lemurs madagascar wildlife tour

The primates called lemurs are endemic to Madagascar

With its amazing wildlife, from tree-leaping lemurs to rare birds, Madagascar is on the to-do list for all true nature lovers.

Photo by Rachel A Bennett / 123RF.com

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Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path

A Natural History Journey on the “Eighth Continent”

Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5495  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Depart: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Lodging: 15 nights in hotels and wildlife lodges
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Easy to moderate nature walks, rugged road travel


  • The treetop “songs” of troops of indri indri lemurs
  • Fascinating daytime and night walks in Ranomafana, Périnet, Isalo, and Kirindy
  • Exotic flora, colorful tortoises and giant chameleons, rare birdlife

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. There was a great mix of experiences in Madagascar. Obviously a lot of planning went into making it a memorable trip. Thank you!Marilyn G.—Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Madagascar has been called the eighth continent for its rare and endemic wildlife, including a delightful menagerie of friendly, tree-leaping lemurs (over 70 species). Our intriguing journey across this huge island-nation finds us exploring its most remote parks, including the pristine rainforests of Ranomafana, as well as world-famous reserves, such as unforgettable Périnet, where the haunting songs of the Indri indri, a black-and-white lemur, carry for miles across the forest in a magical, otherworldly place.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Antananarivo / Antsirabe

In Madagascar’s capital city, set in the highlands, we enjoy a walking tour and visit the botanical garden and zoological park. A drive through the countryside on Day 3 brings us to the traditional village of Ambatolampy and onward to Antsirabe, a town known for its artisan workshops.

Days 4-6
Ranomafana National Park

We journey to remote Ranomafana on the edge of Madagascar’s High Plateau. The park preserves one of Madagascar’s richest rainforest reserves, home to 12 lemur species and most of the rainforest-dependent endemic birds.

Days 7-10
Isalo National Park / Zombitse Vohibasi National Park

A beautiful drive through spectacular landscapes, including the giant granite outcroppings of the Andringitra Massif, brings us to Isalo National Park. In Isalo, we hike to the Piscine Naturelle, a lovely natural pool, and watch the sun set behind a rock formation known as the “Window of the Isalo.”  On Day 10, we enjoy a full day in Zombitse Vohibasi National Park, which shelters 47% of the endemic birds of Madagascar along with eight species of lemurs.

Days 11-13
Morondava / Kirindy Forest / Tana

We fly to seaside Morondava for lunch then make an an excursion to photograph the giant trees of the Avenue of the Baobobs. The next morning, we drive to the remote Kirindy Forest, the place to see the fossa, Madagascar's largest carnivore, and also habitat for the Verreaux's sifaka lemur as well as endemic chameleons. We enjoy a fantastic night walk in the reserve to see the wide-eyed mouse lemur and other nocturnal lemurs along with chameleons. On Day 13, fly to Tana for overnight.

Days 14-16
Perinet Reserve (Andasibe National Park) / Lemur Island

Set in Madagascar's eastern rainforests, Perinet is famous as the home of the Indri indri, a black-and-white lemur whose haunting treetop song carries for miles. Common brown lemurs, grey bamboo lemurs, and woolly lemurs are also found here. In this wonderful reserve, our hikes showcase the bizarre spiny desert landscape and we visit the friendly wildlife on Lemur Island. Wwe can also enjoy optional early morning bird walks and night walks. On Day 16, we drive to Tana, where day rooms are held for us until our departing flights.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 2+, Easy to Moderate. It features day hikes in national parks, with accommodations that range from city hotels to basic wildlife lodges. Participants should be fit, healthy, and ready for adventure because the walking trails in Madagascar’s parks can be quite slippery and muddy and temperatures can be extreme. Several of the travel days involve long drives and road conditions can be rough.

A Special Note About Travel in Madagascar
Traveling in Madagascar is always an adventure! Changes and delays are all part of the experience. We will make every effort to follow the Detailed Itinerary as described, but please note it may be rearranged due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, including internal flights that are often subject to delay, cancellation, and last-minute schedule changes. In addition, travelers should be aware that there is a scarcity of medical facilities outside of Antananarivo and they may not be up to international standards. A spirit of adventure and a flexible, cooperative attitude are musts. Your reward is an unparalleled experience of one of the world’s most intriguing countries and its fascinating wildlife.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Sep 7-22, 2014  Vy Raharinosy
Sep 28-Oct 13, 2014  Vy Raharinosy
Oct 19-Nov 3, 2014  Vy Raharinosy

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$5495 (10-12 members)
$5895 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $1190
Forced single supplement: $940
Internal airfare: $790 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 2 dinners
  • Fees for parks and reserves
  • Land transportation, airport transfers, and entrance fees as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, airport departure taxes, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, optional activities, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders, driver, local guides or staff, any additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to international airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations, visa fees, travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Hotel Colbert

Hotel Colbert

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 10 (1 night),
Day 13 (1 night), Antananarivo, Madagascar

