Mosaic of Madagascar

18 days / 17 nights | xxx € per person on a 2 people basis (excluding flights) |

An outstanding tour cooked up specially for you to discover Madagascar in a spirit of adventure.

This trip will take you from one wonder to another, from a boat cruise to the fantastic Tsingy of Bemaraha classified UNESCO world heritage, up to the encounter of the Malagasy culture in the Great West. Going through the white sand pristine beauty of Ifaty lagoon bed. Not to mention the impressive crossing of Isalo massif where vegetation, lemurs and natural pools will be waiting for you.

A journey across the South East of Madagascar which marks an encounter with the country’s most beautiful scenery.

STRENGTHS
  • River cruise on Tsiribihina
  • The fantastic Tsingy of Bemaraha
  • Discovering the Malagasy Great West: immersion in Malagasy culture by multiple encounters with locals, adventure in the heart of sometimes remote areas
  • Seaside sites protected by the second longest barrier reef in the world
  • The must-see Isalo massif
  • The lemurs of Ranomafana
  • Antsirabe spa town
  • Discovering the Highlands
DAY 1: ANTANANARIVO – MIANDRIVAZO

Early departure towards Antsirabe, the island’s third largest city famous for its thermal springs. You will have lunch there and then resume the trip to Miandrivazo where you will spend the night. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 2: MIANDRIVAZO – Masiakampy – Going down the TSIRIBIHINA: NOSY Ampela

Transfer to Masiakampy’s quay and proceed down the Tsiribihina River. Lunch on the boat. Discovering an extremely rich fauna and flora: endemic plant species, various bird and lemur species. Overnight stop at Nosy Ampela. Dinner on the boat. Camping night.

DAY 3: NOSY Ampela – Ambatomainty

After breakfast, continue the descent of the Tsiribihina. Stop to visit a huge waterfall by foot. Starting point for a path through the forest leading to a natural pool where you can swim. Returning to the boat and sailing up to Berevo passing by basalt cliffs. Along the crossing, teals, kingfishers, herons, humpback ducks and other birds will show. Lunch on board. Upon arrival at Berevo you will visit the fishing village. Then come back dinner on board. Overnight in tents.

DAY 4: Ambatomainty – BELO ON TSIRIBIHINA – BEKOPAKA

Breakfast and continue cruising. By late morning, in front of a more regular relief, the river’s race widens and gets lost in his sand bed. The river activity livens and announces our arrival in Belo Tsiribihina. Picnic lunch on the barge. The FWD cars from Morondava are waiting for us. After a long and rough track (4 to 5h) we reach the village of Bekopaka, on the doorsteps of the Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park.

DAY 5: BEKOPAKA

Departure for the first visit of the “Tsingy of Bemaraha” National Park, an outlandish site formed by limestone peaks over 30m high, classified World Heritage by UNESCO. Local boat ride in the Manambolo river gorges and excursion in cliffside caves, ancient necropolis of the “Vazimba”, first inhabitants of the island. Going to visit the Small Tsingy by midday.

DAY 6: BEKOPAKA

Heading to the Great Tsingy and hike to Andamozavaky, 17 km from the park entrance. Visiting the park will be the big show, a hike full of surprises, with sometimes cramped mazes, tunnels where the only way forward is on all fours to reach the iconic suspension bridge and other sightseeing points. Photo enthusiasts and thrill seekers, you will love the Park and appreciate your guide’s knowledge of its fauna and flora. Return to the hotel late in the afternoon.

DAY 7: BEKOPAKA – MORONDAVA

Long track day to reach Morondava. Departure from Bekopaka very early in the morning. Crossing the shrub savanna, characteristic of the West. Ferry crossing the Belo Tsiribihina river before continuing the trail to Morondava. Going through a large avenue bordered with Baobab trees and not far from the Sakalava tombs when approaching Morondava, the capital of the Sakalava Menabe. Stop at the famous Baobab Alley in the late afternoon to watch the setting sun.

Morondava: Menabe’s capital, a pleasant city with wide roads, a colorful daily market and a schooners port which seems timeless. You will see its mangroves, true lungs of the world with its unique ecosystem between sea and rivers. An attractive landscape to contemplate during the drive to Morondava. Visiting the sacred baobab, the baobabs in love and the baobab alley. Riding along the Sakalava tombs at the city’s entrance.

DAY 8: MORONDAVA – BELO ON SEA

Early departure to reach Belo on Sea on a very nice track, bush landscape: skeletal vegetation resistant to high droughts. Crossing the saline and the first ford of Kabatomena about 150m wide. Arrival at “Belo on Sea”, a pleasant village of Vezo fishermen bordered with a very clear water where you can stroll to watch dhow building. The yard is one of the busiest shipyards of the west coast of Madagascar.

DAY 9: BELO ON SEA – MANJA

Free morning at Belo on Sea to fully enjoy its beautiful lagoon. Then hitting the road to enter the Sakalava lands. The western arid landscapes are spotted by dry forests. Arrival by mid-afternoon, bush camp or cottage installation. Manja means “blackish” or “nice” and was in the nineteenth century the capital of a small kingdom. For decades, women here are recognized by their “Dokodoko” hairstyle, a set of braids brought together towards the head. Overnight camping.

