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Explore the lush rainforests of Madagascar

Treasures of Madagascar: Island Exploration from South to North

Example 16 Day Tour
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Symbolic and natural treasures abound on the Great Island, which features stunning scenery, a rich cultural diversity, and welcoming local people. This 16-day tour of Madagascar highlands' southwestern coast and pristine beaches of the north are both breathtaking. From the lemurs of Amber Mountain National Park to the ancient tsingy of Mahaloka and its caves to the crystal-clear beaches of Nosy Be, Madagascar has something for everyone.
Stone blades of Tsingy de Bemaraha, MadagascarBlack-and-white ruffed lemur in MadagascarExplore Madagascar's old towns, built into the rolling hillsidesExplore Antananarivo, MadagascarLocals spending time on the beautiful sunny beach.Relax on the beaches of MadagascarExplore the lush rainforests of Madagascar
Highlights
  • Discover the amazing diversity of landscapes of the Highlands
  • Spot wildlife at Ranomafana rainforest
  • Explore and walk along the splendid three bays in Diego Suarez
  • Marvel at the beautiful red and grey Tsingy of Ankarana
  • Swim in the turquoise lagoon of Ifaty
Places Visited
  • Africa
  • Madagascar
  • Antananarivo
  • Antsirabe
  • Antsiranana
  • Diego Suarez
  • Fianarantsoa
  • Isalo National Park
  • Nature Lodge Ambre
  • Nosy Be
  • Ranomafana
Trip Type:
  • Independent
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Antananarivo

Arrive in Antananarivo on the flight of your choice today. Meet your guide at the airport and transfer to the hotel in town.

Day 2: Ambatolampy | Antsirabe

After your breakfast at the hotel, meet with your guide and start heading south. See rice fields and typical villages that represent the landscape right after Antananarivo. Stop in Ambatolampy and discover how amazing the work of aluminum is to make a cooking pot. Continue your journey towards Antsirabe in the afternoon and take your time for a city tour and experience “pousse-pousse” (Rick-Shaw) riding the main transport for locals. 

Distance: 170 km
Duration: +/- 3h30 hours
 

Day 3: Ambositra | Ranomafana

Continue your journey towards the south and shop around in Ambositra. Ambositra is the city of art, culture, and crafts. Discover that they are warm and welcoming people. Capital of the Zafimaniry territory, these people are from the heights of Betsileo work the wood in a very refined way. This Zafimaniry village is an unforgettable experience. Discover their refined art, worked in wood. Houses, utensils, and everyday objects are hand-crafted in geometric shapes of Austronesian motifs. Stroll around the town and continue to Ranomafana and witness the Betsileo tribe area located in the highest part of Madagascar Highlands. Continue to the east and, arrive in the rainforest in the late afternoon. Discover the night safari and witness the nocturnal species. 

Distance: 230 km
Duration: +/- 5h

Day 4: Ranomafana National Park | Fianarantsoa

After breakfast, discover the Ranomafana National forest. One of the best sites which the rainforest of Madagascar can give you. Walk and visit the National Park with a local guide to watch the bamboo lemurs, red-fronted brown lemur, red-bellied brown lemur living in the forest. 

Distance: 70 km
Duration: +/- 5h of visit and 2h drive

Day 5: Ambalavao | Anja reserve | Ranohira

This morning, leave the highlands and, at Ambalavao, visit the Antemoro paper factory. The secular process to make this paper by the bark of mulberry tree Avoha (Bosqueia danguyana) was introduced in Madagascar in the XVth century by the first Arabic migrants to re-transcribe the Koran. It is still made to the same processes in Ambalavao. Meet some lemurs in Anja small Reserve at this huge granite rock foothill. Continue to drive towards the southwest and enter the Bara region. Cross the largest plateau of Madagascar constituted by a beautiful herbaceous steppe, topped with huge termite nests of IHorombe. Arrive at Ranohira which is close to Isalo massif and the National Park gate.

Distance: 290 km
Duration: +/- 5 h drive

Day 6: Isalo National Park

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Isalo foothill and hike inside the massif with just a small rucksack. This simple walk takes you to the amazing landscape towards the natural swimming pool. Swim and relax at the pool and take a picnic lunch at the Tapia forest. It is possible to walk around and explore the summit of the surrounding mountains to enjoy the view.

Duration: from 1h30 to 6 hours of the walk according to the chosen itinerary

Day 7: Ilakaka | Tuléar

After breakfast, continue your journey to go south and visit Ilakaka, a small town well known for the discovery of one of Earth's largest known alluvial sapphires. On the way to Tuléar, make some stops to see the Mahafaly tribes. They are known for the large tombs they built and, they are painted and decorated. They also put carvings and erected them on top of the tombs. The Mozambique Channel can be seen from far away before we get into Tuléar. Walk around the market and have lunch in town before we go to the beach at Ifaty.

Distance: 280 km
Duration: +/- 6h drive

Day 8: Free Day at Ifaty

Today is free to relax and explore different activities from the hotel during the day at leisure on the edges of the Mozambique Channel. Make the most of the sea and the lagoon by diving, dugout ride with Vezo fishermen, swimming, or just leisure. Hikers can discover the inland specific and extraordinary vegetation composed of euphorbia, baobab, didiereaceae, aloes and, those with thorns are kings in the south.
 

