ORMS Madagascar

Orms Madagascar 10 day tour

Orms Photo Safaris are all custom safaris only with no fixed dates, cost or pre-assigned guide.
All photographic gear is customized for you and included in tour package
Please Note:

All our Madagascar photo tours are customized and booked on demand only. Orms does not currently offer any scheduled tours to Madagascar but will instead happily design a tailor-made photographic safari to this destination according to your specific requests and requirements.

Day 1:

Arrival in Antananarivo

After arrival in the bustling capital of Antananarivo, or “Tana” as it is more commonly known, you will be met by an ORYX representative and driven to our hotel located in a suburb near to the airport. The grounds of the hotel are home to a small selection of wildlife, and dedicated searching may reveal a colourful chameleon in a bush, or a Red Fody singing in a tree (a bird species endemic to Madagascar). Madagascar Wagtails flit along the sidewalks, and at the end of the day as nightfall descends over Antananarivo, the distinctive sounds of Madagascar Nightjar can often be heard.

During daylight hours (but dependant on arrival time), we may embark on our first photography excursion to Lake Alarobia. Travelling from our hotel into the city, one cannot help being struck by the uniqueness of the Malagasy culture, which is a strange mixture of African and Asian influences reflected in the landscape and architecture. Lake Alarobia, a private sanctuary set within the city protects large numbers of ducks and egrets from persecution. The small lake literally teems with waterfowl. Large numbers of White-faced Whistling Duck and Red-billed Teal should be seen, usually accompanied by small numbers of Hottentot Teal, Knob-billed and sometimes Fulvous Whistling Duck. The Lake also supports a fantastic assortment of egrets that roost or breed in the sanctuary, including a few splendidly adorned Malagasy Pond Heron and Dimorphic Egret. There are many willing photography subjects in amongst the large numbers of waterbirds, and we will have an interesting time photographing the hordes of roosting and squabbling birds.

This evening, your ORYX leader will be discussing your exciting Malagasy adventure in more detail!


Day 2:

Antananarivo to Perinet

We depart early for the drive eastwards across the Highland Plateau, before heading down the escarpment to the famous Andasibe area, home to the famous rainforest areas namely “Perinet” Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Our accommodation for the next four nights is a comfortable hotel located fairly close the aforementioned reserves. Being so close to the forests means that wildlife is often right on our doorstep: fluorescent green day geckos scuttle on the outside walls of our chalets, and we may well be serenaded by the beautiful songs of the world’s largest extant species of lemur, the handsome Indri. This evening, we may embark on our first nightwalk, giving us the opportunity to practice our macro skills, which likely will be used extensively in the coming days!

We depart early for the drive eastwards across the Highland Plateau, before heading down the escarpment to the famous Andasibe area, home to the famous rainforest areas namely “Perinet” Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Our accommodation for the next four nights is a comfortable hotel located fairly close the aforementioned reserves. Being so close to the forests means that wildlife is often right on our doorstep: fluorescent green day geckos scuttle on the outside walls of our chalets, and we may well be serenaded by the beautiful songs of the world’s largest extant species of lemur, the handsome Indri. This evening, we may embark on our first nightwalk, giving us the opportunity to practice our macro skills, which likely will be used extensively in the coming days!


Days 3 to 5:

Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park

Whilst in the Perinet area, we will make a special effort to see and photograph the reserve’s most famous resident: the huge, singing lemurs known as the Indri. A journey in search of these magnificent creatures is an incredibly experience, and if we are fortunate we will be treated to a close encounter with a family group, their eerie, whale-like howling echoing through the forest. Other lemurs we hope to see include Common Brown and Grey Bamboo lemurs, and we will also search known roosting sites for the nocturnal but inquisitive Eastern Avahi and Weasel Sportive Lemur.

The moist rainforest cloaking Madagascar’s eastern escarpment protects the richest assemblage of birds on the island, including many that are rare or poorly known. Over 100 of these have been recorded from within the small reserve of Perinet. Amongst the most sought-after of Madagascar’s birds are those of the five families endemic to the Malagasy region: the peculiar mesites, exquisite ground-rollers, Cuckoo-Roller, Malagasy warblers and the vangas. Some of these, such as the noisy Cuckoo-Roller and a number of the vangas are reasonably common and regularly encountered, whilst most of the others remain rare, local or elusive.

