Small group tour to Madagascar

Adventure on the 8th Continent

STAY TUNED FOR 2024 DATES! Please click the button below and leave us your email address–we’ll write you as soon as 2024 details are set. 

Pre-trip and Post-trip Options Available

Congratulations on beginning your exploration of ‘The Eighth Continent”–the fact that you are here means your journey has already begun! The call of Madagascar’s unique wildlife, geology, and culture beckons only the most seasoned, savvy travelers. 

This journey is unlike any other you’ve ever experienced, quite literally: almost every plant and animal you’ll encounter on this island nation are found here and here alone. Our itinerary was handcrafted by experts to show you the best that Madagascar has to offer in a safe, comfortable, and astounding voyage.

Create unforgettable memories as your encounter endangered lemurs. Walk the rich red earth along the iconic Avenue of Baobabs. Relax into the rhythm of the rainforest as we spot rare birds and quirky chameleons. Madagascar is a wildlife lover’s paradise and an adventure seeker’s dream come true. Let’s begin our journey together!

Trip Highlights

  • Main journey, September 29–October 12, 2023
  • Pre-trip option to Berenty Reserve, September 24-29, 2023
  • Post-trip option to Eden Lodge at Nosy Be, October 13-17, 2023
  • This journey is triple carbon offset
  • Escorted by BJ & Lauren, owners of RetreaTours
  • Led by one of the nation’s premiere guides
  • Encounter lemurs face-to-face
  • Engage with more endemic flora & fauna than anywhere on the planet
  • Enjoy walking safaris through lush rainforest
  • Awaken your sense and rejuvenate your spirit off the beaten path
  • Maximum of 12 guests
  • $6499 per person for base trip. Please see the “Price and Inclusions” boxes below for prices on pre- and post-trip options and private room supplements.

Antananarivo, Madagascar

Berenty Reserve, Madagascar

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar


Andasibe, Madagascar

Morondava, Madagascar

Kirindy, Madagascar

Nosy Be, Madagascar

Eden Lodge (Baobab Beach), Madagascar

Daily Itinerary at a Glance

Please see the boxes below for the pre-trip, trip, and post-trip itineraries at a glance. You can find more details in the narrative itinerary further down this page.

Berenty Reserve Pre-Trip Option (Click to Open)

Day 1 of pre-trip You’ll arrive in the capital city of Antananarivo (or, “Tana”) to begin your Madagascar pre-trip adventure! (Overnight in Antananarivo)

Day 2 of pre-trip  Today we’ll fly south to Fort Dauphin and continue on to Berenty Reserve, a private reserve that was created in 1936 and was the home base for primatologist Alison Jolly  (Overnight in Berenty Reserve)

Days 3 & 4 of pre-trip  We’ll enjoy the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar’s far south, including the ring-tailed lemur, along with 5 other species of lemurs that make their home there). We’ll take nature walks through the woodlands, baobabs, and spiny forest of Berenty. (Overnight in Berenty Reserve)

Day 5 of pre-trip  We’ll drive back to Fort Dauphin today and then fly back to the capital to get ready for the next part of our adventure! (Overnight in Antananarivo)

Main Madagascar Adventure

Day 1   Welcome to the capital city of Antananarivo, also called “Tana” for short. Rest up today for the start of our amazing adventure! (Overnight in Antananarivo)

Day 2  Today we’ll explore Tana, including a lemur reserve southwest of the city. This is a spectacular chance to get up close and personal with the lemurs in a natural setting before we head out to find them in the wild! (Overnight in Antananarivo)

Day 3  Today we’ll fly to the east coast of Madagascar and hop on a boat to navigate the Pangalanes Canal before arriving at our private reserve set on a lake.  (Overnight in Palmarium Reserve)

Days 4 & 5   Staying at the Palmarium reserve is such a treat—you’ll feel like you’re in your own remote spot of the Madagascar rainforest. We’ll enjoy nature walks to encounter lemurs, including the largest lemur of all, the Indri. We’ll also have access to a private reserve (Aye-Aye Island) that is home to Aye-Ayes, an elusive and endangered species of nocturnal lemur  (Overnight in Palmarium Reserve)

Day 6   We’ll head south along the Pangalanes Canal to Manambato and take a vehicle onwards towards Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, set in the rainforest of eastern Madagascar. (Overnight in Andasibe)

Day 7 & 8   You’ll take in everything there is to see on daytime and nighttime nature walks through this primary-growth forest. Andasibe is home to 11 species of lemurs, including the Indri! Our hotel is just a short walk from Lemur Island, a sanctuary for lemurs, including habituated ones rescued from the pet trade.  (Overnight in Andasibe)

Day 9   Today we’ll take a beautiful drive back to Antananarivo in preparation for our journey to the west coast!  (Overnight in Antananarivo)

