- Duration 16 Days
- Difficulty 3/5
- Group Size 12
14 – 30 September, 2021
Madagascar, often called the eighth continent is unlike anywhere else on earth. This bizarre world is home to ‘dancing’ lemurs, fossa, tenrecs, couas, mesites, vangas, chameleons and truly bizarre plants such as the baobabs (Madagascar has six species while the rest of Africa has one!). We will explore the country interacting with the fabulous locals from a host of different tribes. Madagascar’s incredible endemism includes 5 entire bird families, more than 10,000 plant species, more than 50 endemic lemur species and 99% of its frogs! We will also do night walks searching for the bizarre aye-aye, woolly lemurs and leaf-tailed geckos. Madagascar is one of the most fascinating countries for on-the-road, eye-level contact with day-to-day life. Having led dozens of trips to this weird and wonderful island Pete and Reneé look forward to sharing their knowledge with you.
USD $10,885 Per person sharing
Single Supplement: USD $1,700
Arrival: Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Departure: Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Arrival Time: 14 September, 2021
- Lodging at all hotels during the expedition.
- Meals and filtered water.
- All ground transportation and airport transfers.
- All internal Madagascar flights.
- Local English-speaking guide on entire trip.
- Additional local guides in parks.
- Pete Oxford Expeditions trip leader.
- All gratuities throughout the expedition.
- Round trip international airfare to Madagascar.
- Entry visa for Madagascar.
- Travel insurance – highly recommended and can be booked via the website.
- Early or late check-in at Hotel Colbert, Antananarivo.
- Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, internet and alcoholic beverages.
A Day 1, 14 September, 2021: Arrive to Antananarivo
Antananarivo – Fly into Antananarivo (from Paris on Air France, from Johannesburg on South African Airways, or from Nairobi on Kenya Airways), the capital of Madagascar, known as “Tana” for short. From the airport, we will be driven to the venerable Hotel Colbert located in the upper town and in continuous operation since colonial times. Overnight and dinner at the Hotel Colbert.
B Days 2 – 3, 15-16 September, 2021: Antananarivo / Akani’ni nofy / Palmarium
After breakfast we head off on the well-maintained Route Nationale 2 through the verdant Imerina countryside towards the eastern rainforest. All the while we will pass amazing and unique scenery and witness the highly photogenic locals going about their daily business. Lunch will be en-route. We will contiue to the colonial town of Brickaville on the coastal plain, where a 10-km track leads to the Pangalanes Canal, a waterway that runs parallel to the coast from the harbor town of Tomasaina almost all the way down to the southern tip of the island. A boat will be waiting at the canal port of Ambila-Lemaitso to take us to Ampitabe Lake about 60km to the north, home to the Palmarium private reserve. All the way the journey will be fascinating while accompanied by continuous greetings of ‘Salud Vaza!’. We will stop many times to interact with and photograph the endearing locals and their environment in this beautiful rural landscape. We will stay here for two nights allowing amply time to enjoy the reserve and the lake (including a snorkel from the beach). The coastal forest that is the setting for the reserve boasts a wide variety of Madagascan palms, including Dypsis, Ravenea, Orania, Voanioala, Lemurophoenix and of course Ravinala – the ‘traveler’s palm’ -, many orchids and a host of different fauna species. During our night walks to find aye-aye, black and white ruffed lemurs, crowned lemurs, indri, sifakas and woolly lemurs, (not forgetting chameleons, bizarre lizards, insects and new tenrecs – hedgehog-like animals) we will be kept very busy photographing, exploring on our own, interacting with local fishermen on the beach or simply communing with the lemurs – most of which are totally habituated to humans. Overnight at Palmarium.
A Day 4, 17 September, 2021: Palmarium / Tamatave /Antananarivo
After breakfast we leave Palmarium for an interesting boat ride to the coastal town of Tamatave (Toamasina) in time to catch our flight back to Tana. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Colbert.
I Day 5-7, 18-20 September, 2021: Antananarivo to Ampijoroa
After breakfast we will drive this time all the way to the west coast of the island and the stunning reserve of Ampijoroa. The journey is on one of Madagascar’s best roads which takes us across the red center of the Haut Plateaux. Two full days are spent in the reserve and immediate area. The park is a bird watcher’s paradise with 129 recorded species, 75 of them endemic to Madagascar, including the bizarre sickle-billed and Van Dam’s vangas, the extremely rare Madagascar fish eagle as well as the white-breasted mesite. Eight species of lemur are also present including the charming Coquerel’s sifaka, mongoose lemurs and western woolly lemurs. We aim to see many other species including bats, lizards, boas and crocodiles. Additionally the park is home to a breeding center for rare and endangered tortoises including the strange ploughshare tortoise. Overnight at the National Park Lodge.
