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17  DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF MADAGASCAR.–

17 DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF MADAGASCAR.

Discover Antananarivo’s rich architecture, hike through lush rainforests, see lemurs in Andasibe and Mantadia national parks, explore Isalo National Park and discover endemic bird species, stay in luxury tent on Mandrare River, and explore white sandy beaches with outstanding biodiversity in Nosy Komba.

Day 1
You’ll be picked up from Ivato International Airport and meet your English-speaking guide who will take you on a 4-hour drive to the east. You’ll be dropped off at Maison Gallieni, a beautifully restored colonial mansion with stylish décor, located on the upper side of the city. You can relax in the pool, take in the city’s views, or explore the vibrant architecture of Tana, the local name for the city.

Day 2
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up and take you on a 4 hour drive east to the beautiful Andasibe – Mantadia national park. This rainforest park is home to two protected areas: the Perinet Reserve, which is home to the world’s largest living lemur population, and Mantadia national park, which is also home to the largest population of lemurs in the world.On the drive to the Andasibe national park, you will be introduced to the rural life of Madagascar. Along the way, you will see rice paddies, red brick houses, and roadside stands selling seasonal fruit and vegetables. At Mantadia Lodge, you will have time for lunch, and you will stay full-board for two nights.In the afternoon, you will visit the private reserve run by the local non-governmental organization Mitsinjo, which provides funding for reforestation projects, community education, and sensitization on conservation issues. Mitsinjo is also the first amphibian captivity-breeding facility in Madagascar. Here, you will be able to see a variety of wildlife species, as well as plant indigenous species in the reforestation path.

Day 3
After breakfast you will be picked up by your guide and drive 1.5 hours to Mantadia national park for a day adventure and picnic lunch. The park is home to a variety of lemur species, such as Indri, Grey bamboo, Red-bellied, White Ruffed, and Diademed Sifaka. The trails are slightly rougher, but worth it because the forest is higher, thicker, and less populated than in Perinet. This park is a naturalist’s dream, with many rare mammals, reptiles, and birds, including Breasted Coua, Scaly Ground Roller, and Pitta-Like Ground Roller. After your picnic lunch at the rianasoa waterfall, hike back to your vehicle and head to the lodge for a night walk. This evening you will be exploring the forest around the lodge, where you will see a number of night lemurs, such as Woolly Lemur, Mouse Lemur, White Footed Sportive, and Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur.

Day 4
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your guide and taken to Perinet Reserve. This reserve covers 180 hectares and is renowned for its indri lemur population. Indri lemurs are known for their distinctive black and white stripes, barely visible tail and surprised teddy bear-like face. They are also one of the rarest animals on the planet that can’t survive in captivity. Along the way, you will see 11 different species of lemurs as you stroll through the rainforest, including common brown lemurs, black and white Ruffed lemurs, grey bamboo lemurs and diademed Sifaka. Perinet Reserve is also home to many reptiles and invertebrates, as well as some of Madagascar’s orchid species. The reserve is also home to a variety of birds, including blue coua bird, velvet asity bird, nuthatch vanga bird and many more endemic species. After lunch in the Andasibe area, you will be taken back to Tana where you will be staying for the night at maison gallieni.

Day 5
On the 5th day of your trip, after breakfast, you will be picked up by your guide who will drop you off at Ivato Airport, where you will hop on a domestic flight for Toliara airport. When you arrive at Toliara airport, you will be met by your driver who speaks English, and then you will start your 4 hour drive to the national park of Isalo. You will stay at Jardin du Roy, your accommodation for the next 2 nights, and settle into your room, or take a swim in the pool where you will be able to enjoy the stunning view of Isalo national park. Isalo National Park is one of Madagascar’s most popular parks, and it’s easy to see why. It’s made up of sandstone rock cut by steep canyons, and it’s surrounded by natural pools with crystal clear water. It also has some of Madagascar’s rarest endemic plants, such as pachypodium and aloe, and it’s a great place for botanists and lemur lovers. The Bara tribe has used it as a sacred burial site for centuries.

Day 6
Begin your day with a full day of walking in Isalo National Park, one of Madagascar’s most diverse and captivating parks. Your guide will suggest a range of trails to suit your interests and physical capabilities. The Canyon des Singes is one of the best trails, winding through thick forest and bright-coloured rock formations to a mysterious rock pool called the ‘Piscine naturelle’. Isalo National Park is very different from other parks in Madagascar, with its vast rolling plains and stunning rock formations. Although the wildlife is not as abundant as other parks, Isalo is home to some of Madagascar’s rarest endemic plants, including the Aloe plant. The park is also home to several reptile species, including 35 species of reptiles, as well as several endemic frogs, and 80 bird species, including the rare Benson’s rock-thrush, crested ibis and 14 night lemurs.

