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Tibet

Tibet

It’s impossible to visit Tibet without seeing its magnificent monasteries, breathtaking high-altitude hikes, and spectacular vistas of the world’s highest mountains in person.

Beautiful monasteries, prayer rooms full of singing monks, and isolated meditation retreats on cliff faces will be top attractions for many Tibet visitors. In Tibet, the pilgrims are a vital part of the experience, from local grandmothers chanting mantras in juniper incense- and yak butter-filled temples to hard-core professionals trekking or prostrating themselves around Mt. Kailash. There is a dedication and a faith among Tibetans that is reminiscent of the Middle Ages. It’s enthralling, enlightening, and a photographic dream.

The natural splendor of Tibet’s highest plateau, known as «The Roof of the World,» is one major attraction. Because of the terrain’s sheer size, it’s easy to lose one’s bearings while exploring here. While on your journey, you will pass sparkling blue lakes, vast grasslands scattered with herds of yaks and nomads’ tents, and dramatic mountain passes adorned with prayer flags. Make an adventurous overland trek through isolated hermitages, gaze in awe at the sheer might of the North Face of Everest, or take a hike through the ruins. The only thing preventing you from going on an adventure is your ability to get the necessary permissions.

Whichever activities you choose to partake in a while in Tibet, you will remember the local beer you drank, the Tibetan-style butter tea you were served by a monk, or the picnic you had with local herders on the banks of a secluded lake. Despite decades of political upheaval and suffering, the people of Tibet are always ready with a beguiling grin and tremendous tolerance and openness of heart, making travel in Tibet a deep pleasure. Plan to spend some time away from your pre-planned trip schedule to take advantage of these unexpected opportunities to meet new people.

It is impossible in Tibet to avoid politics. It doesn’t matter whether you see Tibet as an oppressed country under Chinese occupation or a backward province of China; the usual norms of Chinese travel do not apply in Tibet. Due to restrictions, foreign visitors must pre-arrange a trip with a guide and transportation to stay in Tibet, making solo travel difficult. With all of the improvements in transportation and lodging in recent years comes an increased degree of comfort, so if the difficulties of Tibetan travel have kept you from visiting in the past, you may want to think again about it today.

Most vacations to Tibet begin in the Lhasa Valley, where the Potala Palace sits. This palace is the historic home of the Dalai Lamas, and many monks still come here for pilgrimage every day and lend life to this most beautiful location. Travel further to the foothills of the Himalayas, where you will find countless monasteries adorned in brilliantly colored prayer flags which swing in the mountain breeze. Immerse yourself in the magic of a land that has yet to reveal all of its secrets, and allow yourself to be captivated by the smiles of locals and be moved by the holy nature of Mount Kailash. Boasting vistas of unique beauty, Tibet will touch you, appealing to your inner kid who never tires of thrill!

Contact us now at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com to start arranging your journey to Tibet.

TIBET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the Potala Palace
  • See the pilgrims at Jokhang Temple
  • Barkhor Street
  • Sera Monastery monks argue
  • Samye Monastery, the birthplace of Tibetan Buddhism
  • Admire Lake Yamdrok’s Beauty
  • Everest — the world’s highest mountain
  • Tashilunpo Monastery’s Tibetan Architecture
  • Go on a Mount Kailash Yatra (Pilgrimage)

QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

Tibet has distinct seasons from other locations with a more extended winter due to its high ranking.

(April–May) Spring

During the spring, the ice melts, and the temperature warms, allowing blocked routes to reopen and making travel outside Lhasa more comfortable. Tibet will reopen to tourists (as it is usually closed to visitors in February and March for Tibetan New Year). Spring is an excellent time to visit Tibet if you want to escape the crowds. Temperatures range from 5-19 °C (41-66 °F). Altitude sickness is a rare occurrence.

(June–August) Summer

Summer weather is hot during the day and maybe chilly at night. The oxygen concentration of the air is more significant than in previous seasons. Even in the rainy season, which lasts from mid-July to the end of August, it may rain at night or for about an hour in the afternoon, so rain is not a significant problem. Summer in Tibet is the busiest travel season of the year. Summer makes it harder to arrange transportation, lodging, and tickets. It’s a good idea to schedule a tour with us at least one month before your trip and let us confirm all of your reservations. Temperatures range from 12-24 °C (54-75 °F). Altitude sickness risk is minimal.