Another “must see” member of the island’s fauna is the Giraffe-necked Weevil, a tiny red and black insect named for its unusually proportioned neck! In the evenings, we will embark on night walks. Nocturnal outings are a thrilling and indeed, essential part of any trip to Madagascar and Perinet is one of the best sites to search for the island’s night birds. Specialities here include Madagascar Owl, Rainforest Scops Owl and both Madagascar and the little known Collared Nightjar.

Although Madagascar is famous for the spectacular lemurs that have adapted to a daytime existence, a number of species of these primitive primates remain, like their African cousins the galagos, denizens of the night. We will search for and should find Eastern Woolly, Furry-eared Dwarf and the diminutive Goodman’s Mouse Lemur, and may also encounter some of Madagascar’s other evolutionary masterpieces such as the bizarre Lowland Streaked Tenrec. The island’s reptile and amphibian (“herp”) fauna is equally fascinating and we will be impressed by the plethora of colourful and bizarre frogs, chameleons and geckos to be seen on an evening’s stroll. In particular, we will search for the giant Parson’s Chameleon and two species of eccentric leaf-tailed geckos: the huge Uroplatus fimbriatus and the aptly named Uroplatus phantasticus. The eastern rainforests are brilliant for macro photography, with a multitude of subjects to choose from. Your ORYX guide will use his experience in the area, together with various flash and macro techniques to bring out the best in each participants photography!

Mantadia National Park lies a short distance from Perinet (just over 1 hours drive – note the road can be quite rough), protecting a large expanse of primary forest at a somewhat higher altitude. The tract of rainforest here is beautiful, with many emergent trees and a rich assemblage of birds, mammals and herps. Although Indris are more difficult to see here, their loud vocalisations are a frequent background sound, together with the unmistakable calls of the huge Cuckoo-Roller. Mixed flocks of vangas move through the trees, and closer to streams, the myriad calls of frogs form a distinctive symphony (Madagascar is particularly well endowed with frogs, with an estimated 500 species, of which a staggering 99% are endemic to the island!). An amphibian highlight is Baron’s Mantella, a spectacularly coloured forest frog. These small frogs call from well-covered recesses on the forest floor – often under mossy stumps, and with luck, our local Malagasy guide will be able to track down one of these beautiful frogs.

Other photographic attractions in this scenically beautiful park include the vocal Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur and the elusive Diademed Sifaka (considered by many to be the world’s most beautiful lemur). Much of the photography in Mantadia National Park can be enjoyed from the wide road that runs up into the reserve, although seeing and photographing the lemurs and birds of the forest will require that we take to the steep and at times slippery trails through the rainforest.


Day 6:

Perinet to Antananarivo

This morning, we may visit an area that is dedicated to the conservation of lemurs, allowing us to enjoy and photograph these wonderful mammals at close quarters. Thereafter, we will enjoy lunch, before making our way back to the capital city in the highlands of Madagascar.

This morning, we may visit an area that is dedicated to the conservation of lemurs, allowing us to enjoy and photograph these wonderful mammals at close quarters. Thereafter, we will enjoy lunch, before making our way back to the capital city in the highlands of Madagascar.


Day 7:

Fly Tana to Fort Dauphin

Today we take a short flight to Fort Dauphin (also known as Toliagnaro), in the south-eastern corner of the country. We will overnight in the windy coastal town and photograph various fishermen in the afternoon or simply relax in our comfortable hotel.

Overnight Hotel La Croix du Sud or similar

Day 8:

Fort Dauphin to Berenty Lemur Reserve

After an early breakfast we will depart to the world-famous private lemur reserve of Berenty. The 3.5 hour drive takes us from the wind-blown but picturesque town of Fort Dauphin through well watered valleys packed with paddy fields and finally into the rain-shadow of the Andohahela Mountains where the octopus-like trees of the Didiereaceae family are diagnostic of the xerophytic spiny forest.

As we near Berenty, extensive tracts of sisal plantations stretching as far as the eye can see replace this natural habitat. Berenty Preserve belongs to the De Haulme family who have set aside sections of gallery forest along the Mandrare River to conserve its population of lemurs and other wildlife.

