Madagascar is the fourth largest island on Earth and is one of the greatest biodiversity regions on the planet. Due to millennia of geographic isolation, this is the home to 80% flora and fauna not found anywhere else. There are over 100 species of lemur and over half of the world’s chameleon species found here, as well as marine biodiversity and rich cultural life to experience. 

Madagascar is located about 300 miles off the coast of Mozambique. The island measures 226,917 square miles so distances can be far and scheduled or private charter flights are the best way to get around. The dramatic geography ranges from tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, rice-growing valleys, deserts, mountains, beaches, and coral reefs.

There are many different ethnic groups on the island, but Malagasy and French are the official languages. Madagascar gained independence from France in 1960 and has struggled with political instability. Tourism is gaining popularity but limited by accessibility once on the island. Accommodations are generally simple, but there are now some 5-star properties on the coast.

Madagascar Antananarivo Mahajanga Mozambique Zimbabwe South Africa Zambia Malawi Nosy Ankao Nosy Be Mauritius Reunion Island Seychelles Antsiranana Toliara Fort Dauphin Amber MountainNational Park Tsingy de BemarahaNational Park Anjajavy PrivateNational Reserve IsaloNational Park AnkaranaNational Park Masoala National Park Andasibe-MantadiaNational Park Indian Ocean Morondava Avenue of the Baobabs
Madagascar Highlights


Madagascar is the world’s 4th largest island so your itinerary should reflect your interests and travel dates. See below for a few ideas. All these suggested adventures include seeing the rich biodiversity where 80% of the country’s flora and fauna is endemic. We’ll work with you to add cultural experiences, marine safaris and beach time to your customized itinerary.

Luxury Private Island


Day 1     Antananarivo – Nosy Ankao
This morning you will rise early for your first gorilla tracking Take the 2-hour private charter flight from Antananarivo to the northern tip of Madagascar, landing at Diego Suarez Airport.  A 20-minute scenic helicopter transfer to Nosy Ankao is followed by an introduction to the island that will be your home for the next six days. There are just 14 villas, all with panoramic ocean views, private pools, soaking tubs, indoor and outdoor showers and butler service. 

5 Nights at Time + Tide Miavana

Day 2
Become familiar with your surroundings on a bicycle ride or electric buggy around the island and then plunge into the ocean directly in front of your Villa using some of the snorkeling gear in your room to explore the underwater gardens. This afternoon, you will have the option of taking a helicopter or boat to the Loky Manambato Protected Area on the Madagascan mainland in search of lemurs. Your guide will show you a few different types of lemurs in the area included the critically endangered and endemic golden-crowned sifaka. This is the only spot in Madagascar you can see them.

Day 2
Explore one of the reefs or a nearby wreck in the archipelago. You can snorkel or for those of you with PADI certified dive license, scuba dive. The expert instructors can also help you learn to dive. Take the afternoon to relax and have a spa treatment. 

Day 4 & 5
Take advantage of the other many activities on and around the island. For those interested in fly fishing, the guides can assist you in learning or take you to the prime locations both off the main island or around Nosy Manamphao. Another popular activity on the island is kitesurfing. With group or private lessons over the course of the week you could be up and moving quickly! For those seeking more relaxing activities, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and small boat are available for use. There is also a spa with a range of treatments and yoga sessions.

Day 6
Take the helicopter back to Diego Suarez and then connect with your onward flight. 

Schedule – Miavana is open all year. The ideal time to travel will depend on your interests. 

Weather - Temperatures range from a low of 67F – high of 90F. From November to May, the days are warm with light rains overnight, making it best for diving, fishing, snorkelling and seaturtles. June to October has cooler days with seasonal winds, making it perfect for seeing humpback whales, kitesurfing and windsurfing.

Children – Children of all ages are welcome.

Suggested Extensions - We recommend a night or two in Antananarivo prior to this adventure. We can also arrange for you to see other areas of Madagascar for a more complete exploration of the country.

Lemur Forests & Beach


Day 1     Antananarivo
You will be met on arrival at Ivato International Airport in the capital city called ‘Tana’ by the locals. You’ll find this bustling city to have traditional architecture and a more Indonesian influence than the rest of Madagascar.

2 Nights in Antananarivo

Day 2
Today your private guide will collect you to explore the historical upper town of Antananarivo, with its stunning French inspired architecture. Continue downtown for lunch at le Café de la Gare in the old colonial railway station built by the French in 1910. In the afternoon, drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the ancestral home on the Merina kings and queens who united Madagascar under one rule.

