Tailor-Made

Treasures of Masoala

Explore Madagascar’s largest national park by foot, boat and canoe on this exciting safari that will take you through habitats teeming with lemurs, snakes, geckos, chameleons, dolphins and sea turtles.

Duration 9 Days
Price From $4,100
When Apr - Dec
Destination Madagascar

Safari Overview

The Masoala Peninsula in Madagascar’s northeast is one of the country’s most spectacular destinations. It is thought that 80% of the plants here have yet to be scientifically described, while Masoala National Park encompasses one of the most diverse range of habitats to be found in any of Madagascar’s protected areas, including tropical rainforest, mangroves and coral reefs. On this safari you’ll be able to uncover the secrets of Madagascar’s largest national park on a range of different excursions, and also enjoy a week’s stay in what award-winning travel journalist Sophy Roberts has described as her favourite accommodation in Africa, Masoala Forest Lodge

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Explore primary forest and marine reserve in one unique location.
  • Walk beneath Masoala’s canopies where lemurs, geckos, birds and chameleons make their home.
  • Kayak through Antongil Bay and coastal mangrove forests, sharing the waters with marine wildlife like green turtles, bottlenose dolphins and blue-spotted stingrays.
  • Seek out the five lemur species living on the pristine island sanctuary of Nosy Mangabe. 
  • Immerse yourself in Malagasy culture with performances from traditional dance groups and visits to local villages.
  • Stay for seven nights in a picturesque lodge where the rainforest meets the sea.
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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Antananarivo

Upon arriving in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital, you’ll be met by our local representative and transferred to your city hotel to settle in and prepare for tomorrow, when your safari begins in earnest.

Overnight: Relais des Plateaux B, L, D

Day 2

Antananarivo - Masoala

Today's morning and afternoon game-drive safaris are conducted with professional guides in specially adapted open 4x4 land cruisers. A unique offering is access to both the private wilderness concession and the surrounding national park, as well as exclusive use of some of Kruger’s public roads for night drives well after gate closing times. The setting of the sun while on safari in Africa is always celebrated with the signature G&T sundowner, and here is no exception. Raise your glass as the skies darken and gaze up at the star-studded skies before continuing on into the night, in search of nocturnal animals. Returning to the lodge in time to freshen up, you can enjoy a drink before dinner on the deck as you recount the day’s events, all the while accompanied by the night sounds of the bush.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 3

Masoala National Park

An early start as you set out on a morning game drive in search of Kruger’s residents birds and mammals, before returning to camp for breakfast. You’ll depart Rhino Post this morning to head deeper into the reserve, soon arriving at your next lodge nestled within an acacia knobthorn thicket overlooking the spectacular Timbitene plain and waterhole – perfect for game spotting from the deck. Settle in for lunch and perhaps a siesta before setting off for the afternoon game drive or walk, returning at dusk to freshen up before enjoying dinner under a canopy of stars.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 4

Masoala National Park

Early this morning you’ll set out on foot with your ranger and tracker. The world-renowned Kruger National Park, at nearly 2 million hectares, is the flagship of South African national parks and is home to an impressive array of wildlife and plantlife. December is a fantastic time to view baby animals, as well as the predators that are searching for opportunities to make the most of this time of plenty. Return to the lodge for breakfast and a chance to relax and absorb your surroundings, then indulge in a leisurely lunch and relaxed afternoon before your game drive or walk.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 5

Masoala National Park

After an early breakfast today, you’ll be driven back to Skukuza Airport. Here you will board the shared scheduled light aircraft for a spectacular scenic flight over Swaziland to Manzengwenya Airstrip in northern KwaZulu Natal Province. Hop into a 4x4 vehicle and transfer through the coastal forests and dunes of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park to your lodge nestled deep in the sand forest. Situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, this wilderness lodge offers the unique opportunity of exploring a pristine wetland environment by land vehicle, boat or guided canoe.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 6

Tampolo Marine Reserve

Kosi Forest Lodge is all about the iSimangaliso wetland park activities. To truly appreciate the beauty of this unique ecosystem of intertwined lakes, waterways, ancient forests and grasslands, you need to spend a few days exploring either by canoe, motorised boat or on foot. Nothing is quite as peaceful as exploring the waterways as the early morning sunlight reflects the magnificent trees that line the channels. This is a birder’s paradise where one is often lucky enough to spot the rare palmnut vulture perched at the very top of the raffia palms.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 7

Ambodiforaha

Following breakfast on your lodge’s sea deck, join your guide on a short walk across rice fields and farmland to the nearby village of Ambodiforaha. Here you can learn about the sustainable lifestyle of the local Betsimisaraka culture by visiting their traditional homesteads where locally sourced vanilla, cloves, coffee and rice are prepared, and mats, baskets and headwear are woven. You can also pay a visit to the village school, which is co-funded by Masoala Forest Lodge. After lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to take a peaceful birdwatching pirogue trip on the cool, shady river.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 8

Masoala National Park

Today is yours to do with as you choose. If you fancy taking it easy, there are plenty of places to sunbathe on one of the private beaches here, or you can relax with a good book and a cold drink while making use of the hammock on your private veranda. If you’re still searching for adventure, try spotting birds and mammals along the lodge’s private forest trails, or take the opportunity to return to the primary forest for a final time in search of more endemic wildlife.

Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge B, L, D

Day 9

Depart Masoala National Park

It’s time to bid farewell to Madagascar today, but there’s still time to take in some of the island’s wildlife and natural beauty. Take your final breakfast on the sea deck before boarding the boat for the voyage to the island of Nosy Mangabe. Now you can explore the network of trails on this densely forested reserve accompanied by your expert guide. The island is home to five species of lemur, including the nocturnal aye-aye, as well as leaf-tailed geckos and Madagascar tree boas. You can view the engraved rocks on the “Plaige des Hollandaise" as well as traditional Malagasy tombs within a cave system here. After a picnic lunch on the beach, continue on your boat journey across the bay to Maroantsetra and transfer to the airport in time for the scheduled charter flight to Antananarivo. You will then be met on arrival and transferred to your nearby hotel, before departing Madagascar the following morning.

Overnight: Relais des Plateaux B, L, D

Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

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