Madagascar Lemurs & Beach holiday

Our Lemurs & Beach Madagascar holiday first visits the lush eastern rainforests of Andasibe National Park, famed for its large variety of rainforest animals and plants and follows this up with a beach holiday at either Nosy Be or Nosy Komba.

The eastern rainforests of Madagascar are a must-see on any Madagascar lemur safari. The tropical montane rainforest of Madagascar is one of the densest in the world. And its floral diversity is particularly rich. A big part of that attraction is the appeal of the Indri lemurs. They have their own special protected part of the Andasibe park.

Nosy Be is the largest and best known of several beautiful, seductive islands off the north-west coast of Madagascar. This ‘Perfumed Isle’, as Nosy Be is known, offers lovely sandy beaches and a lush interior alive with the smells of vanilla, ylang-ylang and coffee. The climate is excellent with warm temperatures throughout the year and brief showers in the rainy summer season which are usually at night.

This Lemurs & Beach itinerary is perfect for people who mainly want a relaxing beach holiday but who are also keen to see some aspects of Madagascar’s famous wildlife such as the lemurs and indri indri.

Accommodation at a glance:

1 night Royal Palissandre, Tana, BB
2 nights Vakona Forest Lodge, Andasibe, BB
1 night Royal Palissandre, Tana, BB
4 nights at choice of 4 hotels: Anjiamarango Beach Lodge (B&B), Ravintsara Wellness Hotel (B&B) or Royal Beach (B&B) or Tsara Komba Lodge (Full Board)
– Choice of optional day excursions (not included at this stage)

Tailor-make this tour!

This is a very flexible tour as you can change the choice of beach hotel and the number of nights. Note that you may well need to spend a final night in Tana but this depends on your flight arrangements.

Contact us for a quote depending on which hotel you are interested in. The least expensive would be Anjiamarango Lodge, with Ravintsara Hotel or Royal Beach being mid-rand 4 star hotels in Nosy Be. And Tsara Komba is our luxury option, a small island accessible by boat from Nosy Be.

See Day by Day
Day 1

Overnight in Tana, Royal Palissandre Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

On arrival in Antananarivo (Tana) airport, you proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where you are met by our English-speaking Malagasy agent. You are transferred to the Royal Palissandre for your overnight stay.

Tana, (as the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo, is called) is a brightly coloured melange of French colonial architecture, multi-storeyed houses and narrow alleys.

A city with unique architecture, oodles of charm and bustling streets, it overlooks over the rolling central highlands of Madagascar surrounded by fields of rice paddies. Please click for background information.

The attractive 4 star Royal Palissandre Hotel is one of the more modern of the Tana hotels and is one of our favourites. It has a pleasant hillside setting overlooking the ‘City of Thousands’. It is an attractive building with rose-coloured brickwork, Mantasoa stonework, and much use of rosewood and marble in the interior.

Accommodation: Royal Palissandre Hotel
Located in: Antananarivo - Madagascar

Days 2 & 3

Transfer to Vakona Forest Lodge 2 nights, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

You are collected by your guide and drive to the Eastern Rainforests and Andasibe. This scenic transfer takes approx 3-3½ hours on a good but winding road with picturesque scenery en route. Along the way there are lovely views of rice paddies and the unique red-bricked houses of the Merina people, the dominant culture in this region.

You have the rest of the day to explore the forests at your own leisure. From late August to March you may be able to join an optional night walk into the park to see the nocturnal lemur species and tenrecs amongst others.

The lovely Vakona Forest Lodge lies 8 kilometres from Andasibe (Périnet), between Andasibe and the Mantadia National Park. The building has been designed around an octagonal reception area (common in Malagasy architecture) with a lounge, bar and restaurant with a huge fireplace in the middle to keep the airy space warm in winter. There’s also a small library. Outside you can relax on the veranda overlooking the forest and lake or around the large central swimming pool.

The next day, Day 3, you have the whole day to explore the rainforest with the Park’s specialist guides. You set off early for a walking tour of the Mantadia National Park. Typically this is usually a morning tour of 4-5 hours but there are longer trails on offer.

This is much wilder than the Indri Special Reserve and has a mix of terrain, with some steeper trails, so it’s best if you are reasonably fit. (However there are also some shorter and easier trails on offer if you prefer.)

The forest is thicker and you are rewarded with varied wildlife sightings such as the diademed sifaka (the so-called dancing lemur), the black-and-white ruffed lemur, common brown lemur, red-bellied lemur and the grey bamboo lemur.

