Private Expedition: Madagascar (12 days)

Day 2

Antsiranana, Madagascar →Joffreville, Madagascar

Day 3

Amber Mountain National Park, Madagascar

Day 4

Antsaravibe, Madagascar→Ankarana Special Reserve, Madagascar

Day 5

Antsaravibe, Madagascar

Day 6

Ankify, Madagascar→ Ambanja, Madagascar

Day 7

Ankify, Madagascar→ Nosy Komba, Madagascar

Day 8

Nosy Be Archipelago, Madagascar

Day 9

Nosy Be Archipelago , Madagascar

Day 10

Nosy Be Archipelago, Madagascar


Day 1
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Palissandre Hotel & Spa None

Arrive in Madagascar’s lively capital and transfer to your hotel, perched on a lush hillside overlooking the heart of the city. Settle in, and enjoy an evening at leisure to discover Antananarivo’s rich blend of Indonesian, Malaysian, African, and Arab cultural influences.

Day 2
Antsiranana, Madagascar
Joffreville, Madagascar
The Litche Tree Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fly to Antsiranana, also known as Diégo Suarez, a laid-back coastal town near the northern tip of the country. Set out on a private tour of Antsiranana’s colonial center, including a walk through the old French military district, a local open-air market, and the scenic waterfront. Continue inland to Joffreville, a former French military resort town, and your base for exploring Amber Mountain National Park. Settle into your heritage guesthouse, originally built for Joseph Joffre, the one-time town marshal.

Day 3
Amber Mountain National Park, Madagascar
The Litchi Tree Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Delve into Madagascar’s mind-blowing biodiversity on an excursion into the lush forests of Amber Mountain National Park—the country’s first national park, known for its lemur populations, kaleidoscopic chameleons, and Madagascar paradise flycatcher birds. Choose among three hiking trails of varying difficulty and landscapes, and set out with a private guide in search of hidden waterfalls, crater lakes, and fascinating creatures of the forest. Picnic in a serene spot before returning to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.

Day 4
Antsaravibe, Madagascar
Ankarana Special Reserve, Madagascar
Iharana Bush Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel overland to Ankarana Special Reserve, where karst formations have eroded into endless forests of limestone needles and blades called tsingy. This stone landscape alternates with dense jungles and a vast network of caves and canyons, creating a unique ecosystem that harbors more than 300 species of plants and one of the highest densities of primates in the world. Explore the park’s natural wonders and seek out lemurs, including the crowned, Sanford’s brown, northern sportive, and dwarf varieties. Enjoy a picnic in the park before driving to your lodge, located just beyond Ankarana’s borders.

Day 5
Antsaravibe, Madagascar
Iharana Bush Camp Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Join a private guide for a walk around the lake bordering your lodge, and meet Malagasy farmers to learn about their traditional cultivation techniques. After lunch, choose between two guided hikes. Descend into recesses of Mandresy Cave, a sacred ancestral site. Or opt for a challenging trek among the tsingy that will have you scaling ladders and slipping through narrow rock passages in search of stunning panoramas, colorful birds, and butterflies.

Day 6
Ankify, Madagascar
Ambanja, Madagascar
Ankify Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey to the west coast along Madagascar’s cocoa and spice route, stopping along the way at Millot plantation, which cultivates and produces a variety of agricultural products—from spices and organic cocoa to plant-based essential oils. Stroll the spice plots, and learn how cocoa is grown, picked, and processed. Then venture into the Ylang fields to see how delicate flowers are collected, visit the distillery and discover how essential oils are extracted from raw plants. Continue to the fishing village of Ankify on Madagascar’s northwest coast and settle into your waterfront bungalow.

