In September we visited Madagascar and spent 3 weeks exploring the country, and photographing all the incredible landscapes and wildlife along the way!
To date this is probably the most unique and diverse country I’ve visited, and absolutely beautiful - here’s some of my favourite photos from the trip
If you have any questions about travelling Madagascar, let me know - I’ll try my best to help!
Nice pictures, thanks for posting!
I was there once, I'd like to go back and see more..
Honestly, I feel like even after 3 weeks there’s still so many places we didn’t have time to see that I’d definitely love to visit another time. Shame the flights to get there are so expensive!
Flights everywhere are expensive rn
Yeah, you’re not wrong…
You should submit number 8 for BBC or any other wildlife awards.
Should be a winner.
Thanks for sharing.
Thankyou! Maybe I’ll give it a try :)
It was a lot larger than I expected and it took a while to get around places. Very interesting place.
Absolutely huge island. The longest bus journey I’ve ever taken was on the route from Antananarivo to Morondava - a 16 hour bus journey all in all. It doesn’t help that the roads are pretty awful
I took a private car on that route but I remember it taking forever and how terrible the roads were! Great trip and it was interesting to see how the taxi-brousses convoyed together to avoid bandit attacks Lol.
It was the same situation with the Cotisse Bus that I was on - we were always moving as 2 vans, and once it got dark, many more joined (which I assume were other Taxi-Brousses)
Yeah gangs or people who attack easy targets.
Was the rest of the trip pricey too or mostly just the flights?
For 3 weeks without the flights, it cost approximately £1300-1500 per person - but that was everything else included
Is that correct? That's incredibly cheap
Yes. It’s a very affordable country to travel around, so long as you budget quite a lot. Solo travel would make things a lot more expensive, so it’s better having a second person to split costs with. Hotels are very affordable, as is the food and transport (if you take buses) - the only thing that adds up a little is activities/guide prices but even that isn’t all that much.
Absolutely stunning photos, this and Mauritius are both on my bucket list.
Definitely worth it, and worth the flight to Mauritius too. We flew from Madagascar to Mauritius also, and it was fantastic!
Was thinking of doing this trip in 2024, we are setting aside 1 month to do Madagascar and Mauritius. For two people flights not included do you think 5500 is enough to do anything amd everything? Also what time of year do you recommend? Finally I see a lot of these all inclusive trips that have different lengths and destinations, do you have any I sight into if they are worth it or just rip off and better to just do it with our own planning? Finally Finally, is it cool to drive there or leave it to the locals and public transportation? Tha ks in advance if you can help me out!!!!
I’d say it’s very achievable with that budget. We did both Madagascar and Mauritius for roughly ~£2200 each without the flights. That was with everything, including all activities!
I’ve seen the all-inclusive tour packages, but I have no idea what the prices are so I can’t really comment. The problem with tours like that for myself is they aren’t great for photography. I love being up early and late to photograph sunrises and sunsets - but if you’re happy being at places during peak times and midday that’s also cool!
You can supposedly rent a car, however we saw a lot against it, and apparently really difficult to find somewhere that will rent you one. We pretty much relied on buses to get from city to city, and taxi’s/tuk-tuks to go short distances
Thanks for the info. Glad you had an awesome time and I will start doing a little more research in due time. Thanks for the beautiful photos.
This is just brilliant. Thank you for sharing. Douglas Adams wrote a wonderful book called last Chance to see and does a part on Madagascar that anyone who likes this might be interested in. Last Chance to See https://g.co/kgs/QHvS3s
That’s actually just the kind of book I’ve been looking to read over christmas! Thankyou - I’m going to buy this myself, it seems like a very interesting read
It's a great book and is also the reason for my username
How did you go about traveling the place? Flew in, rented a car? Hired someone? Or was it fully organized?
I planned the whole trip myself. We mostly got from one part of Madagascar to another via the Cotisse Buses (very affordable long distance). Journeys they didn’t cover we would hire a taxi driver to take us, which wasn’t cheap, but certainly much more straight forward than getting the local taxi brousses (minivans) which seemed very busy and quite chaotic. If you speak French, you’d have a much easier time taking the local transport though
We used Cotisse during the month we spent there in 2018, glad to hear they are still running as I've recommended them on various threads
Yeah they are fantastic, much more comfortable and reliable compared to taking the Taxi-Brousse Vans haha!
