Madagascar, land of lemurs: brown, bamboo, ruffed, ring-tailed, Verraux's sifakas, Indri-Indri…OK, so you get the picture. This African island, fourth largest island in the world, is famous for its lemurs, which come in about a hundred species. Maybe you've seen Madagascar – the movie that is – and you know just how charismatic and comical these primates can be. After all, the on-screen self-proclaimed 'Lord of the Lemurs', Ringtailed King Julian XIII, decreed life on his island should be a thumping dance party.
So why not take to the 'dance floor' with us and get among the action. Of course, the lemurs may be the star attraction but they're not the only celebrities in this former Kingdom. Magical Madagascar hosts an incredible collection of wildlife, including the much-maligned carnivorous Fossa. Most of these inhabitants are unique to the island following its escape from other supercontinents around 60-70 million years ago.
Along with the wildlife, there's the lavish landscape. Regal rainforests sprawl across the country's eastern lowlands; grandiose geology thrusts up tantalizing limestone karsts in the Tsingy of Bermaraha; the lengthy Canal of Pangalanes carves a passage through time and history; the stately Avenue of Boababs, ancient and imposing giants, lines the country's most beautiful road.
Add in the friendly Malagasy locals with their traditional transport of pirogues, pousse-pousse and overloaded carts; animated villages and attractive beaches; prolific birdlife, cute geckos and cranky chameleons. You get the picture? Of course, there's history too – a tableau of seafarers and pirates, missionaries and marketers, colonizers and kings.
Yes, you'll find Madagascar is one huge kaleidoscope of charm, colour and culture. As you 'waltz' through waterways, 'rock-n-roll' around rice paddies and 'fandango' through forests, you'll be very glad you joined the party.
24 June – 12 July 2018
Hotels – Lodges
Depart Auckland, New Zealand
*includes return economy airfares Auckland
Depart Australia (Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney)
*includes return economy airfares Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne
*price subject to change due to airfare and exchange rate increases
Lemurs – en masse, multiple species, multiple personalities.
Unique Fauna – birds, geckos, chameleons, frogs…endless enchantment.
National Parks and Reserves – Analamazaotra, Isalo, Kirindy, Palmarium, Vakona, Voimma, Zombitse-Vohibasia…the list goes on.
Canal of Pangalanes – a collection of natural and artificial waterways, one of Madagascar's quiet marvels.
Antananarivo – colourful capital and heart of the historical Kingdom.
Royal Hill of Ambohimanga – the heart of Madagascar's national identity.
Old City of Fianarantsoa – World Monument site of cobbled streets and 19th century buildings.
Avenue of the Boababs – stark sentinels, Madagascar's first National Monument.
The Tsingy of Bemaraha – limestone forest and rare geological phenomena of exceptional beauty.
Ambrositra Village – Malagasy handicraft capital, renown for Zafimaniry woodcarving.
Anjajavy L'Hotel – luxury lodge among nature's gems, grande finale for a grand tour.
Madagascar, along with India, shook loose from Gondwanaland around 165 million years ago. Another 100 million years or so later it ditched India as well and set down in the Indian Ocean, off the south-east African coast. If isolation had a price it also had a big payback – the evolution of unique endemic fauna. Some of the larger, more unusual species disappeared into myth and legend. But all good parties have their 'stayers' to keep the action going, none more so than Madagascar! So if you're eager for action and love entertainment, Madagascar could be right up your alley. Contact us now and move to its magical beat. >