Madagascar

Why Madagascar? Biodiversity hotspot. Lemurs. Chameleons. Leaf-tailed geckos. Beaches.

Here is a selection of our best-selling Madagascar Safari adventures. Of course, there are lots of options & permutations... so contact us to tailor-make a safari just for you.

Why a Madagascar Safari?

Nowhere else on Earth - Land of the Extraordinary. MUST DO destination!

 

Lemurs & birds - ring-tailed lemur, indri, tiny mouse lemur, bizarre long-fingered aye aye. Beautiful tropical birds.

 

Chameleons - world's biggest to world's smallest.  From giant & colourful to tiny brown chameleons.

 

Geckos - Giant day gecko, Satanic & Mossy leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus), bizarre fish-scaled gecko.

 

Spectacular landscapes - lush rainforests, dry spiny forests, 'tsingy' limestone pinnacles.

 

Stunning beaches - white sand beaches, sparkling blue water & great scuba diving.

Classic Madagascar Safari

Highlights: Diverse landscapes. Lemurs, chameleons, geckos, birds.
Is this for me? For those who want an overview of wildlife, see the diversity of landscapes, & drive the countryside.

 

Madagascar Safari Highlights
   Day    Location
  1   Antananarivo
  2   Andasibe-Mantadia
  3   Andasibe
  4   Andasibe
  5   Antsirabe
  6   Ranomafana
  7   Ranomafana
  8   Ranomafana
9   Anja Reserve
10   Isalo
11   Zombitse-Vohibasia & Ifaty
12   Ifaty
13   Antananarivo
14   Depart
 
Safari Highlights
 

Andasibe-Mantadia : Madagascar's premier rainforest. Best place to see Indris, excellent for close-up lemur encounters. Reptiles include Parson's & nose-horned chameleon.
Ranomafana: Beautiful park with huge species diversity. One of the best places to see a variety of lemurs. Excellent for birding. Reptiles: leaf-tailed geckos & stump tailed chameleons. 
Anja Reserve: a small community reserve, & one of the best places for up-close ring tailed lemur encounters.
Isalo: stunning landscape of eroded limestone outcrops on a flat, grassy plain. Excellent hiking. Ring-tailed lemurs, warty chameleon, painted burrowing frog.
Zombitse-Vohibasia: transition forest. This one's for the birders: one of Madagascar's rarest endemics: Appert's greenbul.
Ifaty: Spiny bush: for bird & succulent enthusiasts. Beaches, snorkelling & scuba diving.

             

Madagascar Safari Itinerary
         
   Day   Activities & Highlights  
  1   Pick up at Antananarivo airport & transfer to hotel. Relax & prepare for your coming days of adventure.  
 
  2   After breakfast, drive along a picturesque winding road to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park; Madagascar's premier rainforest. 
Go on a night walk in Mitsinjo Reserve in search of nocturnal species. (B L D)
 
 
  3   Enjoy walking in Andasibe National Park today. 
See lemurs up close & personal - excellent for photography. Look for the beautiful indri, & listen for its eerie calls. Diademed sifakas also occur here. 
Look out for reptiles: Parson's, nose-horned & short-horned chameleons as well as Madagascar tree boas. 
Option for another night walk in the Mitsinjo Reserve. (B L D)
 
 
  4   Visit Mantadia National Park today.
This park is excellent for birding, and also for a chance of seeing black and white ruffed lemurs.  Look out for Madagascar tree boas.  (B L D).
 
 
  5   After breakfast, depart and head back towards Antananarivo.
Continue to Antsirabe, driving through the highlands, with views of scenic & photogenic villages with their interesting architectural style combining Indonesian & French styles - a cultural day. (B L D)
 
 
  6   Today you'll continue on to Ranomafana, a beautiful park with huge species diversity. (B L D)  
 
  7-8   Two days to explore Ranomafana National Park.
Walk through the forest in search of mammals, birds, reptiles & frogs. 
Look for the bamboo lemurs (golden, greater & eastern grey bamboo lemurs), for which this park was formed. Reptiles: O'Shaughnessy's chameleon, as well as stump-tailed chameleons, and 3+ species of the wonderful leaf-tailed geckos. Birdlife is plentiful: vangas, ground-rollers, velvet asity, and lots more. This is also an excellent place to see giraffe-necked weevils. 
A night walk along the road gives you a chance to see nocturnal mouse lemurs & sleeping chameleons. (B L D)
 
