Madagascar 2017 September 15-30, 2017 Cost: $9,900 Double Occupancy; $11,700 Single Occupancy Cost may change slightly due to modification with increases from hotels, vat, park fees and flights within Madagascar. Deposit: $1,500 Limited to Ten Participants To register visit Jennifer Wu's site at http://www.jenniferwu.com/Pages/Workshops/Madagascar Join us on a special trip to Madagascar, one of the wonders of the world. We’ll see an amazing variety of strange and beautiful endemic animals in diverse and sometimes otherworldly surroundings, a world so strange it’s sometimes called the 8th continent. We focus on animals, both wild and in contained environments. We will stay at the best available lodges and hotels, flying to bypass tedious drives on sketchy roads as much as possible. It’s impossible to compress the Madagascar experience into a few paragraphs. Imagine an area about the size of California with tropical beaches, an otherworldly spiny desert, highlands with rock formations fit for Yosemite, rainforests, and karst formations bristling with sharp spires concealing some of the largest caves in the world. This is the land of the indri, a lemur that resembles a panda with calls like a humpback whale. This place is home to most of the chameleons of the world, from thumbnail-sized ground-dwelling Brookesia to meter-long species that pluck birds out of the air with their tongues. Leaf-tailed geckos seem to melt into the bark and tomato frogs sit motionless like red Buddhas. White sifaka lemurs skip sideways across the red dirt of the south while mouse lemurs, the world’s smallest primate, sleep through the day in the crook of a tree. We visit three distinctive areas. We explore the spiny desert, home of the “dancing sifaka lemurs,” ring-tailed lemurs, radiated tortoises, and some of the strangest plants on earth. At Perinet east of Antananarivo, we’ll see and hear the Indri, shoot at Lemur Island, and pursue other critters in the rain forest. En route, we pause to shoot reptiles, amphibians, and insects in screened enclosures. The north-east corner of the island is home to tomato frogs, tenrecs, colorful mantilla frogs, chameleons, leaf-tailed geckos, and the legendary aye-aye, the strangest living primate resembling something like an electrocuted raccoon. We planned this during the new moon, when no moon is present in the sky, to photograph the baobab trees and the stunning night sky. It is very dark there and the stars and Milky Way shine brightly! Itinerary Day 1 Flights arrive in Madagascar’s capitol, Antananarivo (shortened to Tana) in early morning from Paris and early afternoon from Johannesburg, Local staff will meet you outside of Immigration and take you to the hotel. After getting settled, we’ll gather in the restaurant for dinner, introductions and orientation. We take advantage of afternoon light to photograph at the Lemur Park where habituated lemurs run free in a forest by a creek. Hotel Relais des Plateaux Day 2 We board an early flight to Maroantsetra, a town bordering the largest wild lands on the east coast. The Masoala Peninsula is a gigantic national park that still yields new discoveries. We’ll have the opportunity to photograph leaf-tailed geckos, tenrecs, mouse lemurs, panther chameleons, the Malagasy boa, and the spectacular tomato frog. We will venture to Farakaraina via small boat, an estuary at the head of Antongil Bay. We’ll look for small bright frogs and large chameleon species on the reeds lining the channels, staying out late for a chance to see the elusive Aye-aye, a wild looking but harmless primate the Malagasy consider fady, i.e. taboo. Overnight Hotel Hyppocampe Day 3 An early morning boat trip transports us to the shore of the mountainous Masoala National Park, Madagascar’s largest. This is a true rainforest wilderness visited by few. We should be able to photograph a variety of lemurs amid the greenery and capture images of cryptic insects and colorful amphibians in the leaf litter. Overnight Petit Relais Day 4 After spending the morning in the park, we pause for lunch and head back by boat, stopping at Nosy Mangabe, a small island in the bay. We land in a pretty cove ringed by hills. The island is home to leaf-tailed geckos, aye-aye, and white-fronted lemurs. Overnight Hotel Hyppocampe Day 5 Before flying back to Tana after lunch, we’ll walk through Maroansetra, a typical Malagasy port town that serves as a good opportunity for candids and slice-of-life- images. Overnight at Relais des Plateaux. Day 6 Fly to Morondava on the SW coast. Late afternoon and evening shoot at Baobab Alley where the giant trees line either side of a dirt road and zebu carts trundle down the path. This is one of the iconic Madagascar images. Pallissandre Cote Ouest Resort Day 7 Dawn shoot of Baobab Alley. Afternoon on the beach by the Mozambique Channel. Photograph fishermen returning with their catch at sunset. Pallissandre Cote Ouest Resort Day 8, 9 & 10 Fly to Ft. Dauphin, drive to Berenty, a private reserve in the desert and the best place to shoot the spiny forest and its denizens. We’ll photograph sifaka lemurs skipping sideways