Birding in Mantadia is especially good with the likes of the rare Brown mesite, Pitta-like ground-roller, Brown emutail and the velvet asity all to be seen. (Your chances of good birding increases on the longer trails.)

Optional Night Walk
If you travel in spring or summer (late August to March), pack a headtorch as you can join a night stroll to see nocturnal wildlife such as tenrecs (spiny hedgehog like creatures) with the Perinet guides. At night another world emerges in the forest, making night walks especially interesting. Nocturnal lemurs include the Eastern woolly lemur, Goodman’s mouse lemur and the furry-eared dwarf lemur.

Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
Located in: Andasibe National Park - Madagascar

Day 4

Return to Tana to overnight at Royal Palissandre Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Perinet Special Reserve visit

Enjoy an early morning walk into the most accessible part of Andasibe National Park, the Indri Special Reserve to see the lemurs whilst they are most active. The 810ha ‘reserve within a reserve’ has several well-maintained forest paths, which are mostly gentle in terrain.

The Indri or Perinet Special Reserve protects the largest of all the lemurs, the Indri. Standing about a metre high, with a stump for a tail, black-and-white markings and a beguilingly startled expression, the Indri looks more like a bizarre panda than a lemur. You will see them relatively easily, even if you stay on the marked trails, but for longer sightings you must scramble after them through the forest, craning up to exclaim as they execute balletic leaps from tree to tree. Their long back legs are immensely powerful, and an indri can propel itself 10 metres (30ft), executing a turn in mid-air, to grab a new tree and then gaze down benevolently at you!

Typically you visit Indri Special Reserve at dawn to see the Indri lemurs when they are most active. Walking through the rainforest, as its distinctive siren-like calls emanate from the mist-covered canopy is one of the most memorable experiences of your Madagascar lemur safari.

As well as the amazing Indri you may also see the Eastern grey bamboo lemur, red-fronted brown lemur as well as impressive reptiles like Malagasy tree boa and two foot long Parson’s chameleon. You might even be fortunate to see the giraffe-necked Weevil or the golden Mantilla frog.

After lunch (for your own account), you return to Tana in the afternoon to stay a second night at the Royal Palissandre. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Accommodation: Royal Palissandre Hotel
Located in: Antananarivo - Madagascar

Day 5

Fly from Tana to Nosy Be. 4 nights on the beach

You are transferred back to the airport for your flight to Nosy Be. On arrival at Nosy Be, you are met and transferred to your choice of hotel for 4 nights.

Anjiamarango Beach Lodge

Anjiamarango is a charming beach lodge on the quieter north-west part of the island of Nosy Be, yet only 15 mins from Fascene International Airport (which is also away from the busier southern part of the island. The lodge opens onto a superb long stretch of white sandy beach.

There are 35 beach cottages enjoying the breath-taking beach views of Ampasindava bay. Each is extremely spacious (approx. 77sqm) and well-equipped with an outdoor veranda, double bed with mosquito net, a seating area which is slightly separated so that it works as a sleeping area for children as well, en suite bathroom with shower and double vanity, safe, minibar and air conditioning.

The hotel’s public areas are in a large spacious main lodge which is open to the cooling sea breezes. Here there’s a bar, plenty of sitting areas, upstairs restaurant with stunning views and pool table. There’s an attractive and large swimming pool overlooking the turquoise ocean waters and beach volleyball.

One attractive aspect of Anjiamarango lodge is that there is a coral reef with excellent snorkeling spot close to the lodge, only 200 metres swim, or by pirogue if you prefer. Here there’s a snorkeling platform so that you can enjoy this giant natural aquarium with ease.


Royal Beach Hotel

The Royal Beach Hotel is a lovely 4 star hotel in the southern part of Nosy Be on Madirokely Bay. It has 48 rooms which all look over the gardens and pool towards the sea. The superior rooms have sea view (quoted on these) and the standard rooms have partial sea views.

There’s a beach right in front of the hotel with a private section for hotel guests and an attractive swimming pool and beach bar area. There’s a choice of two restaurants, a fine dining restaurant on the first floor with beach views as well as a more casual restaurant for lunches. Other facilities include a small spa, a stylish bar and pool table. There’s also a fully equipped dive centre.

Royal Beach is within easy walking distance of the nearby village with its souvenir shops and choice of restaurants making this the idea hotel for people who like to explore their surroundings.


