Amazing Madagascar! Photography Safari 2020 & 2021
Also booking now for 2021
Tour leader: Trai Anfield - award winning wildlife photographer, film maker, travel writer and broadcaster
"Pack Versatile Lenses & All Your Senses!"
No matter where else you've travelled, you won't have encountered many of the species we will photograph here in this complex island ecosystem. Madagascar's isolation over the millennia has allowed evolution to branch and create unique mammal, reptile, insect and bird life that you just can't encounter anywhere else, as well as the unique flora they rely on to survive.
Wild, whacky and flamboyant, the species we will photograph range from giraffe necked beetles and elegant butterflies to crazily coloured chameleons, almost invisible geckos, beautiful birds and of course the most famous stars of the show, lemur, sifaka, indri and perhaps even the elusive aye aye and fossa.
We'll search for all these species and many more as we wind our way through the varied habitats and landscapes of Madagascar's remaining forest habitats.
Did someone mention landscapes? We will stay amongst spectacularly chiselled rock formations, otherworldly forests sprouting from the deserts and glorious beaches along the way, ensuring we sample all the marvels Madagascar has to offer.
What's more we have the joy and freedom of exploring many of the national parks on foot, so pack all your senses and some versatile lenses - from macro to long telephoto - and join us on a photographic odyssey through mysterious, marvellous Madagascar!
Amazing Madagascar! Photography & Film Making Safari highlights
7 premium locations for endemic wildlife - unique species not found anywhere else in the world
Explore Madagascar's National Parks on foot by night and day - ideal safari for those who love walking & wildlife!
Dawn chorus of the Indri
Intimate lemur encounters
Exotic chameleons & birds
Spectacular landscapes, flora & rock formations
Baobabs, spiny forest, desert and rainforest habitats
Scheduled to ensure best photographic conditions for wildlife & landscapes
Always time to observe animal behaviour and create your shots
Great opportunities for experienced photographers looking for new species
Landscape and astro photography sessions
Beginner-friendly atmosphere to learn new and creative techniques with experienced tutor
Small group size - max 6
Companions interested in wildlife welcome
MADAGASCAR SUMMARY - full itinerary and camera notes for this safari available on request
Oct 20: Arrival in the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo
After a quick flight to the southwest coast our first priority will be to see the fast disappearing ‘Spiny Forest’ on two easy level introductory walks. Highlights here include the unique spiny flora, several huge baobab trees and birds such as the endemic long-tailed ground roller. We will also stay on the coast with fantastic views of local fishing boats as they pass by.
Driving west, we will stop first at Zombitse Forest national park where, more than other locations, we can see the stark contrast between national park and the surrounding area, which is almost completely denuded of trees. However this little 'island' of forest remains a sanctuary for rare endemic birds, lemurs and reptiles. We have the chance to see Verreaux Sifaka, Red-fronted lemurs and the nocturnal sportive lemur. Standing day gecko is also easy to find. Easy level walks.
Oct 22: continued
Isalo National Park. This huge massif has dramatically eroded sandstone elevations, which we will explore on foot, starting right at the door of our spectacularly located accommodation. Along the way we will discover vegetation like Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum or ‘elephant's foot’ and Aloe isaloensis, a native species of aloe endemic to Isalo. These scenic, eroded mountains are also a sacred place where the Bara rest their dead before burying them in their actual tombs. As we explore these beautiful barren lands we will encounter a surprising number of birds, lizards and insects. Easy to medium level walks
By night this area also offers the perfect chance to try our hand at astro photography.
Another early walk in Isalo National Park before continuing west to Anja (Anjaha). This reserve is a small community run park, with beautiful scenery, specialist plants adapted to the dry south and several troops of ring-tailed lemurs. There is a short well-maintained trail which winds past impressive rocks, topped by waiting lemurs, to a sacred cliff with an inaccessible tomb. Because this is an ancient burial ground, hunting of lemurs was banned here. Easy level walks.
