Madagascar Oct-Nov 2025

 

Why Madagascar?

Madagascar! Much like Galápagos, this is a place that conjures up images of amazing wildlife - wildlife that is among the best in the world in terms of diversity and abundance, and in some cases is as approachable as the wildlife of Galápagos.

Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island, having broken away from Africa well over 150 million years ago. This isolation makes it a living laboratory of evolution, with plants and animals found nowhere else on earth - lemurs, chameleons, geckos, frogs, tortoises, and myriad birds... Ringtail Lemurs gathering in groups on the ground to warm up in the morning sun... The haunting calls of lndris high in the forest canopy... A glimpse of a Sifaka as it skips across the trail ahead... Radiated Tortoises, well, just sitting  there...

At the same time the forests and valleys are filled with wonderful birds - the iridescent Madagascar Kingfishers flitting along the waterways, Paradise Flycatchers, Madagascar White Eyes, Giant Coua, Madagascar Scops Owl, Madagascar Fish-Eagle ... The flora too is astounding, from the surreal Baobab trees to the spiny forests of the west and south, or rainforests of the east.

The landscapes are equally as spectacular - the bright red soil of the highlands; the emerald green forest canopy festooned with orchids and other epiphytes; shades of grey in the limestone karst of the Tsingy; green rushing rivers and cascading waterfalls; white sand beaches, and all of it surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Madagascar truly is a land of rich colors and superlatives!

Neither solely a birding or wildlife tour, nor just a cultural tour, this is a general Natural History tour - a mix of amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery, and rich cultural discoveries. The people of Madagascar are amazingly welcoming. They are gracious, friendly, and nearly always smiling (and quite often singing). Madagascar is an explorer and photographer’s dream in so many ways!

Any wildlife and nature enthusiast (and wildlife photographers) will be thrilled with a visit to this unique part of the world.

The world's fourth largest island

 

 

Dates, Price, Booking & Inclusions

DATES:  16 October - 8 November 2025 (24 days)

STARTING AND ENDING AT:  Antananarivo

PRICE:  There are two components to the price:

  1. All land services (transport, guides, meals accommodations): US$12,400 (shared accommodation). Solo price:  $16,930.  If you are interested in sharing with someone of the same gender, please contact us and we can try to match you up. 
     
  2. Private charter flights:  Maximum 4,900 euros / person (about US$5,400 at current exchange rates). Prices are quoted in Euros by the charter companay.  When it's time to pay for the flights we will convert the Euro price into USD and invoice you accordingly.  We quote a maximum price here to be on the conservative side.  Should the actual price be lower, we will charge you the lower price.  

Why private charter flights? Two reasons:

- Reliability: Chartering our own air transport ensures we can stick to our schedule.  The commercial air carrier in Madagascar is notoriously unreliable.  It is not uncommon that the only flight of the day to a smaller town is delayed by several hours our outright cancelled. 

- Efficiency:  Rural roads in Madagascar are generally very poorly maintained.  A one hour flight can save us an exhausting 12 hour drive (and a lost day).  Moreover, the commercial air carrier does not serve some of the regions we are visiting.    

# GUESTS:  14 (10 spaces remaining)

SOLO TRAVELLER LOOKING FOR A TRAVEL MATE? 

Try our "Solo Traveller Matching Service".  Provide a few basic details and if someone else (same gender) is looking for a partner on this trip, we'll put you in touch. 

BOOKING:  Go to our BOOKING FORM and we'll send you an invoice for the deposit when received.   

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • experienced tour leader to ensure your trips goes as swimmingly as possible;
  • all lodging in mid to higher mid-range establishments (in some rural areas, options are limited);
  • all meals within Madagascar;
  • tea, coffee & bottled water and soft drinks with meals;
  • bottled water whilst traveling;
  • baggage handling at airports;
  • all tours foreseen as part of our trip;
  • private charter flights;
  • private road transport;
  • maritime transfers to and from Masoala Forest Lodge;
  • national park and preserve entrance fees;
  • local guides for the main road trips, and within the national parks & preserves (English speaking when possible, although a few may be French speaking);
  • tips to local guides, hotel staff, and baggage handlers at airports;
  • pre­departure materials, guide book & map.
  • carbon offsets
  • US$200,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?

