See Indri on your Madagascar Holidays. Holidays to Madagascar can combine beach and wildlife

East & North: Montagne de Ambre + Nosy Komba


MPG13A
13 NIGHTS
FROM £2,995
International flights quoted separately
Explore northern Madagascar, travelling overland in a 4x4 vehicle. Enjoy the spectacular flora of Montagne d'Ambre National Park, the best place to see crowned lemurs, chameleons, frogs & geckos. Visit the Great Tsingy of Ankarana & Andisibe-Mantadia. Complete your holiday relaxing on turquoise Nosy Komba island. English speaking guides, transfers, local flights & park fees included.
Montagne d'Ambre Tsingys Ankarana Lemurs Madagascar Nosy Komba
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Andasabe-Mantadia Rainforests
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Analamazaotra Indri Reserve
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Lemur Island
• 
Diego Suarez
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Montagne d'Ambre National Park
• 
Chameleons
• 
Ankarana Tsingy
• 
Nosy Be
• 
Snorkelling
• 
Scuba Diving
• 
Andasabe-Mantadia Rainforests
• 
Analamazaotra Indri Reserve
• 
Lemur Island
• 
Diego Suarez
• 
Montagne d'Ambre National Park
• 
Chameleons
• 
Ankarana Tsingy
• 
Nosy Be
• 
Snorkelling
• 
Scuba Diving
Day 1
You will be met at Antananarivo Airport and transferred to your hotel in the capital city of the tropical island of Madagascar.
 
Check into your hotel and relax in your warm friendly surroundings.
Day 2
Today enjoy a full day tour to Ambohimanga and the Lemur Park.
 
Leaving Antananarivo, we travel 40-minutes northeast to the fortified royal settlement (or 'rova') at Ambohimanga. Meaning 'Blue Hill', this complex of royal buildings and palaces is situated on the highest and most sacred of the twelve royal hills surrounding Antananarivo. It is the best-preserved remains of the pre-colonial Merina Kingdom and an important source of Malagasy identity. Andrianampoinimerina was its most famous king, as he united the various Malagasy tribes into a single kingdom. The walled historic village includes the tombs of several kings and queens and remains a place of worship for pilgrims. It is Madagascar's only World Heritage Site. Afterwards you will have the opportunity to visit the local village to see their lifestyle.
 
After lunch (own account) we continue to the Lemur Park, a private nature reserve located near the Katsaoka River. Here you can see many species of birds, medicinal plants, reptiles and lemurs. These include the ring tailed lemur, black and white ruffed lemur, common brown lemur, Coquerel’s sifaka, crowned sifaka, mongoose lemur and eastern lesser bamboo lemur. After about an hour at the park, we return to Antananarivo.
Day 3
Today depart from Antananarivo and travel 4-hours with your driver/guide to the small village of Andasibe. On this scenic drive you will see local villages with their long red clay houses, rice paddies and roadside markets, which will give you a good feel for traditional Malagasy life.
 
On arrival at your lodge, enjoy a 2 to 3-hour walk in the montagne rainforest of Analamazaotra Reserve (previously called Perinet Reserve), which covers 810 hectares. This is where you come to see the magnificent black and white Indri - the largest lemur species in Madagascar, with their eerie wailing calls as they sing from the treetops and mark out their territory.
 
The path into the rainforest starts with a steep ascent up some well-made steps, followed by some relatively good paths, although a longer more gentle ascent is also available. There may be some scrambling off the path to get closer to the Indri, but there are plenty of trees to hang onto for balance.
 
You can also hope to see the beautiful orange, grey and white Diademed Sifaka as well as the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur - although be warned that tracking lemurs in the dense canopy of this rainforest is hard work and you can realistically hope for only two or three sightings on each walk. However the excitement of finding them hiding high in the treetop canopy, and jumping from tree to tree, is a thrilling memory that will last a lifetime - so once you find a group do linger and enjoy watching their behaviour for a while.
 
