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Join Safpol Safaris on this 18-day safari tour exploring the very best of Madagascar's spectacular destinations! You will explore the vast rainforests in Kirindy Mitea National Park, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Isalo National Park, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, and Ranomafana National Park. To top it all off, the exciting cultural excursions in Ihosy and Ambositra will surely create a unique experience for you. Feel the magic of Malagasy beauty!
You'll stay for 17 nights in guest houses, lodges, and hotels according to the program on a bed and breakfast basis. Single supplement is available for 405 EUR.
Upon arrival in Antananarivo, there will be a meet and greet, then you'll be transferred to a hotel where you'll spend the night on bed and breakfast basis.
You’ll have breakfast at the hotel and then drive southward to Antsirabe across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields on stage and its spectacular eroded hills called “lavaka”. You’ll arrive in Antsirabe in the afternoon. Founded by Norwegian in 1856, it is an elegant city, which really feels and looks like a European city.
Dotted with a cool climate and thermal spring, Antsirabe is one of the most attractive places in Madagascar for its clement climate. You’ll continue to Miandrivazo where the landscape is changing, you will be on the highland and during the drive you will see Highland villages and erosion called “lavaka”. Upon arrival in Miandrivazo, you’ll stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
You’ll depart for a 6-hour drive to Kirindy Mitea National Park, the landscape which is decorated by baobabs and rice fields will give place to empty hills and red soil. After your arrival in Kirindy settlement, then you’ll check in at the lodge then go for 3 hours’ hiking in Kirindy Park with a guide.
Being rich in wildlife and home to 8 species of day-active lemurs, Kirindy is also home to “the fossa” (the only predator for lemurs), the “giant jumping rat” (Malagasy giant rat), and the world’s smallest primate as well as dozens of amphibian and reptile species (no poisonous snakes).
The Kirindy also boasts more than 60 species of birds. At around 18:00, you’ll meet your guide again for a night walk to see night active animals, you’ll stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
Early morning, with a 4x4 car, you’ll go on 4 hours’ drive to Tsimafana through the baobabs forest and the red soil of the west. There will be a ferry boat transfer to reach Belo sur Mer. Then, you’ll head on to Bekopaka for another 4 hours’ adventure in a dirt track. This drive brings you to Madagascar’s profound, African bush side of the country with its dry and red soil.
One can experience the real life of Malagasy people in the driest part of the country. After your arrival in Bekopaka and rest at a hotel, you’ll then visit the Small Tsingy. You’ll stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
In the morning, after breakfast, you will enjoy 6 hours’ hike to the Big Tsingy, a limestone mountain classified as an international heritage. This massif is spectacularly eroded into a chaos of karsts pinnacle which gives it a very strange form. Here, nature seems to be in perfect harmony with this wild and sharp limestone mountain.
The flora consists of a dry western deciduous forest, plants typical of these dry limestone areas are species of aloe, baobab Adansonia, and the red-flowered flamboyant tree, Delonix regia, which is so widely planted in the tropics. Madagascar’s sole native banana, Musa perrieri, also occurs. Regarding flora, you can see typical plants growing in the rocky area such Pachypodium and orchids.
Concerning the fauna you can see the stump-tailed chameleon, Brookesia perarmata, known from only a handful specimens, the bird list contains 53 species, seven species of lemurs including Von der Decken's sifaka and propithecus verreauxi deckeni. You’ll stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll then drive back to Morondava with a stop in Avenue of the Baobabs for a photo; this is the region of splendid Grandidier’s baobab, Adansonia grandidieri. You’ll stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast, you’ll drive to Manja. You’ll drive across the dunes and villages. You’ll cross the big river of Kabatomena where the car has to drive through the river. You’ll stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast, you’ll continue the drive across the coastal line through large dunes, sand with a nice view of the sea, baobabs, spiny forest, and thorny bushes. Ifaty is another seaside resort north of Tuléar. You’ll arrive in Ifaty late in the afternoon, settle, and stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
These two days in Ifaty are at your leisure. Ifaty lies on the beach so the place is ideal for diving and snorkeling. Many excursions can be arranged also on the spot on option, like visiting a Vezo Village to experience the Vezo Fishermen’s life, and visit the reserve of Domergue with 2 species of baobabs, the spiny bush and many reptiles. Ifaty is situated in the largest lagoon of the country and is protected by a large coral reef which makes it an ideal place for diving and snorkeling. Overnight stay will be at the same hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll head on to Isalo National Park. This step brings you to the interior part of Madagascar, the land of Mahafaly. Along the way, you’ll see many tombs of these tribes. Before seeing Isalo, you’ll pass through Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, a transition zone between the dry south and the land of Isalo, a formation of continental sandstone rocks. You’ll arrive in Isalo around noon. You’ll settle and stay overnight in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
You’ll enjoy a day excursion in the national park of Isalo and the famous “natural swimming pool”. This park is very famous for its strange geological formation. Composed of sandstone and eroded by the rain and the wind, this mountain offers the most spectacular scenery in the country.
This is also a place where the Bara tribes used to bury their dead until they have enough money to buy a silver coffin. If you are lucky, you will see the lemur catta during this walk. Around 16:30, you’ll drive to the “the natural window” where you’ll see the beautiful sunset between rocks which looks like a window. You’ll stay the night in the same lodge.
After breakfast, you’ll head on to Ihosy, the capital of Bara tribes which are shepherds of Zebu. You’ll pass through the huge “Plateaux De Horombe” with its very spacious red soil which reminds us of “the no man’s land”. This is a huge and empty grassy plain. From one place to another you can see some droves of zebus, accompanied by a Bara man with his rifle.
You’ll arrive in Ihosy, the land of Bara who are darker–skinned with African features if compared to Merina. They are cattle-raisers and many activities during their life are associated with zebu. For instance, to get a wife, a man has to steal few zebus to show his strength and virility. When they die, they have to kill many zebus as well. The landscape is becoming more and more grandiose.
Huge Granite Mountains are imposing themselves in the spacious and empty plains. You feel like being swallowed by this emptiness and tranquility. From a long distance, you can already spot a huge imposing rocky hill called “Bishop’s hat”. This is a sacred place for the local people, no one ever venture to walk down there though it is a nice area for trekking as it is a burial site and was a place where the local people’s ancestors preferred to make a collective suicide rather than to render to Merina’s domination.
Then, you will see the “3 hillocks”, an area among the imposing rocky hill. Another spectacular is the huge granite dome with twin rock towers called: “the gate of the South” which marks the beginning of the highland and the end of the south. Then, you’ll continue to Ranomafana National Park where you’ll pass through Fianarantsoa the capital of Betsileo tribes. Called “the Gate of the South”, Fianarantsoa is the capital of Betsileo tribes. A very catholic city, this is the seat of Jesuits and the best university is found there.
Afterward, you’ll stop in Anja Community Reserve, a park run by the village where part of the income serves to pay the teachers of the local school. The walk will bring you to the forest of Anja where you can admire a large family of lemurs. You’ll continue your drive to Ranomafana. You’ll stay overnight in in a hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast, you’ll explore the Ranomafana National Park. Today, you’ll explore the rain forest of Madagascar. Ranomafana is situated in the east. Apart from its huge tropical forest, it is also a thermal city where visitors can relax in the hot spring water. Ranomafana National Park was created in 1991.
This expedition in the forest with special guide enables you to see 12 species lemurs, the most important one is the “golden lemurs” which has been discovered very recently, more than 100 birds, reptiles, butterflies and other insects are seen in the park. The area is covered with forest, in the higher areas the trees are festooned with mosses, lichens, and orchid. The afternoon is free; you can have a visit of Ranomafana village or go to the swimming pool. You’ll stay the night at the same hotel.
There will be a departure to Ambositra after breakfast. Today, you’ll come across the highland which is characterized by rice fields on stage, its chilly climate and the population which has the features of Asian people. Arrival in Ambositra. Ambositra and its surrounding are the lands of Zafimaniry. They are sub-tribe of Betsileo which is the third largest tribes in the country and the second tribes after Merina in the highland. Zafimaniry lives mainly in the forest and lives on forest exploitation. They are the master of wood carving in the country.
You’ll continue to Antsirabe and arrive in the afternoon. Antsirabe or “the place of salt “ is an elegant city best known as the center of beer, you can smell the brewery as you enter the town. Founded by Norwegian in 1856, it is the only place which really feels and looks like a European city. It has a temperate climate and all fruits and vegetable which grow in cold climate are found in Antsirabe. You’ll stay the night in a hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.
In the morning, you’ll start your drive to Tana. Then, you head on eastwards to Andasibe, through the green landscape and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step brings you to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way, you’ll see Merina village on the hill and the Rocky Mountains. You’ll reach Andasibe at the end of the afternoon; you’ll settle in a hotel to spend the night on a bed and breakfast basis.
In the morning, you’ll go on 3 to 4 hours’ hike to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, a huge tropical rain forest in the east. 9 species of lemurs can be spotted there. The highlight is the “indri indri” which is the largest lemur of the island. This 810-hectare reserve is also home to numerous unique species.
It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. In the afternoon, you will visit the private park of Vakona in the “islands of lemurs” which is the best spot to take pictures of lemurs. Afterward, back to your lodge. You’ll spend the night at the same lodge.
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll then drive back to Tana. Stop and visit Peyrieras Reptile Reserve to see farmed chameleons and other species of reptiles. During a walk inside the forest, you can spot 2 species of lemurs: the Coquerel's sifaka and the brown lemurs (E. fulvus). Upon arrival in Tana, you’ll have a day at the hotel then transfer to the airport for the international flight back home.
Your safari tour will take place in Madagascar where you'll visit places such as Antananarivo, Miandrivazo, Antsirabe, Kirindy Mitea National Park, Bekopaka, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Morondava, Manja, Ifaty, Isalo National Park, Ranomafana National Park, and Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
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