This 140-room hotel, set on a hillside overlooking Tana’s Haute Ville, enjoys a great location close to small shops, restaurants, a large ...
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Antsirabe Hotels

Day 3 (1 night), Antsirabe, Madagascar

In Antsirabe, we stay at one of the following properties:

Setam Lodge

Setam Lodge

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Set above a forested river valley near the entrance of Ranomafana National Park, Setam Lodge offers simple but comfortable accommodations and great ...
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Jardin Du Roy Lodge

Jardin Du Roy Lodge

Days 7 to 9 (3 nights), Isalo National Park, Madagascar

The park-like setting and thoughtful design of Jardin du Roy Lodge makes it blend beautifully into the landscape. Architectural details include ...
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Palissandre Cote Ouest Lodge

Palissandre Cote Ouest Lodge

Day 11 (1 night), Morondava, Madagascar

Ideally located on Nosy Kely beach, this beach hotel offers a relaxing atmosphere, with clean and spacious thatch-roofed beachside bungalows ...
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Camp Amoureux

Day 12 (1 night), Kirindy, Madagascar

Rustic Camp Amoureux gives us access to remote Kirindy's dry rainforest reserve. Accommodations are in safari-style tents raised on platforms, with each tent having en suite facilities and a shower. The accommodations are basic, with solar-generated power, but the camp is in a lovely setting and has good service. The camp’s memorable name comes from the two entwined giant baobabs in front of the bar that resemble two lovers entwined together.

Andasibe Hotel

Days 14 to 15 (2 nights), Andasibe, Madagascar

Twelve very well appointed and spacious en suite bungalows make the Andasibe Hotel a comfortable place to stay after a day of hiking in the forest. The lodge has a lovely rural setting, pretty gardens, and a restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking a pond.  The restaurant offers a range of Malagasy or Asian cuisine. 

Relais des Plateau

Relais des Plateau (Day Room)

Day 16, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Located very conveniently to the international airport, this modern hotel offers light and airy rooms, excellent food, a good gift shop, and a ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Vy Raharinosy

Vy Raharinosy is a wonderful ambassador of his native country with a gift for sharing his knowledge not just about the famed lemurs and other unique wildlife of this island-nation but also about the unique Malagasy culture and environmental challenges. After graduating from the University of Antananarivo with a degree in Philosophy, Vy studied Business, English, and International Communications, including studies in Hyderabad, India. He has been a professional guide since 1998 and speaks English and French along with Malagasy.

Upcoming Trips:

Magical Madagascar, May 11-23, 2014
Magical Madagascar, July 13-25, 2014
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path, September 7-22, 2014
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path, September 28-October 13, 2014
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path, October 19-November 3, 2014

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Client Testimonials:

One of the best trip leaders we have ever had. Hermese S., Woodland, CA
Magical Madagascar
Vy was an outstanding leader, very friendly, well organized, knowledgeable, and interesting. Jon W., Davis, CA
Magical Madagascar
Vy really should have a rating higher than excellent! He was ALWAYS concerned for our safety and our enjoyment, and had a remarkable amount of knowledge about his wonderful country. We are sorry we all live so far away -- he is a friend now. Irene R., Cincinnati, OH
Magical Madagascar
Vy was one of the the best guides I've ever had--a very kind and capable representative of Madagascar with excellent people skills and knowledge of other environment. He is a definite asset for Wilderness Travel. Ken N., Kailua, HI
Magical Madagascar
Vy was such an excellent, helpful, fun, knowledgeable, interactive, engaging guide. How will any future guide ever measure up? Karin E., San Jose, CA
Magical Madagascar
Vy was an excellent leader, very attentive to our needs and desires. Sara K., Las Cruces, NM
Magical Madagascar
Vy is definitely one of the best. Binney N., Camarillo, CA
Magical Madagascar
Vy is well educated and knowledgable about the culture, history, and wildlife of Madagascar. He was friendly, easy to talk with, and readily shared his knowledge. Isaac A., Martinez, CA
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
Vy is your best asset. He worked constantly to make sure the trip met our interests, and to be sure it ran smoothly. Charles E., Long Beach, CA
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
Vy was definitely one of our best guides ever! We knew from our first meeting he would be good! Marilyn G., Ponte Vedra Bch, FL
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
Fantastic and caring person who goes beyond any expectations. His desire to ensure the participant's enjoyment throughout the trip was continuously evident. Jacqueline D., Ozone Park, NY
Magical Madagascar
Vy made us very comfortable and made sure everything ran smoothly. Everything was done so we didn't have any worries. A special thank you to him. Joe C., Escondido, CA
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path
We can't say enough about Vy. So professional and yet fun. Quite thoughtful and really listens to what your interests are. How lucky you are to have him. Lisa H., Helotes, TX
Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path

Client Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. There was a great mix of experiences in Madagascar. Obviously a lot of planning went into making it a memorable trip. Thank you! Marilyn G., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
A very interesting trip, with a great variety of sights and experiences and a very knowledgable guide. Joe C., Escondido, CA

Recent Photo Blog Posts

The Eighth Continent, Isaac Aronow