Exploring the 8th Continent: Record-Breaking Madagascar Expedition Returns

Adventure company Secret Compass has launched its 2015 Mountains and Rivers expedition to Madagascar. So unique that some refer to it as the 8th continent, 90% of the island’s species are found no where else on earth.

Bristol, United Kingdom, October 25, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Adventure company Secret Compass has launched its 2015 Mountains and Rivers expedition, building on its reputation as the first travel company to cross Madagascar coast to coast.

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “Our 370km coast-to-coast trek across Madagascar in 2012 was epic and culminated in a world first. This year we introduced a whitewater-rafting section to add diversity and adrenaline to the experience!”

Madagascar is known as the 8th continent due to its endemic species. An evolutionary bubble was created when it broke away from the Indian Subcontinent 80 million years ago. 90% of Madagascar’s wildlife is found nowhere else on earth.

Joining Madagascar’s 200,000+ species are a self-destructing palm tree that flowers once in its 100-year lifetime, plus the world’s smallest primate, a 10cm long lemur. All are threatened by encroaching deforestation.

Kerry O’Neill, marketing director of Secret Compass, said, “Team members often use our expeditions to fundraise. This year, one raised funds for Greenpop: Trekking for Trees.

“When our team members fundraise for environmental organisations, we always help promote their activities to raise awareness of the threats Madagascar faces.

“The economic benefits of tourism often help regions appreciate the worth of their natural assets, encouraging preservation or conservation programmes. We hope that Madagascar’s tourism economy grows to a point at which it can support such initiatives, without degrading the very assets visitors come to marvel at. It’s a delicate balance.

“No-one returns from our Madagascar expedition unaffected by the island’s wild beauty and the plight of its threatened species. Sharing first-hand information about the realities of life on ‘the 8th continent’ helps keep the challenges facing Madagascar in the spotlight.”

The expedition’s Malagasy interpreter, Noah, concurred, “Maybe if we can encourage tourism in this magical place there will be less need to destroy what cannot be replaced.”

Madagascar 2015 Expedition Highlights
· Climb Madagascar’s highest peak, Maromokotro (2,876m)
· Trek through mountainous grasslands and spectacular river valleys
· Explore uninhabited and pristine rainforest
· Glimpse rare or endemic species (including 150+ species of lemur)
· Whitewater-raft a 125km section of the wild Bemarivo river

Expedition Fact Box
Name: Madagascar – Mountains and Rivers
Expedition URL: http://secretcompass.com/expeditions/madagascar-expedition-2015/
Dates: 2nd – 23rd May 2015
Cost: £2,999 (all inclusive except flights)
Team size: 12

For further press information, contact marketing director Kerry O’Neill.

Notes To Editors

Secret Compass is a pioneering expedition company creating world-first experiences for teams of like-minded adventurers. Through group and bespoke adventures, Secret Compass helps each team member achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Founded by ex-British Army Parachute Regiment officers, its expeditions reach the planet’s most remote regions in the spirit of exploration’s earliest pioneers. Its highly trained professionals deliver well-planned and safe experiences, while encouraging daring leaps out of comfort zones. Secret Compass is passionate about returning tourism to post-conflict zones and emerging economies to stimulate local development and challenge preconceptions.

Specialist Film and TV services
Secret Compass also takes film crews, journalists and photographers to remote and previously inaccessible areas thanks to its unrivalled location management expertise. Clients to date include the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.

Press enquiries: Kerry on UK Mobile +44 (0)7815 896 533
or UK: +44 (0)207 096 8428
Secret Compass
Kerry O'Neill
+44 (0)7815896533