MADAGASCAR, A LAND OF CONTRAST - 18 Days

Why This Tour?

Experience the highlights and contrast of Madagascar by exploring the dry west and the rain forest in the east. Start with Morondava with the famous baobab trees, the semi-dry tropical forest and the Tsingy de Bemaraha National park, a world heritage site. Travel further to the east with its tropical rainforest and explore Andasibe National Park well-known for the unique wildlife. Here you will see different species of lemurs, chameleons, and a great variety of reptiles. At the end of your trip you spend a few days on the beautiful island of Sainte-Marie. Also known as Nosy Boraha. Be amazed by the beautiful beaches and the laid back and authentic atmosphere.

Included in the Tour:

  • 17 Nights accommodation in a variety of guesthouses and lodges
  • Daily breakfast
  • Private guide & 4x4 vehicle as described in the program
  • Selection of excursions as described in the program
  • Ferry boat in Belo and Bekopaka
  • Return hotel – airport transfers in Antananarivo and on Sainte-Marie
  • Personalized travel book with information and route descriptions
 

Itinerary 18 day private guided tour:

Antsirabe
Day 1: Antananarivo

Arrive at the airport of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The city is also called “Tana”. You will meet our local representative and take the transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation suggestion: IC Hotel

Day 2: Antsirabe          

After breakfast you will meet your guide for the coming days. He will explain all details of the tour with you. Your destination of today is Antsirabe. Enjoy the beautiful landscape while driving. You drive across the highlands with its terraced rice-fields and the spectacular eroded hills called “lavaka”. Stop in Ambatolampy and visit an artisanal aluminum fabric, where they melt the old coke bins and transform them into cooking pots. Continue to Antsirabe where you will arrive in the afternoon. Founded by Norwegians in 1856, it is an elegant city, which really feels and looks like a European city. With the thermal springs and wide avenues, it is one of the most attractive towns in Madagascar. Hike to the Betafo village and meet the “blacksmith” along the countryside of the area and experience the rural life of the highland tribe.

Accommodation suggestion: : Les Chambres du Voyageur

Day 3: Miandrivazo

Make a city tour of Antsirabe and visit the various artisan workshops. Thereafter you drive to Miandrivazo. The landscape is changing step by step, from green highlands to savannah.  Upon arrival your guide will take you to a local village to meet the Sakalava people.

Accommodation suggestion: Princess du Tsiribihina

Day 4: Kirindy

After a good night’s sleep, you will travel to Morondava. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields, empty hills, red soil, and palm trees. Just before entering Morondava, you will see the first baobab trees. This area is known for the different cultures and religions which makes it very special. Continue your drive to Kirindy through the alley of baobabs. This area is known for the baobab trees and the dry forest. An exciting activity awaits you! Make an expedition during the evening to see different species of lemur.

Accommodation suggestion: Relais du Kirindy

Day 5: Bekopaka

Go for a morning walk with a special guide. Kirindy is one of the most rewarding wildlife areas where visitors spot 8 species of lemurs. The most common lemurs are the Verreaux’s sifaka, the fulvus rufus and the red-fronted brown lemurs. After your walk drive straight to Belo through the Baobabs forest and the red soil of the west.  As you get to the Tsiribihina River, take a ferry across to Belo to reach Bekopaka. This is a profound area of Madagascar, get close to the real life of the friendly Malagasy people in the driest part of the country.

Accommodation: Olympe du Bemaraha

Day 6: Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

Ready for another amazing hike? Explore the reserve of “Tsingy de Bemaraha”, classified as a World Heritage Site. This massif is spectacularly eroded into a chaos of karsts pinnacles. Nature is in perfect harmony with this wild and sharp limestone massif. The flora consists of a dry deciduous forest, typical plant species such as Aloe as well as Baobab trees. You might see the stump-tailed chameleon, a variety of birds and 7 different lemur species.

Accommodation suggestion: Olympe du Bemaraha

Day 7: Morondava

Time to take a picture of the famous Baobab trees of Madagascar! Along the way you stop at “Allee des Baobabs”. As you get here around sunset your pictures will be spectacular.

Accommodation suggestion: Baobab Café

Day 8: Antsirabe

Drive back to Antsirabe via Miandrivazo. A bit of a drive, but the scenery makes up for it!

Accommodation suggestion: Les Chambres du Voyageur

Day 9&10: Antsirabe

Today you drive in northerly direction to “Tana” across the highlands. Then you take the RN2 for a 3-hour drive to the east towards Andasibe. Enjoy the green landscape with the many forests and lakes. On day 10 visit the amazing Andasibe National Park, a tropical rain forest. 9 species of lemur can be spotted in this national park. The highlight is the “Indri Indri” which is the largest lemur of the island. This 810ha reserve is also home to unique flora and fauna. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, endemic animals like chameleons, and many different birds. After the hike, your guide will take you to the Andasibe village, a typical Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village. This is the second largest tribe of Madagascar. Afterwards your guide will take you to the “lemurs’ island” which is the best spot to take photos of the lemurs up close.

Accommodation suggestion: Andasibe Hotel

Day 11&12: Ankanin'ny Nofy

Leave Andasibe after breakfast and visit the town of Brickaville, an old colonial city known for its sugar cane plantation. Then continue on a dirt track to Manambato and take 1-hour boat transfer to Akanin’ny Nofy. Cross the Rasoabe Lake and then the Pangalanes canal. This channel was built during the colonisation period for commercial use. Ankanin’ny Nofy means nest of the dreams. Surrounded by a huge and blue lake, this is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature. On day 12 visit the Palamarium Private Park. As the bungalows are situated inside the park you will be in direct contact with the lemurs. The flora is spectacular including palm trees, orchids and even vanilla!

Accommodation suggestion: Palmarium

Day 13: Mahambo

After breakfast take the 2-hour boat transfer to Tamatave along the Panalanes canal.
During this mini-cruise you will enjoy observing the life of the people living along the canal with their Bamboo pirogue. This boat transfer is truly amazing!

Accommodation suggestion: La Pirogue

Day 14-16: Sainte-Marie

An early morning drive up to Soanierana Ivongo. Say goodbye to your guide and embark on a 45 minutes boat transfer to Sainte-Marie. Upon arrival in Ambodifototra, a transfer will be waiting for you to bring you to your hotel. Sainte-Marie is an island located in the north-east of Tamatave. It used to be the home of pirates during the 17th century. The queen of the island was even married to one of them! With beautiful beaches, wonderful creeks, a laid-back ambience, an authentic atmosphere, Sainte-Marie is really the ideal destination to relax and unwind for a few days. It is also the best place for whale watching. From July to the end of September, the Humpback whales come to the warm ocean around Madagascar to give birth.

Accommodation suggestion: Soanambo Hotel

Day 17&18: Antananarivo

Take the transfer back to the airport for your flight to “Tana”. Spend the night before flying home tomorrow.

baobab
Lemur
Tsingy
Morondava
Chameleon
Lemur fun
Locals
Whale Watching
Ayeaye

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SATIB