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Madagascar

Land of the giant baobabs, rainforests, deserts and humpback whales

Madagascar is a truly unique island, located just off the southwest coast of Africa and surrounded by 5,000 kilometres of Indian Ocean coastline.  The fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar has an unbelievable array of landscapes ranging from dense tropical rainforests, arid desserts, volcanic mountains, grass plains, sandstone canyons, terraced rice fields and palm-lined beaches overlooking turquoise sea.

The island is also home to incredibly diverse animal and plant species, in fact, over 80% of this remote island’s plant and animal life are endemic to the island.  More than 11,000 plant species – including seven species of baobab tree – share the island with the richest insect biodiversity on the planet and 270 species of birds. For reptile lovers, there are 300 species of reptiles, including lizards, snakes, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, two thirds of the world’s chameleon species and around 300 species of frogs. The mammal population has 10 species of carnivore, including the fossa, the fanaloka, the falanouc and 6 species of mongoose, and over 100 species and subspecies of lemur, including the Silky Sifaka, which is one of the rarest mammals on earth.

Many people underestimate the size of Madagascar. It is over 2,000km from north to south (which is a similar distance from northern France to southern Spain), therefore, the longer you can spend exploring this fascinating country the better. 

Travel in Madagascar can be challenging, with less than 6,000km of paved roads, much in a very poor condition, overland travel can be time consuming, uncomfortable and unpredictable, but for those who like the idea of an off-the-beaten-track adventure, the rewards are huge.  Visit a labyrinth of razor sharp limestone pinnacles in Madagascar’s largest reserve, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tsingy de Bemaraha, or see the Avenue of the Baobabs; a dirt road linking Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina, framed by dozens of rare and ancient baobab trees and one of Madagascar’s most memorable sights. Then there is the tropical paradise of Sainte Marie, an ideal place for whale watching. Between the end of June and September, large groups of humpbacks make their annual migration from Antarctica to these local sheltered waters to calve, nurse their young and engage in their spectacular courtship rituals.

Getting there
Gateway into Madagascar is Ivato International Airport, in Antananarivo, and depending on which day of the week you fly, there are a few options available to you. Air France offer good flights from London Heathrow to Antananarivo via Paris, or you could consider Turkish Airlines via Istanbul (flight touches down in Mauritius for a technical stop). Another option is with South Africa Airways via J’Berg.

For those wishing to explore just the northern part of Madagascar (in particular, Nosy Be), there are some charter flights via Europe available. Please ask us for more details about this option if you are interested.

Overall costs for a visit to Madagascar vary enormously, depending on what you would like to do and see. We have ground agents in place to cover all areas of Madagascar and we can offer all kinds of treks, tours and activities. The below itineraries will give you an idea of things to do and see in Madagascar and all tours can be customised to suit your requirements.

Quick Guide: Madagascar 

  • Location: 250 miles off the eastern coast of Africa across the Mozambique Channel
  • Island Size: Over 1000 miles (1580 km) long and 350 miles (570 km) wide
  • When to go: All year round – Hot/Rainy (November to April) and Cool/Dry (May to October)
  • Average air temp: 27°C (Nov-April) and 20°C (May-Oct)
  • Average water temp: 28°C (Jan-March) and 25°C/77F (July-Sept)
  • Recommended diver level: All levels catered for, including learning to dive

 Explore

Madagascar: Adventure in a Land of Baobabs, 6 nights

This tour brings you adventure in the remote west of Madagascar, 4x4 driving on all kinds of track, wading through rivers, crossing salt pans and mangroves, navigating tall grass, bush plains and sand dunes. Be prepared – pushing might be required if the 4x4 gets stuck! A varied landscape with different species of baobabs, this is the land of the Mikea; a primitive tribe of hunter-gatherers. On the final days, the tracks follow the coastline between Andavadoaka and Tulear.

Prices vary depending on the number of passengers travelling in your group:-
2 passengers £940pp / 4 passengers £655pp / 6 passengers £600pp

INCLUDED : Accommodation in a double room on B&B as per below program, excursions mentioned in the program, private 4x4 with fuel, driver from Morondava to Tulear from day 1 to day 6.
EXCLUDED : International flights, personal expenses, drinks, insurances, all optional excursions, domestic flights and taxes.

View full itinerary here...

