Join award-winning photographer Nick Garbutt to track, watch and photograph the extraordinary wildlife and habitats of Madagascar – a country like no other.
As well as tracking the island’s most famous inhabitants - the charming and diverse lemurs - you will encounter an array of wildlife, all accessible and easy to see on day and night walks through spectacular forests. There are countless opportunities to see and photograph species such as the endangered golden-crowned sifaka, beautiful diademed sifaka, secretive helmet vanga, and - if lucky - the elusive aye-aye.
Diverse habitats and fascinating cultures will add to the fabulous photographic opportunities, and once you’ve explored the atmospheric and varied landscapes you can relax on idyllic beaches, enjoying warm blue seas and safe swimming. Daily sessions with Nick will enable you to pose questions you've always wanted to ask in situ and hone your photography talents.
Read Nick's blog on one his prevous photographic tours in Madagascar.
Day1: Fly to Antananarivo
Fly from London to Antanarivo, arriving in the evening, and transfer to our hotel, located in a wooded park, conveniently close to the airport.
Accommodation: Le Relais des Plateaux, 2-nights
Day2: Sightseeing in Antananarivo
After breakfast at the hotel we embark on a city tour of Antananarivo (Tana) to discover the local market, main streets, administrative quarter and the old town. In the afternoon, visit Ambohimanga Palace.
Day3: Fly to Maroantsetra
Early this morning we take a flight to Maroantsetra, and the rest of the day will be spent exploring this attractive region. Our hotel is located in the Bay of Antongil, facing the island of Nosy Mangabe.
We have at least two full days to explore this wonderful area. Within a short walk through the adjacent forest, we may find groups of red ruffed lemurs or white-fronted brown lemurs, spectacularly colourful panther chameleons and Parson’s chameleons. Particular efforts will be made to track down the improbable helmet vanga and beautiful scaly ground roller and perhaps ring-tailed mongoose.
Night walks in these forests provide excellent opportunities to see leaf-tailed geckos, nocturnal woolly lemurs and sportive lemurs, and a diversity of brightly coloured tree frogs and perhaps tenrecs too.
Accommodation: Arol Lodge, 4-nights
Day8: Boat back to Maroantsetra & fly to Sambava
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Sambava, where we transfer to our overnight hotel located on the beach in the south of the city, just five minutes from the centre.
Hotel Las Palmas, 1-night
Day9: Drive to Manantenina, then walk into Marojejy National Park
We drive for an hour to Manantenina, before beginning the walk into Marojejy National Park. It takes around two hours to reach the edge of the park and a further two hours to reach Camp Mantella, which is located in a bamboo grove close to a river surrounded by forest.
Accommodation: Camp Mantella, 1-night
Days10-11: Marojejy National Park
We continue to walk further into the heart of the park, climbing for around an hour to reach Camp Marojejia, which is situated on a rocky outcrop looking across a valley to a huge rock buttress, amidst stunning primary rainforest. It is one of the most breathtaking locations imaginable for a camp.
Accommodation: Camp Marojejia, 2-nights
Day12: Return to Sambava & drive to Vohemar
We spend the morning walking out of Marojejy back to Manantenina for lunch, before driving to Sambava and then continuing north by road to Vohemar.
Accommodation: Hotel Baie d’Iharana, 1-night
Days13-14: Drive to Daraina
We take an early morning drive to Daraina where we meet local guides for a walk to forests near Andranotsimaty to see golden-crowned sifaka. There will also be a nocturnal visit to the forests to look for aye-aye.
Accommodation: Hotel Lemurien Blanc, 2-nights
Day15: Drive back to Sambava
Today we enjoy another early morning visit to the Andranotsimaty forests before driving back to the coastal town of Vohemar and onto Sambava.
Accommodation: Hotel Las Palmas, 1-night
Day16: Fly to Antananarivo
From Sambava we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Tana where we overnight.
Accommodation: Le Relais des Plateaux, 1-night
Day17: Drive to Andasibe
Today we will drive eastward to Andasibe and check into our hotel, located very close to the national park.
Accommodation: Andasibe Hotel, 3-nights
Days18-19: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
We have two full days to explore this wonderful rainforest area. On our first day, the priority will be to visit Andasibe and search for the fabulous indri. There’s a good chance we’ll hear their eerie wailing calls too. We may also see brown lemurs and grey bamboo lemurs, streaked tenrecs and striking birds like blue vanga.
Another focus will be to look for stunning diademed sifaka - perhaps the most beautiful of all lemurs - as well as red-bellied lemurs and secretive birds such as pitta-like and scaly ground roller.
There will also be nocturnal walks where different lemurs and chameleons can be seen. The huge variety of frogs are also a feature of this reserve and are particularly evident after rain.
Day20: Return to Antananarivo & depart
In the afternoon, we transfer back to Antananarivo, where we can visit the handicraft market of La Digue. A day room will be provided until a late evening transfer to the airport for our overnight flight back to the UK.
Day21: Arrive UK
You should note: This itinerary is based on Air Madagascar’s current domestic schedules. Air Madagascar reserves the right to change these without notice, hence there is no guaranteed that this will be the exact itinerary we will follow. Changes may be forced upon us right until the last moment, but every effort will be make to keep the final itinerary as faithful as possible to this one proposed.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 21 daysfrom £6,795 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 20 daysfrom £5,895 pp
An award-winning photographer and author, with a background in zoology, Nick has forged a career by combining these skills with leading tours and lecturing.
Nick has written and photographed several critically acclaimed books, including: ‘100 Animals to See Before They Die’, ‘Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide’, ‘Wild Borneo’, and ‘Chameleons’. He is a regular contributor to international magazines such as National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Africa Geographic and Geographical.
Nick has twice been a winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. In 2000, he won the prestigious Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. His photographs appear widely in books, calendars and other publications worldwide. He is a Special Lecturer on the MSc course in the Wildlife Photography and Imaging at Nottingham University, where he studied.
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.
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.
Excellent for: Wildlife photography, Photography tours with Nick Garbutt
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
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.
Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt
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
Marojejia is one of a collection of three camps leading to the summit of the impressive Marojejy Peak. Located around three hours walk from the Marojejy National Park boundary, it offers basic but well-maintained facilities, and there are fine views of the rainforest and mountains.