Madagascar truly is a lost world. Thanks to its long isolation from neighbouring continents, it’s home to some 2,300 species of plants and animals, most found nowhere else. For years, adventurous travellers have driven its rugged 4WD tracks in search of dancing lemurs, eye-spinning chameleons and that strange mix between cat and mongoose – the predatory fossa.
Packed into the planet’s fourth-largest island is a landscape so diverse it astounds. Central highlands run nearly the entire 1580-km length, separating the tropical, rain-forested lowlands in the east from the drier, rain-shadowed lands in the west.
Sandstone canyons and red-rock formations, forests of limestone pinnacles some 300 m high, idyllic tropical islands, chains of freshwater lakes and mangrove lowlands create habitats not just for strange reptiles and mammals, but breathtakingly beautiful birds and a rich collection of plants, including Darwin’s orchid – the world’s rarest.
But perhaps the island’s greatest secret is also its most obvious – the warm and friendly people. The Malagasy are proud of their heritage and are keen to share their art, handicrafts, food and music (both spicy).
We are excited to offer two expeditions to explore this incredible island. On trips lasting three weeks each, our small groups will travel by plane, minibus, 4WD, canoe, boat, on foot and maybe even pousse-pousse (rickshaws) to experience cultural and natural wonders.
And while Madagascar’s most intriguing wonders are often found tucked away in remote regions that are often challenging to reach, we’ve chosen the most comfortable (luxurious even) places for you to rest at day’s end.
Join us on a journey of wildlife and wonder as we explore Madagascar’s lost world.
An in-depth exploration of the “eighth continent” takes us to the southwest to visit spectacular forest reserves where lemurs dance and swing through the trees, the limestone pinnacles and caves of Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park and the spectacular Avenue des Baobabs.
The highlands offer thermal pools, sandstone canyons and handicraft markets featuring traditional woodwork and papermaking. In the east we cruise freshwater lakes and lagoons to stunning Lake Ampitabe, heart of the Panganales Canal, before relaxing in paradise on Sainte Marie Island. Throughout our adventure we encounter lemurs, chameleons, amazing birds and plants found nowhere else.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Combine our A Lost World & Northern Exposure trips and receive a 5% discount off each trip
On arrival in Tana you will be met at the airport and transferred to our group hotel. We have 2 night’s in Tana, Madagascar’s capital, visiting the wonderful and interesting sites of this great Malagasy city. Then on day 3 we fly southwest to the coastal city Morondava. 4WDs carry us to Kirindy Nature Reserve. On the way to Kirindy we will drive through the remarkable Avenue Des Baobabs. This cluster of towering Grandidier’s baobabs is one of Madagascar’s most famous views. Kirindy is a superlative within a superlative and comprises one of the most outstanding and threatened wildlife habitats in Madagascar – dry deciduous forests. It is renowned for the giant jumping rat and is also home to seven species of lemur and a number of endemic reptiles. After dinner we plan to take a night walk through the forest, in search of nocturnal creatures. If we are lucky we may see the weird and wonderful fossas – the only endemic carnivorous species of Madagascar.B, L, D
Up early for bird and wildlife viewing in Kirindy’s dry forest and wetlands, keeping an eye out for the paradise flycatcher, giant coa and Berther’s lemur, considered to be the smallest primate. A seven- hour drive on rough tracks, including ferrying across the languid Tsiribihina and Manambolo rivers takes us to our comfortable lodge in the heart of Tsingy de Bermaraha National Park. B, L, D
We spend two days exploring tsingys (limestone plateaus dramatically eroded into pinnacles, caves and gorges) by canoes and on foot. World Heritage-listed, Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park is home to bats, lemurs, birds and plants adapted to these spectacular “stone forests”, some 300 m high, and offering fantastic views.B, L, D
Drive back to Morondava, stopping for sunset at the beautiful Avenue des Baobabs. The next day will be at leisure to relax and enjoy the beach or visit the town centre. For those who wish to visit the Baobab Avenue at sunrise this can be arranged, or a visit to Parkimony, a private park where you can see several species of mammals, reptiles and birds. B, L, D
A very early start this morning as we have a long 10 hour drive from the west of Madagascar, crossing the heartland due east, to join the great southern road to Antsirabe (532 kms). It will be a late arrival into Antsirabe. This beautiful city in the highlands of Madagascar is the result of the mixed cultures that built the city over two centuries and is a key part of the lands of the Betsileo people, famed for their rice cultivation skills. Founded in 1872 by Norwegian missionaries, the city reflects the warmth of its people and the authenticity of its traditions are still alive in the surrounding countryside, making it the agricultural and industrial centre of Madagascar. B, L, D
Day 10 -11
Antsirabe. A cultural melting pot over the past two centuries, today it reflects the warmth of its people. Famed for its “pousse pousses” (rickshaws), gemstones and handicrafts, its markets are a delight. Next day we visit the handicraft markets of Ambositra, known for the fine ancestral woodcarving of the Zafimaniry people, and continue to Ranomafama, meaning “warm waters” for its hot springs. Up at dawn for a wildlife walk in cloud forests of Ranomafama National Park to see daytime animals like bamboo lemurs. We return for a night walk to spot nocturnal lemurs, endemic frogs & chameleons. B, L, D