Day 1: MORONDAVA – BELO SUR MER: 90km
After breakfast, short visit of Morondava then 4 hours drive southwards on a dirt and sandy track to reach Belo sur mer. Our adventure starts with crossing Kabatomena, the first long river without bridge, then followed by Maharivo, a second shorter one. Arrival in Belo sur Mer around noon. A small town situated on the beach, Belo is a fishermen village known for its dhow construction. Afternoon, we visit to the village and see the traditional open-air dhow construction. Settling and overnight in hotel LE DAUPHIN DU VEZO ON BB

Day 2: BELO SUR MER –   MANJA: 110km
Depending on the tide, an optional local pirogue transfer to Kirindy Mitea National Park is possible on request. This newly opened National Park classified as “Ramsar Site”where is available, where many birds can be spotted. It also characterized by a typical vegetation of the west composed with dry-deciduous and thorny bush to a spiny forest. In the afternoon, 4 to 5 hours drive to Manja. Night at KANTO on BB (very basic hotel).

Day 3: MANJA – ANDAVADAOKA: 240km
Today is another long drive but a rewarding one with beautiful scenery: everywhere we see baobabs, spiny forest. Here we are really in Africa with its bush landscape, its dark feature population. We’ll continue our drive, we take another ferry and cross Mangoky River and reach the town of Bevoay, one of the most important city where a big dam has just been built to water all the fertile plains, the rice and vegetables fields surrounding. Our car has to drive through another 2 small different rivers. The second step is the drive from Bevoay to Andavadoaka via Morombe which takes 4 hours with some stops in between. Estimated arrival late in the afternoon. Overnight in LAGUN BLU ON B&B

Day 4: ANDAVADOAKA
Day at leisure in Andavadoaka, known for its beautiful lagoon, its emerald sea, white sandy beach, and its baobab forest.  A nice fishermen village with a breath-taking scenery, it is also the best relaxing spot after the long and hard journey. Overnight in the same hotel

DAY 5:  ANDAVADOAKA – IFATY: 180km
Early in the morning, drive to Ifaty. Today’s landscape is dominated by the spiny forest like the cactus, different euphorbiacea and didieracea… Many mangrove trees are lining the coast alternated by Vezo fishermen villages. Arrival in Ifaty at the end of the afternoon. Night in BELLE VUE HOTEL ON B&B

DAY 6:  IFATY – TULEAR
2 hours drive to Tuléar. Short city tours. Your tour ends here.

Madagascar: Galapagos of Africa, 18 days

Madagascar is the fourth biggest island in the world and has been referred to as the “Galapagos of the African Continent”.  A mixture of 18 cultures, a variety of landscapes, a nature with still many secrets to unveil are the highlights that only few countries boast to have. Around 80% of the animals and plants that you can see there are endemic to Madagascar, making this a truly unique destination. This tour sets out to give you an incredible adventure through this wonderful country.

Prices vary depending on the number of passengers travelling in your group:-
2 passengers from £2125pp / 4 passengers from £1695pp / 6 passengers from £1580pp

INCLUDED: Transfer Hotel / Airport / Hotel, Accommodation in a double room on B&B according to the above program, Entrance fees with local guide for the National parks mentioned in the program ( Ranomafana, Andringitra, Isalo, Zombitse, Andasibe), Excursions and visits mentioned in the program , 2 days navigating along the Canal des Pangalanes by simple flat bottom motor boat from Mananjary – Nosy Varika – Mahanoro
NOT INCLUDED: Any excursions which are not in the program, personal expenses, drinks, laundry, tips,insurance,  flights and taxes.

View full itinerary here...

DAY 1:  ARRIVAL IN ANTANANARIVO
Arrival in Tana. Meet and greet at the airport then transfer to your hotel. Briefing with your guide. Night at Gassy country house on BB.

DAY 2:  TANA – ANTSIRABE – AMBOSITRA: 259km: 6 hours
After breakfast, we head on south on National Road N° 7, towards Antsirabe, 169 km from the capital. The scenery is composed with granite mountains, valleys with wide rivers, terraced rice paddies, eroded hills called “lavaka. Stop in Ambatolampy, an agricultural city known for its aluminum recycling, where we visit familial aluminum factory making cooking-pots.   Arrival in Antsirabe by the end of afternoon. Founded by Norwegians in 1856 who made their basis there because of its cool and clement climate, Antsirabe is quite an elegant city and one of the most attractive cities in the country.  Its atmosphere makes one really feels and looks like a European city. On the way, we will do a short city of this beautiful colonial city during which we will visit its cathedral, its colorful local market. Afternoon, we drive southward to Ambositra still across the highland with its beautiful rice-fields on stage, and large forest of pine and eucalyptus. One thing which marks the highland region is its architecture. Almost all houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with nice colors. Night in hotel MOTEL VIOLETTE on B&B.

