MADAGASCAR

The Republic of Madagascar is the fourth largest island and the 2nd largest island country in the world. To step foot in this country is to be enveloped by the vibrancy and surrealistic environs of this gorgeous island. A place almost more animated than the movie by its namesake.

Madagascar is a destination which is unique by way of having coastlines, rainforests and mangroves on the same piece of land. This characteristic makes the island teem with biodiversity that is so very rare and so very enticing to wildlife photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. From about 40 species of lemurs that are indigenous to the region to chameleons of varying sizes, your cameras are sure to be treated to the frames of various exotic animals and birds. Volant life includes guinea fowl, partridges, pigeons, herons, ibis, flamingos, egrets, cuckoos, Asian robins, and several kinds of birds of prey. The land is also known for its abundance of butterflies, exotic spiders and moths. 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • 7 nights and 8 days exploring two destinations on the 4th largest Island on earth.
  • Small group size.
  • Three people in a car.
  • Excellent photo opportunities of different species of Lemurs, frogs, snakes and chameleons.
  • Extensive photography assistance both on and off the field for Macro photography.
  • Expert natural-history and photography guidance by Sachin Rai

DEPARTURE

Date:
Nov 22nd – 29th

Mentor: Sachin Rai

TOUR ITINERARY

Please note: Since participants of this tour travel from various destinations in India and abroad, the tour will commence at Antananarivo (Tana) on 22nd Nov 2020. You may take a flight that reaches Tana at any time of the day on the 22nd. The check in at the hotel in at 1pm though. Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee.

22nd Nov, Sunday

We arrive in Antananarivo (Tana) at different times of the day depending on your flight and get picked from the airport. You will be driven to the hotel in the city.

In the evening, you will be briefed by your photography mentor, Sachin about the destinations and what to expect in your tour.

23rd Nov, Monday

This day we drive 150km to the east of the Island to our first destination, Andasibe – Mantadia National Park. This is one of the best rain forests in Madagascar. A mere 155 square kilometre, this place is teeming with life.  There are close to 14 species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs in the park. The most sought after diurnal lemurs are the Diademed Sifaka, Black and white ruffed lemur and the Indri. Apart from the lemurs, this is also a great place for chameleons, frogs and geckos.

We will check in to our property and post lunch rest for a bit. All participants meet up with your photography mentor, Sachin an hour before you go for your first walk in the evening to look for frogs, chameleons and nocturnal lemurs. Sachin will explain you the do’s and don’ts on the night walk. He will brief you all about macro photography and how to use your lights/flashes etc for a better picture.

We chose to do this tour in Novembers since it is the onset of monsoon and we hope that it would have started raining by now, which means the frogs would be active. After a walk for over three hours looking for nocturnal subjects, we shall turn back to our property, have dinner and call it a night.

24th Nov, Tuesday

We meet early for breakfast and depart early morning with our packed lunch to Mantadia National Park. A short distance of 13km will take us over an hour to reach on a very bumpy road. This is one of the best places to see the Diademed Sifaka, Indri and also the Black and white ruffed lemur.

Walking in the rain forest is an extremely thrilling experience. There are many paths to walk upon, but based on our interest, the local guide will choose a circuit for our walk. This can be anywhere from 3-5 km slow paced walk which will take over 3 hours. We can also get lucky with the Mantella baroni, Madagascar poison frog on this walk. We will also be looking for the iconic, Giraffe weavil.

After the walk, we will have our packed lunch outside the park and then slowly drive back to our property. A quick rest and we will depart for the night walk again.
Apart from the nocturnal lemurs, we will again try our luck to see the two species of leaf tailed gecko found in these forests.

We will get back to our property at around 9pm and call it a night post dinner.

25th Nov, Wednesday

This day, we will drive to the other end of the park to visit Analamazaotra reserve. It is one of the best places to see the Indri and the Diademed Sifaka. We could also see some nice birds in this walk including the Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher, Collared Nightjar, Malagasy Scops Owl etc.

You could get up close with the two most sought after lemur species of the tour. It is fascinating to hear the Indri call out in the mornings. They are really loud and the call resonates through the forest. If we are lucky, we could see them call out. Since they are wild animals, we will have to walk in the forest following them as they jump from one tree to another to feed and generally move about.

We will have lunch at a restaurant outside the park and then proceed for our property. After a short rest, we will meet up for our last evening walk. We will try to concentrate on animals we haven’t seen yet. We ideally would like to explore different parts of forests every night and hence could see interesting subjects every night. After the last night walk, we will go back to our property for dinner.

26th Nov, Thursday

We depart early morning to the east of the Island. It is close to 3 hour drive from our property to the beach. We will then get onto a ferry boat and sail for an hour before we reach our beach resort. The next two day will be at this lovely beach resort where you will have lemurs roaming around freely and accompanying you at the deck outside your rooms at times.

Post lunch, we will rest for a bit and then proceed for our night activity.

We will take the ferry boat and will sail for half hour to visit an island close by. This island is home to the intriguing animal, the Aye Aye. One of the most fascinating nocturnal lemurs, they were killed in huge numbers across the island because of the blind belief that they were the harbingers of bad luck. There are reports of people burning down their entire village if they spot this animal in the vicinity.

