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The Best of Madagascar

Antananarivo, Mandrare, Manafiafy, Andasibe, Péninsule d’Anjajavy

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This example itinerary

from £7,465 $9,300pp

16 days

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The TRUE experience

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Highlights

  • Hike along forest trails through Andasibe-Mantadia National Park to spot the endemic indri lemurs
  • Watch the African sunset over 100 beautiful Baobab trees, with a gin and tonic in hand
  • Join Madagascar’s nocturnal creatures on a night walk in the Manafiafy Forest to see coconut crabs, tiny chameleons and flying fox bats
  • Stay in a secluded beachfront villa in ‘castaway luxury’ surrounded by sandy beaches and coconut groves
  • Canoe in the waters of Madagascar’s most unique ecosystem, through dense mangrove swamps and past jutting coral pinnacles

What’s Included

  • 3 Nights Bed & Breakfast 
  • 12 nights Fully Inclusive 
  • Day & Night Rainforest walking safaris
  • Baobab sundowner
  • All non-motorised water activities 
  • Cultural Excursions 
  • International Economy Class Flights
  • All Domestic flights and Transfers

Example Itinerary

Day 1-2

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar

  • Sit back and relax in a shady pool after your flight, in a renovated 1870 original building – built as Madagascar’s first and largest bank. 
  • Wander through the red roofed market stalls of Analekely to discover Madagascar’s tropical fruits and spices.

Recuperate after your flight by lying by a shady pool oasis in an intimate boutique hotel in Madagascar’s capital city.

Begin your Madagascan adventure with an overnight stay at the Maison Gallieni Hotel in Antananarivo City. Located in the historic district, the hotel looks out over the city from its location on the hill of Faravohitra. Originally built in 1879 as Madagascar’s largest bank, this hotel provides an oasis to relax in after your flight either with a delicious breakfast on the sun-soaked terrace or relaxing in the hotel’s shady pool. Stay in one of their four bedrooms, each uniquely decorated and each with its own charm, for a comfortable and intimate stay. Guests can explore the city, including the nearby Analakey red roofed market – where you can sample some Madagascan tropical fruits – or visit the beautiful Faravohitra Cathedral. 

Day 2-5

MANDRARE, Madagascar

  • Wander through the Ifotaka Sacred Spiny Forest to see ring-tailed lemurs and chameleons
  • Watch the sunset over a vista of baobab trees with a sundowner in hand 

Explore the unique and diverse ecosystem of South Madagascar in a remote camp on the banks of the Mandrare River.

Fly south to the Mandrare River Camp to spend three nights ‘off the beaten track’ on the banks of the Mandrare River. Each of the seven tents in the camp are completely unique and located under the relaxing shade of old-growth tamarind trees overlooking the river. Start your day with a morning walk down the river or the nearby wetland area to spot rare birds like the colourful Malachite Kingfisher. Explore the nearby Ifotaka Sacred Forest to watch forest-mouse lemurs in the spiny trees and camouflaged chameleons. Enjoy authentic and educational cultural experiences, such as a visit to a local market to meet the Tandroy people and learn about their traditions and relationship to the forest. Finish your evenings with a gin and tonic, watching as the sun sets over a vista of 100 of Madagascar’s famous baobab trees.

Day 5-7

MANAFIAFY, Madagascar

  • Canoe through the island’s mangrove forest to hear and see some of the island’s spectacular birdlife
  • Spot coconut crabs and the nocturnal large flying fox bat whilst out exploring the forest at night time.

Spend two nights like a local Manafiafy fisherman, canoeing through mangroves, fishing for lobster and swimming in the Indian Ocean.

Drive to Mandrare River Camp’s sister lodge, the Manafiafy Beach Lodge. Here you will be nestled into a forest-fringed cove in a beach facing thatched bungalow, looking out onto the Indian Ocean. Wake up with an early morning swim and watch as local Manafiafy fishermen return with their boats filled with fish and lobsters. Head out down the coast during the day to enjoy a picnic lunch and some fishing, or canoe through the mangrove forest for a chance to see some of the island’s tropical birds. Whale watching from the lookout tower is a must, as is a night walk through the forest to spot lemurs, coconut crabs or the flying fox bats. In the evenings, enjoy a sundowner on the beach watching the sunset on the horizon before enjoying dinner made from freshly caught lobster, fish and oysters.

