15-day Classic South Madagascar (Standard)

This 15-day Classic South Madagascar (Standard) itinerary is a leisurely trip through the towns, villages and diverse national parks of Southern Madagascar. As you drive you might pass by paddy fields, overtake zebu cattle ambling along and stop to buy bananas from a brightly coloured roadside stall. It is easy to see why the road from Tana to Tulear is one of the most scenic in the country and this trip will allow you to experience the real Madagascar.

Highlights

  • Antananarivo
  • Fianarantsoa
  • Ranomafana
  • Toliara
  • Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  • Antsirabe
  • Isalo National Park
  • Madagascar

Tour Summary

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Full Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1 : Antananarivo

Arrival in Antananarivo from your international flight.  Welcome and transfer to your hotel.

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Day 2 : Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

140 km – 3 hr drive
After breakfast, you will leave Antananarivo to go to Andasibe.  You will cross a myriad of villages and get acquainted with the traditional lifestyle of the Malagasy people.  With pretty golden grasslands on the background, you will enjoy the amazingly abundant rice paddies, chimneyless long clay red houses and millions of roadside markets displaying a variety of handicrafts, fruit and meat.  On the way, you will visit the Peyrieras farm where reptiles and chameleons are easily seen.  You will arrive in Andasibe in the afternoon and get settled at the hotel.  Evening walk along the main street in the evening.

Don’t forget to bring:
Good walking shoes
Raincoat
Mosquito repellent
Long sleeve shirt
Torch or headlamp

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Day 3 : Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

A whole day devoted to discovering Andasibe parks and reserves.  The humid forest of Andasibe is one of the most beautiful and the richest areas in terms of biodiversity.  These forests are located at an altitude of 900-1,250 metres and trade winds blow permanently on its Eastern part.  They also shelter many animals, this way ensuring their preservation.108 species of birds can be found in the park.  Some of them, like the Terpsiphone mutata, contribute to some plants’ survival.  There are also 14 species of lemurs, 51 species of Boa reptiles including the famous Boa “manditra”, and 84 species of amphibians.  In terms of flora, they are home to creepers and epiphytes such as orchids, mosses and ferns.  We can find there various orchids with more than one hundred listed species.

In the morning, visit of the Special Reserve of Indri Indri: 3 h to 4 h stroll to observe the biggest species of Indri-Indri lemur.  Besides, some endemic species as Eulemur fulvus and Hapalemur griseus can be seen there.  We can also observe a few birds’ species.  In the afternoon, tour of the Islet of lemurs: Private reserve of Vakona Forest Lodge.  The lemurs here have relative freedom.  There are 4 species of lemurs (Ruffed Lemur, Ring tailed lemur, Hapalemur).

Don’t forget to bring:
Good walking shoes
Raincoat
Mosquito repellent

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Day 4 : Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

Morning devoted to discovering the Mantadia National Park: at 1h30 drive from Andasibe Village, territory of the Diademed sifaka, one of the most beautiful lemurs of Madagascar, and some species of Roller.  Late in the afternoon, short walk through the VOIMMA Park: This park is run by the village community.  It is here that late-night strolls are carried out. There are many species of nocturnal lemurs and chameleons.

 Don’t forget to bring:
Good walking shoes
Raincoat
Mosquito repellent
Long sleeve shirt

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Day 5 : Antsirabe

310 km – 7 hour drive
After breakfast, you will hit the road towards the Great South. Discover the typical highlands sceneries with rice paddies and traditional red clay houses.  Stop in the tiny city of Ambatolampy at the foot of the Ankaratra massif (3rd highest summit of the island).  Continue to Antsirabe, the thermal city.

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Day 6 : Ranomafana

230 km – 6 to 7 hour drive
In the morning, visit Antsirabe and its history.  Famous for its thermal springs, the city economically burst at the arrival of the Norwegian missionaries who developed some pastures thanks to the fresh altitude climate.  The French developed a thermal complex along the Ranomafana lake, where the buildings can still be seen.  Visit the local art craft: semi-precious stone cutting, embroidery and traditional sweets factory.  Continue to Ambositra, famous mainly for the master woodcarvers and furniture manufacturing.  The Zafimaniry Capital is a veritable work of art, with shutters and walls carved in geometric designs.  After lunch, you will drive to Ranomafana.  This pleasant resort offers an open-air museum sheltering various wildlife and endemic plants. Like Antsirabe,  Ranomafana offers the opportunity to enjoy a thermal bath. Get settled at the hotel.

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Day 7 : Ranomafana

Enjoy a full-day visit in Ranomafana National Park.  This park is located on a rain forested uphill that lies at an altitude of 800 to 1,200 meters.  Ranomafana national park was created in 1990 after the discovery of the “golden bamboo lemur” in 1986 (its scientific name is Hapalemur Aureus).  This particular and amazing species of lemur has strange eating habits and can’t be seen anywhere else.  You can also find 115 species of birds there, thirty of which are strictly forest species; 90 species of butterflies; 98 species of amphibians; Some species of fish; And 62 species of reptiles, chameleons, lizards.

