Magical Madagascar 2024

The Zoology of a Gondwanaland Island

Trip Scholar: Dr Mike Brooke

Curator of Birds, University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology
Available to Alumni of Oxford and Cambridge, family and friends

13 day tour
Price from £3,895

Tour dates: 13-25 July 2024 (13-26 July 2024 including flying days)

Discover the magical island of Madagascar, uninhabited by man until just 2000 years ago. Witness what happens when an isolated island is left to evolve without large predators for 165 million years. 80% of Madagascar’s species are endemic and its protected reserves and rainforests contain amazingly diverse wildlife, from impish ring-tailed lemurs and dancing sifakas to brightly coloured chameleons, frogs and butterflies. There’s a superb array of birds, with the beautiful crested coua amongst the six endemic families and more than seventy species of singing birds and parrots. Learning how scientists and activists are working to protect this unique habitat from being lost.

Tour highlights

  • Small group size, with expert naturalist guiding as well as lectures and insights from the accompanying trip lecturer
  • Delight in finding a diverse range of the island’s 33 species of lemurs, a primate found nowhere else on earth
  • Discover totally unique flora and fauna – 5% of all known animal and plant species worldwide are found only in Madagascar
  • Learn about some of the island’s six incredible endemic Baobab tree species
  • Enjoy some of Madagascar’s glorious white sand beaches and unspoiled Indian Ocean coastline
Magical Madagascar (Alumni Tour)

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1:    Meet in Antananarivo | Same-day flights available with Air France from UK
Day 2:    Meet the group at breakfast  |  Guided tour of Tana
Day 3:    Fly to Tulear  |  Journey north through spiny forest to Ifaty on the Mozambique channel  |  Check in for a 2 night stay
Day 4:    Explore Reniala Botanic Garden spiny forest, baobabs and orchids  + superb birding  |  Afternoon at leisure to swim or cycle in Ifaty
Day 5:    Drive to Isalo’s ruiniforme rock formations  |  Stop at Zombitse dry deciduous forest  |  Check in  for 2 nights
Day 6:    Explore dry massif formations and fascinating plantlife including pachypodiums at Isalo National Park  |  Verreaux’s sifakas
Day 7:    Drive across desolate interior to the rainforests of Ranomafana  |  Stop at Anja Park to see ring-tailed lemurs |  Check in for a 2 night stay
Day 8:    Full day exploring Ranomafana National Park  |  Excellent walking trails  |  Variety of lemurs and superb birdlife
Day 9:    Continue north to the former colonial spa town Andsirabe  |  Stop at scenic Imhasoavahiny |  Free time to enjoy craft workshops
Day 10:  Drive to the rainforests of Perinet through the High Plateau | Check in for 3 nights  |  Night walk in the reserve
Day 11:   Explore first half of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Perinet) | 11 species of lemur
Day 12:   Explore second half of Andasibe-Mantadia (Analamazaotra)  |  Look for indri and Parson’s chameleon
Day 13:   Morning at leisure  |  Drive to Antananarivo  |   Tour ends after dinner  |  Overnight flights to UK available departing late this evening
Day 14:   Those taking recommended flights will arrive UK today



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Dates and Prices
Prices are in UK£, per person, based on double occupancy

13-25 July 2024 (13-26 July including flying days)
Room TypePriceSingle SupplementOptional Flight from LondonAvailability
Standard£3,895£1500From £1250Spaces Available

Share of twin or double bedded room with private bathroom, domestic flights in Madagascar as mentioned in the itinerary, full board (except on the arrival day when no meals are included), all excursions mentioned with local guides including entrance fees, expert leader.

International flights (see optional flights below), meals on Day 1, drinks, visa charges, travel insurance, tips to drivers and local guides, items of a personal nature.

Optional flights
Temple World can arrange flights from the UK to coordinate with this tour for those who need them.  Our recommended route is via Paris with Air France, although we can also book flights with some other airlines depending on your preferred route.  The price for flights will depend on availability at the time of booking however the average price for the Air France tickets is around £1250 per person including taxes, return.  We can arrange a group arrival and departure transfer for all those arriving on the Air France flights and private transfers for those arriving on other services, for a small extra sum.

