Endemic Wildlife of Madagascar

Madagascar

Wildlife

Discover bizarre and unique animals of the world's '8th continent'

13 days £2,095 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Dates & Prices

Intro

This tour showcases the bewildering array of unique wildlife Madagascar has to offer. Visit Andasibe National Park, home to the island's largest lemur, the rare indri, and you will hear its distinctive call from the canopies of the rainforest. You can also expect to see other species of lemur including the sifaka, and black and white ruffed lemurs. Besides lemurs, you will encounter bizarre looking bugs, endemic frogs and chameleons. The night walk reveals other species of lemur and other nocturnal wildlife. Move on to Akanin'ny Nofy where you will get to do a guided walk on Aye Aye Island named after one of Madagascar's most elusive lemurs. Admire the beautiful orchids in the Palmarium, which are at their best in November. Take the boat to the idyllic island of Ile Sainte Marie where you can spot more lemurs and the rarest orchid in the world, the Queen of Madagascar. During season you can also watch whales coming to the region to breed.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spot the indri (lemur) in Andasibe National Park
  • Night time walk in the rainforest of Maromizaha
  • Spot different species of Lemur in the Akanin'ny Nofy Reserve
  • Swim in the warm waters of Lake Ampitabe
  • Night time walk of Aye Aye Island
  • Whale watching in Ile Sainte Marie
  • See the Queen Of Madagascar Orchid on Iles Aux Nates Island

Places Visited

Antananarivo - Andasibe National Park - Mantadia - Analamazaotra - Maromizaha - Akanin’ny Nofy - Aye Aye Island - Tamatave - Foulpointe - Ile Sainte Marie - Ile aux Nattes

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Domestic flights
Accommodation
Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks
Itinerary & Map
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Day 1 : Arrival

Upon arrival to Antananarivo, a Travel The Unknown representative will be ready to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day to explore the capital at your own pace. Overnight in Antananarivo. 
 

Meal plan: n/a

Antananarivo, often referred to as "Tana", is the nation's capital. With a population of around 1.3 million, the city represents all of Madagascar's 18 ethnic groups. Despite being a region acclaimed for its shopping, there is a significant amount of wildlife to see, with lemur parks and farms as well as a range of wildlife tours nearby. Boasting a much cooler climate than the rest of the country, Tana is a great city to roam around. One can experience the culture the capital has to offer through the local cuisine in the city's open-air markets (such as Analakey Market and Andravoahangy) and the history of Madagascar through its colourful landmarks (such as Le Palais de la Reine and Ambohimanga).

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Day 2 : Antananarivo - Andasibe National Park

After breakfast head to Andasibe National Park. En-route, you will visit the Peyrieras Exotic Park. The park is renowned for spotting chameleons, birds, uroplatus (leaf-tailed geckos) and other invertebrates (it is important to note that some of these animals are kept in cages or enclosed spaces).

After a short drive, you will arrive in Andasibe National Park where you will head straight to your hotel. You have the opportunity to enjoy the hotel facilities this afternoon, before embarking on a night time walk of the hotel's grounds. You will be able to observe nocturnal creatures: mouse lemurs, different species of frogs, chameleons and lots of insects (This walk usually last between 1 - 1.5 hours). Overnight in Andasibe

Meal plan: Breakfast

A protected area on the island, Andasibe National Park is an incredible place to see the biodiversity Madagascar has to offer, with a range of flora and fauna. A convenient drive from the capital, Andasibe National Park has eleven endangered species of lemur, birds including the Madagascar falcon, a colourful range of snake and lizard species, as well as a record breaking number of amphibians. Visitors are almost guaranteed a sighting of the indri (a species of lemur). There are treks catered to every need, from a range of activity levels to catering to different interests.

Indri are black and white lemurs native to Madagascar, and are one of the largest species in the world. Also known as Babakoto, Indri are monogamous mammals famed for their vocals. They travel around in small family groups and communicate with other groups by "singing" and "roaring". These distinctive songs, which can be heard as far as 4km away, can last anywhere between 45 seconds to 3 minutes and are best heard at dawn and dusk.


