4WD To the Deep South
4WD To the Deep South
Safari summaryHighlights • Antananarivo • Ranomafana National Park • Trekking in Isalo National Park • National Park of Beza • Tsimanampetsotsa National Park • Berenty Private Reserve • Fort Dauphin
About this tour
Best months:May, June, July, August, September, October
DAY 1; (1 Night) ARRIVAL IN ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar [Hotel] Antananarivo Markets, MadagascarYou will be met at Ivato international airport and transferred to your hotel in Antananarivo, the picturesque capital of Madagascar. With its bustling markets, friendly people and ancient town on a hill with freestone churches and ancient royal places, it is unique among the world's other capitals. Overnight: Residence Lapasoa or similar (Double rooms with ensuite bathroom). Meals: N/A.
DAY 2; (1 Night) ANTANANARIVO - ANTSIRABE, Madagascar [Hotel] Antsirabe, MadagascarDepart to Antsirabe, a pretty thermal town, that combines a typical Malagasy style with the tranquility of a small European provincial town. Antsirabe means 'where there is much salt' and is one of Madagascar's major trading centres for semiprecious stones and minerals. We will drive through landscape, which is mainly composed of mountains and rice fields. In Antsirabe we will go on a city tour with a visit of Andraikiba lake and the legendary Tritriva crater lake. It is said that the lake's water level decreases during rainy season and increases in dry season. We will visit a gemstone factory, where you can watch the cutting and polishing process and purchase souvenirs. Overnight: Residence Camelia, or similar (Double rooms with ensuite bathroom). Meals: Breakfast and Dinner supplied.
DAY 3; (1 Night) ANTSIRABE - RANOMAFANA, Madagascar [Lodge] Ranomafan National ParkAfter breakfast, we will drive to Ranomafana National Park, one of the richest for discovering biodiversity in the eastern humid forest. It is nestled in a mountainous and extremely rainy region, which accounts for its nickname the 'misty land'. The tropical forest is home to 12 species of lemurs such as the golden bamboo lemur, brown lemurs and various species of birds, colourful chameleons and frogs. In Ambositra we will stop for the visit of some Zafimaniry woodcarving shops. This art, classified as World Intangible Heritage by UNESCO, was revealed to the public in the fifties, when food shortage obliged this population of foresters to sell their furniture and sculptures on the market. Zafimaniry Art expresses itself through daily life objects (honey pots, weavinglooms, stools, plates…) as well as construction parts (doors and windows). We then head to Ranomafana National Park, where we will rest in preparation for our park visit the next day. Overnight: Centrest Sejour, or similar. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 4; (1 Night) RANOMAFANA - FIANARANTSOA, Madagascar [Lodge] Fianarantsoa, MadagascarIn the morning we will explore the Park to see lemurs, chameleons and frogs living in the rainforest and discover some of the pandanus, ferns, orchids and medical plants in the undergrowth. After lunch, we will go on a city tour of Fianarantsoa - the capital of the Betsileo tribe. Fianarantsoa was built on 3 levels and the highest level and its old and picturesque quarters are classified as a protected area because of its historical and architectural interest. It lies in the heart of Madagascar's most fertile agricultural areas and is renowned for its vineyards, tea plantations and terraced rice fields. Overnight: Zomatel, or a similar. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 5; (1 Night) FIANARANTSOA - RANOHIRA, Madagascar [Lodge] Ranohira, MadagascarIn the morning we depart early for Ranohira. On our way we stop in Ambalavao - the commercial centre of the southern Betsileo region, renowned for its folks, arts and crafts – we will visit a wine producer for a wine tasting and the "Antemoro Paper" factory, where you can watch the paper being made and buy locally made cards and other paper products. The famous Antemoro paper is a delicate, handmade, flower-decorated paper made of the fibres of a tree called "Avoha". We continue our drive to Ranohira and visit Anja Park along the way, where you can see some families of ring-tailed lemurs in their natural habitat. On arrival in Ranohira we check in at Isalo Ranch and simply relax to prepare ourselves for the next day of trekking. Overnight: Isalo Ranch, or similar. Meals: Breakfast and Dinner supplied.
DAY 6; (1 Night) RANOHIRA / ISALO NATIONAL PARK, Madagascar [Lodge] Isalo Ranch, madagascarToday we will spend the whole day trekking in Isalo National Park, which is chronologically the second one in Madagascar. Here, erosion has carved fantastic figures in the sandstone, from sharp needles standing up in the sky to rocky blocs apparently unstable on their base. Apparently dry, the Isalo National Park is a land endowed with an important network of streams feeding the tributaries of the river Mangoky. It is a sacred land, as it also shelters the Bara ancestors' cemeteries, dug on the cliff sides to prevent pillage. We will discover the massif of Isalo, its canyons and its endemic flora (Pachypodium, aloes,...) and fauna (lemurs and birds). We will even have the chance to go for a refreshing swim in the natural cascades swimming pool. Overnight: Isalo Ranch, or similar. Meals: Breakfast and Dinner supplied.
