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Madagascar's Lemurs

Tour Code: MDG04

A 14-day holiday to the island of Madagascar in search of lemurs, birds and other special wildlife.

14 days from £3995(inc flights) Land Only Price: £3245 SRS: £550


Perhaps the most familiar – and endearing – of Madagascar’s unique wildlife are the lemurs. Today they range in size from the largest, the Indri, to the diminutive mouse lemurs, the smallest of which can sit in an egg-cup! This, our most popular Madagascar holiday, will take you lemur-watching within some of the island's very best wildlife reserves including Ranomafana, Andasibe and the bizarre spiny forests around Ifaty. It includes the opportunity to enjoy the enchanting dawn chorus of Indri families at Perinet, a sound often described as ‘whale-song in the trees’, plus the rare Golden Bamboo Lemur and troops of charming Ring-tailed Lemurs. Whilst the lemurs will no doubt take centre stage, rest assured that a supporting cast of birds, reptiles and other wildlife will not be ignored!

  • Encounter Madagascar’s lemurs (ca. 20 species usually recorded!)
  • Hear the plaintive dawn chorus of the Indris at Perinet
  • Spotlight for tiny mouse lemurs in the bizarre spiny desert
  • Experience day and night walks in pristine rainforests and bizarre spiny desert
  • A unique and endemic wildlife found nowhere else on Earth
  • Endemic birds – including ground rollers, mesites and vangas
  • Chameleons, Leaf-tailed Geckos and other reptiles
  • Small group size: 12, plus the best expert local guides and British naturalist
  • Spectacular scenery

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Simple but comfortable hotels and eco-lodges. All rooms have private facilities.

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur (Rob Hockney)

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur (Rob Hockney)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Tana

Day 2 Antsirabe

Day 3/5 Ranomafana

Day 6/7 Isalo

Day 8/9 Ifaty

Day 10/12 Andasibe (Périnet)

Day 13 Depart Tana at midnight

Day 14 Arrive London

Indri (Paul Stanbury)

One hundred and sixty-five million years ago the huge prehistoric super-continent of Gondwanaland began to break up. As the new continents embarked on their slow, inexorable drifts towards their present locations, the island of Madagascar was left isolated in an everwidening sea. This isolation allowed the island’s prehistoric fauna and flora free rein to evolve in their own unique way and, today, over 80% of all Malagasy wildlife is endemic, occurring nowhere else on Earth.

Perhaps the most familiar, and endearing, of these endemic creatures are the lemurs, one of the very first primate families to evolve and one that is now restricted to Madagascar. This 14-day tour focuses on them (offering an alternative to our popular and successful 23-day tour), and will take you lemur-watching to several of the island’s very best wildlife reserves, including Isalo, Ranomafana, Andasibe and the bizarre spiny deserts around Ifaty.  Whilst the lemurs will no doubt take centre stage, you can be assured that the supporting cast of birds, reptiles and other wildlife will not be ignored.

Our holiday begins with a flight to Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, known colloquially as ‘Tana’. From here we head south through the terraced hillsides of the Hauts Plateau to the lush highland rainforests of Ranomafana National Park, spending one night in Ansirabe en route.  Ranomafana is a beautiful mountainous reserve enveloped in lush rainforest. This is one of Madagascar’s newest national parks, established to protect the rare Golden Bamboo Lemur and its close cousin the Greater Bamboo Lemur. We will be based here for three nights whilst we explore the network of forest trails in search of a wide variety of lemurs and other wildlife. Species to look out for include the beautiful Milne-Edwards' Sifaka, plus Red-bellied and Red-fronted Brown Lemurs, Grey Bamboo Lemurs, the nocturnal Eastern Avahi and, if fortunate, maybe even the rare Golden Bamboo and Greater Bamboo Lemurs themselves. This is also a great place to search for the wonderfully camouflaged leaf-tailed geckos along with a variety of chameleons and other reptiles. Birds to look out for include pitta-like Ground-roller, Brown Mesite, Pollen’s Vanga and Yellow-bellied Sunbird-asity.

From Ranomafana we continue south to the sandstone massif of Isalo, stopping en route at the small reserve of Anja to enjoy the troops of Ring-tailed Lemurs that live there. The Isalo massif has been carved by the wind and rain into spectacular gorges and gullies. Fringing woodland is home to Verreaux’s Sifaka and Ring-tailed Lemurs, whilst on the surrounding dry rocky hillsides grows the bizarre Pachypodium roselatum (Elephant’s Foot) and other unique plants.