Day 10   Let’s fly to Morondava and journey through the iconic Avenue of Baobabs to get to our home base in Kirindy. There is a stunning grove of baobab trees right in our backyard!  (Overnight in Kirindy)

Day 11   We’ll explore a new biome, the dry deciduous forest, through daytime and nighttime nature walks and hope to see Madagascar’s biggest mammal, the elusive Fossa  (Overnight in Kirindy)

Day12   We’ll head back toward Morondava, spending sunset in the Avenue of Baobabs. We’ll then move onward to our relaxing and luxurious beachfront hotel. (Overnight in Morondava)

Day 13   This morning you can make a sunrise trip back to the Avenue of Baobabs or simply unwind in on the beach or in the pool. We’ll have a fishing village visit today and you can learn about coastal life in Madagascar. (Overnight in Morondava)

Day 14   We’ll fly back to Antananarivo today and reflect on everything we’ve seen so far! Your hotel night is included tonight, whether you are headed home or onward to the magical northwest coast with us tomorrow!  (Overnight in Antananarivo)

Eden Lodge (Nosy Be) Post-Trip Option (Click to Open)

Day 1 of post-trip   Have you ever dreamed of visiting a remote, tropical beach paradise, filled with exotic wildlife right outside your door? Lemurs, black parrots, even humpback whales? Let’s go to Eden Lodge! We’ll fly to Nosy Be from Tana and take a boat to our upscale eco-hotel (Overnight at Eden Lodge, with villa upgrade option)

Days 2, 3, & 4 of post-trip Eden Lodge has been listed in the Top 10 ecolodges in the world many times and was voted the Best Sustainable Hotel in the World in 2014. From your beachfront rooms, you can choose to explore the forest and see a black lemur in the wild. Perhaps you want to whale watch from shore or get closer to the reef by kayaking, snorkeling, or even scuba diving. This is the absolute height of off-the-beaten-path adventure and luxury.  (Overnight at Eden Lodge)

Day 5 of post-trip   Say goodbye to your new lemur, humpback whale, and sea turtle friends–it’s time to head back to Tana. What an impossibly sweet cherry on top of an already amazing journey!(A day room is reserved for you in Tana before your flight home)

Who is this Madagascar journey for?

A trip to “The 8th Continent” is for inspired travelers who are willing to go to the ends of the earth to soak in breathtaking beauty, discover rare species, and lay eyes on vistas experienced by only the most curious and adventurous world citizens.

This voyage combines authentic wildlife and cultural experiences with comfortable lodging and decadent French-inspired cuisine.

Please see our detailed “Suggested Fitness Requirements” and “Travel Times and Conditions” section below for more information.


What are our 2022 Madagascar Guests Saying?

You must visit Madagascar! Experiencing Madagascar will profoundly deepen your appreciation of the planet and everything that lives on it.  ~J.S. 

The beautiful scenery, endemic wildlife, and interactions with friendly local culture make it all worthwhile. At the end of the trip, I felt I’d accomplished something grand and beyond that of the average eco-tourist type of trip.  ~C.G.

It is the opportunity of a lifetime: the wildlife, the trees, the food, the people, all the things one will see there and nowhere else.  It is not like any other place.  ~J.M.

Madagascar is a snapshot of a unique culture and environment. It’s on a par with the Galapagos. It’s where you should go after the Galapagos (with RetreaTours, of course)  ~C.R.

Understanding Madagascar

Madagascar is sometimes referred to as the “eighth continent” because of its unique biodiversity and geographical isolation. The island has been isolated from other land masses for millions of years, allowing evolution to unfold in a distinctly unique style. It was once part of the Gondwana supercontinent, nestled between what we now know as Mozambique and India. 

Culturally, Madagascar is a veritable melting pot. The first people arrived here between 350 BCE and 550 CE from Borneo. Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel followed a few centuries later. Add to this group various Arab, Indian, and Chinese settlements, and you will understand the Malagasy culture. United under the British monarch in the 19th century, only to become a French colony in 1896, Madagascar eventually earned its independence in 1960.

The Unique Flora & Fauna of Madagascar

An astonishing number of the species in Madagascar are endemic to the island. Endemic plants and animals are native species that only grow in one location in the world.


  • 89% of the 11,000 identified flora species are endemic (unless exported or cultivated abroad)
  • 92% of its 219 terrestrial mammals are endemic (like lemurs, tenrecs, and fossa)
  • 95% of Madagascar’s 406 reptile species are endemic
  • 90% of the 238 amphibian species are endemic
  • 117 of the 280 bird species are endemic (giving Madagascar the highest percentage of endemic birds in the world)
  • 97% of the freshwater fish species are endemic
  • Possibly up to 99% of the nearly 200,000 arthropod species are found nowhere else on the planet

Detailed Daily Itinerary

You can click the destination name to skip ahead to that section

Palmarium  •  Andasibe-Montadia National Park  •  Morondava & Kirindy  •  Pre-trip option to Berenty Reserve  •  Post-trip option to Eden Lodge at Nosy Be  •  or click here to skip to the trip FAQs and more

Central Madagascar

The Main Event!

