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Famed for its richly varied and mostly unique wildlife, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, more than twice the size of the British Isles. The many different species of lemur, one of the cuddliest-looking animals in the world and a favourite of many, are reason enough for a visit. But there is so much more to see.
The spectacular tsingy (limestone rock formations) can be found in several locations. Lakes, rivers, canyons, waterfalls, rainforest and an abundance of unique plant, bird and animal life overwhelm the senses.
If touring the National Parks and cities leaves you in need of some relaxation, Madagascar offers the idyllic white sand beaches you would hope to find on such a beautiful and exotic tropical island.
There are so many different and exciting possibilities. We recommend that you contact us for expert and friendly advice on planning your itinerary. Of course we recognise that you may have already done considerable research before looking for a tour operator. We have therefore given a sample itinerary and price below but welcome requests for your own specific itinerary.
From accommodation only to a fully-inclusive air tour, we are happy to help. Just tell us what you want to do and leave the rest to us. Madagascar is a big country and the possibilities are endless.
Isalo National Park
The itinerary below is designed to maximise wild life spotting. Everything is completely flexible so if, for example, you would like more time at a beach hotel, just let us know and we will give you a personal quotation.
15 day tour Antananarivo- Antsirabe- Ranomafana- Fianarantsoa- Ranohira- Toliara- Ifaty- Andasibe- Antananarivo.
Day 1: Depart London Heathrow to Madagascar via Paris. Other UK departure airports are available. Please ask for details. On arrival at Antananarivo Airport, transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation in Antananarivo on a bed and breakfast basis at Les Trois Metis or similar.
Day 2: You will be met by your English-speaking private driver and driven south to Antsirabe, passing through typical highland landscape (rice fields, rocky hills and the villages of the Merina tribe).
Accommodation in Antsirabe on a half board basis at Aty Guest House or similar.
Day 3: City tour of Antsirabe, the industrial and agricultural centre of Madagascar. The town is well known for precious and semi-precious stones. Later continue on to Ambositra, the capital of Madagascan handicrafts. Elaborate wood carving, marquetry, embroidery and all manner of Zafimaniry art. Visit different handicraft shops then lunch in a local restaurant (at own expense).
In the afternoon, drive to Ranomafana, leaving the highlands and heading south east, passing through the area of the Tanala tribe.
Accommodation in Ranomafana on a half board basis at the 2 star Centre Est or similar.
Days 4-5: Two days exploring the Ranomafana National Park.
Two different areas will be visited. In the main forest of the park, three species of Bamboo lemur are found as well as the red bellied lemur, common brown lemur and endemic birds such as ground rollers, vangas, couas and asity. The second area, the Vohiparara forest is a well-known bird watching site where you may spot the yellow bellied asity, the Madagascar yellowbrow, Madagascar forest fody and the cryptic warbler.
During your stay you will also have the opportunity for an evening walk. Possible sightings will include the brown mouse lemur and the striped civet cat.
Day 6: In the morning, make a final visit to the park. In the afternoon drive back to the highlands, reaching Sahamabavy with its immense tea plantations.
Accommodation on a half board basis at Le Lac Hotel.
Day 7: Drive southwards to Ambalavao where you will visit the Antemoro paper factory. This is a very interesting factory where hand-made paper is produced. Often decorated with flower patterns, the famous Antemoro paper is used in book binding, luxury cards and albums and tapestry as well as for home decoration. It takes ten minutes or so to see the various processes at work and there is a small gift shop at which you can buy some of the products.
Continue on to Ranohira. There will be various photographic opportunities en route and stops will be made accordingly: the South Gate, the Bishops Hat (rock formations) and the Horombe Table Land where the Reunion harrier bird may be spotted.
Accommodation in Ranohira on a half board basis at the 2 star Orchidée de l’Isalo or similar.
Day 8: In Ranohira you will have a local guide who will take you on foot to the famous “Piscine Naturelle” (Natural Pool) through the beautiful landscape of Isalo National Park, where you will see endemic plants such as Aloes, Pachypodium, Kalanchoe and tapia trees. You will spend about 30 minutes at the pool. Then continue your walk towards the Namaza site, which takes about 2 hours. Here you will have a picnic lunch with a chance of seeing ring-tailed lemurs. After lunch, walk to the Cascade des Nymphes. Alternatives will be arranged for those who do not wish to undertake a long walk.
Day 9: Continue south to Toliara, passing by various villages belonging to sapphire miners. The landscape then changes to savannah and bush. You will also spot some beautifully painted tombs along the road. These belong to the southern tribes.
After lunch in Toliara (at own expense), visit to local markets, including the shell fish market. Later drive on to Ifaty.
Accommodation on a half board basis at Belle Vue Hotel or similar.
Day 10: Early morning drive to the Reniala spiny forest for birdwatching. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 11: Early morning transfer to the airport. Fly back to Antananarivo where you will be met by your English-speaking driver and driven to Andasibe, where you will arrive mid afternoon.
In the evening you will be taken for a walk in the Mitsinjo forest, where you may spot some nocturnal species such as the mouse lemur, the greater dwarf lemur, the hairy eared dwarf lemur, the eastern woolly lemur as well as endemic species of reptiles and amphibians.
Accommodation on a half board basis at the Feon’ny Ala or similar for three nights.
Day 12: Morning walk through the primary forest of the Mantadia National Park. Six different species of diurnal lemur are found in this park, including the indri indri, the black and white ruffed lemur, the diademed sifaka lemur, the common brown lemur, the grey bamboo lemur and the red bellied lemur.
This park is also among the best sites for bird spotting where endemic birds may be found such as the blue coua, red tailed vanga, cuckoo hawk and Madagascar buzzard among many others.
In the afternoon, visit the Vakona Private Reserve and travel by canoe to its small island for lemurs.
In the evening you will have a walk in the forest around the hotel where mouse lemurs, chameleons and frogs may be spotted.
Day 13: In the morning walk within the Analamazaotra reserve for spotting the indri indri, which is the largest living lemur.
In the afternoon, walk within the Mitsinjo forest for spotting lemurs, birds, reptiles and amphibians. A further walk in the evening.
Day 14: Morning drive back to Antananarivo where you will have a day room at a hotel near the airport. Afternoon shopping at the handicrafts market of La Digue. Evening transfer to the airport for your flight home (via Paris).
Day 15: Arrive London Heathrow.
15 day Sample Itinerary price from £2,720 per person. Includes economy class flights with Air France and Air Madagascar. Tours of other durations and standards of accommodation are available. Please ask for a quotation. We are fully bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority. Tours which exclude flights will be covered by an insurance policy.
Itinerary is based on price per person in a twin room. Please note that this price is subject to variation throughout the year and is intended as a guideline only. Please check at the time of booking for current prices.
Les Trois Metis
Aty Guest House
Le Lac Hotel
Orchidée de l’Isalo
Belle Vue Hotel