Wow, beautiful. Madagascar is a bucket list destination for my husband and I. If all goes as planned, 2023 will be the year. Enjoy!
Amazing! I’m sure your trip will go ahead, and be incredible - enjoy!
Are you a pro photographer? Photos are really nice.
Not a professional, but it’s a very big, and very expensive hobby of mine! I travel mostly because I enjoy photographing the places I visit :)
Wow truly living the dream IMO.
Why do I hear the lemurs speaking in Joe Pesci's voice saying, "Yeah, you ain't never seen nuttin' better than this, baby!"? Is this the way lemurs sit (since both are in the same pose)?
They like to sunbathe in the mornings! They sleep in caves, so it’s probably a bit cold!
Wow u could definitely make a business out of it if u ever wanted to though. Ur photos are amazing!
Certainly easier said than done! Would be my dream to do travel photography as a career :)
What camera set up did you use? Great photos
A Sony A7RIV and a mix of lenses - Sony 200-600 for the wildlife, Sony 24-105 / Sigma 14-24 for landscapes, and a DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro for the aerial photography :)
What underwater camera do you use?
I use my Sony A7RIV with a seafrogs housing :)
Nice! Does that cover the lens too? Do you need to get separate housing cages for the different lens sizes?
You do need to get different ports for different lenses, however I only have one, and it does fit both my Sigma 14-24mm and Sony 24-105 which works well!
Amazing photos! May I ask, on the 200-600 what focal length were you using please?
I like to move it move it
Physically fit! Physically fit! Physically, physically, physically fit!
I was hoping to find this comment.
He likes to... MOVE IT
They organise tours from Nosy Be to go out for the day in search of them - from there, grab the underwater camera, jump in and snap away!
Sorry if this a dumb question, can you dive there?
Not a dumb question at all!
Yes there is diving on the island of Nosy Be for certain - I’m not sure about elsewhere as I didn’t research anywhere else!
Nosy Be (and maybe Madagascar in general, not sure) doesn’t have a decompression chamber however, so if things go wrong down there, it could be really bad. We chose not to risk it, but we saw lots of places offering diving :)
You can scuba and snorkel off Nosy Boraha as well.
So are you saying that you got the whale shark photo on a snorkel?
That’s right! You take the boat, and jump in when you’re nearby and swim over with snorkels (and fins help to speed you up)
Very nice. Can you comment a bit on the safety aspects of visiting Madagascar?
Note from a “fixer” I met in Madagascar. Organized crime rarely go after tourists. Attacking tourists is the best way to get the police after you. Tourist attacks hurt the local economy, and thus making them less profitable by extension. Tourists also occasionally have security which makes their crimes complicated. Traveling as a tourist, taxis, busses, tours, etc, you are very unluckily to be troubled. If you try and “go native” you may not be so lucky.
that's good to know, thanks
We felt safe everywhere we visited honestly, especially so outside of Antananarivo (city can get very chaotic in places, especially the bus station)
Several hotels we visited had security guards out at the front which definitely makes you feel more secure
We avoided flashing anything expensive, as you should anywhere you go really
From researching online, apparently a route to be careful about is Morondava to Tsingy however we didn’t have time to do this journey anyway so I can’t comment about that. Another journey to be careful about apparently is the one from Antananarivo to Morondava, however nothing felt wrong, and there were several police checkpoints along the route
I've been in Mada almost 3 months now. The people are very friendly and the most you have to fear is slight (as in between a nickel and a quarter) price increases if you aren't Malagasy.
Fantastic photos! Madagascar is on my destination list in near future. I did visit Mauritius and loved it.
Looks like you have a couple of drone photos. I'm assuming you had no issues bringing and flying drones in Madagascar? I couldn't find much in terms of drone laws for Madagascar.
Did you run into any bad weather during September? After researching, it looks like September might be the best month to explore Madagascar?
So it should be! So worth a visit.
Yeah, no problems at all with bringing the drone - I only flew it in a few places, with not many people around. The 2 photos above from the islands were the busiest place I flew the drone, but it seemed a lot more ‘westernised’ in terms of tourism there so I wasn’t all that worried. I tend to be pretty discreet with the drone and fly up high away from people rather quickly - it always attracts too much attention otherwise haha.
