Amazing Madagascar! Specialist Photography Safari 2022
Fitness level required: Medium to Good Fitness, with reasonable balance on narrow trails, and the ability to carry your own camera kit for long periods on extended forest walks in heat. (porters may be booked in advance)
Tour leader: Trai Anfield - award winning wildlife photographer, film maker, travel writer and broadcaster
Min group size 4 / max 6
"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 photographers
Companions interested in wildlife welcome
MADAGASCAR SUMMARY - full itinerary and camera notes for this safari available on request
Oct 16: Arrival in the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo. Short transfer to our overnight hotel.
After a quick flight to the southwest coast our first priority will be to see the fast disappearing ‘Spiny Forest’ on an easy level late afternoon / sunset walk. 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.
Sunrise visit to the spiny forest followed by breakfast and check out. 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 18: continued
After check in we will take a scenic sunset walk in the locale of 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. We may be lucky to hear the lemur cries as the sun goes down and they settle for the night. Easy level walks.
Oct 20: Generally diurnal Lemurs like Ring Tailed, tend to be more active in the mornings and also because most group tours to Madagascar visit Anja in the afternoon, by including an overnight stop on this picturesque spot, we can have a much more intimate experience with the lemurs this morning. We will also have time for an afternoon visit. 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.Morning and evening visits to Anja plus group critique and post processing sessions during the day.
By night this area offers a further chance for astro photography.
Oct 21: Optional final visit to Anja before we take a private charter flight and boat charter to our next phenomenal location in NE Madagascar.
Oct 22 & 23 We will take both day and night-time walks to explore the incredibly diverse forest reserve where we will encounter multiple species of lemurs, which are well habituated and appear very close to our lodge. Time between organised walks may be used to photograph around the lodge grounds, which are filled with interesting plants, birds, insects, reptiles and of course lemurs. We will also make a special excursion to photograph the legendary Aye Aye.
Oct 24: After breakfast we make the 4-5 hour drive to Andasibe in time for both an introductory walk in the afternoon, and our first night walk later on. Medium level walks.
Oct 25 : Walk at dawn 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.
In the afternoon we switch our focus 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.
Oct 26: Today we enjoy a second morning visit to Analamazaotra forest. In the late afternoon 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 27: Final morning visit to Lemur Island and we then get on the road back towards Antsirabe; where we will overnight at ‘San Cristobel Hotel’.
Oct 28: Transfer from hotel to connect with your onward international flight or your optional 4 day extension to Kirindy and the Avenue of Baobabs - see below
Optional Extension - Kirindy Fossa & Avenue of Baobabs
Kirindy, on the west coast,offers the best chance in Madagascar of encountering and photographing the island's endemic and elusive, agile and aggressive top predator, the fossa. This charismatic carnivoreor will be our main focus during our stay, though Kirindy is also a haven for many lemurs, birds and chameleons. We will take private VIP photography walking tours with the area's top guides to ensure the best opportunities for photography. The area also has one of the best collections of remaining baobab trees, which make for iconic landscape photography subjects both by day and night.
Kirindy Extension Itinerary
Oct 28 Fly Tana to Morondava then drive to Kirindy via the Avenue of Baobabs - overnight ‘Relais du Kirindy’.
Oct 29: Kirindy - dawn, evening and night VIP guide shoots. Fossa, birds, lemurs, chameleons etc also often found around the grounds of the reserve camp during the day, so lots of opportunities for independent exploration.
Oct 30: Kirindy - dawn shoot to try again for fossa and other highlights. After lunch drive to Morondava. Check in then on to the Avenue of Baobabs for sunset & stars shoots. Late dinner and overnight at ‘Palissandre cote Ouest’
Oct 31: Sunrise shoot at Avenue of Baobabs before breakfast and checkout. Fly back to Tana and overnight again at San Cristobal
Nov 1: When appropriate you will be transferred to the airport to connect with your flight home.
£6850 per person based on two sharing double or twin accommodation
Single supplement available: £520
Optional 4 day Kirindy & Avenue of Baobabs Extension
Cost £2200 per person based on two sharing double or twin accommodation
Single supplement available: £180
Inclusive of all Madagascan ground transfers in a private vehicle, all reserve fees and all activities set out in itinerary, expert photography tuition with Trai Anfield, an English Speaking naturalist throughout and experienced local wildlife guides, internal flights as per itinerary, one private chartered flight as per itinerary, all accommodation, B&B basis in the capital and all meals at all other accommodation.
Excludes international flights to Antananarivo, personal travel insurance, drinks other than bottled water in the field, gratuities
Our preferred partner agency Wildlife Trails was established in Cumbria in 1999 and is an independent travel agency specialising in responsible eco-tourism and tailor-made wildlife encounters.
Their experts have a wealth of knowledge, based on first-hand travel experience. We combine this with our expert knowledge of photographic requirements to give you the ultimate photography experience.