Dates TBA

We’ll be spending time in:

  • Antananarivo
  • Palmarium
  • Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  • Morondava
  • Kirindy


Antananarivo, Madagascar

Palmarium, Madagascar

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar

Morondava, Madagascar

Kirindy, Madagascar

Welcome to Tana–or if we’re being formal, Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Nestled in the central highlands of the islands, the city has a rich cultural heritage, with a mix of African, Asian, and European influences.

On the 30th we’ll visit Lemurs’ Park, a small botanical garden and lemur reserve that will give you your first introduction to a broad swath of lemur species. We’ll encounter many lemurs during our time together in Madagascar, but this is a wonderful opportunity to encounter them more closely and take photographs in a natural setting.

Palmarium Reserve

Hotel: Palmarium Hotel

Destination Highlights

    • Aye-Ayes
    • Indri (the largest lemur)
    • Black-and-white ruffed lemurs
    • Crowned lemur
    • Red-bellied lemur
    • Black lemur
    • Common brown lemur
    • Brown mouse lemur
    • Eastern woolly lemur
    • Greater dwarf lemur
    • Pitcher plants


    Palmarium, Madagascar

    Toamasina Airport

    On October 1st, we’ll take a 50-minute flight from Tana to Toamasina (also called Tamatave) and board a boat that will take us through the Pangalanes Canal. The Pangalanes Canal is a series of natural rivers, waterways, and human-made lakes that extend for 400 miles down the east coast of Madagascar. It’s a beautiful journey and it will make our 3-hour boat ride go by in a flash! (Please note that the boat ride is smooth since we’re in small, protected waterways, on a motor boat.)

    Palmarium Reserve will be our home for the next three nights, accessible only by boat–it’s “off the beaten path” by any measure! Our lodge is set in a littoral forest on a private reserve on the shore of Lake Ampitabe. It is home to 7 species of diurnal lemurs and 4 nocturnal, as well as chameleons, frogs, geckos, tenrecs, and more.

    Most of the lemurs at Palmarium are not native to this area, but due to Madagascar’s rampant deforestation, they are being protected on this reserve’s land.  Some of the lemurs are habituated to human presence and very inquisitive, making Palmarium ideal for photographers. Expert guides will lead us around the reserve, in hopes to see (and hear!) the largest lemur of all, the Indri. You’ll not soon forget the haunting, forest-piercing call of an Indri!

    Evening time holds even more excitement, as we will take a short boat ride in the canal (~20 minutes) to Aye-Aye Island, a private reserve dedicated to protecting the largest nocturnal primates of the same name. Aye-Ayes play an unfortunate role in some Malagasy superstitions and have been killed in astonishing numbers, so it is truly a rare opportunity to lay eyes on an Aye-Aye in person. The diet of the Aye-Ayes on this island is supplemented; because they are fed coconuts at night, a sighting is a sure thing (although not any less magical).

    Our lodge is simple but restful and comfortable, and you’re sure to have some lemurs frolicking on your bungalow’s porch (or roof!)  The black-and-white ruffed lemurs will almost certainly try to visit you during meal times, as well–we’ve found them to be the funniest and “naughtiest” of all the lemurs!

    On October 4th, we’ll board another boat and head south in Pangalanes Canal for ~75 minutes to meet our ride to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.


    Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

    Hotel: Manjanaro Lodge & Spa

    Destination Highlights

      • UNESCO World Heritage rainforest
      • Indri (the largest lemur)
      • Diademed sifaka
      • Grey bamboo lemur
      • Red-bellied lemur
      • Mouse lemurs
      • Sportive lemurs
      • Lowland streaked tenrec
      • Leaf-tailed gecko
      • Parson’s chameleon
      • Orchids


      Manjarano Lodge, Andasibe


      Once we land on the shores of Lake Rasoabe, we’ll take a 3-4 hour drive to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and our next home base, Manjanaro Lodge & Spa.

      Andasibe-Mantadia is actually two distinct parks, Analamazaotra National Park and Mantadia, and its lush rainforests are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Eleven species of lemurs make their home here, including the Indri and the Diademed Sifaka, both critically endangered.

      More than 100 bird species have been identified in the park and over 20 species of amphibian. The park is also home to the endemic palm tree Ravenea louvelii, found nowhere else in Madagascar. We’ll enjoy day hikes and night walks in this gorgeous, biodiverse park and see what we can discover!

      Our hotel is also a short walk from Lemur Island which is always a load of fun. This series of small, man-made islands are a sanctuary for lemurs, including habituated ones rescued from the pet trade. This will be the chance to see a few more species that have been elusive or aren’t located in this part of the country, including the beautiful red-ruffed lemur.

