Madagascar Adventure - 201612 days & 11 nights , Escorted Discovery Group
Escorted Discovery Group
Antananarivo, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Antsirabe, Ranomafana National Park, Ifaty & Ranohira
Much of Madagascar's exotic flora and fauna is found nowhere else on Earth. This tour offers an opportunity to discover the island's extraordinary natural history along with its stunning scenery, idyllic beaches and fascinating culture, which is based on a mix of Christianity and ancient spiritual beliefs.
Day 1To Antananarivo
You will be met and taken to your hotel.
Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.Le Royal Palissandre - 1 Night (L , D)
Day 2To Andasibe - Analamazaotra Reserve
Make an early start to drive from Antananarivo to Andasibe National Park, a journey of approximately 3 hours.Vakona Forest Lodge - 2 Nights (B, L , D)
An afternoon visit to the Analamazaotra Reserve, home of the Indri Indri. Other lemur species which might be discovered during the visit are the common brown lemur and the grey bamboo lemur. The forest is also home to a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife.
After your visit you will be transferred the short distance to your accommodation.
Day 3Mantadia National Park - Vakona Private Reserve - Mitsinjo forest
Mantadia is an area of hilly forest, and after a steep uphill walk you will be rewarded with panoramic views across the treetops. The lemurs in this reserve are very shy, and some difficult walking on hilly and uneven forest floor will be required to have any chance of seeing them. It is very different in character from Perinet, due to the difference in terrain and walking here requires a reasonable level of fitness and a stout pair of walking shoes.Vakona Forest Lodge (B, L , D)
En route back, visit Vakona Private Reserve.
Visit the small private reserve belonging to Vakona Lodge where a number of lemur species live on an island (known as 'lemur island'). You will have the opportunity to see the lemurs at quite close quarters, both on foot and by canoe. There is also a crocodile park nearby.
Return to your hotel.
There will be a short talk by one of the specialist guides at Mitsinjo, based around a topical subject.
This circuit is unique in that it gives visitors a close-up view of the reforestation work at Mitsinjo. The project aims to restore and conserve Madagascar's remaining natural forest, which continues to be destroyed at an alarming rate. This reforestation work employs local people and not only benefits them economically but also gives them a sense of ownership of the forest. Mitsinjo seeks to strengthen the idea that conservation work is not in opposition to economic goals, but, in fact, supports them.
Day 4To Antsirabe via Antsahabe
Drive to Antsirabe, a journey of 196 miles and approximately 10 hours.Couleur Cafe - 1 Night (B , L , D)
Drive back to Antananarivo before travelling south through the stunning terraced countryside of the central plateau to the old French colonial town of Antsirabe. En route it may be possible to observe some of Madagascar's more common birds and stop at the village of Antsahabe, typical of the Merina tribe.
Day 5To Ranomafana via Ambositra
Drive from Antsirabe to Ranomafana National Park, a journey time of approximately 11 hours.Setam Lodge - 2 Nights (B, L , D)
Take a tour of Antsirabe town, center of the gem trade and then drive south towards Ranomafana. Visit Ambositra en route for a short tour and a chance to visit local markets and buy the region's famed woodcarvings. Taste a typical Malagasy lunch here accompanied by folklore entertainment. En route it may be possible to spot some birds and stops will be arranged according to timing. This journey may take up to 11 hours, including the stops.
Morning walk through the forest in Ranomafana to spot birds and a variety of lemurs, including grey bamboo lemurs, golden bamboo lemurs and greater bamboo lemurs. Return to the hotel for lunch.Setam Lodge (B , L , D)
In the afternoon, take a walk through the Tanala village.
Then, visit the VALBIO Research Centre where there will be a short talk on current themes such as biodiversity (the fauna and flora), the problems of conservation, education outreach (environmental education), and the involvement of the local people with the activities of center.
Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 7To Ranohira
The journey from Ranomafana National Park to Ranohira passes through the charming city of Fianarantsoa, which is known for its wineries such as Lazan'ny Betsileo where you will visit. Continue through diverse landscapes to the town of Ambalavao and visit the Malagasy Antemoro paper factory. The paper is traditionally made using the bark of the avoha tree found in the east of the island and is impregnated with dried flowers. You will then continue to the Anja Reserve. Spread over 74 acres, the reserve is home to ring-tailed lemurs. After the visit continue to Ranohira.Relais de la Reine - 2 Nights (B , L , D)
The total journey distance is 217 miles and takes approximately twelve hours, including visits.
Day 8Isalo National Park
Take a full day to explore the Isalo National Park and see the breathtaking eroded sandstone landscapes that have brought about a variety of local superstitions. Your guided walk will begin in the morning with the natural swimming pool where you will discover the fascinating landscape of the park including a crystal clear waterfall that tumbles into a deep green pool. In the afternoon, return to your hotel to rest before going to an early evening traditional music performance with a view of the sunset.Relais de la Reine (B , L , D)
Day 9To Ifaty via Toliara (Tulear)
Drive from Isalo National Park to Ifaty via Toliara (Tulear), a journey of approximately 186 miles and approximately 5 hours including stops. Stop at villages en route and admire the landscape as it changes from rugged mountains to grassy plains. The region is well known for its large baobabs and traditional family tombs, central to Malagasy beliefs and culture.Les Dunes d’Ifaty - 2 Nights (B , L )
The tortoise village was specifically set up for the protection of three endangered species of tortoise: the radiated, the spider and the northern spider. The need for the facility came about due to the growing illegal trade of tortoises in Madagascar.Les Dunes d'Ifaty (B, D)
Continue to the Reniala Private Reserve, a small protected area of only 148 acres, managed by an environmental association called Reniala (which means baobab in Malagasy). The reserve contains the unique and bizarre spiny forest, which only occurs in the south-western part of Madagascar. The towering spiny bushes are home to more than 2,000 plant species (many of them locally endemic), some spectacular and very old baobabs (there is a giant baobab with a 41 feet diameter) and a completely endemic plant family, the didieraceae. Reniala includes a botanical trail and a bird sanctuary.
Reniala Reserve is also a paradise for birders, who can easily observe some very rare endemic species, such as the long-tailed ground roller, the sub desert mesite, the red-capped coua and the blue vanga. There are 65 bird species in total within the reserve.
Visitors can spot mammals including grey-mouse lemurs, one the smallest primates, and reptiles, like the threatened radiated and spider tortoises, warty chameleons, lizards and snakes. The association organizes guided visits where the excellent English-speaking guides provide visitors all kind of information about the local fauna and flora.
Day 11Fly to Antananarivo
You will be collected at your hotel and taken to the airport for your flight to Antananarivo.Le Royal Palissandre or similar - 1 Night (B, L , D)
Transfer from the airport to hotel via a craft market.
Take a tour of the city in a vintage Citroen car with an open top. The tour will take you to the upper, middle and lower parts of the city to explore the mixture of cultures, street markets and crumbling red brick houses.
There will be a farewell dinner at Villa Vanille.
Day 12Depart Antananarivo
You will be collected at your hotel and taken to the airport for your onward flight.(B)