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Trekking in Madagascar + RN7 + Anakao Beach


MPT14A
14 NIGHTS
FROM £2,597
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
This walking tour explores southern Madagascar, taking in the famous lemur forests of Ranomafana & Isalo National Parks, and also the Tsaranoro Massif in Andringitra National Park - the Yosemite of Madagascar. Visit ancient Fianarantso town & Ambalavao's winelands, before spend time relaxing on glorious Anakao beach.
Holidays to Southern  Madagascar inc Ranomafana, Andringitra and Isalo
• 
Antananarivo
• 
Antsirabe
• 
Ambositra
• 
Fianarantso
• 
Ranomafana Rainforest
• 
Night Walk
• 
Andringritra National Park
• 
Isalo National Park
• 
Tulear
• 
Anakao Beaches
• 
Antananarivo
• 
Antsirabe
• 
Ambositra
• 
Fianarantso
• 
Ranomafana Rainforest
• 
Night Walk
• 
Andringritra National Park
• 
Isalo National Park
• 
Tulear
• 
Anakao Beaches
Day 1
You will be met at Antananarivo Airport and transferred to your hotel in the capital city of the tropical island of Madagascar.
 
Check into your hotel and relax in your warm friendly surroundings.
Day 2
Today we leave Antananarivo and travel 5-hours past terraced rice paddies and traditional red clay houses to Ambositra in the central highlands.
 
Passing through the small city of Ambatolampy, an agricultural centre known for its aluminium factory, we stop at the foot of the Ankaratra Massif, which is the third highest summit on the island.
 
We travel through the thermal springs city of Antsirabe, established by Norwegian missionaries and today the agricultural and industrial centre of Madagascar, where we view local arts & crafts, including embroidery and the cutting of semi-precious stones.
 
We check into our hotel in Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry known for its master woodcarvers and furniture manufacturing, where we visit a wood carving factory. Characterised by its architecture, many houses here have ornately carved wooden balconies with geometric designs and colourful shutters.
 
Before leaving Antananarivo airport, remember to exchange local currency for lunches along the way (approx 25,000 ariary per person/per day) and buy plenty of bottled drinking water for your journey.
Day 3
This morning we visit a wood carving factory in Ambositra, to learn more aboiut their craft.
 
We then leave Ambositra and travel 4-hours via the small town of Ambohimasoato to Ranomafana (meaning "hot water"), a thermal spring that is home to one of Madagascar's best known national parks and check into our hotel.
Day 4
Today we visit Ranomafana National Park - a dense and humid rainforest that is one of the most important national parks in Madagascar, as it is home to 12 different species of lemurs including two of the rarest in the world - the Greater Bamboo Lemur and the Golden Bamboo Lemur that is only found in this park. Its diet of bamboo tips containing cyanide may be responsible for its golden fur.
 
Spread over 42 hectares, Ranomafana is home to 29 different mammals, including several species of viverrids and the ring tailed mongoose. Also a wide variety of butterflies, insects and reptiles such as lizards, chameleons and frogs. Ranomafana is also a birding hotspot with over 114 recorded species, most of which are endemic, but finding birds in the dense forest canopy can be tricky.
 
The largest lemur in the park is the elusive Milne-Edwards sifaka, usually found high in the treetops. You should also look out for red bellied lemurs which live in couples with their offspring, and red fronted brown lemurs which live in large groups. But be warned that some trails are very steep with many steps, and others can become extremely muddy after rain.
 
At sunset you can hope to see nocturnal species such as the microcebus red mouse lemur (the smallest primate in the world) and if you are very fortunate the fossa, a member of the civet family and the largest carnivore in Madagascar.
 
Note: Tracking lemurs requires physical mobility as some trails are demanding, although your guide will be mindful of your level of fitness and adapt your route accordingly. Remember to dress appropriately when exploring the rainforest i.e. walking boots with good tread and proper rain gear, including lightweight waterproof trousers. A head torch for night walks is essential and light gardening gloves are useful to protect your hands when scrambling through the rainforest. Also pack a fleece, as the climate in the mountains is much cooler than at the coast especially at night.
Day 5
This morning we travel from Ranomafana to the old city of Fianarantsoa, a World Heritage site, for a guided tour of this ancient regional capital with its Royal Palace and Lac Anosy.
 
We continue through the winelands of Ambalavao. Here we visit Anja Private Reserve, a scenic landscape of forest, hills and valleys located on 8 acres of community land famous for its endemic ring tailed lemurs, which are one of the most vocal of the 33 species in Magagascar. The small nocturnal microcebus lemur can also be spotted here. Anja has some wonderful rock formations and is also home to many different chameleons (there are about 150 types of chameleons in the world, half of which are found in Madagascar).
 
