Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

17 Day Tour Starting in Antananarivo
  • Code: MAG-4C-17N

    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Summary

    The Four Corners of Central Madagascar is a guaranteed departure tour running all year round. The tour visits many of Madagascar's most signficant attractions including the World Heritage Site of Bekopaka with its impressive "Tsingy" rock formations, the famous "Allee Des Baobabs" and Baobab forests, the beaches of Andavadaoka and Ifaty, the National Parks of Isalo and Ranomafana, and the elegant colonial town of Antsirabe.

    This tour is run all year round.

    Departures are guaranteed.

    Day 1 - Arrival Antananarivo

    Antananarivo (Tana)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Welcome to Madagascar. A representative will meet you on arrival at the international airport, and take you to your hotel to rest and prepare for the following days' tour.

    Accommodation:

    Island Continent Hotel - Bed and Breakfast



    Day 2

    Antananarivo to Miandrivazo

    Journey Time: 7Hrs (385km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    After breakfast you will begin your first leg southward to Antsirabe. This journey will take you through a highland landscape with rice-terraces lining the way through the valleys with their distinct eroded features known as "Lavaka".

    Arrival at the elegant city of Antsirabe will be during the afternoon, in time to have a good look around. The city was founded in 1856 and has a real European feel about it due to its cool climate and layout. After visiting the thermal springs you will proceed onwards to the hotel in Miandrivazo. The drive will take you back into the highlands passing through numerous villages where you will catch a glimpse of local rural life.

    Accommodation:

    Princesse Du Tsiribihina B&B



    Day 3

    Miandrivazo to Kirindi

    Journey Time: 6Hrs (310km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Today you will make your way to Kirindi. Passing through a landscape of rice fields and Baobab trees, which eventually give way to empty hills where the soil is a rich red colour.

    Once you will have checked into the lodge, you will go for a three-hour hike in Kirindi Park accompanied by a guide. The park is rich in wildlife and is home to 8 species of lemurs and over 60 species of birds. Other species that also live here are the "Giant Jumping Rat", the "Fossa" (the lemur's only predator) as well as dozens of amphibian and reptile species. At 6pm, your guide will take for a night walk to see the nocturnal animal species as they venture out to feed.

    Accommodation:

    Kirindi Lodge B&B



    Day 4

    Kirindi to Bekopaka

    Journey Time: 5Hrs (140km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Today you will have an early morning start; the four-hour drive by 4x4 will take you to Tsimafana through the Baobab forests and the red plains to the Western half of the island. A river ferryboat crossing will take you to Belo and then onto Bekopaka for an adventure filled drive along a dirt track.

    This leg takes you deep into the heart of Madagascar - the African bush side of the country with its dry and red soil. Here you can experience what life is really like for the Malagassy people in the harshest region of the country.

    A visit to a small tsingy is in the program once you have settled into the hotel later in the afternoon.

    Accommodation:

    Olympe Du Bemahara B&B



    Day 5

    Bekopaka: National Park of Tsingy De Bemahara

    Journey Time: Less than 1Hr from hotel to Tsingy Parks


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Following breakfast you will depart for a six-hour hike to the "Big Tsingy". This limestone mountain is classified as a World Heritage site. This mount is spectacularly eroded into hundreds of karst pinnacles, which give it its distinctive form. Here, nature seems to be in perfect harmony with this wild and jagged mountainous landscape.

    The flora consists of a dry western deciduous forest, and plants typical of these dry limestone areas. Species include of tree include; Aloe, Baobab Anasonia and the red-flowered flamboyant tree Delonix Regia. Madagascar's sole native Banana species (Musa Perrieri) is also found here.

    The Flora consists of Pachypodium and orchids growing in the rocky areas. The area is rich in Fauna as well. Fifty-three species of bird are found here, as well as seven species of Lemur - including Deckens Sifaka Propithecus Verreauxi Deckeni. Also, keep an eye out for the Stump-Tailed Chameleon (Brookesia Perarmata).

    Accommodation:

    Olympe Du Bemahara B&B



    Day 6

    Bekopaka - Morondava

    Journey Time: tbc (210km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Today you will head straight to Morondava. On the way you will stop at the world famous site of "Allee Des Baobabs". Here you will have a photo opportunity with the magnificent baobab trees in the background. The species here is the Grandidier's Baobab and Andasonia Baobab.

    Accommodation:

    Chez Maggie B&B



    Day 7

    Morondava to Belo Sur Mer

    Journey Time: tbc


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    You will start the day by driving to Belo. The journey will take you through the region of Sand Dunes until reaching the coast at Belo Sur Mer. This is a small fishermen town on the beach. The town is also known for its small boat building industry in the traditional Malagassy style.

    Accommodation:

    Ecolodge Du Menabe B&B



    Day 8

    Belo Sur Mer to Manja

    Journey Time: tbc


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    The journey today will take you to Manja, across the dunes and villages. You will cross the Kabatomena River by driving through it.

    Accommodation:

    Hotel tbd B&B



    Day 9

    Manja to Andavadaoka

    Journey Time: tbc


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Today's early morning start will take you to Morombe, and then onwards to Andavadoaka arriving before the evening. The highlight of the day will be the view of Table Mountain and the Baobab forests that you will pass by en-route.

    Accommodation:

    Hotel tbd B&B



    Day 10

    Andavadaoka

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    This day will be a day of leisure, a chance for you to relax and unwind in the Hotel. A visit to see the local Mikea Tribe will give you a real insight to the local way of life. This is a tribe who still hunt in order to sustain themselves.

