From 2 to 8 people
With its extraordinary biodiversity, the island of Madagascar has most of the present lemurs in the world. There are five families, 15 genera and 103 species and under species representing an inestimable biological, cultural and economic richness.
The destruction of the rainforest threatens these social and peaceful primates. Lemurs are some of the most threatened animals in our world today. However, numerous actions are being taken with the Madagascar National Parks Services, the local communities, non-governmental organizations, and the researchers to protect them more effectively.
We invite you to an unforgettable journey to meet these surprising companions, the perfect ambassadors of the peculiarity of the fauna of Madagascar.
Availability: April – November
- An experienced and passionate guide
- The meeting with a precious and fragile fauna
- Sanctuaries of biodiversity at the heart of unique sites
- The Coast of Vanilla, luxuriant and secret
- A rhythm of travel voluntarily slow
Antananarivo / Ankarafantsika (B)
Meet your guide at the hotel. We leave Tana to go to the Northwest by the RN4, and we will drive roughly 280 miles.
We leave the scenery of the Highlands to enter a landscape of shrubby savannah sprinkled with Satranas, a local palm tree. We will cross the big river Betsiboka and be surrounded by tropical vegetation.
You will arrive at midday at Ankarafantsika’s park.
In the evening, we go on exploration in the park to meet the five species of nocturnal lemurs hiding there: Mongoose lemur (CR), Milne-Edwards’ sportive lemur (EN), the famous Golden-brown mouse lemur (EN), one of the smallest primates in the world, Western woolly lemur (VU) and Fat-tailed dwarf lemur (LC).
Visit of the Park of Ankarafantsika (B)
The National Park of Ankarafantsika, which extends over 75,000 ha, is diversely comprised of dense and dry forests, grassy savannahs, palm trees, raffia, giant baobabs, and Pandanus.
It also counts some lakes sheltering endemic fishes, water birds, and crocodiles. Renowned for its rich fauna, it is one of the last refuges for numerous endangered species in Madagascar, lemurs.
We leave exploring the park on foot with our guide to see Verreaux’s Sifaka (EN), endemic to Ankarafantsika, Coquerel’s Sifaka (EN), and the familiar brown lemur (NT).
The park is also a sanctuary for birds; 129 species are listed, including the Madagascan Fish Eagle that is endemic on the island and among the rarest birds of prey of the world. It also shelters the Greater Big-footed Mouse and provides sanctuaries for breeding endangered rare tortoises.
Ankarafantsika / Antsohihy (B)
In the early morning, we will take RN 6 and head towards Antsohihy. We will be driving for roughly 250 miles today.
We shall see the beautiful landscapes of the North, sprinkled with numerous villages, and cross the river Sofia by the biggest and the longest bridge of Madagascar. This region is famous for the plantations of vanilla and cocoa.
We shall make some stops on the road before arriving in Antsohihy late in the afternoon. Antsohihy is a road and river communications center. Numerous lakes are in this region, among which is the lake Matsaborimena. This lake is the refuge of Madagascan pochard, a breeding center for an extremely rare duck in critical danger of extinction.
Antsohihy / Ambanja (B/L)
We leave early morning in the direction of Ambanja. We will stop in about 18 miles of Maromandia to visit a small, undercover villager’s forest reserve with a local guide. It is there that we are going to meet one of the most beautiful and of the rarest lemurs endemic of the places: the Eulemur Macaco Flavifron or, more simply, the Blue-eyed black lemur. The hunting and the destruction of its environment have put him on the list of 25 primate species the most threatened to the world.
We can also see the brown Maki, the Coquerel’s sifaka, or the Aye-aye.
We take back the RN6 early in the afternoon to Ambanja. Today, travel time is roughly 2 hours 30 minutes, covering 94 miles. We will pass through the village of Maromandia, which faces the magnificent archipelago of Radama, before arriving at Ambanja.
Ambanja / Ankarana (B/L)
We leave Ambanja to continue our road northward, traveling to the Sambirano region. Here it is a very fertile basin that enjoys an exceptional climate. It is rich in cultures and possesses extensive plantations of coffee, cocoa, and ylang-ylang, which generates the region’s wealth.
Our travels allow us to encounter numerous villages and to discover the abundant and lively local life.
We continue towards Ambilobe, nestled in the heart of the valley of Mahavavy, where sugar cane is grown. From here, we go to Mahamasina to the National Park of Ankarana. We will visit the park in the afternoon and the early evening. Today’s travel time is roughly two hours, covering about 85 miles.
Visit of the National Park of Ankarana (L/D)
We spend the day hiking in the park with our local guide through the Tsingy and the dry forest. The massif of Ankarana is a geological set of coral that emerged from the water in the Jurassic era. It formed this unusual relief of sharp peaks produced by erosion. In this stone-fortresses are unique flora and fauna with a high rate of endemism. The vegetation is composed of a dry, semi-humid forest that offers a tremendous botanical richness with 554 species, including 400 endemic to Madagascar. We spend the day hiking in the park with our local guide through the Tsingy and the dry forest.
Its fauna is equally impressive; there are 104 species of birds, including the white-breasted Mesite that exists only in this reserve, 19 bat species, and the rivers hide crocodiles as well troglodyte fauna. Eighteen lemur species, most are highly threatened that live in the park, including Diurnal: Greater Bamboo Lemur (CR), crowned lemur (VU), ankaranensis Sportive lemur (EN), Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur (VU), Sanford’s brown lemur (EN).
