Days
14
Price from
€4,595EUR

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.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
As of 1st January 2017, this trip will reduce in length from 14 days to 13 days. We will no longer travel to the Southern Madagascar destinations of Fort Dauphin and Berenty Reserve. In its place is an extra night in Isalo National Park and an added night in Fianarantsoa. These changes have been implemented in order to slow down the pace of the trip, allowing for more time to enjoy each destination and less time spent on the long, rough Madagascar roads. The number of flights on this itinerary has also been reduced to avoid the sometimes unreliable nature of domestic air travel in Madagascar. The new itinerary is outlined below:

1 Antananarivo
2 Ifaty
3 Ifaty
4 Isalo National Park
5 Isalo National Park
6 Tsaranoro Valley
7 Tsaranoro Valley
8 Fianarantsoa
9 Ranomafana National Park
10 Ranomafana National Park
11 Antsirabe
12 Antananarivo
13 Antananarivo


Start
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Finish
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Country
Madagascar
Style
Peregrine
Code
PFMM
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
3 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Encounter Madagascar’s most famous inhabitant in the wild – be enchanted by the local lemurs and watch the white Verreaux's sifakas dance across the sand.

  • As home to half of the world’s chameleon population it will not be hard to spot these unique creatures, even with their camouflage.

  • With three internal flights, this trip gives you more time to enjoy the beauty of Madagascar and less time on the road.

  • Browse workshops to meet the artisans that specialise in crafts as diverse as printmaking, Zafimaniry woodcarving and marquetry in the World Heritage-listed town of Ambositra.

  • A night spent at the gate of Isalo National Park at Relais de la Reine, where the buildings sit in canyons up against huge sandstone rocks, is utterly unique.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although this tour incorporates several walks in search of lemurs, these walks are not overly strenuous and only a moderate level of fitness is recommended.

  • Road conditions in Madagascar are notoriously poor, so please be prepared for an occasionally bumpy ride.

  • You will have the luxury of flying many legs of this itinerary. However, the small, local Madagascar airlines can sometimes amend schedules. But for us this merely adds to the sense of adventure. These flights have a strict baggage allowance of 20kgs, so it’s best to pack light and smart.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Your Madagascan adventure begins in the European-inspired capital of Antananarivo. You will be met on arrival at Ivato Airport and transferred to your hotel (approximately 45 minutes). Today is an arrival day so you can arrive at any time before a Welcome Meeting this evening. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, take some time to get acquainted with this charmingly crowded capital – with cobbled streets, wooden houses and impressive churches, ‘Tana’ has a distinctly romantic air. Wander the colonial streets of the Haute-Ville, visit the permanent Analakely street market or seek out the high quality restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Relais des Plateax or similiar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel).