Day 7
Ankify, Madagascar
Nosy Komba, Madagascar
Tsara Komba Beach & Forest Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Ankify, and then transfer by boat to the Nosy Be archipelago. Arrive at Tsara Komba, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World tucked into the lush volcanic slopes of secluded Nosy Komba, or Lemur Island. Settle into your thatched oceanfront bungalow, and join a private guide for an introduction to the isle’s endemic flora and fauna during a short hike through the surrounding rain forest reserve. Seek out leaping lemurs, colorful chameleons and hummingbirds, and black parrots, and then enjoy the rest of your day at leisure in this tropical paradise.
Day 8
Nosy Be Archipelago, Madagascar
Tsara Komba Beach & Forest Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Cruise the Mozambique Channel to the Tanikely marine reserve for a snorkeling excursion. Plunge into turquoise waters and swim past brightly colored corals, reef fish, and with luck, sea turtles. This afternoon, enjoy an experience exclusively reserved for National Geographic travelers. Join the lodge’s management staff for a visit to a nearby village, where you’ll meet the chief and learn about ongoing projects and everyday life in the community. Return to the lodge for a local rum tasting before a delicious Malagasy-French fusion dinner on the lodge terrace.
Day 9
Nosy Be Archipelago , Madagascar
Tsara Komba Beach & Forest Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Set out with a private guide for a full-day tour of the Nosy Be archipelago. Visit a fishing village on lush Nosy Mamoko, and canoe up a river lined with mangrove trees. Stroll along Nosy Kisimasy's white-sand beaches and pick a peaceful spot for a picnic lunch. Afterwards go snorkeling in a secluded cove and seek out sea turtles and dolphins. Then return to the lodge for a free evening to relax on the beach or your private terrace.
Day 10
Nosy Be Archipelago, Madagascar
Tsara Komba Beach & Forest Lodge Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy the day to explore the lodge and its stunning surroundings at your leisure. Stroll the Eden Garden, an indigenous nature reserve that backs up to the property and blooms with more than 200 endemic plant species; and discover the on-site Baobab Nursery, where unusual baobab species and spiny succulents are incubated. Or borrow equipment from the lodge for a self-guided snorkeling or fishing excursion in the shallows.

Day 11
Nosy Komba, Madagascar
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Palissandre Hotel & Spa Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend a final morning at leisure on Nosy Komba before transferring back to the mainland. Fly to Antananarivo, where you’ll take a private tour of the city (time permitting). Explore the city’s leafy boulevards, admire stunning examples of French colonial architecture, and see the stately Rova of Antananarivo—a royal complex dating back to the 16th century.

Day 12
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Ambohimanga, Madagascar
Relais Des Plateaux Breakfast, Lunch
After breakfast, join a private guide for an excursion to the 15th-century Royal Hill of Ambohimanga—an important pilgrimage spot for the Malagasy people, and an UNESCO World Heritage site. Learn about the African and Polynesian roots of Malagasy culture while exploring this ancient royal city, and take in panoramic views over Antananarivo. Later, stroll the stalls at La Digue, a traditional craft market. Then transfer to your day room to relax before your international flight home.

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature


Expedition Details

Isolated from mainland Africa and India during the Mesozoic Era, Madagascar has been called the “land that time forgot” for its incredible biodiversity. Journey to this wonderland of weird and wild creatures—80 percent of which are found nowhere else on Earth—and delve into its curious geology and intriguing multiethnic culture. Seek out leaping lemurs and a kaleidoscope of chameleons and orchids in the lush forests of Ankarana Special Reserve and Amber Mountain National Park, watch for humpbacks and whale sharks in the stunning Nosy Be archipelago, and step back in time amid towns graced with elegant French colonial architecture.

Trip Highlights:

- Discover an otherworldly landscape of tsingy rock needles on a private excursion through Ankarana Special Reserve, and seek out the 11 lemur species that live here.

- From Tsara Komba—a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World in the Nosy Be archipelago—snorkel waters teeming with dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fish.

- Delve into Madagascar’s rich cultural amalgam on private tours of traditional farms, French colonial cities, and the Royal Hill of Ambohinga pilgrimage site.

- Spy camouflaged chameleons, fluttering hummingbirds, and a rainbow of orchids alongside private guides in Amber Mountain National Park and the jungles of Nosy Komba Island.