  • international airfare to and from Madagascar;
  • passport or visa fees;
  • travel insurance (emergency medical evacuation insurance is included but we recommend emergency medical, trip cancellation and trip interruption at a minimum);
  • travel inoculations or medications;
  • laundry service (available at all lodges / hotels where we stay a minimum of two nights and very reasonably priced)
  • alcoholic drinks (except as noted);
  • tips to the Tour Leader (we recommend apx. US$200-$250/person suggested);
  • items of a personal nature, including laundry and communications;
  • any other items not indicated in the "what's included" list.

 

 

 

Trip webinar 5 July - register here

We're giving a short webinar designed to tell you more about the trip and our operating philosophy. The 40 minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A session If you're at all considering this trip, you might find it useful to join us... and we'd be very happy to see you there. 

WHEN?  Friday, 5 July 2024 at 7:00PM eastern time (Montreal / Miami). 

REGISTER HERE

 

 

 

Trip Vision and Travel Style

Our 2025 Madagascar Expedition is custom-designed and led by Richard Parsons.  Richard has been designing and leading such trips to Madagascar since 2008.  He knows what he's talking about. 

His objective is to take you beyond the usual "been-there-done-that" sites and to truly explore the country as the truly interested visitor wishes to experience. Most Madagascar trips simply travel Route Nationale 7 down to Toliara, and then fly back to Tana, usually a 8 to 10 day tour that gives you a superficial insight into Madagascar. Our trip has you spending over 3 weeks in the country and visits special select areas where the contrast in landscape, wildlife and culture make for a fascinating travel odyssey. 

Our trip explores places where conservation and preservation of wildlife and natural landscapes are helped directly by our visit. We work with local guides, directly and indirectly help local communities, aiming to have a positive impact on the people we meet and the landscapes we pass through. Madagascar has deforestation problems, and responsible ecotourism, which is at the core of this trip and indeed in the hearts of those who organize it, helps to ensure long-term conservation of this fascinating country.   

Leadership and overall logistics and organization for this trip reflect the attention to details which characterizes CNH Tours trips. 

 

 

 

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

This trip is for those truly passionate about Madagascar wildlife / biodiversity.  The focus is on exposing you to the maximum breadth and depth of what this singular country has to offer in that respect. 

Guests should know that conditions in Madagascar, a very poor country, can be basic. The choice in terms of accommodations can be fairly limited in rural areas.  Don't expect luxury accommodations - but do expect clean, well-maintained and comfortable lodgings - top of the line in most of the places we'll be visiting. We've incorporated private charter flights to avoid the longest distances (included), but some journeys, up to 8 or10 hours, will be over national highways in a comfortable private air-conditioned mini-bus when the roads are suitable or in several four-wheel drive SUV type vehicles when they are not (see image below).  During these journeys, we will stop regularly to stretch our legs, take "health" breaks of course, have a meal and take in some sights.  

When the roads warrant it, we'll be using several of these 4 wheel drive vehicles to get about

The Hyundai "County" mini-bus; on the better roads, we'll be using these, or something very similar 

HIKING REALITIES 

This is a fairly active trip, where the best experiences are often to be had hiking into the national parks and protected areas that we will visit. That's where you're most likely to encounter iconic wildlife and amazing landscapes. Typical duration for a given hike is one to three hours (walking at a relaxed pace for the most part - this is not an iron-man competition but a nature observation walk) with little or only moderate elevational gain. You should be in good enough physical condition to join these hikes (our tour leader will have the authority to deny participation of a guest if he feels it would endanger that guest, or prevent the rest of the group from completing the hike). 

The most difficult hike is the Grand Tsingy hike (a full day), for which alternatives will be offered which still give an experience of the Tsingy. It is always possible to divide into two sub-groups where necessary - faster hikers and slower hikers.

Night hikes are also very worthwhile, revealing many nocturnally active lemurs as well as sleeping birds and much more.

 

 

 

 

Where will we be going?

Madagascar is a large country.  If we lined it up next to the east coast of the USA, it would stretch from northern Florida all the way to the Canadian border.  Getting to know the country's most outstanding natural areas will require quite a bit of travel.  While some can be done by road, there's a limit to human endurance (roads can be notoriously bad in Madagascar - imagine traveling from Vermont to Virigina on a rough country road...).  For that reason, we've arranged for several private charter flights.    

