17/ Madagascar, a land of contrast in 12 days – 11 nights


Experience the highlight and contrast of Madagascar by exploring the dry western with its baobabs, its semi-dry tropical forest, the Tsingy de Bemaraha National park, a world heritage and on the other side, the humid wet landscape of the east with its tropical rainforest of Andasibe National Park: its rich and unique wildlife with different species of lemurs, chameleons, and multitude of reptiles.

DETAILED DAY TO DAY PROGRAM


DAY 1: Arrival ANTANANARIVO (TANA)

Arrival in Tana, meet and greet at the airport then transfer to your hotel. Night at Gassy Country House on B&B

DAY 2:TANA – MORONDAVA – KIRINDY: 60km: 2 hours

Transfer to the airport for 1-hour Flight to Morondava. Upon arrival, 2 hours’ drive to Kirindy which is 60km north of Morondava. Check in to your hotel and drive to Kirindy Park and start our visit where the highlight is to spot the fossa and other night active animals,

Night at hotel on B&B

DAY 3 :KIRINDY – BEKOPAKA: 150 km: 6 hours with the ferry transfer

Early morning, we have 2 hours hike to look for birds before we take our breakfast. Then around 9.00am, with our 4X4 car, 2 hours’ drive to Tsimafana through the Baobabs forest and the red soil of the west. We take a local ferry boat to reach Belo sur Tsiribihina. Then head on to Bekopaka for another 4 hours adventure in a dirt track. This drive brings us to Madagascar profound, the bush African side of the country with its dry and red soil. One can experience the real life of Malagasy people in the driest part of the country. Arrival in Bekopaka by end of the afternoon, check-in and overnight in Hotel on B&B

DAY 4:BEKOPAKA: TSINGY DE BEMARAHA NATIONAL PARK (with stops & visit)

After breakfast, we take a pirogue and sail to the Gorge of Manambolo and just admire its beautiful scenery, its high sandstone cliff. Then have 1 hour walk on the small tsingy and enjoy the panoramic view up on the plateaux. If you are fit enough, you can complete the tours to the “Big Tsingy”. Classified as World Heritage, The National Park of Tsingy de Bemaraha is formed by a huge massif spectacularly eroded into a chaos of karsts pinnacles. Here 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. Regarding 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 5:BEKOPAKA – MORONDAVA: 8 hours with the ferry transfer

Breakfast at hotel then, cross Manambolo river and take the dirt road to Morondava. Stop in Belo sur Tsiribihina where we cross the Tsiribihina river with a local ferry to reach Tsimafana. From there another 4 hours to reach Morondava. We are in the region of splendid Grandidiers baobab, Andasonia grandidieri. We stop in « ALLEE DES BAOBABS » and enjoy the sunset picture of this unique moment, with its different colours and lights. Night in Hotel on B&B

Day 6: MORONDAVA – MIANDRIVAZO: 265 km: 4 – 5 hours

Breakfast at hotel, then take a local pirogue for an excursion along the mangrove to Betania island, a place where we can see local dhow and barge construction. Then we take the National Road 34 and drive up to Miandrivazo that we’ll reach by the end of afternoon. Night in Hotel on B&B

Day 7:MIANDRIVAZO – ANTSIRABE: 6 – 7 hours with stops

Short visit of Miandrivazo, then we continue with the National Road 34 and we depart for 4 hours’ drive to Antsirabe. The landscape is changing step by step, from savannah, naked and eroded hills, erosion called « lavaka » into greener vegetation. Upon arrival in Antsirabe, we’ll have a city tours and visit to some handicraftsmen atelier which make Antsirabe very famous of. Night in Hotel on B&B

Day 8:ANTSIRABE – TANA – ANDASIBE: 269 km: 6 to 7 hours with stops

In the morning, we head on to Tana, the end of National Road 7. Stop in Ambatolampy, an agricultural city, also known for its aluminum recycling workshops that we might visit during the weekdays. The next hours, we’ll drive among rural scenery with thatched roof villages, valleys, rivers, rice and vegetables fields. This region supplies vegetables and rice to almost the whole country. Arrival in Tana, we take the National 2 and we head on eastwards to Andasibe, through the green landscape and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This second step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way we’ll see Merina village on the hill, Rocky Mountains. We stop in Moramanga for a short visit of the local market. We’ll reach Andasibe at the end of the afternoon. Night in Hotel on B&B

Day 9:ANDASIBE NATIONAL PARK

Morning, 3 to 4 hours hike to Andasibe National Park, a huge tropical rainy 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 10:ANDASIBE – TANA

Breakfast at hotel, then head on to Tana. It takes 3 to 4 hours’ drive to reach the capital. We’ll drive through the winding road of the National 2. Green landscape, composed with tropical rainforest, alternated with eucalyptus and pine, hills, valleys, lakes and rivers, villages with huts, bricked house with thatched roof are the scenery we will see along the way. Optional stop at Pyereras Park for 1 to 2 hours visit of this farmed Reptile park. Arrival in Tana, city tour of the town then we stop in Marché Artisanal “La digue” for souvenir shopping. Check-in and Night at Gassy Country House on B&B

Day 11: TANA

After breakfast, transfer to the airport.

END OF SERVICE

 

COST INCLUDES

  • Transport with private 4WD with driver and fuel.
  • Ferry boat transfer in Belo and Bekopaka, Mangoky river
  • Accommodation in a double room according to the program above
  • All transfer Hotel / Airport /hotel as mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees and special guides for the national and private park mentioned in the program
COST EXCLUDES

  • Meals, drinks and personal expenses, insurance