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Trip Extensions

Madagascar Masoala Peninsula Extension

Duration: 6 days

Travelers will also have the option of extending their trip to include a visit to the Masoala Peninsula, the most biodiverse national park in Madagascar, with both marine and forest habitats, and over half of all species of plants, mammals, birds,... read more

Kirindy Pre-Tour Extension

Duration: 7 days

The extension can be combined with a Madagascar trip either before or after an trip there. This trip will combine the large and amazing Baobab Trees and the dry forest of Kirindy. Hopefully you can spot nocturnal lemurs, fossas, the giant jumping rat... read more

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive antananarivo (tana)

Welcome! (photo by Joseph Tenne)Welcome! (photo by Joseph Tenne)

Tonga Soa! Welcome to Madagascar! Upon arrival in Antananarivo (Tana, the city of a Thousand Warriors), you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. Then choose to collapse into bed, or fight the jet lag and explore a bit. Dinner is included at your hotel.

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
Ecole Lodge (or similar)

Day 2: tana

Make friends in the villageMake friends in the village

After breakfast, meet the rest of the group at a welcome briefing and get answers to any questions you may have about the adventure that lies ahead. Then, set out with your guide for a morning visit to the typical local village of Sarimanina. Here you will learn about the tribe's daily life, how the community is organized, and typical sources of income. After lunch, visit a school where you can interact with students, see local educational methods, and support the work of the teachers. The day will end with a folklore show performed by the people you visited earlier in the day.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Ecole Lodge

Day 3: andasibe

Spot a boophis frog at nightSpot a boophis frog at night

After breakfast, drive eastward to Andasibe. As you head out of the city you will quickly find yourself surrounded by the wild landscapes of this unique island. Reach the town of Moramanga by lunchtime, then head to your hotel and enjoy some down time before an evening walk. Your guide will introduce you to nocturnal creatures like the mouse lemur, as well as several types of frogs, insects, and amphibians. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Grace Lodge (or similar)

Day 4: andasibe

The highly-endangered Indri Indri Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)The highly-endangered Indri Indri Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)

Today is all about the wildlife! Begin with a hike in the rainforests of Analamazaotra Special Reserve (ASR), known locally as "Andasibe" after the nearby village, and also called Perinet Reserve. You'll be amazed at the game-finding skills and keen eyesight of your guides. As you hike through the forest, search for indigenous plants and animals, including the widely-known and highly-endangered lemur called the indri indri. Known by the Malagasy as the babakoto, the indri indri is one of the largest living lemurs remaining on the planet. The indri acquired its name when the Malagasy word "indry," which means "there it is," was mistakenly understood to be its name and not the exclamation of the keen-eyed guide. Wear a good pair of walking shoes today as you will be walking leisurely in the park for about 4 hours. 

Many other lemur species also inhabit the forest, including the woolly, greater dwarf, brown mouse, grey bamboo, common brown, red-footed brown, black- and white-ruffed lemurs, as well as bats. This 2,000-acre reserve also holds a world record for numbers of frog species among rainforests of comparable size.

After your time in Perinet Reserve, break for lunch, then head back out for the afternoon in nearby Vakona Reserve. At this private reserve, the animals are not in their natural habitat but your visit will support local jobs, adding value to the local community and especially preserving nature against illegal exploitation. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Grace Lodge (or Similar)

Day 5: andasibe/antsirabe

Madagascar has 75 species of chameleonsMadagascar has 75 species of chameleons

Drive from Andasibe to Antsirabe today, making your way into the highlands. Along the way this morning stop at a private reseve known by many names including Madagascar Exotic Park, Peyrieras Nature Reserve (after its founder), and the Chameleon Farm because it is the best place in the region to see the range of chamelon species living in Madagascar. After lunch, continue southward. The scenery along the way is stunning, including dramatic granite domes in places and picturesque terraced rice fields in others. As you enter Antsirabe, you may start to see pousse-pousse, or human-powered rickshaws, on the streets. These are one of the iconic sights of the town, along with the colonial architecture. The city is also known for its thermal hot springs and nearby highland lakes. Over the next two days you will get a sense of why this was one of the earliest parts of the country popular with tourists. Driving distance today is about 192 miles. 

