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Madagascar Barefoot Luxury Culture & Kayak Adventure

Safari tour package: A set-date, set-itinerary, group safari
Prices and Dates: $2390 - $3599
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 14 days
Best months: March - December
Countries visited Madagascar Madagascar
Parks visited Not specified
Activity level Very Active - Trekking, mountain biking, kayaking
Safari type:
  • Camping
  • Birding
  • Boating
Allow the abundance of creature sightings, untouched flora of the rainforest, breath-taking blue waters and white beaches to wash your stress away while putting you back in touch with nature. A culture & kayaking adventure to the South East of Madagascar (Mandrare River Camp & Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge) with camping in style. Highlights: Mandrare River, wildlife viewing, bird watching, Spiny forest, Sacred Forests and tombs of Ifotaka, day and night guided walks, baobab forests, authentic tribal displays, local village and market. Camping in absolute style with French-trained chefs catering all meals in Mandrare, St Luce and at Manafiafy, kayaking on the pristine river through the St Luce Reserve, wildlife viewing, bird watching, enjoying the beach at Manafiafy, walks in the rainforest, exploring deserted beaches, whale viewing (June - December) and snorkelling.

MEALS: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner


Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo [D]

Upon arrival in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo, you will be met and welcomed by an English speaking guide, before transferring to your hotel in the city centre.

Accommodation:    Pavillion de l’Emyrne, or similar (double room with en-suite bathroom)


Day 2: Antananarivo – Mandrare River Camp [BLD]

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred back to Ivato airport for your two hour scheduled flight to Fort Dauphin, on the south-eastern coast of Madagascar. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and will have lunch in Fort Dauphin, before driving west towards Antandroy Spiny Forest. The three hour journey offers a contrast of landscapes ranging from the rice paddies of the eastern seaboard, over the lush tropical plateau to the drier arid region of sisal plantations and “spiny forest”. You will arrive at your luxury tented camp in the late afternoon, allowing you to settle into your accommodation and enjoy the breath-taking views across the Mandrare River.

Accommodation:    Mandrare River Camp (Private luxury tents with en-suite bathroom, hot water)


Day 3: Mandrare River Camp – morning and afternoon activities  [BLD]

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast on the banks of the river, before embarking on a trip to the sacred Antandroy forest, crossing the river on foot to observe lemurs and many bird species. We will also be able to see the tombs of the Antandroy ancestors, and the guide will explain in detail about the culture of ancestor worship.
Lunch will be served at camp, and there will be time to relax before we depart on an afternoon activity, unless you would prefer to rest at camp and enjoy the serenity of the river.
Some of the activity options include a trip to the giant sand dunes of Lake Anony, watching the sun set at the Baobabs, night walks (gallery and spiny forest), watching various species of lemurs and birds, watching traditional dancers, and a visit to the village or local school.

Accommodation:    Mandrare River Camp


Day 4: Mandrare River Camp – morning and afternoon activities [BLD]

Today will be spent enjoying the various activities located at and around our luxury tented accommodation.  These will be on suggestion of your guide, tailored to your interests.
Activities from the camp take place in the early mornings and late afternoons and evenings to avoid the heat of the day. There are a number of designated forest areas in close proximity to the camp, where, with permission from and being accompanied by one of the local village chiefs, it is possible to explore this unique and fascinating natural paradise together with your guide. 

Accommodation:    Mandrare River Camp


Day 5: Mandrare – Fort Dauphin [BLD]

After an early breakfast, we will return to Fort Dauphin – the small and pretty major town in south-eastern Madagascar. Its attractive location with green hills, blue seas, fine beaches and a myriad of surrounding attractions – make it a popular destination, especially for surfers. At the bottom of Saint Louis Peak, the urban area between two bays is one of the most beautiful in Madagascar. The first people who settled in La Reunion in 1674 came from this area. It is also the capital of crayfish which is celebrated in an annual festival that has become a traditional event. Upon arrival in Fort Dauphin, we will lunch at a beach restaurant, then settle in at the hotel to spend the remaining day at leisure.

