(Antananarivo, Ambositra, Ranomafana, Fianarantsoa, Isalo National Park, Ifaty)
Entering the pristine rainforest, the cool air fights the warm sun for your attention; crystalline rivers meander through the loamy earth as the clear notes of birds ring out like church bells.
Discover a bizarrely beautiful land of leaping lemurs, carnivorous plants, monkey trees, luscious rainforests, red lunar deserts & beyond perfect beaches with this all-encompassing safari through Madagascar. Truly a world unto itself, this eco-rich isle rests off the tip of Africa and is home to exotic creatures found nowhere else on earth.
Hit up all of this magical country’s highlights as you tour Antananarivo, Ambositra, Ranomafana, Fianarantsoa, Isalo and Ifaty led by an expert private guide. Go wild on day and night lemur hikes while learning all about these quirky primates. Swim in waterfalls, spot neon chameleons, safari through baobab forests, tour Malagasy arts and crafts workshops, meet friendly villagers, soak in hot springs, listen to pirate legends and chill on the beach. In the evenings, relax in a mix of charming lodges, hotels and guest houses that offer inviting surroundings and modern amenities. Your time on Madagascar promises to be uniquely memorable.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your in-country representative at the airport before setting out on this unique Malagasy adventure!
Enjoy a private vehicle transfer to/from the Antananarivo International Airport.
The Tamboho Hotel boasts an exceptional setting created by a combination of traditional African authenticity and modern upscale amenities. The hotel is located near a lot of Antananarivo Tana city area highlights including the Zoma, the Independence Avenue, the Queen's Palace Ranavalona, Tsimbazaza Zoo, the riches of nature and the Malagasy lemurs, Ambohimanga and his palace, and a variety of marketplaces boasting crafts, basketry, wood carvings, semi precious and precious stones. This 30 roomed hotel offers a restaurant boasting European cuisine and flavors of the islands, heated swimming pool and a la carte spa treatments. Enjoy the reception area design, its cozy atmosphere and quality services in an atmosphere Malagasy. With free WIFI connection, available throughout the building, Tamboho is one of the best hotels in Antananarivo Madagascar.
Today, hop into your privately driven vehicle as you depart towards Andasibe, making route from Tana and then southwards to Antsirabe. You will cross the highlands via the famous national RN7, which leads to the South of Madagascar. A lunch-stop is scheduled in Ambatolampy where the opportunity presents itself to meet the passionate villagers who make handmade pots and other frequently used household items. In the afternoon, you will reach the town of Antsirabe, known as the "Vichy Malgache" and famous for its thermal waters and rickshaws. This highland crossing continues into the region of Betsileo, for a stop in the town of Ambositra, famous for its workshops and Zafimaniry Wood Carvings.
The Artisan Hotel is elegantly tucked into a quiet and peaceful corner of Ambositra. This property boasts 18 rooms and bungalows, decorated in the traditional style using local wood and other materials. Located a short five minute walk from the center of town, this clean and simple hotel is ideal for frequent or first time visitors to Madagascar. The dining facilities provides guests with excellent food and music, and the perfect means way to relax after a long day of exploration.
Continue this Madagascar adventure with a drive in a Southern direction, in the comfort of a private vehicle. Pass through the scenic highlands area as you make way from Ambositra towards the Ranomafana Rainforest.
Today you will visit the Ranomafana forest; this forest is known for species of bamboo lemurs found in Madagascar. The most common is the lesser bamboo lemur which can also be seen in Andasibe. The greater bamboo lemur is very rare and only known to be found in two locations. You may find them by hearing the crack of big bamboo stems as they feed. The star of Ranomafana is the golden bamboo lemur "Hapalemuraureus" which was only discovered in 1986 whilst researchers were trying to find the greater bamboo lemur. The park was created soon after this discovery. The largest lemur in the park is the elusive Milne-Edwards sifaka, often spotted high up in the forest canopy. You should also look out for red bellied lemurs which live in couples with their offspring and red fronted brown lemurs which live in large groups. Ranomafana is also a birding hotspot but finding birds in the dense forest can be very tricky.