 
  9   This morning you head to Anja Reserve to see ring tailed lemurs, Madagascar's iconic lemur species.
Then continue to Isalo National Park - beautiful limestone outcrops, canyons & rare plants. Excellent for photographers in the early morning & late afternoon light. (B L D)
 
 
  10   Go for a hike in Isalo National Park, including to Piscine Naturelle (Natural pool) for a refreshing swim. And/or you have the option for horse-riding on the plains. (B L D)  
 
  11   Today you will head to Toliara (Tulear), and on to Ifaty. 
On the way, you pass Zombitse-Vohibasia, a transitional zone forest that's a must-stop for bird lovers. Here you have the chance of seeing Appert's greenbul, which is one of Madagascar's rarest endemics.
Continue on to your beach lodge near Itafy. (B L D)
 
 
  12   A day to relax by the beach, go for a swim in the ocean, optional visit to the spiny forest, or optional snorkelling/ scuba diving - however note the reef here has been overfished and is not in good condition. (B L D)  
 
  13   Today you transfer back to Toliara (Tulear) for your flight back to Antananarivo.
FLY Toliara - Antananarivo.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel, where you can relax, or go on an optional tour of the city. (B)
 
 
  14   Transfer to the airport for your international flight home. (B)  
 
Madagascar Safari Photos
Classic Madagascar Safari from only $4,985
Want more Luxury or Exclusivity? from $5,885 to $10,000+

 

Reef & Rainforest Madagascar Safari

Highlights: Rainforest & Reef. Lemurs, chameleons, geckos & birds. 'Tsingy' limestone pinnacles.
Is this for me? 
For those that want Madagascar's main wildlife highlights, & beautiful beaches.

 

Madagascar Safari Highlights
   Day    Location
  1   Antananarivo
  2   Andasibe-Mantadia
  3   Andasibe
  4   Andasibe
  5   Amber Mtn
  6   Amber Mtn
  7   Amber Mtn
  8   Nosy Be
9   Nosy Be
10   Nosy Be
11   Antananarivo
12   Depart
 
Safari Highlights
 

Andasibe-Mantadia : Madagascar's premier rainforest. Best place to see Indris, excellent for close-up lemur encounters. Reptiles include Parson's & nose-horned chameleon.
Amber Mountain/ Montagne d'Ambre: beautiful rainforest park with good walking trails. Rich in reptiles, especially chameleons (incl. tiny stump-tailed chameleons).  Also geckos (incl. leaf tailed geckos) & the Madagascar tree boa.
Nosy Be
: A tropical island with a near-perfect climate year-round. Beautiful beaches. Lots of other small islands to explore with good scuba diving & snorkelling. A chance to see lemurs & chameleons in the small village reserves.

 

NOTE: You also have the option to go to Anjajavy Hotel, rather than Nosy Be. This will require a private/ shared charter flight.

             

Madagascar Safari Itinerary
         
   Day   Activities & Highlights  
  1   Pick up at Antananarivo airport & transfer to hotel. Relax & prepare for your coming days of adventure.  
 
  2   After breakfast, drive along a picturesque winding road to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park; Madagascar's premier rainforest. 
Go on a night walk in Mitsinjo Reserve in search of nocturnal species. (B L D)
 
 
  3   Enjoy walking in Andasibe National Park today. 
See lemurs up close & personal - excellent for photography. Look for the beautiful indri, & listen for its eerie calls. Diademed sifakas also occur here. 
Look out for reptiles: Parson's, nose-horned & short-horned chameleons as well as Madagascar tree boas. 
Option for another night walk in the Mitsinjo Reserve. (B L D)
 
 
  4   Visit Mantadia National Park today.
This park is excellent for birding, and also for a chance of seeing black and white ruffed lemurs.  Look out for Madagascar tree boas. 
In the early afternoon, you will depart and head back to Antananarivo where you will spend the night, ready for your early morning flight tomorrow. (B L)
 