Day 3   Andasibe
Tour guide will collect you this morning for the 4-hour ride to Mantadia National Park and the Perinet Special Reserve, which is well known for its population of Indri lemurs, the largest of the species. The ride will be a nice introduction to rural life of rice fields, red brick houses and roadside markets. Check into your lodge and have lunch. This afternoon you will explore on foot to spot lemurs, chameleons and birds.

2 Nights near Mantadia National Park

Day 4
Today you will head to Mantadia National Park with a picnic lunch. You’ll be looking for the various lemur species and an abundance of birds. The trails are slightly more difficult than Perinet but the rewards are great here in this taller and wilder forest. Enjoy lunch by the Rianasoa Waterfall and hike back to the vehicle. Later this evening you can take a night walk with a local guide to see a variety of nocturnal lemurs.

Day 5
Visit the Perinet Reserve in search of the Indri indri. With a barely visible tail, black and white markings and a surprised teddy–bear face, this lemur is one of the few animals in the world that cannot survive in captivity. There are another 11 species of lemur to spot as you walk through the rainforest. There are over a thousand orchid species in Madagascar and many of them can be seen here. Later you will stop at Lemur Island a private reserve for habituated lemurs that are ‘camera-ready’ for you!

Return to ‘Tana’ this evening to stay at a hotel near the airport.

1 Night Antananarivo

Day 6   Mandrare River
This morning you will board your charter flight to Ifotaka in the southern part of the country. You will be met on arrival and transferred to camp to settle in. Just before sunset you will stretch your legs with a walk in the Forest of Zenavo to see the nocturnal lemures begin to wake up in the eerie and prehistoric Spiny Forest. Once the sun has set, you’ll spot all kinds of creatures.

3 Nights at Mandrare River Camp

Day 7
Enter the Spiny Forest for an early morning walk to watch the sunlight break through the octopus trees. Later this morning you may visit a local market. Relax this afternoon watch life along the river from your tent terrace.  Head out to the baobabs for sundowners. Tonight, the local village will perform traditional dances. Song and dance is at the heart of Antandroy culture and is used to accompany the major rituals and events of everyday life.

Day 8
Today you will take a boat or walk across the Mandrare River to reach the Sacred Gallery Forest to see Inquisitive groups of ring-tailed lemurs and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka.  Later you will walk through the forest to the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe. Your guide will point out the extraordinary array of flora and fauna, unique to the spiny forest.

Day 9

Today you will move to the coast and settle in at Manafiafy Beach, a unique location to enjoy rainforest, ocean and breathtaking mountain scenery. 

4 Nights at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge

Day 10
From July to November the seas come alive with humpback whales breaching and playing just off the shore. A short boat ride offers he ultimate up-close whale watching experience. Or you can enjoy a guided kayak or motorboat trip through the mangroves in search of endemic bird species, amphibians and reptiles. Enjoy the beach this afternoon.

Day 11
Just a short distance away lies one of the last remaining blocks of southern littoral (coastal) rainforest. Explore this fascinating ecosystem spotting critically endangered species such as Southern Woolly Lemurs and Collared Brown Lemurs. Break for a beach barbecue lunch. Return to camp to relax in your hammock or get a massage. Venture out tonight with your guide into the forest.

Day 12
Journey to see the huge colonies of large, fruit-eating Flying Foxes which are now considered a “vulnerable species.” Visit Manafiafy Village for a cultural experience of typical Antanosy life. The fishermen return with their catch late morning. You can visit local markets or a school. Later today you can watch the sunset and toast to your grand adventure.

Day 13
Fly back to Antananarivo and check in for your onward flight.

Schedule – This itinerary is ideally organized for travel dates to correspond to the scheduled charter flight days.

Suggested Extensions -  If you have more time, we recommend adding four nights at one of the luxury beach properties in the northern part of the country. If you want to add on a more traditional African safari, there are good flight connections to South Africa.

Masoala Adventure


Day 1     Antananarivo – Masoala
You will take the 1.5-hour charter flight from Antananarivo to Maroantsetra over the rugged hills and rainforests of eastern Madagascar. You will then transfer to a private boat for a short ride to the island of Nosy Mangabe. Your guide will lead you into the forest to spot Black and White-ruffed lemurs, White-fronted Brown lemurs, and leaf-tailed geckos. After a picnic lunch on the beach you’ll boat across the Antongil Bay to your lodge.  This will be your treehouse home for the next week.

7 Nights at Masoala Forest Lodge

The lodge is designed to be an eco-haven and provides an intimate experience of this unique environment. There are just seven treehouses in this 25-acre private forest reserve. Each couple or family will have a private guide for the duration of their stay.

