There are several reasons to combine a trip to Madagascar and Sri Lanka. Between air travel and proximity, the logistical planning of the trip will be easier than you might expect. However, one thematic characteristic ties these countries together: the abundance of wildlife and the concomitant safari experiences.
Sri Lankan safaris offer a range of wildlife—from the abundance of leopards (see pic below) in Yala West (Ruhuna) National Park to the birdwatching and 800-meter drop-off at World’s End. Visitors to Sri Lanka will also have the opportunity to see some of Earth’s most interesting creatures, such as the elusive sloth bear and the Slender Loris. Often just a few hours’ drive from Colombo, Sri Lankan safaris offer some of the most unique wildlife experiences on Earth.
Madagascar offers similarly exceptional wildlife. The country’s separation from mainland Africa has led to the unique development of flora and fauna. In fact, 5% of all animal and plant species known to man live only in Madagascar—70% of the fauna and 90% of the flora are endemic. A trip to this part of the world is not complete without stopping in one of Madagascar’s several national parks. From the lemurs of Indri (see below), Parc National d’Andasibe to the humpback whales at Ile Sainte Marie, a Madagascar wildlife safari will offer a wide range of land-dwelling and aquatic wildlife you don’t want to miss out on.
Safaris are a phenomenal way to experience a country’s wildlife and culture. If you’ve already visited Madagascar and Sri Lanka, you have likely already caught the safari bug. Looking for additional safari experiences? My personal favorite is Rothschild African Safaris. In the past, I have suggested that friends tack on an additional country to the Madagascar and Sri Lanka trip—maybe Tanzania or India. If you want a trip in a different part of the world, this safari company has a very cool range of experiences available. Their guides and planning strategies are some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Rothschild is certainly on the expensive side, as are Micato, Scott Dunn, and Zicasso which round out the top 5 or so every year from sites that rank these things. I mean, for a family, this can be a $50,000 gambit if you are in the market for some of the better ones around. But don’t think this is the only way to see Madagascar or Sri Lanka. Or Africa for that matter. There isn’t a ton of in between. You are either backpacking and roughing it or you have your feet up like a queen. The former just requires a lot of gumption and research and street smarts. The other you just need capital. So first figure out who you are. Then if those names above are still too expensive, shoot me a note and I’ll point you in some proper directions. With the epidemics in Madagascar right now, you likely either need to wait or be willing to go elsewhere and there is just so much elsewhere to go to.