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Activities & Transport
- Wildlife Watching
- Meet the Locals
- Fixed Departure
- Private Bus
Main travel focus
18-Day Tour: Explore Madagascar's Biodiversity
- Meet local communities and learn about their lifestyle
- Explore Isalo National Park
- Find yourself in amazing rainforests
- Encounter mangrove forests, sandy beaches, and extensive coral reefs
This trip will take you from the lush rainforest, over mountains, along baobab forests, to sandy beaches. Following National Road 7, across a diversity of landscapes, ecosystems, tribes and cultures, you will embark on a great exploration of the unique Malagasy biodiversity. Along our travel, we will focus on different conservation approaches and get insight into how a mix of traditional government managed national parks, community-run reserves and initiatives, and co-managed marine areas with NGOs and private sector contribute not just to safeguarding the amazing natural heritage but also to providing additional income for communities in a win-win integrated conservation and development approach. Join us on this conservation tourism 18 day journey to experience it firsthand!
- All airport/hotel transfers
- Bus with driver and fuel included the whole trip
- Bed and breakfast the whole trip
- Half board in Ranomafana, Andringitra, Ranohira, Salary
- Full board during Vatoharanana trek
- Anja Park excursion (lunch, entry and guide)
- All hikes in Andringitra (lunch, entry and guide)
- Isalo National Park hikes (lunch, entry and guide)
- Zombitse Vohibasia Park visit (lunch, entry and guide)
- Honko visit (lunch, entry and guide)
- Soariake excursion (lunch, entry and guide)
- 1 added night in Salary bay: 150 USD per person per night
|Trip Dates||Days||Min/Max Passengers||Price (p.p.)||Single Room Supplement||Status|
|Oct 08, 2019 until Nov 03, 2019||27||8/14||$ 4,300||$ 4,562||G||Bookable||Request|
Welcome to Madagascar!
Welcome to Madagascar!
Upon arrival, your visa can be issued at the airport. After getting your luggage, we suggest you exchange money right away. The driver who'll wait for you at the customs border can assist if you want.
Afterward, head to the Chez Jeanne hotel, a charming hotel located near the airport.
Immerse Yourself in Wildlife
Today, we visit the Andasibe area.
You will take an afternoon walk in the moist mountain Anamalazaotra Forest, an independently managed protected area. This forest is home to seven groups of the indri. The indri is currently the largest living lemur species on the island with a very unique call.
After the forest, visit an amphibian captive breeding center, which is part of the national amphibian conservation strategy to tackle a global fungal disease.
In the evening, you have the opportunity to go on a short night walk to find mouse lemurs, frogs, chameleons, and geckos who become active after sunset.
Hike Through the Rainforest
After a wake-up call by the indri and a nice breakfast, go on a 3-hour hike through a scenic agricultural landscape in the south of the Torotorofotsy rainforest. This is a RAMSAR wetland of international importance and home to the endangered Greater Bamboo Lemur. You will be shown the current conservation challenges and forest restoration programs along a hike, while also enjoying the rich biodiversity.
Lemurs tend to be shy in this forest, but birds, insects, and amphibians can be easily observed. We will pay a visit to the local women’s handicraft association and enjoy a traditional Malagasy lunch in one of the local villages before heading back to your hotel. You will stay at a hotel just outside Tana.
Head to Ranomafana
Today, we have a long but very colorful journey ahead of us along the National Road 7 to Ranomafana.
First, we will pass by Ambatolampy considered the coldest Malagasy town at 1500m altitude. Then we will pass by the capital of rickshaw in Antsirabe with colorful markets full of fruits and vegetables.
In Ambositra, we will have lunch and take a look at the craftsmen workshops, famous for their Zafimaniry wooden sculptures. The final stretch of the road will take us to Ranomafana, which is abundant with wildlife.
Discover the animals of Ranomafana
Today we will do the 4-hour Varibolomena circuit in Talatakely, the secondary forest close to the research station. This forest has lots of bamboo and the invasive guava species, but nevertheless, is a prime habitat for three bamboo lemur species: the red-fronted lemur, the red-bellied lemur, and the Milne Edward’s sifaka. There are also numerous birds and hopefully you can also find the peculiar giraffe-necked weevil.
Later, visit the ValBio Research Center to hear more about the ongoing projects, and after dinner, attend a presentation of a resident scientist. For those who still have enough energy, bring your flashlight for a short night walk to go find some nocturnal forest residents.
Sleep Under the Stars
Over the next two days, an experienced local guide will take you on a more strenuous trek up and down the hills into the primary forest of Vatoharanana. Here, the trees grow taller, the vines are thicker, the humidity is higher, and the number of tourists is lower. You will observe lush plant life across a variety of vegetation types.
As you go, take a swim in a natural pool and enjoy the beautiful scenery. You might even get to see and hear the beautiful black and white ruffed lemur as well as endemic bird species along the way. At night, eat and sleep in a research campsite under the stars while falling asleep to insect and frog orchestras.
Explore the Forest
In the early morning after breakfast in the bush, continue to explore the primary forest of Vatoharanana and its wildlife around the campsite. Slowly make your way back to civilization across the hills along amazing forest trails.
In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to take a guided visit to the new Biodiversity Center and continue your exchanges with the local researchers while relaxing and reflecting back on your hike and camping.
Travel to Andringitra
Early in the morning, drive to your next destination, Andringitra. On the way, you will pass by Fianarantsoa, the Betsileo capital with 1,001 churches.