Day 2
Boat up the coast to the rainforest in search of the Red-ruffed lemurs, Dwarf chameleons, Helmet Vangas, and other wildlife endemic to the forest. Later you can snorkel on the nearby coral reefs or paddle out to chance a close encounter with Green Turtles. After dinner you’ll take a guided walk to see some of the secretive nocturnal wildlife.

Day 3
This morning you can explore the coastal forest in search of birds, mammals and reptiles. Swim the the crystal-clear water of the Tampolo Cascades at the base of the mountains. You’ll be paddled down the serene, shady Tampolo River in a traditional dugout canoe. Later you walk to the nearest village to meet the community. You can visit the school and purchase locally produced spices and handicrafts.

Day 4
Kayak around the unusual rock formations of Tampolo Point and stop for a swim on the beach at the “Sacred Island.”  Lounge around in the beach hammocks this afternoon. Gather around to watch the sunset on the beach and sit around the fire as the stars appear.

Day 5
Board the boat for a 30-minute voyage through the Tampolo Marine Reserve to the mouth of the Antalavia River. The forested coastline viewed from the boat is stunningly beautiful with countless deserted beaches. Swim or snorkel the reef. Later you will enter the forest looking for White-fronted brown lemurs leaping through the canopy.

Day 6
Take a morning hike along the blue trail where you will wade through waist-high water in the river. A great spot for birding or seeing lemurs and chameleons. Later you can enjoy a peaceful pirogue ride on the shady river.

Day 7
Spent today as you please whether that is relaxing with a book and a cold drink or setting out to do one of the activities you’ve enjoyed this week.

Day 8
Enjoy your last breakfast on the sea deck.  You’ll begin your trip back by boat and then vehicle transfer to the airport where your charter plane awaits.

Schedule - This 7-night itinerary begins on Sunday or Wednesday. This itinerary can be tailored for shorter stays of three or four nights or longer stays of 10 or 11 nights.

Suggested Extensions - We recommend a night or two in Antananarivo prior to this adventure. We can also arrange for you to see other areas of Madagascar for a more complete exploration of the country.


Many of accommodations in Madagascar are 3+ star eco-properties built with local materials and located near the parks you will want to visit. More recently there are some luxury 5-star properties that have opened on the coast or small islands in the north. We’ll work with you to find what suits you best!

Central Madagascar

Antananarivo is the capital city referred to as ‘Tana’ and home to bustling markets, museums, palaces and colonial neighborhoods. Located in the central Highlands of the country, this is usually your first stop.

Photo: Maison Gallieni

Maison Gallieni


Sitting on a hill overlooking the city, this boutique property dates back to 1879 and was Madagascar’s first bank. There are just four luxurious rooms, each with air-conditioning, flat screen tv, Wi-Fi and great views. There is a heated swimming pool and guests are assured of personalized service.

Photo: Pavillon de l’Emyrne

Pavillon de l’Emyrne


This charming hotel was a private home built in 1926 in the traditional Antananarivo style. It is in the heart of old town which is where you will find today’s trendy restaurants. The hotel has 10 superior rooms, 2 standard rooms and 1 apartment, each decorated in a unique style. All rooms have air-conditioning, satellite tv and Wi-Fi.

Photo: Relais des Plateaux

Relais des Plateaux


There is a complimentary shuttle for the five-minute drive from Ivato International Airport making this 4-star property convenient. The 46 air-conditioned rooms feature flat screen satellite tv and Wi-Fi. There is a heated swimming pool, gym and spa to recover from jetlag. 

East Madagascar

Andasibe/Perinet National Park (Mantadia) and the Andasibe Reserve is located east of Tana about four hours by vehicle. The lush rain forests here are covered one hundred orchids species blooming between September and January. Andasibe is the best place to observe the habituated families of the Indri, the largest living lemur reaching three feet tall. There are 13 other lemur species in these forests.  

Masoala National Park is the country’s largest national park, a rainforest and marine park on the northeast coast.  Great for kayaking, swimming, snorkeling on the coral reefs as well as exploring the forest on foot. It is the least visited park due to the remoteness and 2-hour boat access. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has an extraordinary biodiversity of lowland rainforest, coastal forest, mountain ranges, marshland, mangroves and deserted beaches.The park is a birder’s delight as it is home to both the critically endangered Madagascar serpent eagle and the Madagascar red owl. 

Photo: Mantadia Lodge

Mantadia Lodge

Andasibe National Park

The newest lodge in the area offers panoramic views of the rainforest from its hilltop vantage point. There are 25 rooms including one family suite, all with sitting area, terrace and wood burning stove. The 3-star property offers an infinity pool, spa and a boutique full of local artisan wares. The Indri lemurs, which can only be seen in Andasibe Park, may give you a morning wake up song.

