Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

15 Day Tour Starting in Antananarivo
  • Code: MAG-NATLEIS-14N

    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Summary

    The Nature and Leisure of Madagascar is a special tour visiting many of Madagascar's most signficant attractions Baobab forests and the National Parks of Isalo and Ranomafana. The tour includes over three nights at a wonderful seafront hotel allowing time to enjoy one of Madagascar's wonderful beaches.

    Day 1 - Arrival Antananarivo

    Antananarivo (Tana)


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Arrival at the airport of Ivato-Antananarivo. Upon arrival, meet and greet then transfer to Island Continent Hotel (Gassy Country House). Night in hotel.

    Antananarivo (Tananarive), the capital of Madagascar, is located in the centre of the island and it is built on a ridge overlooking the plains. It is the biggest city of the country and located at an altitude of 1.275 m also one of the highest. The town is dominated by a mass of buildings built with very little urban planning. Unlike most capital cities in southern Africa Antananarivo was already a major city before the colonial era. It was founded around 1625 by King Andrianjaka and takes its name (the City of the Thousand) from the number of soldiers Andrianjaka assigned to guarding it. For a long time it was the principal village of the Hova chiefs, Antananarivo grew as those chiefs became rulers of larger parts of Madagascar, until it became a town of some 80,000 inhabitants.

    In 1793 it was made the capital of the Merina kings. The conquests of King Radama I made Antananarivo the capital of almost all of Madagascar. Until 1869 all buildings within the city proper were of wood or rushes, and it possessed several timber palaces of considerable size, the largest being 37 m high.These crown the summit of the central portion of the ridge; and the largest palace, with its lofty roof and towers, is the most conspicuous object from every point of view.

    Accommodation:

    Island Continent Hotel (Gassy Country House) - Bed and Breakfast



    Day 2

    Antananarivo to Andasibe

    Journey Time: 3Hrs (145km)


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Breakfast in your hotel.

    In the morning, after the briefing for the whole tour by your guide, meet with the driver and departure to Andasibe for 3 hours, through the green landscape of the east.

    This step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forest and lakes. On the way, we stop in Pyereras Reptiles park to see farmed chameleons and other species of reptiles. During a walk inside the forest, we can spot two species of lemurs: the sifaka Coquereli and the brown lemurs Fulvus.(Lunch at your own arrangement).

    Afterwards, continue to Andasibe.

    Check in at your hotel.

    In the evening, you will take an introductory walk to spot some nocturnal wildlife. Night in Hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Andasibe Hotel, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 3

    Andasibe

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Morning after breakfast, 3 to 4 hours hike to Andasibe Natural reserve (Analamazaotra), a huge tropical rainy forest in the east. Nine species of lemurs can be spotted, the highlight is the "Indri Indri" which is the largest lemurs of the island. This 810 ha reserve is also home to numerous unique wildlife and contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds.(Lunch at your own arrangement).

    In the afternoon, visit of the private park of Vakona in the "islands of lemur where we can see three species of lemurs. It is also the best spot to take photo of lemurs. If time allows, we continue to visit Andasibe village, a typical Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village, the second largest tribe and live; they cultivate rice and vegetables.

    Evening, night walk along the main road to spot night active lemurs and chameleons.

    Night at your hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Andasibe Hotel, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 4

    Andasibe to Antsirabe

    Journey Time: 6Hrs (275km)


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Drive back to Tana, through the green landscape and luxuriant vegetation of the East.

    Along the way we'll see Merina villages built on the hills. Continue southward across the highland landscape with its beautiful terraced rice-fields and its spectacular eroded hills called "lavaka". This region reminds us of the Far East with similar rice fields and its green landscape.( Lunch at your own arrangement).

    Arrival in Antsirabe in the afternoon. Antsirabe lays 169 km south of Antananarivo, an elegant city ,best known as the centre of beer brewing. Antsirabe means " the city of much salt". Founded by Norwegian missionaries in 1856, it is the only town which really feels and looks like a European city. With a cool climate and thermal springs, it is one of the most attractive place in Madagascar. Antsirabe is also known for gems and semi-precious stones.

    Check-in at your hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Couleur Cafe, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 5

    Antsirabe to Ranomafana (240 km, +/-5 hours)

    Journey Time: 5 hours, 240 km


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    After breakfast, drive towards Ambositra. Still in the Highlands with green landscapes dominated by terraced rice fields and pine and eucalyptus forests. One thing which marks the Highlands is its architecture. Almost all houses are made from brick, with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with nice colours. Before Ambositra is the " col de tapia" where the Tapia tree grows, a type of tree which resists bushfires. (Lunch at your own arrangement).

    Arrival in Ambositra, a city known for its wood carving and its numerous small handicraft workshops. Visit of a workshop where one can view craftsmen at work.

    Continuation to Ranomafana, which will be reached in 3 hours. The landscape changes into a lush green one, with a tropical forest on the both sides, sometimes interrupted by small villages selling bananas or charcoal. The national Park of Ranomafana was created in 1991. It covers an area of 40,000ha and consists of a series of steep hills from which numerous small streams converge into the river Namorona, which tumbles down the valley in a series of waterfalls and rapids. Arrival in Ranomafana late in the afternoon.

    Check in and overnight in your hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Centrest Sejour, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 6

    Ranomafana

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    After breakfast, embark for 4 hours expedition in the forest with special guide to see 12 species lemurs, Ranomafana is the most important site of lemurs in Madagascar, it is the only confirmed site for the two rarest species the greater bamboo lemur Hapalemur simus and the golden bamboo lemur Hapalemur aureus.