Making your own way there
Clients wishing to use airmiles to buy or upgrade flights, or who wish to fly from outside the UK are advised to book their own flights. The start and end point for the tour is ANTANANARIVO in Madagascar.  You can arrive at any time of day on 8 August 2022 but check-in at the hotel is not normally until 2pm unless you have paid for early check in (we can arrange this but the hotel may charge a full extra night).

There are no activities on the first day.   A light dinner is available for those who wish to have a meal in the evening, but as the Air France flight does not arrive until very late at night, most people skip this meal and the group meets formally the next day at breakfast.

On the last day,  (20 August 2022) there are excursions in Antananarivo during the day and a farewell dinner in the evening, as many people will be on very late flights. Those with earlier flights are welcome to leave earlier if need be, or we can arrange for an extra night of accommodation if you’d rather stay on until the following day. Bags will be stored after check out during the day.  We can arrange day rooms, extra nights, guiding and transfers for anyone who needs them – please ask for a quote.

Very Important! Clients should not make any binding or non-refundable travel arrangements until their place has been confirmed on the tour and Temple World has confirmed that it is a guaranteed departure.



NHS Fit for Travel advises travellers to Madagascar are usually recommended to immunise against: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Polio, Diphtheria and Typhoid. There is a risk of Malaria across the country so you will need prophylaxis to cover your whole trip.  A Yellow Fever Certificate is mandatory if entering from a risk country.  Please seek professional medical advice at least 8 weeks before departure.
NHS Fit For Travel


Entry Regulations
Most nationalities can get a 30 day tourist visa on arrival for a fee (currently €27) payable in cash. The cost is subject to change without notice.
Madagascar Tourist Board
UK Foreign Office advice

Fitness Guideline

We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Moderate/Active.  Participants should be prepared to walk on uneven, slippery terrain or through rainforests and should be able to keep up with the group when sightseeing – this means walking at a reasonable pace for 30-40 minutes or standing for 20-30 minutes without a rest.
Full fitness profile of the tour

Trip Scholar

Dr Mike Brooke
Dr Brooke did post-doctoral degrees at Oxford and then Cambridge, before joining the Cambridge University Zoology Department. Combining duties as Curator of Birds in the University Museum of Zoology with conservation consultancy work, Dr Brooke undertakes both practical and theoretical research which informs conservation planning, particularly with regard to island conservation and seabirds. Through the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Dr Brooke travels the world as part of ongoing programmes to remove troublesome alien species from oceanic islands, including the Pitcairn Islands of the tropical Pacific, the Cape Verdes off West Africa and the Falkland Islands. Dr Brooke is also the author of acclaimed book “Far from Land, the Mysterious Lives of Seabirds”, published by Princeton University Press in 2018. Dr Brooke led our 2010 tour to Madagascar and our 2023 tour to Borneo with great success.

Lectures during our tours
All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.

Post tour extension – Reunion Island Self Drive

The tiny, volcanic  Indian Ocean jewel of Reunion Island is just 90 minutes from Madagascar by air and makes for a wonderful addition to our group tour.  Glorious beaches, lush, mountainous interior and a rich cultural blend of Africa, French, Chinese and Indian heritage make Reunion utterly unique.  Easily circumnavigated by car, a self-drive is the best way to get the most out of this action-packed island. We’ve proposed a 6 night suggested itinerary here but we can design itineraries of any length to feature as much or as little activity as you like!


Day 1:   Antananarivo to Saint Denis, Reunion
Take a daytime flight from Antananarivo to Saint Denis on the north coast of Reunion, where you’ll be met and given your self-drive pack.  Drive your hire car round the coast anti-clockwise to the beach resort of St Gilles  les Bains, the miniature St Tropez of Reunion with white sandy beaches and a collection of chic restaurants and nightspots.

Overnight: LUX* Saint Gilles or Boucan Canot  |  Meals  – 

Day 2: Saint Gilles
A day at leisure to relax after the tour and to take in the beauty of Reunion’s finest beach resort.

Overnight: LUX* Saint Gilles or Boucan Canot  |  Meals  B 

Day 3: Saint Gilles to Grande Anse
A scenic car journey along Reunion’s west coast will bring you to the rugged southern bay of Grand Anse. This wild stretch of coast in the shadow of the peak of Grand Anse mountain, is known for its superb shore-based whale-watching (June – November).

