2021 Madagascar-From East to West

This custom designed photography tour  is an economical extension to the Zimanga, South African photographic workshop. It is perfect for those who want to add additional time to their trip to Africa and experience the unique wildlife, landscape and culture of Madagascar with like minded photographers.


Madagascar is a land of contrast. On this tour you will experience two diverse regions of this island country: the rainforest of the East and the dry deciduous region of the mid-west famous for its unique Baobab forest.


On this 13-day photo tour you will experience the incredible wildlife, people and landscapes only seen in Madagascar. Come home with images of the Baobab forest, the krastic rock forest, the rainforest, lemurs, and extensive variety of birds and chameleons. You will also have the opportunity to photograph a "Fossa" in the wild, Madagascar's largest carnivore.


Location:  Ballito, South Africa, Antananarivo - Morondava - Antananarivo, Madagascar


Date:

April 11- 23, 2021 (13 days, 12 nights)

May 28 - June 9, 2020 (13 days, 12 nights)- Rescheduled to 2021. See above for new dates


Group Size: 6


Cost:  $4,495+ per person, double occupancy. $775 Single Supplement. The final price will be determined by airfares and other changes as a result of the Corona Virus COVID-19.


Group Origination Point and Conclusion Point: This safari begins with a two-night stay in Ballito, South Africa and concludes in Antananarivo, Madagascar.


Flight Planning: USA to Durban, South Africa to Antananarivo, Madagascar to USA


Activity Level: Easy to moderate





Fossa (c) Aspinall Foundation

Itinerary


Days 1-2       May 28-29th:  Balllito, South Africa (B,L,D)

Transfer from Zimanga to a beautiful bed and breakfast in Ballito, South Africa. Stay two nights exploring the local sights on this Indian Ocean beach community.


Day 3       May 30th: Antananarivo , Madagascar (B)

Meet and greet at the airport. Transfer to the town and check in at your hotel.


Day 4      May 31st: Antananarivo - Morondava - Kirindy Reserve (B)

After breakfast, transfer to airport and fly to Morondava.

Upon arrival, departure by 4wd for a two-hour drive to the dry deciduous forest area of Kirindy Reserve. The reserve provides the best opportunity to see and photograph a "fossa" in wild. This will be just one of the many opportunities you will have to photograph the Baobab forest and savanna.




Day 5      June 1st: Kirindy Reserve - Tsingy of Bemaraha (B,D)


You will continue the visit and then drive northwards through a red lateric track, Baobab forest and savanna to the Nation park of Tsingy de Bemaraha.


Day 6     June 2: Walking safari inside the "Big Tsingy". (B,D)


The Tsingy is like a gigantic limestone cathedral made up of a network of sharp limestone blocks. This rock formation is found in only two places in Madagascar. Several species of succulents grow on the Tsingy which is also known as the stone forest.


This National Park also shelters 13 species of Lemurs, among them the Decken's Sifaka, Red Fronted Brown Lemur, the Grey Mouse Lemur, the Wooly Lemur, the Verrauxi Sifaka. Mammals like the Narrow Striped Mongoose, and Fossa. 94 species of birds including the Madagascar Fish Eagle, Giant Couas and the Vangas. 22 species of amphibians and 66 reptiles are also documented in this region.

Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park

Baobab Avenue

Day 7      June 3rd: Tsingy - Morondava (B)


After breakfast you will travel to Belo sur Tsiribihina to photograph the people and culture of this small river community. The remainder of the day is spent exploring the Baobab forest at sunset before reaching the coastal town of Morondava.


Day 8       June 4th: Morondava - Antananarivo- Andasibe National Park (B)


At dawn, you will drive to the Baobab Avenue to enjoy the magical light and views of the area. Transfer back to the airport and fly back to Antananarivo. Upon arrival, dirve eastwards to Andasibe NP.

Day 9     June 5th: Andasibe National Park (B)


After a short bumpy ride, you will reach Mantadia Reserve, home of additional species of lemurs, birds and chameleons. This 4-hour hike is rather challenging, but worth-it to explore the primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park. You will seek Diademed Sifaka, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, the insectivorous Tenrecs and the reforestation-dependent ground rollers. In the afternoon you will come much closer to the lemurs on Lemurs' Island. In the evening, you will have a nocturnal walk on the boarder of the park.