(September–October) Autumn

Autumn is also a popular travel season in Tibet, with bright skies and mild temperatures. Because there is less cloud, it is an excellent season to climb and trek in Tibet. It is also a fantastic time to photograph mountain peaks. Temperature ranges from 7–20°C (45–68°F), and altitude sickness is rare.

(November–March) Winter

Tibet is typically restricted to international visitors for 5 or 6 weeks in February and March. In February and March, Tibet Entry Permits are usually not granted. Due to the severe snowfall, several routes have been blocked. Tibet was closed to international visitors in March 2021. Temperature ranges from -5-11°C (23-52°F), and altitude sickness is a real possibility.

The best time to visit

Between May through October, the ideal time to visit Tibet is when the sky is primarily bright and blue, temperatures approach double digits, and the ice has melted.

Tibet is located on a high altitude plateau, with a large portion of the nation having year-round permafrost. However, most places are accessible between April and November. These months are unexpectedly warm despite the height, with temperatures reaching as high as 23°C in June.

Between December and March, it’s freezing and snowy. Although beautiful, this may obstruct aircraft and render much of Tibet’s hilly terrain inaccessible.

Wildlife

Many of Tibet’s unique animal species can be found exclusively in Tibet’s mountains and forests. Tibet is home to a wide range of wildlife, including 142 mammal species, 473 bird species, 49 reptile species, 44 amphibian species, 64 fish species, and more than 2,300 insect species.

There are several famous wild creatures in Tibet, such as the Cercopithecus, Assamese macaque, rhesus monkey, muntjak, head-haired deer, red-spotted antelopes, serows, leopards, clouded leopards, and black bears. Other famous wild animals in Tibet include tiny pandas, red deer, river deer, and white-lipped deer. Other favorite wild animals in Tibet include Tibetan antelopes.

In the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region, the government protects uncommon animals such as the Tibetan antelope, wild yak, wild donkey, and argali. The white-lipped deer, which can only be found in China, is very rare. Protection for the black-necked crane is on par with that for the Tibetan pheasant. Yaks in the wild are a threatened species in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where they are only found in a few places.

Among the endangered and critically threatened species are the snow leopard, Tibetan takin, Himalayan black bear, wild yak (drong in Tibetan), and the blue sheep, musk deer, golden monkey, and wild ass (kyang in Tibetan).

Tibet’s birdlife
Tibet is home to approximately 70% of China’s total bird species, totaling 532 species in 57 groups. Some of these species in the area are storks, large-billed bush warbler, Blyth kingfisher, wagtails, ducks, shorebirds, and raptors. Other species include redstarts, finches, grey-sided thrushyes, Przewalski’s parrotbills, and nuthatches. The most well-known of them is the Tibetan term for a black-necked crane, trung trung kaynak. Several of these birds might become extinct if Tibet did not practice environmentalism.

Tibet has many trees in its 25.2 million hectares of forest. The majority of Tibet’s forests are found in the river valleys of the country’s low-lying southeast area, where they grow on steep, solitary hillsides. As far as kinds of forest go, there are two major types: tropical montane and subtropical montane coniferous forest. The main species include evergreens such as pine-larch-cypress-birch-and-oak. There are over 200-year-old trees in most of Tibet’s woods, classified as «old growth.» U-old Tsang’s growth regions have the world’s greatest conifer stock density of 2,300 cubic meters per hectare, compared to the average stock density of 272 cubic meters per hectare.

Tibet is rich in natural resources, including minerals.
Tibet also had a wealth of untapped natural resources. About a quarter of the world’s gold, chromite, copper, borax, and iron reserves are found in Tibet’s 126 different mineral resources. According to Yin Fatang, a former Chinese Communist Party Chair, Tibet’s Himalayan area has the world’s most significant source of uranium.

Tibet’s Rivers and Lakes
Tibetan rivers include the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo), Indus, Sutlej, Karnali, Phongchu, Salween, the Mekong, Yangtse, Huangho or Yellow River, and the Irrawaddy. Tibet sources many of Asia’s major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej, Langchen Khabab, Karnali, and Macha Khabab. Eleven nations are served by these rivers, including China and India and Pakistan, and Bhutan. They also run into Burma and Thailand, as well as Vietnam and Cambodia. Millions of Asians rely on these rivers and their tributaries for their daily needs. Tibet has more than 15,000 natural lakes, including Mansarovar (Mapham Yumtso), Namtso, Yamdrok Yumtso, and the biggest, Kokonor Lake, located in the north (Tso Ngonpo).

