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Detached from any continental landmass since the Cretaceous period, the island of Madagascar has drifted through the Indian Ocean following its own evolutionary course, having just five major terrestrial animal colonizations since the time of the dinosaurs.

The result: an island where every single land mammal is endemic, as are nearly half the bird species. Reptiles are well represented too, like chameleons, and day and leaf-tailed geckos. The uniqueness of this island’s fauna (and flora) makes it one of the world’s great destinations for the naturalist and birdwatcher, alike.

Our Madagascar wildlife tour features both birds and mammals. We focus on Madagascar’s most iconic and charismatic birds (we hope to see 95%+ of the endemics), as well as the Island's other oddities, like lemurs and chameleons.

We also focus on the Island’s geography and geology with resulting various habitats — from Ifaty's spiny forests with their towering baobabs and other-worldly Didierea octopus trees, to the lush rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in search of the world’s largest lemur, the Indri, along with a long list of fabulous avian jewels, from Rufous-headed Ground-Roller to Madagascar Blue Pigeon
  • Spend time in the high altitude montane rainforest of Ranomafana for a chance to see the rare Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity and quirky Brown Mesite, and up to twelve lemur species, including Milne-Edwards’ Sifaka
  • Explore Zombitse National Park and La Table for two very range-restricted, recently discovered bird species: Appert’s Tetraka (Greenbul) and Rufous-shouldered Vanga (the late Phoebe Snetsinger’s last bird)
  • Hike through the “spiny desert” of Ifaty, with its bizarre baobabs and euphorbias, in search of Long-tailed Ground-Roller and Subdesert Mesite
  • Boat to the unspoiled islet of Nosy Ve to experience a breeding colony of Red-tailed Tropicbird, protected by generations of locals

Photo credits: Banner: Ring-tailed Lemur by Bob Ashley; Chameleon by Bob Ashley; Green Sunbird, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Baobab Trees, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Moth, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Chameleon by Bob Ashley; Diademed Sifaka by Peg Abbott; Rickshaw Ride by Mike Anderson.