Develop your photography skills while in the stunning national parks of Southern Madagascar. Experience and capture its outstanding landscapes, unique culture, diverse flora and fauna with the guidance of an award winning travel photographer Matthew Williams-Ellis.
As part of our commitment to responsible travel and in conjunction with Woodenstock.org we finance a tree nursery and orchard in Italavina – which is a long term reforestation project.
This photographic holiday is all about learning, practising and experimenting with newly acquired techniques, tips and tricks, while exploring various locations across Madagascar….. With time spent flicking through slides, sat indoors is kept to a minimum!
By the end of the trip, you will feel confident about both technical and creative aspects of photography. You will learn to take control of your camera using shutter speed, aperture and ISO to create the look that you want from your photography. You will further your photographic eye, develop a proactive photography mindset and understand how to apply this to any given situation in order to allow you to capture eye-catching and emotive photographs when traveling in the future.
When we are not out and about, Matthew will provide feedback and guidance on photos taken during the day, as well as offering assistance with editing, organisation and output of images.
Day 1: Antananarivo:
After arriving in Antananarivo (or Tana, as it is known by the locals), you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Antananarivo – Andasibe National Park:
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.. This afternoon you will get a chance to stroll around the private reserve of Vakona Lodge with the opportunity to spot lemurs and crocodiles. This evening, take a twilight/nocturnal walk, looking out for the nocturnal species of lemur by catching their eyes in the torchlight. Overnight hotel.
Day 3: Discovering Andasibe National Park:
Today we will explore Andasibe National Park. Overnight hotel
Day 4: Andasibe – Antsibare:
We will set off early this morning for a full day journey to Antsirabe (via Tana). The driving time is approximately 7 hours, however we will stop for lunch along the way. Overnight hotel.
Day 5: Antsibare to Ranomafana:
We will set out after an early breakfast towards Ranomafana National Park (approx. 4hr driving time on good roads). We will stay just outside Ranomafana (just 10 minutes from the park entrance). This afternoon you have the option of visiting the thermal baths in Ranomfana or the park itself, although it will be a little sleepy in the afternoon. Overnight Hotel .
Day 6: Discovering Ranomafana National Park:
We will spend the full day at Ranomafana National Park. Overnight hotel.
Day 7: Discovering Ambalavao
We will discover Ambalavao, one of the most beautiful towns in the high plateaus boasting brightly painted buildings on the main street offering a vast variety of photography opportunities. Overnight Hotel.
Day 8: Ranomafana – Isalo:
Transfer to the Isalo National Park, this is unlike any other place in Madagascar. Overnight eco-lodge.
Day 9: Discovering Isalo National Park:
Park visit including the opportunity to swim in a natural pool with lunch on trail. Tonight we will stay at the Isalo ranch again. Overnight eco-lodge.
Day 10: Transfer to Ifaty:
Today we head to Ifaty and the Indian Ocean. This afternoon we can relax at a lovely hotel with bungalows along the beach. Overnight hotel.
Day 11 & 12: Two days at leisure Ifaty:
These two days can be spent at your leisure, experiencing what beautiful Ifaty and its surrounding areas have to offer.
Facing the Mozambique Channel and the superb coral reef of Ifaty, less than 20 kms from Tuléar, you will discover the beauty of beaches not tainted by mass tourism. Ifaty is a small fishing village with palm fringed white beaches on the south western coast of Madagascar, and is an ideal place to relax after visiting the central highlands. The beach is relatively narrow, but the (off shore) snorkeling and diving is good. In July and August, you may see migrating whales pass nearby through the Mozambique Channel. Between May and October, the humpback whales can sometimes be seen with their whale calves.
Day 13: Ifaty to Antananarivo:
We will catch the Air Madagascar flight from Tulear to Tana. Depending on your time of arrival in Tana you can visit the handicraft market. Overnight hotel
Day 14: End of the trip:
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home
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Combination of all activities planned in Madagascar and photography element, the National Parks and the lemurs were wonderful. Hard to specify a specific highlight- it was a great itinerary in an incredible country and fantastic expedition leader to support the photography
The whole package was an exciting adventure. Two years ago I went to Madagascar with another Company. Pioneer Expedition's holiday was far superior in every way. It was well organised and had a degree of flexibility. Matthew Williams-Ellis (the Professional Photographer) excelled with his tuition and attention to detail when teaching photography. Apart from Madagascar itself the most exciting times were spent rising at 4.30 am to photograph sunrise / the golden hour. At night perched on a rock to photograph a sunset. Last night we took photos of a Baobab under the stars. Pioneer's link with Madamax ensured we had excellent accommodation, well informed Guide and first class drivers. I have traveled with several companies. In future I will always choose to travel with Pioneer off the Beaten track.