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Madagascar: The Eighth ContinentJuly 7, 2014 - July 25, 2014
Priced from: TBD
This is a trip preview. The final itinerary, rates, expedition vessel, and leaders will be available shortly. Please let us know if you would like to be notified by email once this trip is released.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
An itinerary from a previous expedition is displayed below.
Day 1 USA / Johannesburg, South AfricaDepart the USA on your independent overnight flight to Johannesburg.
Day 2 JohannesburgArrive at Johannesburg International Airport and transfer to the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo Hotel, located outside International Arrivals. Your afternoon is at leisure before gathering at our hotel for a welcome briefing followed by dinner.
Day 3 Johannesburg / Antananarivo (Tana), MadagascarAfter breakfast return to the airport for your flight to Tana. Upon arrival we transfer to the Hotel Colbert for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 Tana / MaroantsetraWe depart for our flight to Maroantsetra and check in at the Relais du Masoala, our hotel for the next three nights. We then board a boat to explore the private forest reserve of Andrifotra. With luck we may encounter a male panther chameleon—in his breeding condition he is a sure contender for the title of “world’s gaudiest reptile!” An excursion after dinner may reveal some of Maroantsetra’s lesser known nocturnal creatures such as tomato frogs and lowland striped tenrecs.
Day 5 Maroantsetra / Masoala Peninsula
Today we set out with our local guide on a speedboat ride across the Antongil Bay to the Masoala Peninsula. The peninsula encompasses primary, rain, and coastal forests, as well as protected marine areas. Ten species of lemurs are found here, as well as the tenrec, mongoose, serpent eagle, and Madagascar red owl.
Day 6 Maroantsetra / Nosy MangabeAnother early boat ride takes us across Antongil Bay to the island of Nosy Mangabe. Bring your camera for some exciting opportunities to photograph leaf-tailed geckos, tree frogs, or perhaps even a Madagascar ground boa. We also hunt for the world’s smallest vertebrate, the thumbnail-sized chameleon, Brookesia minimi. An evening excursion offers our best chance to see aye-aye, the world’s largest nocturnal primate. We return to Maroantsetra for dinner.
Day 7 Maroantsetra / Tana / Périnet ReserveAfter breakfast we explore the Maroantsetra market, with fragrant vanilla pods and a huge variety of fish. Return to our hotel for lunch then depart for the airport and our flight to Tana. From here we drive to Périnet Reserve for dinner at the Vakona Forest Lodge where we spend the next three nights.
Day 8 Périnet Reserve
Our day begins at dawn as we await the morning call of the indri, the largest of all lemurs. Each animal sings in its own voice; the echoes tell each group where every indri is located on the hill. Other species we may find include brown lemurs, small-toothed lepilemurs, short-horned chameleons, and iridescent Madagascar tree boas. Birding is equally spectacular with endemics such as the Madagascar paradise-flycatcher and the brilliant blue vanga.
Day 9 Mantadia National ParkToday we visit Mantadia National Park. Home to lemurs seldom encountered around Périnet, such as the rare and spectacular diademed sifaka. The area also offers excellent sighting opportunities of the red-bellied lemur and gray bamboo lemur. In the evening we enjoy a nocturnal wildlife walk to look for the brown mouse lemur, greater dwarf lemur, and the larger eastern avahi (or wooly lemur). We return to the Vakona Forest Lodge for dinner.
Day 10 Périnet Reserve / Tana
This morning includes a visit to Lemur Island on the grounds of our lodge before our return drive to Tana. En route we stop at La Mandraka Nature Farm and enjoy a picnic lunch. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at Hotel Colbert.
Day 11 Tana / Diego SuarezAfter an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for our flight to Diego Suarez. Upon arrival we set out to explore Montagne d’Ambre National Park, a mountain paradise replete with waterfalls, pristine forest, endemic birds, and close encounters with lemurs. We return to Diego Suarez for dinner at the Hotel La Note Bleue where we spend the next two nights.
Day 12 Diego Suarez/ Ankarana
We depart overland for the Ankarana Special Reserve this morning, renowned for its dramatic landscapes including a cave system and a vast network of underground rivers. Wildlife is profuse in this park and we have excellent opportunities to encounter crowned, Sanford’s brown, and northern sportive lemurs, as well as the white-breasted mesite and the Torotoroka scops-owl. We return to Diego Suarez for dinner.
Day 13 Diego Suarez / Tana / Fort DauphinThis morning we visit Montagne d’Francais to view the impressive, red-barked Suarez baobab. We are also on the lookout for gray-headed lovebirds and the sickle-billed vanga. This afternoon fly to Tana to connect with our flight to Fort Dauphin. Transfer to the Croix du Sud hotel for dinner and overnight
Day 14-15 Fort Dauphin / Berenty Reserve
After breakfast we drive to Berenty, where ring-tailed lemurs, Verreaux’s sifakas, Madagascar sandgrouse, white-browed owls, and giant couas are plentiful. Spend the next day exploring the reserve including an evening walk. Dinners and overnights at the Berenty Lodge.