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Madagascar Wildlife Adventure

A Privately Guided In-Depth Exploration of the Planet's Most Unique Biodiversity Hotspot
Day 1: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Our Madagascar tour begins in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, where we gather for a welcome dinner and orientation by our Expedition Leader.

Please note: 2015 departures begin in Johannesburg, South Africa on Day 1.

Days 2 & 3: Antananarivo / Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Périnet) 
Very early this morning we drive to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Périnet Reserve). Madagascar has more than 70 species and subspecies of lemur, and the world’s largest, the indri, is found here in the montane rain forest. It is easily identified by its arresting call that sounds like loud, eerie wailing. We may also spy diademed sifakas or the palm-sized brown mouse lemur. The park is a critical component of Madagascar’s efforts to conserve its biodiversity. Besides lemurs, this threatened biome contains a thousand different orchid species, a plethora of medicinal plants, and a neon spectrum of chameleons. One evening we'll take a night walk to spot nocturnal creatures. We also visit Lemur Island, a small sanctuary where orphaned lemurs are thriving. Four species, including the bamboo lemur, black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and diademed sifaka have become habituated to visitors, allowing for close-up encounters and outstanding photo opportunities. 

Please note: 2015 departures spend 3 nights in Andasibe-Mantadia, as we arrive much later on Day 2.

Days 4 & 5: Ranomafana National Park
We return to Antananarivo by road and take a chartered flight to Fianarantsoa, then drive to Ranomafana National Park, created in 1991 following the discovery of the golden bamboo lemur. It has since served as a model for subsequent parks and reserves in the country and abroad. Comprised of steep, mountainous terrain, the range of altitudes covered in the park encompasses habitats ranging from lowland rain forest to cloud forest to high plateau forest. Verdant cliffs and waterfalls abound in this rugged wilderness. The park is home to 12 species of lemur, various chameleons and other reptiles, the fascinating but rarely seen fossa, and more than a hundred bird species.

Days 6 & 7: Isalo National Park
Our full-day scenic drive to southern Madagascar takes us into a land in stark contrast with the lush northeast. This is an arid zone of odd spiny forests and rocky canyons, where otherworldly trees pepper the landscape including massive baobabs, spindly didiera and the swollen-footed, bottle-shaped pachypodia. We look for ring-tailed lemurs in Isalo National Park and cool off in secret swimming holes set deep in ancient canyons.
Days 8 & 9: Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park / Ifaty
Drive to Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park today, which offers some of Madagascar’s finest birdwatching. In the dry forest we look for the rare Appert’s greenbul, iridescent souimanga sunbird and, always, lemurs. Continuing to Ifaty, we check in to our lodge before exploring nearby Reniala Reserve, one of the world’s most endangered biomes, the following day. Many resident species are found nowhere else on earth, including incredibly rare birds and octopus trees. In Ifaty we stay at Le Paradisier, a collection of thatched bungalows tucked along a beach on the Mozambique Channel.

Please note: 2015 departures spend only 1 night at Ifaty. 

Day 10: Ifaty / Antananarivo 
After another early morning visit to Reniala, time permitting, we drive to Tulear and fly back to Antananarivo. We stay at Palissandre Hotel & Spa, situated on a hillside in the heart of the city.

Days 11-13: Anjajavy Reserve
This morning we board our charter flight to the coastal reserve of Anjajavy. Our seaside hotel is our base for exploring the dry deciduous Anjajavy Forest in northwest Madagascar. This remote area, less disturbed than other regions of Madagascar, boasts a striking number of endemic species. We’ll look for Coquerel’s sifaka and the common brown lemur during guided forest walks, as well as a wide variety of birds and reptiles. Our lodge has access to a private beach with excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Day 14: Antananarivo / Home
Enjoy a final morning at the lodge, then fly to Antananarivo for connecting flights homeward.

Physical Rating: Moderate

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