madagascar ankarana and amber mountain national park

Lemurs, Chameleons, and TsIngy of Northern Madagascar

Overview

Explore Madagascar's northern reaches at Ankarana and Amber Mountain National Parks—with their vast diversity of wildlife including Sanford’s brown lemurs, ring-tailed mongoose, chameleons, and more than 1,000 species of flora! We’ll enjoy walks near crater lakes and giant fern trees and discover the wonders of the Tsingy Forest on this 5-day excursion.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Antananarivo, Madagascar

Afternoon arrival in Antananarivo (“Tana”), Madagascar's capital. You will be met and transferred to the French-run Hotel Colbert, with its excellent location in the upper section of Tana...meals on your own

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Day 2
Diego Suarez / Amber National Park

Late morning transfer to the airport for flight to Diego Suarez. On arrival we go for a short drive to Amber Mountain National Park, a biologically diverse reserve whose montane rainforests offer huge green tree ferns, crystal clearcrater lakes, picturesque waterfalls, and a wealth of wildlife, including endemic species not found in the south of Madagascar. Here we'll again see crowned lemurs as well as Sanford's brown lemurs, and a varied flora—1,000 species, a botanist's delight! There are 60 reptiles, such as tiny stump tailed chameleons, leaf tailed geckos and snakes, 35 frog species and more than 40 butterflies. This is also the best place to see chameleons. Afterwards, we return to Diego Suarez. Overnight at Hotel Allamanda…BLD

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Day 3
Ankarana National Park

In the morning we drive for about 2 ½ hours to Ankarana and check-in the Ankarana Lodge. Though more basic in amenities and decorations, the lodge more than makes up for with its location—an added bonus is that the lodge is known to be frequented by brightly-colored chameleons and different types of lemurs. After lunch at the lodge, we enjoy the afternoon at Ankarana National Park, a reserve with spectacular landscapes, including the unique eroded limestone towers known as "tsingy." Overnight at Ankarana Lodge…BLD

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Day 4
Ankarana National Park / Tsingy

In the morning, we'll visit Ankarana National Park and hike for about two to three hours on a flat and easy trail. While on the park's trails, we should see many crowned lemurs (the reserve harbors one of the largest and least disturbed populations of this distinctive primate, endemic to northern Madagascar) as well as Sanford's brown lemurs, and the inquisitive ring tailed mongoose, fossa, tenrecs, and Madagascar striped civet. The park is also outstanding for reptiles, with 50 species including some endemic and threatened snakes and geckos and 10 species of frogs.

There is an option for a more challenging hike of approx. 4-5 hours. It is challenging so hikers need to be very fit, but it rewards you with superb views of the tsingy formations. The hikers will leave earlier (6:30 am) and also walk on the same path for the open view of the tsingy. They then continue on for another hour to the hanging bridge (note the path is more difficult as you need to navigate walking amidst the tsingy and the sun can get hot since you won’t have shade). The hike is 2 hours each way so approximately 4-5 hours total.

We return to Ankarana Lodge for lunch. Aftewards, return drive to Diego Suarez. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at Allamanda Hotel…BL

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Day 5
Antananarivo / Day 1 of the Madagascar Off the Beaten Path trip

In the morning fly back to Antananarivo. Transfer to the Hotel Colbert. Lunch on your own. Spend the rest of your day at your leisure. Welcome dinner in the evening…BD

Details

Length: 5 days
Cost From: $2490  
Arrive: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Depart: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Lodging: 4 nights hotel
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner and 1 lunch (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level:

Easy day hikes, wildlife watching