Highlights Of Madagascar Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : EWZI
  • Trip length : 15 Days
  • Trip starts in : Andasibe National Park
  • Trip ends in : Antananarivo
  • Maximum group size : 16
  • Ages : 18+
  • Meals : All breakfasts
  • Accommodation : 13 nights in standard hotel rooms with en-suite facilities. The hotels used are simple but comfortable.
  • Transport : Private bus and internal flight. Free airport transfer - arrival and departure

 

highlights1

  • The chance to see lemurs in their natural habitat
  • Incredible wildlife in the Perinet Reserve and in Ranamofana N.P.
  • Isalo National Park, with its amazing rock formations, spectacular canyons and natural swimming holes
  • Striking spiny forest in Tsimanampetsotsa N.P.
  • Relax on the beach in the coastal town of Anakao

Madagascar is a paradise for wildlife lovers, and much of its animal life cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The chief attraction is the lemurs. Undeniably one of the most delightful and cute creatures, there are over 70 species spread throughout the country. In Perinet, we hope to see the rare Indri, the largest lemur, while in the cloud forest of Ranomafana National Park, we hope to see the rare Golden bamboo and Greater bamboo lemurs. We will go in search of Ring-tailed lemurs in Anja Reserve and have a final day in search of wildlife in Tsimanampetsotsa National Park.

 

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

 

Antananarivo

There are no included activities today so you are free to arrive at any time.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
2

 

Andasibe

We drive directly to Andasibe through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way we will see Merina villages in the rocky mountains.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
3

 

Perinet

Today we spend a full day in the park. Perinet is home to the teddy bear-like Indri, the largest of Madagascar's lemur species, as well as other forms of flora and fauna and a wide array of bird life. Listening to the piercing yet melancholy cry of the Indri in the morning is an evocative experience and for those who are prepared to follow them through the thick rainforest, the reward is often a close-up view of these beautiful creatures. A group of five Diademed sifaka have recently been re-introduced to Perinet from Mantadia, and if we are lucky, we may spot one of these beautiful creatures.

In the evening we take a twilight/nocturnal walk, looking out for the nocturnal species of lemur as the torchlights pass by their eyes.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
4

 

Antsiabe

We drive back to Tana, and head south to Antsirabe, across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields on stage. The spectacular eroded hills called ‘lavaka’ remind us of the Far East with its rice fields and green landscape with vegetables and fruit trees. On the way we visit the Peyeiras centre in Mandraka which houses an outstanding collection of butterflies, chameleons and frogs.

Arrival in Antsirabe, or ‘the place of salt’, an elegant city well known as the centre of the beer industry and we can smell the Star Brewery as we enter the town.
Founded by the Norwegians in 1856, it is the only place which really feels and looks like a European city. It has a temperate climate and all fruits and vegetable, which grow in cold climates, are found in Antsirabe.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
5

 

Ambositra

After breakfast we drive to Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry. We are still in the highland, which is characterized by its architecture: the houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colours. Further on we pass the ‘le col de tapia’, a type of tree, which is resistant to the bush fires of the area. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields on stage, pine forests and eucalyptus trees and rocky mountains. Our destination for the day: Ranomafana National Park.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
6

 

Ranomafana National Park

Parc National de Ranomafana (approximately 40,000ha), with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most heavily visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitudes in the park range from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest.

We will go for walks in the National Park for several hours in the hopes of spotting some of the lemurs, chameleons and other animals found here.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
7

 

Ranohira

An early start as we leave Ranomafana Nationa park behind us and begin our drive to Ranohira. The scenery changes dramatically as we head to the small town of Ranohira (a journey of approximately 9 hours, inclusive of our visit to Anja Reserve, lunch and photo opportunities). We stop in Ambalavao to visit Anja Reserve – a small park where several families of Ring-tailed lemurs may be seen in the wild. Finally we continue onto Ranohira - our base for exploring Isalo National Park.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
8

 

Isalo National Park

After an early start, we spend our day exploring Isalo National Park. Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases often described as Eden. During our time we will go walking in the magnificent Canyon des Makis in search of cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux Sifaka. We also visit the 'Piscine Naturelle' (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot in such an arid landscape where we can swim and relax. Perhaps the magic is just to soak up the sheer beauty of the park, the combination of coloured eroded rock formations, strange plants and enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Madagascar.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
9

 

Tulear

After breakfast, we continue to Tulear. This step brings us new scenery, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. On the way, we can admire the different ‘Mahafaly tombs and the ‘Antandroy tombs’ and visit Zombitse National Park for a few hours. The Zombitse National park forest is of particular interest to birdwatchers, as it is home to one of Madagascar's rarest endemics, Appert's greenbul, as well as other species such as Giant coua, Crested ibis and Cuckoo roller. Verreaux's Sifakas, Red-fronted Brown lemurs and Sportive lemurs are also seen here.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
10

 

Anakao

This morning we take a boat transfer to Anakao. We will get there at around 9.00 am. The rest of the day is free for optional activities. Possibility of snorkelling, diving, pirogue excursions, swimming and more.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
11