 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Soa Guest House (or similar)

Day 6: antsirabe/ranomafana

Madagascar's flora is as unique as the faunaMadagascar's flora is as unique as the fauna

After breakfast, head out on a city tour of Antsirabe to get a deeper introduction to this second-largest city in the country. Although the area was pre-colonial Pacific kingdoms, most of the extant historic sites reflect the Norwegian missionaries who arrived in the late 19th century or, to an even greater degree, the French colonial period from 1885 until the mid-20th century. Your tour will include the Stele of Independence, a monument to Malagasy independence from the French in 1960; the colonial-era train station that no longer handles passenger traffic yet showcases stunning architecture; and one or more of the local markets, such as the Grand Marche or the Tsena Sabotsy (Saturday Market), that offer a fascinating glimpse into local commerce. You will also visit several artisans' workshops where you can see enterprising craftsmen turning recycled materials into works of art in order to make a living. You guide might also propose that you try a rickshaw ride this morning as an experience unique to Antsirabe. 

This afternoon, continue your journey southward toward Ranomafana National Park, still considered part of the highlands. On your way, notice the tapia trees, endemic to this part of the country. Make a stop at Ambositra, a town known for its talented wood carvers who not only produce magnificent pieces but make a show of their process. Arrive at your lodge within Ranomafana in time for dinner and a night hike. Driving distances today is about 150 miles. 

 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Thermal Hotel (or similar)

Day 7: ranomafana national park

Lemurs are everywhere!Lemurs are everywhere!

Enjoy a full morning hike in Ranomafana National Park, home to 12 species of lemurs, including the newly-discovered Golden Bamboo Lemur. The park also has very interesting populations of birds, frogs, 57 types of chameleons, beautiful orchids, and numerous other exotic flora and fauna. Return to the hotel a midday break, then return to the forest for an afternoon visit, taking a swim in the thermal pools, if desired, and visiting the park museum. Be sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes, as this morning's hike will be about 4 hours in the rainforest and cover a distance of about 2 miles. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Thermal Hotel (or similar)

Day 8: ranomafana to isalo

Ring-tailed LemurRing-tailed Lemur

After breakfast, visit a typical village of the Tanala tribe, a community concentrated in the Ranomafana area whose name means People of the Forest. Learn about the tribe's unique customs, like the culture of divination and the practice of avoiding being seen eating by stangers. Later, drive to Ranohira, your base for exploring Isalo National Park tomorrow. Make several stops along the way, first in Fianarantsoa a center of Catholic activity and a city with a charming historic old town and scenic views of surrounding hills. Then continue to Ambalavao, a fascinating and beautiful small town at the edge of the highlands with a winery, tradition of paper-making, and weekly cattle market. Nearby, visit the Anja Reserve, a community-run conservation-focused park where you are nearly assured of close encounters with ring-tailed lemurs. You will have an opportunity for a hike before finishing the day's drive. Driving distance today is about 192 miles. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Isalo Rock Lodge

Day 9: isalo national park

Refresh in the natural pools at IsaloRefresh in the natural pools at Isalo

With your guide, you'll spend today exploring Isalo National Park by foot. The park is as much known for its unique rock formations and wonderful scenery as for its lemurs. Hike to Canyon des Singes, where you're likely to see three different species of lemurs: the white sifaka, brown, and ring-tailed. Then continue to the Piscine Noire and Piscine Bleue pools, and on to the Cascade waterfalls. Then La Piscine Naturelle will be the site of your picnic lunch, and a swim, if desired. Throughout the day, your guide will point out typical vegetation such as the tapia tree, pachypodium, multiple varieties of aloe, and more, as well as lemurs, reptiles, and birds. Today is a full day of hiking. Distances covered will be between 5 and 6 miles with some ups and downs. You will pass thorugh forest, gardens, canyons and savanna. 