DAY 7; (1 Night) RANOHIRA - BEZA, Madagascar [Lodge] Dancing Sifakas, MadagascarAfter breakfast, we drive along a straight road, where the landscape is composed of dry and spiny forests, baobab trees and some proudly decorated Mahafaly tombs. We arrive in Andranovory and then begin the track to the National Park of Beza, which protects significant areas of spiny and gallery forest, and provides a habitat for ringtail lemurs, tortoises, birds and sifakas. Overnight: Camping at the Campsite, with basic facilities. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 8; (1 Night) BEZA - BEHELOKA, Madagascar [Hotel] Beheloka, MadagascarAfter a morning visit of the park, where we will see some lemur species such as ring-tailed lemurs, dancing lemurs, various birds and some radiated tortoises, we drive to Beheloka, a typical coastal fishing village, where we will stay at 'Chez Bernard', the only hotel in the village. Overnight: Chez Bernard. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 9; (1 Night) BEHELOKA - TSIMANAMPETSOTSA, Madagascar [Hotel] FlamingosToday we will drive to Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, which is stretching over 43 000 ha. The lake, whose water changes colour from turquoise blue to topaze green, is an oasis in a region reputed to be the driest in Madagascar. Vegetation takes weird shapes as a result of its permanent fight against drought, creating an environment that looks unreal to the visitor. The birds are the main attraction of the park, namely with the great gatherings of pink flamingos, dwarf flamingos and grebes in the dry season. You might also see several lemur species, of which the famous Lemur Catta. The name Tsimanampetsotsa, which means 'the lake without dolphins', is to be linked with the blind fish Typhleotis, which lives in its caves. Overnight: Domaine d'Ambola. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 10; (1 Night) TSIMANAMPETSOTSA - ITAMPOLO, Madagascar [Hotel] Gîte d'Etape SudAfter breakfast, we drive along the coast to reach Itampolo, a relaxing coastal fishing village. Along the way you can see some wild radiated tortoises on the sandy road. We will stay at the 'Gite d'Etape Sud', the only hotel in Itampolo. Overnight: Gîte d'Etape Sud. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 11; (1 Night) ITAMPOLO - FAUX CAP, Madagascar [Hotel] Hotel LibertaliaAfter breakfast we are off to Faux Cap – a beautiful beach with soft white sand and stunning views on the southern coast of Madagascar, along the coastal road. Overnight: Libertalia. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 12; (1 Night) FAUX CAP - BERENTLY, Madagascar [Hotel] LemursToday we will drive to Berenty – a private reserve over 240 ha stretching along the river Mandrare. The park offers the opportunity to observe lemurs at close range, including ringtail and brown lemurs, sifakas, birds and nocturnal lemurs, as well as other wildlife. It also contains one of the country's last stands of gallery forest. Overnight: Gîte de Berenty. Meals: Breakfast and Dinner supplied.
DAY 13; (1 Night) BERENTLY - FORT DAUPHIN, Madagascar [Hotel] Hotel Le DauphinAfter we explored the Berenty reserve we then head to Taolagnaro, commonly known as 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. 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 celebrated in an annual festival which has become a traditional event. Overnight: Hotel le Dauphin. Meals: Breakfast and Dinner supplied.
DAY 14; (1 Night) FORT DAUPHIN - ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar [Hotel] Residence Lapasoa, AntananarivoAfter breakfast we will go on a morning visit to Nahampoina reserve – a private reserve with lemurs which is only 7 km away from the city. Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Antananarivo. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Antananarivo where you will spend your last night. You can wander through the capital's steep and narrow streets, taking in its architecture, atmosphere and pace. Or you can climb up to the old rova (palace) and enjoy the views over Antananarivo and the surrounding countryside. The town is at its best in the evening when the setting sun spectacularly illuminates its hillsides. Overnight: Residence Lapasoa, or similar. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
DAY 15; ANTANANARIVO - HOME DESTINATION, Madagascar [TOUR ENDS] Airport in AntananarivoAfter breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home. This is the end of your unforgettable tour and we hope to welcoming you in Madagascar again very soon! Overnight: N/A. Meals: Breakfast supplied.
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