Group Tours | 17 Days Madagascar in Depth

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SUMMARY

Madagascar group tours 2024 | In Depth

DURATION   : 17 days
AREA             : West, south, east and north of Madagascar  
TRIP               : Group (Min 4 & Max 12)
PLACES TO VISIT : Antananarivo – Morondava – Kirindy – Bekopaka – Antsirabe – Ranomafana – Anja Community Reserve – Isalo – Tuléar – Andasibe – Nosy Be
ACCOMODATION TYPE : Comfort (Half Board)
TRANSPORT TYPE: Private car / Regular flight
ASSISTANCE: Guide / Local Guide

DEPARTURE DATE
1st Group:
2nd Group: 

(this tour is also available as a private tour departure, please feel free to reach out for more information)

Group Tour | 17 Days Madagascar in depth

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DAY 1 - ANTANANARIVO TO MORONDAVA AND DRIVE TO KIRINDY

The adventure begin

Today, pick up from your location will be organized by HT Agency Tours at 8:00 am and the whole group will be gathering at the National Airport before taking off. Then, flight from TNR to the west coast of the island, destination to Morondava MOQ. On arrival, drive directly to the North, about 42 km following the secondary road which a bit dusty, to reach the famous Kirindy Park. Check-in at your hotel (Relais du Kirindy).

Around 6:30 PM

Beginning of the Guided night walk at Kirindy Reserve. The best place in the whole island to observe fosa. Other nocturnal species included: the rare Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur and pygmy mouse-lemur, fork-crowned lemur, grey mouse lemur, western fat-tailed dwarf lemur and red-tailed sportive lemur. Several bats, tenrecs, mongoose and rodents complete the mammal population.

Kirindy is also known for its endemic flora. There are three species of baobab: the Andasoniarubrostipa or the fony baobab, with a bottle shaped trunk with major horizontal branches, between 5 and 20 meters, the AndasoniaZa, a tall tree that ranges from 20 to 30 meters, and the Andasoniagrandidieri, the biggest of the six species of baobab, up to 30 meters.

LOCATION : KIRINDY
ACCOMMODATION : RELAIS DU KIRINDY
INCLUSION : DINNER & BREAKFAST  
DRIVE: ABOUT 1H FLIGHT + 2H30MN DRIVE (BUMPY ROAD)

DAY 2 – KIRINDY TO BEKOPAKA

At 7:00 AM, We start the Guided day visits at Kirindy Reserve. This place is home to seven species of lemur. The most common are the common brown lemurs, and the Verreaux’s Sifakas. These long-legged, seven-pound lemurs, white with dark patches, leap among tree trunks high in the canopy, propelled by their powerful hind legs but continually maintaining an upright posture, 40 bird, 50 reptile and 15 amphibian species are also found in this magnificent forest.

Back to the raod

After the visit, back to the road and continue by a ferry crossing to reach the small village of Belo sur Tsiribihina, where we’ll stop for lunch. Then, continue up to the North through a landscape of rice fields and small village, to arrive at the end of the afternoon at Bekopaka.  

LOCATION : BEKOPAKA
ACCOMMODATION : SOLEIL DES TSINGY
INCLUSION : BREAKFAST AND DINNER
DRIVE: 8H DRIVE (BUMPY ROAD)

DAY 3 – BEKOPAKA (VISIT TSINGY)

Descent on the Manambolo River

We’ll be exploring the Manambolo River by traditional boat. This journey takes us through a wide variety of landscapes. As we approach the Bemaraha massif, the villages are few and far between, giving way to impressive canyons. We then leave the canyon to reach the village and discover the famous Grand Tsingy or Bemaraha national park.

Tsingy de Bemaraha

This site is classified under the world heritage of UNESCO. We go for a trekking in the Grand Tsingy, picnic lunch in the park itself. A hike to discover the famous peaks, the fauna and flora life of that area. 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, such as species of Aloe and baobab Andasonia, the red-flowered flamboyant tree, Madagascar’s native banana Musa perrier.

Flora

You can also see typical plants growing in the rocky area such pachypodium, orchids Concerning the fauna, we can see the stump-tailed chameleon Brookesia perarmata, 53 bird, 7 lemur species, including Decken’s sifaka and Propithecus verreauxi deckeni.. Passage through the cathedrals of carved blade limestone shaping the peak of the Tsingy, and then a hanging bridge accross the rift networks, on the top, you will appreciate a magnificent sunset. Back to the hotel in the afternoon.