Later, if you didn't have time the day before, visit the Interpretation Center, where you'll learn more about the Massif of Isalo, its geology, history, flora and fauna. End the day by driving to Fenetre de l'Isalo, a rock formation known for providing a beautiful view of the sunset.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Isalo Rock Lodge

Day 10: isalo/tulear/ifaty

Majestic baobab tree (photo by Joseph Tenne)Majestic baobab tree (photo by Joseph Tenne)

Drive through the southwestern landscape to Tulear. On the way, stop at Zombitse National Park, known for its remarkable variety of endemic birds.  Arrive in Tulear around lunchtime. After a stop at the Arboretum d'Antsokay, one of the country's best-interpreted natural parks, continue along a sandy, bumpy road to the coastal town of Ifaty, your base for the next three nights. Today's driving distance will cover about 174 miles with stops along the way for visits and sightseeing. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Les Dunes d'Ifaty

Days 11-12: ifaty

Ride in a pirogueRide in a pirogue

On your first morning in Ifaty, we will visit Reniala Private Reserve, a small nature reserve that is nevertheless home to a remarkable ecosystem.  Walk the botanical trail, learn the secrets of the spiny forest, and see a variety of baobabs, along with the unique Didieracea and Euphorbia plants. Also see rare birds including the long-tailed ground roller, subdesert mesite, and red-capped coua. On the second day, discover the colorful village of the Vezo fisherman. This will be a delightful chance to encounter a community quite different from those you've visited earlier in the trip, and they'll enjoy giving you a ride in a pirogue (canoe made from a single tree trunk). 

Both afternoons are yours free to relax and enjoy the beautiful coast. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Les Dunes d'Ifaty

Day 13: ifaty/tulear/tana

Verreaux's Sifaka may be the most comical lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)Verreaux's Sifaka may be the most comical lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)

After breakfast, drive back to Tulear, then transfer to the airport for a flight to Tana. Domestic flight schedules are more wish than promise, but if all goes well, arrive back in Tana about lunchtime. Depending on time available, enjoy a city tour this afternoon including: the Rova, also known as the Queen's Palace, home to royal rulers from the 17th to 19th centuries; Independence Avenue, a bustling center of commercial activity; and Lake Anosy, a man-made lake in the center of town. Enjoy your final dinner as a group this evening before the group parts ways tomorrow.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Ecole Lodge (or similar)

Day 14: tana / depart

Farewell from your Malagasy friendsFarewell from your Malagasy friends

Depending on interest and flight times, your guide can take you to visit a local craft market as well as a Malagasy spice boutique before transfering to the airport. 


You've come this far...want to stay for more? Journeys has many options for extending your Madagascar visit, including:

  • 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.
  • A 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.
  • A visit to the north of Madagascar will bring you to the islands in the area of Nosy Be. Spend some time relaxing on the beach, snorkeling or SCUBA diving, or visiting nearby parks if you just haven't had enough nature. 
  • Or, a short visit to Ampijoroa Forest in search of the Coquerel's Sifaka and several other lemurs to add to your "lemur life list."
Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Relais de Plateaux dayroom

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$4,775
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates. Group size 2-6 can be accommodated but without a tour leader 2-3 Person cost: $5125 4-5 person cost: $4795
Single Supplement:
$950
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Sep 23-Oct 6, 2018
Sep 22-Oct 5, 2019

Need to Know

NOTE:  Madagascar frequently presents unique travel challenges. In order to prevent unhappy experiences, the traveler must expect delays, itinerary and hotel changes if circumstance dictate and other obstacles such as poor roads and vehicles that have been nurtured to a long life. Accommodations are some of the best available, but they are not without quirks and malfunctions such as lack of hot water at times. If you require more than basic food and comfort and are shaken by the unexpected, then this may not be the trip for you. On the other hand, if you are open to adventure and are willing to accept the unexpected, then you'll experience amazing flora, exotic wildlife and unique cultures. Given all of this, Madagascar is one of the true destinations of a lifetime.