On arrival in to Antananarivo Airport, please exit the arrival hall. A transfer representative will be waiting to meet you outside of the arrival hall. Please look for a Peregrine board with your name on it.
Today you will catch an early morning flight from Antananarivo to Fort Dauphin on the south east coast (approximately 1 hour). From here it will be approximately a four-hour drive through mountainous tropical forest, rice paddies and on to the spiny forests surrounding Berenty Reserve. Berenty is a privately-owned 260-hectare reserve that lies about 80 km from Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro) and is one of the best places to experience one of Madagascar’s biggest draws. On the property a sisal (a type of Agave useful for its fibre) factory and an interesting anthropological museum displaying artefacts of the local Antandroy people 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 used to the company to humans. Jumping through the trees here are brown lemurs, ring- tailed lemurs and Verreaux's sifakas.
Accommodation
  • Berenty Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Berenty Reserve - Night Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will have a full day exploring the dense forest and broad walking tracks of Berenty private reserve, where well-known primatologist Alison Jolly studied lemurs for five decades. You may wish to get up early for excellent bird watching or to see the lemurs stretch themselves out to soak up the warmth of the morning sun. There may also be a possibility of a night walk inside the reserve where you may see a white-footed sportive lemurs peering out of their tree holes, and are likely to hear grey mouse lemurs along with assorted insects, fruit bats and reptiles. One of the highlights of your trip will be watching the graceful creamy white Verreaux's sifakas, whose long legs and short arms let to them 'dancing' their way across clearings in wild and comical leaps on their two hind legs.
Accommodation
  • Berenty Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Berenty Reserve - Full day tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After a cool, relaxing morning in the reserve, this afternoon you will drive back to Fort Dauphin (approximately 4 hours), past baobabs, the commemorative tomb cenotaphs of the Antanosy people and back through the rugged green mountains surrounding Fort Dauphin. Then you will catch a flight back to Antananarivo (approximately 1 hour). The rest of the day is free you to relax or maybe explore more of the city – the Rova (fortified palace) sits on top of the highest hill in Haute-Ville and is the final resting place of the country’s greatest monarch.
Accommodation
  • Relais des Plateax or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Take an early flight to Tuléar this morning (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes). Tuléar is the gateway to the Great Reef that stretches all along the southwest coast of Madagascar and is starting point of National Road N7, which goes all the way to Antananarivo. You will be collected on arrival at Tulear Airport and then drive to Ifaty (approximately 4 hours) with a number of interesting stops en route. First is the Be Avenir NGO, which is dedicated to helping less fortunate Malagasy people; primarily focusing on children, but also helping their families. Their important work seeks to improve the lives through better access to and quality of education surrounding health care, the environment, sports, arts, and social assistance. You will also make a stop at the Arboretum Reserve, created in the 1980s by a Swiss botanist who turned the poor soil in the area into a home for an impressive collection of more than 900 native species of plant. The Arboretum offers a condensed version of the regions plant life, and features many endangered succulent species as providing a habitat for numerous birds, reptiles, and lemurs. Tonight you will stay in beautiful sustainable accommodation just minutes from the beach. This evening there will be an easy 20-minute walk along a sandy trail to reach a private candlelit dinner at the Reniala Park, just beside the magnificent baobab trees.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Solidaire or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Reniala Park - Candlelight dinner
  • Antsokay Arboretum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a free day for you to explore Ifaty at leisure. The town is known for its beaches and seafood, and you can choose to do as little or as much as you’d like. Maybe choose to take a snorkelling trip, heading out on the crystal clear waters in a pirogue boat to explore the beautiful reef below; otherwise perhaps lying by the pool or on the beach is more you speed.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Solidaire or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Early this morning you’ll drive inland to Isalo National Park (total driving time today approximately 6 hours). Isalo National Park is known locally as the ‘Malagasy Colorado’ and is a place of contrasting landscapes. A unique combination of sandstone rocks cut by deep canyons, bush plains and rare endemic plants make this park particularly rewarding for walking. 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, waterfalls and even tombs – the local Malagasi Bari tribe bury their dead in natural cliff caves, blocking the entrance with hundreds of stones. You will enjoy an afternoon walk in the National Park, when you might 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. The six-kilometre hike amidst stunning rock formations will take you to Piscine Naturelle, an unbelievably clear and beautiful natural swimming pool in an oasis-like setting – a perfect place to wash of the heat and dust. Tonight you’ll stay in amazingly located accommodation, on the edge of a canyon where large sandstone rocks surround some of the buildings.
Accommodation
  • Relais De La Reine or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isalo National Park - Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Take one last walk in the National Park this morning. As Madagascar is home to more than half the world’s chameleon population, there’s good chance of seeing these unique, self-camouflaging creatures along the way. Then you will depart for the Tsaranoro Valley (approximately 4 hours). The plains of the valley are overlooked by huge, 800 metre high black and orange streaked granite mountains. The area is perfect for walking and attracts rock climbers from all over the world. You will make your way to tonight’s accommodation, which sits in the shadow of the dramatic mountain for which the valley is named. Tsara 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. As darkness falls, the star-filled sky will seem close enough to touch.
Accommodation
  • Tsara Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isalo National Park - Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you can choose from a wide range of excursions, ranging from gentle walks to more challenging expeditions like a climb up Mount Chameleon, which offers the prize of spectacular vistas across this ancient landscape. The easy walks over rocks and up winding pathways in the shelter of the granite walls will take you into a sacred forest where you’re likely to see a number of ring-tailed lemurs. You’ll then continue 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 are their way of keeping time. No matter what you choose, you are sure to be rewarded with stunning views and scenery throughout the day.
Accommodation
  • Tsara Camp or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast you will drive to Anja Community Reserve, a small park and community-based project that seeks to protect the area from deforestation, being surrounded on all sides by land taken over by rice and cattle. This rocky landscape boasts a wild and semi-tamed colony of around 300 ring-tailed lemurs, along with several chameleon species and rock caves that were traditionally used as tombs by Betsileo people. After exploring the reserve you’ll continue north to Ranomafana. If time permits then you’ll stop en route for an exploration of the old town of Fianarantsoa. The city has a district called Haute-Ville, with cobbled streets, churches, and views out across the town and surrounding countryside. Continue on to tonight’s accommodation, which is a lodge located at the door of Ranomafana National Park, ideal for exploring the town and the park.