Day 9: Fly to Antananarivo

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport and catch your flight to Antananarivo. Depending on the flight schedule, take your lunch either at Ifaty or in Tuléar or Antananarivo restaurant. If you have enough time, stop at the crafts market in Antananarivo for shopping. Transfer to the hotel and take your dinner at the restaurant.

Duration: +/- 1 h of flight

Day 10: Fly to Diego Suarez

Transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Diego Suarez. Your guide welcomes you at the airport of Diego Suarez. Explore the region and witness the Indian Ocean wherein opens to three beautiful bays (Sakalava bay, Pigeons bay, and Dunes bay). Walk along the beach and make the most of the time to relax and swim before going to Joffre Ville.

Distance: 90 km
Duration: +/-4h drive; 1h15 flight + /-3h of walking

Day 11: Montagne d’Ambre National Park

After breakfast, early morning at the hotel, drive to the park and start the visit of Amber Mountain National Park with a local guide to this luxuriant forest. This park is the first National Park created in Madagascar and, It has special vegetation with tree ferns, palms, orchids, and several rare species of trees. Waterfalls and crater lakes decorate your walk and discover the seven kinds of lemurs in the forest. You can meet the crowned lemur and Sanford lemur. You might see chameleons, geckos, leaf-tailed geckos, and many colorful birds. There is a possibility of walking down heading back to the hotel in the afternoon.

Duration: from 2 to 4 h of walking

Day 12: Diego Suarez | The Red Tsingy | Iharana

Today you can leave Joffre Ville to reach Mahamasina village and on the way to visit the red tsingy. The geological history of this formation is the same as Tsingy of Ankarana but with some thousands of years of difference. Red Tsingy is due to the erosion of sandstone, instead of limestone for Ankarana Tsingy.  Drive back to the main road and continue until you reach Mahamasina until you reach the edge of a lake. In front of the Tsingy massif, within a few miles distance from Mahavavy River, you will arrive at your beautiful and relaxing lodge.

Distance: 250 km
Duration: +/- 5h and +/-1h visit

Day 13: The Lake of Anjavy | The Grey Tsingy and Mandresy Cave

Enjoy your half-day to discover the Tsingy and its world. By dugout canoe, enjoy the borders of the lake and its luxurious fauna and flora. Various bird species such as heron, cattle egret, kingfishers, drongos which are considered as the king of the birds, or various colorful and shimmering butterflies.

By hiking, the tsingy-tsingy and mandresy cave you can explore this huge cavity full of stalagmite and stalactite. See the panoramic view of Ambatomiloloha with a private path with ladders, bridges, guardrails. The starting point is the camp itself with two choices either depart on foot or a boat. The biodiversity, the endemic ecosystem will reveal themselves to you during this thrilling experience and witness lemurs, butterflies, birds, various colorful flora, and other invertebrates.

Back in your hotel for the lunch and at night, walk along the Tsingy massif to reach the cliff edge and then, watch the animals which are mainly active at night.

Duration: +/- 30 mn of pirogue, +/-4h walk in the morning and +/-1h nocturnal walk

Day 14: Ambilobe | Ambanja | Nosy Be

Continue driving going to the south and your route passes through the Ambilobe region and its cashews plantations. Then the Ambanja area with coffee, cocoa, and ylang-ylang plantations. Arriving at Ankify port and board on a speedboat for 45 minutes ride towards Hellville, the capital of Nosy Be. By taxi boat, reach the hotel at the beachfront.


Distance: 250 km
Duration: +/- 6 hours + 45mn navigation

Day 15: Free Day at Nosy Be

Enjoy activities that are possible from the hotel such as water sport, fishing, excursion in some islands, boat trips, motorbike or bicycle renting. The hotel reception will advise you and help you with all these activities. Walk to Mont Passot in the late afternoon for a beautiful panorama of the island sunset or just lazing around on the beach. Stay your evening and relax at your hotel in front of the sea.

Day 16: Nosy be | Return home

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport by the hotel.

Accommodations

Ravintsara Wellness

Ravintsara Wellness Pool
Ravintsara Wellness Spa
Ravintsara Wellness Dinning area

Couleur Cafe

Lounge
Dinning Hall
Antsirabe Station

Hotel Thermal Ranomafana

Hotel Le Jardin du Roy

Bautiful scenery at Hotel Le Jardin du Roy
The Pool
SPA at Hotel Le Jardin du Roy

Villa Sylvestre

Villa Sylvestre Facade
Villa Sylvestre Dinning and Garden Area
Villa Sylvestre Dinning area

Les Dunes D'Ifaty

The Pool
Lounge Area
The reception

Palissandre Hotel & Spa

Palissandre Hotel & Spa
The Pool
Dinning Area

Nature Lodge Ambre

Nature Lodge Ambre
Nature Lodge Ambre
Dinning area

Iharana Bush Camp

Standard Lodge
Natural Pool
Iharana Bush Camp

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$3,896

Notes

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Rates may vary based on current exchange rate.

Included
  • 5 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 15 Nights Accommodations
  • 14 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Private English speaking guide
  • Transfer hotel/airport 
  • Park and Entrance Fees 
  • Driver and Vehicle included
  • All excursion transfer
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa Fees
  • Tips, gratuities, personal expenses:
  • International Flights - International or domestic flights to or within

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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