Madagascar general information and map
Getting there: There are regular flights from London to Nairobi with onward Air Madagascar flights to Antananarivo. Flying time is approximately 8 hours 30 min to Nairobi and 3 hours onwards to Antananarivo. Alternatively Antananarivo can be reached via Johannesburg. Approximate flying time form London to Johannesburg is 11 hours and 3 hours onwards to Antananarivo.
Time: GMT plus 3 hours
Try not to miss: The capital Antananarivo for fascinating cultural insights and bustling markets plus the popular lemur park. Morondava is the gateway to many of the attractions of western Madagascar including various excursions and activities such as white water rafting. Today Morondava is celebrated as a lovely seaside destination with a laid back atmosphere. The dry deciduous forests in this area are of great biological importance. Indeed, this is one of the most threatened forest types in the world, with numerous species of rare flora and fauna. The fosa is common in these forests as well as seven species of lemur. The giant jumping rat, Madagascar’s most charming rodent, is also unique to this small area of the island. This is the region of the splendid Grandidier’s baobab, best seen at the Avenue of Baobabs. The 25,000-acre Kirindy Forest Reserve has the greatest density and diversity of primates in the world. It is also the best western reserve for seeing Madagascar’s endemic dry forest species. The forest boasts more than 60 bird and 8 lemur species. Nosy Be is a large volcanic island 8kms off the north coast and can be used as a base to explore many of the surrounding smaller islands. It also offers snorkelling, diving, sailing and various other water sports. Nosy Be also supports some remarkable fauna such as the world’s smallest chameleon. Black Lemurs can be found in the Lokobe Reserve in the south of the island.
Visas: British passport holders require a visa to travel to Madagascar, which must be obtained prior to travel (cost approx £30).
Why Madagascar: Extraordinary and unique wildlife including tropical birds, lemurs and chameleons that inhabit pristine forest reserves and beautiful national parks.
Wild and Exotic best of Madagascar
Day 1: On arrival into Antananarivo you will be met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 2: After a brief driving tour around Tana, you will be driven to Andasibe through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step brings you to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes, and the landscape consists of rice fields, waterfalls, and scarce forest stations. Along the way you will see Merina villages in the Rocky Mountains. You will stop at the Reptile & Butterfly farm, before checking-in at Vakona Forest Lodge, where you will enjoy a 2 night stay, located a few kilometres from the village and on the doorstep of the Andasibe National Park, Vakona Forest Lodge is a nature lover’s paradise.
Surrounded by lush forests featuring bountiful vegetation and a spectacular array of wildlife species, the marvellous lodge exudes a delightful rustic charm that is perfectly in keeping with the environment. Each of the 24 charming bungalows nestles between luxuriant gardens and includes double rooms as well as family units. Enjoy soaking in the en-suite bathroom and thereafter crawl under the luxurious bed covers beautifully framed by translucent mosquito netting. Relax on the terrace / balcony whilst taking in the amazing peaceful setting, or spend time in the adorable little outside living area. (B, D)
Day 3: After breakfast, you will take a morning visit to the Special Reserve of Andasibe, where you will discover the many species dwelling in the forest. In particular, your guide will search for the Indri Indri, the largest lemurs on the island. This 810 ha reserve is unique with its fauna and flora and contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. You will also visit the Orchid garden. In the afternoon, you will visit Lemur Island at Vakona Forest Lodge to meet the resident Lemurs up close! The rest of your afternoon is at leisure. (B, D)
Day 4: Today you will be driven back to Tana, and you will head south to Antsirabe, across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields on stage. The spectacular eroded hills called ‘lavaka’ will remind you of the Far East with its rice fields and green landscape with vegetables and fruit trees. You will arrive into Antsirabe at approximately 17:00hrs, or the place of salt, an elegant city well known as the centre of the beer industry, you will be transferred to the Couleur Café, where you will overnight. Founded by the Norwegians in 1856, it is the only city in Madagascar which really feels and looks European. It has a temperate climate and all fruits and vegetable, which grow in cold climates, are found in Antsirabe. Couleur Cafe Maison d’Hotes is a guesthouse in Antsirabe dominated by charm, comfort and friendliness. (B, D).
Day 5: After breakfast you will be driven to Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar’s wood carving industry. You will still be in the highland, which is characterized by its architecture: the houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colours. Further on you will pass the le col de tapia, a type of tree, which is resistant to bush fires. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields on stage, pine forests and eucalyptus trees and rocky mountains. You will take a turning off from the main road, before you reach your destination for the day: Ranomafana National Park and Setam Lodge, where you will enjoy a stay of 2 nights. Setam Lodge is located close to the entrance of the Ranomafana National Park, arguably the best Malagasy rainforest for bird watching, with Brown Mesites, Henst’s Goshawks and Rufous-Headed Ground-Rollers in residence. It is also a key destination for viewing rare endemic species such as the Golden Bamboo Lemur, which the Park was specifically set up to protect, 11 other virtually extinct lemur species and numerous reptiles and frogs. (B, D)
Day 6: At leisure at Setam Lodge, exploring the Ranomafana National Park. The lodge offers great views of the surrounding rainforest. There is a beautiful breakfast veranda with comfortable garden furniture and umbrellas. It has 20 twin or double comfortable rooms, which are housed in 10 separate single story bungalows set on a steep hillside, all facing towards the river valley below. (B, D).
Day 7: This morning you will be transferred by road to Relais de la Reine, where you will enjoy a stay of 2 nights. Le Relais de la Reine is located in the South West of Madagascar, on the border of the Massif de l’Isalo, which is home to the semi nomadic Bara people who travel with their herds of livestock. The hotel’s remote site creates an atmosphere of tranquillity in which to relax and rest, and is also the starting point for excursions in Isalo where you can visit the natural pool, the canyons of the window and much more. The hotel also offers riding, tennis, swimming and walking in the gallery tree. (B, D)
Day 8: Full day to explore Isalo National Park, which covers an area of more than 80,000 hectares comprising of the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is very spectacular with its eroded sandstone of many beautiful colours. Along the way, for lemur lovers, there may be sifakas, brown lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs, as well as more than 50 species of birds, lizards and snakes. You will finally reach the swimming pool, with its crystal clear water, which is a great reward after a long and very hot walk. (B, D)
Day 9: After breakfast, you will continue to Tuléar, the terminal of the National Road N° 7. This brings new scenery, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. On the way you will admire the different Mahafaly tombs and the Antandroy tombs. You will arrive in Tulear, visit the Arboretum, and then transfer to Hyppocampo Hotel for an overnight stay. (B, D)
Day 10: After breakfast you will be transferred by road to Tulear port for your boat transfer to the magical destination of Anakao Ocean Lodge, where you will enjoy a 2 night stay. (B, D)
Day 11: At leisure to enjoy Anakao Ocean Lodge.
Day 12: Today you will be transferred back to the port by boat back to the port and then by road to the airport, where you will check-in for your Air Madagascar back to Antananarivo for an overnight stay or your return flight home.
Notes: Please note this is a sample itinerary only and can be modified and refined according to your requirements. Guests wishing to extend their stay by visiting other regions within Madagascar or beyond should please contact us for further information and a sample itinerary.
The price of this itinerary is based on two people sharing accommodation based on half board basis unless otherwise stated. The price does not include visa fees, drinks, activities in Anakao, items of a personal nature, gratuities, etc. A valid visa is required for this holiday.
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on this website under the general info tab.