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Day 3 : Andasibe National Park

Today you will go to the Mantadia part of Andasibe National Park. You will have the whole day to explore at your own pace. There are a number of varied walking trails available, meaning you can be as "adventurous" as you like. The Mantadia Reserve is perfect for the more enthusiastic traveller, as the trails here are rugged, but the rewards are exceptional. Overnight in Andasibe. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Mantadia makes up the “second half” of the Andasibe National Park, after Analamazaotra. This section is more well known for its more challenging hiking trails, as the elevation is higher than its Analamazaotra neighbour. In this section, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the diademed sifaka (a species of lemur endemic to Madagascar, one of the largest species of lemur) and black and white ruffed lemurs. The Sacred Waterfall circuit in Mantadia is one of the more popular circuits, passing through several holy places of the ancient inhabitants, and takes roughly 2 hours. On this circuit, be sure to keep an eye out for the indri’s, as well as many orchid species
 


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Day 4 : Andasibe National Park

Today will be spent in the Analamazaotra part of Andasibe National Park at your own pace. Overnight in Andasibe. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Analamazaotra, better known as Perinet, is in the Andasibe National Park. The Analamazaotra section of this stunning national park is famed for its rare “Indri” (Madagascar’s largest lemur species) which can be heard throughout the park, especially at dawn and dusk. There are many habituated groups of Indri found within easy walking distance of the park entrance and seeing this lemur is almost a sure thing for visitors. As well as housing these incredible mammals, the park is also exceptionally rich in many bird, frog and reptile species, which can be seen on several trails throughout the park. 

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Day 5 : Maromizaha National Park

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Maromizaha National Park, just south of Andasibe National Park. This morning you will have a guided 3 hour walk around the reserve.

In the afternoon you will drive back to the hotel for a visit of Lemur Island. The lemurs living on the island are used to being around people, and therefore you will have a great opportunity to capture some excellent photos.

In the evening you will go on a guided walk in Mitsinjo Association Forest. Goodman's mouse lemur, Parson's Chameleon and many other nocturnal animals endemic to Madagascar can be seen (this walk generally lasts between 1 - 1.5hours). Overnight in Andasibe. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Maromizaha, located just 8km south-east of the Andasibe National Park is a newly protected area (since 2015). The area is famed for its hiking trails and stunning panoramic views covering over 1800 hectares. The park is home to; 11 different species of lemur, including the small-toothed sportive lemur and the aye-aye, over 80 species of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, and over 800 species of moths.

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Day 6 : Andasibe National Park - Akanin’ny Nofy

In the morning head to Ankanin’ny Nofy, located on the coast. You will have the afternoon at your own leisure, giving you the opportunity to spend some time relaxing on the white sandy beaches. 

In the evening you will be taken on a guided walk of Aye Aye Island (a short boat ride away), and have the chance to spot these nocturnal lemurs (this walk generally lasts between 1 - 1.5 hours), Overnight in Akanin'ny Nofy.  

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Aye Aye Island, a small island located on the Mananara River, is the perfect opportunity to spot these magnificent creatures. Spotting Aye-Aye’s, a species of nocturnal lemur, on this small island is almost always guaranteed as Aye Aye’s are known for their foraging skills, and coconuts are placed out for them. Visiting the island at dusk gives you the best chance to spot these incredible nocturnal animals.

Aye Aye's are the worlds largest nocturnal primate, they are famed for their unusual method of finding food. They tap on trees to find grubs before gnawing holes in the wood with its forward facing incisors to create a small hole which it then inserts its narrow middle finger in to pull the grub out. Aye Aye spend most of their time in the tree tops. During the day they can be found in their nests, which are spherical and can be seen near the canopy - so be sure to keep an eye out!

 


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Day 7 : Akanin'ny Nofy

Today will be spent exploring the reserve at your own pace. You will have the chance to spot many species of endemic lemur, including the black and white ruffled lemur, as well as various plant species. Overnight in Akanin'ny Nofy. 