 

Tsimanampetsotsa National Park

An early 4x4 transfer to Tsimanampetsotse for a full day visit of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. The large, shallow soda lake is the focus for this terrific 43,200ha national park. The large limestone plateau here has some of the most striking spiny forest vegetation in Madagascar with countless endemic species. The park sits on a large underground aquifer that runs north, evidenced by the numerous sinkholes and caves. The lake is renowned for its waterfowl, notably flamingoes and other rare endemic birds including the Madagascar plover. We may even be lucky and spot the emblem of the park, the very rare Grandidier’s mongoose! Then we return to Anakao.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
12

 

Nosy Ve

Today we will take a boat excursion to Nosy Ve to see the world's most southernmost all-year breeding colony of Red-tailed tropic birds, nesting in this small island. Stunning all-white seabirds with red bills and long, thin, red tails. If you are lucky you may see the females roosting under small shrubs, well hidden from any airborne predators such as hawks or eagles. A stroll around Nosy Ve�s shoreline including a long white sand beach takes about one hour. After our exploration we will return to Anakao, usually around lunchtime. The afternoon is free for optional activities.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
13

 

Tulear

An early start for the boat transfers back to Tulear. Upon arrival we are then transfered to Tulear airport for our flight to Tana. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel for the night.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
14

 

Ambohimanga

This morning we will embark on a city tour of Tana, the picturesque capital of Madagascar. With its bustling markets, friendly people and ancient town on a hill with freestone churches and ancient royal places, it is unique among the world’s other capitals. We visit Ambohimanga, the fortified village and its Royal palace. Ambohimanga, otherwise known as Blue Hills, was for a long time forbidden to Europeans. The kings and queens returned here for rest and relaxation on top the forested slopes of this hill-top village. From here began the line of Kings and Queens who united Madagascar into one country. Ambohimanga still remains of spiritual significance for the Malagasy people with ceremonies and rituals still taking place.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day
15

 

Antananarivo

Our adventure ends after breakfast in Antananarivo.

 

included1

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Free airport transfer - arrival and departure

 

not-included1

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation - please ask for a quote
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • All other meals not stated above
  • Flights
  • Pre & post tour accommodation

 

optional-extras

Visit to Lemur's park near Tana:
approximately US $ 65 for 1 person
approximately US $ 45 per person for 2 people
approximately US $ 35 per person for 3 people
approximately US $ 30 per person from 4 people

Visit of the botanical and Zoological park of Tsimbazaza near Tana:
approximately US $ 55 for 1 person
approximately US $ 35 per person per person for 2 people
approximately US $ 30 per person per person for 3 people
approximately US $ 25 per person per person from 4 people

 

tripgrade1

Standard

For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family Homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

This tour is operated by our partners Exodus

 

visa1

Visas are required for entry to Madagascar. 30-day tourist visas may be obtained at the airport on arrival. If obtaining a visa at the airport, you should ensure that an entry stamp is recorded in your passport. The visa fee is currently suspended.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information

 

health-and-fitness

Madagascar is a rewarding destination with its wealth of flora and fauna, however, before you decide to travel, we would highlight the following issues for you to consider:

Travelling by vehicle in Madagascar can be uncomfortable as some of the road quality varies. We do have some longer drives but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with stops to visit villages, to take photos and to stretch our legs. 

Parts of Madagascar are mountainous. There are some great walks but you do need to be prepared to walk in hilly surroundings for periods of up to four hours. The trails are fairly gentle in Perinet but steeper in all of the other national parks.

Some of the walks in the national parks are uneven and may be slippery underfoot so you need to be comfortable with this.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.
There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip.

Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.
Malaria prophylaxis is essential on this trip, and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited on this trip. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and
therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information.

 

 

Money1

Food

The food in Madagascar is generally of a good quality, particularly so at the coast where the seafood is excellent. The cuisine has been strongly influenced by the French and a three-course meal should cost 9-13 GBP (approx. . USD 16-23). A one-course lunch should cost 4-6 GBP (approx. . USD 7-11). Please allow approx. 220 GBP (approx. . USD 375) for the meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! 

Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone's taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured Rum's which are widely sold and very reasonably priced.

 

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

 

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

 other-important-information

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries and a degree of flexibility and improvisation is required at times. The tourist infrastructure in Madagascar is still new and some services are limited. It is not unusual for there to be changes to accommodation or internal flights and for this reason, the order of the itinerary (but not the content) may sometimes have to be changed. However, what tourism does exist is of a pleasantly good standard and you may be impressed by the level of services in some of the places we stay.

Transport

Travel is mainly by small private bus. Most of this trip is on well - surfaced roads with only the occasional poor and bumpy section while in the national parks. There are three days where the drives are necessarily long but we make plenty of stops along the way and time passes quickly. There is one internal flight; from Tulear to Tana. There is also a return boat transfer from Tulear to Anakao and a 4WD transfer to Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. We use 4WD vehicles on this section of the trip as the road is a dirt road and can be a little uneven at times (though the surrounding landscape and destination more than make up for it!).

 

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