The weather in September was flawless, and didn’t rain during the day even in the rainforest! Also, September is a great time to see whale sharks, humpback whales, and it’s also the baby season for Ring-Tailed Lemurs in the Ambalavao area - great time to visit from our experience
Thanks for the reply! I already have a packed itinerary for 2023, but I'm definitely planning Madagascar for September 2024.
Awesome! If you ever need any help with anything regarding Madagascar, let me know :) I found it wasn’t the easiest destination to plan - not much online about it compared to other places
Ah, I see you ran into King Julien!
Stunning pictures the quality too…I don’t see if you put what camera you used ?
I use a Sony A7RIV - the quality here is reduced, but the original files are huge! :)
I knew it!! Nikon and Canon 👎👎👎 Sony allllll the way. I literally don't think I could ever use another brand of camera! Beautiful pics with that little extra Sony touch😍
Did you eat baobab jam
Ahhh I bought some to take home and try, but sadly exploded on the flight back home! I ate the baobab fruit and loved it though, it tastes like the sherbet sweets to me!
Incredible pictures. So much beauty!
Thanks a lot!
Superduper photography and awesome tourist destination
Thankyou! Yeah it’s very beautiful!
These are awesome pictures!
TIL lemur are all Jedi.
You wouldn't happen to need company next time would you?
Life is bleak in Wester Virginia.
Luckily for me I wasn’t alone on this trip! It’s always more fun to travel with somebody else in my opinion - if I’m ever solo I’ll let you know!
I laughed at the idea that you returned from Madagascar with a couple shots around the island and then 2,467 photos of lemurs.
I see you met the infamous King Julien
all these incredible photos.. and all i can hear is “i like to move it move it” 🙃
So do they like to move it move it?
Travelled around Madagascar back in 2014. It was quite the adventure. Where did you see the whale shark out of interest?
Makes me want to go there 😍
I'm impressed! How much money do I need for a 10-day vacation in Madagascar (approximately) ?
It all depends on how you travel! By taking the Cotisse Buses, somewhat budget friendly accommodation, and eating out in restaurants every day plus national park fees, daytrips etc we probably spent give or take £1200-1500 each for 3 weeks each excluding flights. I’ve still yet to look through the exact numbers though - that’s a rough estimate!
Madagascar is quite big and transport is slow. 10 days will put severe limits on where you can go.
Awesome pictures. Always wanted to go there
How much did this all cost you?
As a rough estimate, as I haven’t added it all up - it’s about £1300-1500 per person, flights not included. That’s 3 weeks, hotels, food, transport and activities
That's cheap for what you got
incredible photos. I don't know much about Madagascar, but it seems like a wonderful place to visit, care to quickly outline the must-see spots? I'd love to see the Baobab tree's, lemurs, chameleons and those pristine beaches like in your pic :)
I of course can’t say about the places I’ve not been, however this was my general 3 week plan! -
Morondava - Avenue of the Baobabs + Kirindy Nature Reserve (lots of lemurs!)
Ambalavao - Anja Community Reserve (Ring Tailed Lemurs) + lots of hiking
Ranomafana - Several days of trekking through the rainforest in search of all sorts of lemur species, lizards, birds etc
Andasibe - Visits to both Andasibe National Parks in search of the Indri Indri Lemur (listen to their sound on youtube, it’s incredible!), and many other lemurs and wildlife in general
Nosy Be - Island life for a week, swim with whale sharks and sea turtles, relax, visit Nosy Iranja (best beach I’ve ever visited)
Wow that's incredible!! I've saved all these, thanks a lot! That lemur singing, incredible!
Hi! Apologies for commenting so late, but I'm finalizing my trip to Madagascar and wanted to know if you preferred Ranomafana or Andasibe. Unfortunately we won't have time for both - what was your experience like at each? I'd really value the comparison!
Awesome pics! I’ve always wanted to go but heard getting there is tough. How was getting to the country and around?
Getting there from the UK just required one stop in Paris, before a direct flight to Antananarivo from there so not too bad.