      On October 7th, we’ll drive back to Tana (4 hours), enjoying a stop at a fun chameleon and reptile farm; you could spend hours examining all of the colors on the chameleons! We’ll stay overnight at our hotel Relais des Plateaux again before flying to Morondava in the morning.

      Destination Highlights

        • Iconic Avenue of Baobabs
        • Fossa
        • Verreaux’s sifaka
        • Red-fronted brown lemur
        • Red-tailed sportive lemur
        • Pale fork-marked lemur
        • Fat-tailed dwarf lemur
        • Grey mouse lemur
        • Oustalet’s chameleon


        Relais du Kirindy

        Palissandre Cote Ouest Resort & Spa

        Avenue of Baobabs

        On the morning of the 8th, we’ll take a 75-minute flight to the west coast of Madagascar. Upon arrival at Morondava airport, we’ll head north to our next home base in Kirindy (90-minute drive). On the way, though, you’ll get your first view of Baobab Alley–the most iconic stretch of landscape in Madagascar!

        This Avenue of Baobabs is a cluster of Grandidier’s baobabs (Adansonia grandidieri) lining a red dirt road between Morandava and Kirindy; it has been a natural monument under conservation since July 2015. These mighty trees may look like sentinels standing guard over the road, but there are simply remnants of the dense tropical forest that once thrived here. As the centuries went by and Madagascar’s population grew, the forests were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the baobab trees.

        We’ll return here the day after tomorrow for sunset, but this is also a wonderful time for photos and a bit of leg-stretching exploration on our way to Kirindy.

        Kirindy provides plenty of opportunity for day and night walks in a dry deciduous forest, home to many lemurs. The real prize would be to see a fossa (pronounced foo’-sa), Madagascar’s largest mammal. The fossa is a cat-like carnivore that weighs between 12 and 19 pounds. It is an absolute tree-climbing machine, and over half of its diet consists of lemurs. This is a great time of year to spot fossas because it is breeding season, and the males are more concerned with finding a mate than hiding from us!

        There is a picturesque baobob grove behind our hotel that you may wish at sunset–or stay out a bit later to get a glimpse of the Milky Way! The moon won’t rise until well after midnight while we are here, giving the opportunity for excellent stargazing. If you haven’t seen the stars in the Southern Hemisphere, you are in for a true delight.

        On the 10th we’ll head back south to Morondava (2-hour drive), but on the way, we’ll stop for sunset at Baobab Alley. There is a small bar and gift shop nearby if you wish to sip a beverage while watching the sunset behind these Trees of Life.

        After sunset, we’ll head onward to our stylish beachfront hotel, complete with two ocean-facing pools. This is a perfect time to unwind and reflect on all we’ve seen so far. Tomorrow morning, you may wish to sleep in, walk the beach, or perhaps even return to Baobab Alley for sunrise (~45-minute drive). Today we’ll take a tour of a nearby fishing village and learn about the fascinating culture of modern Malagasy coastal life.

        We’ll fly back to Antananarivo on October 12th and your hotel night is included, whether you choose to leave tonight or tomorrow. We hope, though, that you have time to see one more part of Madagascar, one that absolutely takes our breath away!

        Please keep reading for our exclusive Pre- and Post-trip Options!

        Berenty Reserve

        Pre-trip option

        Dates TBA


         Destination Highlights

        • Ring-tailed lemur
        • Verreaux’s sifaka
        • Red-fronted brown lemur
        • Hybridized brown lemur
        • White-footed sportive lemur
        • Mouse lemurs
        • Radiated tortoise
        • Three-eyed lizard
        • Madagasacar flying fox
        • Spiny Forest
        • Baobab (Adansonia za)

        Fort Dauphin, Madagascar

        Berenty Reserve, Madagascar

        Welcome to the Great Red Island! If you choose this pre-trip option, you’ll arrive in Madagascar on September 24th and spend the night in the capital city of Antananarivo (overnight at Relais des Plateaux). On the morning of the 25th, we’ll fly 2 hours to Fort Dauphin on the far southeast coast. From there we will head inland and drive ~2.5 hours to our home base at the Berenty Private Reserve Lodge with its basic but comfortable accommodations.

        The reserve is home to six species of Lemur, including the iconic ring-tailed lemur and Verreaux’s “dancing” sifaka, as well as 103 bird species. It has the largest population of fruit bats in Madagascar. The reserve contains a portion of Madagascar’s spiny forest, as well as a gallery forest dominated by tamarind and acacia. Six species of Baobob are endemic to Madagascar, and Berenty is home to the Adansonia za species.

        Berenty was developed as a private reserve in 1936 and has been some to important scientific research in the decades. Renowned primatologist Alison Jolly started studying lemur behavior at Berenty in 1963, with a special eye on the ring-tailed lemur population.

