13 Days Madagascar Wildlife and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
13 Days Madagascar Wildlife and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
Situated off the coast of the African continent, the fourth largest island in the world and often referred to as ‘the eighth continent’ by ecologists due to its high incidence of endemic species, Madagascar was previously known as the Malagasy Republic, and is an island of great ecological, geological and socio-political interest that continues to captivate those who visit this unique location for your perfect honeymoon holidays.
Rwanda is famous for its gorilla trekking opportunities in the Virunga Mountains. This is where Dian Fossey researched and habituated mountain gorillas in the 1960s. Although gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Lemur trekking
- Mountain gorilla trekking
- Kigali genocide visit
Detailed safari itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo and transfer to your hotel for overnight
On arrival in Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo, you’ll be greeted by an English-speaking guide who will escort you to Maison Gallieni, a restored colonial mansion in the upper town of Antananarivo. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the pool or exploring the traditional architecture of Antananarivo, known locally as ‘Tana’.
Day 2: Drive to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
After breakfast, you’ll meet your guide for the four-hour drive to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, a stunning rainforest park with two protected areas including Mantadia National Park and the Perinet Special Reserve, famous for its population of indri, the largest living lemur species in the world. On your drive to Andasibe, you’ll get an insight into rural life in Madagascar, with redbrick houses, rice fields and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables along the way. On arrival at Mantadia Lodge, you’ll enjoy lunch and in the afternoon you’ll visit Lemur Island, a private island with a protected population of habituated lemurs including the brown lemur, bamboo lemur, black and white ruffed lemur and one diademed sifaka. This evening, you’ll venture out on an exciting night walk with your local guide to see the forest’s nocturnal creatures come alive.
Day 3: Full day exploration of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Enjoy breakfast before meeting your guide for the 1.5 hour drive to Mantadia National Park, a beautiful park where you can spot a variety of lemur’s species including the indri lemur, grey bamboo lemur, white ruffed lemur, red-bellied lemur and the diademed sifaka. While the trails are slightly more challenging, you’ll be rewarded with a taller, thicker forest and fewer crowds than Perinet Reserve. You’ll also have plenty of rare mammal, reptile and bird species to find, including the breasted coua, scaly ground roller and pitta-like ground roller. You’ll enjoy a family picnic by the Rianasoa Waterfall before walking back to the vehicle and driving back to the lodge. This evening, you can head out on another night walk to see the nocturnal lemurs including the mouse lemur, woolly lemur, white-footed sportive lemur and fat-tailed dwarf lemur.
Day 4: Morning Visit to Perinet Reserve and transfer to Antananarivo
After an early breakfast, you’ll meet your guide and drive to the Perinet Reserve, a 180-hectare expanse of pristine rainforest, where you’ll go in search of the indri lemur, characterised by its cute teddy bear face and black and white markings. There are 11 other lemur species to spot in this rainforest including the bamboo lemur, black and white ruffed lemur, common brown lemur and the diademed sifaka. Birders should keep watch for the blue coua, velvet asity, Nuthatch vanga and many other endemic species. You’ll also find a number of reptiles, invertebrates and scores of orchid species. After lunch in Andasibe, you’ll make the drive to Antananarivo, where you’ll check in to Maison Gallieni.
Day 5: Flight from Antananarivo to Mandrare River Camp
Enjoy breakfast before boarding your scheduled charter flight to Ifotaka, taking two to three hours. You’ll be met on arrival by a guide from Mandrare River Camp and transferred to the camp, where you can settle into your luxury tent on the banks of the Mandrare River. This evening, you’ll head out on a thrilling night walk in the Forest of Zenavo, where you can spot diurnal lemurs nodding off to sleep and nocturnal lemurs waking up for a night of action. You can see mouse lemurs, sifakas, white foot sportive lemurs, chameleons, owls and a variety of birds.
Day 6:Full day exploration around Mandrare River Camp
After breakfast, you’ll venture to the south of the camp to the magical Sacred Gallery Forest. You’ll either walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River, depending on the water levels. Once you’re in the forest, keep your eyes peeled for curious groups of ring-tailed lemurs and playful Verreaux’s sifaka. You’ll return to the camp for lunch and a peaceful soak in the pool, and in the evening, you’ll enjoy a walk through the Sacred Spiny Forest with a local tracker, who will take you to the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe and teach you about the plants and animals found only in this forest. You’ll end your adventure with a refreshing sundowner on the banks of the Mandrare River.
Day 7: Full day exploration around Mandrare River Camp
You’ll rise early this morning for a magical sunrise walk through the Sacred Spiny Forest. Watch the forest wake up as the sunlight streams through the octopus trees and wildlife begin to stir including a chorus of birds such as the crested coua, running coua and other endemic birds. You’ll return to the camp for a well-earned breakfast, before visiting the local market which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays, or the local village to meet the Antandroy tribe. Enjoy lunch at the camp and a relaxing afternoon before heading out for sundowner among the ancient baobab trees. This evening, you may be treated to a fantastic performance of music, song and dance by the local Antandroy village.
Day 8: Full day exploration around Mandrare River Camp
After breakfast, you’ll head out on a day trip to the stunning Lac Anony, a saltwater lake set near the Indian Ocean, separated by a strip of rolling sand dunes. The lake is a two-hour drive from the camp, and you’ll walk along the lake shore to a beautiful picnic spot, while you keep watch for Greater Flamingos and other salt water birds. After lunch, you can scale the 70-foot high sand dunes for a panoramic view of the region or enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake, before heading back to the camp for dinner.
Day 9: Flight from Mandrare River camp to Antananarivo to connect your flight to Kigali
After morning breakfast you will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight from Mandrare River camp to Antananarivo, upon arrival you will be transferred directly to your connecting flight to Kigali Rwanda.
Day 10: Realxation and Kigali City tour
After lazily morning breakfast you will head out to Kigali to visit the genocide museum and the Belgian peace centre and later enjoy lunch at the famous Hotel Rwanda and later return to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.
Day 11: Drive to Volcanoes national park Rwanda
After morning breakfast you will start your drive to Volcanoes national park, this is one of the diverse rainforests in East Africa and home to the endangered mountain gorillas, upon arrival you will check in and relax as you prepare for one of Africa’s greatest wildlife encounters, upon arrival you will check in to your lodge for relaxation and overnight.
Day 12: Full day gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes national park
After early morning breakfast, with picnic lunch fully dressed in your gorilla trekking gear you will drive to Kinigi park headquarters for your gorilla trekking experience, the day starts with the briefing by park rangers and after you will drive to the starting point to start your trek on foot upon locating the mountain gorillas you will spend 1 hour with the gentle giants and later return to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.
Day 13: Morning optional golden monkey trekking and afternoon transfer to Kigali for your departure flight
Today will be an optional day in the morning, you may choose to relax at the lodge or head out for golden Monkey trekking experience in Volcanoes national park, depending on your option you will depart volcanoes national park after lunch for Kigali, upon arrival you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
- Lemur trekking permits
- Rwanda gorilla permits
- Domestic flights
- Kigali city tour
- Vehicle, guide and Fuel
- Enroute meals and drinking water
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Madagascar and Rwanda tourist Visa
- Tips for guides and hotels
When to book this safari package
We recommend booking this safari 1 year in advance to allow us secure the trekking permits.
Best time to visit Madagascar and Rwanda for a safari
We recommend travelling between September and October when Lemur and gorilla trekking is at its peak.