Proposed dates November 28th-December 9th, depending on domestic flight availability. Final price will depend on total number of guests so spread the word to keep the price down!
4 people $4,300/person
5 people $3,850/person
6 people $3,550/person
7 people $3,300/person
9 people $3,100/person
Note: This price includes a domestic round trip flight within Madagascar but DOES NOT include your international flight costs.
A portion of this tour will be a rustic hike-in camping adventure. Participants must be fit and able to hike several hours of moderately strenuous uneven forest trails. Primitive camping conditions will be described in more detail soon. Porters may be available to assist with your gear for an additional cost.
Day 1: Arrive in Antananarivo. We will meet you at the airport. Gather and socialize at the hotel in the evening.
Day 2: Transfer back to the airport in the morning and fly to Sambava. Sambava is a coastal city in northeastern Madagascar and a hub of the vanilla trade. We will stay at a beachside hotel in the evening.
Days 3-6: Marojejy National Park. Marojejy is a mountain covered in rainforest, but it is infrequently visited by tourists because it is not connected well to the rest of the island by road. The herp diversity of this park is incredible, with more than 150 reptile and amphibian species known from within its borders. There are at least six species of leaf-tailed gecko, three different mantella frogs, and almost 20 species of chameleons. Many of the reptiles and amphibians occurring in Marojejy are local endemics and not found anywhere else on the island. Marojejy is also one of the few places left where there are silky sifaka, an all-white lemur and one of the world’s 25 most threatened primates.
There are established safari-style camps with running water all the way up to near the top of the mountain. The first day we will drive from Sambava to the park entrance and hike for about 4 hours in lowland rainforest to Camp Mantella, where Mantella laevigata are all around. The second day we will spend a couple of hours hiking up to mid-elevation rainforest and stay at Camp Marojejia. The river here has brown-backed Mantella nigricans. On the third day, we will have a chance to hike further up the mountain to see the silky sifaka. We will be in the forest and searching for reptiles and amphibians the entire four days. Local guides will help us locate wildlife and porters will help carry our gear. The hike is moderately strenuous because of the elevation gain. Hiking poles are recommended.
Day 7: Hike down through low-elevation rainforest from Camp Mantella and then drive back to Sambava. Relax and recover at the beach-side hotel in the evening.
Day 8: Fly from Sambava to Antananarivo. Drive 4 hours east to Andasibe for a night hike in Mitsinjo’s forest. Mitsinjo is a community-run reserve next to one of Madagascar’s most popular national parks. The reserve protects mid-altitude rainforest and, at night, is a great place to find sleeping Parson’s chameleons, leaf-tailed geckos, tree boas, and tree frogs. Stay at a comfortable hotel next to Andasibe National Park.
Day 9: Drive east and transfer by boat to a hotel along the Canal des Pangalanes to see aye-aye. This nocturnal lemur is one of the strangest animals on earth and notoriously difficult to find in the forest. However, the hotel has a private reserve of sorts, including an island with aye-aye which are provisioned with coconuts for easy viewing at night.
Day 10: In the morning we will visit the Palmarium reserve for herps, lemurs, and pitcher plants before traveling back six hours to Andasibe. In Andasibe we will do another night hike, this time along the road between the national park and Mitsinjo’s reserve. If we are lucky, it will rain and bring out some of the more than 70 species of frogs in the area (and the wildlife that likes to eat frogs).
Day 11: On the last day of the trip, we have two options. We can split into two groups if desired. The first group can go on a nature hike in the rainforest to see Indri, the largest lemur, as well as diurnal herps like chameleons and day geckos. The second option is to travel an hour north by car to find golden mantella (or painted mantellas, if preferred) in less pristine habitat. In the afternoon we will drive four hours back to our hotel in Antananarivo near the airport before flying home the next day.
Day 12: Transfer from our hotel in Antananarivo to the airport and fly home.