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Comfortable and delightful hotels and lodges
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Several tough hikes through uneven forest, travel over rough roads
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Trips to Madagascar: Visiting the Eighth Continent

The name of the country alone alludes the exotic, the magical. From space, the world’s fourth largest island is streaked red, bleeding, eroding. On the ground, this magical place, …

Ring-Tailed Lemur and Offspring (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Ring-Tailed Lemur and Offspring (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Majestic baobab tree (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Majestic baobab tree (photo by Joseph Tenne)
New friend (photo by Joseph Tenne)
New friend (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Comical Verreaux's Sifaka (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Comical Verreaux's Sifaka (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Common Brown Lemurs (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Common Brown Lemurs (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Folkloric performer (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Folkloric performer (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Local market (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Local market (photo by Joseph Tenne)
The highly-endangered Indri Indri Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
The highly-endangered Indri Indri Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Cockerel's Sifaka Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Cockerel's Sifaka Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Comet moth (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Comet moth (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Local women preparing food (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Local women preparing food (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Red-Fronted Brown Lemurs (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Red-Fronted Brown Lemurs (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Lemur hat (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Lemur hat (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Uroplantus Ebenaui Gecko (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Uroplantus Ebenaui Gecko (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Pile of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Pile of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Verreaux's Sifaka Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Verreaux's Sifaka Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Mouse lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Mouse lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Four feet (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Four feet (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Pitcher plant (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Pitcher plant (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Tomato frog (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Tomato frog (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Golden Mantella Frog (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Golden Mantella Frog (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Parson's Chameleon (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Parson's Chameleon (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Large Green Day Gecko (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Large Green Day Gecko (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Green Day Gecko (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Green Day Gecko (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Giant Coua (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Giant Coua (photo by Joseph Tenne)
Chameleon
Chameleon
Lemur in sun
Lemur in sun

Madagascar: Lemurs! Lemurs! (Updated for 2018)

The nature reserves of Andasibe, Isalo, and Ranomafana plus time on the coast

overview

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 utterly unique. On this trip of a lifetime 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 the Perinet area. You will gaze out on seascapes, peer up into rainforest canopies, and wonder at rolling granite hills. You will also visit farming and fishing villages, and a school.

Whether your interest is primarily lemurs, chameleons, or the wildly diverse and unique birds that roost within the unusual flora, you'll revel in the wild delights of Madagascar as you visit some of the country's most renowned parks and reserves, all inhabited by a community of amazing creatures. The cross-cultural interactions are a delightful bonus in a place where people live surrounded by natural wonders. 

Note that Madagascar is a uniquely difficult destination and this is a challenging trip. Infrastructure challenges and crosscultural miscommunication present obstacles that even experienced travelers find surprising. Nevertheless, if you are ready for whatever the country might throw your way, great adventure awaits you!

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

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 utterly unique. On this trip of a lifetime 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 the Perinet area. You will gaze out on seascapes, peer up into rainforest canopies, and wonder at rolling granite hills. You will also visit farming and fishing villages, and a school.

Whether your interest is primarily lemurs, chameleons, or the wildly diverse and unique birds that roost within the unusual flora, you'll revel in the wild delights of Madagascar as you visit some of the country's most renowned parks and reserves, all inhabited by a community of amazing creatures. The cross-cultural interactions are a delightful bonus in a place where people live surrounded by natural wonders. 

Note that Madagascar is a uniquely difficult destination and this is a challenging trip. Infrastructure challenges and crosscultural miscommunication present obstacles that even experienced travelers find surprising. Nevertheless, if you are ready for whatever the country might throw your way, great adventure awaits you!

