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Sunrise and palm trees reflected in a calm lake

The Best of Southern Madagascar

Example 10 Day Tour
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Enjoy this 10-day tour across the southern highlands of Madagascar and discover classic routes traveling to the countryside, unique tribal villages, and wildlife in the rainforest and National parks. Travel to Madagascar to meet people familiar with tourism that serves a simple and sincere welcome. These are the exchanges that undoubtedly be among your most intense memories. Madagascar is wild, surprising, and has an amazing landscape where the light and the colors delight the photographers. Among other places, visit Antsirabe, Ranomafana, Tanala Village, Isalo National Park, and Ifaty.
Highlands in MadagascarIsalo National ParkLook for ring-tailed lemursRelax on the sunny beaches of MadagascarExplore the lush rainforests of MadagascarAdmire the landscapes of MadagascarSunrise and palm trees reflected in a calm lake
Highlights
  • Discover the amazing landscapes of Madagascar Highlands
  • Meet the lemurs of Ranomafana rainforest
  • Enjoy an easy hike in the National Park of Isalo
  • Look out for ring-tailed lemurs at Anja Reserve
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo

Your guide meets you at the airport and transports you to your city hotel.

Day 2: Ambatolampy | Antsirabe

After breakfast, meet your guide and begin your journey south. View rice fields and traditional villages that characterize the region immediately following Antananarivo. Stop in Ambatolampy and be amazed at how aluminum works to create a cooking pot. In the afternoon, continue your journey to Antsirabe and take time for a city tour and a ride on a "pousse-pousse" (Rick-Shaw), the locals' primary mode of transport.

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

Day 3: Antsirabe

Highlands is the symbolic representation scenery of Madagascar, a unique landscape composed of exceptional hills with crest lines, villages on the slope, houses made of bricks and thatch roof, colorful valley with rice fields with green, ochre, red, beige colors. These magnificent hikes take you to the countryside world with authentic colors, meeting local people who enjoy discussing with visitors. Witness women carry a bucket of water on their heads just like an African farmer working in their rice fields. Meet with a local group that partnered with young guides from the area that organizes the walk and contributes to the region's development.

Duration: 6 to 7h walk

Day 4: Ambositra | Ranomafana

Continue your journey towards the south and shop around in Ambositra, the city of art, culture, and crafts. Meet the warm and welcoming people from the capital of the Zafimaniry territory, who work the wood in a very refined way. This Zafimaniry village is an unforgettable experience 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 in the highest part of Madagascar Highlands. Continue to the east and arrive in the rainforest late afternoon. Discover the night safari and witness the nocturnal species. 

Distance: 230 km
Duration: +/- 5h30 drive and +/-1h visit

Day 5: Ranomafana National Park | Tanala Village

Arrive at the Ranomafana National Park office and explore one of Madagascar's most magnificent primary forest and rain forest locations. With a local guide, explore the park's depths in search of many rare and endangered lemur species, including the golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus), the red-fronted brown lemur (Eulemur fulvus), and the red-bellied lemur (Eulemur rubriventer). Botanically, the park serves as a genetic repository for several rare and indigenous plant species and numerous medicinal herbs. Have lunch at a local restaurant, and in the afternoon, visit the Tanala village located 15kms from Ranomafana. This small village is an ethnic group of Madagascar with one of the most primitive ways of living.

Duration: all the day

Day 6: Ambalavao | Anja Reserve | Ranohira

Leave the highlands this morning. Proceed to Ambalavao, where you will tour the Antemoro paper mill. The secular process of producing this paper from the bark of the mulberry tree Avoha (Bosqueia danguyana) was introduced to Madagascar in the XVth century by the first Arabic migrants tasked with re-transcribing the Koran. It is still manufactured in Ambalavao using the same procedures. Meet several lemurs at Anja tiny Reserve, located on the foothills of this massive granite cliff. Continue driving southwest until you reach the Bara region. Cross Madagascar's largest plateau, which is covered in a lush grassy steppe and crowned by massive IHorombe termite mounds. Arrive in Ranohira, a small town near the Isalo massif and the National Park entrance.

Distance: 350 km
Duration: +/- 7 h drive and +/-2h visit

Day 7: Isalo National Park

A short drive to the foothills of Isalo and the calm stroll with a little knapsack begins. Isalo ruins comprise a massive continental sandstone plateau from the Jurassic age with their stunning landscape, canyons, natural lake, and magical rock erosions. Numerous rock formations of varying shapes exist, and nature has adapted to the dry climate. This park is known for its unusual environment, which is home to indigenous rupicolous flora such as Aloe, Euphorbia, Pachypodium, and Kalanchoe. Explore the Tapia forest and stroll up to the summit for a magnificent panorama.

Duration: from 2 to 6 hours of visit, depending on you.

Day 8: Ilakaka | Tuléar

After breakfast, proceed south to Ilakaka, a little town famous for discovering one of the world's largest alluvial sapphires. Make some stops along the trip to Tuléar to view the Mahafaly tribes. They are well-known for their huge tombs, which are painted and adorned. Additionally, they put and erect carvings on top of the tombs. Before entering Tuléar, see the Mozambique Channel from afar. Walk around the market and eat lunch in town before heading to Ifaty Beach.

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

Day 9: 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 10: Fly to Antananarivo | Return home

After breakfast, transfer to the airport from the hotel.

Distance: 30km
Duration: +/-30mn drive and +/-1h15mn flight

Accommodations

Hotel Thermal Ranomafana

Maison Gallieni

Maison Gallien Library
Maison Gallien Outdoor Lounge
Maison Gallien Building

Plumeria Hotel and Spa

Les Dunes D'Ifaty

The Pool
Lounge Area
The reception

Isalo Rock Lodge

Isalo Rock Lodge
The Pool
Dinning Area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,664

Notes

Select a Date

Rates may vary based on current exchange rate.

Included
  • 2 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • 8 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals 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
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • 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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Erin Correia
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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