Magical Madagascar: A Country You’ll Want to Visit

Lemurs in Madagascar

I just returned from a two-week fact-finding trip to Madagascar, and I had no idea how many mammals, plants and reptiles exist only in Madagascar.

Did you know that Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world, and 2.5 times the size of the U.K.?

I now plan on leading a trip to Madagascar in May 2021? If you’d like more information, please contact me at

How do you get to Madagascar?

One of the most direct flights to Madagascar from Los Angeles is on Air France via Paris (10 hours 55 minutes)

  • You’ll have a two-hour layover in CDG- Paris

Your 2nd flight is non-stop from Paris to Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Air France (10 hours 45 minutes.)  The entire trip takes approximately 24-hours.

What happens when you land in Madagascar?

Air France arrives in the capital city, Anatananarivo, late at night.  Visas are easy to purchase for ($37) at the airport. After collecting your luggage, a Holden Safaris representative will meet you at the airport and drive you to a nearby hotel.
Relais des Plateaux close to the airport for your arrival on the night flight
One day to rest in Anatananarivo 

Your adventure starts with a flight to Fort Dauphin (2-hours) in the southern tip of the island. There you’ll be whisked off to Mandrare River lodge and on your first evening, your guide will take you on a night walk in a very different forest known as the “Spiny Forest.”

This forest is only found in southern Madagascar, with 95% of the plant species endemic to this ecoregion. There you’ll spot the nocturnal mouse lemur, the active sportive lemur and chameleons.  During the daytime, you’ll find the Verreaux Sifakas in this eerie and pre-historic forest.

Verreaux Sifaka in the unique spiny forest

Here are the lemurs we saw in Mandrare, the southern part of Madagascar.

Photos of Mandrare River lodge below with delicious meals served on your patio, or in the “boma” an open-air dining area.


Our Activities on Day 2 of our stay in Mandrare river Lodge

The following morning you’ll get a chance to walk in the “Gallery Forest” with its dense canopy of tamarind trees, where you’ll see ring-tailed lemurs.

Sonia and Theo, our great guide at Mandrare canopy forest

5:30 p.m. a walk in the “Sacred” Forest. There, you’ll discover the ancient tombs of the Antandroy tribe. As the sun sets over the Mandrare River, you’ll enjoy a Sundowner with your favorite drink.

Sundowner, or “Happy Hour” watching the gorgeous sunset

Please contact me if you’d like to
join one of the Safaris I’m leading in 2020 or 2021

Call (949) 402-7828 or


Next “Travel with a Purpose” Club Meeting 


Thursday, February 20th, 2020

5-7 p.m. Village Greens, Gate 12

Restaurant 19, Rooms 2 & 3

24112 Moulton Parkway

Laguna Woods, 92637

Topic: “Experience Madagascar: Land of Lemurs, Chameleons and Prehistoric Forests,

Like Nowhere Else on Earth.”

Sonia Marsh


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