Photo: Vakona Forest Lodge

Vakona Forest Lodge

Andasibe National Park

This eco-lodge has 28 bungalows of various sizes scattered throughout the gardens.  Their own reserve features Lemur Island which is home to many species the Bamboo Lemur, Brown Lemur and White Ruffed Lemur. They are habituated and can be persuaded to jump on your shoulders. Guests also enjoy horseback riding, canoeing and night forest walks. Vakona Forest Lodge is located on the edge of Andasibe National Park, providing easy access to wildlife-filled forests.

Photo: Masoala Forest Lodge

Masoala Forest Lodge

Masoala National Park

This untouched rainforest peninsula on the northeast coast is the place for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling on the coral reefs. Access is by a flight to the small town of Maroantsetra where you board the motorboat for the exciting voyage across Antongil Bay, a World Heritage Site and breeding ground for humpback whales, to the Masoala Peninsula. The lodge has just seven thatched treehouses in a sheltered cove surrounded by the national park and open to the Tampolo Marine Reserve.

South Madagascar

Fort Dauphin is a colonial port city on the southeast coast which is also called Tolagnaro. Travelers fly here on scheduled charters and continue by road to Ifotaka Community Forest and Manafiafy - Sainte Luce.

Isalo National Park is the most visited park and covers over 300 square miles of eroded sandstone towers, deep canyons, gorges and lush vegetation in the southwestern part of the country. Discover the hidden burial sites of the Bara tribe, ring-tailed lemurs and natural pools.

Photo: Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

Manafiafy Beach   

Manafiafy is a secluded tropical paradise with excellent wildlife viewing and miles of untouched beaches. Four luxury bungalows and one family villa are discreetly tucked along the edge of the forest, all with private wooden terraces and stunning views across the bay. Manafiafy is one of the best locations to see hump-back whales in Madagascar during the season (June – November). Bottle-nose dolphins can be spotted from the beach year-round. Privately guided activities include day and evening walks in the rainforest spotting lemurs, birds and chameleons, boating through the mangroves, canoeing, local market and community visits. Take time to relax on the white sand beach.

Photo: Mandrare River Camp

Mandrare River Camp

Mandrare River   

This secluded camp sits in the heart of the spiny forest; home to an abundance of wildlife and the fascinating Antandroy tribe that co‐habit this arid and otherworldly landscape. There are seven en-suite tents set in the shade of tamarind trees with views of the Mandrare River and the sacred mountains. The river is the lifeblood of the region and sustains the nearby village of Ifotaka and its sacred ancestral forests. There are five different lemur species to spot here. Activities include day and night walks, cultural visits to the local village and school, Antandroy traditional dancing, sundowners on the riverbank and in the ‘Avenue of the Baobabs'.

Photo: Jardin du Roy

Jardin du Roy

Isalo National Park

This lovely 40 room property sits on the edge of Isalo National Park. It was built with hand-cut local stone and situated in the midst of extensive private grounds. The rooms are air-conditioned and have walk-in bath or shower. There is a swimming pool and the spa offers a range of services. Activities include the Via Ferrata ‘vertigo hike’ with climbing professionals, as well as guided walks and treks, mountain biking, horseback riding and visiting the Isalo Bio (organic farm) and Ilakaka mines, the largest sapphire deposits in the world!

Photo: Isalo Rock Lodge

Isalo Rock Lodge

Isalo National Park

Isalo Rock Lodge is a modern 60-room retreat, positioned high in the Sandstone Mountains, overlooking the Isalo National Park in south western Madagascar. Known as ‘Jurassic Park’, this is arguably the best place to see ring-tailed lemurs and white sifakas dancing and jumping. The highlight is hiking in the canyons and exploring the massive plateau, sandstone formations and rocks from the Jurassic era.

West Madagascar

The West is a vast region dominated by baobabs, spectacular tsingy formations and a jagged coastline with countless harbors that were used by pirates as refuge. 

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is west of the capital city and considered one of the most difficult-to-reach UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Malagasy word for ‘walking on tiptoes’ is ‘tsingy’ which are knife-sharp pinnacles produced by the erosion of limestone massifs over millions of years. Explore this alien landscape via ladders and suspension bridges. Home to 11 species of lemur.

Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve is a protected peninsula in the northwest, an area of dry deciduous forests and the geological phenomena – tsingy – or stone forests.

