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Wildlife Locations

24 recommended locations:

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is arguably Madagascar’s premier rainforest reserve, combining Analamazoatra Reserve with the forests of Mantadia. The extensive network of trails throughout the reserve offers frequent sightings of spectacular wildlife and virtually assured views of the fabulous indri.

  • Where: Alaotra-Mangoro Region
  • Ideal for viewing: diademed sifaka, indri, Parson’s chameleon, red-fronted coua, leaf-tailed gecko
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography

Andringitra National Park

Centred around Madagascar’s second highest peak, Pic d’Imarivolanitra, Andringitra is a unique region of granite formations, high altitude vegetation, forest and waterfalls, and offers some of the most scenic trekking in Madagascar. It has some impressive wild flower meadows and succulent rare plants.

  • Where: Fianarantsoa Province
  • Ideal for viewing: brown mouse lemur, golden bamboo lemur, ring-tailed lemur, small-toothed sportive lemur, red-fronted lemur

Anjajavy Private Reserve

Located on a peninsula on the remote north-west coast, this private reserve is an oasis for wildlife and visitors. Many species of lemurs, birds and reptiles can be seen in its deciduous forest while, along the coast, white sandy beaches are punctuated by dramatic limestone outcrops and mangrove fringed estuaries.

  • Where: Sofia Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Commerson’s leaf-nosed bat, common brown lemur, Coquerel’s sifaka, Madagascar fish eagle, Milne-Edwards’ sportive lemur


Home to 11 species of lemur, Anjozorobe is part of a natural corridor amongst the last vestiges of forest on the high plateau. It is only three hours drive from Antananarivo and provides a quieter and easily accessible alternative to Andasibe for those wishing to look for indris and diademed sifakas on various hiking trails.

  • Where: Anjozorobe District
  • Ideal for viewing: diademed sifaka, indri, lesser bamboo lemur, Parson’s chameleon, rufous brown mouse lemur

Ankarafantsika National Park

The reserve is centred on Lac Ravelobe and a clear network of level paths makes wildlife-viewing easy. Many groups of lemurs, including beautiful Coquerel’s sifakas and elusive mongoose lemurs have become habituated and can be observed at close quarters. Night walks are also very rewarding.

  • Where: Mahajanga Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Coquerel’s sifaka, mongoose lemur, mouse lemur, rufous vanga, Schlegel’s asity
  • Excellent for: Self-drive

Berenty Private Reserve

Featured in numerous documentaries, Berenty is perhaps Madagascar’s best known wildlife reserve. Adjacent to the Mandrare River, this small island of forest is set in sisal plantations and full of superb wildlife, including six species of lemur, and provides intimate and in some cases approachable wildlife experiences.

  • Where: Atsimo-Andrefana Region
  • Ideal for viewing: brown lemur, Madagascar flying fox, ring-tailed lemur, Verreaux’s sifaka, grey mouse lemur


Daraina is one of the most important sites in Madagascar. Home to the golden-crowned sifaka - one of the world’s rarest primates - the area is a mosaic of rolling hills covered with patches of deciduous and semi-evergreen forest and is one of richest and most ecologically sensitive areas in the north.

  • Where: Sava Region
  • Ideal for viewing: aye-aye, daraina sportive lemur, golden-crowned sifaka, Sanford’s brown lemur, greater hedgehog tenrec
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt

Ifaty Spiny Forest

The spiny forests near Ifaty are of great interest to birdwatchers and botanists alike. The area includes two of the island’s most threatened birds; the long-tailed ground roller and sub desert mesite. You will also find bizarre flora such as spined octopus trees, a sharp contrast to the ancient baobab trees.

  • Where: Atsimo-Andrefana Region
  • Ideal for viewing: banded kestrel, horned chameleon, long-tailed ground roller, sickle-billed vanga, sub-desert mesite
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Birdwatching

Ifotaka Community Forest

This remote tract of community-owned forest is an admirable illustration of an initiative that encourages local communities to manage their natural resources sustainably. The native Tandroy people harvest certain areas of the forest, but preserve the spiny forest which is home to wildlife synonymous with the south.

  • Where: Anosy Region
  • Ideal for viewing: ring-tailed lemur, Verreaux’s sifaka, mouse lemur, white-foot sportive lemur, scops owl

Isalo National Park

Quite unlike anywhere else in Madgascar, Isalo is a remarkable landscape of eroded sandstone outcrops and canyons dotted with rare plants. There are spectacular vistas at every turn, and wildlife includes several species of lemur, a variety of birds and a couple of locally endemic frogs.

  • Where: Ihorombe Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Benson’s rock thrush, Madagascar cuckoo roller, ring-tailed lemur, Verreaux’s sifaka, red-fronted lemur

Kirindy Forest

Kirindy Forest is on the west coast of Madagascar, accessed via the famed Avenue of Baobabs. It is a dry forest rich in wildlife and the best place to see a variety of endemics including the fosa, Madagascar’s largest carnivore, and lemurs such as Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, the world’s smallest primate.

  • Where: Menabe Region
  • Ideal for viewing: fosa, giant jumping rat, Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, narrow-striped mongoose, red-fronted brown lemur
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography

Marojejy National Park

Marojejy National Park is the best place to look for the rare silky sifaka, famed for its long, silky, white fur. The park also has nine other lemur species and is the only place left in the country where you can walk through rugged unbroken forest from sea level to mountain summit, where the views are spectacular.

  • Where: Sava Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Madagascar serpent eagle, ring-tailed mongoose, silky sifaka, stump-tailed chameleon, leaf-tailed gecko
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt

Masoala National Park

The Masoala Peninsula supports the largest area of lowland rainforest in Madagascar, and the greatest number of species. The mountain and valley cloaked primary forest borders the Bay of Antongil and is home to several rare birds and the last refuge of the red-ruffed lemur, one of the country's largest primates.

  • Where: Sava Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Bernier’s vanga, eastern woolly lemur, helmet vanga, panther chameleon, red-ruffed lemur
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt

Montagne d’Ambre National Park

Created in 1958, Montagne d’Ambre was Madagascar’s first national park, a cool mountain oasis in an otherwise parched landscape. Crowned lemurs and Sanford’s brown lemurs are frequently seen here, and reptiles are abundant. Well-maintained trails make this beautiful park particularly rewarding.

  • Where: Antsiranana Province
  • Ideal for viewing: crowned lemur, leaf-tailed gecko, Sanford’s brown lemur, Madagascar fish eagle, Madagascar crested ibis

Nosy Be

The island of Nosy Be offers quiet and secluded palm-fringed white sandy beaches, lively night life, good wildlife, comfortable accommodation and wonderful cuisine. It’s also a major centre for scuba diving, and there is fabulous snorkelling in the nearby marine reserve of Nosy Tanikely.

  • Where: Antsiranana Province
  • Ideal for viewing: black lemur, boa constrictor, panther chameleon, Madagascar paradise flycatcher, Madagascar fish eagle

Nosy Boraha (Ile Sainte-Marie)

Nosy Boraha is a centre for whale-watching when, between July and September, humpbacks congregate in the sheltered waters to give birth. It also epitomizes all that is good about a tropical island; its miles of beaches are lined with palm trees and fringed by turquoise lagoons and distant reefs protect the shore.

  • Where: Analanjirofo Region
  • Ideal for viewing: black and white ruffed lemur, humpback whale, white-fronted brown lemur, mouse lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur
  • Excellent for: Whale watching

Nosy Iranja

Off the Ampasindava Peninsula, Nosy Iranja becomes two islands at high tide – Iranja Komba and Iranga Kely. At low tide the two are linked by a long white sandbank. These islands provide important breeding beaches for nesting hawksbill turtles and work is in progress to safeguard their populations.

  • Where: Antsiranana Province
  • Ideal for viewing: hawksbill turtle, humpback whale, green turtle, brown mantella

Nosy Mangabe

This idyllic island in the Bay of Antongil has excellent wildlife. Its steep forested slopes have proved a safe refuge for aye-ayes that were released there in the 1960s, and have subsequently thrived. The island is an uninhabited paradise and makes for a fantastic day excursion from Maroantsetra or Masoala.

  • Where: Antogil Bay
  • Ideal for viewing: large leaf-tailed gecko, mouse lemur, eastern woolly lemur, aye-aye, humpback whale

Nosy Mitsio

Nosy Mitsio is part of the Mitsio archipelago and can only be reached by boat. The main island is surrounded by nine smaller ones – Tsara Banjina, with a fringe of white sand lapped by crystal blue waters, is particularly beautiful. The offshore reefs harbour much marine and bird life.

  • Where: Diana Region
  • Ideal for viewing: northern gannet, white-tailed tropicbird, manta ray, green turtle, bottlenose dolphin

Ranomafana National Park

Established in 1991 to protect the then newly-discovered golden bamboo lemur, Ranomafana is a World Heritage Site and one of the island’s most important wildlife sites and best rainforest reserves. Its pleasant climate, misty forest slopes, picturesque river and huge species diversity make it a deserved favourite.