Overnight: Palm Hotel and Spa  |  Meals  – B

Day 4:  Grande Anse
Today you could remain at the hotel to enjoy its wonderful leisure facilities, or look out for whales from the hotel’s deck,  but if you fancy venturing further afield you could explore the Cilaos valley right in the centre of the island, with breathtaking views and a chance to explore the quaint small town of Cilaos.  For the adventurous, helicopter flights over the peaks and valleys of the centre of the island are available from the hotel’s helipad.

Overnight: Palm Hotel and Spa  |  Meals  – B

Day 5: Grande Anse to Sainte Anne
Drive across the verdant interior of the island today, past the Plaine des Cafres to the Pas de Bellecombe, which offers wonderful views over the caldera of the famous Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.  When safe to do so, visitors can hike down to the caldera floor via a stairway path.  After visiting, continue across the interior to the village of Sainte Anne on Reunion’s east coast.

Overnight: Diana Dea Lodge  |  Meals  – B

Day 6: Cirque Salazie
Spend a day exploring the peaks, valleys, waterfalls and hamlets of the island’s Cirque de Salazie by car. Winding roads give way to jaw-dropping views – the hiking in this part of the island is second to none but you don’t have to be active to enjoy the scenery, with waterfalls crashing down right beside the road.  At the heart of the Cirque, the hamlet of Hell-Bourg, a picturesque town packed with culture made up of Creole mansions set against the backdrop of the Piton d’Anchain. Return to Sainte Anne for overnight.

Overnight: Diana Dea Lodge  |  Meals  – B

Day 7: Fly back the UK 
After a final morning at leisure, drive back to St Denis and drop your car off.  Air France has a daytime and an overnight flight to choose from. Change planes in Paris for services to the UK.

Prices from £1,425 per person.
Inclusions: Accommodation with breakfast, car hire for seven days with GPS.
Exclusions: Hotel and airport taxes, service charge, drinks, lunch, dinners, flights, insurance.

This itinerary is just a taste of what is possible.  Please contact us for a bespoke quote based on your own preferences.

Private extensions

Many people forget that Madagascar is an Indian Ocean island and as such has similar powder white beaches and tropical marine life to that found in the Seychelles and Mauritius! The key difference is that they still maintain their distinctive Malagasy wildlife as well. Our two top recommendations for extensions after the tour are as follows:

This rustically luxurious Relais & Châteaux property idyllically located on Madagascar’s unspoiled north-west coast is nestled amidst 450 hectares of private nature reserve. Only reachable by air, private flights from Antananarivo depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Set on a stunning white sand beach overlooking an azure bay, the hotel backs onto dry deciduous forest which is teeming with wildlife including Coquerel’s sifaka (not seen during the main tour), mouse lemurs, the rare Madagascar fish eagle. Wildlife, birding and night walks are a highlight of a stay at Anjajavy, as is the Valley of Baobabs. Those wishing simply to relax needn’t stray from the quiet sandy beach in front of the hotel, or perhaps take a stroll to one of the beautiful small bays nearby. There is also a programme of watersports including catamarans, canoes, windsurfing and snorkelling from the hotel’s second beach. Click here to visit the Anjajavy website.

Prices from £849 per person for three nights accommodation with half board.

Constance Tsarabanjina
This is a boutique beach hotel set on a small private island 90 minutes by speedboat from Nosy Be. For a luxurious Robinson Crusoe experience, similar to those found in the Seychelles or the Maldives this property is perfect, edged all around by dazzling white sands and pristine coral reefs. Accommodation is in one of 25 thatched private cottages, and the emphasis is on barefoot luxury; service is immaculate but unobtrusive, but there’s no need to dress up. The diving is outstanding and the lodge has a full PADI dive centre for enthusiasts. They can also arrange deep sea fishing and a host of other activities from kayaks to tennis for the restless. Click here to visit Constance Tsarabanjina website.

Prices from £970 per person for three nights accommodation with half board.

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    [The lecturer] was outstandingly good and well-nigh worth the whole cost of the tour on his own. As one would expect, his lectures were a model of how to communicate with an intelligent  but lay audience. Anthony

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