Madagascar Holidays

Discovering Madagascar's eccentricity and charm

Madagacar’s rainforests ring to the calls of lemurs and exotic birdlife, humpback whales breed in its waters and ancient 2 CV taxis ply the streets.

Meanwhile restaurants in the middle of nowhere serve homemade foie gras as good as anything you’ll find in Dordogne. After many trips over the past few years this place has become a firm favourite of ours.

A Madagascar safari holiday offers the sort of eccentric charm it’s increasingly hard to find these days. Not quite Africa, part Indonesia with a dash of Arabic, all overlaid with a French accent. This is a place with the capacity to surprise on many levels, whether it’s the wildlife, the beautiful scenery or the food.

While it may not be the obvious choice for those wanting a sophisticated modern safari experience, it will reward those of a curious nature looking for a bit of adventure in a wildly exciting corner of the planet. And some of Madagascar’s wildlife experiences – particularly the rainforests and coast on the Northeast of the island - are as good as anything you’ll find on mainland Africa.

Planning a trip to Madagascar? Talk to us

For families Madagascar is a cornucopia of eclectic experiences that will keep children big and small thrilled

Enter the rainforest on foot and you’ll be smitten by the extraordinary endemic species that live their; brightly coloured chameleons that resemble the beaded trinkets for sale in Johannesburg airport or some of the world’s last Indris – sombre looking lemurs the size of a child, with a call like a vuvuzela and the ability to leap 7 metres in a single bound.

Take night walks to discover creatures deeply asleep on the ends of branches, explore massive caves and landscapes that look like they came from a Hollywood set. Head to the coast and the turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and rich sea life are mesmerising. 

Take a look at a Madagascar safari for families

Madagascar's Wildlife

Lemurs, rainforests and humpback whales

Discovering Madagascar's unspoilt forests and coastlines

Find out more

If you know where to look Madagascar still contains sensational wild areas

While much of the island has suffered terribly from deforestation, the country’s last remaining rainforests are still cathedrals to biodiversity teaming with colourful mammals, reptiles, birds, insects and plants - many of which remain unknown to science.

In all Madagascar is home to over 100 species of lemur, while stunning islands and beaches offer the chance to see – and even swim with - a plethora of marine wildlife, from humpback whales to whale sharks, manta rays and turtles.

In August and September look out for breaching humpback whales as they migrate to and from their breeding grounds. At Christmas time whale sharks can be found in the islands around Nosy Be, while manta rays and sea turtles are year-round residents.

For those after real adventure consider taking the RN5 “the world’s worst highway” which follows the magical east coast of the island; 5 days of unspoilt beaches and small fishing villages.

Take on the RN5? Read the sample itinerary

It's no mean feat to be able to run a luxury lodge in Madagascar - few people would have the determination to try, but of those that do, a few stand out as remarkable.

Beyond a select handful of properties that we'd advise you to build your itinerary around, it’s sensible to assume that accommodation in Madagascar won’t be highly sophisticated

In many cases there are good logistical reasons for this (it’s pretty hard to get a lot of things in very remote areas), but this aside, the travel market here isn’t as mature as in some parts of Africa and standards reflect this. 

You could however argue that moderate accommodation is the price to be paid for visiting the little visited regions of Madagascar.

In many places – and particularly if you’re driving, there is a reasonable selection of mid range hotels to choose from in places like Andasibe, but styling tends to be functional rather than ground breaking. Go further afield though, for example to the wild east coast and you can expect some quite basic set ups.

However, in our experience, what you will find almost everywhere are enormously welcoming people and very often exceptional food.

All of this said, there are one or two exceptions that prove the rule – truly special small lodges like Masoala Forest Lodge that offer exceptional food in a seriously off the map locations and it’s places like this that we’d advocate building your trip around if  you can.