DAY 3: AMBOSITRA:ANTOETRA: 25km: 2 hours
After breakfast, continuation to Ivato and from there we leave the National 7 and take 15km track to Antoetra the center of Madagascar ‘ s wood carving industry.  We start our day trek to the village of Ifasina, a “Zafimariy village”. The Zafimaniry are a subgroup of the Betsileo and are known for their exquisite carvings. They are the sole remaining people, who up till now have kept this unique woodcraft culture which was previously widespread over the whole island of Madagascar. Their art is classified as world heritage by UNESCO.

Many of their homes are true works of art and you will have the opportunity to get closely acquainted with village life. You see the wood carvers at work and enjoy the surroundings. Back to Ambositra at the end of the day. Night in SOUS LE SOLEIL ON B&B.

DAY 4: AMBOSITRA – ANDRINGITRA: 245km: 6 to 7 hours
After breakfast, we head on southwards to Fianarantsoa, the capital of Betsileo tribe, the second largest tribes of the highland. Called “the gate of the South” it is the centre of the catholic religion and the seat of the Jesuit order.  The best schools and university are found there. Fianarantsoa means «Place of good learning”, as the Betsileo were taught by the Merina governors during 19th Century to behave in a good and civilian way. Short city tours of Fianarantsoa which was build on the same plan as Antananarivo, with 3 different levels. Then head on southwards for 1-hour drive to Ambalavao: visit to a wine maker for wine tasting as Ambalavao is the centre of the wine industry, then visit to the “Anteimoro paper” workshop. Paper making was introduced in Madagascar by Arab traders. Wednesday and Thursday are held in Ambalavao the most important and famous zebu market in Madagascar where many traders all over the island come and sell or buy zebu.  In case we happen to be there in one of these day, it is a good opportunity to experience this weekly big event for local people where young girls according to the tradition are still traded against zebu. On to Anja, a village park run by the local community where many ringtail lemurs can be seen during our 2 hours hike inside the park. After the visit, we leave the RN7 and with our 4×4 truck, take a dirt track of 25km to reach the valley of Tsaranoro, on the foot of Andringitra Massif. Overnight in TSARA CAMP hotel on B&B

DAY 5: ANDRINGITRA
Today, we hike across the Tsaranoro valley, the primary habitat for Ring-tailed lemurs. During our walk, we will meet many families of lemurs’ catta. Besides, the “National Park of Andringitra” is a paradise for walkers and climbers with spectacular views of huge granite peaks towering above the Tsaranoro Valleys. It is an ideal location for individual day treks or guided multi-day expeditions. The treks lead through open savanna and tropical humid or dry forest. Various species of falcon, snakes, lizards, chameleons and plenty of orchids can be found. The best period for climbing and visiting the valley is from March to December.  The walk is also an opportunity to meet the Bara, cattle herding tribe and the Betsileo, who mainly live on rice cultivating, zebu raisers. Overnight in the same  hotel on B&B 

DAY 6: ANDRINGITRA – ISALO: 230km: 6 hours
We take our 4×4 truck and drive for 45 minutes on dirt track to reach the main road RN7. From there, 90 minutes drive to Ihosy the capital of Bara tribes, along the mountain chain of Andringitra, which serves as a transition between green highland and the dry south. The landscape is changing and becomes more and more grandiose. Huge Granite blocks are marking the spacious and empty plains. It is the “Gate of the South” which marks the end of the Highlands and the beginning of the south. We feel like being swallowed by this emptiness. We pass through “plateau de Horombe a vast empty savannah, a red laterite soil. We are in “no-man’s land”. From time to time we can see herds of zebus, accompanied by armed Bara men who are darker –skinned with African features if compared to Merina.  They are cattle-raisers and many activities during their life are associated with Zebu. For instance, to get a wife, a man has to steal few zebus to show his strength and virility. Arrival in Isalo by the afternoon. Overnight in MOTEL DE L’ISALO on BB

