Small Group Safari

Madagascar Small Group Safari 2018

A wonderful small group safari giving you the opportunity to explore a number of areas of Madagascar in the company of just seven others. You will visit Palmarium Reserve, Andasibe National Park, Ranomafana National Park, Isalo and Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.

Duration 17 days
Price From $4,635
When Aug - Nov 2018
Destination Madagascar

Safari Overview

This exhilarating adventure through some of Madagascar's most biodiverse regions will showcase the best of its wildlife and natural splendour. You will visit Palmarium Reserve for a glimpse of the peculiar aye aye, the wildlife rich rainforest reserves of Andasibe and Mantadia listening out to the early morning calls of the Indri lemurs, pass through the scenic highlands and spot three species of bamboo lemur within the forests of Ranomafana National Park, before the landscape shifts to vineyards, savannah and the rocky outcrops at Isalo National Park before finally exploring the unique ecosystem of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.

What makes this madagascar small group safari extraordinary

  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 8 guests (trust us - this truly does make a significant difference to your experience, the comfort of space on vehicle and your engagement with our naturalist guide)
  • Slow travel Madagascar (you will find out when you get there why we don’t tear around this vast island. This journey travels East-West at a comfortable pace allowing you to fully experience each unique part of the island)
  • Only your first and last night are spent in the hub-bub of the capital city Antananarivo (you will thank us for not having to return to the capital multiple times).
  • We’ve listened to past guest feedback and added a further night in Isalo  (we're sure you’ll appreciate the extended stay in this glorious landscape)
  • NWS started as World Primate Safaris more than a decade ago, there is no better team to take you to discover the unique primates of Madagascar
  • Our dedicated naturalist guide has hosted research groups, film crews and dignitaries; his knowledge is encyclopaedic.

We have used the best available accommodation throughout chosen for their proximity to the wildlife and to give you the best experience we can in Madagascar

Ask us a question about this trip

Day by day

Day 1

Antananarivo

Upon arrival you will meet with the fellow members of your group, transfer to the hotel together where you will have ample time to settle in. The rest of the day will be at your leisure- this can be the perfect opportunity to explore this bustling city.

Overnight: Relais des Plateaux

Day 2

Antananarivo - Palmarium Reserve

Meet your Malagasy naturalist guide and fellow travel companions at breakfast, before departing on the 5 hour road transfer to Manambato. You will then travel by boat to Palmarium Reserve along the Pangalanes Canal, passing by local fishing villages enroute. After an hour or so you will arrive at the private reserve of Palmarium staying either at the Palmarium Lodge or the lakeside Palmarium Beach. The rest of the afternoon is yours at leisure to relax and explore your surroundings.

Overnight: Palmarium Lodge B, L, D

Day 3

Palmarium Reserve

Enjoy a walk through the forest with one of the lodge guides. Here it is possible to see a family of indri, Coquerel’s sifakas, black lemurs, crowned lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs and red lemurs. This reserve provides excellent photographic opportunities as you can get very close to the lemurs. The afternoon is yours at leisure. You will visit a nearby island at 17.30 to go in search of aye aye where currently 6 live. The tour takes approximately one hour and includes return boat transfers.

Overnight: Palmarium Lodge B, L, D

Day 4

Palmarium - Andasibe National Park

Today you head south to the renowned reserve of Andasibe by boat through the Pangalanes Canal and then by road. This is a stunning rainforest with some truly wonderful wildlife. This afternoon enjoy your first exploration of the park. For those a little more adventurous why not try your first night walk to see what nocturnal fauna and flora you can spot!

Days 5-6

Andasibe National Park

The haunting cry of the indri is an eerie alarm call as you wake to find yourself on the mist shrouded outskirts of the Andasibe and Mantadia National Parks. You have two days to discover the wide variety of lemurs, reptiles and birds that reside here. One of its most famous inhabitants is the Indri - the largest of lemurs with a black and white teddy bear like appearance. Other lemurs which can be seen here are the brown lemur, lesser bamboo lemur and red-bellied lemur. On night walks through the forest you may even be able to spot some of the nocturnal lemurs.

Day 7

Andasibe National Park - Antsirabe

Today you depart Andasibe and drive back to Tana, and then southwards to Antsirabe (approx 6 hours drive). Throughout the day you pass through a variety of highland scenery with an optional stop at Ambatolampy to see aluminium pot casting. You can also stop to admire and/or purchase locally crafted souvenirs sold at roadside craft markets.

Day 8

Antsirabe - Ranomafana National Park

In the morning enjoy a guided tour of Antsirabe, the cultural capital of Madagascar. You will then drive south through the highlands and make your way eastwards to the rainforest reserve of Ranomafana National Park. The scenic drive takes about 7 hours, stopping of at Ambositra for lunch. This town is known for its woodcarving industry and the houses have uniquely carved balconies and shutters. You can also stop off at one of the local woodcarving shops to see what the town produces. You will arrive in Ranomafana in the late afternoon and check in to your lodge.