        We’ll enjoy daily nature walks and even some night walks to discover the wealth of flora and fauna in southern Madagascar. On the 28th we’ll return to Fort Dauphin (La Croix du Sud hotel) and spend the night there, taking a flight back to Antananarivo the next morning to get ready for the main event!

        Eden Lodge (Nosy Be)

        Post-trip option

        Dates TBA

        Hotel: Eden Lodge

        • Voted Best Sustainable Hotel in the World (2014)
        • First 100% solar hotel in the world
        • 2012 Winner of the Responsible Tourism Awards (Luxury and Zen category)
        • Ranked in the Top 10 ecolodges in the world (2013)

        Destination Highlights

          • Black lemurs (wild)
          • “Baobab Beach”
          • Black parrots
          • Vanga, Coua and Drongo birds
          • Humpback whales
          • Whale sharks
          • Dolphins
          • Sea turtles
          • Coral reefs
          • Kayaking, Snorkeling, Diving
          • The ultimate in relaxation!


          Nosy Be Airport

          Eden Lodge, Madagascar

          You’ve seen a lot of Madagascar so far, but we promise you haven’t seen anything like this!

          How ironic that we’ll fly into the airport in Hell-ville on Nosy Be (pronounced Noosy Bay) before taking a boat to our little slice of heaven on earth, Eden Lodge. A short 90-minute flight and a boat ride will transport us from the Central Highlands to a soft-sanded beach, turquoise waters, and the most relaxing ending to this vacation that you can imagine. (Every single one of the bungalows has a massage area built into it–this lodge is serious about relaxing!)

          Accessible only by boat, Eden Lodge is nestled between the lemur-rich forest and the humpback whale-filled water (they make their appearance on this coast in October!)  The lodge has sea kayaks for you to use, as well as snorkels and masks–or perhaps you’d like to windsurf or Hobie Cat. You can take a visit to a local village or school that the lodge supports, or perhaps an excursion to Nosy Tanikely, one of the most charming marine parks we’ve ever seen. You can swim in the sea or, if you choose to upgrade to the villa, you’ll have a pool.

          There’s endless beach for you to walk and explore, as well as forest and the lodge’s own vegetable garden. And those eyes peeking out from the forest? Black lemurs in their natural habitat! (We saw them at Palmarium, but they are only endemic to this small corner of the island.) You’ll fall asleep to Madagascar’s wild, raw, soundscape – waves lapping at the shore and lemurs murmuring to each other.

          After three full days, we’ll take a boat back to Nosy Be and fly back to Antananarivo. A day room is included for you at our old haunt, Relais des Plateaux before your flight home tonight.

          Please click the title of the desired tab to open it.

          Base Price & What is Included

          This box is solely for the base trip in central Madagascar. Please see the boxes below for pricing information for the Berenty pre-trip and the Eden Lodge post-trip. 

          There is a minimum of 4 guests required for this journey and a maximum of 12. When we have reached our minimum, we will let you know, at which time you can buy airfare and your travel insurance.

          • This journey’s price will be announced when all details are set. 
          • The non-refundable deposit is $1000 and holds your space
          • The 2nd installment is due on May 1, 2024.
          • The balance is due July 1, 2024. 
          • The private room supplement is TBD. (Please note: if you request a roommate but we do not have one for you, you are responsible for the private room supplement)

          Price Includes: 

          • Hotel accommodation
          • All ground transportation starting with airport pickup
          • 3 domestic flights (Tana to Toamasina; Tana to Morondava; Morondava to Tana)
          • All meals starting with dinner on Day 1
          • All entrance fees
          • All tips to guides
          • All tips at hotels and restaurants
          • Online photo album after the trip
          • Triple carbon offsetting for the entire journey

          Price does not include:

          • International airfare (although we will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
          • Travel insurance (required)
          • Alcohol
          • Laundry services
          • Any meals before dinner on September 29th if you arrive early
          Berenty Reserve Pre-Trip Price & What is Included

          This box is solely for the pre-trip option in Berenty Reserve.

          There is a minimum of 3 guests required for this journey. When we have reached that number, we will let you know and then you can proceed to buy airfare and your travel insurance.

          • This journey’s price will be announced when all details are set. 
          • The non-refundable deposit is $500
          • The 2nd installment is due May 1, 2023.
          • The balance is due July 1, 2023. 
          • The private room supplement is TBD. (Please note: if you request a roommate but we do not have one for you, you are responsible for the private room supplement)

          Price Includes: 

          • Hotel accommodation, beginning on the night of September 24th through the 28th. Your hotel night on September 29th is included in the price of the base trip.
          • All ground transportation starting with airport pickup
          • 2 domestic flights (Tana to Fort Dauphin and return)
          • All meals starting with breakfast on September 25th
          • All entrance fees
          • All tips to guides
          • All tips at hotels and restaurants
          • Online photo album after the trip
          • Triple carbon offsetting for the entire journey

          Price does not include:

          • International airfare (although we will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
          • Travel insurance (required)
          • Alcohol
          • Laundry services
          • Any meals before breakfast on September 25th
          Eden Lodge Post-Trip Price & What is Included

          This box is solely for the post-trip option at Eden Lodge.