DAY 7:  ISALO NATIONAL PARK: Piscine Naturelle and Canyon des singes
4 to 6 hours hike in ISALO National Park. The park covers an area of 81,540 ha comprising the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is very spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain. 10 minutes drive from Ranohira village to the parking, then 90 minutes walk up and down,allowing us to have a very spectacular view of this huge sandstone mountains with a different colors, its strange and eroded forms giving many different images like “the tortoise”, “the masks” and “the crocodiles”. Vegetation is composed with Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum, an endemic species in Isalo, Aloe isaloensis.  During the hike, one can see provisional tombs inside the rock, as these mountains are also the place Bara put their dead, the time they save money to bury them into their real tombs.  The canyon is just spectacular with its narrow and deep gorge. One will see small stream of water, small rivers which are marked by lines of brilliant green, generally made up of numerous Pandanus pulcher and the delicate, slim-stemmed, feathery leaved palm Chrysalidocarpus isaloensis. Along the way, for lemur’ s lovers, one might see sifakas , brown lemurs and ring-tails, also fifty five species of birds lizards, snakes. Back to the hotel at the end of the afternoon. Then around 04.30, visit the “ fenêtre de l’Isalo” for the sunset. Back and overnight in the same  hotel on BB

DAY 8: ISALO – ZOMBITSE – TULEAR – IFATY: 268 km: 4 – 5 hours
After breakfast, head on to Tuléar, the terminal of the National road N° 7. After 1 hours’ drive, stop in Ilakaka, a tiny village transformed into a busy town since the discovery of sapphire 15 years ago.   From there, 1-hour drive to reach Zombitse National Park where you have 1-hour hike with a special guide in a semi-dry tropical forest, home to few endemic birds and 6 species of lemurs. From here, a new scenery arises, composed with semi-dry forest of the west, baobabs and the thorny bush of the south. On the way, one can also admire the colorful tombs of Mahafaly and Antandroy tribes. Arrival in Tulear at the end of afternoon. City tours of Tulear then continuation to Ifaty which is situated in the Deep South. We will cross the dry and sandy soil where local people suffer for the lack of drinking water. The landscape will be dominated by the spiny forest like the cactus, different euphorbiacea and didieracea. Many mangrove trees are lining along the coast alternated by Vezo villages which earn their living on fishing. Night in BELLE VUE HOTEL  on B&B

DAY 9: IFATY
Day off. Ifaty lies on the north of Tuléar. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, it is an ideal place for relaxing. Many excursions are possible on the spot like the “Reniala “ inside the spiny forest, a typical forest of the south where we will find some Baobabs and thorny bush. It is also possible to do whales watching or sea excursion to the coral reef with local boat. From July to mid-September, whales are coming to the cool sea of Madagascar to give birth. It is a very spectacular experience as sometimes we will see the whales very near our boat. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, Ifaty is also protected by a large coral reef which makes it an ideal place for diving and snorkeling. In the afternoon we can walk to the village of Mangily where we can have an experience off the Vezo Fishermen’s life, especially when the fishermen come back from fishing. Night in the same hotel.

Day 10: IFATY – ISALO: 268 km: 4 hours
Morning free at Ifaty, then after lunch drive back to Isalo. Night in MOTEL DE L’ISALO  on B&B

Day 11: ISALO – RANOMAFANA: 316 km: 8 hours
Drive northward to Ranomafana. Today we enter the rocky mountain chain of Andringitra which is very picturesque remaining of Arabian civilization. We cross the “Gate of South” which serves a transition between the south and the fresh and green highland. Then the landscape changes when we enter the highland. Just before Alakamisy Ambohimaha, we leave the RN7 and take the RN45, to Ranomafana, which will be reached in 45 minutes. The landscape changes into a lush green one, with a tropical forest on the both sides, sometimes interrupted by small villages selling bananas or charcoal. The national Park of Ranomafana was created in 1991. It covers an area of 40,000ha and consists of a series of steep hills from which numerous small streams run into the river Namorona, which tumbles down the valley in a series of waterfalls and rapids. Arrival in Ranomafana late in the afternoon, check-in and overnight in IHARY HOTEL  on B& B

