Madagascar, often referred to by ecologists as the eighth continent, is unlike anywhere else on the planet. The wildlife viewing in this exotic landscape is unparalleled, the opportunities for rich cross-cultural experiences in this itinerary unique. The peoples of Madagascar originated in India, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This incredible synthesis of tradition, religion, and culture created a society striking in its physical beauty and remarkable in its uniformity of traditions. On this tour, cited by major publications as a "Trip of A Lifetime", you also will visit farming and fishing villages, a vanilla plantation, and an ostrich farm. You will see extraordinary botanical and geological landscapes and, accompanied by your experienced naturalist guide, you will have encounters with the famous Ringtail Lemurs, see the Golden Bamboo Lemurs in Ranomafana, the White Sifaka and Brown Lemurs in Isalo, and listen for the Indri Indri (Babakoto) lemur’s haunting song in Perinet.
The beauty of Madagascar is that whether your interest is primarily lemurs, chameleons, or the wildly diverse and unique birds that roost within the unusual flora, you'll visit some of the country's most renowned parks and reserves, all inhabited by a combination of all of these and many other amazing creatures.
Optional extensions include a visit to the northeastern side of the island to search for the rare and endangered Golden-Crowned Sifaka lemur, that inhabits a small area estimated to total just over 170 square miles in 44 restricted and fragmented gallery, deciduous, and semi-evergreen forest areas centered around the town of Daraina. This mostly white, golden-orange-crowned sifaka has large furry ears and is one of the smallest sifakas, weighing just under eight pounds and measuring 35 inches from crown to tail's end. This lemur cannot be seen elsewhere on the island and is classified as endangered, with its limited range only newly protected since 2005.
An extension to visit to the Masoala Peninsula takes you to one of the most richly biodiverse places on Madagascar, with over half of all of the island's species of plants, mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles found here. Of the ten species of lemurs found in Masoala, four are on the red list of the International Union of the Conservation of the Nature (UICN). Masoala is the only place on the island where the least-known of the Malagasy carnivores, the mongoose Salanoia concolor or Brown-Tailed Mongoose, has been observed since 1970. The Masoala sea is home to the humpback whale, various dolphins, the dugong and 41 types of corals.
Finally, if your time is short, but you haven't had enough lemurs on your trip, consider an extension to Ampijoroa Forest in search of the Coquerel's Sifaka and several other lemurs to add to your "lemur life list" -- enjoy!