(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.
Kensington Tours offers local support in each region you visit, another reason we deliver unbeatable value. 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.
Please be aware that your driver will be waiting for you at the International Arrival gate. An airport sign with your name should be seen and you may have to look for the Kensington Tours logo if the airport gets overcrowded. If you cannot locate your driver please remain calm and approach the Airport Welcome Service. An announcement intended for your driver can be broadcasted there, and this will then become the rally point. In the case of an emergency or you cannot locate your driver, the emergency contact details are on your documents and you should call the mentioned numbers before attempting to leave the airport.
Enjoy a private vehicle transfer to/from the Antananarivo International Airport.
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.
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!
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 two hours.
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.
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.
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 Isalo National Park to Ifaty. Please keep in mind that your transfer from Tolaira to Ifaty will be a bumpy road commute and can take up to two hours. The whole drive is approximately seven hours.
Today enjoy your day at the beach in Ifaty. It is a small Vezo fishing village located on the Malagasy South Western 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.
Enjoy your private vehicle transfer from Ifaty to Toliara (Tulear) airport. Please keep in mind that your transfer will be a bumpy road commute.
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.
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.
The Artisan Hotel is elegantly tucked into a quiet and peaceful corner of Ambositra. This property offers 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 provide guests with excellent food and music, and the perfect means to relax after a long day of exploration.
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.
The Tsara Guest House is a quaint little boutique hotel located in Fianarantsoa, Madagascar’s second largest city, consisting of buildings with traditional highland architecture. The main building is a restored church, and it now boasts comfortable and functional rooms, all with en-suite bathroom facilities. The property has a bar, restaurant and small garden. Here, guests will enjoy an atmosphere of a simple but elegant "Art de vivre".
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.
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.
May 11, 2015
"We were a group of 5 to Morocco. We were impressed at how seamless our private guided tour went. Accommodations were five star, the choice of family run hotels, beautifully appointed with Moroccan furnishings and large breakfasts, contributed to our experience. Our guide, Ishmail and driver, Abdul, made us feel like family. Ishmail showed off his country with pride, listened to our needs and was flexible to our style and speed of travel. We couldn't be happier with our Kensington experience beginning with the pre-planning in the US with Lily Baffour. Thank you very much for a memorable experience! "
May 12, 2015
"Our guide, Chakim, was fantastic, and our driver was excellent. We were very pleased with our accommodations. Only negative comments would be the villa in Essaouira (room, food, service not good although people very nice), and, while probably not an issue for other travelers, we were disappointed that we could not relax over a glass of wine at the end of our journey because Hotel Le Doge did not offer alcoholic beverages. We are currently scheduled with Kensington Tours for India in November and we are now planning on scheduling with Kensington for all our trips - right now that would be Thailand to Mynamar, and Egypt with Dubai extension. We are extremely happy with Kensington Tours and their travel agents. We would recommend Lily Balfour to anyone. "
April 08, 2015
"Kensington and its partners did not miss a single deadline, appointment or function to our total satisfaction. The result, no stress and total enjoyment."
April 08, 2015
"Christine was absolutely superb both in helping us frame and develop a custom tour as well as in constant follow up until we left. Inevitably things will change on the ground when trips are planned in advance and Christine was consistently on top of the changes and advised us accordingly. As first time travelers to Kenya and Tanzania Christine's advice and guidance was simply excellent. Rose, in Kensington's Nairobi office was likewise superb. Totally responsive to our needs, she helped make a few final adjustments while we were there. Once again, an exceptional experience made possible by Kensington."
Sachi Gowda ,
December 15, 2014
"We are extremely happy with your service from beginning to end and we had very a memorable trip."
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 15, 2014
"Christine, our family trip was ALL we wanted it to be. The hotel accommodations in the cities were GREAT. We needed to make some room assignment adjustments but that's to be expected with a large family with children and same names.
I don't know where/how ya'll got those guides but...KEEP'EM! In both Cape Town and Joberg the guys knew their cities and environs excellently. Their English was very good...so good in fact that several got the sarcasm and even joked some. I do apologize if we over-tipped. I relied on each family to tip their own driver but, I wasn't sure of their "sense of what was right" so I followed up with something for each.
Simbavati was "PERFECT". As much as Glenda and I really liked Ngala, I do not think they could have handled a family as well...UNLESS, they had accommodations we did not see.
Please rest assured when ever I plan to travel on a multi-dimensional trip in the future, for sure with a group, or maybe just Glenda and I, I'll be calling Kensington... Christine and Donna specifically. And most definitely, anytime I can recommend a travel professional, your company and you two will be mentioned by name!
Thank you again Christine...you presented us the exact trip we dreamed about for our family and your folks on the ground made it happen! I sincerely hope you, Donna and everyone else involved have a most Blessed Christmas and a wonderful, successful New Year!"
Bruce Lundstrom ,
December 15, 2014
"Morocco has a lot to offer. Food, historic sites, craftsmen (rugs, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, etc.), natural beauty, roads and infrastructure, and a reasonably safe environment. Both Guide (Abdel) and Driver were excellent. Service-oriented, timely and easy going. Abdel was not afraid to speak his mind, offer suggestions and give us feedback on ideas. We enjoyed their company."
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
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