A Day 8, 21 September, 2021: Ampijoroa to Majunga & Antananarivo
This morning we take the beautiful drive to the sea port city of Majunga, famous for a giant baobab in the city center and the many traditional sailing vessels (dhows) that ply the coast. We take a flight from Majunga’s international airport back to the capital, Tana, for dinner and overnight at our now familiar home away from home, the Hotel Colbert.
E Day 9, 22 September, 2021: Antananarivo to Morondava
Setting out early today we fly from Tana to the coast town of Morondava in the dry west of the country. After a late lunch we visit the world-famous Baobab Alley before arriving to the edge of the forest at Marofandilia. Overnight at Camp Amoureux.
G Days 10-11, 23-24 September, 2021: Marofandillia to Kirindy
The village of Marofandilia is at the edge of Kirindy forest, where the Madagascan NGO Fanamby built its first locally owned and operated rustic lodging, “Camp Amoureux”. Your villager hosts are also the custodians of the forest, and the camp is their most important source of revenue – therefore an important incentive to preserve the area. We enjoy our first foray into the forest this morning with a knowledgeable local as our guide. For the afternoon we will visit Kirindy research station with dinner at the visitors’ center, and particular emphasis on seeing Madagascar’s top carnivore, the strange fossa. After our meal we will go on a night walk to spot the many nocturnal lemurs and other unique denizens of the west. Overnight at Camp Amoureux.
A Day 12, 25 September, 2021: Morondava to Antananarivo
Today we return to the capital visiting the imposing Baobab Alley once again but this time for a completely different perspective at sunrise. We continue to Morondava airport to catch our return flight to Tana. If time permits we can soak up the atmosphere of town before dinner and overnight at the Hotel Colbert.
A Days 13-15, 26-27 September, 2021: Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin & Berenty
After breakfast we transfer to the airport to fly South to Ft. Dauphin (a.k.a.Tolagnaro), where we will be met and driven to the private reserve of Berenty, about 5 hours away, situated at the point where the spiny dry-forest meets the lazy Mandrare river. This is home to one of Madagascar’s most iconic species, the ring-tailed lemur. We will have two, very busy full day to enjoy Berenty. From dawn we will begin exploring the grounds and interacting directly with the ring-tailed lemurs which will seem to be everywhere. As it warms up Verreaux’s sifakas will become active and a highlight will be to watch them ‘dance’ across the open ground as they move between feeding trees. We will see brown lemurs, sportive lemurs and a host of birds including giant couas, Madagascar scops owls, vangas and cuckoo rollers. With luck we may even spot a radiated tortoise or two. After dinner we will head to the spiny forest of Dideraceae in search of minuscule, nocturnal, mouse lemurs. Meals and overnight in Berenty.
A Day 14, 28 September, 2021: Berenty to Antananarivo
After breakfast and more photography we drive back to Ft. Dauphin to catch our return flight to Tana. Overnight at the Hotel Colbert or day rooms for those that are flying out tonight.
A Day 15, 29 September, 2021: Antananarivo to Airport
The trips ends after breakfast and a morning transfer to the airport.
Discover the world with experienced travelers
Photographer | Owner | Trip Leader
Over the decades we have spent many, many months in Madagascar, criss-crossing the island both as tour leaders and professional wildlife photographers. Our travels have taken us to some of the islands most remote outposts where we have been stuck many times in our 4×4, usually to be rescued by oxen pulling out the vehicle. We have spent way too many hours in ox-drawn carts with zero suspension on terrible tracks, but in so doing became the first photographers to photograph all the sifaka species in the wild. In a very rewarding personal coup, we were also the first to successfully document wild fossa, Madagascar’s largest carnivore. In designing the itinerary, we have included what we consider the highlights that Madagascar has to offer. If you possess a true spirit of adventure, we invite you to join us on this incredible expedition.
Logistics | Owner | Trip Leader
Apart from the incredible wildlife, we both just love interacting with the local people who are a real joy to be with. Madagascar is special. The moment I leave I want to go back! Ingrained memories of this island country include walking a gravel bed strewn with pieces of eggshell from the recently extinct giant elephant bird, interacting one-on-one with lemurs in the forest, finding my first leaf-tailed gecko and making a collection of the myriad different straw hats from all the tribes. I remember once, while traveling on our own, our vehicle had broken down and we had sent our driver to the city for spares, when a cyclist laden with freshly caught king prawns appeared. We bought them, took them to a nearby dwelling, cooked them all up and shared them with the family to kill time.