Set adrift off the southeast coast of Africa millions of years ago, the pristine island of Madagascar evolved in isolation from its neighbors, becoming both an ecological and geological marvel, home to 5% of all known plant and animal species in the world, 80% of which are endemic to the oldest island. While lemurs may be the draw for many to this stunning island, with over 100 species of the adorable creature, there is much more wildlife, culture, and nature to explore.
The flora and fauna species are truly exceptional, existing in a variety of terrains – from thick rainforest, vast desert, canyons, and sandy beaches to limestone pinnacles. Visit the thick forest of Andasibe National Park to trek the famed Indri lemur, the largest and loudest lemur on trails sprinkled with rare orchid species and elusive chameleons. Head to Isalo National Park in the southwest for sandstone mastiffs with dramatic canyons, gorges, swimming holes and fabulous hiking trails where you can spot numerous lemur species, reptiles, and amphibians. Or head to Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in the northwest, an other-worldly UNESCO World Heritage Site preserving 200 million year old eroded limestone formations that have formed a labyrinth of karstic pinnacles connected by jaw-dropping trails of aerial suspension. Madagascar also offers remarkable diving along one of the largest coral reefs in the world, abundant marine life, and pristine beaches on islands off the coast. The country is an amalgamation of French, Arabic, African, and Southeast Asian culture with the fusion cuisine to match. All this only scratches the surface of an island unlike any other destination on Earth, what many consider to be the Eighth Continent.
What’s To Love in Madagascar
Photo-shoots with the Lemurs
In Andasibe National Park you will find the Indri lemur, famed for its singing call, while in Berenty Reserve and Ranomafana National Park you will have the chance to see the tiny mouse lemurs, the bamboo and rare golden lemurs, ring tailed lemurs, and the dancing Verreax’s sifaka.
Take a Night Walk
Take a magical walk through the dark canopy of the forest with an expert guide spotting lemurs, amphibians, and nocturnal reptiles.
View the Avenue of the Baobabs
Visit the majestically lined road separating two of the island regions in the West with more than 20 Baobab trees, reaching ages of 800 years old, stretching to heights of almost 100 feet.
Encounter a Fossa
Hike through the dry, deciduous reserve that homes the largest predator of Madagascar and its lemur populations – the fossa. A relative of the mongoose distinguised by its catlike features, this predator stands just over two feet tall.
Snorkel or Dive Off Nosy Be
The pristine island of Nosy Be and several outer islands in the archipelago, attract snorkelers and divers vibrant reef fish, dolphins, whales, giant turtles, manta rays, and numerous species of sharks.
Visit and Shop in a Quaint Village
Stop in Fianarantsoa, ‘the three-levels city’, a vertically tiered city divided between lively streets with popular shops, modern buildings and businesses, and 19th century architecture and religious sites.
Feed a Furry Creature
Visit Lemur Island, a reserve filled with habituated lemurs, including the bamboo, black and white, diademed sifaka, and brown lemurs
See the Humpback Whales
Travel to Sainte-Marie on the east coast of the island to witness the spectacle of the humpback whale migration from the South Pole to Madagascar during breeding season (June-September).
Chill Out at a Fancy Resort
Madagascar has a few amazing, all inclusive resorts to end your vacation.
Catch Some Fish For Dinner
Fishing is a popular activity, where you can fish for species such as the yellowfin tuna, bonito, barracuda, black marlin, sea bream, or swordfish.
It is best to avoid the rainy months between January and March. Apart from these months there is really no bad time to go. April through June might have the occasional intermittent showers but the terrain is lush and animals are active and easy to encounter after the rainy season. July through September bring cooler weather and the start of the whale watching season. In September through November, as the weather begins to warm, lemurs give birth to their young, jacarandas bloom, and the predator fossas begin mating.
Typically for the type of Custom Itineraries we build, prices in Madagascar can run from $600 - $1,000 + USD per person per day, primarily dependent upon destinations, lodging, activities, time of year, and single or double occupancy. Quoted Tour prices include accommodations, guides, excursions, park entrance and conservation fees, equipment rental, ground transfers, and in high end resorts all meals and beverages.
Tour proposals exclude international flights, travel insurance, and gratuities. Each proposal will detail all inclusions and exclusions for clarity.