejy)
A good 4x4 car with air conditioning, FUEL and a driver/guide
All parks and reserves entrace fee
All local guides fee(note that using local guides is compulsory when visiting parks and reserves in Madagascar)
Ferry boat-crossing in Belo -sur- Tsiribihina on the way to the Tsingy and back
Boat fee to Ankanin'ny nofy
Assistance of English speaking driver/guide
All aiports transfer
Accommodation and food for the driver/guide
Domestic flights tickets(we could book and buy this for you and the ,the price is around US $215 per flight per person)
Lunches and dinners,drinks,tips