DAY 12:  RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK
4 to 6 hours expedition in the forest with a local guide to see 12 species of lemurs.  Ranomafana is the most important site of lemurs in Madagascar; it is the only confirmed site for the two rarest species the greater bamboo lemur Hapalemur simus and the golden bamboo lemur Hapalemur aureus. Different species like Fulvus Rufus, Varieca Variegata, Hapalemur griseus, Avahi lanigeur, Lepilemur mustelinus, Propithecus diadema edwardsi, Cheirogaleus major and Daubentounia madagscariensis are also seen there. More than 100 birds, five species of viverrids, reptiles, lizards, chameleons, butterflies and other insects have been recorded in this park. The area is covered with forest, in the higher areas, the trees are festooned with mosses and lichens, and much of this secondary forest is dominated by the introduced tree Psidium cattleyarum, also giant bamboo Cephalostacyum viguieri. Various orchids such as Bblophyllum and Eulophiella, steep mountains, dramatic waterfalls and natural hot springs make this endangered and exotic forest charming and unusual. The name Ranomafana means “hot water” due to its thermal springs. In the afternoon, we walk to the “ Tanala village”, another tribe who lives in the tropical  and dense rainforest of the east. They are foresters and mainly live on agriculture and woodcarving. Overnight in the same hotel.

DAY 13: RANOMAFANA – MANANJARY – AMBOHITSARA: 120 km: 3 hours – 4 hours navigation
In the morning, we head on to Mananjary with RN 25. This 3 hours journey brings us to the region of “Tanala” or “people from the forest”. We drive along the tropical rainforest of the east, with bamboo trees, banana, travelers palm, its leaves spreading out like a fan. Landscape will be composed with hill, villages, charcoal makes, rivers where we can find gold-diggers women and children.  This area is known for the gold that is mined there. In the villages we will see women with gold teeth, the sign of wealth. Arrival before noon in Mananjary then we start our navigation along the “Canal des Pangalanes” to reach Ambohitsara.  Night at the Auberge Ambohitsara on B&B.

DAY 14: AMBOHITSARA – NOSY VARIKA – MASIMELOKA: 8 hours navigating
Morning, we continue our navigation along the “Canal des Pangalanes” with a flat bottom motor boat till Masimeloka.  Since the east is very rich and fertile, there are many plantations of coffee, spices, fruits, woods, vegetables. The transport along the east coast is very difficult, road cannot be built due to the many rivers and swamps. Also the sea navigation along the east coast is very dangerous due to  the lack of natural harbors and the rough seas condition of the Indian Ocean. Inland waterway proved to be the only solution to transport goods and harvest from this very rich area to the main harbor of Tamatave. This was done by linking all lakes, rivers and swamps by hand-dug canals. The canal was started during the reign of Radama II, by the end of 19th century, and continued by the French colonist who used men-power imported from Indochina, which explains the presence of Chinese and its influence on the daily life of local people. Canal des Pangalanes means “canal of thieves” because it was built by forced-labors (stolen labor as not paid) then the canal was used to steal the riches of the country. We overnight on camping with diner.

DAY 15: MASIMELOKA – MAHANORO:  4 hours navigation – MAHANORO – VATOMANDRY:  90 km: 90 minutes
Today we navigate between 3 to 4 hours further north, till Mahanoro the end of our journey by boat.   We leave Masimeloka around 7am to be in Mahanoro around 11am.  Along the canal, we’ll meet local fishermen, families using pirogue and many “boat brousse” to transport goods and passengers, also people doing their shopping on the boat. As life of locals is based on the canal, their daily activities take place on the canal: women doing their washing, their dishes, having bath, children swimming or playing merrily with geese and ducks, men fishing with large nets.

From time to time, the canal is too shallow, and we will need to give a push! The channels in this area, without roads, are the only way to get anywhere! By noon we arrive in Mahanoro, which is also the place where the navigable part of the canal ends and where the canals and the sea meet. The houses where we stay are close to the beach. Here swimming in the sea is not advisable because the current is too strong. We continue our drive till Vatomandry that we’ll reach.within 90 minutes Night at hotel on BB.

Day 16: VATOMANDRY – ANDASIBE: 242 km: 4 – 6 hours
After breakfast, take the RN 11A and drive up to Antsapanana, where we take the RN 2 and we drive for 2 to 3 hours to reach Andasibe. We stop in Ranomafana, where we might see some gold- searchers on the river. Arrival in Andasibe in the afternoon. Check-in and overnight in FEON’NY ALA  on BB.