Accommodation:    Kaleta Hotel or similar (room with en-suite bathroom, swimming pool, restaurant and bar)


Day 6: Lokaro - St Luce Reserve [BLD]

Enjoy an early breakfast before we set of on an adventure! Sainte Luce Reserve offers us an experience of the spectacular beauty of south east Madagascar. Your first day of kayaking will be for 4 hours to Evatra, with lunch on the banks of the mangroves and a delightful walk to Lokaro (2,5 hours). Experience beautiful coastal scenery and a gorgeous natural swimming pool nestled in the mountainous coastline. 
St Luce Reserve is situated on an island-like peninsula, cut off from the mainland by river mouths to the north and south. The reserve has been established to contribute to the conservation of this extraordinary habitat, as it is some of the very last true coastal forest left in the south east of Madagascar and one of the most critically endangered in the country.  This conservation area is bounded to the east by the Indian Ocean and white sand beaches, to the west by winding fresh water rivers, and to the north & south by more protected forests. There is no village, there are no neighbours, and as the reserve has a fresh water habitat, marine habitat, littoral forest, mangrove, wetland and open grasslands, you will find lemurs, birds, reptiles, mammals, sea turtles, crocodiles.... it's all here.

Accommodation:    Bush Camping at Lokaro (stunning palm-fringed beach with great swimming)


Day 7: Belaveno - St Luce Reserve [BLD]

After breakfast we head north through the mangroves and forest. The river is adjacent to the protected forest and wetland, which also incorporates many kilometres of stunning white beaches.  At 9.30 am we head off for a 2 hour paddle, followed by a 20 minute walk to a secluded beach where we will enjoy lunch. Relax after lunch, enjoying this idyllic setting, before we set off at 3 pm for the 2 hours kayaking to Belaveno. 

Accommodation:    Bush Camping 


Day 8: Ocean Camp - St Luce Reserve [BLD]

This morning sees us with a 2, 5 hour paddle and an 8.30 am start. Enjoy another idyllic day of paddling on the river, following the littoral forest through the wetlands and soaking up the sights and sounds of nature and letting the stress and cares of modern living, dissolve away…
In the afternoon after lunch, we have a 2 hour paddle to a large lake. Wander in the forest to see the fruit bats, before your night walk to spot Mouse, Dwarf and Woolly Lemurs in the forest.

Accommodation:    Bush Camping 


Day 9: Manafiafy Beach [BLD]

After our last day of paddling on the river (2, 5 hours), we end at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge at approximately 11 am. Situated on a beautiful, private, white sandy bay, fringed with forest covered mountains, your lodge offers barefoot luxury with wildlife and water on your doorstep. A welcome barbeque on the beach will await you and a most well deserved 30 minute complimentary back massage for those tired muscles… Enjoy the location of your lodge in the afternoon, as the sun sets over the bay.

Accommodation:    Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge (private bungalow with en-suite bathroom, sundeck and separate access to the magnificent unspoilt beach)


Days 10, 11 & 12: Manafiafy – morning and afternoon activities [BLD]

After breakfast you will embark on your choice of a wide range of wildlife and sporting activities which are included in your stay.

Some of the options include: 
Kayaking in the mangroves, early morning boat trips for wetland birding, day and night walks in the rainforest to see five species of lemur, snorkelling in the bay and nearby cove, whale watching from the 15 ft. observation tower (June to December). Boat trips to the nearby islands for a secluded picnic lunch, walks along long empty beaches, visits to the local village and school.
Optional activities, payable locally at the lodge include: massage treatments, whale watching boat trips (June to December), deep see fishing trips.

Forest walks are the main reason for visiting this part of the island and those accessible from Manafiafy are “Littoral” rain forests – shady dense vegetation with a high degree of humidity and home to several Lemurs (collared brown, woolly, brown mouse, dwarf and sportive) as well as reptiles, spiders, birds, insects and orchids. Walks can be done at any time of the day and early evening, and are always accompanied by a Manafiafy guide.

The rocks, islands and bays surrounding Manafiafy provide endless opportunities for exploring and within a short boat ride it is possible to find deserted beaches, scout for whales, or snorkel in the crystal clear water viewing corals and tropical ‘aquarium’ fish. There is always something to do at Manafiafy and each excursion provides its own reward of new experiences – most of them unique to the island of Madagascar.

Accommodation:    Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge (private bungalow with en-suite bathroom, sundeck and separate access to the magnificent unspoilt beach)


Day 13: Return to Antananarivo (via Fort Dauphin) [BD]

You will drive back to Fort Dauphin and continue to the airport for your scheduled flight to Antananarivo, for your last night in Madagascar. Upon arrival in Antananarivo, you will be met and welcomed by an English speaking guide, before transferring to your hotel in the city centre and a farewell dinner!

Accommodation:    Pavillion de l’Emyrne, or similar (double room with en-suite bathroom)


Day 14: End of Tour [B]

Our tour ends today. You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • Pavillion de l’Emyrne, or similar
  • Mandrare River Camp
  • Kaleta Hotel or similar
  • Bush Camping at Lokaro
  • Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

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