Southern Madagascar’s Ranomafana & Isalo

11 days

Southern Madagascar’s Ranomafana & Isalo

Highlights

  • A pulled rickshaw ride through the streets of Antsirabe
  • Explore Ambositra’s markets to find wooden souvenirs handmade by the skilful Zafimaniry people
  • Stay at a tranquil hillside hotel with views of Madagascar’s only tea plantation
  • Scenic train trip through eastern Madagascar
  • A pirogue ride on the alluring Canal des Pangalanes
  • See lemurs in Ranomafana National Park
  • Historic architecture and cultural heritage sites in Fianarantsoa
  • Traditional tombs and lemurs in the Anja Community Reserve
  • Hikes in the Tsaranoro Valley and Isalo National Park’s ‘Canyon of Lemurs’
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Overview

Spend 11 unforgettable days exploring the southern part of our planet’s fourth-largest island. Madagascar is an 88-million-year-old biodiversity hotspot – about 90 percent of all its animals and plants are found nowhere else in the world! These include the island’s cat-like fosa; the world’s smallest chameleon (which clocks in at a miniscule 30mm / 1.2in); and Madagascar’s flagship mammal species, lemurs.

Start your journey with a stop-over in the colourful and vibrant capital, Antananarivo (also known as Tana) before transferring to Antsirabe, a beautiful city in the subtropical highlands of Madagascar. It is cradled by emerald rice fields and extinct volcanos, many of which are filled with water to create gorgeous lakes.

Your next stop is Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar’s wood-carving industry. Here, the island’s Zafimaniry people are celebrated for their remarkable woodworking skills and art, which was recognised on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Next, you board a train for a picturesque ride through the lush green forests, tea plantations and red highlands of eastern Madagascar to a beautiful vintage train station in Manakara. Take a walk through this port city’s colonial streets or hop on a pirogue (long dug-out canoe) and glide along a stretch of the Canal des Pangalanes.

Halfway through your adventure you find yourself in the Ranomafana National Park – home to over 100 000 acres of tropical rainforest; several rare species of lemur and birds; over 130 species of frogs; and part of the World Heritage Site, Rainforests of the Atsinanana. Next stop is the city of Fianarantsoa, the cultural and intellectual centre for the entire Madagascar and its unofficial wine capital.

Stop in the Anja Community Reserve to meet Madagascar’s most recognised lemur, the ring-tailed lemur. See some the traditional tombs of the Betsileo people and learn more about this fascinating ethnic group. Spend a night in the middle of the stunning Tsaranoro Valley, beautifully sculpted by the three massive granite mountains that surround it. Enjoy a guided hike through the ‘Canyon of Lemurs’ for encounters with sifaka, ring-tailed and brown lemurs.

End your epic adventure in the port town of Tuléar, a melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups. Visit the Antsokay Arboretum: the 128-acre sanctuary for lemurs, radiated tortoises, snakes, chameleons and more than 920 plant species.

This itinerary is ideal for active and adventurous travellers who do not mind some serious road tripping.

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Let’s Go

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 11 Days

Destinations Visited

Accommodations Visited

Madagascar

Lokanga Boutique Hotel

1 Night
Madagascar

Couleur Café

1 Night
Madagascar

Lac Hotel

1 Night
Madagascar

Parthenay Club

1 Night
Madagascar

Hotel Thermal Ranomafana

1 Night
Madagascar

Zomatel Hotel

1 Night
Madagascar

Tsara Camp

1 Night
Madagascar

Le Jardin du Roy

2 Nights
Madagascar

Lokanga Boutique Hotel

1 Night
Day to day

Itinerary

Detailed breakdown

Day 1: Land in Antananarivo | 1 Night

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Once you land at the Antananarivo airport, you will be met by a Boogie Pilgrim member and then transferred to your chosen hotel in Antananarivo city centre. Once you arrive at the Lokanga Boutique Hotel, you will be free to explore for the rest of the day.

Antananarivo is a lively city with 2million inheritance, where you will see a city full of life and colour. 

Day 2: Antananarivo to Antsirabe | 1 Night

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On the 2 day, you will have an early departure for Antsirabe. Were your English-speaking driver will drive you to Antsirabe on the busy national roads. You will make a stop in Ambatolampy where recycled aluminium cooking pots are made.

Andasible is a beautiful city in the highlands of Madagascar. It is surrounded by rice fields and extinct volcanos. The city is famous for handicraft and while you are there, you will be able to organize a city tour in a rickshaw.

After all your exploring you will be taken to the Couleur Café for dinner and an overnight.

