Ring-tailed lemurs, Madagascar

Baobabs, Beaches and Lemurs Itinerary

A comprehensive overview of Madagascar's flora, fauna and landscapes, this trip is very hard to beat.

14 days from £4,180pp plus international flights.

Full itinerary

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Talk to Christine - Travel Consultant

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Antananarivo (Tana for short), the capital of Madagascar © Shutterstock

Day 1

Arrive in Tana

You are met on arrival at Antananarivo (Tana) airport and transferred to your hotel, on a hill overlooking the city. Having had time to relax, you are collected by your driver-guide for a tour of the city sites. This concentrates on the historic old city, dominated by the imposing edifice of the Rova, the Queen's palace. You can walk or drive through the upper town where there are some fine colonial mansions and churches. At the end of the tour you are driven back to your hotel. Dinner is available on request or you can walk to a restaurant nearby.

Beach at Morondava, Madagascar © Gil.K,Shutterstock

Day 2

Tana to Morondava

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel after which you are transferred to the airport for the flight to Morondava. Depending on the flight schedule, there should be time for a trip by pirogue (dugout canoe) from the port of Botry, where traditional dhows are moored, into the mangroves and Betania, a Vezo fishing village, The Vezo are a semi-nomadic people who derive their living from fishing, travelling up to 50 km from the coast in small pirogues without the aid of any navigational instruments. You should see them today, returning with their catches.

Breakfast, dinner

Fossa at Kirindy, Madagascar © DMikhail,Shutterstock

Day 3

Kirindy Forest and Avenue of Baobabs

This morning you are driven north to Kirindy forest, a private reserve which is one of the best places in the country to see the fossa, Madagascar's largest carnivore and predator. The dry deciduous forest also harbours several species of lemur, many birds and reptiles. Returning back to Morondava you stop at the Avenue of Baobabs, a stretch of road flanked by some 25 to 30 mighty baobab trees, one of Madagascar's most photographed sites. After time to enjoy this special location you are driven back to hotel with time to shower before dinner.

Breakfast, dinner

Rickshaws in Antsirabe, Madagascar highlands © Pierre-Yves Babelon,Shutterstock

Day 4

Morondava to Antsirabe

Leaving the coast behind you set off into the highlands. Your driver is happy to as often as you wish to allow you to stretch your legs and take in the scenery, which includes mountains, rice fields, and to visit villages to observe everyday life. Your destination is Antsirabe, a spa town. Your hotel, Plumeria Hotel, set in central part of town. You can take your pick of local restaurants for dinner tonight, or opt to dine at the hotel which offers French and local cuisines.

Breakfast

River in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar © Hajakely,Shutterstock

Day 5

Antsirabe to Ranomafana

This morning travel about 100 km south to Ambositra, a city known for its craftsmanship. Wood carving is one of the most prominent, and is a speciality of the Zafimaniry community, who for centuries have worked as foresters, carpenters and sculptors. Their works are adorned with distinctive intricate geometric patterns.
After lunch the drive continues to Ranomafana, and your home for the next 2 nights, Hotel Thermal. You have the chance to go for a nocturnal walk in the rainforest to see chameleons, lemurs and frogs.

Breakfast, dinner

Greater bamboo lemur in Ranomafana, Madagascar © DThyberg,Shutterstock

Day 6

Ranomafana

Today you'll get your first real experience of Madagascar's rich and varied wildlife on a morning hike. Ranomafana National Park is home to no fewer than 12 species of lemur including the golden bamboo (for which the park is famed), greater bamboo and the elusive aye-aye. Abundant bird life, dozens of reptiles and gorgeous orchids are also found in this impressive forest landscape. The hike can last anything from 2 hours to a full day, depending on your wishes and interests. If you opt for a shorter visit you can have lunch back at the hotel or in a local restaurant and then take a stroll around Ranomafana village in the afternoon. If you plan to spend all day in the park you can order a picnic lunch from the hotel to take with you.