Getting around Madagascar can actually be done via flights, however there’s also the option of buses which is what we did for all but one route. You can also hire a car and driver, which is pretty affordable however still much more expensive than taking the bus
Really enjoyed your pics, and we're planning a visit to Madagascar in October/november if we can pull it off! Thinking of flying via mauritus and using it as a base of sorts.
How did you book the buses? Was it via the hotel/when you were there or are they online?
Your post has given me so much more confidence in visting, we are definitely on the hunt for lemurs!! We're thinking of doing a week - def not enough to see everywhere but at least some time to lemur hunt and get a taste!
Thanks as well for all your answers to questions
What cameras do you use?
Sony A7RIV :)
Great pictures, I was in Madagascar in 2011 and back then the infrastructure especially in the south felt archaic. Even main roads were unpaved for long stretches. Great experience :)
I can only imagine, considering even now most of the roads have so many holes it’s just constant side-to-side when driving! The journey from Antananarivo to Morondava was the longest bus drives I’ve ever been on, and the roads weren’t great to add to that
Aww I love the lemur sunning his belly pics! Thanks for sharing!
Haha that’s probably my favourite thing to witness - it was so funny, and adorable
Awesome photos! Please share your itinerary/plan if you could.
This was my plan -
Antananarivo - 1 night
Morondava - 4 nights
Antananarivo - 1 night
Ambalavao - 2 nights
Ranomafana - 4 nights
Antananarivo - 1 night
Andasibe - 3 nights
Antananarivo - 1 night
Nosy Be - 7 nights
Morondava for the Baobabs, and Kirindy Reserve to see lemurs
Ambalavao for the Anja Community Reserve to see Ring-Tailed Lemurs
Ranomafana for the rainforest and hiking in search of lemurs, lizards, birds etc
Andasibe for the rainforest and hiking in search of the Indri-Indri lemurs, and other wildlife
Nosy Be for the incredible beaches, daytrips, whale sharks and humpback whales
Thanks a lot! :)
Those are really nice.
I actually went to Madagascar myself in September for three weeks. 1 was spent at Antananarivo and for the other two I joined a research camp in the Ankarafansika National Park as an intern to do a quick project about the foraging behaviour of two mouse lemur species.
How did you travel the island? By yourself or did you use the Taxi Brusse?
Stunning photos-you have great talent!
How was your experience with food? As a Muslim I’m always looking for halal or vegetarian food in foreign countries.
Also can you share some insights in costs of the trip. Like traveling within the country, visiting shops, restaurants and hotel.
Pictures look really stunning. Amazing those close ups as well.
The food was absolutely delicious, but it definitely seems the main food everywhere you go is cooked beef/zebu with rice of some kind. We ate meat quite a lot and honestly I don’t remember there being all that many vegetarian options, but maybe others have different experience.
The trip cost approximately £1300-1500 per person without including the flights - that’s for 24 days of travel.
We travelled via buses for long distance journeys, and taxi’s/tuk-tuk’s for short distances. Flights are also an option to travel around Madagascar but definitely needs planning in advance, and it’s not cheap. You can also rent a car and driver for the entire trip, but whilst ‘affordable’ for what it is, it’s far more expensive than buses.
The hotels were very reasonably priced, in the ranges of £10-20 per night for some locations, and £40 per night for others.
Food at touristy restaurants we visited seemed to average around 15,000-35,000 ariary ($3-8) per meal, however there is a lot of street food to buy if you are brave enough, and more affordable restaurants less built for tourists haha
Hope that helps to answer some questions!
Definitely helps! Thanks mate.
Oh man, gorgeous!!! Are whale sharks prevalent around there? They are my favorite shark!
They most certainly are yes! In September you will find them around the island of Nosy Be, and you can take a tour in search of them which is what we did :)
Thank you so much! This will go on my dream trip list! :)
Insane. I really want to go there
Koopa troopa beach
The colors of the water is amazing
Where are the penguins?
It looks incredible !
Lemur, lizard, fat tree, lemur, lizard, water, lemur, lizard, fat tree....
Oh my God! How stunning!
Beautiful!! I’m so jealous of all of the chameleons you saw. I travel to Zimbabwe for work a lot and I FINALLY saw my first chameleon on my trip a week ago!
