Magical Madagascar

9 Days of Lemurs, Baobobs and much much more!
Day 1: Welcome to Madagascar - Anananarivo

Upon arrival into Ivato Airport you will be greeted by an English-speaking guide from MCC who will accompany you to your hotel in the upper town of Antananarivo. ‘Tana’ – as the locals call it has fascinating traditional architecture and a more Indonesian influence than the rest of Madagascar. Maison Gallieni is a restored colonial mansion with an elegant mix of modern and traditional décor. Take a dip in the pool and enjoy the lovely views over the city before dinner. Overnight at Maison Gallieni in a standard room (Half board)

Day 2: Antananarivo to Andasibe & Mantadia National Park

After an early breakfast, your guide will take you east to Andasibe, a stunning rainforest park, about 4 hours’ drive from the city. The park consists of two protected areas, the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Perinet is world famous for its population of Indri lemurs, which are the largest living lemur species. The journey to Andasibe offers first time visitors to Madagascar a gentle introduction to rural life with rice fields, redbrick houses and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables lining the route. Check into hotel for lunch. This afternoon, visit a private reserve operated by local NGO Mitsinjo. The NGO funds reforestation, community education and sensitization to conservation issues as well as running Madagascar’s first amphibian captive-breeding facility. Here you will see a stunning array of wildlife such as Indri indri, brown lemurs and diademed sifaka, as well as chameleons and birds and can also plant an indigenous tree species along the reforestation trail.

You will see a variety of nocturnal lemurs: mouse lemurs, white footed sportive lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, as well as the woolly lemur.

Overnight at Mantadia Lodge in a standard room (Full board)

Day 3: Mantadia NP

After breakfast you will head to Mantadia National Park (1.5 hour drive) with a picnic lunch. Look for some of the lemur species in this stunning park including the Indri indri, diademed sifaka, grey bamboo lemur, red-bellied lemur and white ruffed lemur. While the trails are slightly more difficult, the rewards are great as the forest is taller, wilder and less crowded than Perinet. There are an abundance of birds including the scaly ground roller, the pitta-like ground roller and the red-breasted coua. This is a naturalist’s goldmine with many seldom seen species of mammals, reptiles and birds. Enjoy a picnic by the Rianasoa Waterfall before hiking back to the vehicle and return to the lodge. In the evening you may choose to go on another night walk with your local guide.

Overnight at Mantadia Lodge in a standard room (Full board)

Day 4: Andasibe - Antananarivo

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the 810 ha Perinet Reserve with a local guide in search of the Indri indri. With a barely visible tail, black and white markings and a surprised teddy–bear face, this lemur is one of the few animals in the world that cannot survive in captivity. There are another 11 species of lemur to spot as you walk through the rainforest. You may find a troop of grey bamboo lemurs, common brown lemur, diademed sifaka and the black and white ruffed lemur. Birdwatchers should look out for the velvet asity, the blue coua and the Nuthatch vanga and many more endemic species. Perinet is home to many reptiles, invertebrates, and some of Madagascar’s over a thousand orchid species. This is followed by a visit to Lemur Island, Vakona Lodge’s private reserve that protects a number of habituated lemurs. There are four species to see, the bamboo lemur, the black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and one diademed sifaka. After lunch, head back to Antananarivo.

Overnight at Maison Gallieni in a standard room (Half board)

Day 5: Antananarivo to Mandrare River Camp

After breakfast, drive back to Ivato Airport in time for your domestic flight to Fort Dauphin (TZ714 – 12:50/14:40). In Fort Dauphin you will be met by a guide and vehicle from Mandrare River Camp who will escort you to a local restaurant in Fort Dauphin. After an early lunch, drive to Mandrare River Camp (~ 4 hour-drive). Upon arrival at the camp settle into your tent and enjoy the majestic views over the Mandrare River. Late in the afternoon, if time permits, depart for a night walk in the Forest of Zenavo. This is a fantastic way to see diurnal lemurs bedding down, and the nocturnal lemurs begin to wake in the eerie and prehistoric Spiny Forest. You will spot sifakas and sleeping white-foot sportive lemurs, then once the sun has set, two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and now active sportive lemurs.

Overnight at Mandrare River Camp in a tent (All inclusive)

Day 6: Mandrare River Camp

After breakfast you will head out to the stunning sacred gallery forest to the south of the camp. Depending on the river depth, you will walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River to reach this largely deciduous forest. Inquisitive groups of ring tailed lemurs and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka are the highlight of this excursion. Return to camp for lunch and a relaxed afternoon by the pool. In late afternoon, head for a walk through the sacred spiny forest filled with the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe, as well as an extraordinary array of flora and fauna, unique to the spiny forest. Your English speaking guide and a tracker from the local community will give you an introduction to Antandroy culture and customs. Your visit is followed by sundowners on the Mandrare River banks.

Overnight at Mandrare River Camp in a tent (All inclusive)

Day 7: Mandrare River Camp

After a cup of tea or coffee head to the Spiny Forest for an early morning walk. Witness the sunlight break through the octopus trees while looking out for the many endemic birds such as crested coua, a variety of vangas and the running coua. Head back to camp for a sumptuous breakfast followed by a visit to the local market or the local village to meet the fascinating Antandroy tribe. Lunch will be served at the camp followed by a relaxed afternoon watching life along the river from your tent terrace. At 5pm, depart for a sundowner amidst the baobabs. Watching the sun set and moon rise with a view across the baobabs to the mountains beyond is a magical experience. In the evening the local village may come to perform beautiful traditional dances, accompanied by singing and music. Song and dance is at the heart of Antandroy culture and is used to accompany the major rituals and events of everyday life.

Overnight at Mandrare River Camp in a tent (All inclusive)

Day 8: Mandrare River Camp to Tana

After breakfast, drive to Fort Dauphin (4hours) in time for your Tsaradia flight back to Tana. Upon arrival into Ivato Airport you will be greeted by an English-speaking guide from MCC who will accompany you to your hotel near the airport. Enjoy the heated swimming pool and newly built spa with sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, gym and spa therapies using traditional Malagasy remedies.

Overnight at Relais Des Plateaux in a Classic room (Half board)

Day 9: Onward travels

Today, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your outbound international flight.

* Contact us for availability and current rates. Consider an extension to Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge and new Namoroka Tsingy Camp for the Ultimate Madagascar trip. (MAdClass)