          There is a minimum of 3 guests required for this journey. When we have reached that number, we will let you know and then you can proceed to buy airfare and your travel insurance.

          • This journey’s price will be announced when all details are set. 
          • The non-refundable deposit is $500
          • The 2nd installment is due May 1, 2023
          • The balance is due July 1, 2023
          • The private room supplement is $TBD. (Please note: if you request a roommate but we do not have one for you, you are responsible for the private room supplement)
          • UPGRADE OPTION: There is an optional upgrade to be in the villa (shared with 2 other rooms) for $250 USD. The villa has a shared living area and kitchen and a pool.

          Price Includes: 

          • Hotel accommodation, beginning on the night of October 13th through the 16th.
          • Day room use in Tana on October 17th
          • 2 flights (Tana to Nosy Be and return)
          • All meals starting with breakfast on October 13th and ending with breakfast on October 17th
          • All tips to guides
          • All tips at hotels and restaurants
          • Online photo album after the trip
          • Triple carbon offsetting for the entire journey

          Price does not include:

          • International airfare (although we will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
          • Any meals after breakfast on October 17th
          • Travel insurance (required)
          • Alcohol
          • Laundry services
          • Extra excursions at Eden Lodge. You’ll have options for massages and extra excursions during your time at Eden Lodge, such as:
            • Massage therapy, 25 Euros for 50 minutes
            • Diving, 90 Euros for 2 dives
            • Boat Excursion to Nosy Mamoko and Waterfall, 60 Euros
            • Boat Excursion to Nosy Komba and Tanikely, 90 Euros
            • Boat Excursion to to Nosy Iranja and Antsoha, 110 Euros
            • Bemanevika River, 70 Euros
            • Cacao planation in Ambanja, 120 Euros
          Payment Information

          Please refer to the Price tabs for specific information about price & what is included in your journey.

          The deposit guarantees your space. The 2nd installment is due on May 1st and the balance on July 1st, 2023.

          For our American guests, we accept payments via check, credit, or debit card (via PayPal), Zelle, or Venmo.

          For our guests outside the U.S., please write for the best transfer details.

          • Paying by Zelle: use
          • Paying by Venmo for Business: @Retreatours (we can send you a QR code or request)
          • Paying by Check: Checks can be made out to RetreaTours and sent to 8821 NW 14 Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.
          • Paying by Credit Card, Debit Card, or PayPal balance: You can pay the balance with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal balance through the button below. Note that you do not have to pay with your PayPal balance; please click here if you’d like further instructions.

          We will email you an invoice (via PayPal) 1-2 weeks before each due date.

          Cancellation Policy & Contract

          We do everything in our power to do right by our guests. We are proud to say that in the wake of our COVID-related trip cancellations through 2020 and 2021, we were able to offer each of our guests the choice of a 100% credit, if not a full refund.

          We’ve re-examined each trip and done our best to reduce the deposit amounts as much as possible. Upon your registration, your deposit immediately goes toward reserving your space for flights, hotels, and excursions that must be booked months in advance and are often non-refundable.

          Cancellation by our guests

          The cancellation charges are as follows unless otherwise indicated on the detailed itinerary for each trip. All cancellations must be received via e-mail or US mail.

          • Cancellations prior to 120 days to departure, money will be refunded minus the non-refundable deposit. Please note that deposits for any pre-trip or post-trip extensions are not transferable to another portion of the trip should you decide to cancel that module of the journey.
          • Cancellations received 61 to 119 days prior to departure are subject to a penalty of 50% of the total cost of the trip.
          • Cancellations received 60 days or less prior to trip departure will forfeit the entire cost of the trip.

          If a trip is cancelled by RetreaTours

          When a tour is cancelled in the case of force majeure, the Tour Participant will receive a refund minus any funds that we are unable to recover from any supplier.

          You can see the full cancellation policy in our contract here. 

          Passport and Visa Requirements

          Your passport must have at least 3 blank pages and be valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of the trip (that is April 25, 2024).

          You can get a Madagascar visa upon arrival at the airport in Antananarivo for $37 USD, valid for 30 days.

          Vaccines and Staying Healthy


          RetreaTours requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccine and booster for this journey.

          No vaccines are required to enter Madagascar, but we highly encourage you to work with your local travel clinic or the travel department of your local health department (often a much cheaper option).


          Malaria is present in Madagascar; you can see the NHS malaria map of Madagascar here.  If you choose to take malaria preventatives, please work with your travel physician for the right medication for you.


          Staying Healthy on Tour

          Please visit our comprehensive article, “How to Stay Healthy While Traveling…Naturally,” which addresses all of the most common travel ailments.

