Madagascar

Madagascar... one of the most unique islands in the world, famous for lemurs, baobabs and incredibly gracious people.

Country Information

Madagascar

Madagascar Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Madagascar


(Interest Type(s))

Romantic Getaways

,

Adventure Travel

,

Recommended


(Tour Length)

13 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $3,860
  • Explore Madagascar’s world of lemurs,  from tiny mouse lemurs to the largest member of the enchanting animal, Indri
  • Enjoy an amazing cultural experience on a day-long train journey into the highlands
  • Visit workshops of crafters and artisans who work in stone and gems such as tourmaline, morganite and gold as well as woodcarvers and silk weavers
  • Meet the famous Vezo fishermen in the village of Anakao, known as expert fishermen and excellent boaters
  • Enjoy time at the beach with activities - diving, kayaking, fishing, surfing, spa treatments, and more

 

 

 

Day 1: Antananarivo, Madagascar / Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo, also known as Tana, is the gateway to begin discovering the world's fourth-largest island.  Upon arrival, you are welcomed and set out on your transfer, about three hours, through magnificent scenery to Andasibe National Park. At the park, you venture out on a night walk in search of nocturnal species. Vakona Forest Lodge (D)

Day 2: Andasibe-Mantadia National Park / Antananarivo
Analamazaotra Special Reserve is part of the Andasibe-MantadiaNational Park, home to the largest of the lemur family, the Indri, as well as chameleons, frogs and birds. This morning, you explore the park on a hike in the reserve in search of its most famous residents, including the largest of all lemurs, Indri. Visit the lodge’s priavete island of lemur and crocodile before returning to Antananarivo.  Carlton Hotel (B)

Day 3: Antananarivo / Antsirabe
This morning set out for Antsirabe in the Central Highlands, traveling through scenic countryside and visiting villages along the way to learn something of their lives.  In this volcanic area, vegetables and fruits are abundant. Once a colonial town, Antsirabe is the third largest city in Madagascar and the capital of the Vakinankaratra region. It is known for its industry and for the high number of pulled rickshaws, pousse-pousses. Your colonial-style hotel overlooks the city's lake Rano Maimbo with its famous thermal baths. The hotel grounds include a huge garden and a swimming pool.  Hôtel des Thermes (B)

Day 4: Antsirabe / Ambositra / Ranomafana
After a leisurely breakfast in this colonial town, visit stone workshops to learn about the minerals and stones of Madagascar, from red, violet, rose, yellow, blue and green tourmaline to rose-pink morganite  to gold.  Continue south to Ambositra, called the handicrafts enter of the island with numerous shops and woodcarving workshops.  On the way to Ranomafana, pass terraced rice fields and tiny villages. Once at the park, you can take a nocturnal walk heads into the park before settling in for the night.  Setam Lodge (B)

Day 5: Ranomafana National Park
Experience a rainforest this morning in the park, which is Ranomafana National Park. Part of UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Rainforests of the Atsinanana, Ranomafana is a center of great biodiversity, including 12 different species of lemur and 115 species of birds.  In the afternoon, you will visit the village of Ranomafana and its water springs center, where you can opt to have a massage with essential oils extracted from local plants.  In the evening, a short walk takes you to observe nocturnal animals around the park.  Setam Lodge (B)

Day 6: Ranomafana / Manakara
This half-day trip takes you to the east coast along the Indian Ocean towards the villages of Antanala and Antaimoro. This region reveals the tragic results of slash and burn practices of agriculture in its deforested landscapes.  You can take a break this afternoon by the beach.  La Vanille (B)

Day 7: Manakara / Fianarantsoa
Today, you are in for an amazing cultural experience as you board a train that will take you back into the highlands.  This is a unique opportunity to experience train travel in Madagascar.  The trip is normally a seven- to eight-hour journey into the rainforest and through dozens of tunnels and bridges in the mountains of the eastern slope of Madagascar, known for its wonderful scenery.  Please note that this train trip has been known to take longer than eight hours. Also, although you travel in first class wagons, this is not a luxury trip – so bring along your sense of adventure as well as your sense of humor.  It is a rewarding experience, where you meet the welcoming Malagasy people and learn about their everyday lives.  Fianarantsoa is in south central Madagascar, and is the capital of Haute Matsiatra Region. The Merina people built in the early 19th century by as the administrative capital for the newly conquered Betsileo Kingdoms. This was a crossroads for the Antaimoro, the Antaisaka, the Antanala and the Betsileo traditional cultures.  Zomatel (B) 

Day 8: Fianarantsoa / Isalo
Fianarantsoa is a cultural and intellectual center in te region and is home to some of the oldest Protestant and Lutheran cathedrals on the island, a university, the oldest theological seminary (also Lutheran), and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Fianarantsoa.  It is the wine capital of Madagascar, with its many wine industries.  Begin your day in Ambalavao, you will visit the Antaimoro paper factory, silk weavers’ workshops belonged to a local association of women as well as the community-run reserve of Anja, where you can get very closed to the ring tailed lemurs.  Your day will be spent mostly on the road through rocky landscapes and savanah scenery. This huge plateau and valley are home to the Bara, a conservative farming tribe whose livelihood and rituals are centered on the zebu, Brahman cattle.  On Wednesday or Thursday, you can visit the largest zebu market on the Island or even in the whole of Africa.  Jardin du Roy (B,D)

Day 9: Isalo / Tulear
Composed of eroded ruiniforme sandstone formations from the Jurassic era, Isalo is a semi-desert area characterised by deep canyons, oases and lunar landscapes that offer a feeling of quiet, open spaces. Isalo National Park in the Ihorombe region of Madagascar provides habitat for some 14 different lemur species as well as 82 species of birds, 33 species of reptiles and 15 species of frogs.  Spend much of the day exploring in the park, including a natural swimming pool and a black pool inside one of the canyons.  In the afternoon, you set out for Tulear, also called Toliara, towards the savannah and the baobab areas.  Several species of spiny vegetation in this area are endemic, existing no place else in the world.  You will visit Zombitse National park along on the way to observe some Hapa lemurs and possibly some Sifaka, if lucky.  The area around Tulear (Tolliara) is famed for their unique tombs, decorated with aloalos, which are funerary pole sculptures that, along with the skulls of zebu cattle, are placed on the tombs of important people.  These carved posts often tell the story of the person's life and generally take the form of a series of geometric or symbolic shapes topped by sculpted figures or objects evocative of the deceased's life.  Famata Lodge (B,L)

Day 10: Tulear / Anakao
The village and lagoon of Anakao on the southwest coast is home to the famous Vezo fishermen, known as expert fishermen and excellent boaters.  Vezo are semi-nomadic people who make their living from the sea.  They currently populate most of the littoral zone along Madagascar’s west coast between Tulear and Mahajanga.  Anakao Ocean Lodge (B)

Days 11/12: Anakao
Enjoy your time at this resort. Activities can be tailored to include diving, kayaking, fishing, surfing, spa treatments, or a sea excursion with the Vezo fishermen. You can also opt to explore Tsimanampetsotsa National Park by quad bike. The park is considered one of the ten most important reserves in Madagascar.  Its alkaline lake attracts pink and dwarf flamingos as well as numerous other bird species.  This strategic wetland extends for over 43,200 hectares/106,749 acres, and more than 90% of its biological species are endemic. Venture out to the lake, a fascinating cave with blind fish, a route to see the dramatic baobab trees, among the oldest on the planet, and the beautiful beach of Ambula.  Anakao Ocean Lodge (B)

Day 13: Anakao / Tulear / Antananarivo / Depart
Head back to the capital today to connect with your onward flight. (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy: From $3860

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