Your main visit this morning is the Anja community reserve. The reserve was created in 2001 by the local community to provide additional income and local employment. As a result, this reserve benefits both biodiversity and people. The reserve is home to a high concentration of ring-tailed lemurs.
The road towards Andringitra National Park sets the scene as the magnificent granite landscape becomes visible on the horizon. This is one of Madagascar's best-kept secrets with only 1,000 visitors per year and is managed by Madagascar National Parks. The park offers some of the most scenic trekking in Madagascar.
Hiking in Adringitra
The Diavolana circuit is a strenuous yet rewarding full-day hike (10h) that will take you through wild meadows to a lunar landscape with blocks of granite. It is a land made of narrow valleys, high cliffs, streams, and waterfalls. The pace of walking is peaceful, but you must be ready to walk hilly tracks, steep slopes, and some harder passages.
At the highest point, there’s a rock slab that serves as a convenient picnic spot and offers an excellent viewing point to spot the ring-tailed lemurs on the opposite cliffs.
There is also an alternative hike. With this option, you can do the half-day circuit, Asaramanitra, instead which gives you a good flavor on the peculiar granite landscape as well.
Both hikes include the sacred queen and king waterfalls.
Live Your Adventures in Adringitra
Today, you have a number of options. You can take a shorter exploratory walk to discover the floral diversity, swim in a natural pool, or just wander around and shoot images of the granite-topped savannah in the Tsaranoro Valley. You also have the option to relax in the Tsara campsite surroundings
Contribute to a Better Environment
After breakfast, head southwards to the Ranohira village, located near the Isalo National Park.
You will be staying at the ITC Lodge, which is involved in the Association Soa Zara. This is a reforestation project that you will visit and help contribute to by planting a few trees!
Not even 50 years ago, there were small patches of the primary forest surrounding the base of Isalo National Park. Unfortunately, now all of those trees have been cut and the local villagers are left with a barren landscape leading into the deep gorges and rocky cliffs. Soa Zara is working to change this reality by creating a natural forest outside of the park. On a small patch of community-run land, the association is planting trees and offering visitors the chance to contribute to a better local environment.
End your day at La Fenêtre, a popular rock window that frames the sunset.
The next two days are dedicated to visiting the Isalo National Park. The park covers 80,000 hectares consisting of sandstone rocks cut by deep canyons and eroded into weird shapes. In these canyons, local wildlife inhabits the gallery forests that form corridors along small streams. The ring-tailed lemur, Verreaux sifaka, and the brown lemur are commonly sighted along with birds and chameleons in the Canyon des Makis and Canyon des Rats.
Swim in Isalo
Today, you will continue your journey in Isalo. Take the short Namaza trail that takes you along a scenic route to a magnificent natural swimming pool where you can relax and swim.
Visit Zombies Vohibasia National Park
This morning, you will make an early start and leave Ranohira to get some morning hours in the Zombitse Vohibasia National Park, a bird-watching paradise.
The baobabs along the road indicate you are entering a much drier area. Zombitse Vohibasia is an isolated pocket of transitional forest between the Western and Southern Domains that were saved from severe deforestation. The surrounding area is a denuded semi-desert landscape following slash and burn agricultural practices. Nevertheless, this relic forest shelters an astounding 90 recorded bird species, of which 38 species are endemic-based.
Stop here for a 2-3 hour hike to explore the parks rich beauty and look for endemic species.
After our picnic lunch, continue to the city of Tulear where you will have the rest of the afternoon free to relax or explore the city.
Search for Precious Stones
Today's journey leads you on a landscape characterized by high plateaus, vast savannas stretching into the horizon, and limited but impressive mountain ranges. According to experts of precious stones, this place is among the few places on Earth that are rich in precious stones. The majority of the inhabitants in the village of Manombo are merchants of sapphires and other precious stones.
Later, arrive at the end of the National Road 7, in the city of Tulear, which also means "where one can drop anchor." It is the capital of the province of Tulear and the least populated region of Madagascar. It is known for its dry and arid landscapes.
Upon your arrival in Ifaty, you will spend the night at a charming hotel: Bamboo Club.
Enjoy the endless beaches
Salary Bay is home to endless beaches and a coral reef that is part of one of the largest coral reef ecosystems in the world, stretching over 150 km. The coral reefs have a higher abundance and diversity of species than any other reef in Madagascar. This is the ideal location to explore the reefs by snorkeling or even diving (all levels) or just enjoy the beach scenery for a swim or a stroll.
In the morning, visit the Soariake community-managed marine protected area, meaning “Beautiful Sea," that spans a total area of 38 hectares. It includes 12 short-term octopus marine reserves that are formalized through local traditional law and managed by local communities.
To diversify local income due to decreased fishing areas, the Wildlife Conservation Society promoted aquaculture, and today, communities engage in sea cucumber and algae farming while selling the resources at a fair price to two private companies. You will visit the marine farms and villages to understand how this new conservation model works and what the positive impacts are for nature and people.
After a traditional lunch, head back to Tulear.
Today, depending on your inland flight schedule, you will be transferred back to the airport of Tulear. There, you will take your return flight to Antananarivo. Upon arrival in the capital, you will be transferred to a hotel near the airport for a day use. Afterward, you will be taken to the international Ivato airport and will leave Madagascar with some unforgettable memories!