Madagascar: Off the Beaten Path

Where Natural History Abounds Without Limits

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP SPECIAL?

Madagascar's Most Comprehensive Itinerary — With ample time to explore parks and encounter endemic wildlife.

Avenue of the Baobabs — We visit both at sunrise and in the afternoon, so you can get great photos of these magnificent trees.

Rare Wildlife Experiences — Our expert local guides know where to find rare birds, chameleons, lemurs, and other endemic species.

Participate in Cultural Activities — Visit a school; travel to a fishing village; talk with weavers, wood carvers and paper makers.

Chameleons! — Six specific sites we recommend for viewing the biggest, the smallest, and the most colorful.

Flexible Hiking and Photo Options — Choose from challenging hikes, leisurely photo walks, early morning birding outings, night walks.

Expert Trip Leaders — Experienced Malagasy naturalists who delight in sharing their perspectives and environmental understanding.

Overview

Isolated from mainland Africa since the time of the dinosaurs, Madagascar shelters exotic life forms found nowhere else, including more than 100 species of lemurs and wildly colorful chameleons ranging from thumbnail-sized to two feet long. In this treasure trove of nature, we bring you into seven national parks and reserves, from sandstone canyons to mountainous rainforests. Each day we maximize your experience with your choice of guided hikes, whether a photo-paced ramble, a moderate hike, or an early morning bird walk. You’ll meet wildlife researchers, visit reforestation projects—and even plant a seedling on the famed Avenue of the Baobabs!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Antananarivo / Andasibe / Lemur Island

Explore “Tana,” the capital, then head to Andasibe National Park, home to unique creatures such as the huge Parson’s chameleon and the Indri indri,┬áthe black-and-white lemur whose treetop calls carry for miles. We also visit Lemur Island.

Hotel Carlton
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Day 1 (1 night), Day 5 (1 night), Day 14 (1 night)
Mantadia Lodge
Andasibe National Park, Madagascar
Days 2 to 4 (3 nights)
Days 6-7
Avenue of the Baobabs / Kirindy Reserve

Flying by private charter to seaside Morondava, we visit the photogenic Avenue of the Baobabs to sip Malagasy sundowners and watch the sunset amid these majestic natural monuments, some over 800 years old. In Kirindy Reserve, we look for the elusive cat-like fossa, a host of endemic chameleons, and primates including Verreaux’s sifaka.

Pallisandre Hotel
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 8-10
Ranomafana Rainforest

We fly southeast by private charter and drive into stunning Ranomafana National Park, one of the most biodiverse rainforests on the planet. Twelve lemur species have been recorded here, including the rare golden bamboo lemur. One evening, we enjoy a private talk with a wildlife researcher.

Hotel Thermal
Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
Days 8 to 10 (3 nights)
Setam Lodge
Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
Days 8 to 10 (3 nights)
Days 11-15
Anja / Isalo / Zombitse-Vohibasia

Get eye to eye with the ring-tailed lemurs at community-run Anja Reserve, hike in the sandstone gorges of Isalo National Park, and enjoy the baobabs and lemurs of Zombitse-Vohibasia, a rare example of Madagascar’s dry deciduous forest. Depart on Day 15 via Antananarivo.

Hotel Le Jardin Du Roy
Isalo National Park, Madagascar
Days 11 to 13 (3 nights)
Hotel Carlton
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Day 14 (1 night)

Highlights

Highlights

Choice of hiking options, night walks, early morning birding outings
Outstanding Trip Leaders, extra local naturalist guides at each park
Sunset at Avenue of the Baobabs
Fly on two private charters to maximize time in parks
Visit local school, sample traditional Malagasy cuisine

Details

Length: 15 days
Cost From: $6695  
Arrive: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Depart: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Lodging: 14 nights hotels and wildlife lodges
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Cultural Adventures, Walking
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate nature walks, rugged road travel

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