A jaw-dropping, wildlife-drenched hotspot, Madagascar is one of the most interesting places on earth and home to some of the weirdest and rarest animal species in existence. Forget the film, seeing truly is believing – with over 70 varieties of lemurs and an abundance of wildlife, Madagascar is more colorful than even Hollywood captured. This 14-day adventure will take you deep into some of the world’s most protected conservation areas and even treat you to three days on the gorgeous beaches of Ifaty. This is a once-in-a-lifetime journey to one of the most unique holiday destinations in the world.
Also known as the Great Red Island, due to the predominant color of its soil, Madagascar is a unique ecosystem. Located 600 km away from the East-African Coast, this giant island split away from the Black Continent over 120 million years ago. Isolated from the rest of the world, Madagascar gave birth to some very unique species of animals and amazing landscapes.
Ranomafana National Park is the best place to admire the animals that Madagascar is most famous for, lemurs. These funny-looking creatures couldnâ€™t have survived alongside the more advanced wildlife on the African continent, but living untroubled in this isolated habitat, they survived and evolved into many different subspecies. The park was established in 1991 in order to protect the island’s unique wildlife and to limit human damage on this protected area.
The alien-looking karst limestone formations of Tsingy de Bemaraha are unique on Earth and have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, in 1990. The southern part of the area was transformed into a national park, open to tourists, while the northern side remains a carefully protected natural reserve.
Known by most people as Nosy Boraha, this little island on the eastern coast of the Great Red Island was the center of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Famous corsairs as William Kidd or Thomas White made Ile Ste-Marie their headquarters because of its concealing vegetation and tough-to-navigate lagoons. Nowadays this old pirate haven is Madagascar’s best whale-watching spot and a great place for water sports like surfing, diving and fishing. Ile Ste-Marie is also famous for its beautiful white-sand beaches.
Children Policy: Children two and under are permitted within maximum occupancy at no additional cost using existing bedding. Up to two children three to 12 are permitted in addition to the double occupancy for $40 per child, per night, using existing bedding or a roll-away bed (for an additional cost).
Additional Adult Policy: Up to two adults 13 and over are prmitted in addition to the double occupancy for $40 per adult, per night, using existing bedding or a roll-away bed (for an additional cost).Roll-away beds are based on availability and cannot be guaranteed; they can be requested for $5 per bed, per night.
Additional Person: and bedding fees will be collected by the property. For additional person and bedding requests, please highlight in the Special Instructions field after purchase.
Handicap-Accessible: No, the resort is not accesible by wheel chair.
Touchdown in ‘Tana’, the capital of Madagascar, and spend your day at leisure. Antananarivo is the bustling heartbeat of the island and is surrounded by the sacred hills of the Imerina Plateau, atop which sit the 18th Century palaces of the Imerina Kings. Relax at your hotel or take to the streets to explore the city. Experience the hustle and bustle of the local market and check out the old colonial architecture.
Travel east towards the rainforests. If time allows opt to stop at Peyrieras, a small private nature reserve where you’ll see your first lemurs, as well as possible sightings of chameleon and geckos. Continue on to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park where you’ll spend the night. Spend Day 3 exploring the National Park that protects the lemur’s habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife and an abundance of spectacular flora.
Travel past rice paddies and Merina tombs to the ancient colonial town of Antsirabe, a thermal city known for its volcanic lakes. Take to a ‘pousse pousse’ (rickshaw) to explore this quaint city. Make a short visit to Lake Andraikiba and then on to the village of Ambatonikolahy, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and panoramic mountain views. Spend a cosy night with a local family in a traditional homestay, affording you an authentic cultural experience and the chance to learn the rituals of daily life in Madagascar.
Take a morning hike to capture the stunning views of Mont Ifasina and its spectacular surroundings. The next stop today will be Ranomafana, whose name means ‘hot water’ after the discovery of thermal springs there around a century ago. The National Park here is of huge importance and is home to many species of lemur including the golden bamboo lemur. End the day with a guided night walk, allowing you to see the rainforest with its stands of giant bamboo and Chinese guava trees, in a whole new dimension.
Embark on a morning forest walk and witness nature’s daily awakening. Enjoy a scenic drive through the island’s wine region to the rural town of Ambalavao. You’ll stop at a tea plantation and visit a local paper factory.
Stop at the Anja community reserve to see the ring-tailed lemur and continue to Ranohira on the edge of Isalo National Park. The sandstone rock has been sculpted by the wind and rain to create an almost lunar landscape. Spend a full day exploring and continue on to Cascades, which is considered to be one of the best waterfalls in Madagascar with a large natural swimming pool. If you are lucky, you may see brown and ring-tailed lemurs in the canopy above.
Today it’s farewell to the forest and onwards to the coast. Drive through wide open desert landscape past sapphire mining towns and fire-resistant baobab trees, and stop to see Mahafaly’s tomb before reaching Ifaty and the breathtaking beaches of the Mozambican Channel. Spend the next couple of days unwinding. Relax on the sand, snorkel or dive on the coral reef, sail in dugout canoes or explore the local villages.
Say farewell to the coast and transfer to Toliara to catch an internal flight (included) back to Antananarivo where, after spending one last night together as a group, your amazing journey ends.