Madagascar In-Depth

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Overview

Experience the stunning landscapes that lemurs call home on this 21-day in-depth tour through Madagascar's best sites and natural settings. At the Indri Special Reserve in Andasibe-Perinet National Park, you can spot rare species like large chameleons, the blue boa, and flowering orchids in October and November. Stop at the Anja Community Reserve, known for its ring-tailed lemurs, before driving through beautiful desert landscapes to reach the beautiful beaches of Ifaty. In between, you'll meet and chat with locals and learn about their artistic traditions and ways of life for a better appreciation of the land you're visiting.

Itinerary

Day 1: Antananarivo

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. If you arrive early, we recommend speaking with the hotel reception to learn more about available activities around the area.

Day 2: Antananarivo/Andasibe

Travel to Andasibe-Perinet National Park with scenic stops en route. Stay in a quiet area near Andasibe and explore the Indri Special Reserve section of this massive area.

Depart the capital and continue east, with stops along the scenic rainforest route of world-renowned Andasibe-Perinet National Park.

Continue on to the national park. With free time over the next two days, opt to visit other small private or community reserves around Andasibe, and go on guided night walks inside those reserves or along the main road. Walk to the little town of Andasibe or simply enjoy the relaxing tranquility of the surrounding forest.

Day 3: Andasibe

Spend the day exploring this national park. Stay in a quiet area near Andasibe and explore the Indri Special Reserve section of this massive area.

Explore the Indri Special Reserve and national park located 1.5km (0.93 mi) from the town of Andasibe. One of the park’s primary purposes is to protect the natural habitat of the indri, a large black and white diurnal species that feeds on leaves and fruit. In addition to the indri, the park has 10 other diurnal and nocturnal lemur species, large chameleons, and the rarely seen blue coua.

The flora is just as spectacular with numerous species of trees, palms, and orchids (which flower in October/November).

Day 4: Andasibe/Antsirabe

Travel to the colonial city of Antsirabe, stopping to see rice paddies along the way.

Travel to the ancient colonial town of Antsirabe. Along this stretch of road you will see Merina tombs and the labour-intensive cultivation of rice paddies.

Antsirabe is known as a thermal city because of its volcanic lakes. It's also famous for its precious and semi-precious stones and handicrafts.

Opt to explore this quaint little city upon arrival.

Day 5: Antsirabe/Fiadanana

Visit Lake Andraikiba before continuing to the small village of Fiadanana. Opt to explore this beautiful village. Listen to a ghost talker, enjoy a stay at a community guesthouse, and dinner with a local family.

After a short visit to Lake Andraikiba, continue on to the small village of Fiadanana. This beautiful village is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes of rice fields and panoramic views of the nearby mountains.

Get to see how the villagers live by interacting with them and enjoy a chance to learn their rituals during an authentic community experience.

Includes: Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fiadanana/Ranomafana

Learn traditional rituals from the local villagers. Hike back to the bus taking in the stunning views. Continue on to Ranomafana.

Enjoy a local breakfast and take in stunning views of Mt Ifasina.

After, hike back out to the bus (about 3.5km/2.2 mi) and continue to Ranomafana, a little village named after the hot springs in the valley.

The nearby national park is one of the most important mammal sites in Madagascar.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 7: Ranomafana/Ambalavao

Opt for an early morning forest walk to get a feel for the incredible wildlife of the area, or explore on your own. In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic journey heading south through Madagascar's wine-producing region.

In the morning go for a forest walk, a swim in a hot spring, visit the local town and market, or get a massage.

Enjoy the wonderful changes of landscape along the way to the pleasant rural town of Ambalavao.

Visit a little paper factory where the locals will share their traditional methods of producing this unique, hand-made paper.

If time allows, opt to visit a silk factory in town and learn about the local way of making fabric or clothing from silk, and the process of dyeing it with natural dyes.

Day 8: Ambalavao/Ranohira

Stop at Anja Community Reserve, known for groups of ring-tailed lemurs. Continue on through the ever-changing landscape to Ranohira and Isalo National Park.

Journey from Ambalavao to the Anja Community Reserve and on through diverse scenery. Travel through the savannah before the massif of Isalo becomes clearly visible.

Day 9: Ranohira

Spend the day exploring Isalo National park on foot, stopping at a natural swimming pool and waterfalls. In the evening visit the G Adventures supported tree planting project near Ranohira, creating a green corridor to protect the biodiversity of Isalo National Park.

In the morning, pack a lunch to take into the park with you to eat during a picnic break later in the day - your CEO can help you arrange this.

After a short trek within a small canyon, take a break from the sun and stop at fresh natural swimming pool. Continue on to the "cascades", considered to be amongst the best waterfalls in Madagascar and has a large natural swimming pool.

With a little luck, you may see sifaka, brown lemurs, or ring-tailed lemurs.

Day 10: Ranohira/Ifaty

Drive through the desert landscape, viewing Mahafaly tombs and giant baobab trees en route. Continue to the beautiful Mozambican Channel beaches of Ifaty.

En route to Toliara, drive through the magnificent wide-open and vast desert landscape. Pass through several unique frontier-style sapphire mining towns, and babobab trees en route.

This drive will also pass by the tombs of the Mahafaly; a local tribe in Madagascar known predominantly for their large tombs. They were built for chiefs and kings and are covered in stones, sculptures, and horns. The more important the deceased, the more horns and statues the tomb is adorned with. One of the largest tombs has over 700 zebu horns! As this is a sacred site we will just be passing by, and photography is not permitted.

Continue on to Ifaty to relax and enjoy the breathtaking beaches of the Mozambican Channel.

While in Ifaty, opt to ride in a dugout canoe, visit the spiny forest reserve, go snorkelling or diving on the reef, or simply relax on the beach.

Day 11: Ifaty

Spend two full days enjoying this gorgeous area. Opt to do some hiking or hit the beach.

Day 12: Ifaty

Spend two full days enjoying this gorgeous area. Opt to do some hiking or hit the beach.

Day 13: Ifaty/Antananarivo

Travel to Toliara for a flight to Antananarivo and an optional last night out on the town.

Due to the unpredictability of local flights, if we are unable to secure your domestic flight, we will instead transport you in 4x4 vehicles. This journey can take approximately 10 hours.

Day 14: Antananarivo/Antsiranana

Fly to Antsiranana and meet your group for second part of the tour.

Day 15: Amber Mountain National Park

Drive to Amber Mountains National Park, with a full day to explore the various forest trails. Watch for lemurs, birds and reptiles and marvel at the many waterfalls and volcanic lakes.

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Amber Mountain/Ankarana Reserve

Continue on to Ankarana Reserve, home to spectacular limestone 'tsingy' rock formations, underground rivers and sacred caves.

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Ankarana Reserve

Continue exploring the Ankarana Reserve on foot.

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Ankarana Reserve/Nosy Be

Enjoy the scenic journey south to the small fishing village of Ankify, where we get a boat across to the island paradise of Nosy Be.

While the official name of Nosy Be, means "Big Island" in Malagasy, it is commonly referred to as Nosy Manitra, or "the Perfume Island", due to the fragrant Ylang Ylang and bougainvillea flowers found all over the island.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 19: Nosy Komba & Nosy Tanikely

Head out on a local pirogue to explore 'the lemur island' Nosy Komba, and the underwater paradise of Nosy Tanikely, a marine reserve.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 20: Nosy Be

Spend the day enjoying this gorgeous area. Opt to do some hiking or hit the beach.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 21: Nosy Be

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

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