LOCATION : BEKOPAKA
ACCOMMODATION : SOLEIL DES TSINGY
INCLUSION : BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNERS
DRIVE: ABOUT 30MN DRIVE

DAY 4 – BEKOPAKA TO MORONDAVA

We drive back to Morondava. Lunch at Belo sur Tsiribihina. Then, continue up to Morondava with two special stops, the first one in Baobab Amoureux and the second one in the famous Streets of Baobabs or Baobab Alley to appreciate a beautiful sunset. Arrival at Morondava in early evening, and transfer to the hotel.

LOCATION: MORONDAVA
ACCOMMODATION: PALISSANDRE
INCLUSION: DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 8H DRIVE (BUMPY ROAD)

DAY 5 – MORONDAVA TO ANTANANARIVO AND DRIVE TO ANTSIRABE

You will take a flight back to the capital Antananarivo. On arrival, drive directly to the south into the famed RN7, Antsirabe. Along the way we visit the metal workshop of Donné Vy and stop in Behenjy, a little town which is known for its production of paté de foie-gras.

Antsirabe

Our destination is the highland town of Antsirabe, with its wide colonial streets, volcanic lakes and colourful rickshaws. “The Place of Salt” is the centre of beer making in Madagascar and is known for its handicrafts. Founded by Norwegian missionaries in 1856, it is the only place which really feels and looks like a European city – with its elegant spa and the railway station.

It has a temperate climate and so fruits and vegetables which grow in cooler parts of the world are grown here. We visit a number of the town’s famed craftspeople to watch them working on the precious and semi-precious stones that Antsirabe is famous for, as well as seeing embroidery making.

LOCATION: ANTSIRABE
ACCOMMODATION: ROYAL PALACE
INCLUSION : DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 6H DRIVE

DAY 6 – ANTSIRABE TO RANOMAFANA

We will do a small city tour in Antsirabe by Rickshaws (Visit: the railway station, the Independence Avenue and the famous Hotel des Thermes). Direction towards the South enjoying the beautiful landscape Betsileo composed of terraced ricefields. Main stop at Ambositra for lunch, followed by a small tour of the city to discover the typical Malagasy craft of the region. We’ll workshops of Zafimaniry artisans – skilled sculptors working on marquetry rosewood and ebony.

LOCATION: RANOMAFANA
ACCOMMODATION: HOTEL THERMAL
INCLUSION : DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 6H30MN DRIVE

DAY 7 – RANOMAFANA NP

In the morning

Departure for a visit at the heart of the wet forest of Ranomafana National Park, a reserved area typical and belonging to the remaining forest corridor longing the East part of the great island. Discovery of the wealth of the endemic biodiversity of the region, such as the rare species and gravely threatened lemurs, many species of rare plants and endemic used by the local population for traditional medecine… Trekking in the forest by following a track longing the forest passing through beautiful waterfall, meeting the rare species on the way.

Fauna

Ranomafana NP is indeed, a high-altitude rainforest reserve where the Golden Bamboo Lemur was discovered in 1986. The forest is also home to 11 other lemur species, endemic chameleons, Leaf-tailed GeckosMantella Frogs and a myriad of birds. We embark on a quest to see the fabled “Hapalemur aureus” – the Golden Bamboo Lemur – which is only found in Ranomafana. We will also see many different species of birds, such as Ground Rollers.

Flora

The park is particularly rich in flora and features many plant varieties unknown elsewhere, including different types of orchids and ferns. The approximately 40,000 ha of Parc National de Ranomafana, with its rain forest-covered hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights. Altitudes in the park range from 800 to 1,200 metres above sea level. In addition to its densely-forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River.

Back to the hotel for lunch. After the long day of tiring morning or visit of the spa source, nap and rest for the end of the day.  

LOCATION: RANOMAFANA
ACCOMMODATION: HOTEL THERMAL
INCLUSION : DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 15MN DRIVE

DAY 8 – RANOMAFANA TO ANJA COMMUNITY RESERVE, THEN CONTINUE TO ISALO

Back to the road for the South to reach the city of Ranohira to meet Isalo National Park. We’ll across the cultural capital of the Central Highands, Fianarantsoa. Passing the rural town of Ambalavao for lunch, with a small visit of product factory where you have the opportunity to learn the history of the famous Antemoro paper.