In the early evening enjoy a 1-hour noctural guided walk along a road close to the Analamazaotra Reserve, so remember your headlamp. Here you can hope to see the glowing eyes of the tiny Goodman's mouse lemur, little tree frogs and sleeping chameleons.
 
Note: Tracking lemurs requires physical mobility and stamina as some trails are demanding, although your guide will be mindful of your level of fitness and adapt your route accordingly. Remember to dress appropriately when exploring the rainforest i.e. walking boots with good tread and proper rain gear, including lightweight waterproof trousers. A head torch for night walks is essential and light gardening gloves are useful to protect your hands when scrambling through the rainforest. As the climate in the mountains is much cooler than at the coast, especially at night, also pack a fleece.
Day 4
Today we drive 1-hour along a rough gravel road to the massive 16,000-hectare primary montane rainforests of Mantadia National Park.
 
The trees in these rainforests are tall and some trails are steep and muddy. There are also streams to cross using log bridges, but you should be rewarded by a view of the gorgeous Diademed Sifaka, perhaps the most beautiful of all the lemurs with its fluffy golden-orange, grey and white coat.
 
You should also see the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs that scream at each other across the forest and, if you are fortunate, maybe also the large Indri that is easily heard because of its impressive shrieks. This park is also a great place to see the giraffe-necked weevil, tenrec (similar to hedgehog), frogs and chameleons.
 
The indigenous flora is outstanding, with hundreds of species of orchids that blossom in October & November, many species of ferns, sacred creepers, lichens and dwarf palm trees. In total there are 12 different species of lemurs, 28 species of reptiles and over 100 bird species.
 
Afterwards enjoy a 30-minute visit to Lemur Island, where you can interact with and take close-up photos of habituated lemurs rescued from captivity and now living in the semi-wild near Vakona Lodge.
 
Note: Tracking lemurs requires physical mobility as some trails are demanding, although your guide will be mindful of your level of fitness and adapt your route accordingly. Remember to dress appropriately when exploring the rainforest i.e. walking boots with good tread and proper rain gear, including lightweight waterproof trousers. A head torch for night walks is essential and light gardening gloves are useful to protect your hands when scrambling through the rainforest. As the climate in the mountains is much cooler than at the coast, especially at night, also pack a fleece.
Day 5
Today transfer 4-hours back to Antananarivo, the capital city of this enormous island.
 
Check into your hotel near Antananarivo Airport.
Day 6
Today transfer to Antananarivo Airport for your flight to Diego Suarez (now called Antsiranana).
 
You will be met at Diego Suarez Airport by your driver/guide and transferred to the small town of Joffreville - the gateway to the cool, upland rainforests of Montagne d'Ambre National Park.
 
Covering a prominent volcanic massif with lots of small lakes and waterfalls, this park is the source of many rivers and is home to over 77 different bird species, 25 amphibians and 59 reptiles - including frogs, geckos & chameleons. This is the most visited national park in northern Madagascar, due to its great biologiocal diversity. Check into your hotel and relax in your mountain surroundings.
Day 7
Today is devoted to the flora and fauna of Montagne d'Ambre National Park (Amber Mountain), the first national park ever established in Madagascar, with many lovely waterfalls and streams.
 
Extending over 18,000 hectares, this rainforest is most famous for its insects and reptiles - including many species of chameleons, frogs, lizards and other amphibians, which are most active in the wet season. This is the place to see the large colourful Panther Chameleon and the amazingly camouflaged Leaf Tailed Gecko. Also the tiny Pygmy Stump-Tailed Chameleon, one of the smallest in the world, that so enthused TV naturalist David Attenborough when it perched on the tip of his thumb.
 
The vegetation in this park is also spectacular, with over 1,000 different plant species. You can see strangler figs, birds’ nest ferns, many beautiful orchids and rare cycads. And for the true enthusiast, because it’s a long walk, the rarest of all baobabs is found here - the massive Rainforest Baobab.
 
