Madagascar was separated from the rest of the African continent 160 million years ago. This results in the country's unparalleled biodiversity and endemism. Ninety-six percent of the fauna and flora is endemic in Madagascar and is found nowhere else. Covering an area of 587,000 km2, the country is the 4th largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo), so its environmental diversity rivals that of an entire continent (rainforests in the east, deciduous forests in the north and west, dense xerophytes' forests in the south, and forests of the high mountains inside the island). Madagascar is home to one of the most unusual collections of mammals in the world and has a remarkable diversity in terms of habitat and associated flora.
According to controversial scientific assumptions, lemurs have come to Madagascar aboard rafts made of branches and leaves while crossing the Mozambique Channel. Madagascar is the first country in the world to place primate conservation at first of its priorities: the island is home to a great diversity of species and has unique endemism in species, genera and families. Ninety-eight species of lemurs living in Madagascar are all endemic. In daytime or at night, join us to discover these wonders of the wildlife of Madagascar.
- The Special Reserve of Analamazaotra in Andasibe and its Indri Indri, Diademed Sifaka, and Mouse Makis;
- The Anja tourist site in Ambalavao with its Ring-tailed Lemurs;
- The Pangalanes Canal and its lemur collections: six different species of lemurs living together, not to forget the famous Aye-aye;
- Ranomafana National Park and its Bamboo lemurs, Simpona and others;
- Berenty Private Park and its Dancing Sifakas, Weasel Sportive Lemurs and Brown Lemurs;
- The Lemur's Park not far from the capital: a project for a re-integration of lemurs who have been held in captivity, into their natural habitat.
Arrival in Antananarivo and stay at the hotel Relais des Plateaux. (D)
After breakfast we head to Andasibe (120km). On the way, at Marozevo, we visit the Exotic Farm of Pereyras, where we can find several species of amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar. We have also the opportunity to see the first lemurs of the trip: the Common Brown Lemurs. Upon arrival in Andasibe, we go for a night walk to see the night active animals such Goodman's Mouse Lemur, Furry-eared Dwarf Lemur, Weasel Sportive Lemur. We stay overnight at the hotel Vakona Forest Lodge. (B, D)
Morning visit of the Analamazaotra Special Reserve to see the famous Indri Indri, Diademed Sifaka, Common Brown Lemurs. In the afternoon we visit the lemur island of Vakona Lemur to be familiar with the Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, Grey Bamboo Lemurs. Overnight stay at the same hotel. (B, D)
Departure to the east coast to reach Manambato (150km) where we take the boat and cruise on the Pangalanes Canal to arrive at the Hotel Bushhouse (25km). In the evening, we make an amazing canoe trip through the Nepenthes Lake to spot Eastern Avahi and other wildlife. Night at the Bushhouse Hotel. (B, D)
After breakfast we visit the Palmarium Private Reserve where a bunch of lemur species living in Madagascar is present: Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur, Red-bellied Lemur, Crowned Lemur, Black Lemur, Indri Indri, Coquerel's Sifaka and Common Brown Lemur. Afternoon visit of a nearby village to see the way of life of the fishermen and in the evening we go for a night walk to visit an island where the famous Aye-aye is easy to be seen. (B, L, D)
Morning start to drive back to Antananarivo for the whole day (250 km). Overnight stay at the hotel Relais des Plateaux. (B, D)
Morning start for a full day drive to Ranomafana (420km). Stay at the hotel Chez Gaspard or similar. (B, D)
Full day visit of the Ranomafana National Park where five different diurnal species of lemurs could be seen: Milne-Edwards's Sifaka, Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Red-bellied Lemur, Greater Bamboo Lemur, Eastern Grey Bamboo Lemur, and the lately discovered Golden Bamboo Lemur. Night walk to see Brown Mouse Lemur and with luck Greater Dwarf Lemur. (B, D)
Drive to Andringitra (160km). Stop at the Anja Site: this community based touristic site is a good initiative of the surrounding villages. They protect the nearby deciduous forest where more than 4OO Ring-tailed Lemurs live. We continue our drive to reach the Tsaranoro Valley. Stay at night at Tsara Camp or Camp Catta. (B, D)
Morning visit of the surrounding sacred forest where Ring-tailed Lemurs live in harmony. After lunch, drive on a good road to Ranohira (300km). Stay at Relais de la Reine, on the edge of the Isalo National Park. (B, D)
Morning visit of the Isalo National Park; we go for a hike through dry forest, nice scenery of the Namaza trail, to see Ring-tailed Lemurs and red-fronted Brown Lemurs. Drive to Tulear with a little stop at Zombitse National Park to see Verreaux's Sifaka. Overnight stay at Moringa Hotel in Tuléar. (B, D)
Upon the flight schedule, fly to Fort Dauphin and drive to Berenty Private Reserve. (B, D)
Full day visit of the Private reserve to look for the famous Verreaux's Sifaka, Ring-tailed Lemur. Other mammals could be seen like Madagascar Flying Fox and Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs. In the night we can find the rare White-footed Sportive Lemur, Grey-brown Moose Lemur and Grey Mouse Lemur. Night at Berenty Lodge. (B, L, D)
Drive back to Fort Dauphin to catch the flight to Antananarivo. Night at Relais des Plateaux. (B,D)
Visit of the Lemur's Park. In the evening, flight to Europe. (B)
Nowadays, Madagascar is home to more than 300 species of amphibians and 400 species of reptiles in which over 90% are endemic. This rate increases continually due to discover of new species in different places that have not been explored before.
Madagascar is the fourth biggest island of the world from its size and the origin of this unclassifiable land is in itself a travel. From Africa, from which it separated 165 million years ago, it kept the red earth. From Asia, where a large part of the population came from, it inherited the rice fields. However, Madagascar is neither truly Asian nor totally African; its original culture makes it the only "Afro-Asian" land on the planet. Eighteen populations share this territory of tropical forests, spiny deserts, and beaches with white sand, lateritic soil, lagoons and rock formations. This ethnic mosaic has forged over the centuries a system of authentically Malagasy values. Rites associated with the cult of ancestors such as famadihana, or the presence in the same country of African agrarian tools, and words of Asian origin, are found only in Madagascar.
Welcome to the country of endemism! Madagascar is home to a unique flora and fauna found nowhere else: 85% of the 12,000 island plant varieties live on its soil. The Malagasy territory has distinct natural environments that correspond to as many types of vegetation. The east coast, resolutely tropical, is characterized by vast rain forests and a wide range of palms, bamboos, ferns and orchids. The drier west is the country of baobabs. Seven of the eight different species of baobabs in the world are found in Madagascar. One specie (Adansonia digitata) exists in Africa, another species (Adansonia gregorii or gibbosa) is found in Australia and the other 6 endemic species (Adansonia grandidieri, Adansonia madagascariensis, Adansonia perrieri, Adansonia rubrostipa, Adansonia suarezensis, Adansonia za) in Madagascar with one who is present in Africa (Adansonia digitata).
South-East exploration by train (12 days/11 nights)
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