Day 10 June 6th: Andasibe National Park- Palmarium Reserve (B)


In the morning you will enjoy an easy hike in the rainforest of Analamazaotra Nature Reserve. There you will be spotting the largest of all lemurs called Indri along with other endemic animals and plants.


Then, drive eastwards to reach Manambato through the mountains and luxuriant vegetation.  From Lac Rasoabe, you will have a short boat transfer to Palmarium. In the evening, you will have a nocturnal walk to spot the endemic and strange lemurs call Aye Aye.


Day11      June 7th: Palmarium Reserve (B)


Here you will visit a private reserve owned by a naturalist where several species of lemurs can easily be spotted and photographed.



Lemur

Chameleon

Day 12      June 8th: Palmarium Reserve - Manambato  - Antananarivo (B)


After breakfast you will travel by boat to Manambato where we you spend a short time photographing the local area. Then a leisurely car drive through the highlands until we reach our final destination of Antananarivo.


Day 13      June 9th: Antananarivo - Fly Out

If time permits, you will have a city tour and visit historical sites and then off to the airport.


This tour itinerary is subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen occurrences.

Costs:

$4,495.00 per person, double occupancy

$775 single supplement

$1,000 non-refundable deposit

Balance due March 20, 2020


Included:

_Accommodations in basic (the best available) and midrange hotels and lodges

_Meals as indicted: B for breakfast - L for Lunch - D for Dinner

_All overland transfers on comfortable vehicles and 4WD

_Domestic flights from Antananarivo -Morondava - Antananarivo

_All guided safari and excursions as per the itinerary

_Parks and reserves entry fees

_English speaking tour guide

_All local taxes


Not included:

_Personal expenses

_Other meals

_Drinks and alcoholic beverages

_International flights including the flight from Durban, South Africa to Madagascar. Detailed flight information will be provided.

_VISA. A VISA  is required for all US citizens. The cost is $35 to be paid at entry or via https://www.evisamada.gov.mg/en/

Frequently Asked Questions:

I am traveling alone and do not want to incur the single supplement. If you are traveling alone and want to avoid the supplemental fees charged for non-sharing rooms, we will make our best efforts to pair you with other singles.

How large of lens is required to get good shots? We will be in a variety of viewing/shooting opportunities. A zoom of up to 400mm equivalent on a full frame camera is plenty of lens for all of the major animals. Those that are seriously into birding may want to have more lens capability. This is a broad subject and hard to cover in a brief note. I will send more info on this prior to the trip; however, feel free to contact me via email Pat@twilightbluephotography.com or call 609-694-3247 to further discuss your specific photo goals.


Will we be advised on what photo equipment to bring? Will you advise us on what to pack regarding clothing, medications, etc.? Yes, regarding photo equipment as well as general packing. We always get excellent feedback on our pre-trip preparation materials. We have checklists we will provide with key items highlighted.


How is the weather? Are there bugs? The best time to go is April to mid-December. A large reason we go at this time of the year is related to the weather and insects. However, we will be in a natural rainforest for a portion of our trip, so taking doctor recommended precautions are suggested. June/July is winter and the dry season in the southern hemisphere. The last rains fell in April and it is very dry. This cooler weather and dry conditions also lead to a bug free time to be on safari. Mornings are quite cool (mid-40’s to mid-50’s at sunrise) but heat up fast with expected weather in the high 70’s or the 80’s by 10 a.m. The key is to dress in layers which one can shed as the day warms.  


This trip  is for me, what do I do next? Get that deposit in! We accept check or bank transfer.This trip is limited to 6 people and is only offered as an extension to Zimanga.  If you are excited by the thought of seeing nature while taking your photography to the next level, then now is the time to register. Contact Pat at (609) 694-3247 or email us at Pat@TwilightBluePhotography.com.


All of the photos are courtesy of our tour company and Asphill Foundation.

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