Berenty is justly famous for its lemurs, not only because its deciduous woodland is home to five species of these primitive primates but also for the ease with which they may be seen and photographed in the wild. Red-fronted Brown Lemur occurs in large numbers during the day and both White-footed Sportive and Grey Mouse Lemur are regularly encountered on night walks through the reserve, though the undoubted favourites are the Ring-tailed Lemur and Verreaux’s Sifaka.

Overnight Berenty Lodge

day8
day8

After an early breakfast we will depart to the world-famous private lemur reserve of Berenty. The 3.5 hour drive takes us from the wind-blown but picturesque town of Fort Dauphin through well watered valleys packed with paddy fields and finally into the rain-shadow of the Andohahela Mountains where the octopus-like trees of the Didiereaceae family are diagnostic of the xerophytic spiny forest.

As we near Berenty, extensive tracts of sisal plantations stretching as far as the eye can see replace this natural habitat. Berenty Preserve belongs to the De Haulme family who have set aside sections of gallery forest along the Mandrare River to conserve its population of lemurs and other wildlife.

Berenty is justly famous for its lemurs, not only because its deciduous woodland is home to five species of these primitive primates but also for the ease with which they may be seen and photographed in the wild. Red-fronted Brown Lemur occurs in large numbers during the day and both White-footed Sportive and Grey Mouse Lemur are regularly encountered on night walks through the reserve, though the undoubted favourites are the Ring-tailed Lemur and Verreaux’s Sifaka.

Overnight Berenty Lodge


Day 9:

Berenty Lemur Reserve

Whilst the bands of cat-like, quizzical “Ring-tails” are often the first to steal visitors’ hearts, their appeal is easily matched by the strikingly patterned sifakas, with their soulful expressions and bizarre, bipedal dancing locomotion. To spend time with groups of both of these these gentle creatures will certainly be one of the highlights of our Madagascar adventure, and will also prove to be one of the photographic highlights!

A Madagascar Flying Fox roost where, about 300 of these impressive animals sporting 1.25 metre wingspans spend their day squabbling, is located deep in the riverine forest. These noisy mammals spend their day at the roost, where they squabble incessantly, and although we will certainly hear them, we will only get distant views of these massive bats during our wonderings through the riverine woodlands. We will be on the look-out for the numerous Giant Coua that stroll along the well-cleared paths through the riverine woodland, and we maybe lucky enough to find small groups of dimorphic Madagascar Buttonquail as they scurry through the leaf litter.

The Berenty property also protects tracts of Xerophytic Spiny Forest, a unique habitat type that is characterised by the strange trees belong to the Didiereaceae. Known locally as Octopus trees, due to their extended, tentacle-like appearance, these spiny plants are well adapted to the harsh environment found in the dry south and south west of Madagascar. We may take some time to walk through this habitat type, staying ever watchful for a resting White-footed Sportive Lemur gazing out from a recess in a trunk, a delightful Torotoroka Scops Owl huddling in a thick snag, or a huge Warty Chameleon clinging to a branch, ever watchful for a passing insect on which to feast!

Berenty truly offers a lot to wildlife photographers, and we will be kept well busy during our stay here!


Day 10:

Berenty Lemur Reserve to Antananarivo (via Fort Dauphin)

Today is an early morning start as we depart for Fort Dauphin in order to catch our domestic flight to Antananarivo.

Wildlife photography is a fascinating and most alluring activity. Obtaining incredible images, does however often take an extended amount of dedication, time and a bit of luck! Wild creatures are unpredictable, and it is unrealistic that any situation, sighting or photograph can be guaranteed. However, please be assured that your professional ORYX Photographic leader will do his utmost (within the circumstances, and without impacting on the wellbeing of your subject) to ensure that you obtain the images of your dreams!

Today is an early morning start as we depart for Fort Dauphin in order to catch our domestic flight to Antananarivo.

Wildlife photography is a fascinating and most alluring activity. Obtaining incredible images, does however often take an extended amount of dedication, time and a bit of luck! Wild creatures are unpredictable, and it is unrealistic that any situation, sighting or photograph can be guaranteed. However, please be assured that your professional ORYX Photographic leader will do his utmost (within the circumstances, and without impacting on the wellbeing of your subject) to ensure that you obtain the images of your dreams!

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