Day 17: ANDASIBE
Morning visit of the Special Reserve of Andasibe, to see the Indri Indri the biggest lemurs of the island. This 810-ha reserve is quite unique with endemic fauna and flora. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. In the afternoon, we will visit the private reserve of Vakôna where we find four species of lemurs and other animals. In the end of the afternoon, visit of a Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village, the second largest tribe of Madagascar who mainly lives on farming, agriculture and wood exploitation. Night in the same hotel.

Day 18: ANDASIBE- TANA: 145 km: 4 – 5hours:
At 07.00 in the morning, 3 to 4 hours drive to Tana, still on the RN2 across the green landscape of the East. We drive through tropical rainforest, mountains, valleys with many small lakes and rivers.  Stop in Moramanga, a historical city where the resurrection against the colonisation took place. We can visit the “Musée de la gendarmerie” and also the local market. From there 3 hours drive before we reach Tana by noon. Transfer to the airport and assistance for check-in for your international flight back.

Madagascar:  A World Apart with Kirindy, 5 nights – 6 days

This is a landscape and nature tour, giving you a taste for the wonders of Madagascar. During this tour you will see giant baobab trees, stark limestone pinnacles, rice terraces and forests and see the beautiful wildlife that inhabit the areas, including 2 species of lemurs.

Prices vary depending on the number of passengers travelling in your group:-
2 passengers from £515pp  / 4 passengers from £399pp

INCLUDED Accommodation in double room , transfer airport – hotel – airport, excursions mentioned in the program, private transport by 4WD with driver and fuel from Morondava to Bekopaka then to kirindy and back to Morondava
NOT INCLUDEDAll excursions which are not in the program, personal expenses, drinks, laundry, tips, insurance,  domestic  flights, Domestic flights: Tana – Morondava ( one way ): from 220 EURO per person.

View full itinerary here...

DAY 1, MORONDAVA
Flight connection to Morondava, transfer to the Hotel. Morondava lies in the beach. The Morondava area was the centre of the Sakalava kingdom, a prosperous rice-growing area, it is also known as a seaside resort, with a laid-back atmosphere many different cultures and religions manage to intermingle in this region which makes it very special. Night in CHEZ MAGGIE on B&B

DAY 2, MORONDAVA – BEKOPAKA: 200km
Morning, we drive straight to Belo through the Baobabs forest and the red soil of the west.  Arrival in Tsimafana by noon, where we take a ferry boat and cross the Tsiribihina river to reach Belo, and to continue to Bekopaka. This drive brings us to Madagascar profound; we can experience the real life of Malagasy people in the driest part of the country. Arrival in Bekopaka around 18.00. Settling and night in OLYMPE DU BEMARAHA on B&B

DAY 3, BEKOPAKA
Morning, after breakfast, day excursion to visit the reserve of Tsingy de Bemaraha. In the east of Antsalova south-east of Maintirano. This limestone mountain is classified as an international heritage. This massif is spectacularly eroded into a chaos of karsts pinnacle which gives it a very strange form. Here nature seems to be in perfect harmony with this wild and sharp limestone mountain. The flora consists of a dry western deciduous forest, plants typical of these dry limestone areas, such as species of Aloe and baobab Andasonia, the red-flowered flamboyant tree Delonix regia which is so widely planted in the tropics. Madagascar’s sole native banana Musa perrieri also occurs. We can also see plants which grow in the stone such us different species of pachypodium, orchids. Concerning the fauna, we can see the stump-tailed chameleon Brookesia perarmata known from only a handful specimens, the bird list contains 53 species, the seven species of lemurs including Decken’s sifaka Propithecus verreauxi deckeni. Night at the same hotel.

DAY 4, BEKOPAKA – KIRINDY: 140km
After breakfast, we drive back to Kirindy by a Four-wheel drive. The Menabe region is known for its baobab and its dry western forest. Arrival in Kirindy by 4.00 pm. We’ll start an expedition to see the fossa and other night active lemur’s species like lepilemur ruficandatus, microcebus myoxinus or murinus, phaner furcifer, cheirogaleus medius, mirza coquereli. After the visit, head on to your hotel and overnight in RELAIS DU KIRINDY on B&B.

DAY 5, KIRINDY – MORONDAVA: 60km
Early in the morning, another early visit of Kirindy for bird watchers. After breakfast, we’ll have another visit of the reserve to see another 2 species of lemurs: propithecus verreauxi and fulvus rufus. Afterwards drive to Morondava. Along the way, we stop in the baobab forest to see the “sacred baobabs”, the “baobab amoureux” and we end in the famous « ALLEE DES BAOBABS » for sunset photo. We are in the region of splendid Grandidier’s baobab, Andasonia grandidieri. We head on to Morondava. Check-in and overnight in CHEZ MAGGIE on B&B.

