Madagascar: Lemurs, National Parks & Coastlines (Christmas Departure)

Madagascar: Lemurs, National Parks & Coastlines (Christmas Departure)

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15 Days
From

$4263

$4146

Madagascar: Lemurs, National Parks & Coastlines (Christmas Departure)

15 Days

Visiting: Madagascar

Tour operator:

Wild Frontiers

Tour code:

CIM

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

From:
$4263
$4146 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$117

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

While the lemurs of Madagascar may understandably be the country’s major draw there is so much more to discover on what is the world’s fourth largest island. On this trip we will explore Madagascar’s incredible diversity of flora, fauna, landscapes, people and culture.

We start by heading south, following the main N7 route on a journey to a variety of national parks, including the tropical rainforests of Ranomafana, the rugged terrain of Andringitra and the sandstone massif of Isalo, all providing a wonderful plethora of flora and fauna and varying landscapes. In addition to this we’ll take time to walk through the beautiful countryside and have ample opportunities to meet the Malagasy people.

We’ll then head to the beautiful sand beaches of Ifaty on the west coast for the chance to relax and unwind, before flying up to Tana and driving to Andasibe National Park  – the home of Madagascar’s largest lemur, the Indri Indri.

Highlights

  • Explore four national parks on foot, in search of epic landscapes and wildlife

  • Discover the UNESCO World Heritage legacy of the Zafimaniry wood craftsmen

  • Take part in a reforestation program to help build corridors for endemic wildlife

  • Follow the call of Indri Indri, the largest living lemur, in Andasibe

  • Relax by the crystal clear waters in Ifaty, before enjoying a BBQ

  • Witness the second largest Zebu market in the country at Ambalavao

Itinerary

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Day 1: Tour Starts In Antananarivo (Tana)
Accommodation: Gassy Country House or similar
Meals Included: Dinner

The tour starts this evening in Madagascar’s highland capital, Antananarivo which is better known by its shortened name of Tana. Our joining hotel is located very near to the airport so there is no need to worry about any lengthy transfers after what is likely to have been a long flight.

Day 2: Tana - Antsirabe
Accommodation: Royal Palace Hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast and an introductory briefing we’ll start our journey in earnest as we head south from the capital towards Antsirabe, some 3-4 hours away. This journey through the highlands provides us with a taster of the stunning scenery that Madagascar has to offer with its terraced rice-fields and spectacular eroded hills called lavaka. En route we plan to stop in the town of Ambatolampy which is renowned for its traditional metalwork. Approx 4 hours driving on asphalted roads

Day 3: Antsirabe - Ambositra
Accommodation: Artisan Hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Antsirabe is considered Madagascar’s most elegant city as well as being home to more pousse-pousses (local-style rickshaws) than anywhere else in the country. We’ll have the morning to discover some of the craft skills for which this temperate city is well known, before continuing to Ambositra. This town is home to a traditional wood carving industry and you will be able to spend a little time here visiting some of the workshops to see how the extraordinary pieces are crafted by skilled local artisans. Approx 3.5 hours driving on asphalted roads

Day 4: Ambositra – Ranomafana
Accommodation: Centrest Sejour or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we’ll head to the villages around Ambositra to visit the Zafimaniry. This group are masters of wood carving and their art has been recognised by UNESCO, with their wooden huts elaborately decorated with carved windows frames and door. Practically all wooden surfaces – walls, posts, beams, stools, chests and tools – display detailed crafted ornamentation and it is a privilege to witness this art form which was once widespread on the island and not only now found in isolated pockets such as this one. From here we’ll continue south to Ranomafana National Park for the rest of the day, which lies in tropical rainforest typical of Madagascar’s east coast. Here, rather than rice fields or zebu herdsmen, we’re more likely to see small villages selling bananas or charcoal. There may be time this evening to take a night walk, hoping to encounter some of the endemic chameleons, tree frogs and mouse lemurs. Approx 3hrs driving on asphalted roads + 1hr driving on dirt roads

