Group trip Madagascar with Mario Passoni
Discover the biodiversity of Madagascar and help lemurs
Travel, explore, enjoy and protect!
This trip was created with the aim of discovering local biodiversity and supporting conservation projects for endangered species and habitats threatened by human activities.
Registration is not possible anymore.
The trip will take place in the beautiful archipelago of Nosy Be, Madagascar.
From the 25th of September to the 4th of October, 2023
Who can participate?
This trip is ideal for everyone, the important thing is to know how to swim, have a spirit of adventure and love nature. For children, we recommend ages 10 and up. The excursions that we will carry out are simple and within everyone's reach and you don't need to be trained.
Why choose this trip?
The main difference with other similar trips is that part of your fee will go as a donation to support a conservation project in Madagascar. In this way, in addition to having a wonderful holiday, you will do something concrete to protect what you love.
You will also have the opportunity to participate in a citizen science project, helping us to collect valuable data for scientific research on sea turtles.
In addition, a naturalist will accompany you throughout the journey and, thanks to insights and excursions, will make you appreciate the wonders of the place even more.
1.590 Euro per person
The services included in the price can be found below.
Help save the singing lemur!
We support the World Sustainability Foundation (WSF) which in collaboration with the University of Turin and its partners (U ONLUS, GERP, PNV, ARCA), is conducting in the Maromizaha forest the only ongoing long-term study on singing lemurs (Indri indri), which are at risk of extinction.
They are currently managing 5 bamboo and endemic tree nurseries in the villages around the Maromizaha forest and support the local population in the ecological restoration of degraded forest areas, to preserve the habitat of the indris and all the other 11 lemur species in Maromizaha.
Thanks to your contribution we will be able to support this project. In addition, you will be entitled to a symbolic adoption of a lemur and a related adoption certificate!
Traveling with the naturalist
Your tour leader will be Mario Passoni.
Mario is a naturalist, he has worked for many years as a nature guide around the world, such as in the Maldives, Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles, and also in Nosy Be.
In the past, he has conducted coral restoration projects and photo identification of manta rays, whale sharks, and sea turtles.
He is now the conservation and awareness project manager of the World Sustainability Foundation (WSF).
During this trip, Mario will take you to discover nature and local biodiversity, both outside and inside the water.
Insights into biology
During your stay, our naturalist will offer you the following biology lessons:
- The wonders of the underwater world of Nosy Be
- Terrestrial animals and plants of Madagascar
But don't worry, they are not real lessons, but just nice and interactive insights to show you what you will see during both sea and land excursions. We will also talk about conservation projects and how you can help protect biodiversity.
Sighting of whale sharks, whales, sea turtles, and other animals
During this holiday there will be the concrete possibility of spotting and interacting with numerous animals, including whale sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, lemurs, chameleons, and more.
Although it is the best period for these sightings, it is very important to keep in mind that we cannot guarantee 100% that we will be able to see them, as they are wild animals, free as they should be in their natural environment.
During this trip, it will be possible to go whale watching and spot humpback whales and dolphins. The observation will be made from the boats following a sustainable code of conduct that will allow us to interact with these cetaceans without disturbing them.
It will therefore not be possible to swim with whales and dolphins, as these activities are a source of stress for these animals.
Day 1: let's go!
Meeting of the participants approximately 3 hours before flight departure at the airport, boarding, and take-off operations with destination Nosy Be.
Day 2: Welcome to Nosy Be!
Arrival at Nosy Be. Customs formalities and reception by our representatives at the airport and transfer to the hotel, the La Plage Hotel.
Arrival at the hotel, room assignment, free lunch, some rest, and briefing. The time of the briefing will be decided once on site, according to the time of arrival in Nosy Be.
Day 3: discovering Nosy Tanikely and Nosy Komba
After an excellent breakfast at the hotel, departure at a time to be agreed on-site.
Arrival at the Marine Park of Nosy Tanikely is characterized by a picturesque lighthouse (reachable in a few minutes by walking) which dominates the landscape.
Landing on the island and introductory briefing on the protected marine area.
You will be able to enjoy the coral reef by snorkeling with our naturalist and/or alternatively Tanikely Island offers a suggestive walk up to the sighting point of flying foxes (large bats).
Departure from Nosy Tanikely at approximately 13:00/13:30, with destination Nosy Komba which will be reached after about 20' of navigation. Lunch (included) in a characteristic Gargotte based on typical Malagasy dishes.
After lunch, visit the small village of the island dedicated to handicrafts and the small park built by the Capuchin friars where it will be possible to meet macaque lemurs, tortoises, chameleons, boa constrictors, etc.
It will then be possible to devote oneself to the purchase of some local handicraft souvenirs with local currency (the tablecloths embroidered by the women of the village are beautiful).
Then we will navigate to return to the La Plage Hotel. After dinner first biology night show on marine biodiversity.
Day 4: finding whale sharks and humpback whales
After breakfast, departure in search of whale sharks and humpback whales!
If whale sharks are spotted, it will be possible to snorkel with them.
Possible dolphin sighting.
In case whale sharks are not seen, we will go snorkeling in a beautiful place.
Afternoon dedicated to relaxation.
Aperitif dedicated to the second biology shows on terrestrial biodiversity to also talk about the next day's excursion and the Lemur conservation project.
Day 5: Lokobe nature reserve
After breakfast, depart by minibus directly from the hotel for a day in direct contact with the nature of Nosy Be immersed in the primary forest of the Lokobe Nature Reserve.