Day 7-8

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar 

  • Enjoy panoramic views over Madagascar’s capital city from the hotel’s rooftop sky lounge
  • Unwind with a yoga class or massage treatment before your transfer to Andasibe the following day

An overnight stay in a charming boutique hotel in the centre of Antananarivo city.

Leave the remote Manafiafy Beach and return to Antananarivo for the night before exploring Andasibe the following day. Stay at the Grand Hotel Urban in the centre of town, walking distance to some of Tana’s historical landmarks and sites. Its sky lounge offers panoramic views over the city and Lake Anose which is spectacular at sunset whilst enjoying a cocktail under the fairy lights. Unwind with a yoga class or massage treatment at the spa after your travels and enjoy dinner in the hotel’s fantastic restaurant. Set out the next morning to discover the endemic inhabitants of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

Day 8-11

ANDASIBE-MANTADIA NATIONAL PARK, Madagascar

  • Watch the endemic indri lemurs as they swing through the trees, stopping to emit their unique whale-like song
  • See if you can spot the tiny nose horned chameleon whilst walking through the forest trails

Discover the unique local flora and fauna during your stay near the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.

A short drive east of Antananarivo lies the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, containing some of the island’s endemic species. A famous inhabitant is the indri lemur, that can only be found in the park, and whose distinct whale-like sounds can be heard from the Mantadia Lodge. This lodge is located on a hill 100 metres high and therefore offers great views over the forest as well as a comfortable surrounding to relax in and a pool for a refreshing dip after your hikes through the rainforest. During these hikes on foot along forest trails, visitors can spot eleven species of lemur, the world’s largest chameleon – the Parson’s chameleon – as well as the tiny nose-horned chameleon. The hikes weave past sacred waterfalls and lakes, where you can see colourful orchids and amphibians like the leaf-tailed gecko. 

Day 11-12

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar 

   

  • Enjoy a gin and tonic on a rooftop lounge, watching the sunset over the red-roofed buildings of Andasibe 
  • Rejuvenate your body after hiking through the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park with a relaxing massage treatment at the spa

Drive back to Antananarivo for a relaxing overnight stay at the Grand Hotel Urban, before flying to the Péninsule d’Anjajavy the following day.

Relax after your rainforest adventures in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, spotting flying lemurs and colourful frogs. Pick from exploring Madagascar’s capital city or simply relaxing at the Health & Wellness Spa at the Grand Hotel Urban, enjoying massages and beauty treatments. Reflect on your adventures so far with a gin and tonic up on the rooftop bar, and watch the sunset before heading out for dinner in town to sample local Madagascan dishes. The next day, take an early morning flight to the  Péninsule d’Anjajavy to spend your last four nights in Madagascar in a seafront villa within a unique protected ecosystem. 

Day 12-16

PENINSULE D’ANJAJAV, Madagascar 

   

  • Wander through the ‘Crabs Highway’ to see spectacular baoabs, eroded limestone, hairy crabs and caves
  • Taste freshly caught seafood in a magical garden oasis surrounded by visiting lemurs and colourful kingfishers

Spend the last four days of your Madagascan adventure in true ‘castaway luxury’ surrounded by baobabs, beaches and coconut groves.

Fly to an insulated peninsula on the northwest coast of Madagascar. Spend four nights at the secluded Anjajavy Lodge, set along a sandy beach in a fifty-year-old coconut grove encircled by lush forest. This is one of the most unique and protected ecosystems found in Madagascar: the ‘tsingy’ limestone and coral pinnacles, deserted creeks, mangroves and baobabs, are home to some of the island’s most spectacular creatures. Set out on a walking tour through the forest to walk through ‘Crab Highway’, spot tree jumping lemurs and climb into the Cave of Sakalara to meet Madagascan bats. Water ski through the Mozambique Channel, paddle through mangrove roots or enjoy a private boat trip or catamaran to Moramba Bay. Soak up the afternoon sun on the beach or spend your evening dining on freshly caught Madagascan prawns in the lodge’s magical garden oasis, filled with visiting kingfishers and chameleons.

Will Greenwood

The team at True Travel had a simple brief: to send us on the world’s best family safari. As soon as our boat headed down the Zambezi, it all kicked off; we passed a herd of hippos, a lazy crocodile and a giraffe drinking nonchalantly on the riverbank. A magical experience from beginning to end. Nothing was too much trouble and if we had any issue that needed resolving, there was always someone on hand to do this. Before and after, they were off the charts – simply an awesome team.

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