Day 5: Ranomafana – Andringitra Np
Accommodation: Camp Catta or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We’ll have most of the morning to explore some of the best trails inside the National Park. With our guide we’ll enter the rainforest in the hope of seeing, amongst others, the golden bamboo lemur which was only ‘discovered’ in 1986. In addition to lemurs, the park is also rich in birdlife, reptiles, butterflies, lichens, and orchids. The tracks are steep and can be slippery but we do not plan to cover a huge distance on foot as the emphasis is very much on experiencing the diversity of the rainforest. From here we’ll head towards Ambalavao, which houses the fascinating Anteimoro paper factory. Ambalavao has its market day on Wednesdays and also hosts the second largest Zebu market in Madagascar. This afternoon we hope to visit these sights before continuing south to the entrance to Andringitra NP, where we’ll transfer into 4WD’s and head off-road towards the impressive granite scenery and our remote walking base.

Day 6: In Andingitra Np
Accommodation: Camp Catta or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we have a full day on foot to take in the diverse scenery of Andringitra and the Tsaranoro valley, which is home to many ring-tailed and catta lemurs. This whole area is considered a paradise for walkers with its spectacular views of huge granite peaks towering above the valley. On our full-day walk today we plan to take in some of the area’s most diverse sights as well as meeting some of the Betsileo people, who mainly live as rice cultivators. Today's walk does involve climbing up and down over approximately 600 meters. If you prefer there are other walks available.

Day 7: Andringitra Np - Isalo Np
Accommodation: Satrana Lodge or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we head south west, passing through the immense savannah lands of the Horombe Plateau before arriving at our next destination, Isalo National Park. This is considered to be one of Madagascar’s highlights with its striking sandstone rocks formations. This stunning place will be or base for the next 2 nights, and we’ll take the chance to unwind and relax on arrival before dinner.
Approx 3hrs driving on asphalted roads + 1hr driving on dirt roads.

Day 8: In Isalo Np
Accommodation: Satrana Lodge or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We’ll have a full day to enjoy the delights of Isalo on foot. We’ll start with a short trek to a beautiful natural swimming pool and then continue deeper into the canyon. Isalo is known for its strange geological formations, eroded by the rain and the wind, which offer some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. This is also a place where the Bara tribes used to bury their dead. If we are lucky, we may see some ring-tail lemurs during our walk today.

Day 9: Isalo Np – Ifaty
Accommodation: La Mira de Madiorano or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The scenery changes today as we descend towards the coast via the lands of the Antandroy, a people of Bantu origins, and whose tombs we’ll see along the way. Our destination today is Madiorano where we stay for the next couple of nights at our coastal resort which is renowned for its excellent food. 1.5hrs driving on dirt tracks + 4hrs driving on asphalted roads.

Day 10: In Ifaty
Accommodation: La Mira de Madiorano or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we have the opportunity to relax and unwind in this idyllic setting. This morning we take a boat trip out to the nearby coral reef for a chance to snorkel in the crystal clear water and appreciate the sea life. We will then head back to our hotel for lunch where we will enjoy a BBQ by the pool. The rest of the day will be free for you to take a walk along the beach or have a snooze and chill out with a cocktail.

Day 11: Ifaty – Tulear - Tana
Accommodation: Gassy Country House or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depending on the flight schedule for today we’ll make our way to Tulear airport to catch our flight back to the capital, Tana. Tulear was renamed as Toliara in the 1970’s to reflect the Malagasy name as opposed to the French colonial title. The city is located on a broad coastal plain, surrounded by dunes and mangroves, near the Tropic of Capricorn in the Mozambique Channel. The Vezo are nomadic fishermen and the indigenous ethnic group here, but the city has spread and grown in population specialising in the import and export of various products including sisal, cotton, rice, peanuts and soap. En route we may well make a stop at the Reniala Forest or ‘spiny forest’ to view the wonderful baobabs and euphorbia along with many other species of plants. Once back in the capital we will head to our hotel for the rest of the day.
Approx 1.5hrs driving on dirt tracks

Day 12: Tana – Andasibe Np
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we take the National Road N2 to Andasibe, a journey of approximately 5-6 hours. This drive brings us to a humid part of the country through the green landscape of the east, with many primary forest and lakes. We arrive late in the afternoon where we’ll check-in to our hotel.