 

Route map - land and air


We'll be visitng several national parks and other protected areas throughout the country, several of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

 

 

 

 

Itinerary details

NOTES ON THE ITINERARY
Be aware that situations may arise that could compel us to modify the itinerary before the trip begins (we'll let you know) or even during the trip. When travelling in Madagascar, the rule of thumb is "expect the unexpected" although we are doing our very best to avoid any serious changes and/or setbacks by using exclusively charter flights in 2025.  

October 16 (day 1): ARRIVE ANTANANARIVO (TANA).  HOTEL CHECK-IN.

Independent arrival into Antananarivo, Madagascar.  We recommend the Air France flight departing from Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport, arriving in Tana later in the evening.  If you prefer an alternative flight route, we'll be sure to arrange a private transfer for you on arrival. 

Madagascar visas may be secured on arrival. After clearing customs and immigration you will have a private transfer to the cozy Hotel Pavillon de l’Émyrne, in the historical lsoraka neighborhood of Old Town Tana.

October 17 (day 2): TANA - ROYAL PALACES AND A THOUSAND FACES

After a leisurely breakfast, and time to unwind from the long flight yesterday, we take the first part of the Malagasy Royal Tour as we visit the Palais de la Reine/Queen’s Palace and learn about the colourful history of the Malagasy Queens and Kings! Gradually, (note - you will learn the true meaning of this word as we leave Tana!) we drive out through this city of a thousand faces, with its European style churches and markets selling everything you have thought of and never thought of...  

The second part of the Malagasy Royal Tour of Tana takes us out to the country palace of Adrianaponimerina (18th century King of the Merina) at Ambohimanga. This place is a haven of peace away from the city, and a place of great devotion and tradition for today’s Merina people. Overnight Tana: Pavillon de  l'Émyrne.

October 18 (day 3): TANA TO  ANDASIBE

This morning our transport will take us for our drive east, from the dry highlands around the capital city to the farm and rainforest dominated landscape of the Eastern slopes surrounding Andasibe National Park (Perinet). Today, we explore the wonders of the Andasibe region, home to the largest of the lemurs, the lndri! Our first hike will take us to an area where we have our first opportunity of seeing this fascinating creature close up. Lots more to discover too, so we explore these rich environs, looking for Diademed Sifaka (endemic to this region) Common Brown Lemurs, a diversity of Malagasy birds such as the jewel-like Madagascar Kingfisher, Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher, Madagascar Magpie-Robin, Common Newtonia, Madagascar Hoopee, and more. Rare birds such as the elusive Red­breasted and Red-fronted Couas, and Madagascar Raíl might be seen. Overnight: Andasibe: Eulophiella Lodge.

October 19 (day 4): ANDASIBE

We will likely experience the distant , haunting cry of the Indri as we wander down to breakfast this morning!  We will then go to a different area of the national park, where sightings of Indri close up are almost guaranteed. Many more fascinating birds, lemurs and more await us today, as we explore the trails of the national park. This evening, we take a night hike in  the private Mitsinjo Reserve, where we may discover Eastern Avahi lemur, Mouse Lemurs, strange chameleons, such as the incredibly miniature Brookesia chameleon. Overnight Andasibe: Eulophiella Lodge

October 20 (day 5):  ANDASIBE TO TANA TO ANTSIRABE

Today, we drive back west and then south through the beautiful highlands of Imerina. This long but fascinating drive takes us  through tiny villages of thatched houses and learning about the customs surrounding the dead-they are housed in buildings that are better constructed than the houses of the living, known as “cold houses”, because the belief is that the dead continue to exist on a different plane, and have influence on the lives of the living. In the larger towns the markets are bustling and fascinating. Great views and photo opportunities even just driving through! Eventually we reach the town of Antsirabe, a town famous for its thermal baths as well as THB... Three Horses Beer! We stay at a pleasant guest house outside town. Overnight: Antsirabe

October 21 (day 6):  ANTSIRABE TO RANOMAFANA

In the gardens around the guesthouse, we will expect to get nice views of some of the more common Malagasy birds, some of which adapt well to this introduced vegetation. Magpie-Robin, Madagascar Kestrel, Madagascar Coucal and more. We then continue south, climbing more into the high plateau of Imerina. Fascinating tall mud brick houses, many of which are built without cement, and so gradually melt back into the elements! We travel through villages that sometimes seem to sell just one item - maybe some unusual fruits to try… as well as the town of Ambositra, famous for its woodwork handcrafts. Time permitting, we may visit a small workshop, where everything is handmade with often very rudimentary tools.