Our Tibet Expeditions

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The Lemurs of Madagascar

The Lemurs of Madagascar

Madagascar is known across the globe for its lemurs, which resemble a mix between a cat, a squirrel, and a dog. These species are only found on the island and exhibit a variety of fascinating habits, like singing like a whale (the Indri) and sashaying across the sand...

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted lemur is medium-sized lemur with a long tail, the red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) differs in appearance between the sexes. Although the male and female don’t differ in size, the male red-fronted lemur exhibits a gray to grey-brown coat with a...

Videos and more

Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021

China

China

Experience the best of China, where the diversity of ecosystems and Natural history, past and present local cultures, and the history are correctly balanced.

The cities of Hong Kong and Xi’an may be more up-to-date, but Beijing is a hybrid of the two. In its packed neighborhoods and streets, Beijing’s history, present, and future are all thrown together as it has been serving as China’s capital since the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368 AD). One thing about Beijing hasn’t changed for decades, despite the city’s new and ancient halves: the city’s hard-handed governmental authority and its vibrant cultural and intellectual life continue to influence China and the rest of the world.

Make your way inside the Forbidden City, a vast imperial palace that served as the former residence of the Emperor of China and serves as the geographic center of Beijing. For 600 years, only the royal family and their eunuchs and concubines were allowed inside until a warlord in 1924 gave the last emperor three hours to depart. Tiananmen Square, located south of the towering red walls, is the final resting place of China’s most powerful leader, Chairman Mao Zedong, who lays embalmed in a glass coffin within his tomb. Jingshan Park is a must-see while seeing the Forbidden City. Jingshan Hill, located just across the street, offers magnificent views of the ancient Imperial Palace and Beijing to those who take the short walk up the hill. The hills, constructed with dirt excavated from the Forbidden City’s moat, also serve as a feng shui protection against any evil spirits that may harm the palace.

In your voyage, you will experience two rides onboard Chinese fast trains, the first from Beijing to Xi’an, the old capital, and the traditional final stop of the Silk Road. There, you will be astonished by the Terracotta Warriors 8,000 soldiers belonging to China’s fearsome first emperor; an army buried beneath the earth to guard his tomb for eternity. Learn after all about the old and brutal Qin dynasty at the Shaanxi Museum and the peaceful Han emperors at the Hanyang Tombs.

Your second cross-country fast train will be from Xi’an to Chengdu, at the heart of remote eastern Sichuan province. The epicenter for preserving Giant Pandas, and source for some of Sichuan’s most delicious cuisine, makes it one of the most exciting cities to visit in China. A Sichuan Hotpot dinner and a masterclass at the Sichuan Culinary Museum are included! One of China’s most extraordinary destinations to delight your palate.

Discovering small idols to different Taoist deities hidden throughout the ground is learning both the Qingyang Temple and Taoist thought; the temple is the birthplace of Lao Zi, the founding father of Taoism, which promotes the principle of wuwei, «do nothing.»

Go up the mountains to culturally diverse Lijiang, the city of bridges, the center of gorgeous Yunnan province. Visit several ethnic minority villages for close interaction with locals with ancient traditions alive. At nearby Tacheng you will enjoy great natural history at the Tacheng National Park, including encounters with the rare Snub-nosed monkeys. Also, visit the temple built for Bodhidharma, who brought Chan Buddhism to China and started the tradition of Shaolin Kungfu. On your visit to this holy pilgrimage site, you’ll not only take in its history but its surroundings – a new, astounding view of the mountains and the Jinsha River in every direction.

Zhongdian city, officially rechristened as Shangri-La, after the mythical paradise described in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon. Located on a broad valley at the Tibetan Plateau and surrounded by snow-capped peaks, ancient forests, and lakes. It is home to some of the most beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monasteries; Songzanlin. The biggest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan is filled with chanting monks, yak herders, and vast horses. Break bread under the roof of a Tibetan family who will be more than happy to invite you in to share their traditional cuisine. This and more will be part of your experience in this unique land before trying to catch your breath despite the breathtaking views below.