Anja Community Reserve

We stopped at the Anja Community Reserve. It is located between the towns of Fianarantsoa and Ihosy, on the NR7. Also known as “Rocky Pair”, it is an environmental and preservation site. Here, you can easily see and photograph the red-tailed lemur (Lemurian Kata), there are around 400 individuals in the reserve. There are also several species of chameleons, lizards… Reserve has too many types of plants from around the island.

Next Stop

After the visit, back to the road to reach Isalo. During this journey south, we can often stop to notice the various change of the mountain and rice field landscape. It will take us through a landscape of rock formations typical of the dry Grand South, some of which are sacred.

We pass through the legendary ‘Porte du Sud’ and cross the desolate expanse of the Plateau de Horombe with its deep red soil. Arrival at Isalo at the end of the day.

LOCATION: ISALO
ACCOMMODATION: ISALO ROCK LODGE / RELAIS DE LA REINE / JARDIN DU ROY
INCLUSION: DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 09H DRIVE

DAY 9 – VISIT IN ISALO NP

This day is dedicated to trekking and discovery of the parc, composed of massif in form of ruin dating from jurassic, discovery of the most beautiful landscape of Madagascar. Hike and visit accross : the canyon of makis, the natural pool, where you can go for a dip… We will also see vegetation such as UapacabojeriPachypodiumrosulatum or ‘elephant’s foot’ and Aloeisaloensis, a native species of aloe endemic to Isalo.

Sandstone Mountain

The eroded mountains also served as a place where the Bara people kept their dead before they could bury them in their actual tombs. This day includes strenuous walks. “Picnic lunch in the park”. In the evening, drive back to the hotel with one stop at the famous window of Isalo to appreciate a breathtaking and spectacular sunset.

LOCATION : ISALO
ACCOMMODATION: ISALO ROCK LODGE / RELAIS DE LA REINE / JARDIN DU ROY
OPTION: ALL INCLUDED (DINER, BREAKFAST, PICNIC LUNCH)
DRIVE: ABOUT 30MN DRIVE

 

 

DAY 10 - ISALO TO TULEAR, AND FLY TO ANTANANARIVO

Today, we need to leave the hotel as early as possible to reach the great city of the Southwest coast, Tuléar. This journey will introducing us to new scenery among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. We pass through the sapphire mining boom town of Ilakaka, a frontier town vaguely reminiscent of the Wild West. En-route, we see the locations of different ornate hillside ‘Mahafaly Tombs‘, which were built for chiefs and kings and are covered in stones, sculptures and horns.

Along the road

The more important the deceased, the more horns and statues thewith. One of the largest tombs has over 700 horns of zebu cattle! As this is a sacred site we will just be passing by. Tomb is adorned; Photography is not permitted. We also pass the area of the ‘Antandroy Tombs‘. This is the driest part of the country – called the “Deep South” – where the landscape is dominated by cactus-like, spiny forests of different euphorbias. In this area giant baobab trees, which can be hundreds of years old, grow.

When we reach Tuléar (also known as “Toliara“), transfer to Tulear’s airport and fly back to the Antananarivo. You will be picked up by our driver, then, transfer to the hotel.

 LOCATION : ANTANANARIVO
ACCOMODATION : NOVOTEL
INCLUSION : DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 03H DRIVE + 1H45MN FLIGHT

 

 

DAY 11 – ANTANANARIVO TO ANDASIBE

Drive directly to Andasibe. On the national road number 2, to the east, we enjoy panoramic views of the stepped rice fields. We see various mountains and then continue to the east through the green and luxuriant vegetation. On the arrival, after check-in at the hotel around 6:30PM, you end this day with a guided night visits which will take 1 hour and half, and then drive back to the hotel.

LOCATION: ANDASIBE
ACCOMMODATION: MANTADIA LODGE / RELAIS DE MANTADIA / MANJARANO LODGE & SPA
INCLUSION : DINNERS AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 3 TO 4 HOURS DRIVE

DAY 12 – ANDASIBE (PERINET)

You start with a guided visit at Analamazaotra National Park. It is better to leave the hotel early (about 7:30AM) to meet easily the Indri-Indri and the Diademed Sifaka in their forest home. The visit takes about 3 hours. Within a mile of the park you can hear the peculiar call of the indri very early in the morning until noon and again in the late afternoon.