across the red earth, looking like jack in the boxes at a distance. They leap from tree to tree, sometimes landing on branches covered with thorns. We will also photograph lepilemurs, small primates inhabit holes in the trees. When we knock on the trunk, they poke their heads to see what’s going on. We’ll shoot cat-like ring-tailed lemurs sunning themselves in the morning and radiated tortoises stationed in the shadow of the spiny forest, a collection of bizarre plants such as the octopus tree, its “tentacles” bristling with thorns and the pachypodium plant, commonly called the elephant’s foot because of its bulbous trunk. Three nights Berenty Day 11 We depart Berenty early to allow time to visit Reserve du Nahampoana in Ft. Dauphin where we may shoot a chameleon catching a cricket. Here sifakas and ring-tailed lemurs wander through an extensive botanical garden, a completely different background after Berenty’s near desert. We spend the night at a snug hotel near the Indian Ocean. Overnight Croix du Sud Day 12 We fly to Tana in the morning and drive to Perinet, one of the jewels of the Malagasy park system. Perinet’s rain forest is slightly drier and less dense than Masoala and home to unique lemur species. Its extensive trail system gives us access to groups of lemurs. We can venture out at night to see sleeping chameleons with pale coloration and their tails tucked into tight spirals, Vakona Lodge or Andasibe Hotel Day 13-15 Visits to Perinet, Mantadia, and Lemur Island This the land of the indri, the largest remaining lemur that resembles a panda able to leap 20 feet or more from tree to tree. Groups of indri call from the tree-tops sounding like a pod of humpback whales. We may need to walk off trail to photograph them in the tree tops. Some of the largest and smallest chameleons live here, leaf-tailed geckos redefine camouflage, and wooly lemurs drowse in the branches. Lemur Island allows for incomparable access to a number of lemur species, including the rare bamboo lemurs. Overnight Vakona or Andasibe Day 16 On the return drive to Tana we’ll Stop for photography at La Mandraka, the estate of a famed biologist. We can photograph numerous species of insects, snakes, geckos, chameleons, and frogs, some in walk-in enclosures. Brightly colored mantella frogs look like dart frogs, some snakes have flattened heads, chameleons climb free at eye height, and colorful butterflies are usually present. Your macro gear will get a workout here. The Photo Tour ends this evening. When we arrive in Tana, you will have access to a dayroom to clean up before departure. Flights to Paris leave just after midnight. Flights to South Africa usually depart the following day so those clients will need to book a room for the night. Dayroom at Relais des Plateaux. A Personal Noted from Jim: I travel enough that folks ask me about my favorite place to photograph. I always give two answers: South Georgia and Madagascar. In both cases we are overwhelmed by vibrant life and its many adaptations. South Georgia’s landscape juxtaposes the austerity of rugged mountains draped in ice with plains blanked by thousands of penguins. Madagascar seems more like nature’s sketchpad and all the animals seem whimsical and the plants absurd. Unlike nearby Africa, there are no predators hiding in the bush and the only dangerous animal is a mosquito. Every time I go, something unexpected appears in my viewfinder. I first came to Madagascar in 1990. Art Wolfe and I were working on Masters of Disguise: A Natural History of Chameleons, an outgrowth of a Smithsonian Magazine cover story we had published and the first natural history of chameleons in English. In the ensuing years I returned five times as a guide. I was addicted to the intimacy of animal encounters and loved photographing close portraits of chameleons, lemurs, frogs, and insects, all the while learning more about astonishing adaptations. The island suffers from major ecological stresses, and many species teeter on the brink of extinction so visiting Madagascar can be a bittersweet experience, but seeing palpable evidence of the astonishing exuberance of life as well as its fragility brings home the complexities of life on our planet. GETTING THERE Arrive in Madagascar’s capitol city, Antananarivo, the morning of September 15 or earlier to recover from jet lag and travel. Our staff will pick you up at the airport and take you to our hotel, the Relais des Plateaux. You may fly on Air Madagascar or Air France from Paris; however, neither airline flies every day. It’s also possible to arrive from Nairobi, Johannesburg or Bangkok. Our tour ends on September 30. You may depart that evening after cleaning up at a day room at the Relais or stay overnight at your expense for a morning flight on the October 1. TRAVEL AGENT We work with: Paula Naruo, AAA Travel, 408-399-8408, firstname.lastname@example.org. She can assist with airlines, travel insurance and hotels. COST $9,900 Double Occupancy; $11,700 Single Occupancy Cost may change due to modification with increases from hotels, vat, park fees and flights within Madagascar. Deposit of $1500 reserves your space. Remaining balance is due 150 days before the tour. If you would like to be paired up with someone to share a room, please let us know. Tour Includes accommodations, transportation, flight within Madagascar and meals during the tour. Not included: airfare to Madagascar, tips, drinks and alcoholic beverages, medical expenses, travel insurance, additional hotel stays or activities that are not a part of the tour. TRANSPORTATION All transportation is included during the tour in Madagascar. You are responsible for your flight to Madagascar. PHOTO TOUR LIMIT This tour is limited to 10 participants. We work with each photographer individually and as a group to enhance photography skills and mastery of the equipment. SKILL LEVEL The tour is intended for intermediate and advanced photographers, however any skill level is welcome and will enjoy the photographic opportunities. Participants should have a working knowledge of their equipment. Please email us if you have any questions. CANCELLATION POLICY You can cancel up to 150 days prior to workshop start date and receive a refund for any payment beyond the non-refundable deposit. If we are fewer than 150 days before the start of the trip, we only grant a refund if your space fills from a waiting list or new sign up to fill the tour, less a $100 processing fee. Some deposits are non-refundable if we have purchased non-transferable plane tickets or other expenses in your name. We recommend getting trip insurance covering tour costs. SPOUSES / PARTNERS Spouses and partners are welcome to attend and often do. They should know that we are focusing on photography and we will be staying out late and getting up early. Sleep can be at irregular hours. There is no discount for a spouse or partner. QUESTIONS & INFORMATION We are happy to answer your questions. Please see the Contact Us page to email us anytime. Details about the schedule, airlines, accommodations, clothing and equipment recommendations are provided with registration or upon request. TWO WORKSHOPS LEADERS Leader: Jennifer Wu is a nature and landscape photographer, specializing in creating stunning images of the night sky and stars. Since January 2009 Canon U.S.A. selected Jennifer to be one of the world’s 36 best photographers for the Explorer Of Light program, an elite group of internationally recognized photographers. Jennifer is the co-author and photographer of the book, Photography Night Sky: A Field Guide to Shooting After Dark (2014, Mountaineers Books). With a BA in Photography from California State University, Jennifer has spent over 28 years photographing, dedicating 10 years to traditional black and white photography. Jennifer’s images have been published in numerous magazines, newspaper articles and advertisements including: Fortune, Popular Photography, Photo District News, Sierra Club, Sierra Styles, ProFoto, Digital Photo, Shutterbug, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek, Time, Canon U.S.A., and many more. Her work has also been exhibited at nationally recognized galleries and art shows. Jennifer has taught photography and digital imaging at The California State University of Sacramento. She enjoys sharing her passion and techniques for shooting nature photography through seminars and workshops for Canon U.S.A., Light Photographic Workshops, aFilm International Film Workshops in Spain and other photographic groups nation wide. She leads workshops in the US in Yosemite, Eastern Sierra, Death Valley, Big Sur, Alaska, Hawaii and internationally in Iceland, Tanzania, Namibia, Greenland and more. When Jennifer is not shooting in world’s most unique locations or leading a workshop, she resides in Sacramento, CA. Leader: James Martin has written and photographed professionally since 1989 with articles and photographs appearing in Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, Outside, Backpacker, Climbing, Boys’ Life, Outdoor Photographer, and many others. His most recent books are Digital Photography Outdoors (Mountaineer Books) and Planet Ice, a survey of ice that elucidates the relationship between climate and ice, and the action of ice on the landscape. He wrote Masters of Disguise: A Natural History of Chameleons, the first comprehensive book on chameleons in English with photographs by Art Wolfe. Sasquatch Press published a series of his coffee table books on the mountains of the West, including North Cascades Crest, Mount Rainier, and Sierra. Extreme Alpinism (Mountaineer Books), written and photographed with Mark Twight, concerns techniques for climbing and surviving the most difficult mountains. He has written books for children on natural history topics. His travels led him to Africa, Madagascar, Antarctica, Europe, Borneo, Indonesia, Burma, and all the other S.E. Asian countries. He led photography tours around the world for Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris and now operates his own tours solo and in association with other photographers. James has been to Madagascar many times and will lead the way for this workshop. James resides in Seattle, WA with his wife Terrie.