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THE LOST WORLD OF MADAGASCAR

Madagascar truly is a lost world. Thanks to its long isolation from neighbouring continents, it’s home to some 2,300 species of plants and animals, most found nowhere else. For years, adventurous travellers have driven its rugged 4WD tracks in search of dancing lemurs, eye-spinning chameleons and that strange mix between cat and mongoose – the predatory fossa.

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INTRODUCTION

madagascar_web_mapPacked into the planet’s fourth-largest island is a landscape so diverse it astounds. Central highlands run nearly the entire 1580-km length, separating the tropical, rain-forested lowlands in the east from the drier, rain-shadowed lands in the west.

Sandstone canyons and red-rock formations, forests of limestone pinnacles some 300 m high, idyllic tropical islands, chains of freshwater lakes and mangrove lowlands create habitats not just for strange reptiles and mammals, but breathtakingly beautiful birds and a rich collection of plants, including Darwin’s orchid – the world’s rarest.

But perhaps the island’s greatest secret is also its most obvious – the warm and friendly people. The Malagasy are proud of their heritage and are keen to share their art, handicrafts, food and music (both spicy).

We are excited to offer two expeditions to explore this incredible island. On trips lasting three weeks each, our small groups will travel by plane, minibus, 4WD, canoe, boat, on foot and maybe even pousse-pousse (rickshaws) to experience cultural and natural wonders.

And while Madagascar’s most intriguing wonders are often found tucked away in remote regions that are often challenging to reach, we’ve chosen the most comfortable (luxurious even) places for you to
rest at day’s end.

Join us on a journey of wildlife and wonder as we explore Madagascar’s lost world.

Suggested Reading List

If you are curious to learn more about Madagascar we have compiled a list of appropriate literature that is available from our friends at Longitude Books or other good bookstores. Click link below.

Madagascar Reading List – Longitude Books

ITINERARY 2016

An in-depth exploration of the “eighth continent” takes us to the southwest to visit spectacular forest reserves where lemurs dance and swing through the trees, the limestone pinnacles and caves of Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park and the spectacular Avenue des Baobabs.

The highlands offer thermal pools, sandstone canyons and handicraft markets featuring traditional woodwork and papermaking. In the east we cruise freshwater lakes and lagoons to stunning Lake Ampitabe, heart of the Panganales Canal, before relaxing in paradise on Sainte Marie Island.

Throughout our adventure we encounter lemurs, chameleons, amazing birds and plants found nowhere else.

B = Breakfast,  L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Madagascar-Crowned-Lemur-ss_688329_resizedDay 1 & 2

We overnight in Tana, Madagascar’s capitol, then fly southwest to the coastal city Morondava. 4WDs carry us to Kirindy Nature Reserve, a dry deciduous forest where the carnivorous fossa howls at night and lemurs abound (as does the giant jumping rat). Birdlife and plants are equally unique. We reach Menabe Antimena Reserve for a night walk, and our bush camp in Marofandilia forest.  B, L, D

Madagascar-Catharanthus-ss_395649911_resizedDay 3

Up early for bird and wildlife viewing in Menabe Antimena’s dry forest and wetlands, keeping an eye out for the paradise flycatcher, giant coa and Berther’s lemur, considered to be the smallest primate. A seven- hour drive on rough tracks, including ferrying across the languid Tsiribihina and Manambolo rivers takes us to our comfortable lodge in the heart of Tsingy de Bermaraha National Park.  B, L, D

Madagascar-Green-chamelon-ss_68032324_resizedDay 4 & 5

We spend two days exploring tsingys (limestone plateaus dramatically eroded into pinnacles, caves and gorges) by canoes and on foot. World Heritage-listed, Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park is home to bats, lemurs, birds and plants adapted to these spectacular “stone forests”, some 300 m high, and offering fantastic views.  B, L, D

Madagascar-Coma-falls-ss_11517850_resizedDay 6 & 7

Drive back to Morondava, stopping for sunset at the beautiful Avenue des Baobabs. A relaxing night, then fly to Tana for a city tour and a visit to nearby Lemurs’ Park, where nine species of lemur roam free.  B, L, D

people_resizedDay 8 – 10

Travel south to the lovely highland city, Antisarabe. A cultural melting pot over the past two centuries, today it reflects the warmth of its people. Famed for its “pousse pousses” (rickshaws), gemstones and handicrafts, its markets are a delight. Next day we visit the handicraft markets of Ambositra, known for the fine ancestral woodcarving of the Zafimaniry people, and continue to Ranomafama, meaning “warm waters” for its hot springs.

Up at dawn for a wildlife walk in cloud forests of Ranomafama National Park to see daytime animals like bamboo lemurs. We return for a night walk to spot nocturnal lemurs, endemic frogs, aye-ayes and possibly even a fossa.  B, L, D

Calumma_Parsonii_Close_Up_Ste_Marie_Madagascar_resizedDay 11 – 13

We stop in Ambalavao village, famous for its Antaimoro papermaking (fresh flowers pressed in) and Anjaha Private Reserve, with its ring-tailed lemurs and in the sandstone, Betsileo traditional tombs. We cross the Horombe Plateau, with its Zebu herds, before arriving on the edge of Isalo National Park.

