Madagascan Discoverer

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Explore Madagascar's unique flora and fauna, and spectacular and diverse scenery

Madagascar is home to countless endemic species of flora and fauna and has some truly incredible scenery. We visit the primary forest at Andasibe, where we hope to see the rare Indri, Madagascar’s largest lemur, as well as some of Madagascar’s unusual nocturnal wildlife. We also visit thousand-year-old trees at sunset at the famous Alley of Baobabs. A real highlight of the trip is the time spent trekking in the Tsingy of Bemaraha - home to unique wildlife and magnificent scenery.

Highlights
* Walk amongst the pinnacles of the Grands Tsingy of Bemaraha * The chance to see lemurs in their natural habitat * Sunset visit to the 'Alley of Baobabs' * Isalo National Park, with its amazing rock formations, spectacular canyons and natural swimming holes * Incredible wildlife in the Andasibe National Park
Profile
* 14 nights standard hotels, all en suite * Travel by private bus, 4WD and internal flights * Some long drives on poor roads
Food

The food in Madagascar is generally of a good quality, particularly so by the coast where the seafood is excellent. A one-course lunch/dinner should cost £4-6 while a three-course lunch/dinner should cost £9-12 . Please allow approximately £250 for meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone's taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured rum’s which are widely sold and very reasonably priced. Please note that if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options will be rather limited (i.e. omelette, cheese, pasta, vegetables and rice) on this trip. Breakfasts are usually simple: eggs, a baguette, jam and coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit. You may wish to bring something to supplement your morning meal (e.g spread, peanut butter etc).

Destinations
  • Africa
  • Madagascar
  • Perinet National Park
  • Isalo National Park
  • Antananarivo
  • Andasibe
  • Adventure Holidays in Madagascar
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • Cultural
  • Active
  • Natural Wonders
  • Scenic
  • National Parks
  • Wildlife
  • Winter
  • Singles
Day 1

Depart London.



Day 2

There are no included activities today so you are free to relax and explore on your own. Accommodation: Residence Lapasoa or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 3

This morning we will embark on a short city tour of Tana by bus. With its bustling markets and ancient town on a hill with freestone churches and ancient royal places, it is unique among the world’s other capitals. Built around Anosy Lake, Tana offers much of interest set against a backdrop of terracing with outstanding views from the Queen's Palace. We will arrive in Andasibe around 3pm and we will then visit the Vondron’olona Miaro Mitia Ala Reserve. This is a community run reserve where you are able to see several species of lemurs and birds. The reserve is an untouched paradise for endemic animals and plants. There are groups of Indris which we hope to see here in their natural habitat, and their white-headed relatives, the Diademed sifakas, jump between the tree tops.  For reptiles and amphibian lovers, the reserve offers countless frogs along its crystal clear river and several amazing chameleons can be found in the forest. In the early evening we take a twilight/nocturnal walk, looking out for the nocturnal species of lemur as the torchlights pass by their eyes. Accommodation: Sahatandra River Hotel or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 4

Today we will explore the park and go in search of wildlife on a 4 hour walk in Andasibe National Park, also known as Perinet. The park is home to the teddy bear-like Indri, the largest of Madagascar's lemur species, as well as other forms of flora and fauna and a wide array of bird life. Listening to the piercing yet melancholy cry of the Indri in the morning is an evocative sound and for those who are prepared to follow them through the thick rainforest, the reward is often a close-up view of these beautiful creatures. A group of five Diademed sifaka have recently been re-introduced to Andasibe from Mantadia, and if we are lucky, we may spot one of these unusual creatures. In the afternoon we return to Madagascar’s capital, known simply as 'Tana' to the locals.  Accommodation: Au Bois Vert Hotel or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 5

We depart early today to catch a flight west to the coastal town of Morondava, known for having one of the finest climates in Madagascar. This afternoon, we will pick up the 4WD vehicles and then visit the famous ‘Alley of Baobabs’. We then we drive to Kirindy dry forest reserve where we spend the night. Accommodation: Gite de Kirindy or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 6

