Lokobe Reserve, on the island of Nosy Be in Madagascar, is the last remaining primary forest in the region, known for being home to the rare black lemur and the Nosy Be panther chameleon, and a must-visit during any trip to Madagascar.
A trip to Lokobe Reserve in Nosy Be is about one thing: the love of nature. The primary forest is home to more than 370 species of spectacular wildlife, including 16 species of bats, 11 species of primates, 84 species of reptiles and more than 100 species of birds.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Things to see and do
Begin by paddling a pirogue (a traditional dugout canoe) through the mangroves and across to Lokobe and walk through the primary forest looking for snakes, geckos, frogs, chameleons, kingfishers and, of course, lemurs. Some visitors might be lucky enough to see mouse lemurs, the Nosy Be sportive lemur or even the endangered black lemur. Despite their name, only the males in this species are black, the females are a red-brown colour. After exploring the jungle for a couple of hours, it’s back to the pirogue to paddle home, although not before a snack of fresh mangoes collected from the trees for visits during mango season (October to November).
Organising your visit
It’s best to organise a group tour to Lokobe from a hotel or via one of the tour operators in Nosy Be. These can get booked up quickly, so plan in advance. Alternatively, organise a taxi to Ambanoro – one of the departure points for Lokobe. Guides take visitors across to Lokobe in a pirogue from there (keep in mind, you’ll be helping to paddle). It can also be arranged for taxi drivers to be waiting after a full or half-day tour.
Responsible wildlife encounters
Unlike the nearby island of Nosy Komba, the wild lemurs in Lokobe are not fed by the local guides. This means authentic sightings that aren’t negatively affecting the wildlife are more likely (because feeding wild animals to tempt them in for photos can change their behaviour and impact their chances of survival in the wild). That said, some guides do shake trees or move animals to position them for a photo opportunity if this is encouraged by their guests – their tips rely on keeping tourists happy, after all. To encourage continued widespread responsible behaviour among the guides, tourists should make it clear that they don’t want to touch, feed or move the animals and just want to see them in their natural habitat.
Best time of year to visit
Madagascar’s rainy season runs from January to March (with cyclones usually hitting in February), so it’s best to avoid this time of year, particularly as many of the resorts and lodges will be closed due to commonly inclement weather. By April, the national parks will begin to open again and the rains ease off, so April to June are good times to avoid the peak tourist season, which runs from July to September when temperatures are cooler. Baby lemurs are born around October, making October to December a lovely time of year for wildlife-lovers hoping to see a family of lemurs with their young.
• Wear plenty of mosquito repellent.
• Bring a bottle of water – it gets very hot in the jungle.
• Some of the local tour guides might try to move the animals to give visitors a better view; however, to protect the animals, do ask them not to touch, move or position anything for photo opportunities.
• Depending on which departure point you leave from, it can be a long paddle in the pirogue – it’s hard work, especially in the heat, so some travellers choose to pay for a motor boat to bring them back on the return journey.
• If departing from Ambatozavavy (in the north-east of Lokobe), it can be up to an hour’s paddle in the pirogue to the village of Ampasipohy. However, entry into Lokobe via Ambanoro (approximately 10km/6mi from Hell-Ville) is a much shorter paddle and leads straight into the jungle on arrival.
• There are opportunities to visit the local village for lunch.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.