Wilderness Safaris, Preferred, Recommended, Offical, Premier, Travel, Agency

Journeys with Insight
Madagascar

Unique & Vanishing Madagascar | A Safari to the Island Continent

This very special two week safari enables the visitor to experience both the endangered biomes and their associated wildlife, as well as unique Malagasy cultural interaction, particular to no where else on Earth. Unique attributes to this safari include a minimum two night stay at all destinations, attempt at totally reducing unnecessary nights in the capital city, guided visits to the most significant National Parks in the country and a three night stay at the incredibly biologically rich, and stunning seaside village (with diving and snorkeling possibilities) at Ifaty.

Please note that this safari is guided throughout by a specially chosen and trained Malagasy host. This is hugely beneficial for unique and greater understanding of the country and its natural assets.

The Detailed Itinerary day-by-day

Day 1: On arrival (preferably on SAA Airlink from Johannesburg), customs and immigration, meet your guide / host, pack the vehicle, and head out through Antananarivo mid-day drive with picnic lunch towards the escarpment eastwards towards Moramanga. Arrive at Perinet and Vakona Forest Lodge late afternoon / early evening. Two night stay on a fully included basis. Dinner, picnic lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 2: After breakfast visit to Mantadia National Park, with lunch picnic, then a visit to the famous “lemur island” for sensational photo opportunities, and after dinner a guided night walk to look for nocturnal Malagasy special critters. Dinner, picnic lunch, bed and breakfast.

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Day 3: Early start to the day. Packed breakfast. Dawn excursion to the community-run park to find the amazing Indri indri lemur (left), the largest of all. Continue back to Tana, lunch at Villa Vanille or Grill du Rova, and drive onwards southwards to Antsirabe. We will arrive very late in the afternoon at one of the most stately, and slightly run-down hotels in the country, Hotel De Thermes. The hotel is currently being restored, and there are thermal baths nearby. This is an overnight stop on the RN7, the main highway which we will be following the next 8 days. Dinner, picnic lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 4: After breakfast, we continue with our host down the RN7, visiting the carpenters and paper-mache makers at Ambositra. We arrive at the gate to the incredible Ranomafana National Park late in the afternoon, after visiting the second largest and academic capital of Madagascar, Fianarantsoa. We check in to the quant, comfortable and cosy Setam Lodge. Dinner, lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 5: Early morning start to the day, after breakfast we visit the amazing Ranomafana National Park, where we hope to find many special lemur species, including the recently described (1986) Golden Bamboo Lemur. Picnic in the forest and late afternoon back to Setam Lodge. After dinner a night walk in the adjacent reserve to find further nocturnal animals. Dinner, picnic lunch, bed and breakfast.

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Day 6: After breakfast we continue our amazing journey down the RN7, over the incredible landscape that follow towards and over the Horombe Plateau (below). We may visit a winery this morning (believe it or not, some Malagasy wines are rather palatable) and then arrive at Ihosy for lunch. Late afternoon we enter very Colorado-esque landscape, the Isalo massif, and we find a haven of total tranquillity at the edge of this fascinating area, Relais de la Reine, which is our home for two nights. We enjoy dinner if the weather allows on the stunning patio. Dinner, lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 7: An early start to the day with a packed breakfast. We enter the wonderful Isalo National park and find some of the most comical inhabitants of remnant canyon forest, Ring-tailed lemurs, or Maki. Really great hiking opportunities exist here in this really isolated national park. We return late in the afternoon to Relais de la Reine, to enjoy a sundowner at the fabulous lodge. Dinner, picnic lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 8: After an early breakfast we continue our sojourn down the RN 7 towards Zombitse National Park, where we will have time to do a 2 hour walk in pristine forest. We will try and find some of the largest chameleons on earth as well as a super-rare lemur, Hubbard’s Sportive Lemur, on the endangered list. We will then continue to the sleepy town of Tulear, have lunch and drive up the west coast towards Ifaty. One of the most lovely set lodges awaits us, called Le Paradisier situated right on the beach overlooking the Mozambique channel. Dinner, lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 9: A super early day! Dawn walk in the surreal landscape of the endemic spiny desert at the Reniala, one of the largest protected stretches of this forest. You have the option of enjoying a mid-morning picnic in the reserve or enjoying lunch back at the lodge. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. After dinner, we enjoy a night walk in Paradisier’s own reserve to find- desert-adapted wildlife found nowhere else on the Island Continent. Dinner, lunch, bed and breakfast.

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Day 10: A day at leisure at Ifaty. Optional (extra cost) excursions include; snorkelling or on the astounding reef system offshore, relaxing on the beach, visiting a local Vezo village, or a sunset dhow trip. All meals included though at Paradisier (pictured here). Dinner, lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 11: After breakfast, we return to Tulear for our flight back to the capital city, Antananarivo. We may have time for some market visiting, shopping, a short city tour before we check into our wonderfully furnished, and stunningly appointed Pavillon de L’emyrne guest house. Our farewell dinner will be around the corner, at one of Tana’s best restaurants, KuDeTa. Dinner, light lunch, bed and breakfast.

Day 12: After breakfast, we transfer you to the airport for your onward flight.

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