En route to Ifaty we will stop at Zombitse National Park home to Zombitse Sportive Lemur and a variety birds including the endemic Appert’s Tetraka. Once on the coast we will spend two nights at Ifaty to allow to us explore Madagascar’s most unique habitat, the spiny desert. Here huge Bottle Baobabs and bizarre ‘Octopus trees’ create a fascinating habitat home to Grey-brown Mouse Lemurs and the beautiful Long-tailed Ground-roller.

For our grand finale we journey back to Tana and then east to the rainforest reserves of Andasibe (Mantadia and Analamazaotra). Here we will enter the forests at dawn to hear the eerie cries of the beautiful Indri, the largest and most vocal of the lemurs. It is a truly mesmerising experience to stand in the forest at first light listening to the different Indri families calling to one another from the treetops, a sound which, once heard, is never forgotten. We will spend three nights at Andasibe to fully appreciate the sight and sound of the Indri, and the other lemur species present. These are likely to include Brown Lemur, Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur and Diademed Sifaka; whilst, if very fortunate, we may even catch a glimpse of the bizarre Aye-aye. Although sightings of this nocturnal lemur are on the increase, and past Naturetrek groups have been lucky, Aye-ayes are still a rare and very fortunate treat! We are sure to find plenty of birds, however, including Redfronted Coua, Madagascan Pygmy Kingfisher, Rufous-headed and Scaly Ground-rollers and Velvet Asity, plus a range of reptiles such as Parson’s Chameleon, Short-horned Chameleon or perhaps a Madagascar Ground Boa.

With the plaintive cries of the Indri still fresh in our minds, we must reluctantly return to Tana for our early morning flight back to London, leaving the unique creatures of this lost world far behind and returning to the more familiar wildlife of home.

