Planned expeditions

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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 28 years of travel and chameleon experience on the island, so you are in the very best hands.

 

The Island of Dragons

Periods:
11.11. – 02.12.2023
01.03. – 21.03.2024
(three weeks)
maximum 10 participants

At the beginning of the rainy season, we will set off again for Madagascar. A highlight trip for chameleon lovers awaits us! Around the rice terraces of the central highlands, we already find the first animals: Carpet chameleons are one of the most common species in the highlands. And if we have particularly good eyes, we might even find the beautiful Furcifer minor. In the dreamlike rainforest of Ranomafana, an abundance of chameleon species awaits us, which we visit in their habitat on day and night excursions. We will find the gentle giants of the forest, Calumma oshaughnessyi and Calumma parsonii parsonii, as well as Furcifer balteatus and Calumma tjiasmantoi, which was newly described only three years ago. Our next destination is the foothills of the Andringitra Mountains near Ambalavao. Here we encounter Madagascar’s most famous animals, the ring-tailed lemurs. In a small reserve, we climb over rocks and enjoy the great view from the top. By the way, here you can easily find a very special earth chameleon, Brookesia brunoi – or as we like to call it “Lord Helmet”.  From Ambalavao and its woodcarving workshops, we drive back to Antsirabe, from where we leave for the rainforest of Anjozorobe one day later. In a beautiful, small lodge right next to the rainforest, we enjoy the hospitality of the northern highlands for a few days. Close to the lodge, there are whole “nurseries” of Calumma gastrotaenia. We will also go in search of Calumma crypticum and Calumma globifer between jungle giants and waterfalls. Afterward, we will drive along winding paths to Madagascar’s most famous national park, Andasibe-Mantadia. We have breakfast to the song of the indris, the largest lemurs in Madagascar, and go to bed only with the croaking of the frogs. Calumma brevicorne is one of the most common chameleons here. We also make an excursion to the “yellow giants” of Vohimana, who live in the direct vicinity of Calumma gallus. Via the Canal des Pangalanes, we finally reach our last destination of the trip by boat. The enchanted lowland rainforest of Akanin’ny Nofy, the “Nest of Dreams”, provides the perfect end to the trip. We reminisce over delicious food, cool cocktails, our feet in the water of the lake. We can also discover more chameleons here: a third colour variety of the Parsons chameleon, the orange eyes, live directly in the rainforest in which the lodge is embedded. The trees and bushes around Lake Ampitabe are also home to the panther chameleon local form of the same name. After a fantastic three weeks of adventure and experiences, we finally head back to the capital, Antananarivo. It will be hard for all of us to say goodbye!

 

Colour variation ‘yellow lip’

We’ll find these Parson’s chameleons in and around Ranomafana.

Colour variation ‘yellow giant’

We surely visit the gentle giants of Vohimana.

Colour variation ‘orange eye’

You will find this colour variation in Akanin’ny Nofy.

Calumma parsonii cristifer

We discover the second subspecies of the Parson’s chameleon in Analamazaotra.

 

Calumma malthe

This beautiful species has its home range close to Andasibe.

Calumma oshaughnessyi

This beautiful chameleon can be easily found in Ranomafana.

Brookesia thieli

This pretty leaf chameleon loves to hide in ferns.

Calumma emelinae

These small chameleons are an easy find in Andasibe.

 

Furcifer balteatus

In Ranomafana we will find this species for sure.

Local form Ampitabe

This panther chameleon lives in the lowland rainforest close to the lake.

Calumma gastrotaenia

A rather small but beautiful chameleon of Anjozorobe.

Local form Vohimana

This stunning local form lives at the edge of the eastern highlands.

 

Furcifer bifidus

A medium-sized species from the special reserve of Vohimana.

Calumma brevicorne

This species can be usually found in Andasibe’s rainforests.

Calumma roaloko

An amazing, just recently described species from a small patch of rainforest.

Calumma furcifer

A very rarely found species, but we will try to see it.

 

Calumma nasutum

The real Calumma nasutum has proven to be rather rare.

Calumma gallus

This beautiful but tiny chameleon lives in Vohimana’s rainforests.

