5/ The Land of the Aye-Aye



The eastern part of Madagascar is known for its luxuriant vegetation and its many huge tropical rainforests home to numerous unique wildlife. This trip is designed for people who adore nature. It starts with a journey to the “Andasibe Special Reserve” which is known for “Indri Indri”, the largest lemurs in the country. The journey continues along the “Canal des Pangalanes” crossing lakes, and is followed by the an adventurous trip by 4×4 along dirt tracks across many rivers and idyllic landscapes to reach Mananara and Maroantsetra which shelters the unique and threatened Aye Aye lemur species.

Pyereras reptile park, Mantadia National Park, Lemurs island of Vakona, Andasibe special reserve, Canal de Pangalanes, Palmarium private park, Mananara Nord National Park, terrestrial and marine, Masoala National Park


Day 1, TANA – ANDASIBE : 145 km

After breakfast, 3 hours drive to Andasibe, through the green landscape of the east. This step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forest and lakes. On the way, we stop in Pyereras Reptiles park to see chameleons and other species of reptiles. On a walk inside the forest, we can spot 2 species of lemurs: the sifaka “coquereli” and the brown lemurs “fulvus”. Night in Hotel


After breakfast, drive to Mantadia National Park which is 5 km from Vakona. 6 hours expedition inside the park. Mantadia is a new Special Reserve which has been recently made accessible to visitors. It is very rich in wildlife and the ideal place for nature lovers to spot all different species of lemurs, reptiles. In the afternoon, back to Vakona to visit private park “Ile aux lémuriens” which ideal for photo. Night at the same hotel.


After breakfast, drive to Andasibe National Park for 4 hours visit, to see the Indri Indri the biggest lemurs of the island. This 810 ha reserve is a very unique with endemic fauna and flora. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. Around 12.00 a.m, 2 to 3 hours drive to head on to Ankanin’ny Nofy, stop in Brickaville, before we take the dirt road to Manambato where we take a 1 hour boat to reach Akanin’ Ny Nofy. We cross the Rasoabe Lake then the Pangalanes channel (built during the colonisation day for commercial use) where we can admire many birds and the luxuriant vegetation of the east. Night in hotel


Ankanin’ ny nofy means nest of the dreams. Surrounded by a huge and blue lake, this is the ideal place for rest and to be in direct contact with nature. Visit the “Palmarium private park” where your bungalow is also situated. About 46 ha, tropical luxuriant parks, where we can see many lemurs like propithecus verreauxi, eulemur coronatus, and macaco and especially, an ideal place where you can take close photo of the INDRI INDRI. A huge tropical garden, many orchids and different flowers can also be spotted. By 05.30, excursion to the “ Aye aye island” to spot some families of “Aye aye” which have been discovered in the forest around and protected by the Palmarium Reserve. Night at the same hotel.


Early departure for 2 to 3 hours journey by boat along the Pangalanes channel. We will enjoy the life of the people living along the channel with their Bamboo pirogue. Arrival in Tamatave around 10.00, your car will meet you in the harbour and you drive up to Manompana, along 200km of coastal road where lakes, bays, beautiful beaches are mingling with small villages, palm trees and bamboo plantation. We’ll have 3 ferry boats to cross before we reach our destination. Estimated arrival in Manompana around 17.00. Overnight in a very simple and basic hotel.

DAY 6, MANOMPANA – MANANARA: Night Excursion “Ile aux aye aye”

Today start our adventure travelling “off – the – beaten track” to Mananara. On the way, visit the “National Park of Mananara Nord”, with one marine and one terrestrial park. It houses a wide range of species: 77 species of birds have been recorded there, 13 species of lemurs, 17 species of rodents in the humid forest, seven species of freshwater fish. Mananara-North is one of the protected areas that record the biggest number of species of micro mammals of the East. Breathtaking scenery, untouched beaches, luxuriant vegetation, numerous rivers and streams are your rewards from this dirt road. As the eastern part has many rivers, we’ll have to take many local ferry boats either with wooden bamboo or with steel flat bottom boat. Depending on the traffic, we might wait for 2 hours to get a bamboo ferry to bring our car to the other bank of the river. . Arrival expected at dusk. After checking in we’ll have a night expedition to the “island of lemurs” to see the “aye aye” a unique and endangered lemur species. Night in hotel


4 hours visit of Mananara Nord National Park. The marine ecosystem in Mananara Nord has, among others, 132 species of Cnidarians, 179 species of saltwater fish, 16 arthropods, two reptiles and two mammals.Regarding fauna, these are the highlights: the biggest of the lemurs, Indri indri or Babakoto with black fur, The Ampongy or Avahi Ianiger, an endemic Lemur with a gray fur. And the most interesting one is “ Daubentaunia madagascariensis or Haihay (or Aye –aye). The family of Daubentoniidae is composed of one living species (the aye-aye). Endemic species with black fur. This nocturnal of middle size one is insectivorous. Concerning the flora, the National Park of Mananara Nord has 764 primary forest species and 436 species of modified forests that’s more than 1 200 species of plants. Mananara abounds of palms: we can find some in the sea until the peak of Verezanantsoro. 47 species of which at least two species are locally endemic palms seen on this day in this park. The flora of the marine park consists of 114 species on three different habitats. The mangrove swamp shelters seven species of mangroves on the nine seen in Madagascar. Night in hotel


On to Maroantsetra on a dirt road. Arrival expected in the afternoon. Checking and overnight with breakfast in hotel


Early in the morning, transfer by boat to Masoala: it takes around 2 hours to cross the bay to join Ambanizana where we can visit the National park of Masoala which is situated to the north east of Maroantsetra. The village of Ambanizana is a peaceful collection of bamboo and palm – thatched huts and shyly curious people. We start the visit of “Masoala National park” with a local guide. From the village, a trail leads up into the forest. Local agriculture has impinged on this, and you will have to walk for half an hour or so before you reach true primary forest, we can also see the red-ruffed lemurs, the wealth of birds for which the peninsula is famous, there are good numbers of giant trees, often with buttressed trunks, and the canopy may reach 35 m. The afternoon can be spent on snorkelling. Overnight in hotel or camping.


4 hours visit of “Masoala National park” with a local guide. Night in hotel or camping

DAY 12, MASOALA – MAROANTSETRA – another destination

Early morning, 2 hours boat transfer from Masoala to Maroantsetra. Then transfer car to the airport and fly back to Tana. Transfer to your hotel.


• Accommodation in hotel based on double room according to what is written above
• Entrance fees with a local guide in the “National Park and Reserve” which are mentioned in the program.
• All transfers by boat and by car, assistance from and to international flight, and transport during the tour.

• All optional excursions and those which are not in the program.
• All personal expenses, drinks, laundry, tips.
• All insurance.
• All domestic flights.