 
  5   Early morning transfer to the airport.
FLY Antananarivo - Antsiranana (Diego Suarez). 
Transfer to your lodge at Joffreville near Amber Mountain (Montagne de Amber) National Park.
Night walk along the road in search of reptiles & nocturnal lemurs. (B L D)
 
 
  6-7   Over these 2 days, you will explore this beautiful rainforest park via its excellent & relatively easy walking trails. 
You may see lemurs here, but this park is especially good for Madagascar's amazing reptiles - a fantastic range of chameleons (including tiny stump-tailed chameleons of the genus Brookesia), geckos (including leaf tailed geckos) & the Madagascar tree boa. (B L D)
 
 
  8  

Early morning drive south to Ankarana Reserve to see the 'tsingy' - limestone pinnacles.

Late morning, continue your drive south to Ankify, from where you will transfer via boat to Nosy Be.
On arrival on Nosy Be (or neighbouring islands), transfer to your hotel where you can do as much or as little as you like. (B)

 
 
  9-10   Days at leisure.
Relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches. Alternatively, you can choose from a number of options, depending on where you are staying:
Visit Lokobe Reserve for some more wildlife encounters. 
Boat trip to Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely or a range of other small islands. (B)
 
 
  11   After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Antananarivo.
FLY Nosy Be - Antananarivo.
Transfer from the airport to your hotel, where you can relax, or go on an optional tour of the city. (B)
 
 
  12   Transfer to the airport for your international flight home. (B)  
 
Madagascar Safari Photos
Reef & Rainforest Madagascar Safari from only $5,395
Want more Luxury or Exclusivity? from $6,785 to $10,000+

 

Explorer Madagascar Safari

Highlights: Wildlife! Lemurs, chameleons, geckos, fosa, giant jumping rat.
Is this for me? For the serious wildlife enthusiast who wants to see as much (varied) wildlife as possible.

 

Madagascar Safari Highlights
   Day    Location
  1   Antananarivo
  2   Kirindy
  3   Kirindy
  4   Morondava
  5   Andasibe-Mantadia
  6   Andasibe
  7   Andasibe
  8   Amber Mtn
9   Amber Mtn
10   Antananarivo
11   Depart
 
Safari Highlights
 

Kirindy Reserve: The best place to see the famed Fosa, & giant jumping rat. Herper's paradise, with abundant reptiles, including collared iguanas, big headed geckos & plated lizards.
Andasibe-Mantadia : Madagascar's premier rainforest. Best place to see Indris, excellent for close-up lemur encounters. Reptiles include Parson's & nose-horned chameleon.
Amber Mountain/ Montagne d'Ambre: beautiful rainforest park. Rich in reptiles, especially chameleons (incl. tiny stump-tailed chameleons).  Also geckos (incl. leaf tailed geckos) & the Madagascar tree boa.

 

Extensions:
OPTION 1: Berenty /Ifotaka Reserve
 - a chance to see Madagascar's most well known lemurs; ring tailed lemurs, & 'dancing' sifakas.
OPTION 2: Nosy Be - relax at the beach, or go scuba diving or snorkelling. 

             

Madagascar Safari Itinerary
   Day   Activities & Highlights  
  1   Pick up at Antananarivo airport & transfer to hotel. Relax & prepare for your coming days of adventure.  
 
  2   Early morning transfer to the airport.
FLY Antananarivo - Morondava.
Drive to Kirindy Reserve, via the famous Avenue of Baobabs.
Relax this afternoon, then go on a night walk in search of the many nocturnal species of lemurs; grey mouse lemur, fat tailed dwarf lemur, fork marked lemur.  Also look out for geckos & sleeping chameleons. 
If you are lucky, you will have a chance to see a giant jumping rat, & even a fosa.  (B L D)
 
 
  3   Early morning walk in Kirindy Reserve.
During the day, look out for Verraux's sifaka, red fronted brown lemurs, narrow striped mongoose, collared iguanas, plated lizards & day geckos.
Relax in camp & see what animals come in, or head out for a short afternoon walk into the forest.
Another nocturnal visit into the forest.  (B L D)
 
