Madagascar Trekking Expedition

12 Days | All Year Round

Antananarivo – Antsirabe – Ibity – Andringitra NP – Rahonira – Isalo NP – Toliara – Anakao

A whirlwind tour with an emphasis on hiking and exposure to the landscapes, nature, wildlife and cultures of the wondrous island of Madagascar.

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 – Antsirabe
Today we drive from Antananarivo to Antsirabe through beautiful scenery. On the road we will see handicraft markets and get a flavour of the daily life of the Merina ethnic people. We will stop in Ambatolampy to visit a small traditional factory making pots in aluminium.

Antsirabe is an elegant city and is the centre of Madagascar’s beer industry – smell the brewing at Star Brewery as we enter the town! Antsirabe, literally “the place of salt’ was founded by the Norwegians in 1856 although the architecture of many of the buildings and wide avenues bears testimony to Madagascar’s French colonial past. This area has a temperate climate and all fruits and vegetables that grow in a cool climate are to be found here.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Hiking in Ibity, Ambositra

Located 25km south of Antsirabe, Ibity is justifiably famous for its semi-precious stones like quartz, tourmaline, beryl and other fine stones. Mount Ibity, with its 2258m peak, is a unique quartzite massif and offers some of the best trekking in the region. This walk takes about six hours and offers us incredible scenery and wonderful hiking. After the trek, we continue our journey south to Ambositra.

Included Meals: Breakfast & Picnic Lunch

Day 4: Ambositra – Camp Catta
Ambositra is the capital of the Zafimaniry ethnic group; here we will have a short visit to the Malagasy artisans’ workshop renowned for its wood sculptures and carving.

Before driving to Camp Catta we will pass the town of Ambalavao.

Ambalavao is the capital of Antaimoro paper-making. We will visit a workshop where women demonstrate the ancient tradition of making the famous Antaimoro paper from the bark of the Avoha tree, a method dating back to Arabian times, decorating the end product with colourful flowers.

The typical, carved wooden balconies of the buildings are peculiar to this beautiful town.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 to 8: Pic Boby
The peak of Boby in the Andringitra National Park is the second highest accessible summit in Madagascar. This granite outcrop is characterized by high mountains, deep valleys and ridges which cover 31.160 ha : with its altitude ranging from 650 to 2658m it offers incredible scenery and wonderful trekking circuits through its lunar landscapes.

We will stay for four days in this area, spending around 7 to 8 hours trekking each day.

On day one, after an early breakfast, we leave our camp, and begin our trek by crossing the Tsaranoro valley and passing through the Col du Dondy.

The next day we take a short hike to see Zomandao, a wonderful waterfall, then we continue on up to the plateau where we get a wonderful view of the Park.

The third day is a great day; after an early hike we start to ascend Pic Boby. This offers a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding countryside with its smooth granite blocks and the rice paddies of the Betsileo tribe. When we have managed to get our breath back we enjoy the trek back down to our campground.

On our last day we descend toward the Morarano valley.

These hikes take us through vegetation which varies according to the climate and geographic conditions we will encounter, from forests, dense humid lowland environments and those of a medium altitude, and you will have the opportunity to meet the ethnic group who live in this countryside. At night we will sleep in the thousand stars hotel.

We will also hope to see many different species of birds, mammals, frogs and different varieties of plants.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9: Camp Catta – Ranohira
After breakfast we leave Camp Catta for Ranohira but on the way we stop at Anja Park Reserve, a park which is managed by, and provides an income for, the local village community. Here we have a one hour guided walk. This rocky park with its superb scenery, plants, Betsileo history, caves and tombs is also the best place to see the ring tail lemurs.

After visiting the reserve we continue our journey south, driving through the huge “plateau de Horombe” with its space-like red soil, and through Ihosy, which is the capital of the Bara ethnic group. The blue line of spectacular granite peaks we see on the horizon serves as a transition between the dry south and the green highlands.

Reaching Ranohira we endeavor to see the sunset at Fenêtre de l’Isalo, a natural rock formation in the shape of a window.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 10: Isalo NP
Today is devoted to exploring the National Park. We will hike through this amazing rock formation of the Jurassic period, the trek taking us through the beautiful landscape of sandstone cliffs and deep canyons of Isalo. The natural swimming pools and waterfalls make your visit an unforgettable experience.

Besides the lemurs and the Elephant’s Foot xerophyte, Pachypodium, we will also see the massive labyrinths which the Bara ethnic group used as refuge for their cattle and the high cliffs used as burial sites.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Ranohira – Toliara
Today we drive to Toliara, “the City of the Sun” located on the Tropic of Capricorn, travelling across a landscape typical of southern Madagascar with dry vegetation, baobabs and thorny forests. We also pass through Ilakaka “the mushrooms city”, named after the small straw hats worn by the Sapphire searchers panning for jewels in the river.

On the way, you can see the traditional tombs of the Mahafaly and Antandroy ethnic groups. Each grave is decorated to tell the story of the person’s life with drawings and often zebu skulls, which denote the deceased’s wealth.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Toliara – Anakao

After breakfast we transfer by boat to Anakao.

Anakao is a small beautiful fishing village stretching over a long beach located about 40 kilometres south of Tulear.

Due to the isolation of Anakao the village retains a traditional Vezo lifestyle amongst its estimated 3,000 inhabitants; here is one of the highest concentrations of Vezo people found anywhere around the coastline of Madagascar.

The unspoilt beach of Anakao provides a life on the beach experience for visiting tourists. In the early morning hours countless pirogues can be seen sailing into the open ocean on fishing trips, returning with their catch during the afternoon in clusters of small sailing regattas. End of services.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Tour / Service Details

Included:

  • Tour manager during the whole tour;
  • Cars (minibus / 4WD);
  • Transfer by motorboat from/to Anakao
  • Overnights in the hotels/tents in double, twin rooms;
  • Camping equipment (tents, mattress, sleeping bag and pillow)
  • Meals as mentioned including 1, 5 L of mineral water per day per person;
  • All transfers;
  • All entrance fees / camping fees / kitchen implements + cutlery
  • Local guides in all parks visited.

Not included:

International and domestic flights, private expenses, additional activities, your stay in Anakao, 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

Guiding

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 minimise disruption in the different natural environments we visit, groups are limited from 2 to a maximum of 12 (twelve) participants

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