Madagascar Biology Tour

Madagascar is a unique destination for the study of biology where the lemur and other unique species have evolved largely unchallenged by predation and today there are over 100 species of lemur found only in Madagascar and nowhere else. 

baobabs madagascar

School Biology Trip to Madagascar

Madagascar is a unique destination for the study of biology. Situated in the Indian Ocean just south of the Equator, the country is blessed with beautiful Indian Ocean beaches and clear turquoise waters teeming with marine life. Geologists believe the island separated from mainland Africa around 160 million years ago and as a result of that process, the apex predators which exist in today Africa are largely absent from Madagascar. This has enabled the lemur and other unique species to evolve unchallenged and today there are over 100 species of lemur found only in Madagascar and nowhere else.  Madagascar has a well-established network of National Parks which act to preserve wildlife habitat, although outside of these Parks the situation is more challenging with ancient natural forests particularly the native baobab sadly being cleared for agriculture, as in so many parts of the developing world. Our tour will explore all these aspects of the country, both positive and negative and will introduce your students to its wonderful flora and fauna.

Suggested Itinerary

The itinerary featured here is intended to give you inspiration and an idea of what you could do on your tour. Your trip will be created individually by one of our travel advisors to match your requirements and budget.

Day 1

Flight to Madagascar

Flight to Madagascar: You depart today on your flight to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

Day 2

Arrive in Antananarivo

Antananarivo: You arrive in Antananarivo and are met on arrival by your local English-speaking local guide and private transport. Affectionately known as Tana to the locals the capital city is the economic and cultural heart of Madagascar and with its bustling markets and characterful colonial architecture it provides a fascinating first taste of the experience ahead.

Day 3

Antsirabe Craft Workshops

Antsirabe: This morning you drive south to the town of Antsirabe, following the Route National 7, one of the principal roads in the country and paved in its entirety, something which cannot be said of the majority of Madagascar’s roads. You pass through an attractive highland landscape with terraced fields of wheat and rice and see herds of local Zebu cattle. You will stop periodically at small villages or roadside stalls where local people sell fruit, vegetables and homemade handicrafts. Antsirabe is the third largest city in Madagascar and has a cool climate owing to its altitude. During the French colonial period it was a favoured retreat from the capital, and many of the buildings are in the French colonial style.

Craft Workshops: Antsirabe is a centre for traditional crafts and your guide will take you to visit several fascinating workshops where local people work with aluminium, cow horn and wood. One of the highlights is a small workshop where old aluminium drinks cans are turned into intricate models of cars and bike. These inexpensive handicrafts make excellent gifts for those back home.

madagascar-craft-cars

Day 4

Ambositra and Ranomafana

Ambositra: Today you drive to the town of Ambositra, a journey of a little over two hours. This is a centre for traditional woodwork and wood carving and you will see the intricate creations and inlaid work. After lunch there is a spectacular landscape to admire along the way – rice fields dotted with traditional mud-brick houses. Along the route you can stop at a craft shop where sisal is woven into baskets. You stay overnight at a simple hotel in Ranomanfana National Park.

madagsascar-landcspae

Day 5

Ranomafana National Park

Ranomafana: Today you have a full day to explore Ranomafana National Park, one of Madagascar’s best known and most important parks, famous for its population of Golden Bamboo Lemur. The park is on the edge of Madagascar’s high plateau and is fairly mountainous, but it is this steepness of the slopes that has preserved the park from exploitation. The range of altitudes allows for many different forest types, from lowland rainforest to cloud forest and high plateau forest. National Park guides will escort you on trails to discover the indigenous wildlife.

chameleon-madagascar

Day 6

Ambalavao and Isalo

Ambalavao: This morning you travel to the town of Ambalavao. This is a centre for craft paper making and you will be able to visit a workshop and buy the local products.

Isalo: After lunch you continue the journey to Isalo National Park. After checking in at your accommodation you drive to the Isalo Window, a natural rock feature where you can watch the setting sun.

isalo-window

Day 7

Isalo National Park

Isalo National Park: Today you have a full day guided hike in the Isalo National Park. In the company of an experienced Park Ranger you will first hike to an area where you can see Ringtail Lemurs. After spending some time watching and photographing these fascinating creatures you will continue your hike to a beautiful upland waterfall and natural swimming pool. A variety of other unique wildlife can be seen including chameleon and stick insects. You will visit ancient tribal burial sites before hiking out of the park and meeting up with your transport and returning to your hotel. A wonderful day and one of the highlights of the tour.

isalo-3

Day 8

Travel to Ifaty

Travel to Ifaty: After breakfast you depart from Isalo and head south. Along the route you can visit an open-air distillery where the local rum is produced. Old oil drums are used to ferment sugar cane and the resultant brew is then distilled using makeshift equipment to create the local hooch. You also pass through a small town which is the centre for gem production and there are various shops which sell locally found and cut emeralds. As you head towards the Mozambique Channel, you will see the huge Baobab trees which are so iconic. Eventually you arrive in Tulear, a significant sized town which is a popular tourist resort. From here a rough dirt road leads past mangrove swamps to the small village of Ifaty and your hotel.

madagascar-beach

Day 9

Free day at Ifaty Beach

Free day at Ifaty Beach: Today is free at leisure at Ifaty Beach. The beach is sandy and the waters warm. A reef lies off shore and provides protection to the coast, which means that the sea is normally calm. Local fishermen are often to be seen in their small boats. A visit will be arranged to one of the fishing villages which dot this coast line and in the evening, we will arrange for local musicians to perform traditional Malagasy music at the hotel.

Day 10

Fly from Tulear to Antananarivo

Fly from Tulear to Tana: Today you fly from Tulear back to Antananarivo which takes about 90 minutes. Flight schedules will determine this day as the flight time can vary from early morning to late evening. Depending on the arrival time in Antananrivo, there may be an opportunity for shopping, or you may wish to spend your day at the hotel swimming pool.

Day 11

Fly Home

Fly Home: Today you depart from Antananarivo for the homeward flight. Again, depending on flight schedules you may arrive home the same day or it may be the following morning.

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Your Financial Security

Our tours are financially protected by our ATOL Licence and your payments are held in our trust account with the Travel Trust Association

Inspection Trips

If you are planning a tour with us, we can arrange an inspection trip so you are able to familiarise yourself with the destination and conduct any risk assessments your school may require.

Support on Tour

Many tours travel with a full-time guide who will look after your group in the destination, and you will always be able to contact our UK office which is manned 24/7.

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