- We depart London in the afternoon on an overnight flight to Antananarivo.
- On arrival in Antananarivo (affectionately known as 'Tana'), we transfer to our hotel.
- Accommodation: Tana, 1-night on full board basis
- We take a morning domestic flight south to Fort Dauphin. The schedule varies, and we may have time for a morning’s visit to Tana zoo, where we can see several nocturnal lemurs that are very hard to find in the wild, including aye-aye.
- From Fort Dauphin (where we may overnight if the flight arrives late) we travel to Berenty Private Reserve, an area of tamarind gallery forest, reminiscent of the African bush.
- Berenty is one of the best reserves for lemurs, with beautiful white Verreaux's sifakas hurling themselves from tree to tree, brown lemurs wandering into the restaurant in search of food, and, most fearless of all, ring-tailed lemurs, whose gentle expression belies their banana-thieving intentions.
- We'll also have a chance to visit the bizarre spiny forest with its succulent plants. Endemics here include several vangas, giant coua, Madagascar buzzard and paradise flycatcher.
- Accommodation: Berenty Lodge, 3-nights on full board basis*
- We drive to the airport to catch a local flight to Tulear on the south-west coast, then transfer to the beach town of Ifaty where we enjoy birdwatching along the coast, the wetlands and spiny forest.
- During our stay we search for the long-tailed ground roller, subdesert mesite, running coua, green-capped coua, thamnornis warbler, Lafresney’s vanga, Archbold newtonia, Madagascar plover, green pigeon, Madagascar harrier hawk and more. The spiny forest is a fascinating place with diverse and exotic vegetation such as baobabs, pachypodium, didiera and octopus plant. Along the coast at low tide we look out for sea birds including the ringed plover, grey plover, sanderling, kitlitzi’s plover, crab plover or green-backed heron.
- Accommodation: Ifaty, 2-nights on full board basis
- We drive to Isalo with a stop en route for birdwatching at the Zombitse Forest. Here we will look for one of the world's rarest birds, Appert's greenbul, as well as France’s sparrowhawk, Reunion harrier and lesser vasa parrot.
- We have a full day to visit Isalo National Park, an area of jumbled limestone pinnacles, where we can look for another endemic, Benson's rock thrush, as well as Madagascar bee-eater.
- Accommodation: Isalo, 2-nights on full board basis
- We take the long drive north towards Ranomafana, where we stay for two nights. Established in 1986, after the discovery of the golden bamboo lemur, Ranomafana National Park is one of the premier ecotourism projects in Madagascar. Half the entrance fee goes to support sustainable development in the area and a training centre for naturalist guides has been established. The area is rich in lemurs and simply wonderful for birds.
- Accommodation: Ranomafana, 2-nights on full board basis
- We travel north again, stopping for lunch at one of the villages and a chance to visit one of the local woodcarving workshops for which the town is famous. We continue on to Antsirabe.
- Accommodation: Antsirabe, 1-night on full board basis
- We continue across the interior plateau to the lush forests of Périnet. This is the wettest part of Madagascar, and the forest also contains some small lakes.
- We spend two full days in Périnet, staying at an excellent lodge just outside the national park. Famous for its population of indri, the largest of the lemurs, the forest is also home to an excellent range of birds, including several endemics.
- Accommodation: Périnet, 3-nights on full board basis
- We’ll have a final morning of exploration within Périnet, before driving back to Tana, visiting Tsarasaotra Park on the way. We will have the use of a hotel room to freshen up before catching our overnight flight back to London.
Day 17 Arrive in the UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
We stay in lodges and hotels with en suite facilities throughout. Standards vary, from excellent at Périnet to basic, but adequate, at Ranomafana.
All main meals are included.
We will look for a number of Madagascan endemics, as well as one of the world’s rarest birds – Appert’s greenbul
- Madagascar buzzard
- Paradise flycatcher
- Benson’s rock thrush
- Madagascar bee-eater
Madagascar’s isolation has given rise to one of the most primitive group’s of primates, which have evolved into a stunning range of species ranging from the indiri, whose echoing calls greet the dawn in Périnet, to the tiny nocturnal mouse lemurs.
- Verreaux’s sifaka
- Ring-tailed lemur
- Golden bamboo lemur
- Diademed sifaka
Reptiles and amphibians
Madagascar is home to more than half the world’s chameleons, extraordinary geckos and spectacular frogs.
- Painted mantella
- Parson’s chameleon
Our search for lemurs takes us into the last remaining areas of lush forest, dry deciduous woodland, and spiny forest with its succulent plants. We also visit Isalo National Park, an area of jumbled limestone pinnacles.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Antananarivo – London, and domestic flights to Fort Dauphin and Tulear.
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.