            Expected Temperatures & Suggested Packing List

            We’ll provide a suggested packing list several months before this journey.

            Temperature by location

            These conditions are based on historical averages, thanks to The range as a whole is 55-85°F (13-29°C)


            • Antananarivo: 55-75°F, 15% chance of light rain
            • Palmarium (Toamasina): 65-80°F, 14% chance of light rain
            • Andasibe:  55-75°F, 25% chance of rain (not bad for a rainforest!)
            • Morondava & Kirindy: 70-85°F, 8% chance of light rain
            • Pre-trip option, Berenty: 65-85°F, 15% chance of light rain
            • Post-trip option at Eden Lodge: 72-88°F, 5% chance of light rain
            About our Hotels

            Each of these hotels was carefully chosen for its comfort, location, and character. They each have their own private bathroom and shower. 

            It is important to note that some of these hotels are quite remote (such as Palmarium and Relais du Kirindy) so that they can provide the most authentic, engaged experience. For that reason, there may hours throughout the day or night when there is no electricity. We will always let you know when these planned hours are so you can properly charge your phone and cameras.

            The hotels vary from 4-star beachfront resorts in Morondava to rustic cabins in Kirindy, but they have each been carefully chosen based on their location and access to wildlife. The rooms at Palmarium and Kirindy do not have air conditioning.

            Here is a list of all of our reserved hotels:

            About Food in Madagascar

              One of the more surprising things about traveling in Madagascar is the food–the superb quality, the stunning presentation, and the sheer quantity! The vast majority of our meals will be French-influenced and have three courses. Everything is, of course, optional!

              Most any dietary requirements can be met on this journey with enough notice. Please indicate any special requests/allergies on the registration form and we’ll reach out to you with any advice or information necessary before taking your deposit.

              Bringing Snacks

              If you are a “snack-y” person, you may wish to bring some snacks from home as it won’t always be easy to get snacks (especially ones you are familiar with) on the road. This might mean nuts, protein bars, or other sealed, portable goodies.

              Can I drink the tap water?

              Please stick to bottled or filtered water on this journey.

              Internet & Electricity

              The internet outside the capital city can be very, very slow. We recommend staying connected with your loved ones via WhatsApp (which we will also use on the tour to communicate the schedule and updates). WhatsApp seems to work with the slightest wisp of wifi.

              Electrical Outlets and Adaptors

              You’ll need a 2-pin European prong Type C adaptor for Madagascar.  We highly recommend a Universal Adaptor such as this, which also has USB and USB-C outlets so you can charge multiple devices at once.

              Suggested Fitness Requirements

              There are no strict fitness requirements required for this trip because all activities are optional. However, in order to get the most out of your experience, here are our suggested fitness requirements.

              We recommend being comfortable driving for up to 2-3 hours at a time, often on a dirt road (some drives are 4 hours, but we’ll always stop to stretch or use restroom facilities during that time).

              We recommend being comfortable walking 2 miles at a moderate pace. Many of our walks will be on flat dirt paths (Berenty and Palmarium); some on level ground with tree roots and branches to step over (Kirindy); and some of the Andasibe rainforest walks have some elevation changes (including stairs) where you may find a hiking pole/walking stick useful. Some hikes in Andasibe will be several miles, but with frequent stops to look for and at wildlife.

              If you have any questions about your fitness for this trip, please reach out to us and we’ll answer any questions you have!

              Travel Times & Conditions

              If you’ve researched travel in Madagascar, you might not be surprised to hear that road conditions can be challenging. For that reason, we have designed this journey to maximize your experience while minimizing drive times. When we are driving, our expert drivers go slow and know how to minimize jostling as much as possible. 

              Here are descriptions of our travel times:

              • Tana to Toamasina flight: 50 minutes
              • Toamsina to Palmarium: ~3-hour boat ride in a calm Intracoastal canal system in a covered boat
              • Palmarium to Andasibe: ~90-minute boat ride in the same canal but this time headed south. Then we’ll take a ~30-45 minute drive (only 4.5 miles) on a bouncy road to meet the main road.  From the main road, it is ~3 hours (80 miles) to Andasibe on a main national highway that is improving but still will be slow going.
              • Andasibe to Tana: We’ll travel to 88 miles back to the capital on a road that has received the most improvement, but we should still bank on it taking 3.5 to 4 hours.
              • Tana to Morondava: 75-minute flight
              • Morondava to Kirindy: This is a main national highway but primarily a dirt road. The potholes don’t start in earnest until north of Kirindy, so we will be avoiding them for the most part. Thirty miles will take us 90-120 minutes, with an additional stop at Baobab Alley.
              • Kirindy to Morondava: Reverse the above, plus 30 minutes on a good road from the airport to our beachfront accommodation.

              Pre-trip extension in Berenty Reserve

              • Tana to Fort Dauphin: 2 hour flight
              • Fort Dauphin to Berenty Reserve:  This 51 miles drive will take between 2.5 -3 hours on dirt roads.