DAY 6, MORONDAVA to another destination
Transfer to the airport to fly home or to extendyour stay.

Madagascar:  In A 1000 Views,  12nts / 13 days

This tour provides a “thousand views” of Madagascar. Starting from the “deep south” of Ifaty, with its thorny bush and spiny forest, following the famous Nationale 7, passing through the eroded massif of Isalo, the empty savanna of Horombe, the rocky mountain of Andringitra, the tropical rainforest of Ranomafana to the chilly highland of Antsirabe. The “Nationale 35” westwards to Miandrivazo, offers a very different landscape with its red laterite soil, giving Tsiribihina river a red colour that we’ll navigate for 2 days. The tour is completed by the famous “Tsingy de Bemaraha” with is eroded limestone massif, home to many treasures. The last part ends in Morondava, the land of baobabs.

Prices vary depending on the number of passengers travelling in your group:-
2 passengers from £515pp / 4 passengers from £399pp

INCLUDED Accommodation in double room , transfer airport – hotel – airport, excursions mentioned in the program, private transport by 4WD with driver and fuel from Morondava to Bekopaka then to kirindy and back to Morondava
NOT INCLUDED All excursions which are not in the program, personal expenses, drinks, laundry, tips, insurance, domestic flights. Domestic flights: Tana – Morondava ( one way ): from 220 EURO per person.

View full itinerary here...

DAY 1: TULEAR – IFATY:  20km
Arrival in Tuléar, then we’ll drive for 35 km to Ifaty which is situated in the Deep South. We will cross the dry and sandy soil where local people suffer for the lack of drinking water. The landscape will be dominated by the spiny forest like the cactus, different euphorbiacea and didieracea. Many mangrove trees are lining along the coast alternated by Vezo villages which earn their living on fishing.  We will see many small pirogues, men go on fishing twice a day, children and women are waiting on the coast to fetch the fishermen and bring the fish to Tuléar to be sold. Arrival in Ifaty at the end of the afternoon. Night in BELLE VUE HOTEL ON B&B

DAY 2: IFATY
Day off. Ifaty lies on the north of Tuléar. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, it is an ideal place for relaxing. Many excursions are possible on the spot like whales watching or sea excursion with local boat. From July to mid-September, whales are coming to the cool sea of Madagascar to give birth. It is a very spectacular experience as sometimes we will see the whales very near our boat. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, Ifaty is also protected by a large coral reef which makes it an ideal place for diving and snorkelling. In the afternoon we can walk to the village of Mangily where we can have an experience off the Vezo Fishermen’s life, especially when the fishermen come back from fishing. Night in the same hotel

DAY 3: IFATY – ISALO:  247km
After breakfast we head on to Isalo. This step brings us to the interior part of Madagascar, the land of Mahafaly. Along the way we’ll see many tombs of this tribe. Before seeing Isalo, we pass through the national park of Zombitse, a transition zone between the dry south and the land of Isalo, a formation of continental sandstone rocks. We will pass the plateaux as well des baobabs which makes Madagascar very famous of. There are 7 species of Baobabs in Madagascar whereas African continent has only 2 species. Arrival in Isalo around noon. Settling and night in SATRANA LODGE on BB  

DAY 4: NATIONAL PARK OF ISALO
Day excursion in the National Park of Isalo and the famous «Natural swimming pool». This park is very famous for its strange geological formation. Composed with sandstone and eroded by the rain and the wind, this mountain offers the most spectacular scenery of the country. This is also a place where the BARA tribes used to bury their dead until they have enough money to buy a silver coffin. If we are lucky, we will see the lemur catta during this walk.  In the afternoon, we can go to the village of Ranohira, and then drive to the museum of the national park. Around 16.30, we’ll drive to the “The Natural window “where we see the beautiful sunset between rocks which looks like window. Accommodation in the same hotel.

