Madagascar Reef & Rainforest

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-MDG022

From: £3320.00

This is an easy two-week tailor-made holiday in Madagascar combining stunning wildlife-rich eastern rainforests and a lovely eco-sensitive hotel at a reef-protected beach on the tropical Ile Ste Marie.

The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park protects 11 species of lemur as well as many reptiles including the enormous Parson's chameleon, and most of the country's rainforest-dependent endemic birds, such as the Blue coua and Nuthatch vanga. In th 10,000ha primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park, you can see the Diademed sifaka and a select band of other rarities not necessarily found at Andasibe ('Perinet').  

Night walks may reveal the localised Goodman's Mouse lemur and a host of other nocturnal denizens of the central-eastern rainforests. This area holds a world record for number of frog species among rainforests of comparable size. 

End the holiday on the balmy, tropica Ile Ste Marie where Princesse Bora Lodge is also home to a research project for the protection of marine mammals and a great place to indulge in some whale-watching from July to beginning September. Ile Aux Nattes is a must for any visitor - its a chilled islet off the southern side of Ste Marie which is easily reached by boat or by local dugouts or 'lakana'. There's a good pizza restaurant and in the woods, you may even see some Black and white ruffed lemurs. You can visit the World's only Pirate Cemetery and for a lovely day trip, go to remote Coco Bay up in the north, by tuk-tuk. 

This trip is perfect for couples and for families. 

Itinerary

Day 1 Fly with Air France from London (or selected regional airports) via Paris. On arrival into Antananarivo. you will be met and transferred to the Relais de Plateaux for a one night stay. This comfortable hotel, which has one of Madagascar's best restaurants, is just 5 - 10 minutes drive from the airport so very conveniently located.

Day 2 After a leisurely breakfast, your professional wildlife expert guide and driver collect you at your hotel. You will be driven 3 and a half hours eastwards along winding tarmac roads to Vakona Lodge in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Begin your exploration of the reserve in search of the iconic, ape-like Indri along with a plethora of other rainforest-dependent wildlife. Evening walk in the Station Forestier de Analamazaotra rainforest concession managed by proactive NGO Association Mitsinjo, for nocturnal wildlife. Stay 3 nights at Vakona Forest Lodge, Mantadia Lodge or Andasibe Hotel, breakfast, dinner included.

Day 3 Explore the primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park to seek Diademed sifaka, Black-and-white ruffed lemurs, the insectivorous tenrecs and the rainforest-dependent ground rollers. You may wish to take a picnic lunch and eat it beside a waterfall. In the afternoon you may wish to visit Lemur Island, where visitors go to get that 'lemurs on the shoulder' experience.

Day 4 Your guides will take you to explore the rainforest of Andasibe, where groups of Indri and other iconic rainforest species are readily seen along paths mostly graded as 'easy'.

Day 5 Much of the day to explore either more of Andasibe, or visit the rainforest concession of Analamazaotra across the road, administered by Association Mitsinjo which works with Money for Madagascar. Here, visitors are encouraged to plant an endemic endangered tree to offset their carbon footprints and literally give something back to Malagasy soil. (Pictured, courtesy MfM)

Day 6 You will be driven to the airport for the flight to Ile Ste Marie for a 5 night stay in a double charme bungalow at Princesse Bora Lodge, with breakfast and dinner included. Complimentary lodge activities include snorkelling, kayaking, use of bicycles, sauna, Jacuzzi and swimming pool. Activities with a surcharge include spa treatments, fishing, day excursions, rental of motorbike or quad bikes, fishing and scuba diving. Rates for whale watching (payable at the hotel): From 45 Euros per adult (and 23 Euros per child) for the first whale-watching excursion; 30 Euros per adult and 15 Euros per child for subsequent excursions. Transfers to Ile Aux Nattes (Nosy Nato), payable at the hotel: 12 Euros return.

Day 7 Enjoy palm-lined coves, discover the offshore islands such as charming Ile Aux Nattes, see the legacy of pirate and French settlement, explore the coastal bush and the mangrove system, dive the wrecks, snorkel, watch village life and in season, arrange unforgettable whale watching excursions through the hotel. (Please note that whales are wild animals so sightings can never be guaranteed: officially the whale watching season is 01 July - 30 September, but global weather patterns can result in unforeseen changes so in 2016 Princesse Bora decided to stop the season mid September due to lack of sightings at that time).

Day 8 Aside from rest and relaxation time, you could explore some of the island of Ste Marie, where attractions include the world's only pirate cemetery. (aerial view pictured, 2016)

Day 9 Relax on Ile Sainte Marie or partake in various activities which can be arranged at the lodge. (Activities are payable directly).

Day 10 Day to enjoy Ile Sainte Marie.

Day 11 Take the Air Madagascar flight back to Antananarivo. Here your guide and driver will meet you for a city highlights trip, time allowing. During this you can stop at one of the artisans's markets and at Lisy Gallerie for some shopping. You'll have the use of a day room at Relais des Plateaux if flying out on Air France early the next morning. Late evening transfer back to Ivato airport for the Air France check in (if you choose to fly on Air France). If you prefer to fly out on a different carrier, overnight with breakfast included.

Day 12 If flying out on Air France, you will depart Antananarivo around 01h30 and arrive in Paris CDG late morning. Connect there with the lunch time Air France flight back to London Heathrow or select other UK aiports). If you prefer to fly internationally on other airlines, please call us for a tailor-made quotation.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown

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