A NATURALIST'S GUIDE TO MADAGASCAR HOSTED BY CHARLIE GARDNER

SMALL GROUP JOURNEY
Destinations:

Africa & Middle East

$9,751.00 per person, twin share (Member)

$9,950.00 per person, twin share (Non Member)

Other Departure Dates

11/11/2018

Includes

  • All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities
  • Meals as per the itnerary and bottled water during transfers and touring
  • Airport welcome and assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Services of English speaking A&K tour escort & Guest host
  • All entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges, all tipping excluding A&K tour escort

Curious and other-worldly, Madagascar is full of surprises and extraordinary creatures. It has people, wildlife and landscapes found nowhere else on earth and a culture far removed from any of its near neighbours. On this fascinating journey you’ll explore the island nation and its flora and fauna with a wildlife expert who knows the destination and its inhabitants like the back of his hand.  Still largely untouched by tourism you’ll be dazzled by its rainforests, clear blue seas, white beaches and spiny forest habitat.

 YOUR HOST

Growing up in Africa and around the Indian Ocean, Dr Charlie Gardner caught the wildlife bug at an early age and has been fascinated by the natural world ever since. Charlie has worked as a scientific advisor for WWF as well as Madagascar National Parks and the award-winning marine conservationists Blue Ventures. He completed a PhD in 2014 and has published some 50 papers on Madagascar’s wildlife and its conservation, including the discovery of several new species unknown to science. He has appeared on wildlife documentaries and assisted with the filming of Sir David Attenborough’s BBC series ‘Madagascar’. Engaging and passionate about Madagascar, Charlie makes the perfect companion on this incredible journey.

Itinerary Details

Day 1

Arrive Antananarivo On arrival into the Malagasy capital you are met by a representative of A&K and transferred to your hotel in the upper town. ‘Tana’ – as the locals call it has fascinating traditional architecture and a more Indonesian influence than the rest of Madagascar. Your host, Charlie Gardner, will introduce himself and give you a briefing over welcome drinks and dinner in the hotel (D). Hotel Colbert (Le Caryon Wing)

Day 2

Antananarivo – Andasibe This morning head east to Andasibe, a stunning rainforest park, about 4 hours’ drive from the city. The park consists of two protected areas, the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Perinet is world famous for its population of Indri lemurs, which are the largest living lemur species. The journey to Andasibe offers first time visitors to Madagascar a gentle introduction to rural life with rice fields, redbrick houses and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables lining the route. Arrive at your accommodation 7km from the park entrance in time for lunch. Spend the rest of the afternoon at your leisure before joining a night walk late this evening in the forest surrounding the reserve with a local guide. You will see a variety of nocturnal lemur: mouse lemur, white footed sportive lemur, fattailed dwarf lemur, as well as the woolly lemur (B,L,D). Andasibe Hotel (Bungalow)

Day 3

Andasibe After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the 810 hectare Perinet Reserve in search of the Indri lemur. With a barely visible tail, black and white markings and a surprised teddy–bear face, this lemur is one of the few animals in the world that cannot survive in captivity. There are another 11 species of lemur to spot as you walk through the rainforest. You may find a troop of grey bamboo lemur, common brown lemur, Diademed Sifaka and black and white ruffed lemur. Birdwatchers should look out for the velvet asity, blue coua and nuthatch vanga and many more endemic species. Perinet is home to many reptiles, invertebrates, and some of Madagascar’s thousand orchid species. (B,L,D). Andasibe Hotel (Bungalow)

Day 4

Andasibe – Antananarivo Enjoy a visit to Lemur Island, a private reserve that protects a number of habituated lemur. There are four species to see, the bamboo lemur, the black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and one diademed sifaka. After lunch, drive back to Tana (4hrs) then continue to your hotel close to the airport (B,L,D). Le Relais des Plateaux (Standard Room)

