MADAGASCAR, LA REUNION, SEYCHELLES
Outdoor & Adventure, Off the Beaten, Nature & Wildlife
Along with wildlife like no other, Madagascar is also home to unexpected things like Baobab forest, 121 beaches and incredible limestone peaks. Not to mention large varieties of lemurs that lives on the island..
Reunion Island was formed 3 million years ago, with approximately 42% of its total area listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The incredible ecosystem makes it rich in flora and fauna. Follow your guide through the cirque, along the famous lava road, and learn all about this unique island.
Continue to Seychelles with some of the World’s most well-known beaches, including the May Valley with sea coconuts. Bird Island where nearly 3 million fairy terns mate and breed between May and October, is home to more than 250 unique bird species.
Our Photographer Guide
Photographer. Explorer. Entrepreneur. Julian W. is a renowned nature photographer and a passionate photography educator. He has collaborated with both local and international organizations, including Animal Planet, Lonely Planet, Asian Geographic, Canon, Nikon, Sony, Tourism Boards, and Zoological Institutions around the world, amongst many others.
Julian strives to capture liquid interpretations of the natural world.
When he is not traveling, Julian teaches photography at Sony Digital Workshop (Singapore) and likes to roam the streets to observe everyday life through street photography.
This expressive visual communicator now runs Julian W. Photography, where his keen visual eye and photographic skills continue to be in high demand.
Upon arrival in Antananarivo, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
A short city orientation tour in the afternoon. Drive by the presidential palace, residential area, the heart-shaped lake, and central market for photography opportunities. Visit the Rova of Antananarivo from where to get a panoramic view of “Tana”, the capital city.
This evening, meet our tour leader and have a welcome dinner.
This morning, we drive 1.5 hours to the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, the former palace of the Malagasy Royal family, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site today.
Transfer to the airport for a scheduled flight to Morondava.
Fly Antananarivo/Morondava TZ 702 1440/1550 (1hr 10min)
Meet at the airport then drive by 4WD through Baobab Alley to the Kirindy Reserve (approx. 45km or 2 hrs). In the evening, possible night hikes on the paths are created for visitors in the reserve. Find nocturnal lemurs, including the mouse lemur, the Madagascar rat, sleeping chameleons, etc.
Hike about 1.5 to 3 hours in the Kirindy Dry Forest Reserve, on mostly flat trails to spot lemurs, snakes, iguanas, birds, fossas, etc. In the afternoon, drive back to Morondava (approx. 45km or 2 hrs), and stop again at Baobab Alley; with a little luck, you may experience the sunset – a magical moment and photographic highlight! Then, a good half-hour drive to Morondava.
This morning, rise early to photograph the Avenue of the Baobabs. Then visit a fishing village for an intimate photographic opportunity. As the day gets hotter, we will head back to our hotel for a short rest.
In the evening, we will photograph the sunset at the Avenue of the Baobabs before a short astrophotography session.
Early this morning, we will try to look for a different angle to get shots of the sunrise over the Avenue of the Baobabs.
After refreshing ourselves, breakfast will be served at the hotel before heading to the airport for the private charter flight to Toamasina.
On arrival in Toamasina, transfer to the river and take a 3 hours boat ride on the Pangalanes canal to our next destination – Palmarium Reserve. After checking in, a specially arranged hike around the resort has been arranged for the group. This is one of the best places in Madagascar to photograph the Indri and the Aye-aye closeup, and a range of other lemurs including the common brown lemur, black lemur, crowned lemur & others.
This morning after breakfast, we will depart on our journey to visit the eastern part of the country. A 1.5 hour cruise followed by a 2.5 hr drive will take us to the famous Andasibe National Park.
The country is home to approximately 100 species and subspecies of lemur, and the world’s largest, Indri lemur, is found in this park. As exciting to hear as it is to see, this pied creature has a distinctive call that sounds like a loud, eerie wailing that rings through the trees. During the day we may also spy grey bamboo, Eastern woolly and black-and-white ruffed lemurs, as well as diademed sifakas that dance through the canopy.
