Top Shows

Intrepid Journeys


John Banks in Madagascar

Monday at 7.30pm: John Banks travels to Madagascar

John Banks sees the stunning mountains, beautiful rainforests and idyllic beaches which form Madagascar's wonderful landscape. Home to an incredible numbers of endangered lemurs, he spent time in the national parks and reserves in search of these remarkable creatures. With time on Madagascar's magnificent Indian Ocean beaches, this is a wildlife adventure in paradise.

Read John's Diary of his trip here on the site after the show.

John's thoughts on Madagascar:

"After spending my entire life living in a country of abundant wealth, Madagascar was a shock. To get very close to the private lives of such under privileged human beings and witness their resilience was the highlight of this Intrepid Journey.

"Roughing it so far from home was not easy for me. Wandering around the desert in shorts and T-shirt, carrying a pack on my back was a long way from home in Remuera. Heat, dampness, rain, burning sun, mosquitoes, leeches, snakes, one star accommodation and stomach bugs... Madagascar has everything and we got the lot."

John's pre-trip itinerary:

Day 1 Antananarivo
Arrive Antananarivo and meet the crew.

Day 2 Antsirabe
Travel through the beautiful highland scenery to Antsirabe, famous for its thermal springs, gemstone merchants and neat French styled architecture. Explore the town by foot or hire a pousse-pousse (rickshaw).

Day 3 Ranomafana
Visit the woodcarvers' village of Ambositra. Continue on through the mountains and magnificent rainforest to Ranomafana. Take a guided nocturnal walk in search of lemurs.

Day 4 Fianarantsoa
Enjoy a guided forest walk in Ranomafana in search of the golden bamboo lemur before visiting the Sahambavy tea plantations near Fianarantsoa.

Day 5 Ranohira
See paper made in the traditional way in Ambalavao. After leaving the mountains the air feels drier and warmer and the vegetation becomes more sparse. Pass a group of rocks known as the 'Door to the South' before travelling up the Horombe Plateau and Ranohira.

Days 6-7 Isalo National Park
Spend two days walking in Isalo National Park, a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers. The area offers excellent photographic opportunities, and the possibility of seeing rare endemic plants. In the evenings camp under mango trees near a natural swimming pool.

Days 8-9 Ifaty/Tulear
Stop and look at the many Mahafaly tombs along the side of the road. Play in the sun and surf or take a walk to the nearby spiny forest.

Day 10 Fort Dauphin
Fly to Fort Dauphin on the east coast of the island, a town with magnificent views interesting history and fine sandy beaches.

Day 11 Berenty Lemur Reserve
From a private reserve take day and night walks through abundant wild orchids, to see the ring-tailed lemurs and sifakas.

Day 12 Fort Dauphin
Return to Fort Dauphin to explore the city's 17th century French heritage. For lovers of seafood, dine on the city's famous oysters.

Day 13 Antananarivo
Fly back to Antananarivo and spend time exploring the capital. Pick up some mementos or pastries at the French inspired markets.

Day 14 Perinet National Park
Visit Mandraka Butterfly and Chameleon Centre and take a guided nocturnal walk in Perinet National Park to see many different types of lemur.

Day 15 Antananarivo
Return to Antananarivo after a walk in Perinet to see and hear the amazing Indri, the biggest of all the lemurs.