Discover Madagascar Small Group Tour Detailed ItineraryPrint this page


Madagascars Lemurs, Landscapes and People

November 1, 2016 to November 18, 2016.


Day 1 Antananarivo:
You will be met on arrival to Ivato airport and transferred to your hotel in Antananarivo. Depending on your arrival time, there may be an opportunity for you to ask the hotel to do a tour to the handicrafts market (additional expense).
Accommodation: Belvedere Hotel or similar
Meals Dinner: For your own account

DAY 2 Andasibe:
After a city tour of Tana, we depart to Andasibe through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step brings us to a very humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way we will see Merina villages in the rocky mountains.

On arrival we will visit Andasibe village, which is typical of the Betsimisaraka ("The-Many-Inseparables") community, the second largest tribe on the island who are known to cultivate rice and live mainly off the forest. This short visit gives us insight to the local people, to see how they live and what they eat.
Distance: 150 km / around 4 hours
Accommodation: Vakona forest Lodge or Andasibe Hotel
Meals Breakfast: At Belvedere Hotel Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 3 Reserve of Andasibe:
We start the day with 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 and contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. After the visit we walk through the orchid park to admire the beautiful flowers.

This evening, we depart from the hotel at approximately 19h00 on a night walk in the area of Andasibe to observe night active lemurs and other nocturnal animals. We return to the hotel where we overnight.
Accommodation: Vakona forest Lodge or Andasibe Hotel
Meals- Breakfast: Vakona forest Lodge or Andasibe Hotel
Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 4 Back to Tana:
In the morning, before we head back to Tana, we will visit Lemur Island followed by a visit at Reptile Park. Vakona Lodge's lemur island, is a sanctuary for rescued lemurs that once lived in captivity, meet the resident Lemurs up close!
Distance: 150 km / around 4 hours
Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere or similar
Meals Breakfast: Vakona Lodge Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

Day 5 Morondava:
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Morondava, (Flight cost separate) where you will be met and transferred to the city. Morondava is situated in the heart of Sakalava territory and is known for the royal sculpted tombs of the Menabe ancestors. These tombs are frequently decorated with well-executed, often erotic, funerary carvings representing life and fertility.
Accommodation:Hotel Renala
Meals Breakfast: Hotel Belvedere Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

Day 6 Morondava - Kirindy - Bekopaka:
Today is a long day of discovery and adventure! We set out early to visit the Kirindy Reserve stopping en-route to admire the beauty of the famous Baobab Avenue at sunrise. In Kirindy you will have the chance to see 7 species of lemurs, including the fat-tailed lemur and the tiny Pygmy Mouse lemur, believed to be the world's smallest primate. Kirindy is the best place to see the giant jumping rat as well as the Fossa (Madagascar's largest predator), and you can also witness various spiny tenrecs, birds and reptiles aplenty. The diverse flora includes three of the six endemic Malagasy baobabs.

After exploring Kirindy we head north and onto Tsimafana where we take the ferry across to Belo sur Tsiribihina. After another road transfer, we will arrive at our destination for the day, Bekopaka, in the evening. Please note that it is a very long driving day due to poor and bumpy road conditions.
Distance: 200Km
Accommodation:Olympe du Bemaraha
Meals Breakfast: Hotel Renala Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

Day 7 Small Tsingy:
This morning we will head to Belo sur Tsiribihina and onto visit the Manambolo gorge, home to many interesting rock formations. We travel by dug-out canoe to see the Tombs of the Vazimba tribe from the river. These ancient people were the original inhabitants of Madagascar and grew no more than one metre tall. We spend the afternoon visiting the small Tsingy in The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park.
Accommodation:Olympe du Bemaraha
Meals Breakfast: Olympe du Bemaraha & Dinner: For your own account

Day 8 Grand Tsingy:
Today we visit the Bemaraha National Park in search of the Grands Tsingy. A UNESCO world heritage site since 1990, the area has a unique geography, well preserved mangrove forests and some amazing bird and lemur species. We will trek throughout the park. The karst landscape and deciduous forest are a refuge for rare and endangered species and in the park there are over 11 species of lemur, 90 species of bird and 50 types of reptile, some of which we might be lucky to spot on our hikes throughout the reserve.

