(Antananarivo, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Ambositra, Ranomafana, Fianarantsoa, Isalo National Park, Anakao)
The mist is heavy deep in the Madagascan rainforest and sweat drips from your brow after a full-day hike. Then you see it grazing among the bamboo thickets – the rare golden bamboo lemur – and your heart leaps.
An experienced local tracker and expert park ranger will lead you deep into the Ranomafana rainforest in search of the elusive golden bamboo lemur, and when the sun goes down a night-time tour will reveal the forest’s nocturnal secrets such as the skittish fosa or small puma and the tiny mouse lemur. You’ll also traverse the island’s lush highlands where you’ll visit traditional villages and encounter the abundant wildlife; marvel at the barren landscapes and twisted rock formations in Isalo National Park; and explore the ancient old city of Antananarivo.
From the secret life of Madagascar’s deep rainforests to the lush highlands and the barren moonscapes of Isalo, this tour presents the island’s diverse environments in all their pristine glory. Experienced trackers and park rangers guide the way and reveal the elusive wildlife of the island’s unique ecosystems, and accommodations from historic townhouses to rainforest lodges provide an authentic Madagascan experience.
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.
Lokanga Boutique Hotel is an original Malagasy townhouse which has been furnished throughout with antiques and family souvenirs, inviting guests to journey back to the early twentieth century. Lokanga Boutique Hotel offers only 6 comfortable and exclusive rooms, each with breathtaking views over the capital, a desk, a private bathroom, individually styled and decorated with family antiques and full comforts: WIFI, mini-bar, heating during winter. After a day in the bustle of Antananarivo, guests can relax on the tea terrace and enjoy the breathtaking view out over the old city centre.
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. Finally, you might want to opt to visit the Tsimbazaza Zoo and Botanical Gardens, if time and energy allows.
Depart from the Madagascar capital, Antananarivo, and travel along the hillside twisty roads towards the Eastern part of the island. The first scheduled stop will be at the Pereyras reserve for the first glimpse of Madagascar’s unique biodiversity and fantastic Chameleon Sanctuary. Continue along to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, where you will start this discovery tour of the nocturnal animals and primates that inhabit this unique and distinctive National Park.
The Lemur is a clade of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. The actually word "lemur" derives from the word lemures (ghosts or spirits) from Roman mythology, and was first used to describe the nocturnal habits and slow pace of certain creatures, which applied perfectly to the habitual primates of Madagascar. Shortly after humans arrived on the island of Madagascar some 2,000 years ago, there were some lemurs as large as a gorilla. Today, there are nearly 100 species of lemurs, and most of those species have been discovered or promoted to full species status since the 90's.
The Vakona Forest Lodge has been designed in an authentic, traditional Malagasy manner, boasting the architectural characteristics on the local buildings. Each of the 10 bungalows and 14 double rooms provide guests with en-suite bathrooms, and verandas. The dining room also offers a spectacular view of the forest as wells a cozy, warming fireplace.
Begin the day with a hike through the rainforest to discover the natural Malagasy flora and fauna, as well as the famous Indri lemurs. The Indri lemur which is one of the largest in size and has a lovey thick black and white coat. The indri is well known for its loud, distinctive songs, this helps you locate them within the forest. Other lemurs which can be seen in this area are the red-bellied lemur, brown lemur, lesser bamboo lemur. The park is also place for the nocturnal lemurs - brown mouse lemur, greater dwarf lemur, eastern woolly lemur, sportive lemur and if you are a lucky one, you might see the elusive nocturnal Aye Aye. Along the way, stop for some relaxation at a picturesque waterfall. This day tour is filled with beautiful landscapes and a variety of habitual wildlife.
Almost half of the world’s chameleon’s population, that 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 able to see all sides and directions without moving their heads, making meals out of flies instantaneously!
Today, hop into your privately driven vehicle along with your guide as you depart towards Andasibe, making route to Tana and then southwards to Antsirabe. We 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, we 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 with your expert guide. Pass through the scenic highlands area as you make way towards the Ranomafana Rainforest. Upon your arrival you will head out to explore the rainforest activity in the evening hours. It is during this time of the day in which the wildlife is most active. A variety of creatures can be spotted including the Fosa or small Puma, various chameleons, frogs, and the smallest lemur in the world; the Mouse Lemur (Microcebus).
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.
Today you will visit the Ranomafana forest, This forest is know for 4 species of bamboo lemur 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 for 2 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 dicovery. 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 lemur which live in couples with their offspring and red fronted brown lemurs which live in large groups. Ranomafana is a birding hotspot but finding birds in the dense forest can be very tricky - an early morning start is essential.
In real life, the island of Madagascar has no lions, giraffes, zebras, or hippos, unlike the animated movie! The fossil record shows that hippos once lived on the island, but scientists think they went extinct about 1,000 years ago. These hippos, known as pygmy hippos, were much smaller than their African relatives. The largest mammal-carnivore on the island of Madagascar is the Fossa, a close relative of the mongoose. Often compared in size to a small cougar, the Fossa feature semi-retractable claws and flexible ankles allowing it to climb and descend trees head-first.
