Location of Adventure
Group Size Limit
Approximately 10 Travelers
A very important feature of our Madagascar safari is the small group size, as wildlife safaris are best experienced with fewer travelers in order to enhance intimate encounters with nature and reduce our footprint on the environment.
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
Our Private Leaders
Internal charter flights as noted, accommodations, all meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on final day, non-alcoholic drinks with meals and in vehicles, services of NHA Expedition Leader, local guides, local drivers, and lodge staff, some gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1, permits and entrance fees, and all taxes.
Travel to and from start and end point of trip (Johannesburg, South Africa), commercial scheduled flights from Johannesburg to Antananarivo on Day 2 and Antananarivo to Johannesburg on Day 13, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (laundry, massage, phone calls, souvenirs, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance, and required medical evacuation insurance.
Moderate to Difficult
In order to participate fully in this adventure, guests must be able to walk unassisted for at least 3 to 6 miles along dirt paths, up and down steep and sometimes slippery slopes, over or around tree roots that protrude from the trail, up and down tall steps cut into the paths, and off-trail and into the brush over wet leaves, tree roots and through hanging vines to see wildlife. Travelers must be comfortable crossing a sturdy bridge over a gorge, walking through sand and into knee-deep water to climb into and out of a boat with assistance, and walking along wooden boardwalks without a railing. All guests must be able to climb stairs unassisted.
Days can be long, as mornings typically start before daybreak and evening meals are served after sundown. All of our wildlife-viewing activities are conducted on foot and require a combination of endurance, balance and good sight of the trail underfoot. Trekking poles can be highly beneficial, and we will provide these to anyone who would like to use them at any point during the trip. Most of the required walking activities are considered moderate with regard to exertion level, though some are more difficult, particularly in the rain forests. While our longest excursions can last up to 4 hours from start to finish, we move at a leisurely pace, interspersing many stops to view wildlife in the trees around us with bursts of more moderate exertion as we trek between wildlife sightings. While all activities are optional, those who can walk longer distances on more strenuous trails will gain the most from this trip and may see more wildlife species that reside deeper within the forest. Longer and more difficult hikes may be offered in certain areas when time permits.
Elevations can reach 4,700 feet above sea level during our excursions. Temperatures can be quite cold in some areas, especially during the months of July and August, while heat in other areas can demand greater exertion, particularly during late September and October departures. Some of the roads we drive are winding, and guests who are prone to motion sickness are advised to carry medication for such conditions. Other roads may have potholes, creating rough driving conditions and possibly causing you to bounce in your seat.
Important Information About This Trip
Madagascar’s varied ecosystems offer a range of natural encounters. We will walk in the rainforests (which can be hot and humid), take wildlife viewing boat rides and may even have the chance to snorkel (for those who desire). Participation in all physical activities is not mandatory. We ask our guests to understand that the accommodations in Madagascar are not, collectively, of the standard that may be found in other, more established safari countries. Some lodgings are relatively luxurious while others are plain but clean and comfortable. In all cases, we have selected the best accommodation available at each location. On these trips changes to the itinerary may occur in order to take advantage of conditions unique to the season and/or accommodate unexpected internal charter flight schedule changes; therefore, itineraries need to be rerouted or redesigned without notice.
Since the areas we travel to on this extension are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for this program. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat, we require that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We recommend that your chosen independent insurance plan includes at least $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage. Please note that we will add the cost of Natural Habitat’s medical evacuation policy to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, phone number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
To protect your investment and to provide peace of mind while you travel, we also strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance. Plans may cover everything from medical treatment to trip cancellations and delays, to lost luggage. Please contact our office if you would like more information about the medical evacuation or comprehensive travel insurance policies we offer through Travelex by calling 800-543-8917.
Getting There & Getting Home
For 2017 departures, you must arrive in Antananarivo, Madagascar by 5 pm on Day 1 for a 7 pm welcome dinner. You are free to depart Antananarivo any time after 3 pm on the final day (Day 14).
For 2018 departures, you must arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa by 6 pm on Day 1 for a 7 pm welcome dinner. You will also need to book your flights from Johannesburg to Antananarivo on Day 2 and returning to Johannesburg on Day 13, and it is best if these are booked on the same ticket as or at the same time as you book your international flights. You are free to depart Johannesburg any time after 7:45 pm on the final day (Day 13).
We can best serve you if our Natural Habitat Adventures Travel Desk makes your reservations, as we are intimately familiar with the special requirements of this program and can arrange the most efficient travel. Please call us at 800-543-8917.