Madagascar Wildlife Expedition
- Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. This 155 square kilometres protected rainforest is home to many of Madagascars endemic and endangered species including 11 species of Lemur. The rainforest is also a great location to view birds, reptiles (including chameleons), colourful frogs and butterflies.
- Avenue of Baobabs. This area is unique due to the abundance of Baobab trees. The spectacular landscape is almost alien in its appearance.
- Kirindy Forest. This private reserve is approximately 100 square kilometres of deciduous forest. It is much drier than Andasibe-Mantadia and offers a totally different ecosystem with more unique endemics.
- Berenty Reserve. This private reserve is located along the Mandrare River in the semi-arid “spiny forest” ecoregion of southern Madagascar. This reserve is a great location to spot a large variety of wildlife as well as many of the countries endemic birds.
Coates is excited to visit Madagascar for the first time in 2020.
This island nation is a nature lovers dream and is unlike any other place on Earth. 88 million years ago Madagascar split from what is now India, allowing the flora and fauna to develop and evolve in isolation. As a result the island showcases amazing biodiversity and 90% of its wildlife are found nowhere else on Earth.
The iconic lemurs of Madagascar are thought to be descendants from a common ancestor similar to Africa’s bushbabies; today there are about 70 species and subspecies living on the island. The island is also home to a variety of other wildlife including bats, mongooses, hedgehogs, tenrecs, endemic birds and reptiles (including the worlds largest and smallest chameleons), as well as 6000 species of plants.
Before the arrival of humans Madagascar supported hippopotami, aardvarks and giant flightless birds, however these species became locally extinct when humans arrived, as did tortoises, 2 species of eagle and 16 species of lemur. Habitat degradation continues to threaten Madagascar’s unique wildlife and so conservation is now an international priority.
During our visit to Madagascar we will visit three distinct ecosystems with unique wildlife. The rainforests of the east, the dry deciduous forests of the west and the semi arid “spiny forest” of the south. Each ecosystem is home to a range of unique wildlife adapted to make the most of their surroundings.
We have decided to visit Madagascar in November as the weather is comfortable and not too hot, the jacarandas are in flower, the lemurs have babies, and the country is alive with wildlife and wonderful sunshine throughout.
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Extended Trip Details
|Day 1||Arrive in Antananarivo||Today you’ll arrive in Antananarivo (known as Tana). You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Palissandre Hotel and Spa near downtown Tana. The afternoon is for you to rest, recoup and enjoy as you please, followed by dinner at the hotel. Accommodation: Royal Palissandre Hôtel D|
|Day 2||Tana – Andasibe National Park||After breakfast we’ll travel to Andasibe National Park. The drive showcases some beautiful green scenery and we’ll also stop at the Madagascar Exotic Reserve for unique photo opportunities with chameleons, colourful frogs and butterflies. Andasibe National Park is one of the best places to observe the endangered Indris lemur; the largest living lemur in the world. The Indri have a distinct call (often compared to singing) that can be heard within a mile of the park. The park is also home to another 10 lemur species as well as mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This evening we will enjoy a night walk with our naturalist guide in search of mouse lemurs, frogs and chameleons. Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge BLD|
|Day 3||Mantadia National Park||Today we depart for Mantadia, the northern part of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, where we will search for wildlife and explore the parks wilderness trails. Lemurs to look for include Diadem sifaka, Red-bellied lemurs, Black and white ruffed lemurs, and Indri. Birding enthusiasts will enjoy bird watching walks that search for Short-legged ground rollers, Pitta-like ground rollers, Miller’s ducks, Madagascar sparrow-hawks, Great vasa parrots, Nut-hatch vanga and the Madagascar cuckoo roller. During our night walk tonight we will search for mouse lemurs, owls, leaf-tailed geckos, chameleons, invertebrates, frogs, etc. Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge BLD|
|Day 4||Andasibe National Park||After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, we will visit another nature reserve within the Andasibe rainforest that is off-the-beaten-track. The reserve is privately run by GERP, a conservation body aimed at saving lemurs and other primates in Madagascar. Enjoy unique wildlife viewing with the help of your naturalist guides; wildlife to spot in this section of the park includes Black and white ruffed lemurs, amazing birds and interesting-looking chameleons and attractive weevils. Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge BLD|
|Day 5||Andasibe National Park – Tana||After breakfast we will enjoy a final morning visit to Andasibe National Park (also known as Analamazaotra Special Reserve). We then travel back to Tana and check-in to our hotel. Accommodation: Royal Palissandre Hôtel BLD|