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive antananarivo (tana)
    Welcome! (photo by Joseph Tenne)Welcome! (photo by Joseph Tenne)

    Tonga Soa! Welcome to Madagascar! Upon arrival in Antananarivo (Tana, the city of a Thousand Warriors), you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. Then choose to collapse into bed, or fight the jet lag and explore a bit. Dinner is included at your hotel.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Ecole Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: tana
    Make friends in the villageMake friends in the village

    After breakfast, meet the rest of the group at a welcome briefing and get answers to any questions you may have about the adventure that lies ahead. Then, set out with your guide for a morning visit to the typical local village of Sarimanina. Here you will learn about the tribe's daily life, how the community is organized, and typical sources of income. After lunch, visit a school where you can interact with students, see local educational methods, and support the work of the teachers. The day will end with a folklore show performed by the people you visited earlier in the day.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Ecole Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: andasibe
    Spot a boophis frog at nightSpot a boophis frog at night

    After breakfast, drive eastward to Andasibe. As you head out of the city you will quickly find yourself surrounded by the wild landscapes of this unique island. Reach the town of Moramanga by lunchtime, then head to your hotel and enjoy some down time before an evening walk. Your guide will introduce you to nocturnal creatures like the mouse lemur, as well as several types of frogs, insects, and amphibians. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Grace Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: andasibe
    The highly-endangered Indri Indri Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)The highly-endangered Indri Indri Lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)

    Today is all about the wildlife! Begin with a hike in the rainforests of Analamazaotra Special Reserve (ASR), known locally as "Andasibe" after the nearby village, and also called Perinet Reserve. You'll be amazed at the game-finding skills and keen eyesight of your guides. As you hike through the forest, search for indigenous plants and animals, including the widely-known and highly-endangered lemur called the indri indri. Known by the Malagasy as the babakoto, the indri indri is one of the largest living lemurs remaining on the planet. The indri acquired its name when the Malagasy word "indry," which means "there it is," was mistakenly understood to be its name and not the exclamation of the keen-eyed guide. Wear a good pair of walking shoes today as you will be walking leisurely in the park for about 4 hours. 

    Many other lemur species also inhabit the forest, including the woolly, greater dwarf, brown mouse, grey bamboo, common brown, red-footed brown, black- and white-ruffed lemurs, as well as bats. This 2,000-acre reserve also holds a world record for numbers of frog species among rainforests of comparable size.

    After your time in Perinet Reserve, break for lunch, then head back out for the afternoon in nearby Vakona Reserve. At this private reserve, the animals are not in their natural habitat but your visit will support local jobs, adding value to the local community and especially preserving nature against illegal exploitation. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Grace Lodge (or Similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: andasibe/antsirabe
    Madagascar has 75 species of chameleonsMadagascar has 75 species of chameleons

    Drive from Andasibe to Antsirabe today, making your way into the highlands. Along the way this morning stop at a private reseve known by many names including Madagascar Exotic Park, Peyrieras Nature Reserve (after its founder), and the Chameleon Farm because it is the best place in the region to see the range of chamelon species living in Madagascar. After lunch, continue southward. The scenery along the way is stunning, including dramatic granite domes in places and picturesque terraced rice fields in others. As you enter Antsirabe, you may start to see pousse-pousse, or human-powered rickshaws, on the streets. These are one of the iconic sights of the town, along with the colonial architecture. The city is also known for its thermal hot springs and nearby highland lakes. Over the next two days you will get a sense of why this was one of the earliest parts of the country popular with tourists. Driving distance today is about 192 miles. 

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Soa Guest House (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: antsirabe/ranomafana
    Madagascar's flora is as unique as the faunaMadagascar's flora is as unique as the fauna

    After breakfast, head out on a city tour of Antsirabe to get a deeper introduction to this second-largest city in the country. Although the area was pre-colonial Pacific kingdoms, most of the extant historic sites reflect the Norwegian missionaries who arrived in the late 19th century or, to an even greater degree, the French colonial period from 1885 until the mid-20th century. Your tour will include the Stele of Independence, a monument to Malagasy independence from the French in 1960; the colonial-era train station that no longer handles passenger traffic yet showcases stunning architecture; and one or more of the local markets, such as the Grand Marche or the Tsena Sabotsy (Saturday Market), that offer a fascinating glimpse into local commerce. You will also visit several artisans' workshops where you can see enterprising craftsmen turning recycled materials into works of art in order to make a living. You guide might also propose that you try a rickshaw ride this morning as an experience unique to Antsirabe. 