    Different species like Fulvus rufus, Varieca variegata, Hapalemur griseus, Avahi lanigeur, Lepilemur mustelinus, Propithecus diadema edwardsi, Cheirogaleus major and Daubentounia madagscariensis are also seen there.

    More than 100 birds, five species of viverrids, reptiles, lizards, butterflies and other insects have been recorded in this park . The area is covered with forest, in the higher areas, the trees are festooned with mosses and lichens, much of this secondary forest is dominated by the introduced tree Psidium cattleyarum, also giant bamboo Cephalostacyum viguieri, particularly various orchids such as Bblophyllum and Eulophiella, steep mountains, dramatic waterfalls and natural hot springs make this endangered and exotic forest charming and unusual.

    Apart from its huge tropical forest, the name Ranomafana means "hot water" so it is a thermal city where visitors can relax in the hot spring water. (Lunch at your own arrangement).

    Accommodation:

    Centrest Sejour, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 7

    Ranomafana to Ambalavao to Ranohira

    Journey Time: 6 hours, 245 km


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Breakfast in your hotel then head on southwards for 1 hour drive to Ambalavao: visit a wine maker for wine tasting as Ambalavao is the centre of the wine industry.

    Then visit the "Anteimoro Paper factory" a relic of the Arabian presence on the island. Wednesday is the big zebu market in Ambalavao so guests might have the opportunity to visit this animated market which is the meeting point of people from all over the country.

    From there 30 minutes drive to Anja, a park run by the village, part of the income serves to pay the teachers of the local school. 2 hours drive to Ihosy the capital of Bara tribes, along the mountain chain of Andringitra, which serves as a transition between green highland and the dry south. The landscape is more and more grandiose. Huge Granite blocks are marking the spacious and empty plains. It is the "Gate of the South" which marks the end of the Highlands and the beginning of the South. We feel like being swallowed by this emptiness. We pass through plateau de Horombe, a vast savanna with red soil, empty like a "no-man's land". From time to time we can see herds of zebus, accompanied by armed Bara men. ( Lunch at your own arrangement).

    Arrival in Isalo in the end of the afternoon.

    Check in and overnight in your hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Isalo Rock Lodge, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 8

    Ranohira (Isalo)

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Today we have full day exploration of "Isalo National park", hike to "The Natural swimming pool" then continue to "Casacade des Nymphes" : Half an hour drive to the entrance of the park, where we start our hike inside the park. We climb about 20 minutes to have a panoramic view of the eroded sandstone massif, with its different colours, strange and eroded forms offering different images like "the tortoise", "the masks", "the crocodiles" and so on.

    From there, walk about 1 hour and half to reach the "Natural swimming-pool" among vegetation like Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum or elephant's foot, a native species of aloe and an endemic species in Isalo, the Aloe Isaloensis. Along the hike, we can spot some coffins on the hill, as the Isalo Massif is a place where the Bara tribe bury their dead, first temporarily while they save up money until they can afford a nice funeral. At this time the corpses will be reburied in their final resting place.

    We finally reach the swimming pool with its fresh and crystal clear water which is a great reward after a long and hot walk. Then we head o to "The Casacade des Nymphes" via " the "piscine noire".

    Small streams, rivers marked by lines of brilliant green, generally made up of numerous Pandanus, palm trees endemic to Isalo are the landscape we see during the hike. Also for lemur's lovers they may see sifakas, brown lemurs and ringtails, also fifty five species of birds lizards, snakes. (Lunch at your own arrangement).

    Back to the hotel .

    Then around 4.30pm , visit the "fenetre de l'Isalo" for the sunset. Back and overnight in your hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Isalo Rock Lodge, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 9

    Ranohira to Tulear to Anakao

    Journey Time: 3 hours, 245 km


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Early in the morning (round 5H30), drive to Tulear through beautiful scenery, composed with semi-dry forest of the west, baobabs and the thorny bush of the south. On the way, you can also admire the colorful tombs of Mahafaly and Antandroy tribes. Arrival at Tulear around 09H00, then 30 minutes drive to Saint Augustin where we take 30 to 45 minutes boat transfer to Anakao. At leisure.

    Accommodation:

    Anakao Ocean Lodge and Spa, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Days 10 to 13

    Anakao

    Journey Time: n/a


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Day at leisure - Half board at ANAKAO OCEAN LODGE AND SPA

    Anakao: situated on a nice beach with emerald seas, it is one of the best spots for diving, kite surfing and all sea activities.

    Possibility to visit Nosy Ve,a sacred island and the top spot for diving in the country and home to the unique white -tailed species of tropical bird. Activities available at the hotel include:

    -Kite and wind surfing

    -Diving

    -Snorkeling

    -Kayak rental

    -Quad bike hire

    -Whale watching

    -Waterski and wakeboard

    - Jetski Excursions

    -Fishing

    (Please note that each mentioned activity is subject to confirmation at the time of booking)

    Accommodation:

    Anakao Ocean Lodge and Spa, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 14

    Anakao to Tulear to Antananarivo (MD713, 11H55 -13H00)

    Journey Time: tbc


    Madagascar - Nature and Leisure of Madagascar

    Breakfast in your hotel. In the morning boat transfer back to reach the port of Tulear where, you will be picked up for your transfer to the airport of Tulear.(Lunch at your own arrangement). Depart by domestic flight to Antananarivo MD713, 11H55 -13H00. Transfer to your hotel. Night in hotel.

    Accommodation:

    Gassy Country House, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast



    Day 15

    Antananarivo


    Breakfast in your hotel. In agreed time, transfer to the international airport of Ivato-Antananarivo for your flight Out.

    Accommodation:

    n/a



    Prices

    Please contact us for more information quoting

    code: MAG-NATLEIS-14N

    Includes:

    - Airport transfers

    - Breakfast/Dinner




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