  • Where: Haute Matsiatra Region
  • Ideal for viewing: giraffe-necked weevil, golden bamboo lemur, Malagasy striped civit, Milne-Edwards’ sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur
  • Excellent for: Wildlife photography

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

This largely unexplored area contains huge tracts of eroded limestone that make up the island’s largest and most impressive karst landscape. The scenery is matched by the diversity and abundance of wildlife in the forest, which can be explored on specially constructed walkways, or by boat.

  • Where: Mahajanga Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Madagascar fish eagle, red-fronted brown lemur, ring-tailed lemur, Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur, white Decken’s sifaka

Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park

Zombitse-Vohibasia is a remnant of a transitional forest between Madagascar’ western and southern regions. Despite its isolation and small size, birdwatchers will be interested to know that 85 bird species have been recorded here, and it is home to one of Madagascar’s rarest endemics, Appert’s greenbul.

  • Where: Menabe Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Appert’s greenbul, crested ibis, giant coua, Madagascar cuckoo roller, ring-tailed lemur


Madagascar’s vibrant capital city is the beginning and end point of any trip to the island. Built on a series of hills, many of the old buildings and narrow, cobbled streets retain an almost medieval quality. Walking around the city, you will find evidence of several cultures, neither exclusively African nor Asian.

  • Where: Antananarivo Province
  • Excellent for: City stopover

Madagascar’s beaches and islands

Madagascar’s wildlife is its main attraction, however the island also boasts a beautiful coastline and idyllic offshore islands. Relax in seclusion and style and enjoy the friendly relaxed Madagascan way of life, while continuing to enjoy the island’s biological richness.

  • Excellent for: Beach stay

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Madagascar is unlike any other country; a bizarre and intoxicating mix of extraordinary landscapes, whose diverse habitats include rainforest, deciduous forest, high mountain and desert. Wildlife enthusiasts brim with excitement at the thought of its extraordinary array of wildlife, the majority of which is found nowhere else in the world.

5 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Madagascar Lemurs

This trip idea visits a variety of Madagascar’s habitats, all brimming with endemic fauna and flora. Enjoy guided day and night walks in the forest to search for a multitude of species, including diademed sifaka, black and white ruffed lemur and the tiny nocturnal Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Endangered Sifakas of the North

This unique safari takes in two of the best, but least visited, areas of northern Madagascar. Marojejy National Park is home to ten lemur species, whilst in Andasibe you can enjoy day and night walking safaris to spot species such as the mouse lemur, dwarf lemur and woolly lemur, as well as chameleons and frogs.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

An Island Apart

Enjoy taking in Madagascar’s extraordinary habitats and unique wildlife on this specialist trip. Travelling with acclaimed wildlife photographer, Nick Garbutt, spend time tracking endangered golden-crowned sifakas, gorgeous diademed sifakas and colourful chameleons in lush, verdant rainforest.

  • When to go: Sep-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 21 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £8,395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Best of Both Worlds

The ideal trip if you yearn for a short, but memorable, getaway to experience the extremes of Madagascar. Combine the rainforests of the Masoala Peninsula, home to many bird species, aye aye and the endemic red ruffed lemur, with the ecologically sensitive Ifotaka Community Forest.

  • When to go: Mar-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,775 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Southern Highlights

Journey through the highlands to the dry spiny forest of Ifaty, home to an excellent diversity of birdlife and the most bizarre flora. Staying in comfortable accommodation, this trip also visits the Andasibe-Mantadia rainforest for virtually assured sightings of indri, brown lemur and rufous mouse lemur.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,295 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

When to go

Madagascar has major regional climatic variations. To avoid the worst of the rainy season, it’s best to travel between April and December, especially July and August to see whales.


  • Dry season

    Apr to Dec: Predominantly dry and quite mild
  • Green season

    Jan to Mar: Rainy season. Cyclones may also occur in February and March

Wildlife events

  • Apr to Apr: Red fody dance on the savannah for their breeding season
  • Jun to Sep: Humpback whales arrive off the coast of Île Sainte Marie
  • Jul to Sep: Aye aye visible on Nosy Mangabe
  • Oct to Nov: Lemur birthing season, jacaranda trees in bloom
  • Nov to Mar: Red fody dance on the savannah for their breeding season
  • Dec to Mar: Reptiles and tenrecs at their most active in the hot season

Where to stay