Eventually we reach Ranomafana (see the conservation history and values on the UNESCO World Heritage Centre site here), after the final hour or so travelling through an increasingly forested landscape. A nice comfortable lodge awaits us. Overnight: Ranomafana: Setam Lodge.

October 22 (day 7):  RANOMAFANA

The morning takes us to the national park, where we will make our first hike to discover some of the amazing lemurs here. Greater Bamboo Lemur and Golden Bamboo Lemur are always the targets, but Ranomafana is also home to the delightful Milne-Edward’s Sifaka, Red­fronted Brown Lemurs and more. Lunch nearby, and then an afternoon visit to the Valbio Research Station, where we expect to be hosted by Dr. Patricia Wright of Duke University, who was the main person responsible for the creation of the national park in 1991. Dr. Wright’s busy schedule allowing, we expect to be treated to a talk on the history of how this national park carne into being. We will learn about the ongoing research on the fascinating wildlife of the park, and at the same time hope to visit some of the projects created with local people to integrate them into the park and its reason for being... reforestation, medicinal plant gardens and more. A night hike reveals chameleons and nocturnal lemurs, possibly including the Greater Dwarf Lemur. Overnight Ranomafana: Setam Lodge.

October 23 (day 8):  RANOMAFANA TO MORONDAVA

Today we take the Vohiparara trails at the park’s boundary and look for some of the specialty birds for which Ranomafana is famous: Brown Emutail, Rufous-headed Ground-Roller, Pitta­like Ground-Roller, rare amphibians, and more. Mid-afternoon, we drive two hours to Fianarantsoa, from where our short charter flight takes us to the commerce-rich city of Morondava on the west coast. We drive out of town to the Baobab Avenue, to experience this wonder of nature at sundown. These amazing trees look as if they have put their heads in the ground, and their roots in the air! Perhaps the most photogenic alley of trees in the whole of Madagsacar! Back in Morondava, we discover the oasis of Chez Maggie, nestled behind the dunes right close to the beach. Overnight Morondava: Chez Maggie

October 24(day 9):  MORONDAVA TO KIRINDY

Today 4-wheel drive vehicles will await us and take us out on the road for the Kirindy deciduous dry forest reserve (apx. 30 miles/50 kms north of Morondava), seeing the Avenue des Baobabs in a different light. Staying at a pleasant thatched hotel, we have lunch and perhaps a siesta before heading to Kirindy. Wildlife here is spectacular: Verreaux Sifaka, Red-fronted Lemur, Grey Mouse­Lemur, Leaf-tailed Gecko and chameleons. Also, if we are lucky, Madagascar Ground Boa, the rare and strange Giant Jumping Rat, and the Fosa - Madagascar’s top predator. Birds include Crested Coua, Sakalava Weaver, Madagascar Green Pigeon, and Madagascar Nightjar. Overnight: Relais Du Kirindy.

October 25 (day 10):  KIRINDY TO BEKOPAKA AND THE TSINGY

Today we continue inland and north towards the village of Bekopaka. Our journey involves two traditional river crossings by simple ferry and gives a good glimpse into the lives of the Sakalava people, with their herds of cattle and scattered homes. We stop for lunch in the bustling market town of Belo-sur-Tsiribina, and continue north, arriving at Bekopaka early evening. We’ll have time to settle in before dinner at our lovely hilltop hotel (complete with a swimming pool). Overnight Bekopaka: Hotel L ‘Orchidee Du Bemaraha.

October 26 & 27 (days 11-12): TSINGY DE BEMARAHA

We will have two full days to explore this area of amazing limestone karst landscape (a UNESCO World Heritage site); the Petit Tsingy and the Grand Tsingy - utterly indescribable landscapes, plus unique wildlife surprises such as the delightful Decken’s Sifaka, Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Sickle-billed Vanga, Tsingy Wood-rail, and maybe the rare Madagascar Fish-Eagle on the Manambolo River. The Tsingy has been made accessible via hanging bridges, sturdy ladders, and ingenious footholds - a labyrinth of fantastic explorations and vast views! A pirogue trip on the Manambolo River brings us to some amazing limestone caves, and ancient tombs high on the cliffs of the Vazimba, the original inhabitants of the Tsingy.