Today we visit the Kirindy Reserve, which is home to the giant jumping rat, seven lemur species, and the Fossa. Then we travel approximately 9 hours on a dirt road to Bekopaka. We travel past baobab forests, desert, and local villages, and cross the Tsiribihina river by local ferry boat. The western landscape is arid but has a beauty all of its own. Accommodation: Olympe de Bemaraha or similar *Standard Hotel *



Day 7

We depart early this morning to the amazing Grands Tsingy. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990, the area has unique geography, well-preserved mangrove forests. The Grands Tsingy is famed for its pinnacles, a forest of limestone pillars; some of its needles are several hundred metres high! The karst landscape and deciduous forest are a refuge for rare and endangered species and in the park there are over 11 species of lemur, 90 species of bird and 50 types of reptile, some of which we might be lucky to spot on our hike. In the afternoon we will head back to Bekopaka and relax at the hotel or enjoy a swim at the hotel pool. Please note that while our time in this area is a real highlight for most, this is a demanding walk and those suffering from vertigo and claustrophobia may find parts of the walk challenging. In some places we will go through caves and narrow chasms; harnesses are used for the more challenging parts of the climb for safety reasons. Accommodation: Olympe de Bemaraha or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 8

After breakfast we will head back south by 4WD vehicles to Morondava by road and ferry. The journey will take us approximately 12 hours. We will pass by the Sakalava tribe tombs along the way – specially known for the very unusual paintings and carvings that decorate the outside of each tomb. We will stop at the famous ‘Alley of Baobabs’ again where we plan to spend sunset. This is the best time to see these amazing trees as the colours at this time of day are spectacular, making for a perfect photo opportunity. After sunset we spend the night in Morondava. Accommodation: Renala au Sable d’Or or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 9

Today is a long travel day through the fascinating scenery of Betsiriry Plateau, some plains of savannah, and intercepted by some villages. We arrive at our destination by early evening. Antsirabe is at an altitude of 1500m and has a cooler climate. The warm springs and thermal baths here were a real draw in the 19th century. Accommodation: Chambres du Voyageur or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 10

This morning we depart early. We will do a short rickshaw tour along Independence Avenue then do a sightseeing tour of Antsirabe, including a visit to some craft centres. From here we continue to drive to Ranomafana. Parc National de Ranomafana (approximately 40,000ha), with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitude in the park ranges from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest. Accommodation: Centrest Hotel or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 11

Today we spend the morning (approximately 5 hrs) exploring Ranomafana National Park. We hope to spot Golden bamboo lemurs who are unique to this park, as well seeing other lemurs such as the Eastern woolly lemurs, the Red bellied lemurs, the Grey bamboo lemurs, and the Red-fronted brown lemurs. This park is also home to other mammals including tenrecs, bats and some of the carnivores such as mongoose and the Malagasy striped civet. In the afternoon, we will visit the Ranomafana Village, where we will see typical Tanala tribe houses as well as the public thermal bath. The evening is spent on a night walk along the roads in the hope of spotting some of the nocturnal lemurs, chameleons and other animals. Accommodation: Centrest Hotel or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 12

Today we drive to Ranohira. The scenery changes dramatically as we head to the small town of Ranohira, a journey of approximately 11 hours. We stop in Ambalavao to visit Anja National Park along the way - a small reserve where several families of Ring-tailed lemurs can be seen in the wild. Accommodation: Isalo Ranch or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 13

We spend the day exploring Isalo National Park. Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases often described as Eden. During our time here we will go walking in the magnificent Canyon des Makis in search of cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux's Sifaka. We also visit the 'Piscine Naturelle' (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot within an arid landscape, where we can swim and relax. Perhaps the magic is just to soak up the sheer beauty of the park, the combination of coloured eroded rock forms, strange plants and enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Madagascar. (Please note that Isalo is a big national park and there will be a certain amount of driving involved today. Driving to the Canyon des Makis takes around 1.5 - 2 hours). Accommodation: Isalo Ranch or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 14

