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Itinerary: Madagascar in Depth

Madagascar in Depth

The world's fourth largest island is an incredible place of unique traditions and astonishing biodiversity, so distinctive from anywhere that it is sometimes dubbed the 'island continent'.

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Madagascar in Depth
Madagascar in Depth

Day 1 - Antananarivo
Arrive in Antananarivo and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight Hotel Bois Vert or similar.

Day 2 - Miandrivazo
A long drive as we leave the capital and head west to the town of Miandrivazo, on the banks of the river Mahajilo, stopping at villages along the way and arriving late afternoon. Upon arrival we make preparations for our river journey. Overnight Hotel Princesse Tsiribinha or similar. (B)

Day 3 - Tsiribinha River
Transfer to Masekampy and from here we board our boat to begin our descent of the Tsiribinha River. We pass through pretty landscapes of mango trees, tobacco plantations and Sakalava villlages, then enter a large gorge where we should be able to spot lemurs on the rocks around us. In the late afternoon we set up camp on a huge sandbank that borders the forest. Overnight camping. (BLD)

Day 4 - Tsiribinha River
Continue our river journey west, stopping at a beautiful waterfall and passing high cliffs and small villages, with opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife along the way. Overnight camping. (BLD)

Day 5 - Belo sur Tsiribinha - Bekopaka
Make our way towards Belo, encountering our first baobabs along the way. At Belo we leave our boat behind and travel by 4wd to Bekopaka. Our route today takes us across the Manambolo rivers, which we cross by local ferry. Overnight Hotel Olympe du Bemaraha or similar. (BL)

Day 6 - Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
Explore the unique landscapes of Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, with its unusual limestone pinnacles. We take boats on the Manambolo River through its stunning gorges to discover caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the tombs of the Vazimba people. We then walk through the Tsingy to get right into the heart of this incredible landscape. Overnight Hotel Olympe du Bemaraha or similar. (B)

Day 7 - Morondava
A long drive south to Morondava, stopping at the iconic 'Avenue des Baobabs' along the way. Overnight Kimony Resort or similar. (B)

Day 8 - Antsirabe
Return east, driving to the picturesque town of Antsirabe in the central highlands. This is one of the country's prettiest and most elegant cities, with friendly inhabitants, tree lined avenues and locally known for its 'pousse-pousse', the wooden hand pulled rickshaws that you will see everywhere in the streets. Overnight Hotel Vatolahy or similar. (B)

Day 9 - Betafo - Ambositra
Spend the morning walking through the region of Betafo, exploring the village and the local market. From here head to Ambositra, a centre for the Zafimaniry people. Overnight Artisan Hotel or similar. (BL)

Day 10 - Fianarantsoa
Explore Ambositra this morning then drive to Fianarantsoa. We spend the afternoon exploring the old city, situated dramatically on a hilltop and with a stunning collection of typical Malagasy architecture dating from the 19th century. Overnight Cotsoyannis Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 11 - Betsileo Villages - Tsaranoro Valley
Spend the morning hiking through the lands of the Betsileo people, in a beautiful setting near Fianarantsoa. We have plenty of opportunities to meet local farmers, and enjoy a typical Malagasy lunch at a local home. This afternoon we head to the Tsaranoro Valley where we spend the next two nights. Overnight Tsara Tented Camp or similar. (BLD)

Day 12 - Tsaranoro
We spend our time exploring this beautiful valley on foot. Dominated by high granite peaks the valley is home to a number of different villages and we are able to meet local people and learn about the complex traditions that hold sway in this part of the country. We also visit waterfalls, a sacred forest, and look out for the lemurs which live here. This is a delightful part of Madagascar, well off the beaten track, and one of the highlights of the tour. Overnight Tsara Tented Camp or similar. (BD)

Days 13-14 - Isalo National Park
We drive west to Isalo National Park, with its interesting rock formations and lunar style landscapes. On Day 14 we spend time exploring the park on foot with its canyons and golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of rock - this is a strikingly beautiful area and we explore on foot, walking to the Canyon of Lemurs and a natural swimming situated in an idyllic location. Overnight Isalo Ranch or similar. (B)

Day 15 - Antananarivo
Drive to Tulear and then fly back to Antananarivo. Overnight Hotel Bois Vert or similar. (B)

Day 16 - Andasibe National Park
Drive east to Andasibe National Park, and visit the private reserve of Vakona. This evening we take a night walk in Andasibe to see some of its nocturnal wildlife. Overnight Andasibe Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 17 - Andasibe National Park
Spend the day exploring Andasibe and its surrounds. We take morning and evening walks in the forest in search of the Indri, Madagascar's largest species of lemur, as well as other species. Overnight Andasibe Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 18 - Manambato - Akanin'ny Nofy
Drive to Manambato and then board a boat and cruise on the Pangalanes canal to Akanin'ny Nofy. Running parallel to the Indian Ocean, our journey takes us through a series of lakes and lagoons to Lake Ampitabe, where we stay for the next two nights. Overnight Bush House or similar. (BD)

Day 19 - Akanin'ny Nofy
In the morning we visit Palmarium Reserve, home to a dozen species of lemurs including the fascinating aye-aye. In the afternoon we travel by boat to visit a Betsimisiraka village for an insight into local life. Overnight Bush House or similar. (BD)

Day 20 - Manambato - Antananarivo
Return by boat to Manambato, then drive back to Antananarivo for your final night in Madagascar. On the way we stop at a private reptile reserve to see species endemic to the region. Overnight Hotel Bois Vert or similar. (B)

Day 21 - Antananarivo
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

What's included:
Airport transfers - We include arrival and departure transfers regardless of whether you book flights yourself, or we book them for you. If you're booking them yourself, then please let us know the details so that we can arrange the transfers. Please note though that if you arrive earlier than Day 1 of the tour, and leave after the final day, we may need to make an additional charge for an airport transfer.

Accommodation - Accommodation as listed in the dossier. The nature of the destinations that we operate may sometimes mean that we need to change hotels, but we'll always endeavour to keep the same standards. Please be aware that as we operate in many countries where tourism is in its infancy, hotel standards may not be the same as you're used to elsewher

Guides - In most cases you will be accompanied by one guide from start to finish. However for very small groups, rather than having one guide with you throughout the trip you would have the services of different guides in different destinations.

Meals - As listed within the itinerary / dossier (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner). These will vary from trip to trip - in some areas it makes sense to include all meals while in others there is a good choice of restaurants and we feel people might like to 'do their own thing' now and again.

Entrance fees - Entrance fees are listed for those sites that we mention within the itinerary. If there are any other sites that you'd like to see, these would be at your own expense.

Domestic flights - One domestic flight is included within this trip.

What's not included:
Visas - We don't arrange visas for our travellers, but if an invitation letter is necessary then we will arrange this for you. If you need any advice with visas then let us know.

Airport taxes - If there are any departure taxes to pay that are not included within the cost of your ticket, you'll need to pay these yourself.

International flights - Many of our travellers arrive from different destinations and so we don't include international flights in the cost of our tours. If however you would like us to book flights for you, then just let us know and we'll be happy to discuss your options.

Travel Insurance - If you need any assistance with this, then let us know - although we can't arrange it ourselves we can point you in the direction of a reputable provider that can assist.

To receive the full details of this trip via email please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information to peruse at your leisure. Please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information.

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