Day 7
On the 7th day, after breakfast, you will meet your guide who will take you on an hour-long drive to the area where you will stay for the night. You will be staying at a bungalow called ‘Bakuba Lodge’, which is situated in a 36,300-hectare transition forest between the two habitat types. It is a great place for bird watchers, as it is the only place where you can see the Appert’s greenbul, which is one of Madagascar’s rarest endemic birds. You will also be able to see a variety of other birds, such as ‘Crested Coua’ and ‘Giant Coua’. After two hours of walking in the forest you will make the 4-hour drive back to the lodge, stopping for lunch along the way. In the afternoon, you will be able to relax in the bungalow or take a stroll along the beach, or take a dip in the beautiful waters of Mozambique’s Channel. For an extra fee, you can also go snorkeling or scuba diving.

Day 8
Today is day 8 You will be departing from the airport in Antananarivo to continue your trip to the south of Madagascar Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by a representative from Wayfarer who will take you to your hotel, the Relais des plateaux Hotel & Spa You can spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or go exploring in Tana

Day 9
After breakfast on this 9th day, you will be picked up at the airport for your 3 o’clock flight to the fort dauphin. On arrival, you will be met by a guide from Mandrare river camp who will drop you off at a local restaurant where you will have lunch at Fort dauphin after lunch. From there, you will make the 4-hour drive to the Mandrare river camp where you will be staying for 3 nights in a luxury tent with amazing views over the mandrare river. In the evening, around 5pm, you will embark on an exciting night walk in the forest of Zenavo, where you will be able to see the diurnal lemur sleeping and the nocturnal lemur waking as you make your way through the old sacred spiny forest. As the sun sets, keep an eye out for the sifakas and mouse lemurs, white-footed sport lemurs, chameleons, and many other birds.

Day 10
Start your day with breakfast and then head south to the stunning Sacred Gallery Forest. Depending on the water level of the Mandrare, you will walk or boat across the river to this stunning forest, which is home to inquisitive ring-tailed lemur groups and the fun Verreaux Sifaka. You will then head back to camp for lunch before taking a dip in the swimming pool. In the evening, take a stroll through the sacred spiny forest, where you’ll find the ancient tombs of the Antandroy tribe and an abundance of native flora and fauna. Your guide and tracker, who speaks English and is part of the local community, will teach you about the culture and customs of Antandroy. End your day with a refreshing sundowner on the banks of Mandrare.

Day 11
Wake up early with tea or coffee and go for a sunrise stroll through the sacred spiny forest. Watch the sun come up through the spiny octopus trees and keep an eye out for endemic birds such as the running caca, crested caca and various types of vanga. After your morning walk, make your way back to camp for breakfast, then visit the local village and meet the local antandroy tribe. You can also visit the local market, which is open on Thursdays & Saturdays, to buy beautiful handmade handicrafts. After lunch at camp, spend a relaxing afternoon looking out over life along the mandrare river from your own private terrace. In the evening, go for a sundowner among your baobabs and watch the sun go down and the moon rise over the ancient trees. The local village puts on an amazing show of traditional dance, singing, and music. Antandroy people use song and dance in all major ceremonies and major life events.

Day 12

After your final lunch at Mandrare river camp, you’ll be picked up and driven to Fort dauphin, about 4 hours away, where you’ll board your Tsaradia return flight to Tana. You’ll be met by a representative who will then drop you off at Relais des plateaux hotel & spa for your overnight stay.

Day 13

This morning, you will be driven back to the Ivato Airport in plenty of time to catch your 1.5-hour flight north to the island of Nosy Be, where you will be greeted by a staff member and taken to the lodge on the neighboring island, south of the island. The transfer will take approximately 1 hour by road and boat. Stay at the lodge for 3 nights for a full board, and experience the luxury of a 4-star hotel, with a unique and authentic charm, that is in harmony with nature and the outstanding biodiversity of the area. Enjoy the elegant and exclusive atmosphere, a delicious slow food cuisine, and tailored excursions, all while enjoying the comfortable luxury and ecology of this former volcano, surrounded by an abundance of forest, a sapphire-blue sea, and golden sandy beaches. By staying here, you are contributing to sustainable development, and you will be part of an ecological paradise.

Day 14-15
Enjoy a variety of activities to fill your days. The hotel offers tailor-made trips to nearby islands, natural reserves, fishing trips, quad bike rides, island tours, scuba diving and snorkeling. All of these are just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, allowing you to marvel at the natural beauty of the sea’s surface.

Day 16
This morning, you will leave the island and be picked up by boat back to the island of Nosy Be, where you will board your 1.5-hour flight to Tana. Upon arrival in Tana, your tour guide will pick you up and take you to your final night stay in Madagascar, Relais Des Plataeux hotel & Spa. You can spend the afternoon or evening at home, perhaps doing some last-minute souvenir shopping.

Day 17
Enjoy your last breakfast at Relais Des Plateux before heading to Ivato International Airport to board your international flight home. Your amazing Madagascar holiday is over, but we’re sure you’ll have plenty of memories to cherish and photos and stories to tell your family back home.


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