Breakfast, dinner

Paper-making in Ambalavao, Madagascar © AGMarks

Day 7

Ranomafana to Isalo via Ambalavao

Leaving the highlands behind you journey south to the town of Ambalavao. Here you tour a factory producing Antemoro paper, beautifully embedded with flowers and made by hand, a highly sought after product exported to many nations. You also have time to visit the Anja Community Reserve 13 km south of the town. The 30 hectares are managed by a local association and this is a fine example of people working to preserve and protect their natural environment. On your guided walk you can expect to see diverse plant species, and wildlife including chameleons and ring-tailed lemurs. After time for lunch you continue to Isalo and your hotel. Isalo Rock Lodge.

Breakfast

The Isalo Window, Madagascar © AGMarks

Day 8

Isalo National Park

Today you can explore Isalo National Park. It's an area of contrasting scenery: deep gorges, impressive canyons, rock formations eroded by centuries of wind and rain, soaring mountains and tumbling waterfalls. You are led by a park ranger on a hike to see not only the varied landscapes and panoramic views but also the wildlife including 'dancing' sifakas, ring-tailed lemurs and 77 species of birds. If you're lucky you may catch sight of the rare Benson's rock thrush. There's also time to rest and enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the park's natural pools. The duration of the hike can be tailored to suit you.

Breakfast

Verreaux's sifaka, Madagascar © HLansdown,Shutterstock

Day 9

Isalo to Tolaria

You travel west this morning, towards the coast. Your first scheduled stop is at Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, the most important remnant of dry deciduous forest in the country, and a transition zone between the dry and humid forests. As you follow one of the trails, keep a look out for red-fronted brown, pale fork-marked and Hubbard's sportive lemurs, as well as Verraux's sifaka and an abundance of birds, plus reptiles and amphibians. Re-board the vehicle as you head to Tolaria where you will be spending the night.

Breakfast

Whale Tail Madagascar © Shutterstock

Day 10

Tolaria to Anakao

The transfer from Tolaria to Anakao is done by boat, this is the safest and fastest way. After breakfast you'll be taken to the port for the morning speed boat. It takes less than an hour to get to Anakao. You might be lucky enough to see dolphins and flying fish from the boat. From June to September keep your eyes open for whales. You will arrive at Anakao Ocean Lodge just before lunch, then it's time to get acquainted with the beach with views of the Mozambique Channel and beyond.

Breakfast, dinner

Sifaka © Shutterstock

Day 11

Tsimanampetsotsa National Park

Tsimanampetsotsa National Park is named after the spectacular lake. You'll explore the park today which is made up of the lake, spiny forest, huge baobabs and banyan trees. The sand dunes along the coast are covered by a grassy blanket. This is a birders paradise with over 100 species of bird found here, but that's not all, it's also home to the extremely rare Grandidier's mongoose and four species of lemur (Verreaux's sifaka, grey-brown mouse lemur, ring-tailed lemur and the white-footed sportive lemur). After a picnic lunch there will be some free time to spend on Ambola beach before returning to the hotel.

Breakfast, dinner

Nosy Ve © Shutterstock

Day 12

Nosy Ve

Set sail for Nosy Ve, a small uninhabited island, just 1km in length. The crossing takes less than an hour - wind dependent. Nosy Ve is an important breeding ground for the red-tailed tropic bird, and depending on the time of year you may see adults nesting with their young. The island has an amazing beach and is great for snorkelling. Enjoy your time here on this Robinson Crusoe island. You will head back to Anakao early afternoon, avoiding the winds.

Breakfast, dinner

Markets of Tana © AGM

Day 13

Fly to Antananarivo

After an early breakfast you will take the return trip to Tolaria, the boat leaves from in front of the hotel at around 7.30am. In Tolaria you will be driven to the airport where you take the flight to the capital. As always you'll be met and time permitting, this afternoon you can visit some of the handicraft markets for last minute purchases. You'll be spending the last night in Tana.

Breakfast

Breakfast at Relais des Plateaux © RealaisDesPlateaux

Day 14

Departure

It's your last day. You're driver will pick you up and you'll be dropped off at the international terminal at the airport to check in for your flight home.

Breakfast

Alex-neaves
Talk to Alex - Travel Consultant

Call:  01473 890499

Start planning your tailor-made holiday now. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.

Enquire

Client Rating for Madagascar 5/5 from 9 reviews