              Post-Trip extension to Eden Lodge

              • Tana to Nosy Be: 90-minute flight
              • Nosy Be to Eden Lodge: ~45-minute boat ride
              • Eden Lodge: No driving!
              Travel Insurance

              Required Coverage

              RetreaTours requires that each guest carries travel insurance that covers emergency medical treatment and emergency evacuation and repatriation. Please send Lauren your policy information as soon as you have it.

              Suggested Coverage

              We suggest trip cancellation insurance, as well, as you never know what obstacles life can toss at you leading up to a trip. However, we do not require this coverage, we only suggest it highly.

              Please familiarize yourself with RetreaTours’ guest cancellation policy in your journey’s contract. Please read this article to understand a bit more about trip cancellation insurance and what it may or may not cover. “Cancel For Any Reason” policies do exist, as well, although do check to see what percentage of the trip cost they actually reimburse.

              When to purchase your policy

              Please purchase this insurance as soon as we tell you the trip has reached its minimum. Please do not wait until the last minute, should you need to use your (optional) cancellation coverage before then.

              Where to search for policies

              Below you will find some options to start your search for trip insurance. However, we ask that you carefully consider your choice in travel insurance. What works for some people may not work for others, particularly if you have any pre-existing conditions. Please do take the time to consider the best policy for your individual needs.

     and are two sites where you can see and compare many policies at once, and you can refine the options by what coverage you would like. Squaremouth’s interface is very easy and intuitive to use, and you can easily opt out of trip cancellation coverage.

              World Nomads provides policies for guests under 70 that includes trip cancellation options. Use the link above and pop in your info to get an immediate quote.

              It may also be a good idea to check with your credit card companies, especially American Express, to see if they offer any medical coverage for travel.

              About your International Flights - How to Fly to Madagascar

              We are more than happy to recommend international flights, but ultimately you will make the purchase yourself. We recommend purchasing them directly through the airline when you can, as this makes any potential changes a bit easier than going through sites like Expedia or Kayak.

              Depending on which portions of the journey you are registering for, we’ll make personalized recommendations for your arrival and departure dates.

              The airports with connections to Madagascar currently include:

              • Paris (CDG)
              • Istanbul (IST)
              • Addis Ababa (ADD)
              • Nairobi (NBO)
              • Johannesburg (JNB)
              • Reunion (often as a stop, sometimes without getting off the plane)
              • Mauritius (often as a stop, sometimes without getting off the plane)
              Our Carbon Negative commitment

              RetreaTours is Climate Positive!

              We purchase triple carbon offsets for your travels with us—that’s from your home, through the entire tour, and back to your home again, times three

              RetreaTours is officially a Carbonfree® Partner with, as well as a partner with Cool Effect.

              You may have heard the term “carbon neutral,” which means that a company offsets as much carbon as it produces. With this 300% offset, RetreaTours is actually offsetting more carbon than we produce each year, making us “carbon negative” (or “climate positive,” which has a nicer ring to it!)

              Since 2012 we’ve focused on making travel safe and easy for our guests; with our triple carbon offset tours, we’re pleased to make our trips as sustainable as they are memorable.

              Please see more at

              About our Guide, Alain Rakotonoely

              It is with great honor that we say we have the BEST guide in all of Madagascar–so much so that he is the one teaching other guides!

              Native Malagasy guide Alain Rakotonoely has been leading tours for over two decades, specializing in birdwatching, primatology, and plant identification and classification.

              Alain Rakotonoely is a mentor for Malagasy naturalist students and guides. Since 2016 he has taught Biodiversity Courses at the National Institute of Tourism of Madagascar. He is also a founding member of the English-speaking Guides Association in Madagascar.

              Alain is delighted to share his culture with our guests and truly believes that guiding is a combination of art and inspiration. 

              About BJ and Lauren of RetreaTours

              You’ll be joined on this journey by Lauren & BJ, owners of RetreaTours–and we are so excited to show you the wonders of Madagascar!

              (That’s us at Palmarium in 2022 with a very curious Indri, the largest living lemur and critically endangered. He hopped over to us and we are so lucky that our guide was able to grab this photo!)

              Husband-and-wife team BJ Graf and Lauren Rathvon have traveled the globe year-round since January 2013, researching, designing, and leading impactful journeys. We are deeply grateful for the trust that our guests place in us to save them time and resources while they enjoy a memorable journey.

              We are committed not only to our guests but to our host destinations and the planet at large. We engage with local businesses and guides to keep money within the community, and we triple-carbon offset each of our tours.

              We invite you to visit our Testimonials page to see what other people have to say about us!  You can head to our About Us page to learn more about our story.

              Contact RetreaTours

              Please write for any questions you may have about this journey.  If you have not received a reply within 48 hours, please do check your spam folder.

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