12 Years

£ 2495

A Truly Off The Beaten Track Adventure

Unearth Madagascar’s magnificently wild Northern region. Go truly off the beaten track on this adventure; passing through the remotest of villages and national parks, seeing striking diverse landscapes  and spotting incredibly unique Madagascan wildlife. Be a part of the adventurous minority! Starting from Madagascar’s last major highland forest, we’ll move through barren Tampoketsa  and the Tsingy of Ankarana before reaching the far Northern coast of Madagascar.

Price £2,495 / $3,150

Price based on 4 pax, £300 supplement is less. 2 Optional Beach Extensions: 1 Island Hopping, 1 Nosy Sakatia.

Excludes international flights.


Upcoming Group Departures

2024: 05-May, 01-Sep, 04-Nov  OR  2024: 01-Jul, 09-Jul, 09-Sep, 13-Oct, 03-Nov


Tailormade Departures

March - December


Day by Day

After arriving in Antananarivo (or Tana, as it is known by the locals) late pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight Hotel

This morning we will set off to the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (previously known as Perinet)  where you will spend 1 ½ days exploring this wonderful environment. En-route we will stop at a farm specialising in Madagascan reptiles and butterflies, before arriving at our hotel. Depending on time of arrival, this afternoon or tomorrow  you will get a chance to stroll around the private island reserve of Vakona Lodge with the opportunity to spot  plenty of lemurs.   This evening, take a twilight/nocturnal walk, looking out for the nocturnal species of lemur by catching their eyes in the torchlight.

Today we will explore Andasibe National Park – a perfect place to experience Madagascars Eastern rainforest.

After another morning to explore we head back to Tana.

Today you will transfer to the airport where you will take the fight to Diego.  Here you will be met by your guide  and will transfer to Jofreville – home of the Amber Mountains

Today we will spend the day exploring the forest trails and waterfalls in the Montagne d’Ambre.

This morning we head to Ankarana (approx. 4 hrs by road). Upon arrival we will set up our camp and we will then get a chance to explore. This afternoon we will visit Perte de Riviere – which is the gateway to a series of caves leading to the ocean.

Today will be spent exploring this amazing park along with the Tsingy and the canyons. The trails are not easy but are feasible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness and we recommend visiting this park in the dry season (May-Nov).

Ankarana Special Reserve covers 18,220ha and is known for its limestone karst pinnacles called Tsingy along with its extensive cave system and network of underground rivers. Ankarana possibly has the highest density of primates of any forest (with 11 species of lemurs being found here) and here you may see the crowned lemur, Sanford’s brown lemur, Perrieri’s (black sifaka) lemur, the northern sportive lemur and dwarf lemurs as well as a variety of chameleons and leaf-tailed Uroplatus gecko and great flora.

Today we will we head for Ambanja (and its coastal town Ankify). Upon arrival in Ambanja, you may choose to go for peaceful bike ride around the plantations, relax on the beach or even partake in a mangrove canoe trip.

Today your guide will leave you and you take a small boat to Nosy Be. Upon arrival at the harbor you will be met by a taxi for your short drive to your hotel

The next 2 days you are on your own to explore this island and the nearby ones. We are recommending that you use local guides for any excursions and if you would like for us to organise this before you go we are happy to.


We highly recommend

  • a visit to Lokobe Nature Special Reserve, which you have to get to by Pirogue.
  • A visit to Nosy Sakatia where you can swim with turtles as this is a turtle feeding area with lots of grass in the water that the turtles eat
  • A visit to Nosy Iranja

You will take a flight home from Nosy Be.

Or why not extend your time on the beach or visit Ankarafantsika NP (see optional extensions below).


This is the Wild North and is not on the usual tourist route, so the accommodation quality does vary and some of the drives are long.

This itinerary is subject to change – arrangements, routes and facilities are subject to variation depending on local conditions.  We can also tailor itineraries to suit your exact requirements. When driving times are given, this is only an indication.  It aims to reflect the actual driving time (and doesn’t include stops, lunch, traffic). The road journeys, while often long, are one of the great ways to experience Madagascar.  There is so much life on the road and many photographic opportunities along the way from a natural and people perspective.  