Indris Indri

(called Babakoto in Malagasy) are the largest living lemurs at all reaching up to 1 meter. Andasibe is the best place to observe the Indris given that there are a couple of families habituated to humans. It lives in small groups and cannot survive in captivity. There are several legends trying to explain its origins since it is considered a sacred animal in the whole Madagascar. Apart from the Indri, another 13 lemur species inhabit these forests, such as woody lemur, grey bamboo lemur, diademed sifaka, brown lemur, red mouse-lemur, red-bellied lemur, black and white ruffed lemur and even aye-aye.  

In the afternoon

We will enjoy an amazing up close and personal experience with lemurs on the private Lemurs Island and then on to view many other species in the Vakona Reserve Zoo, where you will see many crocodiles in the huge river enclosure, native birds, and other wildlife in well-kept surroundings.

LOCATION : ANDASIBE
ACCOMMODATION : MANTADIA LODGE / RELAIS DE MANTADIA / MANJARANO LODGE & SPA
INCLUSION : BREAKFAST AND DINNERS
DRIVE : ABOUT 40 MN 

DAY 13 – ANDASIBE TO ANTANANARIVO

Breakfast, then we depart early back to the capital city and have around 4 hours drive through the spectacular eroded hills called lavaka. On the road, we visit the Peyrieras Madagascar Exotic. The famous exotic animal breeding centre owned by naturalist Andre Pereyras, where we see almost all the chameleon species of Madagascar – as well as leaf tailed geckos, lemur, cocquerel’s Sifaka, and other interesting animals, such as butterflies, moths (the giant Atlas Moth), and tenrecs.

LOCATION: ANTANANARIVO
ACCOMMODATION: NOVOTEL
INCLUSION : DINNER AND BREAKFAST
DRIVE: ABOUT 3 TO 4H DRIVE

DAY 14 – ANTANANARIVO TO NOSY BE

Transfer to the airport and fly to Nosy Be Island. The flight will take around 1h45mn. On the arrival, drive to the hotel, relax for the rest of the day. This is one of the best tourist destinations in the world, and the favorite place of travelers who come in Madagascar. Nosy Be is the main island of an archipelago of dozen small islands, and has all ingredients you’d expect : Soft white sand, turquoise water, and seafood, sunny climate most of the year….

LOCATION : NOSY BE
ACCOMODATION : HOME THE RESIDENCE / RAVINTSARA WELLNESS HOTEL / BELAMANDY LODGE
INCLUSION : BREAKFAST & DINNER
DRIVE: ABOUT 1H45MN FLIGHT + 45 MN DRIVE

DAY 15 - EXCURSION NOSY IRANJA

Around 08:00AM, depature to the famous Nosy Iranja which is located at 1h30 by speedboat from Nosy Be. These two islands are connected by a fine white sandbank which is covered at high tide, and discovered at low tide. This is a paradise island with its turquoise blue colors, white paradise, and green nature. The turtles come there to lay still to date hence its name “Turtle Island”. We see all kinds of birds; terns, some varieties of herons and the passage of sea eagles.

Once there

Buffet lunch on tables in the shade of coconut trees (crab, grilled fish, kebabs of zebu and shrimp, coconut rice, raw vegetables, tropical fruits). Visit the lighthouse and the authentic village of Greater Iranja. On the course featured, discover the entire virgin coast of the big island (Madagascar) and its miles of wild beaches, sugar loaf (large rock formation mid-course) and Nosy Antsoa, ​​still completely authentic island. In th afternoon, return back to the hotel.

LOCATION: NOSY BE
ACCOMMODATION: HOME THE RESIDENCE / RAVINTSARA WELLNESS HOTEL / BELAMANDY LODGE
INCLUSION : BREAKFAST, PICNIC LUNCH AND DINNER
DRIVE : ABOUT 30 MN

DAY 16 – EXCURSION NOSY SAKATIA

This day will be focusing on visiting the Nosy Sakatia or the Orchid Island. Nosy Sakatia is an island with a preserved ecosystem. It is rich in exceptional marine and terrestrial fauna and flora. It invites you to an unforgettable discovery of vanilla fields, pepper plantations, coffee trees, various fruit trees, etc.