We drive to Tulear, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south, and we pass both the 'Mahafaly tombs' and the 'Antandroy tombs', briefly observing their ornate decorations. Antandroy and Mahafaly are reputed to be the most impressive of all Malagasy tombs, with the Antandroy tombs being large and brightly painted, relating to the life story and wishes of the deceased. They are also topped with zebu skulls which were sacrificed during the funeral festivity - a ceremony of great significance. Mahafaly tombs are characterised by their wooden sculptures known as 'Aloalo', relating to the life of the deceased and their unfulfilled dreams, as well as their rank within the clan. After a brief stop in Tulear, we continue past the coastal town of Ifaty to Ifaty beach where we spend the night. Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 15

Today we have a free day. Running all the way around the south-west Malagasy coastline, Ifaty beach lies on one of the world's largest barrier reefs and is an excellent venue for scuba diving. Between late June and early September, whales can be observed off Ifaty's beautiful white beaches and the offshore islet of Nosy Ve is a terrific place for snorkelling. Protected by coral reefs, the beach and waters beyond the hotel offer a welcome place to rest. Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar *Standard Hotel*



Day 16

Today we transfer to Tulear airport for our flight to Antananarivo where our adventure ends. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport in the evening for the very early flight the next morning and will have access to day-use rooms before the flight.  



Day 17

Fly to London.



* All breakfasts * All accommodation * All transport and listed activities * Tour leader/support staff throughout * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)


Go with an open mind

Madagascar doesn't fail to delight. From the rain-forests to the spiny-forests and the beaches to the highlands there is something to interest everyone. Each of these unique environments harbour their own specialised family of wildlife and the smallest of insects is as fascinating as the the largest of lemurs. It truly is a special place.

Rating: 4




An amazing island to discover

This trip was amazing overview of Madagscar in a busy 2 week period. It was a fantastic combination of varying itinerary, the thrill of wildlife spotting, a superbly organised tour leader and a wonderful group of fellow travelers who made this trip to be so special.

Rating: 5




An Incredible Adventure!

Not so much a holiday, more an adventure of discovery! An island of contrasts, Madagascar is the gift that gives on giving – from the leaping lemurs in the rainforest to the giant baobabs of Morondava and the sandy beaches of Ifaty, there was always something new and exciting to experience and look forward to. As many have commented, the trip is dominated by long drives on poor roads, but the rewards at the end of each journey are exceptional and worth every mile. But don’t sleep through the drives as you’d miss the breathtaking ever-changing landscapes of Madagascar, from rainforest to stunning highlands, paddy fields, white sandy beaches, boulder-strewn deserts, spiny forests, rivers and of course the fascinating towns and villages of this incredible island – not forgetting the resourceful and welcoming Malagasy people. We were exceptionally lucky with our weather and wildlife spotting and the whole trip ran very smoothly due mainly to Sol, our superb guide, who made it all happen with charm and efficiency. If you want five-star accommodation and haute cuisine, this is not the trip for you. You’ll get a comfy bed and (generally) hot water at the end of each dusty day, a limited but well-cooked menu of zebu/chicken/fish for cheap lunches and dinners and the opportunity to experience the Malagasy culture at first hand, including the children who will wave from the side of the road, press you for ‘bon bons’ and delight in seeing themselves on the back of a camera. The unique wildlife and cultural melting pot make Madagascar an exceptional destination, and this varied and illuminating trip was better than I expected, such that it will take me some time to process the whole experience. I was also fortunate enough to be with lots of fun, like-minded people in the group who really added to my enjoyment of the trip.

Rating: 5




Madagascan Discoverer (2017)

A busy and interesting trip that covers a lot of ground, sights and emotions in 2 weeks - I'm still absorbing the experience almost 2 weeks later! Early starts and some long days of travel, mainly in a comfortable bus or 4x4s - all part of the adventure and the only way to see so much in such a short time. The drivers (Dama: bus driver) and 4x4 drivers were excellent and negotiated sometimes difficult terrain with expertise. I loved the first week; the second week had some great highlights, but a lot of bus travel, which was broken up as much as possible by visits to villages, tombs and local craft areas. The hotels were generally good - a couple were better than expected which was a bonus. Food catered for all diets - meat, fish and vegetarian. Not much variety, but all decent quality. We never went hungry. Loved the opportunities to interact with local people and learn more about their culture. The people were mostly welcoming and friendly, although it's impossible to escape the poverty. Most children asked for sweets, pens or 'gifts' - if you take gifts such as pencils etc ask your guide for advice on distributing them as he will know where they will be of most value. Expect a lot of street sellers in some places. So lucky to share the experience with a brilliant group of people.

