AT A GLANCE
Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and boasts an extraordinarily remarkable array of endemic flora, reptiles, frogs and mammals, the famous lemurs and two thirds of the world’s chameleons. This journey takes you to the most fascinating highlights of the North-Western, Northern and Eastern Madagascar, which offer you the best wildlife viewing inhabiting the dry and rainforest and exploring the breathtaking Tsingy of Ankarana with its impressive geological karst formation and plant life.
DAY 1: Arrival and transfer to the hotel
After meeting you at the airport we will make our way to our hotel in Antananarivo capital city. Dinner will be at our hotel tonight.
DAY 2: Fly to Mahajanga
This morning after breakfast we will make our way to the airport where we will fly to Mahajanga, the capital city of north-western Madagascar. We will have dinner at our hotel and rest up for our adventure tomorrow.
DAY 3: Ankarafantsika National Park
After breakfast we will drive to Ankarafantsika National Park. Ankarafantsika National Park is mostly woodland, and the tree species are typical of dry tropical forest. Over 800 species are present, many of them endemic to Madagascar.
The native fauna of Madagascar are well represented. Ten species of amphibian and 44 reptile species are present. Mammals include eight species of lemur, two of which are mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.), the world’s smallest primates.
One hundred and twenty nine species of birds have been recorded in the park, more than half of them endemic to Madagascar.
In the dry deciduous forest we will search the Coquerel’s Sifaka, Mongoose Lemur, Milne Edwards Sportive Lemur, Brown Lemur and some reptiles such Rhinoceros Chameleon, Oustalet Chameleon, Madagascar Plated Lizard, Black Collared Iguanid as well as several bird species, such as Schlegel’s Asity, Vandam’s Vanga and White Breasted Mesite.
Tonight we will take a walk to look for Grey Mouse Lemur, Ravelobe Mouse Lemur, Fat-Tailed Dwarf Lemur and some Chameleons. Our accommodation for the next two nights is comfortable but basic.
DAY 4: Ankarafantsika National Park
We have the full day to explore Ankarafantsika National Park. We will take a barge down Lake Ravelobe to look for the rare Madagascar Fish Eagle, Humblot’s Heron and Crocodiles.
DAY 5: Ankarafantsika National Park and Antsohihy
This morning we will have a full morning to explore more of this wonderful park. After lunch we will make our way northward to Antsohihy. Antsohihy is our stopover on the way to the spectacular Ankarana National Park.
DAY 6: Ankarana
Early this morning we will start making our way to Ankarana. We will stop for lunch enroute.
Ankarana National Park is a spectacularly eroded limestone fortress of sharp ridges, patches of dense tropical jungle, deciduous forest, deep caves and canyons and rushing rivers. With an annual rainfall of almost 2000 mm, the underlying rocks undergo heavy erosion producing amazing karst topography, being its most known result the fantastically eroded limestone spires, known as “tsingy”.
This reserve contains one of the highest density of primates of any forest in the world. It’s dense forests support one of the largest and least disturbed populations of crowned lemurs. Almost 100 bird species, 50 reptiles (including some endemic and threatened snakes and geckos) and 10 frogs cohabit in the Park. Inside the spectacular and huge labyrinth of caves 14 bat species, local endemic blind shrimps and the world’s only known cave-living Crocodiles are waiting for your visit.
More than 350 plant species grow in Ankarana. The forests around the gorge are always green and are the richest ones in number of species.
If time allows we will visit the Ankarana Bat Cave to look for two fruit bat species, incuding the Madagascar Flying Fox. At night swarms of bats and flying foxes swoop in the darkness.
DAY 7: Ankarana National Park
Today we will spend a full day exploring Ankarana. We will trek to Tsingy Rary with its breathtaking view. One of the features of Ankarana is Tsingy, an unusual geological structure with sharp pinnacles it is the result of the eroded karst mountain range which is a remnant of a coral reef system laid down 250 million years ago.
The dry deciduous forest hosts the Crowned Lemur and the Sanford’s Brown Lemur which are both confined to the dry and humid forest of northern Madagascar.
Some nocturnal lemurs such as Ankarana Sportive Lemur, Grey Mouse Lemur and Panther’s Chameleon can be seen in this area.
DAY 8: Amber Mountain National Park
This morning we leave early to visit Amber Mountain National Park. We will visit the upland moist forest in search of Crowned Lemur, Sanford’s Brown Lemur, Mossy Leaf-Tailed Gecko, and Minima Leaf Chameleon (Brookesia minima)- one of the tiniest reptile species in the world.
Amber Mountain National Park—the country’s first national park is known for its lemur populations, kaleidoscopic chameleons, and Madagascar paradise flycatcher birds.
DAY 9: Antseranana (Diego Suarez) and Antananarivo
After breakfast we will make our way to Antseranana airport for our flight back to Antananarivo. Dinner will be at our hotel tonight.
DAY 10: Andasibe Special Reserve
Today we will visit Andasibe (Analamazaotra) Special Reserve as well as stop at Marozevo reptile farm to see various colorful chameleons, Leaf-Tailed Geckos, tree frogs, snakes and butterflies.
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is a 155 square kilometre protected area, located about 150 km east of Antananarivo, consisting principally of primary growth forest in Alaotra-Mangoro Region in eastern Madagascar. The park’s elevation ranges from 800–1260 meters, with a humid climate. The rainforest is habitat to a vast species biodiversity, including many endemic rare species and endangered species, including 11 lemur species. The park’s two component parts are Mantadia National Park and Analamazoatra Reserve, which is best known for its population of Madagascar’s largest lemur, the Indri.
At Andasibe Special Reserve we will look for several lemur species such as Diademed Sifaka and Indri. Andasibe is the best place to observe the Indris given that there are a couple of families habituated to humans. It lives in small groups and cannot survive in captivity. Amazing bird species can be seen here such as the gorgeous Blue Coua, Blue Vanga and Pygmy Kingfisher.
Tonight we will do a night walk to search for some of the nocturnal creatures such Goodman’s Brown Lemur, Greater Dwarf Lemur, chameleons and tree frogs.
DAY 11: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Today we explore the hilly, wilder and thicker forest of the Northern part of the Park. We have the full day to explore Mantadia pristine forest in search of Indri, Diademed Sifaka, Black and White Ruffed Lemur as well as three species of Ground Rollers.
DAY 12: Antananarivo
Today we make our way back to Antananarivo and have lunch in town. Afternoon at leisure or spend some time shopping for curios.
DAY 13: Departure
You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.