Here we would like to present which expeditions we will undertake this year in Madagascar to find animals, take photos and collect further data. And of course, which chameleon species can be found on the expeditions. If you would like to join us and experience Madagascar and its chameleons up close, please feel free to contact us. And don’t worry – our accommodations are quite normal and a cold beer is always waiting for us when we come back from the forest. Our trips to Madagascar are run by Tanalahorizon. Tanalahorizon has 27 years of travel and chameleon experience on the island, so you are in the very best hands.
Time frame: 04th March – 24th March 2023
(two or three weeks, optional)
maximum 8 participants full!
Our journey begins in the capital, Antananarivo, in the central highlands. The very next morning, we take a very small plane to Maroantsetra, directly to the bay of Antongil in the northeast of Madagascar. The adventure is waiting! With sun, warmth and beautiful panther chameleons we get to know each other and get in the mood for the coming weeks comfortably by the pool. Our first destination is the UNESCO World Heritage Masoala. We cross the Bay of Antongil by boat and reside in a beautiful hotel directly in the rainforest, the beach in front of our feet and jungle giants behind us. A real chameleon paradise awaits us, pristine, untouched and mysterious. For several days we will cross the rainforest of Masoala on foot. We will search the higher altitudes for Calumma cucullatum and the most colorful leaf chameleon of Madagascar, Brookesia vadoni, which still occurs only in very small areas. On the way, we will encounter one or the other panther chameleon and the small Calumma radamanus. One of the smallest chameleons on the island, Brookesia peyrierasy, can be found at the roots of some big trees in the jungle. Our special highlight and namesake of this trip, however, is the green giant, supposedly the largest Parson’s chameleon in Madagascar. We want to meet this rarely observed, mystical color variant of the Parson’s chameleon in nature!
After a fabulous week in the rainforest of Masoala, we take our little plane back to Antananarivo. Next, we head east to the famous highland rainforest of Andasibe. Here the calls of wild indris wake us up and we have breakfast overlooking the rainforest. Andasibe is the widely known home of Calumma brevicorne, Calumma emelinae and Calumma nasutum. Here we visit mainly small, less visited protected areas, which are not even noticed by the majority of travelers. But it is in these unnoticed and untouched forests that very special animals can be found: Calumma malthe, Calumma furcifer and the only 2018 newly described Calumma roaloko are waiting for us and want to be discovered in the dense jungle. Of course, we also experience the gentle giants of Madagascar, Calumma parsonii cristifer, in their natural habitat. In Vohimana we will not only meet beautiful panther chameleons, but also the yellow giant Parsons chameleon Calumma parsonii parsonii and the tiny, but wonderfully pretty Calumma gallus.
Afterwards, to relax, we go by boat to the Canal des Pangalanes to visit a small paradise at the lake Ampitabe. The “Nest of Dreams” is not only home to many lovely people and very cheeky lemurs, it is also home to a particularly beautiful local form of panther chameleon and a still undescribed species of terrestrial chameleon. In the direct neighborhood is the Vohibola Reserve, where Calumma vohibola lives in the last remnant of gallery forest. In our bungalows directly in the lowland rainforest, only a few hundred meters away from the Indian Ocean, we relax and enjoy the many animals, the delicious food and the beautiful surroundings. The perfect end to our trip! After an amazing trip full of adventures and experiences, we finally head back to the capital, Antananarivo. The farewell will be hard for all of us!