- Antananarivo city and its gems markets. Gems dealers, cutters, jewelers
- Madagascar Institute of Gemology
- Antsirabe: the gems and minerals market, the Pegmatite mines of Mount Ibity
- The Highlands by the "route nationale 7"
- The train from Manakara to Fianarantsoa
- The Isalo Massif: the Malagasy Colorado
- Ilakaka, the sapphire city
- The Mozambique Channel: Ifaty Beach.
- Takes place from April to November (because of mining site opening)
- 14 days and 13 nights with hotel accommodation
- Private 4WD vehicle(s) - maximum 04 people per vehicle
- Tourist Driver and Gemologist Guide included
- Travel back by train Manakara – Fianarantsoa
- Gemologist guide.
Day 1: Antananarivo. Arrival in Antananarivo, Welcoming and transfer to your city-centre hotel. Briefing about your gemo tour by your guide. Visits: The institute for Gemology of Madagascar and stone market.
Day 2: Antananarivo - Antsirabe. Visits: the "mineral galery" in Antananarivo, the stone market and Tritriva lake in Antsirabe. Due to its central position in the country, Antsirabe has long been prime place for collecting the country fine and precious gems, cut or uncut. The whole region of Anstirabe is spotted with mining sites, amongst which the Mount Ibity mines of tourmalines and beryls is the most famous.
Day 3: Antsirabe - Mines of Ibity. A very nice trek in the Vakinankaratra countryside. You will meet miners’families in the villages, go down visiting the traditional mines at the bottom of the pits and have the opportunity to buy stones and minerals out from the pits. Meet other gem dealers when you come back to the hotel.
Day 4: Antsirabe - Ranomafana. Drive to Ambositra. Ambositra has long been the city of wood craftsmen in the highlands. There, visit the workshops of the Zafimaniry people who are traditionally talented wood sculptors. After this stop, head for Ranomafana, a village to the east coast, in a rainforest region. Nocturnal visit of the National Park.
Day 5: Ranomafana - Emerald mines - Mananjary. Leaving early to the emeralds and aqua-marines mines of the east. After an easy trek in the forest, visit of industrial and traditional mines. By mid afternoon, drive to Mananjary on the sea side of the Indian Ocean.
Day 6: Mananjary - Emerald mines - Manakara. Second day on mining sites: visit of miners'villages and mines. Route to Manakara, we will have a pirogue cruise on the Pangalanes’Channel.
Day 7: Manakara - Fianarantsoa by train. Get on local and typical train for a day trip from the east coast to the highlands, traveling from village to village in a magnificent countryside.
Day 8: FianarantSoa - Ranohira. Drive to Ambalavao, the gate of the Deep South, and land of Madagascar vineyards. The road will go through majestic rocky massifs and we will arrive at the Isalo mountains, some of which being sacred. End of the day for relax, in or around the swimming pool of the hotel. Talk about Geology and mineralogy of Ilakaka.
Day 9: Ilakaka - The famous Sapphire mines. Heading to the famous Ilakaka city and its surrounding villages, where sapphire digging is almost a "religion". Ilakaka mining sites have been discovered in 1996 in the arid region of the Isalo mountains. Now this area become the world biggest corundum open mine. Stop in the show-room of the best gem dealers where you will see a lot of precious and fine gems.
Day 10: Massif of Isalo
Visit National Park of Isalo. You would be proposed various circuits :
- Observation of lemurs, birds, butterflies, lizards
- The local royal tomb, the old Bara village, contact with the villagers
- Cascades: panoramic sight and change of pyrophyte plants to the river forests
- The natural swimming pool; the black and the blue swimming pools
- The Window of Isalo
- Queen of Isalo.
Day 11: Isalo - Toliara - Ifaty. Drive to Toliara and the Mozambique channel. On the road, stop in Sakaraha, a new mining area where Thai, Indian and Malagasy merchants got established.
Day 12: Ifaty. Day off. You will enjoy the beach and lagoon of Ifaty. Swimming, snorkeling, boat, discover the baobab forest or the mangrove swamps or having fun scuba diving.
Day 13: Ifaty - Tulear - Antananarivo. Transfer to the airport, flight to Antananarivo. Back in the capital city you will meet traders, stonecutters who will present you gems, and visit a private gemology studio. Walk around the jewelers streets in Antaninarenina.
Day 14 : Antananarivo - End of stay. Visit of the Andravoahangy stone craft market where you will meet again with the highlands stone crafters. In the afternoon, we will go to and see Malagasy craft areas or go to visit the famous Queen's Castle up to the city. Airport transfer and international flight.
End of stay
Extension from Toliara: Get by motor boat to Anakao village, south of Tulear. Drive to the coast village of Ifaty (45 min drive from Tulear). Visit the magnificent Saint Augustin bay and the Sarodrano peninsula. The coast track from Tulear to Fort Dauphin. For stone amateurs, get to the Labradorite tour.
Tour cost may vary according to group size and hotel availability. It includes national flight but not international airfares.
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