This tour is all about exploring the north eastern region of Madagascar by both sea and land. Enjoy the stunning natural beauty all around you, with fascinating wildlife and wonderful conservation work to explore. The diversity of the north of Madagascar is sure to impress you!
Looking for a different type of adventure? Check out our 16-day highlands to coast bike tour of Madagascar or feel free to contact us so we can help you choose the right tour for you. From camping to island-hopping, we can make your Madagascar travel dreams come true!
Today you will arrive in Antananarivo. A driver/guide will collect you at the airport and drive you to Chez Jenne near the airport. We recommend that you change currency at the airport before leaving for the hotel, the facilities are there, both a bank and exchange cash desk. The driver guide will supply you with vouchers for the following days and answer any questions you may have.
Should you arrive early in the morning or in the middle of the day, there is a possibility we may take you to a hotel in the center of the city instead of near the airport. In the evening it is more practical to take you to a hotel near the airport.
Hotel: Guesthouse Chez Jeanne
After breakfast a hotel courtesy bus will take you to the airport for the inland flight to Maroantsetra, a pleasant city in the Northwest of Madagascar.
On arrival at this small airport a guide will collect you and accompany you to the harbor where you will catch the ferry for the crossing of 30 minutes to Nosy Mangabe, which is situated some 2 kilometers from the coast, an island with a national parc bearing the same name. It is compulsory to be accompanied by a guide (cost included) to walk through the tropical rain forest. The parc covers and area of 520 hectares and is home to many chamelons, frogs, other reptiles and of course lemures. The history of Nosy Mangabe is one of trading and pricacy.
Dutch sailers have carved rocks in the Westcoast of the island as far back as the 16th century. On arrival at Nosy Mangabe you will enjoy a picknick lunch. At the end of the afternoon you will sail back to Maroantsetra and spend the night in the Manga Beach Hotel on the basis of accommodation and breakfast
Hotel: Manga Beach Hotel
In the morning you will be transported by boat to the Arol Lodge near the Masoala National Parc. You will stay here overnight on the basis of full board. Various excursions are possible. We recommend that on arrival you discuss with the guide what you wish to see in the afternoon and the following day.
The following excursions are available:
Transfer by boat from Maroantsetra to Masoala (about 2 hours)
Hotel: Arol Lodge
A day off in Arol Lodge on the basis of full board and your choice of excursions, all included
Early in the morning, because of conditions of the sea and the inland flight, you will be ferried back to Marasontsetra in about 2 hours and driven to the airport for the inland flight to Sambava, (only on Thursdays in 2019), the tour will have to be adjusted for this reason. You will be collected by a driver/guide and car to transfer you to hotel Orchidea Beach for the night. In the late afternoon you may be given a tour of vanilla plantations and/or make a city tour. Sahambava is the number one Vanilla region, the best vanilla is grown here in Madagascar and perhaps in the whole world.
To-day you will be taken by 4×4 vehicle and driver guide to the entrance of the Marojeiy parc, a trip of 2 hours with beautiful panoramas. A cook and porters will accompany you as well. Near the entrance of the parc there is storage capacity for larger items of luggage, we recommend that you pack a smaller backpack with the items you will need during this 4 day/ 3 night hike.
You will start a walk arriving at the first camp in about 4,5 hours, where a delicious lunch awaits you, before embarking on a discovery trip in the afternoon, to see the first lemures, chameleons frogs and other reptiles.
Marojeiy is a very special, real authentic rain forest of Madagascar, with few visitors. A dense forest with very high trees, partly bamboo, awaits you, entirely different from Maroantsetra. The walks require more energy here. You will spend the night in very simple tent huts on stilts.
The Marojeiy mountains are one of the most majestic massives of Madagascar with the original smell of forest/plants/spices. Unique in the world because of the density of the forest, an abundance of cliffs , its fogs, and the unequaled rich flora and fauna. Marojeiy, measures 55.500 hectares, covered with lush vegetation, a very diversified park with high mountains in a tropical and therefore moist region of Madagascar. Steep inclines enjoy the interest of scientists all over the world. It is home to an exceptional diversity of plants and animals : at least 275 kind of ferns, 33 kind of palm trees, 149 kind of amphibians and reptiles and 118 kind of birds. 11 kind of Makis live in the parc, including the endemic ‘silk Sifaka’ .Unfortunately it is threatened with extinction.
Marojiy, with its wild and rugged character and it exceptional bio-diversity is a paradise for the lovers of mountains and nature
Transfer Sambava – entrance parc Marojeiy , a drive of about 3 hours
Hotel: Simple tents
After breakfast a climb of about one to two hours (depending on the pace) will take you to a second camp at a height of 775 meters. Here you will spend the second night. The camp is located near a waterfall and has a beautiful view. Here you can go for a ‘Simpona ‘walk between a rain forest at low altitude and high mountains. The name Simpona originates from the endemic white lemure (also known as Silk Sifaka) you may spot here. Guides will assist you to locate this rare lemure.
