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Enjoy taking in Madagascar’s extraordinary habitats and unique wildlife, including tracking the endangered golden-crowned sifaka and the gorgeous diademed sifaka amongst lush, verdant rainforest.

On this small group tour you will join acclaimed prize-winning photographer Nick Garbutt to watch and photograph wildlife in Madagascar, a country like no other. As well as the island’s most famous inhabitant - the charming and diverse lemur - you will encounter an array of wildlife, all accessible and easy to see on day and night walks through spectacular forests.

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.

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Fly to Antananarivo on a daytime flight

    Arrive in the evening and transfer to hotel for 2 nights. 

    Accommodation: Le Relais des Plateaux, 2-nights

  2. Day 2: Sightseeing in Antananarivo

    After breakfast at the hotel we will embark on a morning city tour of Antananarivo (Tana) to discover the local market, main streets, administrative quarter and the old town.  In the afternoon, we will visit Ambohimanga Palace.

  3. Day 3: Fly to Maroantsetra

    Late morning flight to Maroantsetra; the rest of the day will be spent exploring this attractive region.

    Accommodation: Hotel l’Hippocampe, 1-night

  4. Days 4-7 : Masoala National Park

    Transfer by boat to Masoala National Park, a journey of around 2½ hours.

    We have 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. On a variety of walks we will explore both areas immediately adjacent to the coast and further inland allowing us the opportunity to see a considerable diversity of the lowland rainforest species for which Masoala is renowned. 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: Masoala Forest Lodge or Arol Lodge, 4-nights

  5. Day 8: Boat back to Maroantsetra and then fly to Sambava

  6. Day 8: 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.

  7. Days 10-11 : 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. This will be our base for 3 nights.

  8. Day 12: 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

  9. Day 13: To Daraina

    Early morning drive to Daraina. 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 looking for aye-aye.

    Accommodation: Hotel Lemurien Blanc, 2-nights

  10. Day 14: Daraina

    Another early morning forest visit near Andranotsimaty to see golden-crowned sifaka as well as an evening visit to the forests looking for aye-aye.

  11. Day 15: To Sambava

    Early morning visit to the Andranotsimaty forests before driving back to the coastal town of Vohemar and onto Sambava for 1-night.

  12. Day 16: Fly to Antananarivo

    From Sambava we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Tana where we overnight.

  13. Day 17: Andasibe

    Today we will drive eastward to Andasibe.

    Accommodation: Hotel Feon'ny ala or Andasibe Forest Lodge, 3-nights

  14. Days 18-19 : Andasibe

    We have two full days to explore this wonderful rainforest area. On our first day 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. 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. We will continue to explore this fantastic area of pristine rain forest that offers the chance to see some rare and unusual species. Groups of indris can always be heard calling, but are more difficult to see. But another priority 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.

  15. Day 20: Return to Antananarivo and depart on an overnight flight back to the UK

    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 the late evening transfer to the airport for an overnight flight back to the UK.

  16. Day 21: 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.

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 21 days from £6,795 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 20 days from £5,895 pp
  • Single supplement: From £585
  • Group size: 8
  • Departures:
    1. , Fully booked
    We are currently finalising future dates for this tour. Please contact us for further details.
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Domestic flights
    • 13 nights hotel, 3 nights lodge & 3 nights permanent field camp (twin share)
    • All meals
    • Transfers
    • National park fees
    • Daily excursions in parks and reserves
    • Services of local guides, including tips
  • Activities available:
    • Culture
    • Photography

Expert leader

Nick Garbutt

Photo of Nick Garbutt

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.

Featured locations:

Andasibe Mantadia National Park

Andasibe is arguably Madagascar’s premier rainforest reserve. It combines 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 indri, which have been habituated.

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

Daraina

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

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

Antananarivo

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
Featured accommodation:

Camp Marojejia

Marojejia is the second highest elevatated camp of a collection of three located on the trail leading to the summit of Marojejy Peak. Around three hours walk from the park boundary, it offers basic but well-maintained facilities, and there are fine views of the rainforest and mountains.

Hotel Feon’ny ala

This friendly lodge is situated next to a small lake close to the entrance to Andasibe Mantadia National Park, with a wonderful view of the forest. The thatched bungalows are basic but comfortable, and lemurs, including indris, can often be seen directly in front of the lodge.

Hotel Relais du Masoala

This colonial-style lodge is located just outside the village of Maroantsetra on the bay of Antongil. Bungalows are spread out through beautiful gardens shaded by coconut trees, and the pool is a perfect place to relax. Boat excursions can be arranged to neighbouring Masoala National Park and Nosy Be.

Masoala Forest Lodge

Set next to the beach, this up-market lodge brings comfortable African safari-style camping to Madagascar, with large furnished tents set on wooden platforms. In addition to exploring the forest, you can snorkel in the nearby marine reserve and even spot whales from kayaks in the summer months.

Petit Relais Lodge

A pristine white sand beach on the north shore of the Bay of Antongil provides the idyllic location for Petit Relais Lodge. The eight spacious bungalows are built from local materials and overlook the beautiful bay, with the rainforest covered slopes of Masoala National Park riding behind.