The Grands Tsingy is famed for its pinnacles, a forest of limestone pillars and limestone plateau. Some of its needles are several hundred metres high! We spend the day exploring this magnificent geological site.
Accommodation:Olympe du Bemaraha
Meals Breakfast: Olympe du Bemaraha Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

Day 9 Morondava:
After breakfast, we head back to Morondava by 4x4. We will travel through the small town of Belo-sur-Tsiribihina and pass the Sakalava tribe tombs. En-route we stop to visit the stunning Baobab Alley but this time at sunset, a great photo opportunity! We arrive in Morondava early evening where we spend the night.
Distance: 200 Km
Accommodation:Hotel Renala
Meals Breakfast: Olympe du Bemataha Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 10 Drive to Antsirabe:
Today is a long travel day through the fascinating scenery of Betsiriry plateaux, some plains of savannah, and intercepted by some villages. We arrive at our destination at sunset.
Distance: 510 km
Accommodation: Couleur Cafe or similar
Meals Breakfast: Hotel Renala Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 11 Drive to Ranomafana:
After breakfast we drive to Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry. The highlands are 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 resistant to bush fires. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields, pine forests, eucalyptus trees and rocky mountains. We turn off from the main road to reach our destination for the day: Ranomafana National Park.
Distance: 325km
Accommodation: Centrest Sejour
Meals Breakfast: Couleur Cafe Lunch & Dinner: Your own account

DAY 12 Ranomafana:
The approximately 40,000 ha of Parc National de Ranomafana with its rain forest covered hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar's highlights, and is one of the country's national parks most heavily visited. Its entrance lies about 7 km from Ranomafana village and altitudes in the park range from 800 m to 1200 m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana's terrain is characterized by numerous small streams which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest. You will go for long walks in the National Park spotting some of the lemurs, chameleons and other animals.
Accommodation: Centrest Sejour
Meals Breakfast: Centrest Sejour Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 13 Drive to Ranohira including visit of Anja Park:
Returning on the road we came on, we leave Ranomafana and pass Fianarantsoa 'the city where one learns good things'. It is the gate to the South, the capital of the Betsileo tribes and the centre of the catholic religion. Most of the best schools in the country are also found here. We then head southwards, with our first stop in Ambalavao to visit a wine industry for wine tasting. Ambalavao is the centre of wine industry - the climate is said not to be ideal for grape vines, but it is a tradition left by the priests and monks who lived in the area of Fianarantsoa. Still in Ambalavao, we visit the 'Anteimoro Paper Factory' which is a vestige of the Arabian civilisation on the island. We continue to Ihosy the capital of the Bara tribes, who are shepherds of Zebu, and further on 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 from afar a spectacular huge granite dome with twin rock towers called 'the gate of the south', which in fact marks the end of the highland and the beginning of the south. The 'Bishop's hat' is another noticeable, imposing formation and a sacred location for the local people - 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' with its very deep red soil, which reminds us of 'the no man's land' and we arrive in Isalo.
Distance: 382 Km
Accommodation: Isalo Rock Lodge
Meals Breakfast: Centrest Sejour Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 14 Isalo National Park:
Today, we will visit and hike in the 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 elevations. After a 10 minute drive from Ranohira village, we park our car and walk about 1. hour to reach the Natural Swimming Pool. Along the way we will see vegetation like Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum or 'elephant's foot' and Aloe isaloensis, a native species of aloe endemic to Isalo. The eroded mountains also served as a place where the Bara kept their dead before they could bury them in their actual tombs. We start our climb and reach the massif after walking about 20 minutes, where we will have a spectacular view of the huge sandstone mountains with its beautiful colours and its strange and battered formations creating many different images like 'the tortoise', 'the masks' and 'the crocodiles'. 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, there may be sifakas, brown lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs, as well as fifty-five species of birds, lizards and snakes. We finally reach the swimming pool, with its crystal clear water - a great reward after a long and very hot walk.
Accommodation: Isalo Rock Lodge
Meals Breakfast: Isalo Rock Lodge Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 15 Isalo to Ifaty via Tulear and Zombitse Park:
After breakfast, we continue to Tulear, the terminal of the National Road N 7. This part of our journey brings us to new scenery among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. En route to Tulear we will also stop to visit Zombitse-Vohibasia Park. It is a relatively small and recently proclaimed park (1997), where a very important remnant of the dry deciduous forest of Madagascar is protected. Zombitse-Vohibasia acts as a transition zone between the dry and the humid forests of Madagascar. Therefore the flora is especially rich within the protected area. Baobabs and several orchids are particularly common. After visiting the park we continue to Tulear, viewing some new scenery along the way; 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 Tulear your driver will depart and hand you over to a 4x4 transfer which will drive you about 2 1/2 hours along the very sandy roads to Ifaty, only 27km from Tulear and this step brings you to the driest part of the country. Situated in the Deep South, the landscape is dominated by the spiny forest like the cactus, different euphorbiacea and didieracea. 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, where people earn their living from fishing.