Day 13: In Andasibe Np
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we will enter Andasibe National Park and hike for around 3 – 4 hours. The National Park comprises a huge tropical rain forest in the east boasting a variety of nine species of lemurs. The highlight is the ‘Indri Indri’ which are the largest lemurs of the Madagascar. This 810 hectare reserve is home to other unique flora and fauna and contains a wide variety of orchids, a verdant canopy, endemic animals such chameleons, tenrecs, and many varieties of birds. After the hike we will take a stroll through Andasibe village, a typical Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village, home to Madagascar's second largest ethnic group, who cultivate rice and vegetables. This will give us an opportunity to experience their lifestyle and culture. In the late afternoon we’ll visit the private park of Vakona including an optional visit to the ‘lemurs’ island’ to hopefully see three species of lemur. It provides a perfect opportunity and great location to take photo of lemurs close up.

Day 14: Andasibe Np – Tana
Accommodation: Gassy Country House or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we will visit a tree plantation project close to Andasibe. Unfortunately widespread habitat degradation and deforestation has recently led to Madagascar’s unique wildlife being confined to small fragments of their former habitats. This project at Mitsinjo promotes reforestation and rainforest restoration and small rainforest fragments are being linked up by the planting of corridors, allowing the movement and growth of the endemic animal populations. Maintaining up to five tree nurseries at a time, Mitsinjo produces an annual average of 30,000 seedlings of up to 100 endemic species of rainforest trees per nursery. After our visit we head back to Tana. Depending on how we do for time we may visit the tree plantation on day 13 instead

Day 15: Tour Ends In Tana
Meals Included: Breakfast

The tour ends this morning after breakfast. Those on the suggested group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for the afternoon departure.

What's Included

  • MEALS

    14 x Breakfasts13 x Lunches14 x Dinners

  • TRANSPORT

    Minibuses, a domestic flight and an open-backed truck to cover the final few kms to/from Andringitra.

  • GROUP SIZE

    Maximum: 12

  • CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

    Contributions to climate and community projects for all bookings

  • EXPERT TEAM

    The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

  • ACCOMMODATION

    All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

  • ENTRANCE FEES

    All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

  • FITNESS RATING

    Moderate

What's Not Included

  • We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatoryTips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documentsInternational .Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UKAirport .Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights.Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

  • We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatoryTips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documentsInternational Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UKAirport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flightsBeverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

Visas

VISAS

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact a reputable visa agency. More details can be found here - https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/visa

 For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for Madagascar.

Passports should ideally be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the end of your tour.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

VACCINATIONS & ADDITIONAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for travellers to Madagascar For those individuals at highest risk please discuss with your local health care provider if a vaccine for Cholera is required. For any clients transiting for more than 12 hours through an airport/country with a risk of yellow fever transmission you will require a yellow fever certificate. 

For all destinations, please make sure you are up-to-date with any standard vaccinations (e.g. MMR, Hepatitis A, Tetanus) as recommended by your local health care provider. 

Malaria is present in all parts of Madagascar and precautions are essential.

For the most up-to-date information on all vaccination requirements and the most suitable anti-malarial tablets, we strongly suggest that you seek advice from your local travel centre or consult an official travel health website such as www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk or www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

Covid Testing: No mandatory testing is currently required for vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers.

If necessary further details will be sent out to you upon booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas & vaccinations are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Responsible Travel

With local people, culture and eco-systems in mind, responsible travel and sustainable tourism are at the core of Wild Frontiers. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our travellers but also benefits the people and places we visit.

When designing our tours, we actively seek out experiences that have a positive impact on the communities and precious environments we visit - from supporting social enterprises; resting our heads in rural homestays; and eating at locally owned restaurants; to helping fund conservation projects that protect wildlife and their habitats. 