On day one, we go into what is known as the "Petit Tsingy" (Small Tsingy) We explore a maze-like stone labyrinth, and eventually climb up onto the "top" of the Tsingy, with great views over the nearby lake and surrounds. The hike is moderate and accessible, with a couple of difficult points. We also hike through an area of forest with good lemur sightings, chameleons and more. We aso take a dugout canoe tide up the Manambolo Gorge, visiting some limestone caves and seeing from a certain distance open tombs of the Vazimba, the first inhabitants of the region. Good birding along the gorge. 

On Day Two we drive further into this UNESCO Heritage Site, to the Grand Tsingy. Here the group is likely to divide into two : one group doing the full day hike, one group a shorter morning hike. The long hike is difficult in that at one point one is bending down to go through a cave and then one climbs up onto the top of the Tsingy via extremely secure steel "steps" cemented into the rock, with climbing harness, and clips to attach onto the thick wire cables that follow the trails. (Very well designed by professional French mountaineers). There is a level of challenge here, but the rewards are huge. The views out over this otherworldly landscape of rock and hidden green valleys with strange endemic plants  is really special, and frankly unique. Box lunch provided. 

The shorter hike takes us through the first part of the trail through a wildlife-rich forest , then out of the forest  to an overlook towards the Grand Tsingy. While of course not as deep in the Tsingy as the full day option offers, this is also a very worthwhile trip. This group returns to the hotel for lunch,  and in the afternoon have the option to relax or explore the nearby lake, where the rare Malagasy Fish-Eagle is sometimes sighted. 

Overnights Bekopaka: Hotel L´Orchidee Du Bemaraha.

October 28 (day 13): BEKOPAKA TO TANA

Today we drive the short distance to Amborodia airport (near the Tisngy) and charter flight to Tana. Afternoon activities may include a visit to a nice photo museum, and we will have time to relax at our hotel. Hotel Tana: Pavillon de  l'Émyrne

October 29 (day 14): TANA TO THE MASOALA PENINSULA

Early morning charter flight on to Maroansetra, a busy but also very Malagasy port town on the East coast. Looking down from the flight, as we near the coast the tropical greens and red earth of the highlands will give way to the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. From the airport we will transfer to the port, and travel by boat to the remote Masoala Peninsula and the Masoala Forest Lodge (roughly 90 minutes by speedboat). The Masoala Peninsula is largely National Park and is a fascinating area where the rain forest comes practically down to the ocean edge, with coastal vegetation different from inland rain forest. The lodge is a luxury tented camp, with 7 rooms, so we anticipate taking pretty much the entire camp. This afternoon we make our first exploratory hike into the forest near the beautiful coastline. And on our night hike, we wíll be on the lookout for nocturnal lemurs, frogs, reptiles... Overnight: Masoala Forest Lodge.

October 30 - November 1 (days 15-17): MASOALA PENINSULA

Three full days of exploration in the park (also a World Heritage site - see more info on the UNESCO website), from forest streams and extensive boulder strewn empty sandy beaches. White-fronted Brown Lemurs, Red-ruffed Lemurs, Tenrecs (similar toa hedgehog, but cuter), Madagascar White-Eye, Hook-billed Vanga, Long-billed Green Sunbird, Madagascar Green Pigeon, Helmet Vanga and more all might be possible. In addition to hiking to find the endemic and very range restricted Red­ruffed Lemur, perhaps enjoy a massage in a small, tented enclosure down on the beach, or a sunset trip on a pirogue exploring the fascinating forests and coastline, there are canoe excursions and options for kayaking and snorkeling along the shoreline (kayak & snorkeling equipment included). At night we will look for Eastern Avahi Lemur, and Small-toothed Sportive Lemurs, as well as weird reptiles! Overnights: Masoala Forest Lodge.

 

November 2 (day 17): MASOALA TO TANA TO FORT DAUPHIN

Early this morning we travel by boat back to Maroansetra, and then fly onwards via Tana and down to the southwest coast at Fort Dauphin (Toalagnaro) – two flights (shown as one on the map) - by private charter aircraft.  We spend the night in Croix Du Sud Hotel, Fort Dauphin.

