You arrive at the international airport in Antananarivo where you are met and transferred to your first night hotel, Maison Gallieni. The hotel is on hill overlooking the city, Relax after your flight, enjoy a swim in the pool or relax with a massage. This is the start of your Madagascan adventure!
Tana To Antsirabe
After breakfast you have a guided tour of the old city and upper town of Tana, including a visit to the Rova, the queen's palace. You also see some colonial residences and churches, and Malagasy houses built entirely of wood. Leaving the city behind you travel along RN7 towards Antsirabe. Break the journey at Ambatolampy with a visit to a traditional aluminium foundry producing cooking pots. The drive continues into the highlands, passing villages and farms, to Antsirabe and Couleur Café where you spend the night.
Antsirabe To Ranomafana
This morning you head south across the highlands, with a possible stop at a gemstone workshop before arriving in Ambositra, a well known centre for woodcarving. The local Zafimaniry community have been associated with forestry and carpentry as well as carving since the 18th century and today produce beautiful furniture and statues with distinctive and intricate motifs. After this stop and lunch, your journey continues to Ranomafana. Having settled in to your hotel you are taken out for a night walk in the rainforest, to spot frogs, chameleons and lemurs, an introduction to the fascinating wildlife of Madagascar.
Ranomafana National Park
Today you visit the forest in daylight. The lush plants are home to 12 species of lemur including the golden bamboo, greater bamboo, white ruffed and Milne-Edwards sifaka, as well as large numbers of reptiles. Bird life is similarly profuse with well over 100 species recorded. Look out, too, for tenrecs, small mammals, looking like a cross between a hedgehog and a shrew. The diversity of plant and animal life cannot fail to impress. Later you return to the your hotel.
Ranomafana To Isalo
After breakfast you depart Ranomafana for the drive to Ambalavao, where you tour a factory making paper embellished with plants and flowers. Known as Antemoro paper after the early Arab settlers who first produced it, this in now popular around the globe. You also spend time at the Anja Community Reserve, a nature reserve managed by the local community where there are excellent chances of observing ring-tailed lemurs. The day's drive concludes at Isalo Rock Lodge, your home for the next 2 nights.
Isalo National Park
It's time to explore! You set off on a hike in Isalo National Park led by a park ranger, to see its deep canyons, rugged gorges, tumbling waterfalls and strange rock formations. It's superb walking territory, with chances to enjoy panoramic views and to cool off in natural rock pools. There are lemurs here and you may see sifakas, ring-tailed and brown lemurs, as well as numerous birds and reptiles. At the end of your visit you return to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes before dinner.
Isalo To Ifaty
You follow the RN7 as it leads south west through villages and on to Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park where you walk through deciduous forest and have views of mighty baobab trees and exotic orchids. This is good lemur-spotting territory (8 species), and there are a great many species of birds, reptiles and amphibians so there is plenty to see during your walk. Back in the vehicle you travel to the coast and your hotel overlooking the Mozambique Channel. Tonight you dine in the restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisine and some succulent seafood.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before setting out for a walk in nearby Renaila Reserve. In this private reserve you can explore the spiny forest, terrain unique to this region of the Madagascar. There are also many ancient baobabs. There are over 60 species of birds here, as well as lemurs and chameleons. You are then taken back to the hotel and have the afternoon free to relax, rest by the pool, and enjoy a drink at the bar while enjoying views of the sea.
Iftay To Tana
After breakfast by the beach you leave the coast, travelling by plane back to Tana. You are met on arrival and driven to your overnight hotel, Relais des Plateaux. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Hotel facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool, sunbathing deck and restaurant.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Later you are transferred the short distance to the airport for your flight back home.
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