Take a look at a sample trip
1 / 4

Madagascar Sample Trips

MADAGSCAR'S WILD NORTHEAST WITH LEMURS & HUMPBACKS

Highlights:

Madagascar's largest unbroken rainforest, endemic lemurs, humpbacks and a stunning beach lodge

View sample trip
2 / 4

Madagascar Sample Trips

MADAGASCAR'S DEEP SOUTH

Highlights:

Spiny Forest, Lemurs and Sifakas, varied landscapes, whales and dolphins - all well off the beaten track

View sample trip
3 / 4

Madagascar Sample Trips

NORTHERN MADAGASCAR'S RAINFORESTS & ISLANDS

Highlights:

Rainforests, lemurs, dramatic landscapes and the crumbling charm of Diego Suarez. Ending up on an indian ocean island

View sample trip
4 / 4

Madagascar Sample Trips

Madagascar's Wild east Coast

Highlights:

Not for the faint hearted. A madcap adventure through one of Madagascar's least accessible coastal areas. Whales, lemurs and pristine coastlines

View sample trip

I am not sure if Julien bought us to the lemurs or vice versa, but there they were, astonishing beings, upright, immaculately attired in furs and tails, bouncing through the trees like pianists in white tie and knickerbockers. They had no fear of us. They crooned, chattered, ate, carried their babies — and then they called. I jumped. Lemurs can make a shrieking hoot that vibrates through tree trunks. You would think a troop of yeti were coming for you.”

- HORATIO CLARE - FINANCIAL TIMES

Madagascar changes you. It made me an evangelist for the country - for the necessity of foreign understanding and support for this vulnerable and still extraordinary place”

- HORATIO CLARE - FINANCIAL TIMES

1 / 5

MADAGASCAR'S HIGHLIGHTS

MANAFIAFY

INCREDIBLE BEACH RESORT WITH A DIFFERENCE

FIND OUT MORE
2 / 5

MADAGASCAR'S HIGHLIGHTS

MASOALA NATIONAL PARK

DENSE FOREST WITH A WEALTH OF EXOTIC SPECIES

FIND OUT MORE
3 / 5

MADAGASCAR'S HIGHLIGHTS

Ankarana National Reserve

WILDLIFE FROM LEMURS TO CHAMELEONS

FIND OUT MORE
4 / 5

MADAGASCAR'S HIGHLIGHTS

Diego Suarez

One of the world’s largest naturally protected bays

FIND OUT MORE
5 / 5

MADAGASCAR'S HIGHLIGHTS

ILE SAINTE MARIE

THE BEST LOCATION FOR WHALE WATCHING

FIND OUT MORE

 

Blog

When’s the best time to visit Madagascar?

As a general rule of thumb Madagascar is best visited from April to December. Although some guide books suggest visiting Madagascar only from...
Read More

 

Blog

Month by month guide to visiting Madagascar

January is the start of a very wet and hot period in Madagascar; rainfall can be as much as 340mm, especially on the east coast. Roads to places of...
Read More

Take the first step

Tell us where you'd like to go...

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure
 

Talk to us

+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Another Perfect Trip

"Morocco was our fourth trip with Natural High and true to past trips, the itinerary was right on point for our interest and goals, all logistics went off without a hitch and the service throughout the trip was high end. Everyone we worked with were friendly and professional. We had a fantastic time...Thank you!"

Tom & Karen Holterhoff

Perfect holiday from start to finish.

"Absolutely excellent service. The itinerary was spot on and the whole holiday worked like clockwork. The pre holiday notes and briefing were most useful too. I would have no hesitation in recommending Natural High Safaris to others."

Angela R CR

Fabulous trip to Tanzania

"This is the second time we have used Natural High Safaris, and again they organised an outstanding holiday for us, this time in Tanzania, combining a safari and beach holiday that was top-notch. Highly recommend them, with huge range of experience and desire to really understand what it is their clients want - and then delivering! Thanks to Catherine Ronan."

Anonymous

An outstanding trip to the Himalayas superbly designed by Natural High.

"Natural High organised a 2 week family trip to Ladakh in August 2018. Andrea Hulme used her local knowledge to design an exciting trip that included a 5 day trek, white water rafting and numerous cultural visits and experiences. Their local partners Shakti were absolutely outstanding and we loved staying in the village houses as opposed to hotels. Their female Ladakhi guide Sonam was really one of the best we have every had on our travels."

Anonymous

Natural High

"Yet again another great holiday arranged by Natural High - Air France tried to ruin it but Natural High and their local agent were very helpful in resolving the problems caused. ."

James and Laura AH

RECENT UPDATES