Nocturnal: Northern rufous mouse lemur (EN), Western woolly lemur (EN), The Aye-Aye (EN).
The Perrier Sifaka (CR) may also reside there, as observed in the forests near the park.
Ankarana / Daraina (B/L/D)
We take the road to Daraina, passing through small traditional villages. Surrounded by green forests, the town of Daraina gives us a glimpse of the beauty of the northern region of Madagascar and the Coast of the Vanilla.
The forests of Bekaraoka and Binara offer lush flora and an exceptional variety of fauna, and it is the unique sanctuary of the golden-crowned Sifaka, also called Tattersall’s Sifaka. They also house the crowned lemur, Sanford’s brown lemur, Sambirano lesser bamboo lemur, and the fossa, a small carnivore endemic to the island. We will discover them in the forest of Bekaraoka, about thirty minutes from the village. During our excursion, we will have the opportunity to learn the lifestyle of the miners as a search for gold, a primary source of income for local people. We will be traveling for about 80 miles today.
Daraina / Vohemar (B/L)
Daraina is a town whose community partners, with the NGO FANAMBY; the mission is to protect regions rich in biodiversity that are vulnerable.
This morning, we will go hiking in the forest of Binara, just 45 minutes from Daraina. This other observation site offers a luxuriant flora and numerous views. As for Bekaraoka, we also find lemurs, butterflies, chameleons, and endemic species such as Heteroscorpion Magnus, the biggest scorpion of Madagascar.
We will drive back towards Vohemar in the region of Sava, renowned for its vanilla. Vohemar was a prosperous commercial center between the XVth and the XVIIth century, and it is at present the only port in the North of Madagascar. Today we have a short ride of around 31 miles.
Vohemar / Marojejy (B/D)
We leave Vohemar to go southward and reach Sambava, situated between Vohemar and Antalaha; it is part of “the green Triangle.” The city is at the heart of the region for vanilla, coffee, clove, and coconut production.
We leave the coast traveling to the National Park of Marojejy. This park of 65,000 ha is covered with a thick primary forest, dominated by a vast mountain whose summit rises to 6,995 feet. It is recognized worldwide for its spectacular biodiversity, and scientific expeditions regularly discover new species, some of which are highly threatened.
Accompanied by our porters and our local guide, we will walk up to the park entrance. A night visit is planned around the camp to find the Rufous Mouse Lemur, the Greater Dwarf Lemur, the giraffe weevil, the frogs, chameleons, and geckos. Watch for the amazing Uroplatus, also called leaf-tail gecko.
Today we drive for about six hours, covering 168 miles, and we have a four-mile hike that should take around three hours.
Visit of Marojejy National Park (B/L/D)
We’ll walk to Camp Marojejia, which is very close. We explore the area to meet the one who is the park’s emblematic and celebrated creature, the beautiful and silky Sifaka. This is one of the three most rare and threatened lemurs of Madagascar, with the Perrier’s Sifaka and the Greater Bamboo Lemur. The Sifaka is nicknamed “the ghost of the forest” because of his long and silky white coat. The Lemur can jump from tree to tree, and jumps can reach 32 feet.
Our trip to the camp Marojejia offers us beautiful views of the granite cliffs and mountains where the Gray Bamboo Lemur, the Indri, the Red-bellied Lemur, and the White-headed Lemur hide.
The deeply jagged relief of Marojejy offers very diverse habitats which shelter a wide diversity of life. Besides the 11 species of lemurs, the park shelters 115 species of forest birds, including the beautiful Helmet Vanga with its impressive pearly blue beak and the Madagascan Serpent Eagle. Today we will take about a two-hour hike.
Visit of Marojejy National Park (B/L/D)
It is a new day in this park, a place of exceptional diversity, a paradise for amateur botanists and nature lovers. Marojejy contains 33 % of the reptiles and amphibians known in Madagascar. In this dense and wet plant universe, we find numerous species of Mantellidae, a big family of endemic frogs of Madagascar. We should also encounter tiny chameleons like the Naturelle Leaf Chameleon or Brookesia Karachi, the Dwarf Chameleon or Brookesia Minima, and the Uroplatus Phantasticus. There will also be many butterflies, including the big Madagascan Comet Moth, to observe.
The hot and wet wind blowing from the Indian Ocean provides a lot of rain to the park help create its extraordinary flora, including palm trees, bamboo, ferns, and orchids.
Marojejy / Sambava (B)
We head back slowly towards the Mantella Camp, the park entrance, and Sambava.
Today we have a four-hour walk and a 1-1/2 hour drive. Our afternoon is free to relax in the beautiful tropical garden of the hotel or enjoy the beach. Otherwise, it is possible to go downtown to interact with the locals. It is also possible to visit a cooperative of vanilla because Sambava is the center of vanilla production and provides the most significant part of the vanilla in the world.
Sambava / Tana (B)
Morning at leisure and transfer to the airport.
End of tour services-fly to the capital.
- Meet and greet on arrival at Airport.
- Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).
- Entrance fees where applicable.
- Tours as indicated in the itinerary.
- Professional English-speaking guide/driver guide.
- Travel Protection is offered on all packages at an additional cost.