Classical South Tour - 09 days:
During this “complete” tour you will discover a great variety in landscapes, flora, fauna and culture. Discover the combination of agriculture highland with Madagascar’s “big” cities. Visit the rainforest, dry savannas plateau, dramatic sandstone canyons and granite formations. Meet Madagascar’s endemic wildlife in Ranomafana and Isalo national park.
Day 1: Drive from Tana to Antsirabe
The guide will pick you up from your hotel in Antananarivo and you will start driving towards the South. As soon as you leave busy Tana, you can start enjoying the pretty views. The road lingers through the hilly terraced highland and after 70 km you will pass through the village of Ambatolampy, where you can visit an aluminium pot atelier.
After lunch we will continue to Antsirabe. As soon as you enter the town the roads are buzzing with colourful pousse-pousse (rickshaw). This is the town to explore craft shops and it is also an important industrial centre, mainly for its beer breweries and dairy factories.
Hotel: SOA GUESTHOUSE
Day 2: Visit Antsirabe and surroundings
This day we will see the sights in and around Antsirabe. In the morning we will visit the volcanic lake Tritriva. Tritriva’s waters are surrounded by steep cliffs and fringed by pine trees. Very strange fact: the water level rises in the dry season. If you like some exercise you can cycle out there with a mountain bike. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy lunch looking over the lower Andraikiba volcano lake.
In the afternoon you can visit some craft shops of your choice and take a ride in a pousse-pousse and at the end of the day we drive to Ambositra through the highlands. The highland scenery along the way is quite spectacular, with the road winding around hills and passing through valleys.
Hotel: ARTISAN HOTEL
Day 3: Drive to Ranomafana
Ambositra is best known as a centre for wooden craftwork and in the morning you can visit the village. There are many shops to choose from. After lunch we will soon leave the highland and meet the rainforest. You can feel it, because the air becomes moist and warm.
After arrival and check in at the hotel you can opt for a nocturnal visit around the park.
Hotel: IHARY HOTEL
Day 4: Visit Ranomafana national park
This national park is one of Madagascar’s best-known rainforest wildlife hot spots. Ranomafana consist largely of steep, forested slopes over which there are well-designed trails. Some lead to lookout points from where views are mesmerizing. Besides all the beautiful lemurs and other wildlife, leeches are common in this park.
The guide will do his best to show you many species of lemurs, reptiles, birds and insects. During night walks, the guide takes you to a clearing where he pins slices of banana onto branches for the mouse lemurs, and leave scraps of chicken for the Malagasy striped civets. Switch of the flashlights and the animals quietly appear as if on cue.
Hotel: IHARY HOTEL
Day 5: Drive to Fianarantsoa and city tour
Today we drive back towards the highland to Madagascar’s second city Fianarantsoa. We will take a stroll upper town (Haute-Ville), with pleasant impressive colonial buildings and churches. Visit the local market to buy some fresh fruit and feel the buzz.
Day 6: Drive to Isalo
We leave the highland to meet the savannah plateau. After 56 km the first large town we pass is Ambalavao, where we have the possibility to visit an Antemoro paper factory, a cattle market and a winery. Further on (17 km) is the small, locally run Ianja Conservation site. Here you can see ring-tailed lemurs thriving in spectacular surroundings of enormous granite domes.
Moving on you will pass the Varavaran`ny Atsimo (door to the south), two enormous rock formations- and find yourself in the desolate outback which is the land of the Bara. Cattle are important for the Bara and you will see many herds along the way to Ranohira, next to Isalo Park.
Hotel: TOILES DE L`ISALO
Day 7 and 8: Visit Isalo national park