Shanghai, the small fishing village, turned into a colonial power city under British rule, and later by the French and Japanese. Today, Shanghai retains those charms in the tree-lined streets of the former French Concession and iconic banking houses along the Bund; simultaneously, The urban bustle and plenty of skyscrapers testify to Shanghai’s ambitions to become a prominent worldwide city. Shanghai, China’s financial capital, is a wonderful location to see the old, new, and foreign in this global economic and cultural hub. Here you will take in the colonial era streets, the modern city, and the Ming dynasty’s relics, all blend. You will visit the People’s Square, the world-class Shanghai Museum, and the Ming Yu Garden before riding the fastest elevator in the world’s highest observation deck to be blown away by the largets’ skyline city that exists.

CHINA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Beijing – Tiananmen Square – Jingshan Park
  • The Great Wall – Mutianyu
  • Terracota Warriors – Shaanxi History Museum
  • Panda Bear Experience
  • Two High-Speed Train Rides – The Muslim Quarter.
  • Hanyang Tombs
  • Wangjianglou Park and Qingyang Temple
  • Lijiang’s Old Town – Black Dragon Pool Park.
  • Wenhai Valley
  • Shigu Old Town
  • Tacheng Snub-Nosed Monkey Sanctuary.
  • Dharme Cave
  • Shangri-La – Nixi Village – Napahai Lake
  • Songzanlin Monastery – Hike to the Ringha Monastery – Dinner with a Tibetan Family
  • Yunnan Province
  • Shanghai – Fuxing Park – The French Concession – Shanghai Museum.
  • Yuyuan Garden and Shanghai Tower
  • Kirindy Village

QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

China’s climate varies dramatically due to its vast size, many degrees of latitude, and complicated terrain. There are several temperature and rainfall zones in China, including continental monsoon areas. Summers are hot and rainy, while winters are cold and dry. The north and south of the country have some minor differences in the beginning and end of the seasons.

Spring – March to May

The temperature is gradually rising, with a noticeable difference in temperature between day and night. The amount of rain falls, but due to the frequent windy days, the weather remains dry. Sandstorms do occur in Northern China on occasion.

Summer – June to August.

In summer, heavy rains, hot temperatures, sporadic typhoon days, and a slight temperature difference between day and night, ranging from 18 to 28°C / 65 to 82°F on average.

Autumn – September to November

The temperature drops in the fall season, and the weather is much cooler than in the summer but not as cold as in the winter, making it an ideal time to go sightseeing outside. However, the difference in temperature between day and night grows. People feel dry because the humidity is lower. 15 to 25°C / 59 to 77°F on average

Winter – December to February 

It’s the coldest day of the year. It can be chilly, dry, and windy in the north. Humidity and cold prevail in the south. -1 to 8°C / 30 to 46°F average temperature

 

There are five zones of temperature.

The weather is constantly changing. In the winter, an isotherm of zero degrees crosses the Huaihe River, Qinling Mountains, and southeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, influenced by latitude and monsoon activities. Temperatures are below zero in areas north of the isotherm and above zero in areas south of it. The temperature in Mohe, Heilongjiang, can drop to 30 degrees below zero, while Sanya, Hainan Province, can reach over 20 degrees. Despite the high Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and other peaks such as Tianshan, the summer temperatures in most regions exceed 20°C. Turpan Basin in Xinjiang, for example, is the epicenter of extreme heat, with temperatures averaging 32 degrees Celsius.

1.- Cold-temperature zone: Inner Mongolia and the northwestern part of Heilongjiang Province (Representative city: Harbin)

2.- Mid-temperature zone: Jilin, northern Xinjiang and the majority of Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia (Representative cities: Beijing, Shenyang, Dalian, Urumqi, Hohhot, Dunhuang, Lanzhou)

3.- Warm-Temperate Zone: Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Hebei Provinces (Representative cities: Xi’an, Taiyuan, Luoyang, Jinan, Qingdao, and Zhengzhou).

4.- Subtropical Zone: east of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, south of Qinling Mountain-Huaihe River (Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Guilin, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Chengdu are representative cities.)

5.-Tropical zone: Hainan, southern Taiwan, Guangdong, and Yunnan provinces are all in (Representative cities: Haikou, Sanya).

* Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Climate Zone (Representative city: Lhasa)

 

Precipitation

Each year, China’s precipitation is pretty consistent. Because the summer monsoon than inland areas more influences the eastern seashores, the rainfall distribution shows that rainfall increases from southeast to northwest. Huoshaoliao in Taipei, which receives the most rainfall, receives over 6,000mm on an annual basis. May to September is when it rains the most. Changes in precipitation are more significant in some areas, particularly in the dry northwest, than in coastal areas. The site is divided into four sections based on precipitation: wet, semi-wet, semi-dry, and dry.