You 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 Tulear for sale.
Distance: 360 km
Accommodation: Hotel Paradisier
Meals Breakfast: Isalo Rock Lodge Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

Day 16 Ifaty:
Ifaty lies on the beach. It is therefore 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 on this half leisure day. In the morning we will visit Renal Reserve.

Reniala Private Reserve is a small protected area of only 60 ha, managed by an environmental association called Reniala (which means baobab in Malagasy) that is trying to develop eco-tourism in the area. The reserve is located less than 1km from the Mozambique Channel near the village of Ifaty-Mangily, about 25 km North of Tulear. It shelters an amazing, bizarre and unique ecosystem which only occurs in the south-eastern part of Madagascar: the spiny forest. The towering spiny bushes are home to more than 2000 plants species (many of them local endemic), some spectacular and very old baobabs (there is a giant baobab of 12.5 m diameter) and a complete endemic plants family, the Didieraceae. Reniala includes a botanical trail and a bird sanctuary.

This afternoon you can visit the 'Reserve Domergue', a communal conservation area where one will see two kinds of baobabs, spiny bush, reptiles like 'boa madagascariensis', geckos and the 'chameleon parsoni', which is one of the largest chameleons in the world. 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. Another option - we can walk to the village of Mangily to visit a local school and experience the Vezo fishermen's way of life, especially as they return from fishing.

Accommodation: Hotel Paradisier
Meals Breakfast: Hotel Paradisier Lunch & Dinner: For your own account

DAY 17 Ifaty to Tana:
After breakfast, transfer to Tulear for your flight to Antananarivo and transfer for your hotel for the night. (Flight cost separate) Depending on our flight times, we may have a half day to enjoy Ifaty before our departure back to Tana.
Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere
Meals Breakfast: Hotel Paradisier Lunch & dinner: For your own account

Day 18 Departure home:
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.

Tour Price $4,295USD per person based on Twin share Min 5 people travelling.
Single share guarantee, if you are willing to share we will room you with another single traveller of the same sex. If you want your own room Single Supplement is $650USD.

Price reduction 10 - 14 people rate is $3,995USD per person based on twin.

Included in the price
Airport transfers
Accommodation & meals as specified above
Suitable transport - A 4WD vehicle is provided for the day excursion to Kirindy reserve as well as the excursion to Grands Tsingy.
Entrance fees
Services of an English Speaking tour guide

Not included in the price
International and domestic flights (Antananarivo - Morondava & Tulear - Antananarivo)
Any excursions not mentioned in the program,
Laundry, visas and travel insurance, personal expenses.
(Please note it may be advisable to book your domestic flights along with your international flights for potential cost saving).

Visas:
Madagascar will be changing its visa policy as of January 2016. Tourist visas will now be subjected to a fee. The charge for the tourist visa will be 20 Euro, in addition to a new tourism tax (border levy) of 10 Euro, per person for all nationalities. This is payable on arrival at the airport. The visa will be valid for 30 days and no photographs are required. Please check if your passport is still valid for least 6 months after your return date and have 2 free pages.

Insurance:
It is compulsory for all travellers to have insurance covering their personal requirements, medical expenses and personal possessions. This is to be arranged before leaving your home country. Our local agency has comprehensive public liability insurance.

Duration: 18 days

Max Group Size: 14

Accommodations: hotel, lodges and B&B

Price: $4,295USD per person based on twin