Day 5

Tana – Ifotaka Transfer to airport for the flight south to Fort Dauphin. Lunch is included in town before onward arrangements. Please note that in order to provide you with exclusive accommodation at the Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge and Mandrare River Camp, your group will be divided. Group 1 visits Mandrare River Days 5-8 and Manafiafy Beach Days 8-11. Group 2 does the reverse. Your host Charlie will remain at Mandrare Days 5-11 while your local escort stays at Manafiafy. Below itinerary refers tour touring by group 1. Transfer by road to Mandrare River Camp and enjoy the majestic views over the Mandrare River. In the late afternoon, head out for a walk through the Sacred Spiny forest filled with the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe, as well as an extraordinary array of flora and fauna, unique to the spiny forest. Your English speaking guide and a tracker from the local community will introduce you to Antandroy culture and customs and afterwards enjoy sundowners on the river bank (B,L,D). Mandrare River Camp (Standard Tent)

Day 6

Ifotaka This morning visit the stunning Sacred Gallery forest south of camp. Depending on water levels, walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River to reach the largely deciduous forest. Inquisitive groups of ring tailed lemurs and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka are the highlight of this excursion. Return to camp for lunch and a relaxed afternoon. Around 5pm depart for a night walk in the Forest of Zenavo. This is a fantastic way to see diurnal lemur bedding down, and the nocturnal lemurs beginning to wake in the eerie and prehistoric Spiny Forest. Look out for Sifakas and sleeping White-foot Sportive lemur and once the sun has set, two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and now active Sportive lemur (B,L,D). Mandrare River Camp (Standard Tent)

Day 7

Ifotaka Another visit to the Spiny Forest for an early morning walk. Witness the sunlight break through the octopus trees while looking out for the many endemic birds such as Crested Coua, a variety of Vangas and the Running Coua. Return to camp for breakfast followed by a visit to the local market (Thursdays and Saturdays) or the local village to meet members of the fascinating Antandroy tribe. A relaxed afternoon watching life along the river from your tent terrace. This evening, memorable sundowners are included amidst the baobabs as the sun sets and the moon rises, views across the baobabs to the mountains beyond are magical. Later on a traditional performance by the villagers (B,L,D). Mandrare River Camp (Standard Tent)

Day 8

Ifotaka - Manafiafy Beach Return to Fort Dauphin for lunch and this afternoon transfer to Manafiafy Beach. Also known as Sainte Luce, Manafiafy is a beautiful sandy bay, fringed with forest covered mountains and wildlife rich mangroves. On arrival check into your luxury bungalow, go for an afternoon swim and sip a cocktail as the sun sets over the bay (B,L,D). Manafiafy Lodge (Bungalow)

Day 9

Manafiafy Beach Two days to do as you please. The lodge offers a wide range of wildlife and sporting activities which are all included: day and night walks in the rainforest to see five species of lemur, snorkelling in the bay and nearby cove, kayaking and scenic boat trips to the mangroves, a 15ft whale watching tower (June to December), boat trips to the nearby islands for a secluded picnic lunch, walks along long empty beaches, trips to the local village and school, supported by the lodge (B,L,D). Manafiafy Lodge (Bungalow)

Day 10

Manafiafy Beach Free Day to enjoy!

Day 11

Manafiafy - Antananarivo This morning return to by road to Fort Dauphin airport where the group reunites for the flight back to Tana. This evening farewell cocktails and dinner is planned at Le Café de la Gare, a lovely restaurant in Tana’s abandoned central railway station. This typically French station was built in 1910 (B,D). Hotel Colbert (Le Caryon Wing)

Day 12

Depart Tana Transfer airport for departure flight (B).

Price is based on 5 August 2018 departure. International airfares and visas are additional. The prices, dates and information supplied are valid at the time of the web page going live, however prices and itinerary are subject to change or may be withdrawn at any time. Please confirm all details and final cost with your consultant at the time of booking. Product is supplied by A&K. For full terms and conditions please contact your travel consultant or refer to the terms and conditions on the supplier’s website.