Discover the best of Madagascar on this fascinating 12 day tour with lemurs, colorful tribes, tropical beaches, bustling markets and ever-changing scenery.

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation for 11 nights in double occupancy
  • Meals : 11 breakfasts
  • Roundtrip transfers
  • Visits as per itinerary
  • All entrance fees
  • Specialist local guides in the National Park
  • English speaking local driver-guide.

Not Included
International flights · All excursions not mentioned in the program · Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages · Laundry · Optional excursions · Gratuities to hotel personnel, drivers and guides. Visa, can be done prior departure online: http://www.evisamada.gov.mg

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1

DAY 1 ANTANANARIVO


Arrival in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Welcome and assistance at the airport. Transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Antananarivo
2

DAY 2 ANTANANARIVO · NATURAL RESERVE OF ANDASIBE


This morning after breakfast, drive to Andasibe through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step bring us to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way we will see Merina Villages in the Rocky Mountains. Arrive at Andasibe around 18h00. Check in at the hotel. Later this evening we have a night walk in the area of Andasibe to observe night active lemurs and other nocturnal animals. (B)
Accommodation: Andasibe for 2 nights
3

DAY 3 NATURAL RESERVE OF ANDASIBE


A morning visit to the Special Reserve of Andasibe, to see the Indri Indri, the largest lemurs on the island. This 810 ha reserve is unique with its endemic fauna and flora. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. After the visit, we walk through the orchid’s park to admire all the nice flowers. In the afternoon, we visit Andasibe village, a typical Betimisaraka (The -Manyinseparable) village, and the second largest tribe on the island. They cultivate rice and live mainly off the forest. This small visit helps us to have contact with the local people, to see how they live and what they eat. (B)
4

DAY 4 ANDASIBE · ANTSIRABE


We drive back to Tana, and head south to Antsirabe, across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields on stage. The spectacular eroded hills called “Lavaka” remind us of the Far East with its rice field and green landscape with vegetables and fruit trees. A stop in Ambatolampy for a short visit of this huge agricultural city, which is also knowe as a source of aluminium. Arrival in Antsirabe around 17h00, or ‘the place of salt’, an elegant city well known as the centre of the beer industry and we can smell the Star Brewery as we enter the town. Founded by the Norwegian in 1856, it is the only place which really feels and look like a European city. It has temperate climate and all fruits and vegetable, which grow in cold climate, are found in Antsirabe. (B)
Accommodation: Antsirabe
5

DAY 5 ANTSIRABE TO RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK


After breakfast we drive to Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar’s wood carving industry. We are still in the highlands, which is characterized by its architecture: The houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colours. Further on we pass the ‘le col de tapia’, a type of tree, which resists to the bush fires of the area. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields on stage, pine forests, eucalyptus trees and Rocky Mountains. We are taking a turn-off the main road before we reach our destination for the day: Ranomafana National Park. (B)
Accommodation: Ranomafana National Park for 2 nights
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DAY 6 RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK


Parc National de Ranomafana, with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights and is one of the most heavillu visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7 km from Ranomafana village. Altitudes in the park range from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterized by numerous small streams, which plummet down the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the eastern most part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest. You will go for walks in the National Park for several hours spotting some of the lemurs, chameleons and other animals. (B)
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DAY 7 FIANARANTSOA · ISALO


We leave Ranomafana using the road that entered on, and pass Fianarantsoa “the city where one learns good things”. It is the gate to the South and the Capital of the Betsileo tribes. This is the centre of the catholic religion and most of the best schools are found here. Then we head southwards, our first stop is in Ambalavao to visit a wine industry for a wine tasting, as Ambalavao is the centre of wine industry. The climate is not said to be ideal for grapes vines but it is a tradition left by the priest and monks, who lived in the area of Fianarantsoa. Still in Ambalavao, we visit the Anteimoro Paper Factory a vestige of the Arabian civilisation in the island. We continue to Ihosy the capital of the Bara tribes, who are the shepherds of Zebu, and pass through the mountain chain of Andringitra, which serves as a transition between the dry south and green highlands with its famous 3 hillocks and its huge archbishop’s cape. Along the way we will see afar a spectacular huge granite dome with twin rock towers called: “the gate of the south”, which marks the end of the highland and the beginning of the south. The other imposing one is the “Bishop Hat”, which is a sacred place for the local people, as it is a place where their ancestors chose a collective suicide rather than to give in to the Merina tribes. We then pass through the huge Plateaux de Horombe where whit its very deep red soil, reminds us of the no man’s land. Arrive in Isalo. (B)
Accommodation: Isalo National Park for 2 nights
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DAY 8 ISALO


Visit to Isalo National Park. The park covers an area of 81 540 ha comprising of the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is very spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain.
Today we will walk to the ‘Natural swimming pool’. After a 10-minute drive from Ranohira village we park our car and walk about 1½ hour to reach the Natural Swimming Pool. Along the way we will see vegetation like Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum or “elephant foot”, Aloes isaloensis, a native species of aloes and endemic to Isalo. We walk through the eroded mountains, which are also where the Bara people placed their dead before they can bring them into their real tombs. We start our climb and reach the massid (after 20 minutes’ walk) where we will have a spectacular view of the huge sandstone figures: the tortoise, the mask and the crocodile. We see small streams of water, and 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 lovers, there may be sifakas, brown lemurs and ringtaild lemurs, as well as 55 species of birds, lizards and snakes. We finally reach the swimming pool, with its crystal clear water, which is a great reward after a long and very hot walk. (B)
9

DAY 9 ISALO · IFATY


After breakfast, we continue to Tuléar, the terminal of the National Road N° 7. This step brings us new scenery, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. On the way, we admire the different “Mahafaly tombs” and the “Antandroy tombs”.
After a short visit of Tuléar we drive to Ifaty, which lies about 27 km from Tuléar. Due to the bad condition of the road, it will take us about 2 ½ hours to reach Ifaty, and this step brings us to the driest part of the country. Situated in the Deep South, the landscape is dominated by the spiny forest like the cactus. We will cross the dry and sandy soil where the local people battle to find drinking water. Mangrove trees line the coast alternated by Vezo villages, which earn their living from fishing. We will see many small pirogues and men who go out fishing twice a day. The children and women wait on the coast to fetch the fish and take them to Tuléar for sale. (B)
Accommodation: Ifaty for 2 nights
10

DAY 10 IFATY


Day at leisure. Ifaty lies in the beach; it is an ideal place for diving and snorkelling and a popular place for birdwatchers. Here you can also experience the Vezo Fishermen’s life. Many excursions are possible ($). Visit the Reserve Domergue, a communal reserve where one will see 2 kinds of baobabs, spiny bush, reptiles, geckos and chameleon. Take a boat trip to see the whales. From July to mid-September, whales come to the cool seas off Madagascar to give birth to their younf. It is a spectacular experience, and it is possible to see the whales very near to the 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 you can visit a local school and also experience the Vezo Fishermen’s way of life, especially after coming back from fishing. (B)
11

DAY 11 IFATY · TULÉAR · ANTANANARIVO


Early in the morning we transfer to the airport for the flight back to Tana. Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon free. Tana also called the “City of Thousands” is the capital of Madagascar. It is where the first King started to unify the different kingdoms of the island. (B)
Accommodation: Antananarivo
12

DAY 12 TANA


After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

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