Contrasting Beauty of the North

11 Days | All Year Round

Antananarivo – Antsohihy – Antsiranana - Ramena – Ambanja – Nosy Be Island

This trip takes us across the warmest region of Madagascar, starting with a visit to Ankarafantsika national park, followed by an exploration of the rainforest of Montagne d’Ambre with its localized kinds of lemurs, frogs and chameleons and lots of endemic plants. We will also visit the special reserve of Ankarana, a wilderness of caves, pinnacles and canyons, to see the deciduous and stone forests. Finally we can choose to relax on the beaches of three different bays beside the emerald sea.

Day 1: Antananarivo

Today is an arrival day. You are free to arrive at any time and you will be welcomed at the airport by your tour manager and then transferred to your hotel.

Antananarivo, often abbreviated to Tana, has a distinctively French flavour and atmosphere: French is widely spoken and road, as well as shop signs (such as boulangerie or épicerie), are mostly in French.

Included Meals: None

Day 2: Antananarivo – Ankarafantsika National Park

With an early morning start, we drive to Ankarafantsika; this will take most of the day.

Ankarafantsika National Park, in the northwest of Madagascar is a mosaic of dense and dry forests and provides an excellent opportunity to see and photograph some of the Island’s most extraordinary lemurs and a wide range of endemic birds. This park/center is also known for its magnificent lakes.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Visiting the Ankarafantsika National Park

Today is devoted to exploring the National Park. Ankarafantsika is home to eight lemur species, including Coquerel‘s Sifaka and the recently discovered Microcebus ravelobensis, as well as Brown lemurs, Fat – tailed, Dwarf lemurs and Sportive, Woolly and Grey mouse lemurs.

There are also many kinds of reptiles, hosts of birds (129 species in the forest of Ankarafantsika. 75 among them are endemic), amphibians, chameleons and snakes…

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Ankarafantsika – Antsohihy

We leave Ankarafantsika and continue our journey to Antsohihy.

Antsohihy, located in the Mahajanga district of northern Madagascar is an isolated coastal town which during wet periods is only accessible by boat or light plane.
Our drive gives you the opportunity to savour the landscape and to see the rural lifestyle of the coastal people.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Antsohihy – Ankarana Special Reserve

After breakfast we continue our drive to the Ankarana Special Reserve.

Ankarana is the western extension of a chalky massif of the mid Jurassic that emerges from a basaltic plain located above 50 meters over the sea level. The limestone plateau has been eroded to form tower karst and the ridges and channels of the base rock form characteristic tsingy.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Visiting the Ankarana Special Reserve

Full day visit to explore the Ankarana Special Reserve.

The park of Ankarana spreads over 18,225 ha. This is an ideal place for speleologist enthusiasts with really awesome geological formations that include spectacular karst outcrops, craggy limestone promontories, fissured canyons covered by dense primary forest, and fantastic caves decorated with countless stalactites that hide an unexpected inhabitant: crocodiles.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Visiting the Red Tsingy in Antsiranana

We drive from Ankarana National Park to visit the spectacular eroded red soil called Red Tsingy in Antsiranana.

These tsingy are made of a red clay-like soil called laterite. They are caused by the erosion of the bare land / mud during heavy rain, which is regular in these parts. The effects of burning and resultant deforestation leaves the surface soil exposed to this spectacular erosion.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Visiting the Amber Mountain National Park
The national park of the Amber Mountain spreads over 23010 hectares of which 18200 hectares forms the National Park and 4810 hectares is the Special Forest Reserve of Amber. This is a volcanic massif covered with forest ranging in altitude from 850 to 1475 meters.

With, at the last count, 1020 species of plants the Amber Mountain is a place of great biodiversity with 77 species of birds, seven species of lemurs and 24 species of amphibians. It is also one of the best places to observe chameleons, including the Brokesia, the smallest chameleon on earth.

This prominent volcanic massif has 5 crater lakes, some amazing waterfalls and streams and rewarding viewpoints.

We will spend the rest of the afternoon in Antsiranana (Diego) and the surroundings.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Visiting the three bays of Antsiranana – Ramena

Today, we drive from Diego to visit the series of beautiful turquoise bays, lined with long white beaches that bear fascinating names such as the Pigeons’ Bay, the Duns’Bay and the Sakalava Bay.

After the visit we drive through to Ramena.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 10: Ramena – Ambanja

Departure for Ambanja via Antsiranana. The town of Ambanja is located about 100 km south of Ambilobe on the banks of the Sambirano River, in a very fertile valley all planted with crops. It is one of the most humid parts of the west coast. Ambanja is served by the local Ambanja Airport and maritime harbour, and it is on the Malagasy domestic flight path.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Ambanja – Ankify where ferry boats leave to Nosy Be Island.

This morning we travel to Ankify. Ankify is a small harbour from where you can reach Nosy Be on an half an hour crossing with local speed boat.

Ankify, situated along the white sand beach, offers you beautiful coastline, authentic fishing villages, hospitable inhabitants and huge cacao and coffee plantations. End of services in the port of Nosy Be.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Tour / Service Details


  • Tour manager from day 1 to day 11;
  • Cars (minibus / 4WD);
  • Ferry to Nosy Be (one way)
  • Overnights in the hotels in double or twin;
  • Meals as mentioned including 1, 5 L of mineral water per day per person;
  • All transfers
  • All entrance fees, local guides in all visited parks.

Not included:

International and domestic flights, private expenses, additional activities, your stay in Nosy Be, drink except where mentioned.

Please note:

  • For this tour there is one internal flight that is not included in the tour price.
  • The tour can be modified to meet the group’s requirements


Each group will have an English speaking Tour Manager. During the visits in the parks and reserves, an affiliated guide of National Parks of Madagascar will accompany the groups.

Group size

For convenience and comfort and in order to minimize disruption in the different natural environments we visit, groups are limited from 2 to a maximum of 12 (twelve) participants.

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