Here you can also hope to see two species of lemurs found only in this region - the pretty Crowned Lemur and Sanford’s Brown Lemur - although seven different species live here (5 diurnal and 2 nocturnal).
 
If you are up in the early morning, you will see many birds such as the gorgeous ground-roller, the spectacled greenbul, Madagascar crested ibis, white-throated oxylabes and much more. On one of the longer walks, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the natural pool at the base of the Grande Cascade waterfall.
 
In the dry season you can drive right up to the picnic area, giving those who cannot walk far the opportunity of seeing some wildlife without venturing onto the longer trails. A short, level walk from here brings you to the Sacred Waterfall, a fern-fringed grotto where bats roost.
 
March to April (i.e the end of the wet season) are the best moths to see reptiles.
 
Note: Tracking lemurs requires physical mobility as some trails are demanding, although your guide will be mindful of your level of fitness and adapt your route accordingly. Remember to dress appropriately when exploring the rainforest i.e. walking boots with good tread and proper rain gear, including lightweight waterproof trousers. A head torch for night walks is essential and light gardening gloves are useful to protect your hands when scrambling through the rainforest. As the climate in the mountains is much cooler than at the coast, especially at night, also pack a fleece.
Day 8
Today we leave Montagne d'Ambre and travel slowly for 4-hours through fascinating rural landscapes, travelling along a bumpy and severely degraded road to Ankarana.
 
This park is situated on a small, partially vegetated limestone plateau that has been eroded over the years to form many gorges, caves, spires and tsingys. The plateau slopes gently to the east, but on the west it ends abrubtly in the "Wall of Ankarana" - a sheer cliff that extends 16 miles (25 km) north to south and rises to 920 ft (280 m).
Day 9
Today is devoted to exploring Ankarana National Park with your guide. With its many huge limestone pinnacles, sacred caves, hidden forest-filled canyons and underground rivers, Ankarana is home to several species of lemurs, geckoes and crocodiles.
 
Depending upon your level of fitness, many different walking trails are available to explore the dripstone caves and underground rivers of this park, which is home to a third of all the bird species of Madagscar and over 10 lemur species.
 
One of the most fascinating walks is to view the Great Tsingy of Ankarana - where the erosion of sandstone by rain and wind has led to the formation of sharp limestone needles which dominate the landscape. Here you can explore the extensive cave system, which includes several bat-filled grottos - but be warned - there are over 160 steps down to the caves, as well as much scrambling over rocks.
 
Note: It will be hot in this dry park and some of the trails are very demanding, although your guide will be mindful of your level of fitness and adapt your route accordingly. A sunhat is essential.
Day 10
This morning we travel 4-hours along a bumpy road to the small port at Ankify.
 
We pass through the town of Ambilobe with its colourful market and past Tsaratanana Mountain, the highest peak on the island. This is a very fertile region, with many ylang ylang (perfume) plants, vanilla and coffee plantations.
 
From Ankify you will transfer 20-minutes by fishing speed boat to the beautiful island of Nosy Komba, with its spectacular warm turquoise waters. Check into your hotel and relax in the tropical surroundings of this small secluded island situated close to Nosy Be.
Days 11 To 12
At leisure to relax and enjoy the splendid beaches of the small island of Nosy Kombo, offering superb swimming in emerald seas, snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing.
 
Optional excursions include a day visit to nearby Nosy Be (meaning "Big Island") - a volcanic island with many hills overlooked by Mount Lokobe and Mount Passot. From one of these high vantage points you can enjoy exceptional views over the Radama and Mitsio Islands.
 
You can also snorkel at Nosy Tanikely, visit the lemurs at Lokobe Nature Reserve and enjoy the idyllic beaches of Nosy Iranja.
Day 13
Transfer by boat to Nosy Be Airport for your flight to Antananarivo, where you will be met and transferred to your airport hotel.
Day 14
Transfer to Antananarivo Airport for your flight home.
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