Notes: Today’s total driving time is approximately 5.5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Centrest Sejour or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Anja Community Reserve
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will visit the natural reserve of Ranomafana, one of Madagascar’s best-known and important parks. An early morning wake up will give you the best possible chance to see the local wildlife. Ranomafana National Park is full of biodiversity, beautiful primary and secondary tropical low cloud and high plateau rainforest. The flora and fauna are among the most varied in Madagascar, with the critically endangered golden bamboo lemur making its home here along with 12 other lemur species. Streams rush through precious-wood trees, palms, bamboo, orchids and carnivorous plants to join the Namorona River. In the afternoon, you will take a tour of the village and its hot springs. In Malagasy Rano means ‘water’ and mafana ‘hot’, and the town was named after the springs that were discovered here around 100 years ago. This evening there may be the possibility of a night walk inside the national park, which the chance to spot the nocturnal lemurs and frogs and, if you're lucky, the fossas – the only endemic carnivorous mammal species of Madagascar.
Accommodation
  • Centrest Sejour or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Village Walk
  • Ranomafana National Park - Morning Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will travel to north to the city of Antsirabe (approximately 6 hours). You will drive along windy roads through the terraced highlands and stop in stop in Ambositra. This is the home of the Betsileo ethnic group, the third largest ethnic group of Madagascar. Located close by the Zafimaniry forest, Ambositra is most famous for its woodcraft but it's also known for its silk production, which is very important in the Malagasy culture. The use of silk was once reserved exclusively for royalty but now everyone can wear it, though most of the time its use is reserved for the dead. When a Malagasy is buried, his body is wrapped in a large silk sheet called a 'lambamena'. After a few years, the family traditionally goes back to the tomb and changes this silk sheet with a new one - a custom known as 'famadihana'. Here you’ll visit some handicraft workshops, specialising in crafts as diverse as printmaking, woodcarving and marquetry. You'll then continue on to the beautiful city of Antsirabe in the Highlands of Madagascar. Founded in the 19th century by Norwegian missionaries as a high-altitude retreat, the town was nicknamed 'Malagasy Vichy' for its hot springs and thermal baths. The city reflects the warmth of its people and the authenticity of its traditions still alive in the surrounding countryside. Colourful rickshaws, known as 'pousse-pousse', are a popular form of local transport in Antsirabe. If you have time, maybe use them to discover tree-lined avenues, mixed European-style architecture, markets and more.
Accommodation
  • Couleur Cafe or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After an early breakfast, you will return to the capital (approximately 3 hours) and have lunch at Lokanga Boutique Hotel, built on the site that once housed the Queen’s musicians on Royal hill and enjoying a view out across the city. After checking in to your hotel you will then enjoy an afternoon guided walking tour of the old city, learning about the country’s royal history at the Rova palace complex. Tonight you will a enjoy farewelll dinner as you say goodbye to your new found friends and your Madagascan adventure.
Accommodation
  • Relais des Plateax or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antananarivo - Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Your Madagascar experience will come to an end after breakfast this morning.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners

Transport

Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Lodge (2 nights), Comfortable hotel, (9 nights), Permanent tented camp (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Berenty Reserve - Night Walk
  • Berenty Reserve - Full day tour
  • Reniala Park - Candlelight dinner
  • Antsokay Arboretum
  • Isalo National Park - Walk
  • Anja Community Reserve
  • Village Walk
  • Ranomafana National Park - Morning Tour
  • Antananarivo - Walking Tour

Reviews

Our Magic of Madagascar trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Magic of Madagascar, September 2015

cyril sturm

Magic of Madagascar, August 2015

Keith Hosking

Dates & availability

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Important notes

INTERNAL FLIGHTS:
For the flights from Antananrivo to Fort Dauphin/Fort Dauphin to Tuléar, the baggage allowance is up to 20 kilos for checked in luggage and carry on bags subject to the airlines discretion.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.