 
  4   Another morning walk in Kirindy Reserve.
Depart & drive back to Morondava, via the amoreux baobab (a baobab tree with 2 major branches intertwined like lovers!).  Stop off at the Avenue of Baobabs once again.
Spend your afternoon relaxing by the beach or pool at your hotel in Morondava.  (B L D)
 
 
  5   Morning transfer to the airport.
FLY Morondava - Antananarivo.
Pick up at the airport & drive along a picturesque winding road to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park; Madagascar's premier rainforest. 
Relax this afternoon. 
Go on a night walk in Mitsinjo Reserve in search of nocturnal species. (B L D)
 
 
  6   Enjoy walking in Andasibe National Park today. 
See lemurs up close & personal - excellent for photography. Look for the beautiful indri, & listen for its eerie calls. Diademed sifakas also occur here. 
Look out for reptiles: Parson's, nose-horned & short-horned chameleons as well as Madagascar tree boas. 
Option for another night walk in the Mitsinjo Reserve. (B L D)
 
 
  7   Visit Mantadia National Park today.
This park is excellent for birding, and also for a chance of seeing black and white ruffed lemurs.  Look out for Madagascar tree boas. 
In the early afternoon, you will depart and head back to Antananarivo where you will spend the night, ready for your early morning flight tomorrow. (B L)
 
 
  8   Early morning transfer to the airport.
FLY Antananarivo - Antsiranana (Diego Suarez). 
Transfer to your lodge at Joffreville near Amber Mountain (Montagne de Amber) National Park.
Night walk along the road in search of reptiles & nocturnal lemurs. (B L D)
 
 
  9   Explore this beautiful rainforest park via its excellent & relatively easy walking trails. 
You may see lemurs here, but this park is especially good for Madagascar's amazing reptiles - an excellent range of chameleons (including tiny stump-tailed chameleons), geckos (including leaf tailed geckos) & the Madagascar tree boa.  Amber Mountain is a herper's paradise! (B L D)
 
 
  10   Morning depart & drive back to Antsiranana (Diego Suarez).
FLY Antsiranana - Antananarivo.  
(OPTION to go to Nosy Be for some beach, snorkelling, diving).
Transfer from the airport to your hotel, where you can relax, or go on an optional tour of the city. (B)
 
 
  11   Transfer to the airport for your international flight home. (B)  
 
Madagascar Safari Photos
Explorer Madagascar Safari from only $4,995
Want more Luxury or Exclusivity? from $5,985 to $10,000+

 

Extend your Holiday

Madagascar is a vast & varied country with a wonderful array of experiences & sights for those with a spirit of discovery... head to remote, rarely visited reserves in the west, or to a beautiful rainforest by the beach for kayaking, diving & relaxing... it's your choice.
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some ideas to whet your appetite:

 

The Wild West - from 4-8 nights
Want to see some unique wildlife, wild landscapes & get off the beaten track?
Avenue of Baobabs, Kirindy Reserve, Tsingy de Bemaraha, Morondava.
Travel to the wonders of this region, & especially the accommodation, can be more basic, but it's also one of the most rewarding regions in Madagascar. A must-do for the serious wildlife lover & naturalist, especially at the right time of year.
Kirindy's most famous inhabitant is the nocturnal big-cat-like fosa, but it's also home to giant jumping rats, common & hedgehog tenrecs & various dry forest species. Tsingy de Bemaraha is a limestone plateau eroded into razor-sharp pinnacles known as tsingy or karst, creating a unique landscape with challenging walking trails. It's excellent for bats & is home to 8 species of lemurs, including the fabled aye aye. After all this adventure, you'll want to spend a couple of nights at the sea-side in Morondava.
Incl flights, transfers, accommodation, activities, most meals.

From $1950pp for 4 nights.