    This afternoon, continue your journey southward toward Ranomafana National Park, still considered part of the highlands. On your way, notice the tapia trees, endemic to this part of the country. Make a stop at Ambositra, a town known for its talented wood carvers who not only produce magnificent pieces but make a show of their process. Arrive at your lodge within Ranomafana in time for dinner and a night hike. Driving distances today is about 150 miles. 

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Thermal Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: ranomafana national park
    Lemurs are everywhere!Lemurs are everywhere!

    Enjoy a full morning hike in Ranomafana National Park, home to 12 species of lemurs, including the newly-discovered Golden Bamboo Lemur. The park also has very interesting populations of birds, frogs, 57 types of chameleons, beautiful orchids, and numerous other exotic flora and fauna. Return to the hotel a midday break, then return to the forest for an afternoon visit, taking a swim in the thermal pools, if desired, and visiting the park museum. Be sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes, as this morning's hike will be about 4 hours in the rainforest and cover a distance of about 2 miles. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Thermal Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: ranomafana to isalo
    Ring-tailed LemurRing-tailed Lemur

    After breakfast, visit a typical village of the Tanala tribe, a community concentrated in the Ranomafana area whose name means People of the Forest. Learn about the tribe's unique customs, like the culture of divination and the practice of avoiding being seen eating by stangers. Later, drive to Ranohira, your base for exploring Isalo National Park tomorrow. Make several stops along the way, first in Fianarantsoa a center of Catholic activity and a city with a charming historic old town and scenic views of surrounding hills. Then continue to Ambalavao, a fascinating and beautiful small town at the edge of the highlands with a winery, tradition of paper-making, and weekly cattle market. Nearby, visit the Anja Reserve, a community-run conservation-focused park where you are nearly assured of close encounters with ring-tailed lemurs. You will have an opportunity for a hike before finishing the day's drive. Driving distance today is about 192 miles. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Isalo Rock Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: isalo national park
    Refresh in the natural pools at IsaloRefresh in the natural pools at Isalo

    With your guide, you'll spend today exploring Isalo National Park by foot. The park is as much known for its unique rock formations and wonderful scenery as for its lemurs. Hike to Canyon des Singes, where you're likely to see three different species of lemurs: the white sifaka, brown, and ring-tailed. Then continue to the Piscine Noire and Piscine Bleue pools, and on to the Cascade waterfalls. Then La Piscine Naturelle will be the site of your picnic lunch, and a swim, if desired. Throughout the day, your guide will point out typical vegetation such as the tapia tree, pachypodium, multiple varieties of aloe, and more, as well as lemurs, reptiles, and birds. Today is a full day of hiking. Distances covered will be between 5 and 6 miles with some ups and downs. You will pass thorugh forest, gardens, canyons and savanna. 

    Later, if you didn't have time the day before, visit the Interpretation Center, where you'll learn more about the Massif of Isalo, its geology, history, flora and fauna. End the day by driving to Fenetre de l'Isalo, a rock formation known for providing a beautiful view of the sunset.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Isalo Rock Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: isalo/tulear/ifaty
    Majestic baobab tree (photo by Joseph Tenne)Majestic baobab tree (photo by Joseph Tenne)

    Drive through the southwestern landscape to Tulear. On the way, stop at Zombitse National Park, known for its remarkable variety of endemic birds.  Arrive in Tulear around lunchtime. After a stop at the Arboretum d'Antsokay, one of the country's best-interpreted natural parks, continue along a sandy, bumpy road to the coastal town of Ifaty, your base for the next three nights. Today's driving distance will cover about 174 miles with stops along the way for visits and sightseeing. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Les Dunes d'Ifaty
    Show on a map
  • Days 11-12: ifaty
    Ride in a pirogueRide in a pirogue

