Join us on a tour of the island nation of Madagascar off the southeast coast of Africa. The trip takes you to some of Madagascar’s foremost national parks in different regions with different climates.
Madagascar is something of a paradise for nature lovers with its treasure trove of unique animal and plant life. Madagascar’s flora and fauna developed evolutionarily biologically isolated and therefore you will find here life forms that are completely unique to the island. Here you will find diverse ecosystems such as tropical rainforest, mangrove forest, dry forest and coral reefs, as well as fantastic wildlife with an astonishing richness of species. However, there are no dangerous snakes! But Madagascar is unique in other ways as well. The island was first inhabited for centuries after our era by long-distance settlers from Borneo and Bantu people from the African mainland. The indigenous people speak an Austro-Asian language, despite the fact that the island is considerably closer to Africa than the Southeast Asian archipelago. However, the traditional culture has both Asian and African elements.
During the tour you will have the opportunity to get to know completely different parts of Madagascar, each with its distinct natural and cultural landscapes, and discover a part of the world that still quite a few tourists still visit.
Day 1: Travel to Madagascar
We land in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo late at night and are met by our local guide at the airport. Transfer to the hotel for check in. Overnight in Antananarivo. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.
Day 2: Antananarivo – Andasibe – Mantadia National Park
After an early breakfast we head towards Andasibe – Mantadia National Park and start the day with a visit to the Analamazoatra Special Reserve, a special zone within the national park established to protect the indoor lemur, the largest lemur species in Madagascar. During the day we visit a small reserve for a guided hike on foot. During the evening we get a reason to return here to have the opportunity to see some of the nocturnal animals. Lodge accommodation in Adasibe. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 3: Andasibe – Mantadia National Park – Antananarivo
After breakfast we head to Mantadia National Park by jeep for a four hour hike in protected rainforest. Here you will find, among other things, endangered lemur species such as diademsifaka and black and white vari, as well as tan rects (an insectivorous small mammal) and unusual bird species such as the blue crow. On the way back to Antananarivo we visit Peyrieea’s Reptile Reserve where in addition to chameleons, geckos, amphibians, snakes and crocodiles etc. you can also see fantastic butterflies. Overnight in Antananarivo. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 4: Antananarivo – Antsirabe
In the morning we travel west towards the central highlands and the city of Antsirabe (1,500 m above sea level) which was founded by Norwegian missionaries in the 1860s. We travel along mountain roads with terrace plantations along the slopes and make stops to see local crafts. We also stop at a local visitor and information center to learn more about the region’s flora and fauna. After lunch we first take a city tour of Antsirabe and then visit the oval crater lake Lac Tritriva surrounded by the lush greenery of Madagascar. Overnight in Antsirabe. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 5: Antsirabe – Miandrivazo
After breakfast, the journey continues west towards the smaller community of Miandrivazo through the central highlands of Madagascar and a strangely expansive coastal landscape (lavaka) shaped by erosion. The area is known for its many gold mines and during the trip we stop in a village where a large part of the population from their income from the mining industry. From Miandrivazo we continue to the coastal town of Morondava where we spend the night after the long bus journey. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 6: Morondava – Kirindy Mitea National Park
In the morning we head north towards Kirindy Mitea National Park through an ocher-colored landscape of baobab trees. We travel along Baobab Avenue where we stop to take a look at the strange trees that look upside down with their roots as a crown. Arriving in the national park’s deciduous dry forest, we can, with a little luck, see, for example, silkworms, chameleons and the domestic predator fossan (vessel cat). We return to the national park later in the evening to have the opportunity to see some of the nocturnal animals. Lodge accommodation adjacent to the national park. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 7: Kirindy Mitea National Park – Bekopaka
In the morning we travel by four-wheel drive vehicles along small roads through the beautiful landscape towards the fishing community Belo sur Tsiribihina where Madagascar’s longest river Tsiribihina flows into the sea. Tsiribihina means in Malagasy “where you are not allowed to dive”, which you probably should not do given the presence of crocodiles. From here we continue east to the smaller community Bekopaka near Tsingy de Bemahara National Park. Overnight in Belo sur Tsiribihina. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 8: Tsingy de Bemahara National Park
Today, a six-hour hike awaits in Tsingy de Bemahara National Park, during which we will, among other things, see the area’s famous stone forest with high limestone formations that tower up towards the sky. The national park includes thirteen different species of lemurs, 140 endemic bird species – including a number of very rare birds, such as the endangered Madagascar sea eagle. Lodge accommodation in the smaller town of Bekopaka. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
Day 9: Tsingy de Bemahara National Park – Morondava
After breakfast we return to Morondava via Belo sur Tsiribihina where we visit the village market and ride a motorboat along the Tsiribihina River. Overnight in Morondava. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 10: Morodava – Belo sur Mer
After breakfast we head to the coast on small roads to visit the beautifully situated fishing village of Belo sur Mer which belongs to the Vezo people who are known for their hand-built wooden yachts, so-called dhows. Upon arrival at the small community on the azure sea, there is plenty of time to discover the area on your own. Lodge accommodation. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 11: Belo sur Mer
During the day there are good opportunities for swimming, fishing, whale watching or diving. Otherwise you can just relax on the wonderful beach. Lodge accommodation. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 12: Belo sur Mer – Morondava
After breakfast we return to Morondava which has just over 30,000 residents and is the capital of the Mena region. The city is known for its relaxed and relaxing atmosphere and you have on arrival the rest of the day to discover the city on your own. For example, the local market is well worth a visit. There are also beaches near the coastal town. Overnight in Morondava. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 13: Morondava – Antananarivo (before returning home the same day)
During the morning market visit and then domestic flight to Antananarivo before returning home. Joint farewell dinner in Antananarivo. Meals are included on the long-haul flight. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 14: Return to Scandinavia.