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 plants and animals found nowhere else on earth, including more than 100 species of lemur, and wildly colorful chameleons ranging from thumbnail-sized to two feet long! In this environmental treasure trove, we bring you into seven national parks and reserves, from surreal spiny desert ecosystems to lush rainforests. Each day we maximize your experience by offering a choice of guided hikes, whether a photo-paced ramble, a challenging 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 1-4
Antananarivo / Avenue of the Baobabs / Kirindy Reserve

Explore “Tana,” the capital, then head to the photogenic Avenue of the Baobabs to sip Malagasy sundowners and watch the sunset amid these majestic natural monuments, some over 800 years old. We enjoy walks in Kirindy Reserve, home to primates including Verreaux’s sifaka, a host of colorful endemic chameleons, and the elusive fossa.

Hotel Colbert
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Day 1 (1 night), Day 12 (1 night), Day 15 (1 night)
Hotel Palissandre Cote Ouest
Morondava, Madagascar
Days 2 to 4 (3 nights)
Days 5-8
Antsirabe / Ranomafana

In Antsirabe, we visit artisan-weaver workshops, then take nature walks in pristine Ranomafana National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Twelve lemur species have been recorded in this rainforest, including the rare golden bamboo lemur. One evening, we enjoy a private talk with a wildlife researcher.

Couleur Cafe
Antsirabe, Madagascar
Day 5 (1 night)
Hotel Thermal
Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
Days 6 to 8 (3 nights)
Setam Lodge
Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
Days 6 to 8 (3 nights)
Days 9-12
Anja / Isalo / Zombitse-Vohibasia

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

Hotel Le Jardin Du Roy
Isalo National Park, Madagascar
Days 9 to 11 (3 nights)
Hotel Colbert
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Day 12 (1 night), Day 15 (1 night)
Days 13-16
Andasibe / Lemur Island

Our grand finale is Andasibe National Park, a rainforest teeming with colorful reptiles such as the two-foot-long Parson’s chameleon, and home to the Indri indri,┬áthe famed black-and-white lemurs whose haunting treetop calls carry for miles. We also visit Lemur Island, with its orphaned lemurs. Depart on Day 16 via Antananarivo.

Mantadia Lodge
Andasibe National Park, Madagascar
Days 13 to 14 (2 nights)
Hotel Colbert
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Day 15 (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
Travel by air-conditioned vehicles
Visit local school, sample traditional Malagasy cuisine

Details

Length: 16 days
Cost From: $6395  
Arrive: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Depart: Antananarivo, Madagascar
Lodging: 15 nights hotels and wildlife lodges
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Cultural Adventures, Walking
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate nature walks, rugged road travel