The Tropical East 11 days/10 nights

The best season to come to Madagascar is during the dry season, from April to mid-November. Mid-June to mid-September is winter on the highlands (Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, Andringitra, Andasibe). During the day, temperatures are cool (approx. 18°C) but at night, temperatures can drop down to 5°C. On the coast, weather is always warm!

A few of this itinerary's highlights include the Andasibe National Park: which is the most visited National Park; Pangalanes Channel: lakes and canals along the Ocean; Palmarium reserve: is home of a dozen species of lemurs & finally Sainte Marie island: a small paradise & tropical Island just waiting for you to come and explore.

Throughout the itinerary you will see that there are choices between up-market, mid-range and budget in terms of accommodation options, all of which we can highly recommend - though it's totally up to you and your budget in the end. Be adventurous and let your Madagascar holiday planning start now!
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For 10 Nights
Half Board
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Description
Land in Antananarivo
Day 1

Meal Basis: HB
One of our representatives will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your chosen hotel. From the Airport to Antananarivo city center (12km), it can sometimes take over an hour due to traffic; Antananarivo is a crowded city full of life! On your way you will see rice paddies, houses that are all different from each other, and the daily life in this city of about 2 million inhabitants. Tananarivians mostly live from day to day jobs, we call it “Ady Gasy”: repairing tyres, selling Chinese-made products in the streets, selling scrap… Antananarivo is full of exuberance and color! Once you get to your hotel, the rest of the day will be free. Dinner and overnight.
• Up market: LOKANGA BOUTIQUE
• Mid-range: RESIDENCE LAPASOA
• Budget: CHALET DES ROSES

Antananarivo - Andasibe
Day 2 - 3

Day 2: 145km – about 3h drive

Meal Basis: HB

After your breakfast, your English-speaking driver will drive you to Andasibe. You will quickly see how difficult it is to drive on Malagasy national roads and appreciate the talent of your highly experienced driver. It is a small privately run reserve on National Road 2, where you can see your first lemurs, chameleons and butterflies! After the visit, drive to Andasibe, check-in at your hotel. At the end of the afternoon, you will be taken on a late visit in Vakona private reserve. After the visit, dinner and overnight.

Day 3:

Meal Basis: HB

Andasibe National Park, also known as Andasibe-Mantadia NP, is a 12 810 ha area of lushness and has two parts: the small special reserve of Analamazaotra (“Perinet”) and the large National park of Mantadia. The choice of which to visit depends on how much you are willing to walk. Perinet is a small walk with a high chance of seeing lemurs. Mantadia is bigger with less chances to see lemurs, but much more wild. During your longer walk, you will see more variety of fauna and flora such as orchids growing in the forest or the Indri Indri (biggest existing lemur, size of a Koala). You will also enjoy small & beautiful waterfalls and learn more about cultural rituals of the surrounding inhabitants. At the end of the afternoon, you will have an evening visit near the national park to spot nocturnal animals. After your visit, you will return to your hotel for dinner.

• Up market: VAKONA FOREST LODGE
• Mid-range: EULOPHIELLA
• Budget: FEON’NY ALA

Andasibe - Manambato
Day 4

Day 4: 155 km – about 3h30 drive – 1hr speed boat to Ankanin’ny nofy

Meal Basis: HB

Drive to Manambato over the old suspension bridge of Brickaville. Once the dirt road ends, you will leave your car in Manambato. Manambato is a charming village lying on the Pangalanes Channel where Tananarivians use to come for short beach holidays. Your adventure on the Pangalanes Channel starts from here: you will travel by boat for 1hr to reach Ankanin’ny nofy, literally the “nest of dreams”. Pangalanes Channel is a chain of fresh water lakes (400km long) linked by canals along the Indian Ocean coast. These two waters are only separated by a narrow stretch of land. Historically, these lakes where put together by the French colonists to allow the transportation from the south to the North. The cargo trip ended in Tamatave, the main exporting port of Madagascar. Indeed, the Indian Ocean is too rough to sail along the eastern coast of Madagascar. Today, there is unique lifestyle along the canal. Most of the villages edging the Canal are actually not linked by road to the rest of the Island. The Canal is the only link to the world for BUSH HOUSE too!

Located on Lake Ampitabe, the third largest lake of the Canal des Pangalanes, Bush House will make you feel alone in the world. 15 bungalows on a tropical hill, where only the birds, lemurs and sometimes waves of the lake will pace your day.

Dinner and overnight in BUSH HOUSE.