Ravintsara Hotel & Spa

The Ravintsrara Wellness Hotel is a four star resort hotel which faces Sakatia island on the west coast of Nosy Be and so enjoys spectacular sunsets with shimmering colours. With its extraordinary setting and wide range of facilities this hotel offers a luxurious break in the middle of nature. The hotel is set in five hectares of peaceful tropical gardens. The spa within these gardens is a big drawcard with a range of treatment rooms as well as steam room, Jacuzzi, beauty salon and hairdresser.

The spacious and luxurious bungalows average 70sqm and overlook either the garden or the sea. All are equipped with air conditioning, fan, safe, minibar, satellite TV, wifi, telephone and king size or twin bed. The comfortable bathrooms have a separate toilet, double basin, shower and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities at Ravintsara include the beach bar, complimentary wifi, swimming pool overlooking the sea, a children’s play area, water aerobic classes, fitness classes, table tennis and board games.


Tsara Komba Lodge

The beautiful island of Nosy Komba has lush rainforest-covered hills which drop steeply into the surrounding azure waters. It is known for its ring-tailed lemurs, brown lemurs and black lemurs. There are no cars on the island just miles and miles of deserted beach and charming, quaint villages to explore. The main village is a wonderful place for shopping for all manner of local wares from wood carvings, to baskets to embroidered tablecloths.

Tsara Komba lodge is a magical eco-lodge away from the village and lemur sanctuary in its own pristine nature reserve. Tsara Komba Lodge is an upmarket lodge with a rare and authentic charm, in perfect keeping with the pristine nature all around. It combines a stylish and exclusive ambience with a Slow Food cuisine ethos and excursions tailored around you. Nestled on a lush vegetated hillside above the beach, surrounded by wild tropical botanical gardens, the eight lodges all have private terraces and amazing views across the ocean.

Accommodation: Tsara Komba Lodge
Located in: Madagascar - Nosy Be & Islands

Accommodation: Ravintsara Wellness Hotel
Located in: Madagascar - Nosy Be & Islands

Days 6 to 8
Days at leisure

You can opt for relaxing on the beach or around the  pool or, if you are staying at Hotel Vanila, you can take one of the many optional tours to smaller islands

Close to Nosy Be lie the small mountainous islands of Nosy Komba and Nosy Tanikely. These can be visited jointly as a day excursion from Nosy Be.

Nosy Komba is a beautiful rocky island where lush rainforest-covered hills drop steeply into the surrounding azure waters. It is known for its ring-tailed lemurs, brown lemurs and black lemurs. The lemurs at Nosy Komba are very tame, providing very good photo opportunities. The bustling island markets are full of embroidered white lace, colourful sarongs and wooden carvings. After visiting the lemur sanctuary, you head to Nosy Tanikely which is a marine reserve, with coral reefs offering wonderful opportunities for snorkelling and diving. Here you enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach with time set aside for swimming and snorkelling on the reef.

Aternatively you can visit Lokobe Reserve which is a small rainforest reserve in the south of the island known for its brown lemurs as well as the smallest chameleon in the world. You are transferred to Ambatozavavy village where you take a pirogue (dugout canoe) for a boat cruise over to Ampasipohy village and the Lokobe reserve. You spend the morning walking in the tropical rainforest of the reserve spotting the lemurs, chameleons, geckos and even snakes, returning to the Malagasy village for lunch and back to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Day 9

Today you are transferred back to Nosy Be airport and fly back to Tana.

Note: Flight schedules change regularly in Madagascar. In order to connect with your homeward flight, you may need to change to having the final night in Tana as well.

Alternatively if you wish to fly directly from Nosy Be to Johannesburg (Sundays only), you will not need the return flight back to Tana

View Interactive Itinerary
See Route on Map
Accommodation, meals as specified, meals as mentioned, English-speaking driver (though this will be fairly rudimentary English), English-speaking Reserve guides in the National parks (only reserve guides are allowed to guide visitors) and all Park Fees, all entrances as mentioned in the itinerary
International flights into Madagascar, domestic flights – typical prices are shown but a confirmed price is given on the quote, optional tours, all services & meals not specified, drinks, visa costs and items of a personal nature eg. tips, curios
Best time to go:
Most of the year except mid January to February
Minimum number:
Health requirements:
Anti-malaria precautions essential. It is also suggested that those unused to the local diet drink bottled water and take care to avoid uncooked and unpeeled fruits and vegetables.
This is a very flexible tour as you can change the choice of accommodation and the number of nights. Depending on the flight schedules (which change frequently, you may be able to stay a third night at Vakona Forest Lodge and travel directly from Andasibe to Nosy Be in one day. But this is not always guaranteed.
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