Area Map


Day 11: Diego to Nosy Be

We head to Diego where we will take an Air Madagascar flight to Nosy Be. Upon arrival we will transfer to a hotel where we will spend the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight Hotel


Day 12: Nosy-be/Anjiabe

We board a dhow Sakalava to explore an area where the sea is the only path.   Swimming, snorkeling and diving discovery of an incredibly rich and diverse underwater world awaits us.  After a dhow journey we will land at Anjiabé, a 3km long beach bordered by a semi-abandoned coconut plantation, a site with extraordinary low tide. This is where we will camp for tonight.  After a drink and a stunning meal of seafood prepared for us by our chef, we will have the chance to nap, swim and for those who wish, walk trails to observe the many species of birds, mostly endemic to Madagascar. Sunset, cocktails, meals … And good night!

Overnight Camp.


Day 13: Radama

Depending on the tide we will depart relatively early towards the Island’s northernmost archipelago Radama. (approx. a 2 1/2hr crossing).  Along the way we will get a chance to swim. Nosy Ambariopôtaka rises to 166 meters and includes a different landscape to last night and we camp facing the majestic Mozambique Channel.  In the next bay we tend to find a Sakalava carpenter at work – with one or more shells of dhows resting on a bed of pink and white periwinkles. The whole island is surrounded by a lagoon. Scuba diving, nature walks in the jungle and lazing are the order of today.

Overnight Camp


Day 14: Ambariomena 

We set off early to head Ambariomena. We set up camp a lovely little village and, depending on the tides, in the afternoon, we head out to the sea in a canoe or explore the island on foot.  After our evening aperitif, we will enjoy a meal under the stars!

Overnight Camp


Day 15: Nosy be – Tana

Flight Back to Tana

Extension:  £695

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Pioneer Expeditions
Average rating:  
 9 reviews
 by Howarth
Mad Nature guided north

We had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the amount of wildlife we saw. I think we were probably lucky to be among the first of the tourists getting back into Madagascar, we were the only guests in a couple of hotels and the parks weren't very busy. Ankarafantsika was fine, although basic, the national park was great and we saw almost all the types of lemur plus plenty of birds. All the other hotels were very good, although Baobab Hotel didn't have hot water. We were the only ones there and I hope they manage to get going again.
Nosy Sakatia was delightful, we dived a couple of days and snorkelled with whale sharks and turtles.
Star rating - 4 ½ stars – the Southern trip we did with you would undoubtedly be a 5, I think 4.5 for this, but that is partly because facilities were a bit sparse in a couple of the hotels. There is every chance that when they get back to normal, these problems will be ironed out. All in all, your organisation was great, I know it's not easy to plan, especially with things the way they still are.
We will definitely come back to you for any future trips.

Mada nature guided north

Andy and I just wanted to thank you for organising and then reorganising our trip to Madagascar. We returned yesterday after an amazing experience. I don't know where to begin, with all the highlights.

Guides and Drivers were fantastic and at Sakatia Lodge we were treated like family. So much so that we are returning to them next October for further diving!!!!

Just an enormous thank you Laurenne.
Warm wishes to all at Pioneer.

Madagascar Nature North

Returning from the fabulous fortnight we enjoyed in Madagascar, we can only say a big, big thank you for everything. It really was a memorable trip with such a diversity of scenery and experience it is difficult to do it full justice by way of a thank you note. Up front we must acknowledge the excellent support from your local agent, MadaMax. They were excellent in their support to their Tour Guide, Blaise (Ravelon Blaise Fabien) who was himself a superb tour leader. He is a knowledgeable and thoroughly effective operator. He had to make several decisions affecting our itinerary when vehicles broke down and circumstances dictated. In these, head office in Tana, was very responsive too and delays were actually pretty minimal. We always felt that things were under control and we were amply consulted along the way. We really do commend Blaise as a tour leader with excellent English and skills in dealing when things go slightly wrong as they inevitably will given distances, road conditions and other unexpected glitches.

Overall, a rewarding and memorable trip. Would love to go back and see other parts - joints and stuff permitting

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    Laurenne Mansbridge



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