We stop in Ambalavao village, famous for its Antaimoro papermaking (fresh flowers pressed in) and Anjaha Private Reserve, with its ring-tailed lemurs and in the sandstone, Betsileo traditional tombs. We cross the Horombe Plateau, with its Zebu herds, before arriving on the edge of Isalo National Park. We spend two nights here, with a full day delving deep into the Malagasy Colorado (Isalo NP) and sacred burial grounds for the Bara people. The park has a unique combination of deep sandstone canyons, bush plains and rare endemic plants such as – the endemic Aloe. Covering an area of 81,540 hectares, the park comprises of the entire stretch of the Isalo Massif – a spectacular mountain chain of eroded sandstone. This strikingly beautiful reserve consists of golden plains, punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls. We plan to enjoy a wonderful circuit walk (approx 12km) in this surreal environment and cool off in a natural oasis-like swimming hole along the way. On the outskirts of Tulear we will visit a private reserve Arboretum – a botanical garden specialising in the flora and fauna of Southwest Madagascar. The Arboretum was created around 1980, on the initiative of a Swiss amateur botanist, Hermann Pétignat who died in 2000. There are almost 900 species of plants, 90% endemic to the region. Then continue driving to Ifaty a fishing village 25 kms north of Tulear. B, L, D
We will spend a full day exploring Honko’s mangrove conservation site and the village of Ambondrolava! Where we will learn about the regions ecology and culture. We will also enjoy a little leisure time by the sea at Ifaty before driving to Tulear, a city of bright colours and sensuous Tsapiky music to catch a flight to Tana. B, L, D
After visiting Tsarasaotra, an oasis and bird sanctuary for herons, egrets and kingfishers, we continue on to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park for a night walk. Star of the park is the indri, at up to 1 m tall, the largest lemur. But there are more than a dozen other lemur species, many endemic birds and more than a hundred orchid species. After a morning in the park, we drive to Manambato on the Pangalanes Canal, a chain of freshwater lakes and lagoons connected by manmade channels to form a 600-km inland.B, L, D
We travel to Akanin’ny Nofy (‘Nest of Dreams’), on the white sand shores of Lake Antibe. It’s a haven of forests, orchids, mangroves and palms. We visit the Palmarium, a private reserve of endemic palms where lemurs, including indri, sifakas, mouse and crowned lemurs, and the endangered aye-aye, enjoy complete freedom. We boat cruise to Tamatave, then drive to Mahambo to spend a lovely evening by the east coast. B,L,D
A 3 hour boat trip across to the lush Sainte Marie Island, or Nosy Boraha to the locals, to relax in Paradise. Deserted beaches, traditional fishing villages, coral reefs and a tranquil atmosphere of Sainte Marie Island add up to a dream place to relax. Fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving, cycling and on our September trip, the possibility of watching humpback whales before they depart for Antarctica. In the afternoon fly to Tana. B, D
Our final morning in Tana will be dedicated to visiting the handy craft markets for last minute shopping before we transfer to the airport for our return flight home. B, L
Dates and Cost
- 25 days 26 May – 19 June 2017
- 25 days 18 August- 11 September 2017
Combine our A Lost World & Northern Exposure trips and receive 5% discount off each trip
|Year||Twin Share||Single Sup|
(Group size maximum 12 persons)
Please contact us for costing Ex Australia. All tour costs are land only exclusive of international airfares and taxes.The tour costs shown are per person quoted in Australian dollars and are subject to change due to exchange rate variations and other factors. Please check with us at the time of booking.Traveller’s Notes: Should you be travelling alone and wish to share, we will endeavour to match you with a roommate of the same gender. The number of single rooms available on each tour is strictly limited.
- Adventure Associates Escort from Australia and local English speaking guide throughout the tour
- All Accommodation based on twin/double share with private facilities at the best available hotels and lodges
- All Meals as specified in the detailed itinerary
- All transfers, sightseeing, boat trips, domestic flights and touring as indicated in the specific detailed itinerary
- Bottled water
- Entrance fees as required throughout sightseeing tours/park entry fees as applicable
- All currently applicable service charges and taxes.
What’s not included
- International air-tickets and taxes
- Excess baggage on any flight, vaccination costs, passport or visa fees and travel insurance
- Any other meals or sightseeing not specified in the detailed itinerary
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone and other communication charges, personal gratuities to local guides and driver(s)
- Any other item not specifically mentioned as being included.
How to Book
To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or firstname.lastname@example.org, then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD 1000 per person deposit.
|Deposit required per person:||AU$1000 per person|
|Balance due:||75 days prior to departure|
|If booking within 74 days of departure:||Full payment must be made.|
Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.
|More than 100 days prior to departure||AUD 500 per person|
|Between 99 and 75 days prior to departure||Full loss of deposit per person|
|Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure||75% of tour cost per person|
|On or within 30 days prior to departure||No Refund|
If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.
Richard Morecroft has been one of Australia’s most familiar television faces, particularly as the ABC’s nightly news presenter for 20 years and the host of many wildlife documentaries. His enthusiasm for the natural world has been a lifelong commitment and he has been a Trustee of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Patron of the Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES) and is a Governor of the Taronga Zoo Foundation.
Richard and his partner Alison Mackay have co-authored books on wildlife and worked previously with Greg Mortimer in the Antarctic and the Galapagos Islands.
Guy Gerard Ratsarazaka
Guy is Malagasy and is fluent in English. He has been working as a tour guide in Madagascar for over 20 years. His knowledge about the country, its culture, history, flora and fauna is outstanding….You will be very satisfied with his services. Guy will be joining both trips in 2015.
Trained as a veterinary nurse, Sue has worked as an expedition leader, photographer and lecturer for 20 years, specialising in Antarctica and the High Arctic, but with trips throughout remote corners of the world, including the Amazon, Africa and the Himalaya. She’s led trips to most coastal regions of Antarctica and spent three months in Grytviken, working for the South Georgia Heritage Trust.