Oct 24: Morning and evening visits to Anja plus group critique and post processing sessions during the day. In this habitat, the lemurs are very easy to photograph and quite often come to the ground with their young babies wrapped around their waists. They will often also come out of the forest to drink at waterholes along the edge.
By night this area offers a further chance for astro photography.
Oct 25, 26, 27: We take a private charter flight to our next phenomenal location in NE Madagascar, where over the next two days we will take both day time and night-time walks to explore the incredibly diverse forest reserve. Here we will encounter multiple species of lemurs, which are well habituated and appear very close to our lodge, and we will make a special excursion to photograph the legendary Aye Aye.
Oct 28: Drive to Andasibe in time for both an introductory walk in the afternoon, and our first night walk later on. Easy level walks.
Oct 29 & 30: Walks in the Special Reserve of Andasibe (Analamazaotra) to hear the haunting dawn chorus of the Indri as we seek to photograph them. This reserve is unique with its endemic fauna and flora, and is home to a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals including chameleons, tenrecs (charming creatures which look like a cross between a shrew and a hedgehog), and many birds. Medium level walk.
We also switch from primates to reptiles, as we visit a highly regarded community project in one of the best ‘Herping’ locations in Madagascar. It is known for having over 80 species of frogs and certain species of Chameleons not found in Andasibe national park; including the spectacular ‘Lanced Nose Chameleon’. Medium level walks. Followed by a night walk
We also include a visit to a quirky private reserve where the lemurs are habituated to humans. This tiny reserve is inhabited by several species of lemurs, including bamboo lemur, black & white ruffed lemur, red ruffed lemur, brown lemur, Verreaux Sifaka and diademed sifaka. This is an opportunity to get up ‘close and personal’ (yes, some lemurs will jump onto your shoulders!) and freely photograph these beautiful primates. We should stress that, though enjoyable, this excursion is not a wild experience!
Oct 31: Andasibe – Tana
A final chance to hear the haunting call of the Indri, and a morning visit to Lemur Island before we head by road back to Antananarivo, where we will overnight at San Cristobal Hotel. After check-in you have the remainder of the day free to explore and to do some sightseeing. The capital of Madagascar is also called the ‘City of Thousands’ and it is where the first King started to unify the different kingdoms of the island. Tana was built in three stages: The high city, the first area occupied during the regal period where the old queen's palace is situated; the mid-city, where all the chic boutiques of the capital are found; and then the low city, which is the commercial area of the town. Walk from the high city to see the Rova, the queen's palace, and the house of the first minister during these days, which is now a museum. All of these were built by Frenchman Jean Laborde during the royal period. The mid-city, or the administration area, ends at the Rainiharo tombs and the lower town is situated in the main avenue called ‘L'avenue de l'independence’ dominated by the railway station. Overnight San Cristobal hotel
Commence optional 4 day post-extension to Kirindy & Avenue of Baobabs
OR Connect with your onward international flight
Optional Post-extension to Kirindy and Avenue of Baobabs (4 days)
Kirindy offers the best chance in Madagascar of encountering and photographing the island's endemic and elusive, agile and aggressive top predator, the fossa. In addition, the area is home to many species of lemurs, chameleons and birds, and also has one of the best collections of remaining baobab trees, which make for iconic landscape photography subjects both by day and night.
Nov 1: Fly Tana to Morondava and drive to Kirindy - overnight ‘Relais du Kirindy’
Nov 2: Kirindy - dawn and evening/night VIP guide shoots, plus fossa, birds, lemurs, chameleons and mongoose may also be seen around the reserve's own camp during day. Overnight Relais du Kirindy
Nov 3: Kirindy - Morondava - dawn VIP shoot and try again for fossa. After lunch drive to Morondava where we will check in to the ‘Palissandre cote Ouest’ hotel. Sunset & stars shoots at Avenue of Baobabs.
Nov 4: Sunrise shoot of Baobabs before flying back to Tana and overnighting again at San Cristobal
Nov 5: When appropriate you will be transferred to the airport to connect with your flight home.