Day 5: ISALO – AMBALAVAO – RANOMAFANA:  268km
Drive northward to Ambalavao. Today we enter the rocky mountain chain of Andringitra which is very picturesque remaining of Arabian civilisation. Then the landscape changes when we enter the highland, we cross the “Gate of South” which serves as a transition between the south and the fresh and green highland. Stop and then visit to Anja Park, a community-based park run by the village which income serves to pay the teacher of the local primary school.  Anja park which is home to many families of lemurs catta.  Then we visit the famous “Papier Anteimoro” We continue to Ranomafana that we reach by the end of the afternoon. Night in CENTREST SEJOUR on BB .

DAY 6: RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK
3 to 4 hours hike in the rainy forest of Madagascar: the Ranomafana National Park which was created in 1991… This expedition in the forest with special guide enables us to see 12 species lemurs, the most important one the “golden lemurs” which has been discovered very recently, more than 100 birds, reptiles, butterflies and other insects. The area is covered with forest, in the higher areas the trees are festooned with mosses, lichens, and orchid. Afternoon free, we can have a visit Ranomafana village or go to the swimming pool of. Night in the same hotel.

DAY 7: RANOMAFANA – ANTSIRABE: 238km
Departure to Antsirabe after breakfast. Today we come across the highland which is characterised by rice fields on stage, its chilly climate and the population with Asian features. Stop in Ambositra, the capital of Zafimaniry craft to visit a wood-carving workshop. Continuation to Antsirabe in the afternoon. City tours of Antsirabe and visit a lapidary. Night in LES CHAMBRES DU VOYAGEUR ON BB

Day 8: ANTSIRABE – MIANDRIVAZO – MASIAKAMPY: 245km
Departure to Miandrivazo early in the morning, still across the highland. Today the landscape is changing, we will see rice fields, then red soil, many erosion « lavaka », then the vegetation becomes dryer. A very strange formation of granite because of the erosion. Arrival in Miandrivazo at noon, transfer to Masiakampy where the boat is waiting to sail to Tsiribihina. Beginning of the cruise. Stop around Sahambano.  Camping on the bank of the river on full board.

Day 9: GORGE OF BEMARAHA
Departure around 07.30, breakfast on board. This day is for seeing animals like lemurs, crocodiles, birds, bats all along the sailing; and to have a look of primary forest. Around 09.30, trekking until the natural swimming pool for bathing or under the waterfalls. Lunch on board. Arrival in Berevo around 15.30. Visit of Berevo village. Camping on the bank of the river on full board.

DAY 10: COASTAL PLAIN OF MENABE – BEKOPAKA: 140km
Departure around 07.30. After the end of « Gorge of Bemaraha », we cross the plain of Menabe which is characterised by the rice plantation on the bank of the river. We can also experience the life of Sakalava tribes who live along this big river. Arrival in Belo around noon, then continue to Bekopaka. This drive brings us to Madagascar profound; we can experience the real life of Malagasy people in the driest part of the country. Arrival in Bekopaka around 18.00. Settling and night in OLYMPE DU BEMARAHA on B&B

DAY 11: BEKOPAKA: TSINGY DE BEMARAHA NATIONAL PARK
Morning, after breakfast, day excursion to visit the reserve of « Tsingy de Bemaraha ». In the east of Antsalova south-east of Maintirano. This limestone mountain is classified as an international heritage. This massif is spectacularly eroded into a chaos of karsts pinnacle which gives it a very strange form. Here nature seems to be in perfect harmony with this wild and sharp limestone mountain. The flora consists of a dry western deciduous forest, plants typical of these dry limestone areas, such as species of Aloe and baobab Andasonia, the red-flowered flamboyant tree Delonix regia which is so widely planted in the tropics. Madagascar’s sole native banana Musa perrieri also occurs. We can also see plants which grow in the stone such us different species of pachypodium, orchids. Concerning the fauna, we can see the stump-tailed chameleon Brookesia perarmata known from only a handful specimens, the bird list contains 53 species, the seven species of lemurs including Decken’s sifaka Propithecus verreauxi deckeni. Night at the same hotel.

DAY 12: BEKOPAKA – MORONDAVA: 200km
After breakfast, we drive back to Morondava by a Four-wheel drive. This place is known for its baobab and its dry western forest. Along the way, we stop in « ALLEE DES BAOBABS » for photo; this is the region of splendid Grandidier’s baobab, Andasonia grandidieri. Arrival in Morondava in the afternoon. Settling and night in BAOBAB CAFÉ on BB .

DAY 13: MORONDAVA
Transfer to the airport to fly to connect with your flight home.

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