13 days

Magic of Madagascar

Magic of Madagascar

Fort Dauphin's bay

The 'dancing' white Verreaux's sifakas of Berenty Reserve

The traditional Malagasy communities of Tsaranoro Valley

Colonial spa resort of Antsirabe

Anjozorobe Forest's biodiversity

Trip rating
  • Madagascar. The name conjures up all sorts of exotic images - think leaping lemurs, colourful chameleons and the freakishly large elephant bird. Along with its pirate history and shipwreck-dotted coastline, 'unique'  doesn't come close to describing this place. It's simply one country you need to see to believe.

    Why we love it

    • Be enchanted by the local lemurs and watch the white Verreaux's sifakas dancing across the sand
    • Spot loads of chameleons with half the world's chameleon population calling Madagascar home
    • Domestic flights which mean more time to enjoy the beauty of Madagascar and less time on the road
    • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Ambositra, a small town known for its Zafimaniry woodcarvings and handicraft

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Antananarivo

    • You’ll be met on arrival at Antananarivo's Ivato Airport and transferred to your hotel. Please ensure you arrive prior to 2.00pm, as a short city tour of Antananarivo will take place in the afternoon. Dinner tonight will be included.
    Pavillion De L'Emyrne or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2-3 - Antananarivo - Berenty Reserve

    • You will catch an early morning flight from Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin. From here it will be approximately a four hour drive to Berenty Reserve.
    • Berenty is a privately-owned reserve that lies about 80 km from Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro). It is among the most tourist-oriented destinations in Madagascar.
    • Berenty is a private 260 hectare reserve that offers the chance to experience the magic of the forest. On the property, a sisal factory and an interesting anthropological museum are worth a visit but the main attraction is the lemurs. The opportunities to photograph lemurs in close-up are second to none, as many of them are habituated to humans. You'll see brown lemurs and ring- tailed lemurs in the forest.
    • On Day 3 you will have a full day exploring Berenty private reserve. There may also be a possibility of a night walk inside the reserve where you will be likely to hear grey mouse lemurs and white-footed sportive lemurs along with assorted insects, sleeping birds and reptiles.
    • One of the highlights of your trip will be be watching the graceful white Verreaux's sifakas 'dancing' their way across clearings in wild and comical leaps on their two hind legs.
    Berenty Lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Tuléar

    • You will drive back to Fort Dauphin today, before flying to Tuléar. Tuléar is the starting point of National Road N° 7, which goes all the way to Antananarivo.
    • Situated in the driest part in Madagascar, the unique landscape is dominated by spiny forest cactus and various euphorbia plants. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure.
    Hotel Solidaire or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Ranohira

    • After a very early breakfast at 5:30am, you will head off for a four hour drive to the Ngo Bel Avenir.
    • The Ngo Bel Avenir is dedicated to helping less fortunate Malagasy people through education, proper health care and social assistance.
    • You will then travel to the Arboretum Reserve which houses an impressive collection of the extraordinary flora of the spiny forest.
    • After lunch you will continue on to Ranohira, gateway to Isalo National Park.
    Relais De La Reine or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Isalo National Park

    • Isalo National Park is known locally as the ‘Malagasy Colorado’. A unique combination of sandstone rocks cut by deep canyons, bush plains and rare endemic plants make this park particularly rewarding.
    • Covering an area of 81,540 hectares, Isalo National Park makes up the entire stretch of the Isalo Massif, a spectacular mountain chain comprised of eroded sandstone. This strikingly beautiful reserve is filled with golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls.
    • You will have the option to enjoy two half-day hikes here or you can choose to simply relax and soak up the ambience of this surreal and remarkable environment. You may also spot ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux's sifakas in the lush forested entrance to the canyon.
    • The park is also home to approximately 55 species of birds, including the endemic Benson’s rock thrush, as well as a variety of lizards and snakes. In the afternoon a six kilometre hike amidst stunning rock formations will take you to Piscine Naturelle, a natural swimming pool in an oasis-like setting.
    • As Madagascar is home to more than half the world’s chameleon population, there is also a very good chance of seeing these unique, self-camouflaging creatures along the way!
    Relais De La Reine or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7-8 - Tsaranoro Valley