 

Monsoon

Summer brings a southeast monsoon from the western Pacific Ocean and a southwest monsoon from the equatorial Indian Ocean to the Chinese mainland. These monsoons primarily cause rainfall. Summer rainy season monsoons arrive in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan provinces in April and May. In the country’s north, the rainy season begins in July and August and ends in September, with the summer monsoons progressively receding from Chinese territory in October. The climate in eastern China frequently changes, whereas the northwest is a non-monsoon area.

The best time to visit

Spring and fall are the best time to visit China. During these times, the weather is often mild and dry, in contrast to the brutally cold winters and hot, humid summers seen in most of the country. However, due to China’s vast expanse, there are no real travel restrictions, and with one or two exceptions, it is feasible to visit all year round.

In general, the best months to visit western China are between April and October, when the flowers are in bloom, and the local bazaars are bustling with activity. From June to August, when alpine flowers cover the steppe and climbing, and trekking conditions are excellent, it is the best time to visit for those going over high passes or into the mountains.

Wildlife

This country has some of the most extraordinary flora and fauna variety anywhere in the globe. There are about 4,400 vertebrate species, accounting for more than 10% of the world’s total. There are approximately 500 mammal species, 1,189 bird species, 320 plus reptile species, and 210 amphibian species.

More than 100 species of wildlife are unique to China, including the giant panda, golden-haired monkey, South China tiger, Brown-eared pheasant, white-flag dolphin, Chinese alligator, and red-crowned crane.

China boasts some of the most diverse plant species on the planet. There are about 32,000 species of higher plants in China, and almost all of the primary plants found in the northern hemisphere’s cold, temperate, and tropical zones are represented. There are also about 7,000 kinds of woody plants, including 2,800 tree species. Only in China can you find metasequoia, Chinese cypress, Cathaya tree, China fir, golden larch, Taiwan fir, Fujian cypress, dove-tree, Eucommia, and Camplotheca Acuminata. The metasequoia, a tall arbor, is one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants.

79.71 million hectares of nature reserves have been set aside in China to preserve the country’s zoological and botanical riches and rescue species at risk of extinction. The 12 Chinese nature reserves have joined the «International People and Biosphere Protection Network,» including Sichuan’s Wolong, Jilin’s Changbai Mountains, Guangdong’s Dinghu Mountains, Guizhou’s Fanjing Mountains, Fujian’s Wuyi Mountains, Hubei’s Shennongjia, Inner Mongolia’s Xilingol, Xinjiang’s Mr. Bogda, Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna

Heilongjiang’s Zhalong, Jilin’s Xianghai, Hunan’s Dongting Lake, Jiangxi’s Poyang Lake, Qinghai’s Bird Island, and Hainan’s Dongzhai Harbor have all been added to the list of the world’s most significant waterfowl wetlands.

Our China Expeditions

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The Lemurs of Madagascar

The Lemurs of Madagascar

Madagascar is known across the globe for its lemurs, which resemble a mix between a cat, a squirrel, and a dog. These species are only found on the island and exhibit a variety of fascinating habits, like singing like a whale (the Indri) and sashaying across the sand...

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted lemur is medium-sized lemur with a long tail, the red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) differs in appearance between the sexes. Although the male and female don’t differ in size, the male red-fronted lemur exhibits a gray to grey-brown coat with a...

Videos and more

Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021

Madagascar

Madagascar

5% of all known animal and plant species can be found only in Madagascar, making it unique. The island’s most famous resident is unquestionably the lemur. Still, there are many other exotic animals and flora to discover, including baobabs, insects, sharks, frogs, orchids, palm trees, birds, turtles, and mongooses. The list goes on and on. Climate change and population pressure threaten this biodiversity, giving each journey a feeling of urgency and purpose: tourism may be a force for good.

Epic landscapes of great diversity complement the fantastic wildlife. In only 300km, you may go from rainforest to desert. Few locations on Earth provide such a vivid mixture of nature. Sandstone cliffs, limestone karsts, mountains, lush slopes cascading with terraced rice fields, wet, dry, and prickly forests, and a laterite-rich soil earned the nation the nickname «Red Island.» When you have 5000 kilometers of coastline, the water is never far away, turquoise and beautiful in some areas but deadly in others.

