Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Ecotourism & Conservation
in Madagascar

Travelers in Spiney Forest © Debbie Thompson

By traveling with Cheesemans’ to Madagascar, you take part in an emerging conservation effort to mitigate habitat destruction for the incredibly biodiverse residents of the Malagasy forests. Tangible impacts due to reduced travel during the Covid-19 pandemic highlight the profound positive influence ecotourism has historically had on conservation. The decline in tourism resulted in a significant rise in unsustainable activities within and around national parks and other protected areas. With fewer visitors, many communities that rely on tourism were forced to engage in alternative and often environmentally destructive means to sustain themselves.

Ecotourism in Madagascar is an essential component for both the preservation of the endangered ecosystems and the development of sustainable livelihoods of the Malagasy people.   Our local operator is a key player in seeking and providing solutions for these interdependent priorities by fostering community-led involvement in ecotourism, education, and sustainable farming practices. One initiative is the Farmer Field School, a hands-on learning experience in which farmers cultivate and monitor crops throughout a full cycle. Through field observation, recording, and data analysis, they learn critical skills such as problem solving, resource management, and teamwork. These skills are essential for effective natural resource management, improving health and nutrition, and the resolution of other community issues. Your support and physical presence through ecotourism is a key factor in attaining the goal of improving the quality of life for the local people while protecting the surrounding environment.

Coquerel's Safaka © Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris

How Can You Make A Difference?

How You Can Actively Contribute


  • Keep an eBird list for each outing – you don’t need to track EVERY bird you see. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.
  • Take GPS-referenced wildlife and nature photos, and upload to iNaturalist. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.


  • Give a talk about your experience to a local wildlife or nature group or host a virtual webinar to reach a much wider audience!
  • Post your experiences on social media so others can learn more.
  • Submit a written, video, or audio testimonial for Cheesemans’ to share with future travelers.
Acting Locally


  • Support local vendors if you buy memorabilia to take home.
  • Travel in small group sizes to limit the impact on the environment and wildlife.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to refill rather than accepting plastic bottles.
  • Ask for the lodging to not replace your towels or bedding during multiple night stays.
  • Turn off lights and fans when leaving your room.
  • Bring biodegradable soap to save waterways. This can also help minimize plastic bottle waste by reducing the number of bottles hotels provide (although many hotels are switching to dispensers in the bathrooms.).

We’d love to hear other ways you are actively participating, so please share that with us on our Facebook groups.

Organizations You Can Support

Wildlife Madagascar This nonprofit seeks to educate and support the Malagasy people in developing sustainable living practices that encourage the preservation of the island’s shrinking ecosystems.

Lemur Conservation Foundation – This NGO fosters lemur preservation in Madagascar by implementing educational and community initiatives in areas bordering their habitats. LCF also maintains a rescue reserve in Florida.