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Akanin’ny Nofy, translates to “the nest of dreams”, which sums up this idyllic location perfectly. Located on a peninsula in Eastern Madagascar, Akanin’ny Nofy is approximately 90km south of the city Toamasina. The 50-hectare private reserve is a great location to get close up with the Indri, and take one of the easy walking trails to view a crocodile lake and Lake Ampitabe. This reserve is known for its many very tame lemurs.; Indris, black and white ruffed lemurs, crowned lemurs, black lemurs, as well as red-bellied lemurs. Harmless snakes and colourful chameleons, side by side with fascinating geckos and even iguanas call this place their home. Plant lovers will find large amounts of carnivorous pitcher plants nearby the beach and a carefully cultivated stock of orchids in Palmarium Beach, which shows most of its amazing blossoms in November. Alongside the magnificent flora and fauna found on this small peninsula, Akanin’ny Nofy also houses a pristine beach, perfect for taking a dip in the warm waters of Lake Ampitabe.

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Day 8 : Akanin'ny Nofy - Tamatave - Foulpointe

This morning you will have a boat transfer to Tamatave (the biggest harbour in Madagascar). After a short city tour continue to Foulpointe where you can spend the afternoon at your leisure. Overnight in Foulpointe. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Tamatave (also known as Toamasina) is Madagascar's second largest city and its commercial hub, with the port handling much of the island's foreign trade. Industrialism and commerce are the focus rather than tourism, although there are lovely palm-lined avenues, colonial buildings, a seaside promenade and beautiful beaches (although swimming is not recommended due to pollution and sharks).

Located 60 kilometres north of Tamatave, Foulpointe (also known as Mahavelona) is a quiet rural village. White-sand beaches are protected by coral reefs around 150 metres out to sea, which prevents waves and allows the calm water at the shoreline. It also has one of the best preserved forts in the country, located amongst a forest of coconut palms.

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Day 9 : Foulpointe - Ile Sainte-Marie

This morning you will be transferred by boat to Ile Sainte-Marie (this will take on average from 3 hours depending on the weather / sea condition).

You will have the rest of the day free on this beautiful island. The shallow waters around the island are perfect for snorkeling and diving. A few shipwrecks offer very special diving areas. Overnight in Ile Sainte-Marie. 

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Ile Sainte Marie, known by locals as Nosy Boraha, is an island located off the east coast of Madagascar, that stretches a total of 57 kilometres. A sanctuary with sandy beaches, clear blue waters and renowned sea food (particularly the crab). During the 17th and 18th century the island was used as a base by over one thousand pirates travelling through the East Indies. Ile Sainte-Marie has one of the world's only pirate tombs, located at the top of a hill. Humpback whales come and breed in the nearby waters between the months of July and September. Dolphins, groupers, marine turtles and moray eels can be seen in the nearby waters making this beautiful island a great spot for snorkelling and diving.

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Day 10 : Ile Sainte-Marie

You have a free day on Ile Sainte-Marie. In season (July to mid-September) an optional whale watching excursion can be arranged at an additional expense. Overnight in Ile Sainte-Marie. 

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

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Day 11 : Ile Sainte-Marie - Ile aux Nattes - Ile Sainte-Marie

Today, you will be transferred to the little island of Ile aux Nattes. Ile aux Nattes is a tropical paradise where you can see the Queen of Madagascar, the rarest species of orchid worldwide. You will have a free day on the island before getting a transfer back to your hotel on Ile Sainte-Marie. Overnight Ile Sainte-Marie.

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Although very small, Ile aux Nattes has everything you need for a relaxing break in paradise; unspoiled tropical beaches with fine white sand, coconut trees scattering the shore line, and crystal-clear turquoise waters protected by coral reefs hosting an array of exotic marine life. Off its idyllic beaches are some of the best reefs in the Malagasy region. A lighthouse stands on the top of a hill, which offers a panoramic view of the long coral reef and its remarkable diving sites. The island hosts black and white lemurs (which have been settled here), as well as the rarest orchid worldwide - The Queen of Madagascar; which blooms from November to January. The spectacular rose purple flowers are up to 10 cm and are extremely rare.  
 


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Day 12 : Ile Sainte-Marie - Antananarivo

You will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight back to Antananarivo. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Antananarivo. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 13 : Departure

At an appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight back home or to your onward destination. Please contact us for extension ideas. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Extensions

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Classic Madagascar (14 days)

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Hidden Treasures of Madagascar (21 days)

Discover Madagascar's treasure trove of exotic flora and fauna

Endemic Wildlife of Madagascar (13 days)

Discover bizarre and unique animals of the world's '8th continent'