November 28, 2021 - Arrival in Antanarivo
Upon arrival into Ivato Airport you will be greeted by an English speaking guide who will accompany you to your hotel near the airport. ‘Tana’ – as the locals call it has fascinating traditional architecture and a more Indonesian influence than the rest of Madagascar. Enjoy the heated swimming pool and newly built spa with sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, gym and spa therapies using traditional Malagasy remedies. Overnight at Relais Des Plateaux (half board).
November 29, 2021 - Tsingy de Bemaraha (by private charter)
At 7:30 am, after breakfast drive to Ivato Airport’s private terminal. At 9:00 am, board your charter flight to Tsingy de Bemaraha (1hr 20 min). On arrival at Amborondia airstrip, you will be met by your English speaking local guide, and then transferred by 4x4 vehicle to your hotel (1.5 hours). After lunch, visit the otherworldly pinnacles of the Petit Tsingy. You will take the Tantely circuit or the Andadoany forest trail depending on your level of fitness. You will spot some of the 53 bird species and 6 lemur species that make their home here and take in the fabulous views of the surrounding area. Overnight at Le Soleil des Tsingy (full board).
November 30, 2021 - Visit of Grand Tsingy
After breakfast, drive for a full day exploration of the “Grand Tsingy.”The walk itself is an adventure: on tiptoe over the sharp roof of the Tsingy, crossing the high roped-bridge, and meandering through pockets of dry deciduous forest. This unique site, a virtual forest of 50 meter high limestone peaks is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and located about 20km from the village of Bekopaka. The Tsingy are razor sharp pinnacles produced by the erosion of limestone massifs over millions of years. The Tsingy shelters a startling array of wildlife: 11 species of lemur (including Verreaux and Decken’s sifaka and the red-fronted brown lemurs), 103 species of terrestrial and aquatic birds, 15 species of bats, 22 species of amphibians and a variety of reptiles. The park closes at 4:30 pm so an early morning start is the best way to make the most of your visit. Overnight at Le Soleil des Tsingy (full board).
December 1, 2021 - Morondava (by private charter)
This morning choose between a return to the petit tsingy or a visit of the Manambolo gorge by dug-out canoe to see the Tombs of the Vazimba tribe from the river. These ancient people were the original inhabitants of Madagascar and grew no more than one metre tall. At 11am, drive to the airstrip and fly by private charter to Morondava (45 min). Morondava is situated in the heart of Sakalava territory and is know for its elaborate sculpted wooden royal tombs. These tombs are frequently decorated with well-executed, funerary carvings representing life and fertility. At 2pm depart the hotel for a city tour of Morondava including a visit to the local market and Palais du Lambahoany. Then drive onwards (1hr) to the “Allée des Baobabs” to enjoy the gorgeous sunset. Overnight at Palissandre Côte Ouest Hotel(full board).
December 2, 2021 - Mandrare River Camp (Private charter flight)
After breakfast, drive back to the airport for your private charter flight to Ifotaka (2 hours 25 min). Upon arrival you will be met by our guide and vehicle and transfer to the camp (10min). Settle into your tent and enjoy the majestic views over the Mandrare River. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch on our river terrace with local grilled meats and salads made from fresh Malagasy ingredients. Around 5pm you will depart for a night walk in the Forest of Zenavo. This is a fantastic way to see diurnal lemurs bedding down, and the nocturnal lemurs begin to wake in the eerie and prehistoric spiny forest. You will spot sifakas and sleeping white-foot sportive lemurs, then once the sun has set, two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and now active sportive lemurs. Overnight at Mandrare River Camp.
December 3, 2021 - Mandrare River Camp
After breakfast you will head out to the stunning sacred gallery forest to the south of the camp. Depending on the river depth, you will walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River to reach this largely deciduous forest. Inquisitive groups of ring tailed lemurs and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka are the highlight of this excursion. Return to camp for lunch and a relaxed afternoon by the pool. In late afternoon, head for a walk through the sacred spiny forest filled with the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe, as well as an extraordinary array of flora and fauna, unique to the spiny forest. Your English speaking guide and a tracker from the local community will give you an introduction to Antandroy culture and customs. Your visit is followed by sundowners on the Mandrare River banks. Overnight at Mandrare River Camp (all inclusive).
December 4, 2021 - Mandrare River Camp
After a cup of tea or coffee head to the Spiny Forest for an early morning walk. Witness the sunlight break through the octopus trees while looking out for the many endemic birds such as crested coua, a variety of vangas and the running coua. Head back to camp for a sumptuous breakfast followed by a visit to the local market or the local village to meet the fascinating Antandroy tribe. Lunch will be served at the camp followed by a relaxed afternoon watching life along the river from your tent terrace. At 5pm, depart for a sundowner and dinner amidst the baobabs. Watching the sun set and moon rise with a view across the baobabs to the mountains beyond is a magical experience. In the evening the local village may come to perform beautiful traditional dances, accompanied by singing and music. Song and dance is at the heart of Antandroy culture and is used to accompany the major rituals and events of everyday life. Overnight at Mandrare River Camp (all inclusive).