We spend two nights here, with a full day delving deep into the sandstone gorges, searching for dancing sifakas in the Canyon of Lemurs, and taking a dip in natural pools. Drive to Ifaty, a fishing village 25km north of Tulear to our bungalow by the sea.  B, L, D

Madagascar-Traditional-caneo-ss_81831379_resizedDay 14 & 15

We will spend a full day exploring Honko’s mangrove site and the village of Ambondrolava! Where we will learn about the regions ecology and culture. We will also enjoy a little leisure time by the sea at Ifaty before driving to Tulear, a city of bright colours and sensuous Tsapiky music to catch a flight to Tana.  B, L, D

Day 16 & 17

After visiting Tsarasaotra, an oasis and bird sanctuary for herons, egrets and kingfishers, we continue on to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park for a night walk. Star of the park is the indri, at up to 1 m tall, the largest lemur. But there are more than a dozen other lemur species, many endemic birds and more than a hundred orchid species.

After a morning in the park, we drive to Manambato on the Pangalanes Canal, a chain of freshwater lakes and lagoons connected by manmade channels to form a 600-km inland. B, L, D

Day 18 & 19

We travel to Akanin’ny Nofy (‘Nest of Dreams’), on the white sand shores of Lake Antibe. It’s a haven of forests, orchids, mangroves and palms. We visit the Palmarium, a private reserve of endemic palms where lemurs, including indri, sifakas, mouse and crowned lemurs, and the endangered aye-aye, enjoy complete freedom.

We boat cruise to Tamatave, then fly to lush Sainte Marie Island, or Nosy Boraha to the locals. B, L, D

Day 20 – 22

Deserted beaches, traditional fishing villages, coral reefs and a tranquil atmosphere of Sainte Marie Island add up to a dream place to relax.

Fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving, cycling and on our September trip, the possibility of watching humpback whales before they depart for Antarctica. In the afternoon fly to Tana.  B, D

Day 23

Morning visit to a traditional fortified royal settlement on Ambohimanga Hill, one of 12 sacred hills surrounding Tana, and the spiritual and cultural focus of the Merina people.

We catch an afternoon flight home.  B, L

Dates & Cost

Dates & Cost

28 May – 19 June 2016 With Richard Morecroft 23 days
24 September – 16 October 2016 With Sue Werner 23 days
Year Twin Share Single Sup
2016 AUD 9,990 AUD 1500

(Group size maximum 16 persons)

Please contact us for costing Ex Australia. All tour costs are land only exclusive of international airfares and taxes.The tour costs shown are per person quoted in Australian dollars and are subject to change due to exchange rate variations and other factors.

Please check with us at the time of booking.Traveller’s Notes: Should you be travelling alone and wish to share, we will endeavour to match you with a roommate of the same gender.

The number of single rooms available on each tour is strictly limited.

What’s included

  • All Accommodation based on twin/double share with private facilities at the best available hotels and lodges
  • All Meals as specified in the detailed itinerary
  • All transfers, sightseeing, boat trips, domestic flights and touring as indicated in the specific detailed itinerary
  • Tour Leader from Australia and local English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees as required throughout sightseeing tours/park entry fees as applicable
  • All currently applicable service charges and taxes.

What’s not included

  • International air-tickets and taxes
  • Excess baggage on any flight, vaccination costs, passport or visa fees and travel insurance
  • Any other meals or sightseeing not specified in the detailed itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone and other communication charges, personal gratuities to local guides and driver(s)
  • Any other item not specifically mentioned as being included.

How to book

Space on Adventure Associates’ Special Interest Land tours is limited to allow for ease of movement for an in-depth smaller group experience. To ensure your place on these exciting adventures, please contact us to reserve a place, then complete the Booking Form and return to us with your AUD 1000 per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: AU$1000 per person
balance due: 75 days prior to departure
If booking within 74 days of departure: full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Cancellations

Written instructions only will be accepted by Adventure Associates to cancel a reservation. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 100 days prior to departure AUD 500 per person
Between 99 and 75 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
Between 74 and 35 days prior to departure 75% of tour cost per person
On or within 34 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

Tour Leaders

IMG_0276-Henrik-Løvendahl-Guy-our-guide-150x150Guy Gerard Ratsarazaka

Guy is Malagasy and is fluent in English. He has been working as a tour guide in Madagascar for over 20 years. His knowledge about the country, its culture, history, flora and fauna is outstanding…

You will be very satisfied with his services. Guy will be on all our Madagascar departures.

Sue-150x150Sue Werner

Trained as a veterinary nurse, Sue has worked as an expedition leader, photographer and lecturer for 20 years, specialising in Antarctica and the High Arctic, but with trips throughout remote corners of the world, including the Amazon, Africa and the Himalaya.

She’s led trips to most coastal regions of Antarctica and spent three months in Grytviken, working for the South Georgia Heritage Trust.