About Us

National Geographic Expeditions offers a broad array of travel experiences to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents, each led by a National Geographic expert, a dynamic trip guide, or an expedition team. National Geographic taps into their vast network of resources around the world when designing trips to create authentic and transformative travel experiences. The official travel program of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Expeditions aims to fulfill the organization’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet by providing meaningful opportunities to explore it.

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Reviews and Recommendations for National Geographic Expeditions


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By: Howie

Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2015

Wonderful and busy tour.
Travel Advisor:  Dennis Wallace

Very Well done and professional

By: Judd

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2016

Our 14 day Antarctica adventure was wonderful: the National Geographic team were extremely knowledgeable and very much enjoyed their jobs! All were really in to teaching and conveying their devotion to Antarctica and their particular area of expertise. We are already planning our next adventure with NG!
Travel Advisor:  Cheryl Everhart
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By: The ayotollah

Reviewed on: 21 Sep 2016

She has helped me with a number of trips and always shines. I know I can rely on Linda to be certain that all of the details are taken care of, and her recommendations are well though out. She is a superstar.
Travel Advisor:  Linda Rainwater


By: Ron

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017

This was my third trip with National Geographic and, like the others, it was interesting, professional, and well managed.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Galapagos/ Nat Geo 2017

By: Sree

Reviewed on: 23 Jul 2017

National Geographic was on my bucket list for an expedition to the Galapagos. The Islands are amazing and Nat Geo had great programs in place to highlight this ecological paradise. The partnership with Lindblad was a plus. My kids had a blast with the ships young explorers program which was the kind of quality education I expect from Nat Geo. The naturalists were real professionals. The entire team succeeded in making it a memorable trip.

Wild and Windswept, for sure!

By: RobinBG

Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2017

Always the best trip out there if you want history, culture and adventure. We learned so much about the places we visited, were able to hear local musicians play, and went to places that are hard to reach any other way than by a small ship. And - the food and service is beyond compare.
Travel Advisor:  Amy Rectenwald

Morocco Private Expeditions

By: Morocco Traveler

Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2017

Good trip. Fair amount of driving but most of it is on the autoroutes which are good roads. Going to the south the road is under construction so it is longer. Good representation of the various areas of Morocco. Our private guide, Ali was excellent.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Gaughen


By: Jud

Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2017

Outstanding in every respect except Casablanca Sofitel and some of the guest on the tour
Travel Advisor:  Jamo Ladd

NatGeo Photo Workshop

By: Lance R

Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2017

The NatGeo photo workshop was a great experience. Myrna was wondering to work with. Can't wait for my next trip through her!
Travel Advisor:  Myrna Arroyo

The White continent - Antarctica

By: Anissia

Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2017

Absolutely amazing! They ran a tight ship literally. Everyone was so pleasant to deal with, all naturalists were so knowledgeable. Expedition Leader Lucho had all zodiac outings running smoothly. I would repeat this trip if it was not so expensive though it is worth the money!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth


By: oh my

Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2018

Natalie was excellent. Very good to work with and very helpful.
Travel Advisor:  Natalie Rael

Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands

By: Lin

Reviewed on: 28 Feb 2018

The Antartica, South Georgia and Falklands trip exceed my expectations. Travelling on the National Geographic Orion provided an exceptional experience which included spacious well appointed accommodation, delicious food, attentive good natured staff and interesting daily presentations and outings with knowledgeable experts. I can not think of a better way to explore and enjoy the incredible beauty of this pristine and its abundant wildlife. I now understand why there were a number of returning visitors on this fabulous trip.
Travel Advisor:  Samuel Spencer

Exploring Patagonia

By: Greg

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2018

Nat Geo Expeditions is awesome! This particular expedition provides an excellent overview of this unique area of the world. Our tour manager Sylvina and expert Constanza Ceruti were excellent guides for our expedition providing high-level insights into the culture, history and ongoing research of Argentina, Chile and Patagonia. We would highly recommend this expedition!
Travel Advisor:  Courtney Regan