Don’t forget to bring:
Good walking shoes
Raincoat
Mosquito repellent
Torch

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Day 8 : Fianarantsoa

60 km – 1 1/2 hour drive
After a last visit in the park, you will hit the road towards Fianarantsoa.  In the afternoon, enjoy a walk in the tea plantations next to the hotel.

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Day 9 : Isalo National Park

295 km – 5 to 6 hour drive
Leave Fianarantsoa to go to Ambalavao.  Enjoy the magnificent scenery of terrace-rice fields and vineyard.  Stop at Anja’s Private Park, a dry forest located at the foot of an enormous granitic dome, for the discovery of the Ring Tailed Lemur.  It is a 2h30 ride.  You will then head to Ranohira through the grassy savannah plateau of Ihorombe.  You are right in the heart of the Bara territory.  Here, the Zebu regulates men’s life. People refer to it as the “Zebus’ civilization".

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Day 10 – 11 : Isalo National Park

Enjoy the two whole-days discovery of the second biggest national park of Madagascar.  The massif of Isalo, the oldest geological formation of Madagascar, is made up of sandstone massif ruiniform of the 1stJurassic era.  The animals of Isalo are typical of the climate, the vegetation and the park’s geomorphology.  Most of them are endemic species.  There are 77 species of birds living at Isalo.  Among them, we can quote the Benson’s blackbird or Pseudocosyphus bensoni, an endemic species of Madagascar which is much protected.  There are also 14 species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs.  Reptiles, amphibians, carnivorous, insectivorous and rodents complete the list.

Drive then to the foot of the massif of Isalo to discover the park on foot.  Different possible visits on the spot: the natural swimming pool, the Canyons, the Nymph waterfalls or the Namaza forest.

Don’t forget to bring:
Good walking shoes
Hat
Sunscreen
Light clothe
Bath suit
Mosquito repellent

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Day 12 : Toliara

About a 4 hour drive.
Depending on your flight schedule, drive towards Tulear. Early in the morning, about 4 hours drive with stops. We head south to Toliara, Enjoy the first glimpses of baobabs rising majestically in the middle of the savannah and the magnificent Antandroy and Mahafaly tombs. Get settled at your hotel for short refreshen. In the afternoon, drive to the Reniala private reserve. You will enjoy 2 hours guided tour in this incredible spiny forest. If you are lucky, you’ll be meeting some endemic bird species.

About Reniala: It is a private reserve near the sea, in the Baobab forest of South West of MADAGASCAR just outside the village of Mangily Ifaty 27 km from Tulear. The reserve covers an area of ​​60 hectares. This area has a rich and endemic flora and fauna: 1,000 endemic plant species adaptations to xerophytic (dry climate) remarkable, including many endemic birds and Uratelornis Monias, reptiles: Turtle: Astrochelys, Pyxis, lizards, snakes, lemurs ...You can also visit the lemur rescue center set up by the Reniala NGO in partnership with the reserve and others. Then transfer to Ifaty along the Mozambique Channel, through the fishermen village.

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Day 13 : Toliara

After an early breakfast, drive to the Reniala private reserve then enjoy the 2 hours guided tour in this incredible spiny forest.  If you are lucky, you’ll be meeting some endemic bird species.

About Reniala: It is a private reserve near the sea, in the Baobab forest of South West of MADAGASCAR just outside the village of Mangily Ifaty 27 km from Tulear. The reserve covers an area of ​​60 hectares. This area has a rich and endemic flora and fauna: 1,000 endemic plant species adaptations to xerophytic (dry climate) remarkable, including many endemic birds and Uratelornis Monias, reptiles: Turtle: Astrochelys, Pyxis, lizards, snakes, lemurs .  You can also visit the lemur rescue center set up by the Reniala NGO in partnership with the reserve and others.  Drive back to Tulear in the afternoon.

Don’t forget to bring:
Hat
Sunscreen
Light clothes

 

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Day 14 : Antananarivo

Transfer to the airport for the flight Toliara – Antananarivo.  Meet at the airport then transfer to your hotel.

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Day 15 : Departure

Depending on your flight schedule, transfer to the airport for your onward international flight.

Included

All airport meet/greet and transfers
Groups less than 5 people: 4WD vehicle with guide from Antananarivo to Ifaty, Day 2 to Day 12.
Groups of 5 or more:  minibus with guide from Antananarivo to Ifaty, Day 2 to Day 12.
Domestic flight from Toliara – Antananarivo
Accommodation on a double/twin or single basis
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners depending on the pension chosen above
Entrance and guiding fees in the following parks and reserves: Andasibe, Ranomafana, Anja, Isalo and Reniala reserve
Visits mentioned
Tourist taxes

Excluded

Flights and airport taxes
Free activities
Lunches
Dinners in Antananarivo
Drinks, tips and extras
Travel insurance