After 4-hours of travel, we check into our hotel near Andringitra National Park.
 
Please note that for some of this journey you will be travelling slowly along a severely degraded and extremely bumpy road.
Day 6
Today we spend a full day exploring the Tsaranoro Massif in Andringitra National Park, a reserve that stretches for over 30,000 hectares across spectacular granite terrain.
 
The national park is criss-crossed by hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails and is a paradise for walkers, with numerous excursions possible from a mildly demanding walk to a full day hike to enjoy its waterfalls and caves. Full blown wilderness expeditions are also possible, for which a high level of fitness and a local guide are essential. The Tsaranoro Massif has also been explored by rock climbers worldwide in search of big-wall climbing adventures.
 
The region is also a primary habitat of the ringtailed lemur, the national animal of Madagascar. These loquacious creatures with their distinctive striped tails will inevitably be encountered during any trekking or climbing expedition. The area is also home to over thirty species of orchid, several species of falcon, many lizards, chameleons, snakes and spiders. This exceptionally rich biodiversity is partly the result of the collision of subtropical and alpine climates within an ecosystem found nowhere else on earth, and partly due to Andringitra’s unique variety of landscapes and habitats.
Day 7
A full day on the road today as we travel through rocky mountains and savannah from Andringitra to Ranohira.
 
We drive across the changing landscape of the Plateau of Horombe, a rocky expanse of land known as the "Door of the South".
 
After 5-hours of travel through these fascinating landscapes, at times driving along an extremely bumpy and degraded road, we check into our hotel near Isalo National Park.
Day 8
Today enjoy a full day exploring on foot the vast Isalo National Park, an eroded sandstone mountain whose rocks have been carved into many strange formations by the winds.
 
The ruiniform massif has many deep and narrow canyons and a 1-hour walk will take you to the lush palm-lined oasis of Piscine Naturelle. A 3-hour walk across deep canyons with riparian forests will take you to the Canyon des Singes.
 
The canyons of the park shelter over 55 bird species, including the red vanga, 2 species of lemur (the sifaka and the red-fronted brown lemur), geckos, chameleons and many other reptiles and amphibians. You will also see many endemic flora, including succulent plants such as pachypodium, tapia, aloes and pandanus.
 
Note: It will be hot in this dry park and some of the trails are very demanding, although your guide will be mindful of your level of fitness and adapt your route accordingly. A sunhat is essential as you will be walking in the open, but as the temperature in the mountains drops at night also take a fleece.
Day 9
Today we travel for 5-hours from Ranohira to the southern city of Tulear, travelling through the dry forests of the west and the spiny deserts of the south.
 
Our first stop is at Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, which is one of the best place to see Verraux's sifaka in the wild.
 
We continue through the sapphire mining village of Ilakaka. Along the way you will see giant baobab trees, whose strange bare branches look like they are planted upside down. You will also see the spectacular Mahafaly tombs - unusual funeral carvings unique to the southern region, which express the life and fertility of the deceased.
 
Another stop is made to visit the Arboretum d'Antsokay, where you can see some of the fascinating succulent plants of the south up close. On arrival in Tulear, we check into our hotel. Your driver/guide will then leave you and return to Antananarivo.
Day 10
This morning transfer 45-minutes by boat from Tulear to the coastal fishing town of Anakao.
 
Your secluded ocean lodge is situated in a protected Nature Reserve on Andovoke Bay, with its dazzling turquoise, emerald and cobalt blue waters and magnificent one mile half-moon beach.
 
On the horizon you can see the waves breaking along one of the longest coral reefs in the world, as well as the nearby islands of Nosy Satrana and Nosy Ve. Relax on the beach, which is splendid by day and unforgettable at sunset.
Days 11 To 13
At leisure to relax and unwind on beautiful Anakao beach.
 
Migrating whales can be seen passing here in August and lemurs live in the nearby forest. It is also possible to visit Tsimanampetsotsa National Park with its spectacular lake and baobabs (arrange & pay locally - approx € 195 per person).
 
Note: Do not buy any corals from local markets, as this will encourage the plundering of these reefs.
Day 14
This morning transfer 45-minutes by boat to Tulear Airport, for your flight to Antananarivo.
 
You will be met at Antananarivo Airport and transferred to your airport hotel.
Day 15
Transfer to Antananarivo Airport for your flight home.
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