|Day 6||Tana – Morondava||This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Morondava which takes roughly an hour. Upon arrival we will be met and escorted to our nearby hotel. Morondava is a relaxed seaside town located on the west coast of Madagascar, and is known as the gateway to the Avenue of the Baobabs and nearby Kirindy Forest. Accommodation: Palissandre Cote Ouest BLD|
|Day 7||Morondava – Kirindy||After breakfast we’ll drive to Kirindy forest, north of Morondava (approximately 2 hours on unsealed roads). We will enjoy a stop at Baobab Avenue where Boabab trees line the dirt road on either side; it is said to be one of the most beautiful roads in Madagascar and is the perfect place for photographs. In the afternoon we will explore Kirindy forest on a nature walk to observe the various fauna and flora in the area. The dry deciduous forest is home to endemic red-fronted brown lemurs, sifaka and other unique species of wildlife. Accommodation: Relais de Kirindy BLD|
|Day 8||Kirindy Forest||Today you have the whole day to spend at Kirindy Forest. We will explore this dry deciduous forest and enjoy its ecosystem whilst observing its endemics. We will also enjoy another night walk in search of night-active lemurs and possibly a group of Fosa. It is mating season for the Fosa, so they are not too difficult to find in Kirindy Forest. Accommodation: Relais de Kirindy BLD|
|Day 9||Kirindy Forest – Morondava||This morning we will have one last chance to explore Kirindy Forest and learn more about the wildlife in this unique nature reserve. Mid-afternoon we drive back to Morondava (approximately 2 hours on unsealed roads). We will again stop at the Baobab Avenue but this time at sunset. The contrast of light and dark of the Baobabs at sunset is an iconic image of Madagascar and will give you memorable photo-ops. Accommodation: Palissandre Cote Ouest BLD|
|Day 10||Morondava – Tana||After breakfast at the hotel we will visit Betany fisherman’s village to experience local life. We will then be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Tana (just over an hour). Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed and escorted to your hotel. The rest of the day can be spent at your leisure enjoying the hotel. Accommodation: Royal Palissandre Hôtel BLD|
|Day 11||Tana – Fort Dauphin – Berenty||This morning we will have an early morning flight to Fort-Dauphin (approximately just over an hour) . Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your local English-speaking naturalist guide and driver for the transfer to Berenty Private Reserve (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy the road trip with picturesque landscapes characterised by montane rainforests, transitional forests, and spiny forests. You’ll also discover animated colourful local markets, including a crowded zebu market and a peaceful fruit market. We will arrive in Berenty for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to view troops of ringtails and dancing lemurs across from your newly-renovated bungalow. Later tonight we will go on a night walk in the spiny forest to look for white-footed sportive lemurs, the reddish-gray mouse lemurs, Scop’s owls and much more. Accommodation: Berenty Lodge BLD|
|Day 12||Berenty Reserve||Today will be a full day exploring the small private natural reserve of Berenty. Discover three diurnal lemur species, namely ringtails, red-fronted brown lemurs, and Verreaux sifaka known as the dancing lemurs. We will also be on the lookout for many other animal species, including dozens of endemic birds and flying foxes. Accommodation: Berenty Lodge BLD|
|Day 13||Berenty Reserve||After breakfast at the hotel we will visit an amazing cultural museum rich with information about the Antandroy tribe. After lunch we will visit the fantastic remaining spiny forest where lemurs, endemic tortoises, birds and scorpions can be observed. Accommodation: Berenty Lodge BLD|
|Day 14||Berenty – Fort-Dauphin||This morning we drive back to Fort Dauphin. We will stop at a local craft market and a fruit market to get a greater understanding of how the local people live. Returning to Fort-Dauphin we will visit Nampoahana Reserve as well as visit a gorgeous colonial botanical garden. Accommodation: Croix du Sud BLD|
|Day 15||Fort-Dauphin to Tana||After breakfast we will transfer to Fort-Dauphin airport for your flight back to Tana (approximately just over an hour). Upon arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to your nearby hotel. You have the option to do some souvenir shopping prior to your farewell dinner. Accomodation: Royal Palissandre BLD|
|Day 16||Tana||After breakfast we say goodbye to Madagascar with a cultural history tour of its capital city. After an early lunch you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight home. BL|
NOTE: the above itinerary may be varied according to conditions and advice.
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- Fully escorted tour
- All meals with breakfast (Meals as per itinerary, B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Mid-range accommodation throughout
- 1 bottle of water per day
- Comfortable vehicles with AC & insurance
- Fuel surcharge
- All transfers
- Australian Coates Wildlife Tours Escort
- Qualified and experienced local English-speaking drivers
- Qualified and experienced local English-speaking Trip Leader
- Qualified and experienced local English-speaking naturalist guides
- Domestic flights [Tana – Morondava – Tana & Tana – Fort Dauphin – Tana]
- All park tickets
- All excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- All tourist taxes
- Domestic airport taxes
New tour – Reviews coming soon