Madagascar is a unique destination for adventure seekers. Off-road driving is phenomenal through national parks that only receive a few hundred visitors a year. There are resorts so remote that you need a private plane or boat to reach them. Some regions live in autarky during the rainy season. There are also more activities than you can fit in: hiking, diving, mountain biking, kitesurfing, rock climbing, and so on. Oh, and there are lots of natural pools, beaches, and hammocks to relax on.

Madagascar has been inhabited by waves of migration from different parts of the Indian Ocean. It is unlike any other location in Africa or Asia. There are great sites to learn about this unique heritage. Still, there are also many chances to meet locals via village stays, long-distance treks, festivals, taxi-brousse (bush taxis), and night discos.

Long-limbed indris swing and cry from high in the canopy in Andasibe National Park’s montane rainforests. At the same time, guided treks in Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve’s dry deciduous woods offer you the opportunity to view colorful frogs and chameleons of various sizes. You may even get a glimpse of Madagascar’s fearsome main predator, the elusive fossa. Île Sainte-Marie, an idyllic getaway, hosts humpback whales as they give birth between June and September.

Speak to a specialist to start planning your tailor-made expedition to Madagascar. Call, email, and arrange a video appointment with one of our experts or for ideas and advice.

MADAGASCAR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Antananarivo-Tana
  • Lemurs’ Park and Birding for Endemics in Tsarasaotra Bird Sanctuary

  • Exploration of Berenty Reserve Ecosystems

  • Kirindy Village

  • Marofandilia Reserve
  • Tana, King’s Palace

  • Chameleons & The Cloud Forest of Madagascar

  • Andasibe National Park

QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

Madagascar has a warm tropical climate, but there are significant regional variations. In the interior highlands, a cooler and less humid environment is experienced.

There is a lot of rain throughout the year on the east coast, but the southwest is usually hot and dry. However, there is a wet season (November to April) and a dry season (May to October) throughout the country.

Winter is in full swing throughout the peak season (July and August), with moderate daytime temperatures and chilly evenings (cold in the highlands).

Temperatures are moderate in the middle of the year (April-June, September-December).

Everywhere, the rainy season is from January to March.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Madagascar is determined by the activities and sights you wish to see.

After the rains that fell between January and March, the land is lush and green, with lemurs and reptiles active and easy to detect.

While there are periodic severe rainstorms from April to June, they are interspersed with sunshine.

July and August are mild and dry, making this a great season to explore. The whales come in July and stay until the end of September on Île Sainte-Marie.

The weather is enjoyable between September and November, being pleasant and mild. This is also the time of year when jacarandas bloom and many lemurs give birth.

While it is hot in December, lemurs, reptiles, and tenrecs are active, making for excellent wildlife watching.

The New Path Expeditions’ favorite time to explore Madagascar is between September and October. A time when the temperatures are not too hot, and babies’ lemures just have been born.

Wildlife

Madagascar is a hotspot of diversity, offering a unique type of safari. You will not see the «normal» safari animals here; there are no elephants or lions. Instead, the island is home to more than 100 species of lemurs and a host of reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

Most of these animals are endemic to Madagascar. Of particular interest are chameleons, which vary widely in color, shape, and size.

The lemur is Madagascar’s emblem. But more strange and fascinating species are found there, including the spectacular fossa (a predatory feline), colorful and camouflaged chameleons, bizarrely formed insects and humpback whales in winter. Whether it’s the distinctive baobabs or the hundreds of orchids, the trees and flora are stunning.

The island’s magnificent wildlife and flora coexist with epic landscapes of incredible variety: limestone cliffs, granite karsts, lush hills studded with terraced rice fields, forests of all types, and laterite-rich soil, earning the nation the moniker «Red Island.»

With a coastline of 5000 kilometers, the water is never far away. For those looking for something different, this is the place to go.

Our Madagascar Expeditions

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Learn about MADAGASCAR

Articles about MADAGASCAR

The Lemurs of Madagascar

The Lemurs of Madagascar

Madagascar is known across the globe for its lemurs, which resemble a mix between a cat, a squirrel, and a dog. These species are only found on the island and exhibit a variety of fascinating habits, like singing like a whale (the Indri) and sashaying across the sand...

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted lemur is medium-sized lemur with a long tail, the red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) differs in appearance between the sexes. Although the male and female don’t differ in size, the male red-fronted lemur exhibits a gray to grey-brown coat with a...

Videos and more

Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021