November 3 (day 18):  ADHOHAHELA & BERENTY

This morning we will set out by private mini bus for the inland Berenty Reserve, where large troops of curious Ring-tailed Lemurs await us! Enroute, we anticipate visiting a local market, plus stops within the Andohahela National Park with its spiny and transitional forests. Overnight: Berenty Private Reserve.

November 4 & 5 (days 19-20):  BERENTY

At Berenty we will explore the riverine gallery forest, where, as well as the Ring-tailed Lemurs, we will find the “dancing” Verreaux Sifaka, Madagascar Flying Fox, Giant Coua, Hook-billed Vanga and so much more. Explorations also take us into the dry spiny forest, right at Berenty. Of all the endemic forest ecosystems of Madagascar, this is perhaps the most other-worldly! Sifaka can climb around the Dideraceae trees with their menacing spines, as if it were an afternoon stroll! Our local guides usually locate Madagascar Scops-Owl and Madagascar Nightjar in this natural maze. We will plan a night hike here, where the White­ browed Owl often is seen.

November 6 (day 21):  FORT DAUPHIN TO TANA

After a pleasant morning in Berenty Reserve, we drive back to Fort Dauphin, with a couple of stops en route for the unexpected….. Afternoon flight back to Tana. Overnight: Pavillon de L Emyrne, Tana

November 7 (day 22):  TANA

Today we will take a morning tour to Lake Alarobia, famous for a variety of water birds including Black-crowned Night-Heron, Squacco Heron, White-faced Whistling-.Duck, nesting Cattle Egret, Red-billed Teal and more, many at very close quarters,  and with a lot of luck, the Madagascar Pond Heron. Afterwards we go to the Route des Digues, a very colourful and varied handcraft market, where you can find some quite unusual and special souvenirs on this our (sadly) final day in Madagascar. We keep our hotel rooms until late evening when after a farewell dinner, we head to the airport.

November 8 (day 23):  INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURE

We count this as a "day" in the sense that at the start of the 8th November, just past midnight, you'll still be technically in Madagascar, but soon to board your flight.   The recommended Air France return flight to París (AF#935) departs Tana at 1:45am, arriving at CDG at 10 :55am.  We'll arrange a group transfer.  If you have other flight plans, we'll arrange for a private transfer for you (included).

 

 

Your Tour Leader

Richard Parsons created and organized this trip, drawing upon on his personal experience living and working in Madagascar for two years.  He set up the first international study programme for US students in 1991. Since 2007, he has been organizing and leading these tours, and continues to enjoy the country and these travel experiences deeply.

 

Richard grew up in England in a family that loves nature, and travelled extensively from an early age. Languages became his passion, learning first French, then German, then Spanish  over his younger years. Malagasy came later of course! This led to spending extended periods working or travelling in Germany, Spain, various French-speaking countries and South America, where he now lives. 

In 1982, Richard started work as a naturalist guide aboard the Buccaneer in the Galapagos Islands. This led to him doing a Master’s Degree in natural resource management at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and then working for various years as Academic Director of College Semester abroad programmes for the School for International Training based in Brattleboro Vermont, leading first of all Ecology study programmes in Ecuador. In 1991, Richard was asked to set up the Madagascar study programme for US students.

 

Today, Richard is co-owner and general manager of Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge and Private Protected Area. In fact, Bellavista was the first Private Protected Area to be created in Ecuador as part of the National System of Protected Areas in 2019.

As a tour leader, Richard is full of energy and enthusiasm. He will play a key role in helping you appreciate the wonders of Madagascar.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are being developed and expanded on an on-going basis. If your question is not here, please contact us and we'll add it to the growing list!

 

What is the climate like in Madagascar in October/November? 

October/November in Madagascar is springtime, transitioning from the dry to the rainy season. The weather is generally warm and pleasant with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). Coastal areas can be hot and humid, while the central highlands are cooler. It's a good time for travel as the landscapes are lush and there is less rainfall compared to later months.

What should I pack for a trip to Madagascar in October/November? 

Clothing:

- Light, breathable clothes for warm days

- A sweater or jacket for cooler evenings

- Waterproof jacket or poncho for potential rain

- Comfortable walking shoes and sandals

- Swimwear for beaches

 

Other Essentials:

- Sunscreen and sunglasses

- Hat or cap for sun protection

- Insect repellent

- Basic first-aid kit

- Refillable water bottle

- Travel adapter (Madagascar uses Type C and E plugs, 220V)

 Laundry service is available at a reasonable price in all accommodations we use – when staying at least two nights.