Reaching the fishing village of Ambatusavavi a short walk through a mangrove forest will bring us to the beach. Here we will board the traditional wooden outrigger pirogues made from trunks by skilled local craftsmen.
Paddling through the mangroves we will reach the shores of the village of Ampassipoi, the gateway to the Lokobe Nature Reserve. For those who want it, a change of clothes, some fruit, and a sip of water before continuing our journey on foot to enter the tropical forest of almost 800 hectares, the only original primary forest on the island of Nosy Be.
A beautiful light-trek to observe and photograph a unique flora and fauna in Nosy Be: dwarf chameleon, leaf gecko, boa constrictor, diurnal and nocturnal lemurs, and over 40 species of birds such as the paradise flycatcher and the pygmy kingfisher in their natural habitat.
We will also discover the plants with their medicinal properties which will be indicated and explained by the Malagasy guide (authorized by the reserve) who has known them since birth, they will take you to a reality very far from our habits.
After this adventure, we will refresh ourselves with a typical Malagasy lunch (included) based on rice and seafood.
After a little relaxation on the beach and a refreshing dip, if the tide permits, we will go back up in the pirogue for the return.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: the turtles of Nosy Sakatia
Departure from the hotel after breakfast with time to be agreed upon. Our naturalist will accompany you to discover pristine beaches, coves, and sea turtles.
Lunch (included) will be in a typical local Gargotte which we will consume on a characteristic table on the beach in the shade of palm trees and banana trees.
After lunch, the day is not over!
In the afternoon, the Chelonia mydas (green turtles) await you to take a very interesting snorkel with them.
Return to the hotel and dinner.
Day 7: lakes and Mont Passot
Morning of relaxation and bathing activities. Possibility of an optional excursion to the city of HELL VILLE (not included).
In the afternoon departure from the hotel passing through villages, and landscapes with Teak trees and Cassava plantations, to go and visit the 3 main volcanic lakes of Nosy Be, populated by crocodiles considered sacred by the animist religion because they are the reincarnation of the ancestors, sometimes visible, on the shores of one of the lakes.
Before sunset time, we will reach the highest peak of the island (about 330 meters) with a 360° view of the whole archipelago.
We will admire a sunset of incomparable beauty down to the last ray which will reflect on 7 of the 11 volcanic lakes on the island.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Relax in Nosy Iranja
After breakfast departure at 8:00 from the hotel. A day dedicated to a memorable excursion to Nosy Iranja: two magical islands connected, at low tide, by an enchanting strip of sand.
Once on the island, we will disembark to enjoy the well-deserved relaxation after a week full of strong emotions.
Here there will be a chance to visit the fishing village, lighthouse, and other viewpoints.
Then we can't help but walk on the sandy isthmus that unites the two islands and which the tide discovers and hides.
Lunch (included) on the wonderful beach based on Malagasy delicacies, swim and return to the hotel at approximately 17:00.
Aperitif dedicated to giving names to the identified turtles and final thanks.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: back home
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for the flight home.
The price includes
- Stay in the La Plage Hotel in Nosy Be with accommodation in a double/twin room
- Package 7 nights in half board + lunches included in the days with a full-day excursion
- All transfers included in the package
- Assistance of Italian/ english speaking staff on site
- Excursions (All excursions in the program always include entrance fees to the parks, fresh water, herbal teas with spices, fruit, and snacks (if onboard), and lunch included during full-day excursions)
- Private guide - naturalist Mario Passoni
- Insights of biology
- Donation to the singing lemur project
- Snorkeling equipment
The fee does not include
- Medical-Luggage-Cancellation Insurance with COVID-19 integration (+ 3.5% of the fee)
- Drinks, free lunches (only two), and Extras in the Hotel
- Tips and extras of a personal nature
- Anything not mentioned in: THE PRICE INCLUDES
- Scheduled Flights: fare increases as long as availability lasts on the basic fare class envisaged
The visa can only be issued upon arrival at the airport in Madagascar during the document check and customs formalities. The cost of the visa for stays of up to 30 days has been set at approximately Euro 35 per person, including children (the amount, expressed in local currency, is subject to change without notice). Payment must be made on-site in cash and different currencies, such as the Euro or the US Dollar, can also be used.
Other to be paid on site
Outgoing airport tax: approximately Euro 23.00, payable also in local currency at the airport (currently suspended). Tourist tax is to be paid in cash at the hotel (currently Euro 1.00 per day per room). Any extra kg of baggage (to be paid directly at the airport). Extras in general and anything not listed under "the price includes".
Maximum number of participants
Minimum number of participants
What to bring
Bring some Ariary (local currency) with you there will be many temptations to buy souvenirs such as the splendid tablecloths produced right there before your eyes. Better to have mosquito repellent, a hat, sunglasses, beach shoes, trekking shoes, a camera, and sunscreen (30/50). In the afternoon, during the return to the Resort, a little wind will pick up coming from the West so during navigation we will be able to take some splashes, a Kway will certainly come in handy, in any case, the water is very warm, etc.
The program may undergo variations due to the weather and sea conditions. Local establishments generally only accept payments in cash, in Euros, or local currency. In the Hotel it is possible to use some credit cards subject to commissions (check which ones). To withdraw cash in local currency it is possible to use the city's banking services, which allow withdrawals only using VISA cards. No vaccinations are required.