Madagascar: The Eighth Continent

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September 3 - 16, 2019

HMSC Study Leader: James Costa
Group Size: Up to 17 guests
Pricing: $7,995 per person double occupancy / $8,495 single

Cut off from the African mainland more than 100 million years ago, the flora and fauna of Madagascar have evolved independently from the rest of the planet.  The result: nearly eighty percent of its species exist nowhere else on earth, garnering Madagascar the nickname “the Eighth Continent.”  Explore three of Madagascar’s fascinating national parks in search of lemurs, chameleons, orchids, baobabs, geckoes and much more.  Search for the indri indri, the largest species of lemur, in the orchid-filled rainforest, then hike through the dramatic, eroded limestone towers known as “tsingy” in search of the crowned lemur and demonic-looking leaf-tailed gecko.  Despite the deforestation the island has experienced, Madagascar remains one of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, and much of its natural heritage continues to flourish in its parks.

Trip Highlights

  • Listen for the haunting calls of the indri indri in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, and view a variety of lemurs up-close in a private reserve.
  • Search for the tiny chameleons from the brookesia genus, some of which are the size of a thimble!
  • In Ankarana National Park, hike amongst the spectacularly-eroded “tsingy” and keep an eye out for the elusive fosa, Madagascar’s only native predator.

Schedule by Day

  • Sept 3: Depart on an overnight flight to Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Sept 4-5: Antananarivo
  • Sept 6-8: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Perinet)
  • Sept 9: Antananarivo
  • Sept 10-11: Amber Mountain National Park (Joffreville )
  • Sept 12-13: Ankarana
  • Sept 14: Nosy Be
  • Sept 15: Departure from Nosy Be / Flight home
  • Sept 16: Arrive home


  • Per person double occupancy: $7,995
  • Per person single occupancy: $8,945


  • 3 nights at Palissandre Hotel & Spa in Antananarivo
  • 3 nights at Mantadia Lodge in Perinet
  • 2 nights at Nature Lodge in Joffreville
  • 2 nights at Ankarana Lodge in Ankarana
  • 1 night at Ravintsara Wellness Resort in Nosy Be


What to Expect

Activity Level 4: Up for a challenge

Madagascar can be a rigorous travel destination. There are physical rigors such as bumpy roads, long drives between some locations, and challenging hikes in the national parks; and there are also the mental rigors of traveling in a third world country. A majority of the Malagasy population, both in the cities and countryside, live in visible poverty, and this will be evident as we travel between destinations. In addition, the capital city of Antananarivo is a crowded, bustling city which nearly always has terrible traffic jams. Please be prepared to discover not only the amazing biodiversity of Madagascar, but the realities of life in the country, too. This program travels to remote areas without access to medical facilities or means of rapid evacuation and assistance. Participants should therefore be aware that medical services may not be readily available during long periods of the program and, should medical attention be required, you may have to travel long distances to reach suitable facilities. Walks in the national parks can be up to 4 miles in length over hilly, and sometimes steep, sandy and rocky terrain; depending on where the animals are located, "bushwhacking" off trail may be required to get a better view.


Registration Form67 KB
Terms and Conditions50 KB
Trip Itinerary61 KB