   
 

Masoala Forest & Beach - min 4 nights
Want to hike in a remote rainforest, then go kayaking/ snorkelling?
Masoala - Maroantsetra - Nosy Mangabe
In the isolated north-east, Masoala is Madagascar's largest remaining lowland rainforest and is of vital conservation importance, with the country's greatest biodiversity. This is a wonderful, remote destination where you can hike to see red ruffed lemurs, chameleons & tomato frogs in the morning, then go kayaking in the clear blue waters of Tampolo Marine Reserve in the afternoon.
Nosy Mangabe is the best place in Madagascar to see the amazing leaf-tailed gecko Uroplatus fimbriatus. There are also occasional sightings of the bizzare & fascinating long-fingered aye ayes.
Incl. flights, transfers, accommodation, activities, most meals.

From $2500pp for 4 nights.

   
 

Anjajavy Private Reserve - min 3 nights
Want to see the most wildlife & great beaches with little travel?

A beautiful, high-end private reserve, and a member of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux group.  This reserve is accessible only by shared or private charter flights from Antananarivo.  It offers a wonderful combination of wildlife, beaches & landscapes including the tsingy limestone pinnacles. See lemurs, chameleons, geckos & birds, as well as coral reefs & beaches. Lemur watching here is unparalleled, and you can get very close to the Coquerel's sifakas and common brown lemurs, which are found around the lodge grounds throughout the day.
Incl flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals.

From $2,396pp for 3 nights.

 

 

  Ankarana's 'tsingy' pinnacles - min 1 night
Want to see a landscape of limestone pinnacles, with caves & canyons?

Ankarana Reserve is home to a beautiful landscape of 'tsingy', limestone pinnacles, with caves & canyons, and a deciduous forest.   Hike into the Reserve through the deciduous forest out to the tsingy.  In the forest, you have a chance of seeing lemurs, reptiles & birds.  You can also visit the bat caves where hundreds of bats hang from the cave's ceiling.
Incl transfers from Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) or Joffreville, accommodation, activities, most meals. 

From $490pp for 1 night.

 
   
Madagascar Safari Photos
Madagascar hognose snake
Prices

The long answer:  The world's best wildlife destinations are often expensive because of strict government controls, high park fees & complex logistics. Amongst other things, it also depends on accommodation quality, location & exclusivity; what type of vehicles are used; whether you're flying around lots; and how many days you spend in country.  

 

Whatever your budget, we will recommend the best possible adventure to suit you.

 

  Classic Madagascar Safari  
  Standard from: US$ 4,985
  More Luxury from: US$ 5,885
 
  Reef & Rainforest Madagascar
  Standard from: US$ 5,395
  More Luxury from: US$ 6,785
 
  Explorer Madagascar Safari
  Standard from:  US$ 4,995
  More Luxury from: US$ 5,985
 
  Extensions
  Standard from: US$    490
  More Luxury from:  US$ 1,200
     
  Seasonal Pricing  
 
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
  Season   Low   High   Peak  
 
    Seasons shown here are based on accommodation pricing, which is based on holiday seasons.  For wildlife seasons & the best time to go, see our "Seasons" tab.    
     

Prices based on 2 people travelling, sharing a room.

 

Choose your own Private Safari or a Small Group - contact us for your tailor-made adventure!

 

No hidden costs - Guaranteed!  
We include everything possible to make your adventure as easy as possible.

 

Accommodation & responsible travel

We are strongly committed to the principles of responsible travel, and therefore recommend accommodations that are trying to do the right thing - by the environment, their staff & local communities, and their guests!  Environmental initiatives include using renewable energy such as solar power, using low-impact structures, reducing waste, and recycling wherever possible.  They support their local communities by providing employment as well as educational, medical, and other support; some even include profit-share arrangements. Many have, or support, anti-poaching units to de-snare and protect the wilderness areas within which they operate.

 

Great, so what's the difference between a standard safari and a more luxurious or exclusive one?

       
  Standard   More Exclusivity or Luxury
  Good quality hotels & lodges.
Food is of a good to reasonable standard, 
often presented as a self-serve buffet.
  Higher quality hotels & lodges.
Tend to be smaller & more intimate.
Higher standards of food & service.
       