 

Are there weight / luggage restrictions for the private charter flights?

Yes - we ask that your luggage weigh no more than 20kg / 44lbs.  Also, be sure to used soft sided bags (they can have a retractable handle and wheels, but these should be recessed).  Such bags can more easily be packed into the hold of small planes.

 

Are there any health concerns I should be aware of?

 Yes, travelers should take certain health precautions:

-  Vaccinations: Ensure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines. Recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and if planning extended stays or visiting rural areas, Rabies and Hepatitis B.

- Malaria: Madagascar is a malaria-risk area. Take antimalarial medication as prescribed by your doctor and use insect repellent, especially in the evenings.  The risk is greater in coastal areas. We will be travelling at the end of the dry season, when the risk is lower (but not zero). 

- Water: Drink only bottled or boiled water. Avoid ice cubes in drinks and eat only cooked foods or fruits you can peel.

 

What is the road network like in Madagascar?

 The road network in Madagascar can be challenging:

- Main roads connecting major cities are generally in fair condition but can be narrow and winding.

- Secondary and rural roads are often unpaved and can be difficult to navigate, especially during the rainy season.

 

What currency is used in Madagascar, and where can I exchange money?

 The currency in Madagascar is the Malagasy Ariary (MGA).  Click here for the latest exchange rates (USD and other currencies)

- You can exchange money at banks, exchange bureaus, and major hotels.

- ATMs are available in larger cities but may not be reliable in rural areas. It's best to carry some cash for remote areas.

- Credit cards are accepted in some hotels and restaurants in major cities but are less common in rural areas.

 

What types of food can I expect in Madagascar?

 Malagasy cuisine is diverse and includes:

- Staples: Rice is a staple, often served with meat, fish, or vegetables.

- Specialties: Try Romazava (a meat and vegetable stew), Ravitoto (crushed cassava leaves with pork), and Zebu meat dishes.

- Seafood: Coastal areas offer a variety of fresh seafood.

- Fruits: Enjoy tropical fruits such as lychees, bananas, and mangoes.

 

Is it safe to travel in Madagascar?

 Madagascar is generally safe for travelers, but like any destination, it’s important to stay aware:

- Avoid displaying valuables and keep belongings secure.

- Be cautious in crowded places and markets.

- Prefer registered taxis and avoid traveling alone at night.

- Check the latest travel advisories from your government.

 

Do I need a visa to visit Madagascar?

 Yes, most travelers require a visa to enter Madagascar. Tourist visas can be obtained:

- On Arrival:  Available for stays up to 90 days. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of entry.

- Online:  E-Visas can be applied for in advance through the Madagascar e-Visa website.

 

Accommodations & Meals

HOTELS

Accommodation throughout the trip is in high quality hotels and lodges, which are the best in any given area – avoiding international hotel chains to give preference to local / international individual entrepreneurs. 

Antananarivo:  Pavillon de l'Emyrne

 

Andasibe: Eulophiella Lodge

 

Antsirabe:  Couleur Cafe

Ranomafana: Setam Lodge

 

Morondava:  Chez Maggie

 

Kirindy: Relais du Kirindy

 

Bekopaka: Orchidée Du Bemaraha

 

Masoala: Masoala Forest Lodge

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Dauphin:  Hotel Croix du Sud

 

Berenty:  Berenty Reserve Lodge


MEALS

All meals are included in this trip. Food in Madagascar at the restaurants and hotels we use is very good and relies (close to the coast) on the catch of the day. Vegetables are grown almost exclusively without pesticides (because farmers cannot afford them). Vegetarian is always possible, vegan and other more restricted diets may be hard to accommodate in some places. If you are worried about specific dietary needs, it is advised to bring such items with you from home because Malagasy shops are not well-stocked, with the exception of city supermarket chains. 

 

Terms & Conditions & Insurance

RATES

Published voyage rates are quoted in US dollars and are based on passengers sharing accommodations. Once a deposit is received, your rate is locked in. 