Day 3: Antsirabe to Sahambavy | 1 Night

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The next day, you will drive to Sahambavy, with a stop in Ambositra to visit the handicraft markets. Once you arrive in Sahambavy in the evening you have dinner and overnight at the Lac Hotel.

Day 4: Sahambavy to Manakara | 1 Night

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On the 4 day, you will board a train from Sahambavy to Manakara, which is a picturesque journey across the lush green forests of Eastern Madagascar, red high lands and tea plantations. While slowing down at each station, Malagasy people bring cargos of bananas and coffee for sale and haggling through the windows in each old-fashioned colonial station.

You will arrive in Manakara in the evening and have dinner and overnight at the Parthenay Club.

Day 5: Manakara to Ranomafana | 1 Night

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In the morning, you will be able to walk in Manakara. The city has beautiful colonial style houses bordering the Indian Ocean. Manakara is also on the Pangalanes Channels which is a chain of freshwater lakes linked by canals and following the Indian Ocean coast. You will boat on the Pangalanes channel in a pirogue. In Manakara, you can have a feeling of being at the end of the world.

In the afternoon you will drive down to Ranomafana. You will then have dinner and overnight at Hotel Thermal.

Day 6: Ranomafana to Fianarantsoa | 1 Night

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On the 6 day, you will explore Ranomafana National Park. It is beat if you wake up early for a morning walk in the Park, where you will be able to see and experience the flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest. After your park visit, you will leave for Fianarantsoa, which is the capital of the Betsileo tribe, which is a quiet romantic atmosphere. The upper town is classified as a historical and architectural protected area.

After the exploration of the town, you will return to the Zomatel Hotel for dinner and an overnight.

Day 7: Fianarantsoa to Tsaranoro Valley | 1 Night

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On the 7 day, you will drive to Tsaranoro valley, with a stop over in the Ambalavao to visit Anja Private reserve. In this reserve, you will have to opportunity to see the Betsileo traditional tombs and on the tour, you will learn a lot about the Betsileo rites and tradition from the guide.

After the visit, you will get back onto the road to Tsaranoro Valley. Upon your arrival at the lodging at Tsara Camp, which lies in the middle of Tsaranoro Valley. The valley is surrounded by the Tsaranoro Mount on one side and the Giant Mountain chain of Andringitra National park on the other side.

After your day of exploring, you will have dinner and overnight in the Tsara Camp.

Day 8: Tsaranoro Valley to Ranohira | 2 Nights

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On the 8 day, you will have a morning walk inside the Tsaranoro Valley. The Camp organizes several guided walks. You will have a full day of exploring the valley with its different points of interest.

After lunch, you will leave the granite landscape to a sandstone one, which is the Isalo National Park, were you will dinner and overnight in Le Jardin du Roy near, which is located near the park.

Day 9: Ranohira

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Even after a full day, it will still not be enough to see and visit the National Park has to offer, it is the 3 most visited park in Madagascar. The park is so big you can either enjoy a half day tour or a 5-day tour. You will enjoy 2 half day hikes inside the Canyon of Lemurs for the morning and to a swimming pool in the afternoon. During your tour, you will see the Bara tombs, made by local ethnic groups.

After your tour, you will head back to your hotel for dinner and overnight. 

Day 10: Ranohira to Antananarivo via Tulear | 1 Night

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On the 10 day, after your breakfast. You will take a drive to Tulear, which is the capital of Southern Madagascar. Known as “the city of the Sun” Tulear is a melting pot of ethnic groups and cultures. If time allows it, you will be able to visit the Aboretum d’Antsokay. This is a private reserve, which grows endangered dry plants species in order to preserve them from deforestation and bushfires.

After your visit, you will have a meet and greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel. were you will dinner and overnight.

Day 11: Antananarivo

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The next morning depart on your flight, where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back.

If time allows it, you can do last min shopping for Malagasy handcrafts.

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Inclusions

  • 4WD Car Rental with A/C and English speaking driver, indemnities and gasoil included (day 2 to day 9)
  • All transfers airport/hotel/airport and port/hotel
  • Half-day excursion on the Pangalanes Channel (Day 5)
  • Rano Mafana National Park, Anja Private Reserve, Isalo National Park, Arboretum of Antsokay
  • Train ticket (day 4)
Exclusions tick icon

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Rates

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Dates Price
2018-06-11 — 2018-12-31 $2,305
2019-06-11 — 2019-12-31 $2,485
Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently. Please treat all pricing as a guide only:
  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.