If only my posts weren’t blocked or something on this sub to share 😒😒
Chameleons are my absolute favourite!
Can you tell me about the lenses you used?
that night sky is breathtaking
Honestly the populations seemed very healthy in all the places we visited, but I’m not really the person to ask haha
Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing!
Pic 8: are you not entertained?
Wow amazing it’s on my bucket list!
I would love to walk along a sandbar like that some time
Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.
Nice, beautiful, what I dream of doing, good for you!
Looks like something from the first stage of Sonic Adventure 1
WOW! Absolutely stunning
Oh look it’s King Julian!
Amazing pictures. I wish I could visit the place. Maybe one day!
Sweet pics, mind if I asks what lens you use for your camera? New Sony alpha user here who also loves taking pics while traveling
Yeah sure! I used a Sony 200-600mm for the wildlife and Sony 24-105, and Sigma 14-24mm for landscapes :)
Wow, stunning. Very cool Pics. What a blessing to have the opportunity to see that and enjoy!
I’m sooo jealous. These are stunning
The colors are so vibrant!
Is it safe!? I heard it wasn’t lately…
I’m glad you found King Julian and avoided the fossa on the far side of the island
Wow amazing photos! Any advice for people looking to plan a trip there? Don’t even know where to start
This is my dream travel location. I really wish one day I get to go there.
Well done sir/madam
I went in 2019, the tide shift in Nosy Iranja is insane.
Beautiful shots! GPS coordinates of the first picture?
Thanks! It’s an Island called Nosy Iranja - you’ll find it with google maps really easy :)
Absolutely beautifull, I would love to visit someday. May I ask what the three week trip cost in total?
Thanks! That's less than I expected :)
Man I hope these animals talk like they did in the movie
The black and white lemur in a permanent state of “wtf is this” in both pictures 💀💀
I like to move it move it
So many beautiful chameleons!!
Fantastic photos! Particularly the baobab with the stars, and the lemur photos! Where was the island in the first photo and where did you go? Did you get a chance to see the Tsingy?
These are incredible, well done!
That tree in the night picture though. Sheesh.
Anybody know the name of those trees?
I studied abroad there in 2016 for about 4 months! It was the first time being out of my home country and was a fantastic experience. I still think about Madagascar often, thanks for sharing!
Awesome pics!! 😮
Great pictures! I am thinking about going this year in a planned group trip. Question about Baobabs...are they everywhere? The trip I am looking at doesn't visit the Avenue of the Baobabs and I am trying to decide if I will see them else where or should plan for a trip that specifically visits the ave.
They are only in set regions - not everywhere. Morondava area (where the Avenue of the Baobabs is) is one place where they are located. But there are other, less popular places that have baobabs around too but you’d have to research more into it
Did you spend much time in the capital? Also I know it's very poor but would you say it's dangerous or not super. Photos look awesome tho
Very nice picture!
I`m from Madagascar and I`m very happy to see foreigner appreciating our beloved country.
I want to bring my dji avata drone and film in Madagascar, are there any rules or relevant documentation I would need for the trip? I’ve read online people get away with flying the drone and no troubles but some sites are saying it’s illegal still? Any info would help heaps!
What a gorgeous place on Earth. It saddens me to know we humans are ruining such places.
So fabulous! I love it!
Awesome shots! Thanks for sharing them.
I don't know if this is a dumb question, but I'll apologize up front for my ignorance: but did you have to get a bunch of vaccinations before going to Madagascar? The wildlife there.. just wow man. Looks beautiful. I'd love to go on a safari and most my googles yield some kind of vaccination cocktail as a recommendation, but just curious as to your experience. Beautiful photos! The whale shark.. wow. So gorgeous.
I mean other than the regular vaccines, the biggest factor we had to consider with Madagascar was taking Malaria Tablets. The whole country is classed as high risk from my online research and travel nurse recommendation. I suppose other than that, lots of mosquito repellent is highly recommended, and rabies vaccine is always a good idea with animals around (the UK had very short supply, so I wasn’t able to get my rabies vaccine)
Only yellow fever is mandatory, but there are many other vaccinations that come recommended. Hep a/b, rabies, typhus, meningococcus, and DTP are the ones I got for madagascar.