RESERVATIONS

To confirm a booking a US$1,000 deposit per person is required. A second deposit of US$2,500  will be due 6 months prior to the travel date (16 April 2025).  The final payment is due 3 months prior to departure (16 July 2025).  

Payment for private charter flights will be invoiced separately and when the charter company makes its request. 

CANCELLATIONS / PAYMENTS

Payments are not reimbursable once the deadline for that payment has passed. In cases where payment is late, we reserve the right to treat the booking as canceled by you.  All payments may be made via cheque, direct deposit, wire transfer or VISA / Master Card (2.7% transaction fee applies to credit cards).  Consider acquiring appropriate cancellation insurance that covers you in case you need to cancel.  

TRANSFERABILITY
The trip is entirely transferable.   Should you not be able to participate, we would accept a replacement.  There may be a charge imposed by the  air carriers, or imposed by other service provides.   
ELIGIBILITY / PHYSICAL FITNESS

Our trip will have you spending several hours a day on your feet on a regular basis - walking and exploring. You should be in a good enough physical condition to walk 3-4 miles (5-6 kms) on forest trails, at time uneven, and at times with moderate elevational gain.  Our walks are at a leisurely pace for the most part, as we are there to observe nature.  If you feel that a walking stick would be useful, do not hesitate to bring one. There are a few overland journeys on roads that may be rough at times - some lasting as long as 10 (or more) hours.  We will be making regular stops during such journeys.  Your tour leader reserve the right to deny a guest participation in an activity if he/she feels that the guest would be at undue risk to him/herself or to others. 

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

CNH Tours strongly urges its guests to be fully vaccinated for any common communicable diseases such as COVID and the flu.  Should you come down with symptoms of such diseases in the two weeks prior to the trip date, we ask that you inform us and keep us posted on the situation.  Should you come down with such symptoms while on the trip. we will require that you see a doctor (at your expense) for an examination.  Your tour leader will help to arrange a visit.  

INSURANCE

All CNH Tours guests on this trip will benefit from a US$200,000 emergency medical evacuation coverage.  Any additional insurance, such as emergency medical to cover medical costs related to accidents or sudden illness while on the trip is recommended.  You may also want to consider acquiring trip cancellation / interruption insurance, which would reimburse all or part of your trip costs under certain circumstances.  There are other insurance products sold by travel insurance providers that you may want to consider.  

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itinerary as described on this website is the one we intend to follow.  However, circumstances such as extreme weather events, labour strife etc. make can result in the need to modify the itinerary.  In such circumstances, the tour leader will be responsible for making alternative arrangements. In the event of such a change no refunds or price adjustments are possible. Placement of a booking with CNH Tours amounts to an acknowledgement and acceptance that itinerary changes are possible.

VOYAGE CANCELLATION

In the unlikely event that a trip is cancelled by CNH Tours insufficient sales, CNH Tour's liability will be limited to the payments it will have received by the participants.  This will not include any costs assumed by our guests that are not invoiced by us (for example, airfare).   Should the trip be made impossible to carry out due to force majeure (pandemics, civil unrest, extreme weather and other such events), CNH Tours will do its utmost to make its guests whole, either by a reimbursement (partial or complete) or by postponing the trip, but it will not be liable for any funds it has passed on to local suppliers and no longer controls.  With such events, there is a risk that CNH Tours may not be able to reimburse nor offer a postponed trip.  Guests are urged to acquire travel insurance that will protect them against such eventualities. 

TRIP LANGUAGE

Our trip will be conducted in English. Our tour leader and local guides are fluently bilingual (English/French and a good knowledge of Malagasy).  

AUTHORITY

All guests are subject to instructions or regulations given by the tour leader.

SMOKING

Smoking is not allowed inside any of the accommodations, restaurants nor in the transport.

RESPONSIBILITY

CNH Tours, the tour leader and participating local service providers shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against CNH Tours or its service providers for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. 

By participating on a CNH Tours trip, the participant acknowledges these terms and conditions and certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CNH Tours and its designated representatives reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant from a voyage or daily activity.  CNH Tours and its representatives / tour leader / service providers reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants. The tour leader has the right to restrict the activities of any guest whose behaviour results in a loss of enjoyment or the safety of other guests. 

Neither CNH Tours, nor its service providers shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non – refundable ticket to or from the participant’s departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

 

Terms and Conditions subject to change. 20 June 2024