Almost half of the world’s chameleon’s population, which being some 60 different species, are found only in Madagascar. They are known for their ability to change color as these reptiles can alter their appearance in response to changes in temperature, light, and mood. By rotating each eye independently, chameleons can see to all sides and directions without moving their heads, making meals out of flies in a flash!
The Setam Lodge is set above river valley, in a heavily forested area just inside the boundaries of the Ranomafana National Park. Each of the 10 bungalows provides scenic views from there perched hilltop location of the dense rainforest and river below. Each of the 20 chalet rooms is located within the 10 bungalows.
Ranging in size from 30gm (1.1 oz) to 9 kg (20 lb), lemurs share many of the common primate traits, such as divergent digits on their hands and feet and nails instead of claws. However, their brain-to-body size ratio is smaller than that of anthropoid primates, and among many other traits they share with other primates, they have a "wet nose" (rhinarium). Lemurs are generally social and communicate more with scents and vocalizations than with visual signals. Many lemur adaptations are in response to Madagascar's highly seasonal environment.
Start the day off bright and early as you head out on a hike through the forest for a day of exploration. Set out on foot, accompanied by your expert guide, to the deep regions of the National Park of Ranomafana to view the diverse variety of Lemurs living here. The park’s star attraction is the golden bamboo lemur, often found grazing amongst the bamboo thickets. Marvel at the colorful bird-life and uniquely beautiful flora and fauna of this rich natural habitat.
Enjoy your private vehicle transfer from Ranomafana to Fianarantsoa. The drive will take approximately one hour.
Today enjoy your private guided tour of old town Fianarantsoa. It is perched onto the hills with its beautiful traditional architecture reflecting the different stages of colonization. You will walk through the streets of Fianarantsoa and stop at the major landmarks to know more about the connection between the Betsileo and the period of colonization.
The Tsara Guest House is a quaint little hotel located in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar’s second largest city. The Tsara boasts 18 rooms in the main building, all with en-suite bathroom facilities. The property has a bar, restaurant and small garden.
This adventure continues as you depart the highlands area in the comfort of a privately driven vehicle, and travel further South towards the semi-dry landscapes this truly diverse island country. The first scheduled stop of the day is in the small town of Ambalavao, one of the cultural hubs of the country, boasting a variety of architectural treasures and quaint veranda-lined houses. Enjoy a visit to the entirely natural Paper Factory in Antemoro. Here, inlaid paper is created from plants and flowers which are exported nowadays all over the globe to create some of the world's most famous and beautiful greeting cards. The day’s journey is completed upon your arrival into Ranohira the main town outside Isalo National Park. Isalo National Park is home to some of Madagascar’s most stunning scenery, with barren landscapes, twisted rock formations and extraordinary plants life.
The Isalo Rock Lodge is a modern and stunning 60 Room Retreat, positioned high in the Sandstone Mountains, overlooking the Isalo National Park in south western Madagascar, providing guest with some breathtaking views. Whilst luxury abounds in the hotel with all modern amenities, Isalo is home to many species of flora and fauna, including, the Giant Chameleon and the renowned Lemurs.
Spend the day exploring the almost lunar landscapes of the Isalo National Park. With an expert guide at your side, travel through the deep canyons of this stellar location. Visit the wonderful waterfalls and natural pools as they pass, providing an ideal opportunity for a refreshing swim or to take some memorable photos. As your day comes to an end enjoy watching the natural beauty of the sun-setting below the horizon of this stunning national park.
A private vehicle with driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Enjoy your private vehicle transfer from Ranohira to Ifaty. The drive will take approximately 3 hours.
Today enjoy your day at the beach in Ifaty. It is a small Vezo fishing village on Madagascar's south eastern coast, on the shores of the Mozambique Channel. Not only is it a great way to observe the local fishing culture but it’s also where you can enjoy relaxing at the various pristine and isolated beaches.