Rating: 4




A Real Adventure in A Big Island

A rather hectic journey taking you from Antananarivo, the capital city, to the East and then to the West seeing a large chunk of this big island state. It involves two internal flights and bumpy Jeep rides and two ferry crossings in open vehicle ferries in the scorching-ly hot Sun. All part of the adventure! Just put on your sunscreen and don't complain! Most of the time it was a comfortable mini-bus driven by Dan, a very good driver Nature lovers won't be disappointed as there are Lemurs and Chameleons everywhere. The trees (Baobabs) and Eurphorbias are equally interesting but beware that this is a poor country.

Rating: 5




Madagascar Discoverer

A good trip which covers a lot of ground, literally. There are some very long days travelling on pretty rough roads in hot and dusty conditions. Perhaps I should have studied the trip notes more carefully before booking the trip. Clean and comfortable hotels, although occasionally only a "set menu" was available. At a small resort, like Grace Lodge this was quite understandable, but at some of the larger places it seemed to be more for their convenience than the guests.

Rating: 4




Madagascan Discoverer (2016)

This was a great trip. Comprehensive with lots of variety. Plenty of opportunities to see lemurs and other wildlife along with great scenery.

Rating: 4




Madagascan Discoverer

This was my second trip to Madagascar, I wanted to go somewhere that I have not been before so I thought that going to the west of Madagascar would be a good idea and I was not disappointed. The Tsingy was amazing with stunning views and the "Alley of Baobabs" at dusk was stunning.

Rating: 5




Madagascar Discoverer

What a sensational trip! Broad in extent; deep in experiences in this fascinating country. Covering an amazing and surprising diversity of landscapes, wildlife, plant life, cultures and endless moments of 'what's next around the corner to amaze the senses?' Just immerse yourself and be deeply rewarded!

Rating: 5




Discovering Madagascar

This is a fantastic trip! The scenery is quite breathtaking at times, and the wildlife encounters were better than I expected. You get to see a lot of what is a very big island, and you can get a peek into Malagasy culture.

Rating: 5



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Dates Price Single Availability
22-Jun-2019 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
23-Jun-2019 for 14 Nights Land only Visit Website
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28-Sep-2019 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
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05-Oct-2019 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
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19-Oct-2019 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
20-Oct-2019 for 14 Nights Land only Visit Website
20-Jun-2020 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
21-Jun-2020 for 14 Nights Land only Visit Website
04-Jul-2020 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
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27-Sep-2020 for 14 Nights Land only Visit Website
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11-Oct-2020 for 14 Nights Land only Visit Website
17-Oct-2020 for 16 Nights Flight inclusive adult Flight Included Visit Website
18-Oct-2020 for 14 Nights Land only Visit Website

Touring with Exodus

Exodus is an award-winning company built on adventures. It started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments. They continue to discover countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles - exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, they know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, they always remember that they are only guests. So they ensure they travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise their impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved. This is a philosophy they take around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across 90 countries – choose from walking, cycling, culture, wildlife and even polar adventures in guided groups or self-guided, tailor-made for you or a ready-made itinerary in Peru or India, Costa Rica or Italy – the choices are endless. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure with their combined experiences spanning 171 different countries and in their former lives, some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – all guaranteed to give you the very best adventure possible. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are just some of the ways this expertise comes through in your adventure.

Exodus recognises their obligation to operate their tours in a responsible and sustainable fashion to address the environmental, economic and social impact tourism can have. They are committed to the well-being of the communities that host you and the natural environment that you are there to experience. Key points in their philosophy include small groups which have less impact on local communities and environments, putting money directly into the communities visited by using locally owned and run accommodation and eating locally produced food, ensuring local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services, encouraging their own staff to take an active interest in responsible and sustainable tourism and train them accordingly, endeavour to ensure that their practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas visited and provide their clients with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.

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16 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Group Size:4 - 16
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Meals:13 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 0 dinners.
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