DAY 10: MANJA – ANDAVADAOKA

Breakfast in camp. Then, early departure for a long trip on a laterite track traced through a beautiful baobab savanna. Arrival at the edge of the Mangoky river and ferry crossing. Proceeding to Morombe by a formerly developed road. Scheduled arrival in mid afternoon. From there, Andavadaoka is just one hour track. Free time to enjoy the turquoise lagoon and white sand beach …

DAY 11: ANDAVADOAKA – SALARY

A half day of very pleasant track to reach Salary. Crossing splendid dunes, xerophytic forests and beautiful fishing villages while catching sight of the blue of the sea from time to time. The arrival at Salary at any time of day is simply enchanting. White sand Beach and turquoise lagoon which gives only one desire: to stay there all year long.

DAY 12: SALARY – IFATY

A last morning at Salary. Then departure for Ifaty. A half day’s drive along the coast. Installation at the hotel. Night and breakfast.

DAY 13: IFATY

Ifaty or free day at sea, farniente on the white sand beach facing the Mozambique Channel. Or fancy water activity? Boat trip on a traditional beam dugout? A dive around a coral reef? Or a land tour through a baobab forest?

DAY 14: Ifaty – Tulear – RANOHIRA

Early departure from Ifaty to reach Ranohira. Possibility of visiting the Antsokay Arboretum. Overview of the South vegetation made up of Baobabs, Aloe, Euphorbiaceae and discovering the South typical landscapes: zebu cattle, impressive tombs of the Mahafaly ethnic tribes, rock formations and desert lands, but also the mushroom villages of sapphire miners. Arrival at the heart of a series of spectacular rock massifs. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 15: RANOHIRA

In the early morning, transfer by car to the foot of Isalo where begins the walking discovery of the park: visiting two sites for the day – the Natural Pool and the Canyons. Short walk to the vehicle’s parking place and ride to the window of Isalo where we can enjoy a dazzling sunset.

DESCRIPTION OF VISITS TO DO IN ISALO

NAMAZA (easy circuit) day or half day
Access: 3km from Ranohira (30mn by car) to the parking lot at the site’s entrance
800m circuit for a 20 minutes walk (not counting stops and times to take pictures)
Elevation: 0 m

Attraction: Browsing through the concave grooves to the Black Pool and the Blue Pool, discovering waterfalls where nest many rare birds, lizards, butterflies …, contemplating the intense green landscape of the canyon, encountering catta lemurs, before taking the opportunity to cool off in the Nymphs Cascade.

NATURAL POOL (medium circuit) day or half day
Access: 3km from Ranohira (30mn by car) to the parking lot at the site’s entrance
3km circuit for a 1h30 walk (not counting stops and times to take pictures)
Elevation: 60m

Attraction: the most visited circuit for its delightful green pool. Lush oasis fed by a warm waterfall. Passing through the geological ages on the way and observing the massif dispositions and layers. Discern also the plants with amazing adaptations and awesome landscapes.

CANYONS OF MAKIS AND RATS (sporty circuit) must be a day
Access: 17km from Ranohira (45 minutes by car) to the parking lot at the site’s entrance
9km circuit for a 5h walk (not counting stops and times to take pictures)
Elevation: 60m

This tour will take you to a beautiful panorama made up of cliffs and ricefields and opens on the so-called Canyons of Rats and of Makis. Visiting former royal town with its typical walls, royal tomb and Bara tombs are also on the schedule. Travelling up the lush winding gorges invites you to discover the wonderful rain forest flora and its several lemur bands. There are also birds, butterflies, lizards …

DAY 16: RANOHIRA – FIANARANTSOA

Early departure towards Ranomafana crossing the desert plateau of Horombe and the legendary South Gate which marks the end of the vast southern region. Total change of scenery: southern savannas make way for highlands vineyards and rice fields. Stop in the city of Ambalavao where a major cattle market is held every wednesday and thursday. This place is also famous in the Big Island for its vineyards. Visiting the most famous Antaimoro paper workshop. Proceeding to Fianarantsoa in the afternoon. Hotel check-in on arrival.

DAY 17: FIANARANTSOA – ANTSIRABE

in the morning, city tour of Fianarantsoa, a stronghold of the Catholic religion in Madagascar. Crossing the highlands, punctuated by hamlets of clay houses, with typical rice fields below. Arrival at Ambositra, a small highland town specialized in woodworking (furniture, sculptures and marquetry). Lunch before visiting the sculpture workshops. Proceeding to Antsirabe, spa town of colonial times. Small city tour by rickshaw.

DAY 18: ANTSIRABE – ANTANANARIVO

A morning sightseeing tour in the “city of water” will allow you to take in the Highlands atmosphere and a city which has preserved beautiful Merina houses as well as a few colonial buildings, including the spa, built in the early century on the banks of the Ranomafana Lake. Visiting local craftsmen: workshops of semi-precious stone cutters, sweet making and embroidery. Back to Antananarivo, passing through eucalyptus and mimosa fields, as well as staggered ricefields. You will see the highlands cultivation techniques and many types of house architecture along the way.

INCLUDED
  • Car rental for the following trips:
    • Antananarivo – Tulear
    • Day in Antananarivo
  • French speaking driver guide
  • Fuel for the entire circuit
  • Accommodation in single or double or triple room in hotels
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners as mentioned in the program
  • Entrance and local guides fees at the following sites:
    • Ranomafana National Park
    • National Park Isalo
  • Receptions and ground transfers as provided
  • Visits and excursions as mentioned in the program
  • Tourist tax in hotels
EXCLUDED
  • International and domestic flights as well as relevant airport taxes
  • “Free” activities and services
  • Drinks, tips and extra
  • Visits written in italics or with the marking “opportunities to”
  • Casualty