Day 9

Kianjavato Lemur Project

Today you will have the privilege of visiting our exclusive conservation project about one and a half hours from Ranomafana. This busy project researches bamboo lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs and aye-aye`s, as well as reforestation and working with local communities and schools. Your day will include tracking these highly endangered lemurs, as well as having the chance to visit a nearby school (depending on school holidays), and spending time with the researchers to understand more about conservation issues in Madagascar.

Day 10

Ranomafana National Park

Today is spent exploring Ranomafana. This National Park covers an area of 41,000 hectares and has dense rainforest, waterfalls and rapids. It is home to 12 species of lemur including the golden bamboo as well as boasting an impressive 118 species of bird! A variety of trails and footpaths lead you through this dense jungle but it's the sheer majesty of the forest itself that makes the park so beautiful. A variety of orchids, tree palms and ferns and a huge variety of geckos, chameleons and beautiful little coloured frogs make this a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Day 11

Ranomafana - Isalo National Park

Today you make an early start for the drive to the south (approximately 8 hours drive). After a brief stop at Fianarantsoa in the highlands, you will descend into the west coast region where the scenery drastically changes to open savannah grasslands with zebu herds. There is time before lunch to visit the vineyards found at the town of Ambalavao. Next is the community managed reserve of Anja; here you should be able to spot troupes of ring-tailed lemurs. In the late afternoon you will be driving through Isalo National Park before arriving at the oasis setting of your lodge.

Overnight: Jardin du Roy B, L, D

Days 12-13

Isalo National Park

Over the next two days you have the fantastic opportunity for some trekking through impressive canyons and along dramatic bluffs; Isalo's topography has been sculpted over the years by wind and water and now lends itself to some quite fanciful shapes! A classic walk is along the Massif affording dramatic views and arriving late in the afternoon at "La Piscine Naturelle", a natural swimming pool formed in the rocks fringed by palm trees and forever topped up by a flowing waterfall. You will also have the option of visiting a variety of natural canyons in the area and horse riding trips.

Overnight: Jardin du Roy B, L, D

Day 14

Isalo National Park - Anakao

Today your journey continues south towards the coastal area of Ifaty. This drive presents you with new scenery once again, with the dry and spiny forests of the south. You will stop off at Zombitse -Vahibasia National Park which is a hugely important park in terms of biodiversity as it is the only remaining transition forest between the west and southern regions. As well as being a birders paradise, home to the Appert`s greenbul, it also is home to a variety of lemurs (including the verreaux`s sifaka) and baobabs. You will then continue your drive south to Tulear. From Tulear you will board a boat for the one hour journey south to Anakao.

Overnight: Anakao Ocean Lodge B, L, D

Day 15

Tsimanampetsotsa National Park

Today you have the option to relax at the lodge or join a full day excursion. For the excursion, you will have an early departure by road to Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, considered to be one of the ten most important reserves in Madagascar and home to a remarkable 90% of endemic species. Extending for over 430 square Km’s the park incorporates the dazzling aquamarine alkaline waters of Lac Tsimanampetsotsa. This strategic wetland is home to over 100 species of bird including greater and lesser flamingo, red-billed teal, black-winged stilt and red-knobbed coot. Seek out the endemic cave fish In the subterranean waters of Mitiho Cave. Return to Anakao late afternoon.

Overnight: Anakao Ocean Lodge B, L, D

Day 16

Anakao - Antananarivo

Today you transfer by boat and then by road to the airport for the flight back to Tana. Time permitting visit the Ambondrolava mangrove complex. Here, communities have depended on the mangroves for wood, fish and other animals for centuries. Guides from the Honko NGO initiative lead you along the 1km of boardwalks through this unique ecosystem. The elevated viewpoint is an ideal spot to look out for the great diversity of wading birds in the abandoned saltpans, up to 37 wetland birds have been recorded here, the highest diversity in the region. Continue to Tulear airport and fly back to the capital. Transfer to your hotel where your journey ends with a farewell dinner.

Overnight: Relais des Plateaux B, L, D

Day 17

Depart Antananarivo

Enjoy your last breakfast before saying your goodbyes and transfering to the airport in time for your international flight home.

Trip Details

Trip information

This is a small group safari departing on set dates, limited to just 8 passengers. Accommodation and areas have been chosen for their proximity to the wildlife and to give you the best experience we can in Madagascar. It is possible to extend this safari with activities or beach time at the beginning or end, speak to us for more details.

 2018 Departures   Prices   Availability 
 Aug 30 - Sep 15  From £3,485 per person  2 spaces available
 Sep 20 - Oct 6 From £3,485 per person 2 spaces available
 Oct 11 - 27 From £3,485 per person Fully booked
 Nov 1 - 17 From £3,485 per person

1 space available

Please note that there is a £770 single room supplement.

Request a detailed itinerary

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our small group safaris in Madagascar.
Download our free guide Request a detailed itinerary