Photo: Le Soleil des Tsingy

Le Soleil des Tsingy

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

This property has 17 spacious bungalows, each furnished with handmade décor and featuring terraces, to admire the beautiful views. There is a large infinity pool and pool bar which overlooks the surrounding forests as well as a games room with a pool table and board games. The main lodge has a restaurant which serves delicious Malagasy and European meals made with locally grown produce from the hotel's organic garden.

Photo: Anjajavy le Lodge (Philippe & Isabelle)

Anjajavy le Lodge

Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve

This Relais & Châteaux property is set on the beach at the end of a peninsula that extends into a wide bay in the Mozambique Channel. It is a remote and exceptionally beautiful coast, with sandy coves and turquoise waters. The lodge borders the private forest reserve of Anjajavy protecting a plethora of unique wildlife. All 24 air-conditioned villas have a spacious terrace facing the sea, a living room with a salon and a bedroom. A Japanese staircase rises to the upper floor bedroom for children. Activities include a variety of water sports, swimming, fishing and numerous excursions in the Anjajavy Reserve home to a variety of exciting fauna and flora including Coquerel’s Sifaka, brown lemurs, mouse lemurs, and a variety of chameleons not to mention the vast array of tropical birdlife.

North Madagascar

Nosy Be Archipelago sits off the northwest coast of Madagascar and is a popular beach destination with easy access from Fascene International Airport. Island hopping gives guests the opportunity to visit local village markets, see lemurs and rare birds in their jungle habitats.

Amber Mountain National Park is a beautiful rainforest full crater lakes, waterfalls, and endemic species. It is 25 miles from the Diego Suarez Airport in the north of the country.

Photo: Constance Tsarabanjina

Constance Tsarabanjina

Nosy Be Archipelago         

Constance Tsarabanjina is a resort located on a small private island in the Mitsio Archipelago. It is about forty miles from the island of Nosy Be in the northwest of Madagascar. The atmosphere is barefoot Robinson Crusoe on this tropical jungle island encircled by coral reefs. There are 24 air-conditioned beach villas. Some of the best snorkeling and diving can be found here. Madagascar is an underwater paradise where you can find more than 300 types of coral, in all kinds of amazing shapes and colors. Water skiing, volleyball, sailing, SUP, kayaking, and snorkel gear are all included. There is a dive school and scuba, snorkeling and fishing excursions are offered for an additional fee. There are honeymoon discounts on offer here!

Photo: Tsara Komba Lodge

Tsara Komba Lodge

Nosy Be Archipelago         

This 4-star eco-lodge property on the island of Nosy Komba is a member of the very exclusive National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, a collection of outstanding properties, all chosen for the excellence of their hospitality, and their commitment of sustainable development. The lodge sits on a steep hill offering sea views. It has an authentic charm and offers slow food cuisine, and custom-tailored services and excursions on land and sea. There are just eight suites including two family units.

Time + Tide Miavana

Nosy Ankao       

Nosy Ankao is the largest of five islands in the Levens Archipelago off the northeast coast and is home to Miavana Private Island, a world-class resort. Fringed by white sand beaches and sprawling coral reefs, Miavana is a haven of luxury at the ends of the Earth. The ultimate destination for modern day explorers, the resort brings together world class luxury in a world of rare wildlife and extraordinary landscapes. Relax into the barefoot ease of Nosy Ankao, where life is measured in the rise and fall of the tides. There are 14 villas of varying sizes with panoramic ocean views, private pools, soaking tubs, indoor and outdoor showers and butler service. Explore the island with beach cruisers or electric buggy.

Photo: Nature Lodge

Nature Lodge

Amber Mountain National Park                  

This eco-lodge has 12 thatched chalets decorated with Malagasy style, each with a private deck.  Views of the lush rainforest or Diego Suarez Bay can be seen from these decks. The lodge is just outside the park where you will discover the endemic flora and fauna in these mountains and explore the unusual Tsingy.

Travel Information

When to go to Madagascar

Prime travel season in Madagascar is May to October, however your interests may have you leaning to other months.  The diving season in Madagascar runs from May to December, when visibility is best. The migration season begins in August, so if you want to dive with the humpback whales, the best months to visit are from August to October. Rainy season, with possible cyclones, is generally late December through March.

Passport & Visa for Madagascar

Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the date of entry. Travelers must make sure their passport contains 3 blank pages for visa and immigration stamps. All visitors require entry visas which are available upon arrival at the airport. Cost is $37 for a 30-day stay.

For further information: U. S. State Department - Madagascar & Embassy of Madagascar

Medical Information for Madagascar

Before traveling to Madagascar, please consult with your physician. An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for those traveling from a yellow fever endemic country within six months of arrival. You will also need a malaria prophylaxis unless you are only visiting Antananarivo.

For further information: