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adventure travel trip to Madagascar
Ringtailed Lemurs. Photo by Candace Kromer.
Dates Please call for current departure information.
Duration 12 days
Group Size 3-14
Land Cost $4,695 Details
Single Supplement $675
Lodging 3 stars
Grade II
Best Time

Madagascar: Tails of the Wild

Look for lurking lemurs in Perinet, Berenty, Ranomafana, and Isalo sanctuaries

Day 1      Arrive Antananarivo

Tonga Soa!  Welcome to Madagascar! Upon arrival in Antananarivo (Tana - the City of a Thousand Warriors) we will be met by our guide and transferred to our hotel. Most flights arrive around 9:30 PM so you should reach the hotel about an hour later after going through immigration and getting your luggage. Then it's time to get some well earned rest.

Meals: none
Lodging: Hotel Tana Plaza

Day 2      Ft. Dauphin/Berenty Reserve

You'll be transferred to the airport for our flight from Tana to Ft. Dauphin. From here you depart overland on a 4 hour scenic drive to Berenty, a unique private nature sanctuary in the extreme southeast of Madagascar at the end of a vast mountain range near many tropical beaches. Here, you will spend time exploring the Berenty Reserve, looking for lemurs and other wildlife with an experienced guide. You will also have the opportunity for an evening walk through the reserve in search of some of the nocturnal wildlife.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Berenty Lodge

Berenty lodge
Day 3      Lemurs Up Close at Berenty Reserve

Spend another full day at Berenty Reserve. Your guide will show you at least three species of lemurs including the popular ring-tailed lemurs, the cuddly and comical sifakas, and the brown lemurs. This should rank among your best wildlife experiences ever. There are about 56 species of resident birds including the large Madagascar buzzard. Time permitting, you may also visit the local cultural museum.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Berenty Lodge

Rngtail Lemurs
Day 4      Explore Ft. Dauphin

Spend our morning doing some final exploration of Berenty. In the early afternoon you'll be driven back about 4 hours to Ft. Dauphin, an interesting town of about 44,000, where you will overnight.  Evening free to explore on your own.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Hotel le Dauphin

Day 5      Spiny Forest: TulĂ©ar to Isalo

This morning you fly to Tuléar town. As an introduction to the Spiny Forest, you'll visit the Tulear botanical gardens, with its hundreds of endemic plants. Your guide will then take you on a tour of Tuléar and the well known seashell market. Continue your 5 hour drive northward toward Isalo. Along the way you'll see new scenery as you travel among the dry and spiny forests. By sunset, you'll arrive at the village of Ranohira and Isalo National Park. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Renes de I'Isalo

Spiney forest
Day 6      Isalo National Park

Your guide will spend the morning with you in Isalo National Park, known for its unique rock formations and wonderful scenery, as well as for its lemurs. You'll walk to Canyon des Singes to see three different species of lemurs:  White Sifaka, Brown and Ring Tailed. You'll also see the pools of Piscine Noire and Piscine Bleue as well as the Cascae waterfalls. Then continue your guided walk to la Piscine Naturelle (natural swimming pool), for a picnic and a swim, if desired. Note: We recommend good walking footwear/boots for this hike.

Returning to the village, visit the Interpretation Center, where you will learn more about the Massif of Isalo: its geology, history, flora and fauna. End the day by driving to ‘Fenêtre de l’Isalo’ for a beautiful sunset.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Renes de I'Isalo

Verreauxs Sifika Lemur
Day 7      Fianarantsoa/Ranomafana

After breakfast, head off to Ranomafana National Park. You will stop along the way in Fianarantsoa for a little shopping, if you wish, and a picnic lunch. There is also a bank and post office here if you need one. You can also stop at Ambalavao to visit the Antemoros Paper Factory where they make very nice handmade paper.  This is a long day in the vehicle (about 10 hours), but along the way there are interesting villages and people to see.  About 100 years ago the Malagasy discovered hot springs in the valley and created a spa around them.  This has become the town of Ranafamano.  The name is derived from Rana, meaning water, and famano meaning hot.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Setam Lodge

Setam Lodge
Day 8      Ranamafana National Park

Enjoy a full morning visit of Ranomafana National Park, home to 12 species of lemurs including the newly discovered Golden Bamboo. The park also has interesting populations of birds, frogs, 57 types of chameleons, and beautiful orchids. After lunch you can take a swim in the thermal pools, if desired, and visit the park museum. Evening brings a night walk through the forest in search of the mouse lemur, eastern avahi, and the striped civet (a very rare sighting).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Setam Lodge

Striped civet
Day 9      Ambositra/Antsirabe

This morning you leave for an eight hour drive to Antsirabe. The route will take you through the highland areas characterized by their very attractive architecture. The houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colors. You'll also pass the 'col de tapia,' a type of tree which is resistant to bush fires and is home to the silkworms. In Ambositra you'll visit some of its renowned woodcarving shops. Then on to Antsirabe, a town situated on the slopes of the nation's second highest peak, Tsiafajavona. A stroll around its streets will bring you in contact with some fantastic little shops selling Malagasy artifacts, handicrafts and gems. Bargaining is a definite art form here. Antsirabe is also known for its pousse-pousse, Madagascar's equivalent of the Asian rickshaw. Time permitting, take one for a fun ride!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Hotel Arotel

Take a fun ride on a pouse, pouse
Day 10      Tana/Perinet

Upon arrival in Tana, your guide will lead  a tour of the city including a visit to the Andafiavaratra Museum of art and archaeology. Afterwards, a three - four hour drive takes us to Perinet.  Perinet is home to nine species of lemurs, of which the Indri indri are the main attraction.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Vakona Lodge

Vakona Lodge.
Day 11      Perinet Reserve

You will be amazed at the game-finding skills and eyesight of our guides as they take us on walks in the rainforests of Perinet Reserve. As you hike through the forests, search for indigenous plants and animals, including the wildly known and highly endangered lemur, the Indri indri. Many other lemur species inhabit the forest, including the woolly, greater dwarf, brown mouse, grey bamboo, common brown, red footed brown, black and white ruffed lemurs and bats. This 810 hectare (about 2000 acres) also holds a world record for numbers of frog species among rainforests of comparable size.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging: Vakona Lodge

Indiri, Indiri
Day 12      Mantadia National Park/Tana/Onward

Enjoy a morning walk in the forest of Mantadia National Park, home of the Diademed Sifaka, and Vakona Reserve. You"ll have lunch before driving back three - four hours to Tana. The rest of the day can be spent exploring Tana and dinner is on your own this evening.  Sadly, you must say goodbye to our guide and to Madagascar.  You are transfered to the airport late this evening for your very early morning flight home.

 

NOTE:  Madagascar frequently presents unique travel challenges.  In order to prevent unhappy experiences, the traveler must expect delays, itinerary and hotel changes if circumstance dictate and other obstacles such as poor roads and vehicles that have been nurtured to a long life.  Accommodations are some of the best available, but they are not without quirks and malfunctions such as lack of hot water at times. If you require more than basic food and comfort and are shaken by the unexpected, then this may not be the trip for you.  On the other hand, if you are open to adventure and are willing to accept the unexpected, then you'll experience amazing flora, exotic  wildlife and unique cultures.  Given all of this, Madagascar is one of the true destinations of a lifetime.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Diademed Sifaka.


 
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