    Accommodation:

    Hotel tbd B&B



    Day 11

    Andavadaoka to Ifaty

    Journey Time: tbc


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Today's journey takes us to the town of Ifaty. The route takes you through a similar sandy dune landscape to the previous days with Baobabs lining the way along the coastline and breathtaking views of the sea.

    Ifaty is a seaside resort positioned by the country's largest lagoon protected by a vast coral reef. It is the ideal spot for snorkeling and diving.

    Many excursions can be arranged on the spot here, such as a visit to the village of Vezo to see the fishermen and experience their way of life. Also available, is a visit to the Domergue Reserve where two species of Baobab and spiny bush grow amongst various reptiles.

    Accommodation:

    Belle Vue B&B



    Day 12

    Ifaty - Isalo

    Journey Time: tbc (230km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    The trip to Isalo will take you once more into the interior of Madagascar, through the land of the Mahafaly tribe. You will be able to see many of their tombs along the way.

    Also, you will pass through the Zombitse National Park, known for its sandstone rocks marking the continental boundary. This is the transition zone between the dry South and the land of Isalo.

    You will arrive around noon time and will settle in to the hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Motel De L'Isalo B&B



    Day 13

    National Park of Isalo

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    The morning start will take you to the national park of Isalo - famous for its rock pools and imposing sandstone formations, which have been eroded by water and wind over time. The scenery from the mountain here of the surrounding country is spectacular.

    This is also the place where the Bara tribes used to bury their dead in silver coffins. If you are lucky, you may be able to see the Lemur Catta during your walk through the area.

    At around 4.30pm, you will take a drive to "The Natural Window", where you will catch the sunset as it descends between the rocks, almost like a window.

    Accommodation:

    Motel De L'Isalo B&B



    Day 14

    Isalo - Ranomafana

    Journey Time: 4Hrs (285km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    Soon after breakfast, you will head to the capital of the Bara tribes at Ihosy. The Bara are Zebu shepherds, as you will find out when you visit the town. En-route you will pass through the huge "Plateaux de Horombe", with its vast red soiled landscape, empty, except for the occasional herds of Zebu guarded by the shepherd with his rifle.

    Compared to the Merina people, the Bara are darker skinned. They are cattle- raisers and their life inevitably revolves around the Zebu. For instance, when a man wishes to take a wife, customs dictates that he should venture out and capture Zebu to prove his strength and virility. Similarly, when a tribe member dies, Zebu may be sacrificed in their honour. The landscape here starts to become more grandiose. Massive granite mounts emerge from the barren plains and fade into the distance. You will feel as though the vast emptiness and the feeling of overwhelming tranquility are swallowing you up as you gaze out. "The Bishop's Hat", an immense rocky mount far out on the horizon juts up with its distinctive vertical cliffs frames your view. The Bishop's Hat is considered sacred to the local people and so no one ventures through, as it is a burial area. It was the scene of a tragic event in tribal history as a local tribe chose to commit collective suicide rather than to submit themselves to the domination of the Merina tribe.

    Moving on from here, you will visit the "Three Hillocks" and the "Gate of the South". Both are impressive rocky formations than mark the boundary between the South and the highlands further into the Northern region. The journey on to Ranomafana will take you through the capital of the Betsileo tribes at Fianarantsoa. This university town is the seat of the Jesuits and a strong Catholic influence defines the town.

    The final destination of the day will take you to the village of Anja. Here you will visit the local park run by the villagers where the income is used to pay local teachers and other community services. After this visit, you will move on to visit the forest of Anja where a large family of Lemurs are in residence.

    After this long day of activities, it will now be time for you to move onwards to your hotel at Ranomafana.

    Accommodation:

    Ihary Hotel B&B



    Day 15

    National Park of Ranomafana

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    The adventure today will be an all day exploration of Ranomafana National Park. This park is essentially known as Madagascar's rain forest. Apart from the forest itself, there is the town nearby with its thermal springs, where visitors relax in its warm therapeutic waters.

    The visit to the forest will allow you the opportunity to see twelve species of Lemur, including the "Golden Lemur", which was discovered only very recently.

    The park is also home to over one hundred species of bird and reptiles. In the higher areas of the forest, the trees are festooned with various mosses, lichen and orchids.

    During the afternoon you will be free to visit the town or relax by the hotel pool.

    Accommodation:

    Ihary Hotel B&B



    Day 16

    Ranomafana - Antsirabe

    Journey Time: 4Hrs (250km)


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    The journey today will take you to Antsirabe, passing through a highland area characterised by rice fields. The local people are a sub tribe of the Betsileo people who are the third largest ethnic group in Madagascar. They have a distinct appearance, said to resemble Asiatic features.

    At this point you will enter the town of Ambositra, which is the land of the Zafimaniry people. They live mostly in the forests and are masters at woodcarvings.

    Arrival at Antsirabe will be in the afternoon. This is known as "The place of Salt". This is an elegant city with its own brewery founded in 1856. You will be free to visit the town before heading in to the hotel for the night.

    Accommodation:

    Royal Palace B&B



    Day 17

    Antsirabe - Antananarivo

    Journey Time: 169km


    Madagascar - Four Corners of Central Madagascar

    This is your last day of the holiday and you will have the opportunity to tour the city once more until noontime. From here you will proceed to Antananarivo where you will tour the city and have day use of the hotel before your flight home.

    Accommodation:

    Island Continent Hotel Day Use



    A Transfer to the airport for your return flight. Alternatively, choose to extend your stay on one of the Madagascar' resort islands.

    Prices

    Please contact us for more information quoting

    code: MAG-4C-17N

    Includes:

    - Airport transfers

    - Breakfast/Dinner




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