    • After breakfast you will depart for the Tsaranoro Valley and arrive in time for lunch. Over the one-and-a-half days spent here you can choose from a wide range of excursions, ranging from gentle walks to more challenging expeditions like a climb up Mount Chameleon.
    • The easy walks will take you into a sacred forest where you’re likely to see a number of ring-tailed lemurs, before continuing on past a waterfall and some nearby villages. Here you’ll have the unique opportunity to discover the traditional Malagasy life of this isolated people; who live only with the season, the sun and the rice harvest as a way of keeping time. You’ll also have the chance to visit some local schools and the only medical station in the valley.
    • Your tented camp features ten permanent tents, each with privately-enclosed outdoor en suites. The beautifully atmospheric camp, lit by storm lanterns and candles, has a large, communal dining and lounge tent where you’ll enjoy hearty meals and get to experience the rich Malagasy food culture.
    Tsara Camp or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9 - Tsaranoro Valley - Ranomanfana

    • After breakfast you will depart for Anja Community Reserve, a small park and community-based project boasting a wild and semi-tamed colony of ring-tailed lemurs as well as some traditional Betsileo tombs.
    • On the way to Ranomafana, time permitting, you’ll take a tour of the old city of Fianarantsoa and visit the guesthouse which provides magnificent views from the terrace.
    Centrest Sejour or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 10 - Ranomafana National Park

    • Today you will visit the natural reserve of Ranomafana. An early morning wake up will give you the best possible chance to see the local wildlife.
    • Ranomafana National Park is full of originality and variety with its attractions captivating you in this tropical rainforest. The flora and fauna are among the most varied in Madagascar.
    • In the afternoon, you will take a tour of the village with its hot springs. There may be the possibility of a night walk inside the national park tonight to spot the nocturnal lemurs and frogs and if you're lucky, the fossas, the only endemic carnivorous mammal species of Madagascar.
    Centrest Sejour or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11 - Ranomafana National Park - Antsirabe

    • Today you will travel to Antsirabe. Driving through the windy roads through the terraced highlands, stopping in Ambositra to visit some handicraft workshops. Ambositra is known for its zafimaniry woodcarvings and handicrafts.
    • You'll then continue on to the beautiful city of Antsirabe, the Highlands of Madagascar. Antsirabe is the result of mixed cultures that built the city for two centuries. The city reflects the warmth of its people and the authenticity of its traditions still alive in the surrounding countryside.
    Couleur Cafe or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Antsirabe - Antananarivo

    • After an early breakfast, you will take a city tour of Antsirabe. Before heading back to the airport for your return flight back to Antananarivo, you will have the opportunity to visit some local workshops and have lunch in Antsirabe.
    • Upon arrival at Antananarivo Airport you will be transferred to your hotel and the rest of the day will be at your leisure.
    Pavillion De L'Emyrne or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 13 - Antananarivo

    • Your Madagascar experience will come to an end after breakfast this morning.
    Pavillion De L'Emyrne or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine’s expert English-speaking local tour leader
    • Arrival transfer
    • Entrance fees (where applicable) at Antananarivo, Ambavalao and Antsirabe.
    • Visits to the remote villages of eight distinct tribal groups.
    • Local flights: Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin and Fort Dauphin to Tuléar via Antananarivo

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Laundry - may be available at locations where we stay two or more nights
    • Optional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips - this is something to consider, and it might be worthwhile speaking to your group about making a group contribution at the end of the trip
    • Personal items

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.

    Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS:
    You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES:
    Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS:
    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Magic of Madagascar

    James - Canada, 22 Sep, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    Having only 3 people on the tour was an unexpected good fortune, and practically amounted to a personal tour.

    Magic of Madagascar

    sue - United Kingdom, 20 Oct, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    BUT: this was a very arduous tour in terms of the amount of (necessary) travel and the cramped vehicle used. Otherwise, it was extraordinary. Most of the accommodation was good or very good, occasionaly excellent and similarly the feed. Everything I had hoped for in a trip and much more.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PFMM
Group size 4 - 10
Start City: Antananarivo, Madagascar
End City: Antananarivo, Madagascar

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