Day 1: Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Meet and greet with your tour manager. Depending on the schedule a city tour to Antananarivo including the point of view of the old king’s palace. Night in Les Hautes Terres hotel. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Continuing southward to Antsirabe, known as the "city where we can find much minerals". Antsirabe is a memorable town to visit. The drive takes us across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields and its spectacular eroded hills called "lavaka" and through a green landscape where vegetables and fruits are farmed. En-route we stop in Ambatolampy for a short visit. We stay for two nights at des Thermes, in center town, surrounded by an elegant garden. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: The countryside around Antsirabe is worth exploring, especially the lakes to the west of the town like mystic Lac Tritriva. We also stop at Lac Andraikiba, a large artificial lake, said to be haunted by the ghost of a pregnant girl who drowned there. Antsirabe is also a center precious and semi-precious stones and numerous street vendors and stalls offering souvenir stones. In some places you can watch them being cut and polished. Includes: (B), (Barbecue), (D).
Day 4: After breakfast we take a short drive to the town of Ambositra, the arts and crafts centre of Madagascar. Here we seek out woodcarvings, raffia baskets, coloured wood collages (marqueterie) and paintings among the dozens of artisans' shops in town. Their artwork got recently UNESCO cultural heritage. We stay in L'Artisan hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Going to Ranomafana to see the Ranomafana rainforest. In the afternoon we visit the thermal bath. We stop in Sahambavy Tea estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar. In Ranomafana we visit the small museum and the thermal station. Two nights in Tropic village. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Visit of the Ranomafana rainforest. Probably we will find lots of birds, frogs, lemurs and other species. We hope to see red-bellied lemurs, red-fronted lemurs, and diadema sifakas. Although present, the golden bamboo Lemur and the broad-nosed gentle Lemur, are more difficult to find. The park is also flora rich with orchids, tree ferns, palms mosses, trumpet flowers and stands of giant bamboo. Here we will enjoy a day walk in the park. Later we embark on a trek in the Reserve, coming across many nocturnal rain forest species, for example the tiny mousemaki, or fossa, a predator about the size of a cat. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Leaving Ranomafana we drive through a number of small villages before reaching Ambalavao, with its brightly painted buildings, is one of Madagascar's most beautiful towns. In Ambalavao we visit Soavita vineyard for wine tasting as well as the "Antaimoro Paper factory". The paper factory is a vestige of the Arabian civilisation in the island. Here paper is made from scratch using the bark of the avoha bush. After a series of steps, fresh flowers are pressed into the paper to make attractive cards, envelopes and picture frames. Night at hotel aux Bougainvillées.
Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Continuing on we stop south of Ambalavao at Anja Villagers Park with superb scenery, plants, Betsileo history, caves and tombs and ring-tailed lemurs. We take a one-hour walk into the park before continuing along the road to Isalo. Late afternoon we will dry to catch sunset at the 'fenêtre de l’Isalo'. This natural rock window offers the opportunity for a great sunset photo. Three nights in Hotel Le Joyau de l’Isalo. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Today we visit to Isalo National Park, taking a day hike in this surreal park. This park is fiercely beautiful with golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls. The Isalo National Park comprises the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain. On our trek we can refresh ourselves on the way at a waterfall or the blue and the black lake. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 10: Along the way, we will be on the lookout for various lemurs such as sifakas, brown lemurs and ring-tails. The park is also home to approximately 55 species of birds, in particular Benson’s Rock Thrush, which is endemic to Isalo, as well as lizards, and snakes, which are welcome in this park. In the afternoon we will hike approximately 6 kilometres to the 'natural swimming pool'. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 11: We continue to Toliara (Tuléar), the terminal of the National road N° 7. Here we experience new scenery, which is comprised of the dry forests of the west, the spiny desert of the south and the spectacular baobabs. Here is the driest part of the country. The landscape is dominated by spiny forest-like cactus and different euphorbia plants. Then before arriving to Toliara town, we will see the beautiful Mahafaly and Antandroy tombs painted in many colors and decorated with "aloalo', wood-carved funeral monuments.
Close to the Mozambique Canal, Toliara is built on the Tropic of Capricorn. The town is painted in light colours. That is the reason why the people from the highlands call it the white city. The approach to the city is exceptional: you can see large sand dunes, which run, along the coast. Hotel Le Paille en Queue for three nights. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 12: From Toliara we take a drive north along the coast to beach of Ifaty. Here we have a break. The coral reef represents an exceptional spot. In the western area you can find the local fauna and flora like baobabs, birds. We visit also a natural park near the lagoon of Ranobe, the "village of the tortoises". Ifaty the offers us the opportunity to explore the coral reef for snorkeling. We also discover spiky bush in which will come across didieracees, cactacea and enormous baobabs. Ifaty’s reef is called ‘the coral garden’ as it mixes together with channels that link the open sea to an exceptionally attractive lagoon. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: We will drive to the Grotte de Sarodrano. This natural rock pool cave, just beside from the sea, is of fresh water. We continue the cobbled road towards St. Augustin, a small fisher village. St. Augustin is full of history, and was the site of pirates. Later we take a pirogue for a two hours tour on the Onilahy River. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 14: Transfer to the airport of Toliara (Tuléar) and we board our one-hour flight that will take us across to Antananarivo. Night in Les Hautes Terres hotel. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 15: Transfer to Ivato Airport. If there is space we will have a walk around at the town of Antananarivo. Includes: (B), (D).
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Madagascar Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing Hiking & Trekking
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