We will check in to our accommodation nearby and take a leisure walk in the afternoon to try and spot wildlife and birds in the Park.
On night walks, look for tree frogs, chameleons, and palm-sized brown mouse lemurs that skitter among the strangler figs and giant ferns. There will be a photo contest this evening, with the winner walking away with a token prize!
The evergreen secondary forest of the Park Analamazaotra is the trail, Indri 2. With some luck, get to encounter some of the biggest lemurs, the Indri. You can also see many birds, some reptiles (if it’s not too cold), and other species of lemurs (Diadem Sifakas, Brown lemurs, Bamboo lemurs, etc.).
Visit the Vakona lemurs island where you can take close-up pictures of lemurs, some may jump on your shoulder.
Before reaching Tana (approx. 140km or 3.5 hrs), we will pass by the Chameleon & Reptile Park where we will pay a visit for some closeup shots of these amazing reptiles. The park also has some other exotic wildlife that the group would be able to photograph at close quarters. Special arrangements will be made for the group to ensure maximum opportunities for photography.
Head to the airport for your scheduled flight to Saint Denis.
Fly Antananarivo / Saint Denis Air Austral UU 612 1615/1840 (1hr 35min)
After clearing the immigration, be met by a local guide and transfer to Saint Gilles (approx. 40km, 1hr drive).
Check-in at your hotel and rest.
With its three cirques offering scenery that is out of this world, Reunion Island tells the story of the birth of our planet.
From the majestic the Cirque of Cilaos, which is home to the island’s hot springs, you will be able to start the ascent of Piton des Neiges (3,069 meters high), the highest point of the Indian Ocean. The majestic natural environment, stretching between pitons, cirques, and mountains is listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. Villages, towns, and “îlets” (small villages) are scattered throughout this untouched setting, where residents maintain a Creole lifestyle.
Stop at Etang Salé Les Bains, one of the island’s most unique romantic and spectacular black sand beaches, before returning to the hotel.
Today we head to Piton de la Fournaise. Stop for photos at the Nez de Boeuf, overlooking the Rivière des Remparts” Canyon. Another photo stop at the Plaine de Sable to admire the beauty of the desert formed after the eruption.
Arrive at the Pas de Bellecombe and have 1 hour of free time to enjoy the magnificent surrounding landscapes such as the caldera, including the Formica Leo and the main volcano.
Visit the Volcano Museum in the afternoon, where advanced sound and visual technology help visitors experience the volcanoes, and admire alien volcanoes present in the solar system at a 4D cinema.
Optional: Early morning, fly around the island in a Helilagon helicopter (45min) over the three most famous cirques in Mafate, Salazie and Cilao, as well as the Trou de Fer waterfall, volcanoes, and lagoons.
Option 1: Geocentric Exploration
Set off on a visit to Cap Merchat, the southernmost tip of Reunion Island. In the afternoon, explore the lava tunnels left behind by the eruption, which have maintained their most natural appearance. Put on a helmet, and turn on the searchlight, the highest part of the tunnel is more than 10 meters, while the lowest point can only be crawled through. Apart from the headlamp, there is no other light source in the cave, and crawling through such a dark lava tunnel is definitely a unique adventure.
Option 2: Cirque and French Town
Salazie is the oldest of the three cirques, and in the middle of the Salazie cirque within the green ring theater is Hell-Bourg, known as “the most beautiful village in France”, get to experience the French pastoral life of the 1840s in this colorful village. Listen to local specialties Maloya.
The Salazi cirque has one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Reunion, Bride’s Veil. On the huge valley cliffs, more than a dozen waterfalls hang down the mountain stream, like the hazy veil of the bride, and the sound of splashing water is majestic.
Early departure with packed breakfast to the Saint Denis airport (approx. 70km or 1.5-2 hrs drive). Take your international flight to Seychelles.