Day 5: Ankanin’ny nofy | Visit the private reserve

Meal Basis: HB

Explore the surroundings of Lake Ampitabe. You can do the day and night visits of the private reserve Palmarium, home to a dozen species of lemurs. Also, a large variety of tropical plants endemic to Madagascar. Afternoon at leisure, where several activities can be organized on the spot such as:

  • Boat trip to visit a typical Betsimisaraka village (School and nursery),
  • Contemplate the dozens of kilometers of empty beach in the wild Indian Ocean shore,
  • Walk along the Pangalanes canal to see the endemic carnivorous plants nepenthes Madagascariensis

Dinner and overnight in BUSH HOUSE.

Ankanin’ny nofy - Mahambo via Tamatave
Day 6

3h30 speed boat + 3hr drive – 95km

Meal Basis: HB

After breakfast, you will boat 3h30 along the Pangalanes Canal to Tamatave. This boat trip is ideal to “re-adapt” you to the modern and noisy civilization! Once you land in Tamatave, the peaceful time you had in Lake Ampitabe seems far away.

Welcome to the rush of Tamatave. This city is bustling and lives to the rhythm of cargo boats coming from all around the world. Tamatave is the largest port for imported goods. On your arrival, lunch in a good restaurant (at your own expense) then drive to Mahambo, located 90 Km north of Tamatave (3h). You will drive along the coast where you can buy coconuts straight from the roadside. Do not hesitate to stop at one of the shops bordering the road to discover unusual tropical fruits! Mahambo is a small village well shaded by coconut trees. It is famous for surfing and resort holidays, even if it remains very traditional and old fashioned.

Accommodation and dinner at LA PIROGUE, by the ocean.

Mahambo - Sainte Marie
Day 7, 8 & 9

Day 7: 3hr ferry boat

Meal Basis: HB

Enjoy your breakfast with a view of the Indian Ocean. Then take the ferry to Sainte Marie island (3h). While boarding, you will see that the ferry is the only link with “Grande Terre”, except for the flight from Antananarivo. A lot of Sainte Marie inhabitants go shopping in Tamatave and use the ferry to bring back home chickens, groceries, bikes… Fortunately the Ferry service is well organized and your boat trip will be comfortable!

Sainte Marie’s Malagasy name is “Nosy Boraha”. The small size of the Island (60km long, 20km wide) makes it special and very friendly. It is an Island in an Island, isolated in many ways but always open to visitors! It is very peaceful and in a corner of lagoon where you can do a wide range of sea activities. Inland, the Island is a real tropical garden with a rain forest in the north. Historically, Sainte Marie use to be a hideout for famous pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries. You can visit a pirate cemetery and museum there. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8 & 9: Sainte Marie Island – Visit the Island and active tours

Meal Basis: HB 

Two days at leisure in Sainte Marie.

Suggested activities:

  • Whale watching (mid-July to mid-September): Sainte Marie is a worldwide hotspot for humpback whale. During the season, they give birth & mate just in front of the Island! You can easily see them from the shore, but also during a boat tour with the local NGO CETAMADA.
  • Available Land Activites: quad biking, biking, hiking. The Island is very small, with only one main road and with limited traffic. This allow you to tour the Island safely by yourself.
  • Available Sea Activites: Diving, fishing, kitesurfing… thanks to the lagoon surrounding a part of the Island.

Dinner and overnight.

Up market: PRINCESSE BORA LODGE
Mid-range: MASOANDRO LODGE
Budget: LIBERTALIA

Sainte Marie Island - Antananarivo
Day 10 - 11

Day 10

Meal Basis: HB

Morning at leisure on Sainte Marie. The land strip is near the sea so last chance to breathe the warm breeze coming from the Ocean! Fly back to Tana. Upon your arrival, transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 11: Antananarivo | International flight 

Meal Basis: Breakfast 
Depending on your flight schedule, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back. If time allows it, you can do some last minute shopping for Malagasy handicrafts.
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Packages
Total package price from: R 0

Included:

  • Accommodation in the hotel range of your choice
  • Meals as mentioned
  • The 4WD car rental with A/C and English speaking driver, indemnities and gasoil included (day 2 to day 4)
  • Parks and reserves entrance fees: Vakona private reserve, Andasibe NP, Palmarium private reserve
  • All transfers airport/hotel/airport and port/hotel
  • Boat transfers: Manambato – Ankanin’ny nofy – Tamatave and Mahambo – Sainte Marie.
  • Car transfer from Tamatave to Mahambo (D6)

Standard Terms & Conditions Apply

Excluded:

  • Domestic and international flights
  • VISA
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Guidance fees in parks and reserves
  • Day excursions offered by the hotels, visits mentioned at your charge
  • Beverages
  • Communications, tips and personal expenses to be paid locally
  • All services not provided and/or not mentioned in the program
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