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Western Madagascar - Baobabs, Forests & Fosas!

Tour Code: MDG06

A 12-day holiday to the deserts and forests of western Madagascar in search of the island's unique wildlife and spectacular landscapes.

dates & prices to be confirmed Land Only Price: £ SRS: £

Madagascar is unlike any other place on Earth and boasts a unique flora and fauna. This tour focuses on the little-explored west coast of the country. After arriving in the island’s capital, Antananarivo (‘Tana’ for short) we will fly west to the coastal town of Morondava. From there we will drive north, through the stunning ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’ to Kirindy Special Reserve, one of the best places for seeing Fosa as well as a host of other wildlife including lemurs, Malagasy mongooses and the endangered Giant Jumping Rat. Next we continue north to the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, home to lemurs such as Decken’s Sifaka as well as the critically endangered Madagascar Fish Eagle and the secretive Tsingy Wood Rail. Ankarafantsika National Park is our next base, its dry deciduous forests home to a wide

  • Drive through the famous ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’
  • Look for Fosas during their mating season, Kirindy
  • Verreaux’s Sifaka, Coquerel’s Giant Dwarf Lemur & Red-tailed Sportive Lemur, Kirindy
  • Look for Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, the world’s smallest primate (10 cm long)
  • Visit Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, home to 11 species of lemur
    Look for Giant, Crested & Coquerel’s Couas, Tsingy
  • Coquerel’s Sifaka, Western Avahi & the rare Golden-brown Mouse Lemur, Ankarafantsika
  • Van Dam’s Vanga, Shlegel’s Asity & White-breasted Mesite among birdlife, Ankarafantsika
  • Look for reptiles including Rhinoceros Chameleon & Madagascar Tree Boa
  • Two post-tour extensions recommended
  • Led by expert naturalists



All included in the price.


Generally simple but comfortable hotels with private facilities, though permanent en-suite tents are used at Kirindy.

Crested Coua

Crested Coua

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Tana.

Day 2 Fly Morondava and transfer Kirindy.

Day 3 Kirindy Special Reserve.

Day 4/6 Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park.

Day 7 Mahajanga.

Day 8/10 Ankaranfatsika National Park.

Day 11 Fly Tana.

Day 12 Depart Tana and arriveLondon.

There is nowhere else on Earth quite like Madagascar! It is a truly unique island where evolution has taken its own distinctive journey, free from the shackles of mainland Africa for over 160 million years. It is also an island of wonderful contrasts, from the moist rainsoaked mountains of the east to the hot sandy deserts and dry forests of the west. The national parks and reserves that dot Madagascar’s western coastline are home to some of the island’s most exciting wildlife and spectacular landscapes. Here you can journey through the famous ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’ en route to Kirindy Reserve, lair of the Fosa — Madagascar’s largest predator — and home of the diminutive Madame-Berthe’s Mouse Lemur, the smallest primate in the world! To the north the landscape erupts into the jagged limestone ‘tsingy’ of Bemaraha National Park, whilst further north still lies Ankarafantsika National Park, the wooded residence of endemic birds such as Schlegel’s Asity and the Coquerel’s Sifaka, one of the most attractive of the island’s universally endearing lemurs.

We begin our holiday with a flight to Antananarivo (known as ‘Tana’), followed by a short domestic flight westwards to the coastal town of Morondava. From here we head north, stopping en route to appreciate the stunning Avenue of the Baobabs and the spectacular natural cathedral of Grandidier’s Baobabs found there. Before long we arrive at Kirindy Special Reserve, our base for the next two nights. Kirindy is one of the few places in Madagascar in which the enigmatic Fosa (pronounced ‘foosa’) is regularly seen. We will look for this powerful animal both in the trees, where they can be seen during the mating season, as well as around the camp itself. During the day, Verreaux’s Sifakas and Red-fronted Brown Lemurs are both commonly seen, whilst at night, the nocturnal lemurs we will look for include Pale Fork-marked Lemur, Red-tailed Sportive Lemur and the beautiful caramel-coloured, and wonderfully named, Coquerel’s Giant Dwarf Lemur. We have a chance of finding the tiny Madame-Berthe’s Mouse Lemur here; this lemur is widely believed to be the world’s smallest primate, at less than 10 centimetres long and weighing only 30 grams! Kirindy is also one of the few places where we may see the beautiful Narrow-striped Mongoose (or ‘Boky-boky’) and is indeed the only place that offers us a chance of finding one of the most endangered mammals in Madagascar, the Giant Jumping Rat. This bizarre animal, which looks somewhat like a cross between a rabbit and a bandicoot, has a very restricted range, most of which lies within the Kirindy Special Reserve.