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 a local tracker and an expert park ranger, 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. Return back to the hotel for lunch before heading out to explore the old town of Fianarantsoa, perched high on the scenic hillside. This unique location reflects the different stages of colonization which have taken place during the history of Madagascar.
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 is 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 landscaps, 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 refreshing swim or some memorable photos. Your day comes to end as you enjoy viewing the natural beauty of the sun-setting below the horizon of this stunning national park.
The Tenrec is considered one of the first mammals to arrive on Madagascar. Although it looks very similar to hedgehogs, or otters, they are not closely related to any of them, their closest relatives are some other African, insectivorous mammals such as golden moles and elephant shrews. When scared, this little dynamo curls up in a ball and extend its spiky hairs to protect themselves from predators.
The Grandidiera Baobab Tree or Monkey Bread Tree is the biggest and most famous of Madagascar's six species of baobabs. This imposing and unusual tree is endemic to the island of Madagascar, where it is an endangered species threatened by the encroachment of agricultural land. Each of the Grandidier's Baobabs have massive cylindrical trunks, that span up to three meters across, and are covered with smooth, reddish-grey bark. They can reach a whopping 25 to 30 meters in height, and truly standout amongst the native Madagascar flora and fauna. They often produce large, dry fruits which contain kidney-shaped seeds providing an edible pulp.
Depart this morning bright and early on a coastal drive to the city of Toliara. En-route your expert guide will explain the importance of the numerous villages that have been formed during the period of the sapphire rush. You will then go to the Tuliara port adn meet your boat trasfer to the island of Anako. This water transfer will take 45 minutes.
Anakao Ocean Lodge & Spa is a magical place that by strange and fortunate circumstances has remained an uncontaminated corner away from the more chaotic mass tourism routes. If a seaside holiday has to offer more to be held as the most memorable, you will discover a cultural travel experience that is enlivened by an indomitable passion for always finding destinations where you can once again savour authentic values and a now-forgotten pace, then Anakao Ocean Lodge & Spa will provide you with great excitements. In the central area there is a bar, a restaurant, various relaxation zones within the “little square” – fulcrum of the Lodge, a TV/library room and a boutique where you can find not only articles of clothing, costumes and beach wraps but also many small craft objects, from ethnic necklaces to important wooden sculptures, strong expressions of the local culture.
This morning, bright and early, your guide will take you out on an exclusive island adventure. Not far off the coral reef coastline emerges the beautiful island of Nosy Ve, an uninhabited island boasting a variety of bird species. Enjoy a peaceful boat ride to get to this small island before taking a short stroll around exploring the unique birdlife and native flora and fauna. Spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing on the picturesque, isolated beach. This day trip will make you feel as if you were in the world of Robinson Crusoe.
Today, enjoy some time doing whatever you please, reading on beach, snorkelling and diving, a visit to the nearby village, or taking a quad-bike excursion. Anakao provides a variety of options for your leisurely enjoyment.
A privately driven speed boat will provide you with the means of transportation between Anakao and the mainland of Madagascar.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer to/from the airport.
Enjoy your flight from Toliara (TLE) to Antananarivo (TNR), the flight will take 1 hour and 5 mins.
VISA/PASSPORTEvidence of yellow fever immunization is required for all travelers who have been in an infected zone within 6 months of their arrival in Madagascar. A passport and visa are required for both US and Canadian ciitizens. Visas are available at all airports servicing international flights, but travelers who opt to obtain a visa at an airport should expect delays upon arrival. Visas obtained at the airport cannot be extended. Processing generally takes 5 working days. A Single Entry Visa with a validity of 30 days is for free and a Multiple Entry Visa costs approximately $166. Visa fees can be paid in US dollars, Euros or Madagascar Ariary. Credit cards are not accepted. All Americans and Canadians must have at least one blank page and 6 months validity in their passport to gain admittance to Madagascar.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Madagaskar for the most up to date visa information
Most international flights arrive in Antananarivo, but there are some limited international flights to/from the nearby islands of Comoros, Mayotte and Reunion from airports in Mahajanga, Toamasina (Tamatave), Nosy Be, Tolagnaro (Ft. Dauphin) and Antsiranana (Diego Suarez). There are also direct flights between Italy and Nosy Be. . HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/madagascar.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Antananarivo (formerly Tananarive). Government: Republic since 1992. Gained independence from France in 1960. Language: The official languages are Malagasy (which is related to Indonesian) and French. Local dialects are also spoken. English is not widely spoken. Religion: 52% follow animist beliefs; about 41% Christian; remainder Muslim. Time: GMT + 3. Electricity: Mostly 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are generally two-pin. Telephone: Country code +261 Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage reaches major cities and main roads. Internet: Public Internet access exists in large cities; there are a few Internet cafes in Antananarivo.
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