This itinerary will allow you to immerse yourself in the extraordinary island of Madagascar, a mysterious land that surrenders only to the one who knows how to listen and understand, to the one who takes the time to discover.
Go beyond its beaches and lagoons, get away from the beaten track, get to know and love this traditionally welcoming people.
Day 1Arrival in Antananarivo, the malagasy capital
Paris Roissy CDG - Antananarivo
Flight to Antananarivo, dinner and overnight on board.
Program developed with Air France.
The Détours Madagascar Team welcomes you on arrival.
Day 2Towards the East, Andasibe
Antananarivo - Andasibe
Departure to Andasibe.
On the way, possibility to visit Madagascar Exotic, a breeding farm which welcomes butterflies, chameleons and endemic reptiles threatened with extinction because of anthropogenic disturbances (bushfires, deforestation…).
Day 3Visit of the Andasibe National Park
Visit of Andasibe National Park, a conservation site for the Indri-Indri, the largest of all lemurs. Other animal species can be seen, including 11 other lemurs, chameleons, birds … The flora is not left aside, with several varieties of orchids, rosewood and medicinal plants.
Day 4Driving South towards Manandona
Andasibe - Ambatolampy
We leave Andasibe towards the Central Highlands, driving on a sinuous road lined with small waterfalls and terrace rice fields, heritage of the Indonesian culture, and its villages with red brick walls. We drive through Ambatolampy, well known for the aluminium crafts.
Ambatolampy - Manandona
We continue our route to Manandona where we settle down in a cottage with simple and pleasant comfort.
Day 5Discovering the Manandona Valley
From our lodge, we set foot to discover the typical environment of the Highlands. Snuggled up at the foothills of the powerful massif of Ibity, the Manandona Valley is rich and prosper. The earth is generous, and rice is the main crop.
After climbing higher following ascending tracks, we come back to the bottom of the valley to meet the locals. All of them are rice farmers and own zebus, some of them raise silk worms, others are smiths, basket makers or carpenters.Traditional crafts are everywhere.
Our guides are part of a local organization which works for this region's development. They will tell you everything about their activities, habits and traditions, and local development.
Day 6Ranomafane, the Thermal City
Manandona - Ranomafana
We take the road in the direction of Ambositra. The craftsmen Zafimaniry are the repositories of an original woodworking culture (sculpture and marquetry), which used to be very widespread throughout the island. After lunch, we continue on Ranomafana where we arrive at the end of the day.
Day 7Continuation to Fianarantsoa
Ranomafana - Fianarantsoa
Morning discovery of the forest of Ranomafana to the fauna and flora very rich and varied (lemurs, reptiles, orchids, rosewood …).
We hit the road again towards Fianarantsoa.
Day 8Pirogue stroll on the Matsiatra river
Fianarantsoa - Mahasoabe
Departure for the village of Mahasoabe, located about 20 km East from Fianarantsoa.
Mahasoabe - Sahambavy
Once we get there, we meet with the sailors. Starting our descent, which will last for 2 hours and a half. The river slithers between rice fields and granite mountains. We will stop a few times to meet the locals and discover their rural lifestyles. We might also be able to spot various aquatic bird species.
Sahambavy - Fianarantsoa
Back to Fianarantsoa at the end of the day.
Day 9Discovering Anja village reserve, continuation towards Ranohira
Fianarantsoa - Ambalavao
Across the patchwork of terrace rice fields and diverse crops where are all shades of green are present, road to Ambalavao famous for its vineyards.
We make a stop at Anja's reserve : a forest of ficus, lianas and orchids developed in between a spectacular rock chaos, sometimes forming caves used as shelter by animals.
The rocky slopes have been colonized by succulent plants such as kalanchoes and pachypodiums.
In this lush green paradise live in small colonies the makis catta, this lemur with a striped tail which represents Madagascar. They spend a lot of time on the ground, are not too wild and so easily observable.
The profit of Anja's reserve are managed by the AMI (Anja Miray) organization, and are donated to finance social and economical projects, which purposes are to improve crop yield, crafts development, health and education towards the villagers.
Ambalavao - Ranohira
Continuation to the south to Bara country and crossing of the largest plateau of Madagascar, the Horombe desert, before seeing the village of Ranohira that we reach late in the afternoon.
Day 10Walking through the Isalo National Park
A beautiful day of hiking, discovering the Isalo National Park, between deep canyons, plateaux, natural swimming pools… We should be able to spot many endemic species of lemurs, birds, reptiles, plants and butterflies.
Isalo National Park was created in 1962, and is classified in the category of Exceptional Parks. Its area is 100 km large from North to South. It is unique in Madagascar thanks to its geological formation, dating from the Jurassic period. This mountain massif made of continental sandstone and dug with deep canyons, welcomes a rupicolous vegetation (Aloes, Euphorbias, Pachypodium…).
You can also find there an exceptionally rich fauna, where most species are natives, such as rock reptiles, makis and other lemurs.
The main ethnic group in this region is the Bara, living essentially of farming zebus and agriculture. Considered as descendent of the Bantu, the Bara are livestock breeders but also fierce warriors, proud and ready to give up their life to defend their freedom.
Day 11Exploring the fishing village of Ifaty
Ranohira - Ifaty
Road towards Tulear. We cross the villages of Ilakaka__ and Sakaraha, still on top of the Horombe plateau, small towns which used to be quiet, until a huge sapphire reservoir was discovered there, turning these quiet towns into mining cities worthy of the American Far West Gold Rush.
First sight of the baobabs and crossing the Mahafaly limestone plateau, with its famous and impressive burials called « Aloalo », painted with naive everyday-life scenes.
Visit of Tulear and lunch. Road early in the afternoon to Ifaty, about thirty kilometers north of Tulear, to join the Vezo fishermen countries.
Day 12 - 13Free stay at Ifaty
- 12, 13
Ifaty, Mangily, Madiorano and Ambolimailaka are small villages that face the majestic lagoon of Ranobe with turquoise water, renowned for its coral reef. They are here as seaside resorts.
Free stay, activities to see at the hotel or with your guide: hiking in the backcountry of the dry forest to various varieties of endemic spiny, euphorbia, Didiéracées, pachypodium and of Baobabs.
The visit can be done in zebu charette or on foot; or relax to enjoy the beach, a beautiful invitation to swim in this beautiful lagoon.
Day 14Back to Antananarivo, Boarding on your international flight
Ifaty - Tulear
Free time before your transfer to Tuléar airport.
Tulear - Antananarivo
After a wonderful stay by the sea, return to Antananarivo. Connecting flight from Tulear to Antananarivo.
Day 15Arrival in Europe, See you soon !
Arrival late in the morning in Europe