  Accommodation featured:   Accommodation featured:
 

Pavillon de l'Emyrne, Antananarivo 
La Varangue, Antananarivo 
Andasibe Hotel
Vakona Lodge, Andasibe 
Couleur Cafe, Antsirabe
Setam Lodge, Ranomafana 
Centrest, Ranomafana
La Varangue Betsileo, Anja Res 
Le Relais de la Raine, Isalo
Les Dunes d'Ifaty

Camp Amoureux, Kirindy
Nature Lodge, Amber Mtn
Ankarana Lodge, Ankarana
Iharana Bush Camp, Ankarana 
Vanila Hotel, Nosy Be 
Olympe du Bemaraha 

 

Lokanga Boutique Hotel, Tana
Le Jardin du Roy, Isalo
Anakao Ocean Lodge, near Ifaty/ Toliara
Litchi Tree, Amber Mtn 
Amarina Hotel, Nosy Be
Tsarabanjina Island Lodge, Nosy Be 
Tsara Komba Lodge, Nosy Komba
Nosy Iranja Lodge 

Palissandre Cote Ouest, Morondava 
Masoala Forest Lodge
Anjajavy Lodge 
La Maison de Marovasa Be

       

Note: Madagascar is a relatively undiscovered destination, and this is reflected in the size, variety & standard of accommodation. Whilst much of the accommodation is of a good to high standard, true 5 star hotels & lodges are few & far between. However, if you enjoy seeing extraordinary wildlife & landscapes, and travel with a sense of adventure, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

 

We clearly explain what's included & what's not:

 

Inclusions: All your accommodation, most meals, all transport with driver, all national park entry & hiking fees, guides at each wildlife destination, all internal flights, all airport transfers.

 

All government taxes, fuel surcharges, Park & Conservancy entrance fees are included and correct as at date of quote. However they are subject to government & local authority imposed changes, often without notice (!) and therefore beyond our control. We will always endeavour to minimise their impact and inform you if a supplement is required.

 

Exclusions: International airfares to & from your chosen destination. Visa fees, personal & travel insurance, excursions not specified, drinks unless specified, laundry, telephone or internet costs, gratuities, and all other personal expenses. Some airports now charge safety fees, which are payable directly at each airport upon departure.

 

Additional things to consider: Busy times of the year normally have a supplement added by the accommodation providers - Easter, Xmas & New Year holidays.

 

Seasons

Madagascar's dry/ winter season, and the most popular time to travel, runs from April to November. December to March is the wet summer season, intensifying by February.  We don't recommend travelling at this time of year due to the chance of cyclones. The timing & amount of rainfall, as well as temperatures experienced are influenced by latitude and altitude, as well as the presence of mountain ranges/ plateaus, resulting in rain shadows.

 

If you have specific interests - such as seeing lemur babies, active reptiles, or a fosa - then you do need to travel at the right time of year, AND to the right destination.

 

Guide to the safari seasons & the best time to go to Madagascar


 

April - August
Dry/ winter season. 

Rainfall decreasing further into the season.
However, it can still rain in the rainforests throughout the period!
Generally dryer with cool temperatures, increasing from September onwards.
The highlands can be very cold; June/ July are the coldest months.

Sifakas (lemurs) give birth around July, so lots of sifaka babies to be seen from August onwards.
Some animals hibernate until it starts warming up in early Sept.

 

September - November
Temperatures start increasing from September onwards, and can be very hot by late October and into November.

Rainfall starts to increase from October in the rainforest areas. 
Reptiles start to become active especially from October onwards.

Sifaka babies are a few months old by now, and in October, other lemur species start giving birth.
On balance, we think September - November is a great time to travel.

   
  December - March
Wet summer season.
Temperatures can be steamy - especially at the coast.
For herpetologists, this is a great time as reptiles are at their most active.
BE WARNED: insects (biting & otherwise) are also at their peak, so choose destinations carefully.
February & March is the cyclone season, mostly impacting the East coast. We generally don't recommend travelling to Madagascar in February & March.
   

 

Whenever you choose to travel, rest assured that when you choose to travel with us, we will advise you of the best safari locations, safari seasons and safari dates for your particular interests.

 

How can we help you?