Les Dunes D'ifaty is situated 27 kilometers north of Tulear, and overlooks the beautiful Mozambique Channel. This charming hotel complex boasts a total of 19 villas and 22 deluxe rooms, all of which feature comfortable beds and large wooden verandahs. The hotel is located close to the sea providing guests with an underwater playground to explore amongst the lagoons coral reef. Tasty cuisine options and tons of activities to choose from make the Dunes D'ifaty a truly authentic Madagascar hotel for travellers from all across the globe.
Enjoy your private vehicle transfer from Ifaty to Toliara (Tulear) airport.
Enjoy your flight from Toliara (TLE) to Antananarivo (TNR), the flight will take 1 hour and 5 mins. Luggage restriction applicable to this flight: 20kg (44lb) per person, for checked luggage, the bag must not exceed 158cm (62 inches) in total. You can have one piece for your carry-on, weighing maximum 6kg (13lb), it must not exceed 115cm (45 inches).
Begin this Madagascar adventure by exploring the capital and largest city in Madagascar. Discover the colonial history of this ancient city, and find out the reason why Antananarivo was once named "the city of a Thousand." Marvel at the goings on and the daily life routines of these Malagasy people. Highlights of this tour include a visit to the Old City sections, and the palace of the Queen, which will introduce you to the architecture and urbanism of this dynamic African city. No tour of the town is complete without a moment's pause on one of the hills to take in the view over the city.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Irene Saurwein ,
April 21, 2014
"I thought that both Raymond and Mike were outstanding guides. Our trip was wonderful. The only point I want to make that the food at the Farm House was not very good. Pretty disappointed. Our stay at the Serena in both locations was great. Overall great trip that we will never forget."
Francis Quinn ,
April 21, 2014
"The Mbugani Camps were nice but the beer was warm and they don't have ice. The owner was a great guy. Enjoyed Mara West. The staff and food were great. The second evening the loud mouth owner conducted a business meeting on the front porch disrupting a peaceful cocktail hour. It was totally inappropriate since he was very loud and discussed his business dealings with Kensington with others. They also need an ice machine. They ran out every night. Albert is probably the best guide I have ever had. Very knowlegeable. Mike was great too. Fabulous trip. You guys did a great job. We had a wonderful time."
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"Our party of 4 believe that we were given incorrect information regarding the type of suitcase that we should purchase for this trip. We were advised to buy a suitcase that was soft sided and no wheels. We arrived in Africa to see many others going on Safari with suitcases that had wheels. It was difficult for us to manouever our bags. I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We learned a great deal from Wasari . Our tour guide in the Mara was just ok . It would have been great to have the tour guide that we had in Serengeti for the complete trip. We understood that he could have crossed over from Tanzania into Kenya to get us . There was one flight within the country that we felt we may have been better off driving. We all believed that our Sales consultant could have spent more time with us on the phone going over the itinerary and guiding us through some of the decisions that we were making. For example Lake Manyara was not really necessary and perhaps we could have used that extra day in Zanzibar . These are some of the decisions that we felt our consultant could have assisted us with . We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
Frank Manna ,
April 21, 2014
"Our guided transfers were exceptionally accommodating even though our flights were considerably delayed. The Annavillanas Jungle Lodge was spectacular for location, accommodations and food. The Rio Carnival experience was unique and unforgettable and our seats were wonderful. Loved the location of our hotel in Rio.......right on the street of Copacabana Beach.......fantastic. The only negative during our entire trip was the routing of the airline flights. Was there no way to avoid the flight from Rio to Manaus and then Manaus to Rio for our flight home. We seem to have travelled 2000 miles to the same starting location. Next time I would appreciate a more thorough exploration of all possible routes that would be more expedient and less strenuous for the travelers. I realize that there are limitations but I rely on Kensington to assist me in making the best decision for my wife and me."
Michael Melvin Marsh ,
April 21, 2014
"The trip was very special and i credit Sunita Singh for helping to make it such. We worked on the itinerary for three months and she was very helpful, knowledgeable and present."
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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