December 5, 2021 - Mandrare River Camp - Antananarivo (by private charter)
At 9am, fly back to Tana by private charter (2hrs 45 min). Upon arrival into Ivato Airport you will be greeted by an English speaking guide from MCC who will accompany you to your hotel in the upper town of Antananarivo. Overnight at Palissandre Hôtel & Spa in a deluxe room (half board).
December 6, 2021 - Antananarivo - Andasibe
After an early breakfast, your guide will take you east to Andasibe, a stunning rainforest park, about 4 hours’ drive from the city. The park consists of two protected areas, the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Perinet is world famous for its population of Indri lemurs, which are the largest living lemur species. The journey to Andasibe offers first time visitors to Madagascar an introduction to rural life with rice fields, redbrick houses and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables lining the route. The road winds through the high plateau region of the island so the driving is slow. Check into hotel for lunch. This afternoon, visit of Mitsinjo community forest to meet some of the 7 groups of Indri Lemur that live in this 700 hectare reserve. Continue on to the VOI community reserve for a night walk. You will see a variety of nocturnal lemurs: mouse lemurs, white footed sportive lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, as well as the woolly lemur. Return to the hotel for dinner. Overnight at Mantadia Lodge (full board).
December 7, 2021 - Andasibe
After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the 810 ha Perinet Reserve with a local guide in search of the Indri indri . With a barely visible tail, black and white markings and a surprised teddy–bear face, this lemur is one of the few animals in the world that cannot survive in captivity. There are another 11 species of lemur to spot as you walk through the rainforest. You may find a troop of grey bamboo lemurs, common brown lemur, diademed sifaka and the black and white ruffed lemur. Birdwatchers should look out for the velvet asity, the blue coua and the Nuthatch vanga and many more endemic species. Perinet is home to many reptiles, invertebrates, and some of Madagascar’s over a thousand orchid species. After lunch, visit Vakona Lodge’s private reserve which is home rescued lemurs with which you can interact. Species to be seen here are: the bamboo lemur, the black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and diademed sifaka. A second night walk will be organized in late evening in the Mitsinjo forest where you will see Goodman’s Mouse Lemur, Parson’s Chameleons, Uroplatus geckos and more. Overnight at Mantadia Lodge (full board).
December 8, 2021 - Andasibe - Manambato - Palmarium (boat)
After breakfast, drive to Manambato (3hours). You will go on a boat transfer to Palmarium. The Palmarium hotel is situated on the edge of the reserve on Lake Ampitabe, Palmarium Reserve: It has 9 species of lemurs that can be seen there or nearby, of which 3 are nocturnal, including the rare and elusive Aye Aye. The Palmarium Hotel has 15 bungalows; all have hot water and en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet. Electricity is provided by a generator, which is switched off during daytime around 10 AM to 4 PM, and around after 10.30 or 11 PM to 6 AM. Overnight at Palmarium Hotel (full board).
December 9, 2021 - Palmarium
In the morning we will visit the private Palmarium Park. The reserve is also known as Ankanin’ny Nofy which translates from Malagasy as ‘nest of dreams’. It is spread across 50 hectares of peninsula land in the Lake Ampitabe area on the East coast of Madagascar, nestled on the banks of the Pangalanes channel and the Indian Ocean. Separated from the latter by thin coastal sand dunes, the landscape otherwise comprises of littoral forest with relatively flat terrain and some well-kept trails for exploration. You will be able to discover the endemic flora and fauna of Madagascar, such as rare palm trees and plants like orchids and mahoganies, as well as reptiles and 10 different species of lemurs. Overnight at Palmarium Hotel (full board).
December 10, 2021 - Palmarium - Manambato (boat) - Antananarivo
In the morning, boat transfer back to Manambato. Upon arrival, the driver will meet and take you back to Tana. Check in directly into your hotel near the airport. Overnight at Relais des Plateaux (half board).
December 11, 2021 - Antananarivo - home
At 9am, fly back to Tana by private charter (2hrs 45 min). On arrival you will be assisted by a guide and driver to connect to your outbound international flight.
TOUR COST: $13,636 based on double occupancy.
INCLUDES: All private plane flights in Grand Cessna Caravan, all hotel nights, all meals per the itinerary, airport assistance throughout, transport in Antananarivo in air-conditioned car, all ground transportation in 4x4 vehicles, English speaking local guide, all drinks at Mandrare River Camp, healthy snacks thoughout, non-alcoholic drinks at all meals, one glass of wine or one beer per client at dinner in each hotel, two drinks at welcome and farewell dinners, tips to all local staff with the exception of the local tour guide, all excursions indicated in the itinerary, park fees and community/environmental levies.
EXCLUDES: All international flights and visa fees, tips to local tour guide, personal expenses, and travel insurance.
LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS: Luggage restriction with private charters depends on passenger weight and type of airplane. As a guide we suggest guests restrict their luggage to a total of 20 kg (44 lbs) each (checked in + hand luggage) in soft sided bags