Verreaux's Sifaka (Cathy Harlow)Red-fronted Brown Lemur & baby (Ed Drewitt)Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur (Ed Drewitt)Lemur Watching (Pete Kite & Cath Hamblin)Greater Bamboo Lemur (Ed Drewitt)Milne-Edwards Sifaka (Cathy Harlow)Hotel in Isalo National ParkBanded Kestrel (Cathy Harlow)Ring-tailed Lemurs (Ed Drewitt)Benson's Rock Thrush (Cathy Harlow)Hubbard's Sportive Lemur (Ed Drewitt)Fosa, Andasibe (Bill Tognarelli)Baby Ring-tailed Lemur (Paul Stanbury)Mossy Leaf-tailed Gecko (Ed Drewitt)Group at the Lemurs Park (Ed Drewitt)Troop of Ring-tailed Lemurs in the Namaza Canyon (Ed Drewitt)Berenty Reserve (Paul Stanbury)Ring-tailed Lemurs (Paul Stanbury)Antananarivo (Paul Stanbury)Short-horned Chameleon (Paul Stanbury)Lowland Streaked Tenrec (Paul Stanbury)Tree Frog sp. (Paul Stanbury)Diademed Sifaka (Paul Stanbury)Indri (Paul Stanbury)Highland scenery  (Paul Stanbury)Giraffe-necked Weevil (Paul Stanbury)Comet Moth (Paul Stanbury)Malagasy Striped Civet (Paul Stanbury)Rufous Mouse Lemur (Paul Stanbury)Female Red-bellied Lemur (Paul Stanbury)Red-fronted Brown Lemur (Paul Stanbury)Highland Rainforests (Paul Stanbury)Journey (Paul Stanbury)Adult Flatid Leaf-Bugs (Paul Stanbury)Larval Flatid Leaf-Bugs (Paul Stanbury)Entering Isalo National Park (Paul Stanbury)Sandstone massif  (Paul Stanbury)Giant Coua (Paul Stanbury)Verreaux’s Sifaka (Paul Stanbury)Group watching Indri at our hotel! (Ed Drewitt)Belted Chameleon, Ranomafana (Ed Drewitt)
J.R.
London
I most enjoyed the small group size, and the contributions of the expert naturalists. Cathy, our UK leader, was exceptionally knowledgeable and her understanding of the country and its wildlife, combined with her leadership ability, made it a huge success for me.
P.K. & C.H.
Lincolnshire
A unique experience; being able to get so close to the lemurs and other exceptional wildlife; amazing light for photography (even in the dense forest areas); good organisation and great company.
C.W.
Cumbria
This was another excellent trip which delivered everything promised.
K.S.
Hertfordshire
Claude was very good as a guide, relaxed and efficient with good level of knowledge and willing to share it above and beyond duty. Food exceeded expectations, far better than led to believe. Overall a very good trip. Thankyou.
W.S.
London
The guides were superb, both local - seeing the lemurs as we did was a marvellous experience.
J.C.
South Yorkshire
Claude Rambeloson was not only an excellent guide he was a model of what a guide can do. For example, he would make a point of asking me of I had got a good view of a bird that others at the front of the group had seen and if I had not got a good view he would make a point of finding it again for me. He did this repeatedly. He was well organised, knowledgeable, attentive, enthusiastic and charming company too. If there is any kind of performance-related payments for guides, he deserves top money.
A. & L.V.F
Netherlands
We couldn’t have asked for better tour leaders – Tony and Desi. They had an impressive knowledge and a great sense of humour. We had always travelled independently and never with a group before, but we really enjoyed this experience and will be doing it again.
S.V.
Jersey
Desire spent four hours and walked 10km on our penultimate day to find a Parsons Chameleon for us, a call way beyond his duty and we thank him so much for that. Roland our guide in Isalo also deserved a special mention for his friendliness and efforts to find wildlife for us. Also our guide in Perenty, Maurice, did all he could to find wildlife and make our holiday such a pleasurable one.
R.U.
Lancashire
...the holiday experience was superb. Dave Mallon was a great tour leader...he was great fun to be with and had a good fund of stories to tell without being over-talkative. Claude Rambelosen, our local naturalist, had a good knowledge of the lemurs, most birds, and especially the reptiles and amphibians.
B.U.
Lancashire
Dave was very supportive and efficient...his knowledge of the flora and fauna was impressive, and he managed us very skilfully. We had an excellent group of people and enjoyed a lot of fun too!
V.K.
Nottinghamshire
This was a truly wonderful trip, with a group that gelled together and some excellent sightings - well worth the early risings and long walks. Dave Mallon was, for me, the perfect tour leader, being not only very knowledgeable and competent but also entertaining and fun to be with. He imparted information well and his ability to communicate readily with the local people was a valuable bonus. He took great care of us both in terms of our physical well being and our enjoyment of the wildlife, always ensuring that people saw what they wanted to see - quite an achievement given the wide-ranging interests of the group! Dave was more than ably supported by Claude Rambelosan who was also extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and a good communicator. The local guides and support staff, particularly our driver and his assistant, were all very good and helpful. Maurice at Andasibe was a great character and an excellent guide. This was my first experience with Naturetrek but you will certainly be amongst my first choices when planning my next adventure. Many thanks
N.O.
Somerset
Excellent. We had some fantastic Lemur sightings and the other amazing wildlife of Madagascar didnt fail to disappoint either. The leader, Hilary Bradt was lovely , extremely knowledgeable and fun to be with. Her personal knowledge of the country meant that we got to see some extra things and experience some great local food which we probably wouldnt have done otherwise. Our local guide was fantastic also, and nothing was too much trouble!! Many thanks!
C.S.
London
This was immensely rewarding in terms of the richness and diversity of wildlife seen. Certainly one of the most fulfilling we have ever done. We cannot praise your leader, Andy Smith, too highly, he was caring, equitable and knowledgeable. An excellent trip, hugely enjoyed.
D.A.
Yorkshire
Excellent value, enjoyable trip.
A.M.
Northumberland
First of all, I would like to say that I really, really enjoyed this holiday. It was our first experience of Naturetrek...We look forward to our next trip!
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sat 14th October 2017 - Fri 27th October 2017

FULL

£3995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3245 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 21st October 2017 - Fri 3rd November 2017

FULL

£3995

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3245 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 22nd September 2018 - Fri 5th October 2018

YES

£4495

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3595 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 6th October 2018 - Fri 19th October 2018

YES

£4495

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3595 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 20th October 2018 - Fri 2nd November 2018

YES

£4495

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3595 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Madagascar

Detailed tour map

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Kerrie Porteous
Operations Manager

Email Kerrie

01962 733051

Tour Focus

BirdsMammals

Tour Reviews

I most enjoyed the small group size, and the contributions of the expert naturalists. Cathy, our UK leader, was exceptionally knowledgeable and her understanding of the country and its wildlife, combined with her leadership ability, made it a huge success for me.
J.R., London