Fly Saint Denis / Victoria UU 421 0800/1040 2hr 40min
Land in Victoria, the capital of Mahe Island, Seychelles’ Main Island international airport.
The beach of Mahe will be our photo subject of the afternoon. Mahe is dotted with 65 beautiful beaches, and we will select a few of them with different styles, such as Beau Vallon Beach.
Explore Victoria this morning. Victoria is full of history, Creole character, and delightful nooks & crannies like the busy market, two cathedrals, Botanical Gardens, and Esplanade where you are sure to find that local souvenir.
The afternoon will be free with several options (depending on the tide conditions). We may go to the Sainte Anne Marine National Park in the northeast of Mahé, or head to Cousin Island, a granite island acquired by the International Bird Conservation Council (now BirdLife International) in 1968 to protect the last small population of the Seychelles warbler as a special terrestrial and marine reserve. It has transformed from an ecologically barren plantation into a thriving indigenous forest, benefiting other species.
Early in the morning, we depart by ferry (1hr 10min) to Seychelle’s second largest island, Praslin, a haven for nature lovers seeking rare endemic species such as the black parrot. Home to the Vallée de Mai UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only two places in the world where the famous Coco-de-mer grows wild on palms 40 meters tall and some are 200 years old. We also spend some time on Anse Lazio Beach.
Another 25 min ferry takes us to La Digue, the third largest island of Seychelles, we will take photos up close of the Aldabra Giant Tortories as well as the world’s number one Anse Source d’Argent, and the Veuve Reserve, which protects the Seychelles ribbon bird.
The morning will be free.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight.
Novotel Convention and Spa (Superior Room), Antananarivo . Relais du Kirindy (Bungalow), Krindy . Palissandre Côte Ouest (Bungalow), Morondava . Palmarium Hotel (Bungalow), Akanin’ny Nofy . Manjarano Lodge & Spa (Bungalow), Andisabe . LUX Saint Gilles (Superior), Saint Gilles. Coral Strand Smart Choice (Superior), Mahe
5-star international hotel located in the heart of business district and shopping malls, offers panoramic views of Antananarivo. There are several choices of restaurants and bars, a spa, indoor pool and fitness area.
(Opened: 2020; Rooms: 160; Room size: 30sqm)
A 3 star hotel located 53km from Morondava Airport. The bungalows provides flat screen TV and free wifi with balcony.
(Room size: 29sqm)
Located at Nosy Kely on the beach of Morondava, just 30 minutes from the mythical Baobabs Alley. The spacious bungalows have a private terrace with sea view.
(Opened: 2008; Rooms: 30; Rooms size: 32sqm)
Located on the east coast of Madagascar, is the dream nest by the Lake Anpitabe and Indian Ocean. Only accessible by boat through the canald. There are a dozen of lemurs living in the area rich in rare flora and fauna. Hotel has 11 bungalows with private balcony and bath room.
Manjarano is built in the heart of a property of 180 hectares of primary and secondary forest sheltering a unique fauna and flora in the world. The estate is also partially reforested with eucalyptus wood (Robusta & Grandis).
(Opening July 2023; Rooms: 10; Room size: 48sqm)
Located on the west coast of Reunion Island, is the only five star hotel, facing the L’Ermitage Lagoon, guest rooms and suites in the white Creole styled villas in the lush garden.
(Rooms: 164, Room size: 34sqm)
A beachfront hotel in Mahe, the biggest islands of Seychelles. The cozy guest rooms are with private balconies, restaurants with entertainments for all tastes.
(Rooms: 161; Room size: 48sqm)
16 Aug, Hong Kong – Addis Ababa (ET 645), 00:25 – 06:25
16 Aug, Addis Ababa – Antananarivo (ET 853), 08:50 – 13ss:40
30 Aug, Victoria – Addis Ababa (ET 878), 17:45 – 20:30
30 Aug, Addis Ababa – Singapore (ET 644), 22:55 – 14:55+1
23 Aug, Antananarivo – Saint Denis (UU 612), 16:15-18:40
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