Because of this belief, their numbers have declined rapidly and they are now in the endangered list of the IUCN. We will go to the island to watch these animals. After spending an hour there, we will get back to our property for dinner and call it a night.

27th Nov, Friday

Our last day of the tour, we will spend the morning photographing the lemurs. You could make lovely images of the crowned lemur, black lemur, common brown lemur, black and white ruffed lemur and also the Indri. We will take a long walk that leads to the beach and we could see the blue back reed frogs sleeping on small leaves of the mangroves.
After the walk we will proceed back to the property for lunch and rest in the afternoon.

We will leave for our night walk to look for frogs, chameleons and geckos in the forest. We could see some unique species of frogs that we haven’t seen before in the trip.

Post our last night walk, we will come back to the property for dinner.

28th Nov, Saturday

We take the ferry back to the small village from where we had started two days ago. Our vehicles will be waiting for us there. It is a long drive of around 7 hours to reach the capital city, Antananarivo. We will have lunch at a restaurant in Andasibe National Park which is on the way and then continue with our drive. We will reach the hotel by 6pm and then meet freshen up and meet up at the bar to chill for an hour before we proceed for dinner and call it a night.

29th Nov, Sunday

We will be dropped to the airport for our flight out to our respective countries. Tour ends!

COST AND TERMS

USD 3390

Individual - Batch 01

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

USD 6780

Couples - Batch 01

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

USD 3190

Patron - Batch 01

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

All prices above are excluding taxes. 5% GST would be applicable.

Patrons: Guests who have travelled with us on at least three photography tours.

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable lodges for 7 nights
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All road transfers within Madagascar as per the Tour itinerary
  • Services of a photography mentor
  • Services of a naturalist guide/driver
  • Forest permits and guide fees
  • Any airfare to or within Kenya
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Vaccination, visa and insurance expenses
  • Optional balloon ride – USD 450-500 per person
  • Optional tour to a Maasai village – USD 30 per person
  • Optional boat ride in lake Naivasha – USD 60 per person
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not listed under ‘inclusions’
  • 15% of the Tour fee as booking amount (non-refundable)
  • 50% of the Tour fee before 15 March 2020
  • 100% of the Tour fee before 15 April 2020

All figures per person.

Payments can be made in staggered instalments as long as the above schedule is adhered to. Please talk to us for more details.

  • 15% of the Tour fee on or before 10 January 2020
  • 50% of the Tour fee between 16 March and 15 April 2020
  • 75% of the Tour fee between 16 April and 15 May 2020
  • 100% of the Tour fee on or after 16 May 2020

All figures per person.

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Anybody above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) and interested in nature and wildlife photography will enjoy this Tour thoroughly.

Of course! This Tour is meant for newbies as well as experienced photographers. Beginners will get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from the photography mentors. In fact if you are a fresher, you should jump on this great photography learning opportunity and sign up right away!

Since guests of our Tours travel from different parts of the world as per their preferences, it is convenient for the Tour to start from the destination. We will however provide the assistance you need in arranging your pick up and drop.

While we would be using a small van (each with only three pax) to travel to most of the destinations, there is a fair amount of walking involved in Andasibe National Park. Most of the walks are moderate and at a very slow pace. The maximum walking is involved on two mornings in Andasibe and each will be around 4 to 5 kms only.

The group size will be either 5 or 7 participants plus your photography mentor. There wont be more than 3 participants in each vehicle.

Yes, you have to take Yellow Fever vaccination atleast 15 days before your travel date to Madagascar. This vaccination is valid for 10 years. Ensure you get a yellow card stating you have taken the vaccination. Indian government wants you to take Polio vaccination atleast a month before you travel to Kenya. This has to be taken from a municipal hospital or an authorised centre from where you will get a letter stating you have taken the oral polio drops.

The photography opportunities on this tour are immense. We would recommend a 300mm to 400mm lens for birds and mammals that will be at a distance. A zoom lens like a 100-400 or an 80-400 or a 200-500 would be good too. If you are using a prime lens then a 70-200 kind of a lens will be very handy as you will say lions close by. A macro lens will be very useful to make pictures of frogs and chameleons.

It rains by mid November in Madagascar. We would want the rains to have begun, so that there is enough frog activity when we go. It is a heaven for frog lovers and we can see some very cool endemic species of frogs there.

Absolutely yes! We will be happy to customise this tour for you based on your preferred dates. Kindly write to us and tell us your preferred time of travel and we shall get back to you with a tentative itinerary and quote. This tour can be with or without a photography guide.

BOOK YOUR TOUR

Dates don’t work for you?

In case these dates do not work for you and you would wish to travel on your own at your own convenience dates, then do write to us.

We will customise a tour for you on your preferred dates. This can be with or without a photography guide. We would ensure you have the best drivers, guides and will also suggest properties based on your preference.

We have close to two decades of experience in the wildlife travel sector and will be able to guide you based on our own experience.