Visit the Responsible Travel area of our website to read more, including the work of the Wild Frontiers Foundation through which we fundraise to aid community empowerment and education projects.

Key Aspects to Consider

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the activities are optional.

All walks are considered easy to moderate although some of the National Parks have some rugged and at times challenging terrain. If desired you can opt out of these walks if you prefer.  

You should come prepared for some for some long driving days. Conditions in Madagascar can be unpredictable and a flexible attitude is essential during this trip.
 

Travelling Solo and single supplements

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except at Andingitra National Park where, depending on the final number of clients on the tour, it might be necessary for you to share a bungalow for these nights. If this is the case we would reimburse part of the cost of your single supplement on a pro-rota basis. 

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

Insurance

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

Check out our Q&As

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We have a complete Covid-19 hub here: https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/covid-hub

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 70% of passengers on our group tours are solo adventurers. Unlike many tour operators, we don’t believe in charging solo travellers a premium, so if you are happy to share a room with a fellow traveller of the same sex, you will pay exactly the same as a couple..Occasionally you may even end up with your own room. You can travel as a single traveller on any of our holidays, from our escorte

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2002

  • Do I need to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with you?

    In most cases, yes. Not only are many destinations making double-vaccination a requirement of entry to the country and/or access to restaurants, museums etc., but additionally on all our group tours for the foreseeable future, for everyone’s peace of mind, we are asking that all clients be double vaccinated.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Catherine Wilkinson  

Catherine Wilkinson

My first Wild Frontiers trip blew my expectations away - I'm not sure I'll be able to cope travelling with other companies now!

Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Saturday

Apr 06, 2024 - Apr 20, 2024
$4263 $4146 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$117 (USD)

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Sep 21, 2024 - Oct 05, 2024
$4263 $4146 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 26, 2024 - Nov 09, 2024
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Saturday - Saturday

Apr 05, 2025 - Apr 19, 2025
$4369 $4249 (USD)

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Sep 20, 2025 - Oct 04, 2025
$4369 $4249 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$120 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 25, 2025 - Nov 08, 2025
$4369 $4249 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$120 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Dec 20, 2025 - Jan 03, 2026
$4406 $4285 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$121 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Wild Frontiers allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 90 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Wild Frontiers requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of wild frontiers charges.

    Up to 71 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 51 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • Wild Frontiers' COVID Promise

    You will have the right to transfer without any transfer fee, from any of our trips at ANY time if your trip is not Covid Viable (see below).*
    We will not ask you to pay your final balance if your trip is not yet Covid Viable.
    If your trip is not Covid Viable, by 30 days prior to departure at the latest, we will cancel your holiday and you can either transfer your funds to another departure or have a refund.**


    We will only consider a trip Covid Viable*** if pre-departure it meets all of the following criteria:

    There is no national lockdown or ban on foreign travel for the period when your trip is due to depart.
    Destinations on the tour must not be on the UK’s Red List. ****
    No destinations visited on the tour have in place any significant COVID-19 restrictions for travellers.
    Tourist visas (if required) are available.
    There is reliable airline access to/from the start/end of the trip.
    Following an assessment by both Wild Frontiers and our local partners we are confident that your trip is able to run in both a safe and enjoyable manner.*****




    ** If you were originally booked to travel before 30 April 2020 and transferred to a later date, or if you have a tailor-made booking, there may be some irrecoverable costs which we cannot refund. Please speak to us and we will be able to advise you if this is the case for your booking.
    ***Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is Viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
    **** This relates to bookings from UK clients only. We may operate trips to destinations which the British FCDO advise against travel for Covid reasons. If this is the case, anyone wishing to will have the option to cancel with a refund or transfer to another trip. In some cases we may choose to offer a tour to a Red destination but these will be at both clients’ and Wild Frontiers’ discretion and will be subject to alternative conditions to be discussed on an ad hoc basis.
    *****If a destination, that we have deemed to be Covid Viable, subsequently fails any aspect of the criteria for two consecutive weeks, you will have the right under our Covid Promise to transfer without any fees.

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