Brookesia superciliaris

This is one of the most common leaf chameleons in Andasibe.

Brookesia therezieni

An interesting chameleon that can be difficult to differentiate from its sister species.

 

Furcifer willsii

A fascinating small species from Andasibe’s rainforests.

Furcifer minor

If we’re lucky we can find this amazing species in the highlands.

Palleon nasus

A small and rare species from Ranomafana.

Calumma crypticum

A common species that we love to photograph.

 

The Forgotten World

Period: 22.03. – 12.04.2024
(three weeks)
maximum 10 participants

In spring 2024, we will set off again for the north of Madagascar. This trip is mainly dedicated to the many different local forms of panther chameleons and other extremely colourful chameleons of the northwest. Our first destination is the dry forest of Ankarafantsika, where we will encounter the small, colourful Furcifer rhinoceratus and the hard-to-find ground chameleon Brookesia decaryi. On the way further north we will spot Furcifer viridis in the bushes until we finally get to admire the first local forms of the panther chameleons: We will visit animals of the local forms Ankaramy, Ambanja, Beramanja, and Djangoa in their natural habitat. For relaxation, we visit the beach of Ankify for a few days and snorkel with sea turtles on the dream island of Nosy Tanikely. Afterward, the journey continues to Ambilobe. The most colourful local form of the panther chameleon is located near the big city – we spend a whole day tracking down and photographing these chameleons. In Ankarana National Park, with its longest underground cave system in Africa, we meet crowned lemurs and leaf-tailed geckos before heading to our final destination. The Amber Mountain is a true chameleon paradise. In the middle of this enchanting rainforest, we pitch our tents. From the gentle giants of the forest, Calumma ambreense, to rarer species like Furcifer timoni or Brookesia ebenaui, we will experience countless animals on our walks in the forest. Our journey finally ends not far from Diego Suarez on the paradisiacal island of Nosy Hara. Besides a very special local form of the panther chameleon, the second smallest chameleon in the world, Brookesia micra, lives here. The island gives us time to reflect on the journey far away from civilisation.

 

Local form Ankaramy

We find this beautiful panther chameleon reliably every year.

Local form Ambanja

An amazing local form that we will find in cocoa plantations.

Local form Nosy Hara

A rather unknown local form but very colorful.

Local form Djangoa

Of course also in Djangoa we will stop for panther chameleons.

 

Local form Ankify

Ankiy does not only have dream beaches but also lovely panther chameleons.

Local form Nosy Tanikely

At Nosy Tanikely, we can snorkel with sea turtles and watch for panther chameleons.

Local form Ambilobe

We dedicate a whole day to the most colourful panther chameleon local form.

Local form Diego Suarez

We usually find these panther chameleons besides the streets.

 

Local form Ankarana East

Another local form we will discover on our trip.

Calumma ambreense

These beautiful large chameleons await us in Amber Mountain.

Calumma amber

These chameleons can be found close to our camp ground.

Furcifer petteri

A beautiful chameleon species that lives at the edge of Amber Mountain’s rainforests.

 

Brookesia stumpffi

A small but very interesting leaf chameleon that is widely spread in the northwest.

Furcifer timoni

One of the most beautiful chameleons of Amber Mountain.

Calumma cf. nasutum

A tiny and yet undesribed species we have found several times.

Brookesia ebenaui

This beautiful chameleons live on the slopes of Amber Mountain.

 

Brookesia antakarana

Another leaf chameleon from Amber Mountain’s rainforests.

Brookesia micra

The former smallest chameleon of the world is living on Nosy Hara.

Calumma linotum

A common chameleon that you can find right next to our tents.

Brookesia tuberculata

Another team member of the smallest chameleons worldwide.

 

Furcifer rhinoceratus

A fascinating species from Ankarafantsika’s dry forest.

Brookesia decaryi

A tiny but pretty leaf chameleon species from Ankarafantsika.

Furcifer oustaleti

You can find the most common chameleon of the island all over Madagascar.

Furcifer viridis

A pretty chameleon species we usually meet on our way to the northwest.

 

 

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