Next, we continue our drive north to one of Madagascar’s iconic natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park. This wonderful reserve is dominated by jagged ‘tsingy’ peaks and limestone pinnacles, with splashes of green Pachypodium clinging to the rock crevices. The spectacular canyon of the Manambolo River marks the entrance to the park, and the forests within provide a home for 11 species of lemur including Decken’s Sifaka, Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Cleese’s Avahi (named after actor John Cleese!) and Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur. Nearby the lakes and mangroves are home to the critically endangered Madagascan Fish Eagle, Madagascar Crested Ibis and Bernier’s Teal. Amongst the limestone forest we will look for Giant, Crested and Coquerel’s Couas, and those with a very keen eye might spot the secretive Tsingy Wood Rail which was first described in 2011, or the tiny Antsingy Leaf Chameleon, Brookesia perarmata.

After three nights surrounded by the jagged limestone ‘tsingy’ it will be time to move north once again, but this time we fly by private plane directly to Mahajanga, and travel onwards by road to the Ampijoroa Forestry Station in Ankarafantsika National Park for a 3-night stay. The park protects some of the island’s very best deciduous dry forests and is home to a wide diversity of mammals including the beautiful Coquerel’s Sifaka, Western Avahi and the rare Golden-brown Mouse Lemur. Early morning walks may also yield such birds as Van Dam’s Vanga, Schlegel’s Asity and White-breasted Mesite, plus a variety of reptiles including Rhinoceros Chameleon, Madagascar Tree Boa and Giant Hognosed Snake.

Finally, with our heads and hearts filled with the sights and sounds of western Madagascar, we return to Mahajanga for a short flight back to Tana, and our onward journey home. For those wishing to extend their holiday we offer two possibilities. You may choose to fly north by private plane to enjoy the sandy beaches, forest wildlife and coral reefs of the Mozambique Channel from the beautiful resort of Anjajavy, or you may prefer to travel east by road to experience the fantastic rainforest wildlife and eerie cries of the Indri at Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. 

Grandidier's Baobabs, Maroantsetra (Stephen Woodham)Fosa, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Red-tailed Sportive Lemur, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Grey Mouse Lemur, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Giant Jumping Rat, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Madagascar Hoopoe, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Giant Coua, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Fosa, Kirindy (John Young)Fosa, Kirindy (John Young)Frances's Sparrowhawk (Stephen Woodham)Narrow Striped Mongoose, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Verreaux's Sifaka, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Pale fork-marked Lemur, Kirindy (John Young)Coquerel's Giant Dwarf Lemur, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Couquerel's Coua, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Blue Vanga, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Commerson's Leaf-nosed Bat (Stephen Woodham)Avenue des Baobabs (Stephen Woodham)Avenue des Baobabs (Jonas Christiansen)Manambolo river crossing (Stephen Woodham)Yellow-billed Kite, Tsingy de Bemaraha (Stephen Woodham)Tsingy de Bemaraha (Jonas Christiansen)Red-fronted Brown Lemurs, Tsingy de Bemaraha (Stephen Woodham)Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher (Cathy Harlow)Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher (Stephen Woodham)Madagascar Bee-eater, Tsingy de Bemaraha (Stephen Woodham)Madagascar Nightjar, Tsingy de Bemaraha (Stephen Woodham)Decken's Sifakas, Tsingy de Bemaraha (Stephen Woodham)Common Tenrec, Tsingy de Bemaraha (Stephen Woodham)Coquerel's Sifaka (Jonas Christiansen)Crested Coua, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)Ashy Cuckoo Shrike, Kirindy (Stephen Woodham)

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We will be running this tour in the near future but as yet have not finalised dates and prices. To register your interest and be added a waiting list to be informed when details are confirmed, please contact us or phone 01962 733051.

Visiting: Madagascar

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Kerrie Porteous
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