Nosy Sakatia

Also has 03 charming fishing villages. Nearby, its beaches are heavenly. A large expanse of white sand for sunbathing, transparent and sparkling water, for swimming… everything to spend a unique and pleasant moment of relaxation. Beautiful spots are also to be discovered for lovers of scuba diving. This island is renowned for its beautiful diving sites, the undersea bottom is rich in coral and various colored fish.

During November

You can live one of the best experiences in the ocean with discovering the Whales of Madagascar and even the Whales Shark if you practice diving. Well- known worldwide for the white sand beaches, the whale shark Madagascar is the king here. Every day during november, you can come to Nosy Be to meet with the biggest shark in the world…

Whale shark

Contrary to appearances, the beast is completely harmless: the whale shark feeds on small-size preys such as plankton and krill. Also seaweeds, small shellfishes, small squids or fishes less than 10cm long (mackerels…). The safety instructions are given mostly to protect them, not the divers! During briefings before diving, the team explains how to behave under water in order to limit the impacts from your observation on the animal.

LOCATION: NOSY BE
ACCOMMODATION: HOME THE RESIDENCE / RAVINTSARA WELLNESS HOTEL / BELAMANDY LODGE
INCLUSION : BREAKFAST, PICNIC LUNCH AND DINNER
DRIVE : ABOUT 30 MN

DAY 17 – FLY OUT FROM NOSY BE AIRPORT

Today is the last day in Nosy Be Island. Before your departure, you will be driven in town for shopping and purchase of some souvenirs in the artisanal market. And then, transfer to the airport for your external flight.

LOCATION : NOSY BE

END OF OUR SERVICES

INCLUSIONS
EXCLUSIONS
NOTES
SAFETY COVID19

Entrance fees and Local guide fees.
All domestic ticket flight (TNR to MOQ ; MOQ to TNR; TLE to TNR and TNR to NOS)
Professional English-speaking driver / guide.
Land transportations
Accommodations with meals as specified in the itinerary (Half Board)
1 liter or more of mineral water per person per day while you’re on tour/safari.
Picnic lunches in Tsingy de Bemaraha NP, Isalo NP, Nosy Iranja & Nosy Sakatia

International flights.
Visas
Lunches
Driver guide Tips and staff
Personal Gratuities
Other extras.

Note

    • Your guide will manage all programs’ timing
    • During the trip, the following dietary requirement(s) are served: Regular (typically includes meat, fish, milk, sea food, …). If you have special dietary requirements it’s a good idea to communicate it to us
    • Please note that the feasibility of the tour will depend on the availability of the proposed accommodations
    • We do not take responsibility for any airline schedule changes that may occur after quoting or booking. We will do everything we can to alleviate any disruption of your itinerary or holiday but cannot be held responsible for any loss of funds, bookings, missed connections or other prebooked/paid services.

 

For safe operation

  • Given the fluid nature of local COVID-19 protocols, our itineraries are regularly reviewed and will be modified based on local requirements to ensure a safe experience. If a major change is necessary, we will let you know before departure.
  • Our guide will use their judgment during the trip to modify the itinerary if physical distancing cannot be achieved; will receive in-depth training on COVID-19 protocols and how to conduct our journeys in the “new normal”; will brief you upon arrival on the use of face masks and physical distancing during the trip, based on local government guidelines.
  • Only restaurants with strict protocols that comply with local food hygiene and physical distancing requirements will be used. We will encourage outdoor dining areas where possible.
  • All of our staff and third party suppliers will be continually informed of new health and safety protocols.

 

Transportation Protocols

  • Our drivers will follow local protocols on the use of face masks and physical distancing required; will provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and tissues in the vehicle and encourage customers to wash their hands when getting into the vehicle.
  • All vehicles will be disinfected (seats, door handles, etc.) regularly throughout the day.

 

Protocols for Hotels

  • We will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines; ensure that these measures include; improved room cleaning, ventilation, physical distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff retraining and minimization of contact within properties

 

If You Get Sick

  • All of our leaders are trained to help any guest who becomes ill while traveling.
  • We also have an “action plan” in case of suspected COVID-19 cases within the group and are ready to seek medical support at any time.
  • Our guides are supported by our 24/7 based operations team and local partners across the country

 

Our recommendations

  • We recommend you to bring your own face masks (at least 2 reusable) and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; to check with the airline for their individual COVID-19 requirements prior to departure; to check your own government travel advice and meet entry requirements including, but not limited to, COVID-19 testing, pre-arrival health questionnaires, and tracking and traceability in the country, etc

 

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