    On your first morning in Ifaty, we will visit Reniala Private Reserve, a small nature reserve that is nevertheless home to a remarkable ecosystem.  Walk the botanical trail, learn the secrets of the spiny forest, and see a variety of baobabs, along with the unique Didieracea and Euphorbia plants. Also see rare birds including the long-tailed ground roller, subdesert mesite, and red-capped coua. On the second day, discover the colorful village of the Vezo fisherman. This will be a delightful chance to encounter a community quite different from those you've visited earlier in the trip, and they'll enjoy giving you a ride in a pirogue (canoe made from a single tree trunk). 

    Both afternoons are yours free to relax and enjoy the beautiful coast. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Les Dunes d'Ifaty
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: ifaty/tulear/tana
    Verreaux's Sifaka may be the most comical lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)Verreaux's Sifaka may be the most comical lemur (photo by Joseph Tenne)

    After breakfast, drive back to Tulear, then transfer to the airport for a flight to Tana. Domestic flight schedules are more wish than promise, but if all goes well, arrive back in Tana about lunchtime. Depending on time available, enjoy a city tour this afternoon including: the Rova, also known as the Queen's Palace, home to royal rulers from the 17th to 19th centuries; Independence Avenue, a bustling center of commercial activity; and Lake Anosy, a man-made lake in the center of town. Enjoy your final dinner as a group this evening before the group parts ways tomorrow.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Ecole Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: tana / depart
    Farewell from your Malagasy friendsFarewell from your Malagasy friends

    Depending on interest and flight times, your guide can take you to visit a local craft market as well as a Malagasy spice boutique before transfering to the airport. 


    You've come this far...want to stay for more? Journeys has many options for extending your Madagascar visit, including:

    • 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.
    • A 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.
    • A visit to the north of Madagascar will bring you to the islands in the area of Nosy Be. Spend some time relaxing on the beach, snorkeling or SCUBA diving, or visiting nearby parks if you just haven't had enough nature. 
    • Or, a short visit to Ampijoroa Forest in search of the Coquerel's Sifaka and several other lemurs to add to your "lemur life list."
    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Relais de Plateaux dayroom
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$4,775
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates. Group size 2-6 can be accommodated but without a tour leader 2-3 Person cost: $5125 4-5 person cost: $4795
Single Supplement:
$950
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates
Sep 23-Oct 6, 2018
Sep 22-Oct 5, 2019

Need to Know

NOTE:  Madagascar frequently presents unique travel challenges. In order to prevent unhappy experiences, the traveler must expect delays, itinerary and hotel changes if circumstance dictate and other obstacles such as poor roads and vehicles that have been nurtured to a long life. Accommodations are some of the best available, but they are not without quirks and malfunctions such as lack of hot water at times. If you require more than basic food and comfort and are shaken by the unexpected, then this may not be the trip for you. On the other hand, if you are open to adventure and are willing to accept the unexpected, then you'll experience amazing flora, exotic wildlife and unique cultures. Given all of this, Madagascar is one of the true destinations of a lifetime.

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Comfortable and delightful hotels and lodges
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Several tough hikes through uneven forest, travel over rough roads
Group Size:
6-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Madagascar Masoala Peninsula Extension

Duration: 6 days

Travelers will also have the option of extending their trip to include a visit to the Masoala Peninsula, the most biodiverse national park in Madagascar, with both marine and forest habitats, and over half of all species of plants, mammals, birds,... read more

Kirindy Pre-Tour Extension

Duration: 7 days

The extension can be combined with a Madagascar trip either before or after an trip there. This trip will combine the large and amazing Baobab Trees and the dry forest of Kirindy. Hopefully you can spot nocturnal lemurs, fossas, the giant jumping rat... read more

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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