12 days-11 nights’ Tour of West and East Madagascar, a land of contrast
This tour first explores the West, with as highlights Baobab Alley, Kirindy Park, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Morondava. Next is Andasibe in the East with it’s temperate tropical rain forest. Highlights Andasibe/Mantadia National Park with the Indri-Indri, the largest lemur of Madagascar; Lemur Island, an unique opportunity to observe lemurs up close; and Peyrieras reptile reserve.
DAY 1, ARRIVAL IN ANATANANARIVO,
Arrival in Tana, meet and great at the airport then transfer to your hotel. Night at ICHOTEL on B&B
DAY 2, TANA – ANTSIRABE
After breakfast, with a private car, 3 hours drive southward to Antsirabe across the highland landscape with its terraced rice-fields and its spectacular eroded hills called “lavaka”. Arrival in Antsirabe in the afternoon. Founded by Norvegians in 1856, it is an elegant city, which really feels and looks like an European city. With its clement climate, thermal springs and wide avenues, it is one of the most attractive towns in Madagascar. City tours, with visits to various artisans workshops. Night at LES CHAMBRES DU VOYAGEUR or SIMILAR on B&B
DAY 3, ANTSIRABE – MIANDRIVAZO
We head to Miandrivazo, a 3 to 4 hours drive. The landscape is changing step by step, from green highland to dry savanna, with erosion forms called « lavaka ». Arrival in Miandrivazo around noon, overnight in PRINCESSE DU TSIRIBIHINA on B&B
DAY 4, MIANDRIVAZO – MORONDAVA – KIRINDY
Departure to Morondava, the landscape is dominated by rice fields, wide rivers, empty hills, red soil, and palm trees. Just before entering Morondava, we see our first couple of baobabs. Centre of the Sakalava kingdom, Morondava is a prosperous rice-growing area, it is also known as a seaside resort, with a laid-back atmosphere. Many different cultures and religions manage to intermingle in this region which makes it special. We continue our drive to Kirindy through the Alley of Baobabs. This area is known for its baobab and its dry western forest. Night expedition to see six species of nocturnal lemurs like lepilemur ruficandatus, microcebus myoxinus or murinus, phaner furcifer, cheirogaleus medius, mirza coquereli. Night at KIRINDY LODGE on B&B
DAY 5, KIRINDY – BEKOPAKA 200 km
Morning walk with a local guide to spot the diurnal lemurs such as : Verreaux’s sifaka, fulvus rufus, red-fronted brown lemurs. Then we drive through the Baobabs forest and the red soil of the west. We cross the Tsiribihina River by local ferry at Belo sur Tsiribihina, then onwards to Bekopaka. This drive brings us to profound Madagascar, close to the real life of Malagasy people in the driest part of the country. Arrival in Bekopaka around 18.00. Overnight in Hotel OLYMPE DU BEMARAHA on B&B
DAY 6, BEKOPAKA: TSINGY DE BEMARAHA NATIONAL PARK
In the morning a 4 to 6 hours hike in the National Park of “ Tsingy de Bemaraha, classified as a World Heritage site. This limestone massif is spectacularly eroded into a chaos of pinnacles. Nature is in perfect harmony with this wild and sharp limestone massif. The flora consists of a dry western deciduous forest, typical plants of these dry limestone areas, such as Aloe and baobab Andasonia, the red-flowered flamboyant tree Delonix regia which is so widely planted in the tropics. Madagascar’s sole native banana Musa perrieri also occurs here. We can also see plants which grow in the stone like different species of pachypodium and orchids. Concerning the fauna we can see the stump-tailed chameleon Brookesia perarmata known from only a handful specimens. The bird list contains 53 species. The 7 species of lemurs include Decken’s sifaka Propithecus verreauxi deckeni. Night at the same hotel.
DAY 7, BEKOPAKA – MORONDAVA
Today a 6 to 8 hours drive back to Morondava. Along the way, we stop at the « ALLEE DES BAOBABS » for sunset photos; this is the region of the splendid Grandidier’s baobab, Andasonia grandidieri. Arrival in Morondava end of the afternoon. Check-in and night in Hotel. LE RENALA SABLE D’OR on B&B
DAY 8, MORONDAVA – ANTSIRABE
Early morning we start a 8 hours drive to Antsirabe. Night LES CHAMBRES DU VOYAGEUR on B&B
DAY 9, ANTSIRABE – TANA – ANDASIBE: 269 km : 6 to 7 hours
Today we drive northward to Tana across the Highlands, then 3 hours drive eastwards to Andasibe, through the green landscape of the east. This step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forest and lakes. Night in Hotel FEON’NY ALA on B&B
DAY 10, ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK
Morning, 3 to 4 hours hike in the Andasibe National Park, a huge tropical rain forest in the east. 9 species of lemurs can be spotted; the highlight is the “Indri Indri” which is the largest lemurs of the island. This 810 ha reserve is also home to unique wildlife. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. After the hike, visit to Andasibe village, a typical Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village, the second largest tribe. Afterwards, visit to the “lemurs island” which is the best spot to take photos of lemurs up close. Night at the same hotel.
DAY 11: ANDASIBE – TANA
Morning drive back to Tana. On the way, we stop in Pyereras Reptiles park to see farmed chameleons and other species of reptiles. On a walk inside the forest, we can spot 2 species of lemurs: the sifaka “coquereli” and the brown lemurs “fulvus”. Night at ICHOTEL on B&B
DAY 12: TANA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport .
END OF SERVICE