Day 1: Arrival in Tana
After arriving in Antananarivo (or Tana, as it is known by the locals) late pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Ambohitantely National Reserve (B,L,D)
After breakfast you will meet your guide and we will head towards Ambohitantely National Reserve (approx. 3 hrs). This afternoon we will spend the time hiking through this special reserve which protects the last of the original highlands forest. It is known for its astonishing populations of palms and is also inhabited by 12 mammal species including the common brown lemur. It is also a great location to see birds – with over 48 species including the Madagascar crested Ibis.
We will stay overnight in camp
Days 3: Ankarafantsika National Park (B,L,D)
We will spend the morning trekking this reserve again before heading back to our car for our transfer Ankarafantsika (approx. 5 hr transfer). Ankarafantsika National Park is situated on Lac Ravelobe and is a den of birds and lemurs, including being the home to the beautiful Coquerel’s sifaka as well as 7 other species of lemurs (inc. western woolly, fat tailed dwarf lemur, mongoose lemurs) and exceptional birds (including roufous vanga and fish eagle). There is an organized network of paths that is perfect for wildlife viewing. Tonight we will take a night walk to see some of the nocturnal species which are particularly prevalent in this park (including mouse lemur). We will overnight at the bungalows in the national park – these are set discreetly in the forest and face Lake Ravelobe. They are clean, comfortable and simple, and are ideal for us to get an early start in the forest tomorrow (being a 2 min walk from the park entrance).
Day 4: Exploring the forest (B,L,D)
We set off after breakfast to explore this forest on foot, a superb and fauna rich day hike. We will take a picnic lunch to have on the trail in the national park. After dinner we will have the option of setting out on a night hike again to see some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the forest.
Day 5: To Ambanja (B,L)
Today we will spend much of the day driving (approx. 7hours) as we head for Ambanja. This is a long day, but scenic and the roads are good. Along the way we will pass through villages and animated markets so there is always something to look at en-route. Ambanja is a small, tree-lined town, set amongst lush scenery on the Sambirano river and it gives you a chance to experience rural Northern Madagascar. Tonight we will sleep in lovely bungalows on the beach.
Day 6: Ankarana (B,L,D)
This morning we head to Ankarana (approx. 2 hrs by road). Upon arrival we will set up our camp and we will then get a chance to explore. The camp is very basic but allows us to explore deep in the park.
Day 7: Ankarana Special Reserve (B,L,D)
Ankarana Special Reserve covers 18,220ha and is known for its limestone karst pinnacles called Tsingy along with its extensive cave system and network of underground rivers – some of which contain crocodiles. Ankarana possibly has the highest density of primates of any forest in the world and here we may see the crowned lemur, Sanford’s brown lemur, Perrieri’s (black sifaka) lemur, the northern sportive lemur and dwarf lemurs as well as a variety of chameleons and leaf-tailed Uroplatus gecko and great flora. Today will be spent exploring this amazing park along with the Tsingy and the canyons. The trails are not easy but are feasible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness and we recommend visiting this park in the dry season (May-Nov).
Day 8: Jofreville and Montagne d’Ambre (B,L,D)
Today we head to Jofreville (approx. 3 hrs on a slightly bumpy road) and the Montagne d’Ambre – the Amber Mountain. This was Madagascar’s first National Park and is a stunning area comprising of a huge tropical forest with waterfalls and volcanic lakes and it is rich in both plant (including orchids) and animal life. There are numerous animals that inhabit this national park including the ring-tailed mongoose, the fossa and 8 species of lemurs. It is also home to 75 bird species – 35 of them are endemic, 60 types of reptiles, 35 types of frogs and 40 species of butterfly. Lemurs are usually seen and chameleons are abundant here. Due to its relative proximity to Diego, this park can get quite busy (by Madagascan standards) in the high season, however it is really worth visiting.
After spending the last couple of nights camping, our accommodation whilst here will be the charming boutique hotel The Litchi Tree
Day 9: Montagne d’Ambre ( B,L,D)
Today we will spend the day exploring the forest trails and waterfalls in the Montagne d’Ambre.
Overnight hotel – The Litchi Tree
Day 10: Montagne de Francis (B,L,D)
Today we head to Montagne de Francais, just a short 2hrs by road, but a very different environment – a tropical dry forest with Baobab trees, caves, fish eagles and lemurs .We will have a unique experience here as we will overnight in the tree bungalows – literally huts built in trees – so very close to nature!
Overnight – Tree bungalow
Day 11: Diego to Tana for flight home (B,L,D)
We head to Diego, where we will take an Air Madagascar flight back to Tana. Depending on time of arrival you will have the option of a visit to the handicraft market and also day use of a hotel. International flights are usually at 01:00hrs. Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home
Day 12: Flight home
NB:This is the Wild North and is not on the usual tourist route, so the accommodation quality does vary.
Price per person sharing: 2274 GBP (subject to change and availabilty)
All meals as described (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Accommodation as described
English speaking Madagascan naturalist guide from day 2 – day 11
Local guides within the national parks
Driver and vehicle
Internal flight ticket
All entrance fees
Meals other than mentioned
Alcoholic and soft drinks (water included)