To-day, you can choose in cooperation with the guide which part of the park you want to see. In any case you will spend the night in the same camp as the previous night. The true walker would want to climb to 1250 meters to reach the top of the park and enjoy a majestic view of the mountain range. There are other possibilities to-day and do state your preferences to the guide.
To-day you will walk back at an easy pace to the entrance of the National Parc/ After the 5,5 hour walk the driver will be waiting for you to take you Vohemar, an approxiamate 4 hour drive. Here you will stay in a hotel near the Iharana bay. After camping for 3 days you will enjoy the possibility to refresh. We recommend to start the day early. You will arrive in Vohemar in daylight, take a swim and enjoy the sight of returning fishing boats.
Transfer entrance park Marojeiy=Vohemar about 4 hours dive
Hotel: Baie D’Iharana hotel
Today you will continue the drive direction north using a very bad and dusty road. We do recommend starting as early as possible (around 6 a.m.) to enable you to stop underway, walk around and spot the amazing Golden Crown Sifaka. It is possible after a drive of about 4 hours near a spot called ‘Campement Tattersali, located at the outskirts of the Daraina forest. You will spend the night here in the ‘Friendly Camp’.
Transfer to the entrance of park Vohema-Daraina: drive of about 4 hours
Hotel: Friendly Camp
Today another tough travel day on bad and dusty roads, about 5 hours to a magnificent location, the Iharana Bush camp, not visited by many visitors, but enormously appreciated with well educated personnel. You will enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. The hotel is situated on quite an amazing location, a short walk away from a spot with a panoramic view of the Tsingy d’Ankarana. There also is a small lake where it is wonderful to stay. Previous participants of our tours enjoyed the village close to the hotel, to mingle with the local population, pure and simple, as they are not used to many tourists.
Transfer Daraina – Iharana: 5 hour drive
Hotel: Iharana Bush Camp
Today you leave the hotel at about 07.30 after breakfast for a visit to the Western part of the Ankarana Park (the least visited, yet not less beautiful) During the walk you will spot lemures and birds and visit two caves to admire the ‘underground’ part of the Tsingy. Additionally you will pass the first canyon. You may walk to the so-called ‘Green River’ At the end of the day you will spend the night in the Iharana Bush Camp.
The national resérvate Ankarana covers an area of 18.255 hectares. It is a combination of eroded limestone containing an important part of the Ankarana culture in the underground world. The park is situated in the Ambilobe region and consists of tapered rock formations, with many caves in between: the bat cave with many stalagmites and stalactites, the Cathedral cave of Andrafiabe, the crocodile cave, the crystal cave and so on. All caves are truly beautiful. In the eastern part of the park, some 108 km from Diego Suarez, you will find the little Tsingy, the ‘lost’ river and the large ‘avenue de Mahamsina‘, all natural beauties. The little Tsingy is the result of erosion and geological transformations from the jurasic era. In the east you will find the beautiful viewpoint Ambohimalaza, the ‘tourelle des Tsingy ‘and the ‘beaux Tsingy rary, which resembles the Tsingy of Bemaraha. The Tsingy of Ankarana with its ghotic color and dantisc landscape created by water and air over millions of years make a wonderful impression upon visitors
Transfer entrance Iharana – entrance park and back: about a 2,5 hour drive
Hotel: Iharana Bush Camp
After breakfast the driver and car will take you to the other side of the Ankarana park, the Eastside. This is the side visited most by tourists, yet still far away from mass tourism. At this side various walks can be made. Please discuss with the guide your preference and he will explain the possibilities. Should you wish to walk five hours or more, we recommend not to forget the ‘Tourelle des Tsingy’. This area is the home of the endemic lemure the ‘couronnatus’, worth spotting too.
Transfer Iharana – Ankarana East: about 2 hour drive
Hotel: Chez Aurelien
We recommend to leave early in the morning with the driver and 4×4 car in the northern direction to Joffre Ville. On the way you may visit the Red Tsingy, worth the effort. Should you wish to make the total walk it should requires 2/2,5 hours.
The red Tsingy are peak-shaped formations offering a magnificent view. In the course of the years wind and rain have shaped the Tsingy and they are unique in Madagascar. Contrary to the ordinary Tsingy (with pointed rocks) the Red Tsingy has round rock points. Various kinds of rocks produce various color schemes, resulting in a true spectacle. A difficult passable path for a 4×4 in the middle of this savannah-like area with wild palm trees leads to this special Red Tsingy. Yet definitely worth the trouble!
Close to the Red Tsingy is the time and place for a picknick lunch. At the end of the afternoon you will arrive in Joffre Ville, where accommodation is provided by nuns on the basis of half board. Again a very special spot.
Transfer Ankarana – Tsingy Rouge – Joffreville: about a 5 hour drive (with Tsingy rouge)
Today is dedicated to a visit of the National Park Montagne d’Ambre, located some 20 minutes drive by 4×4 from the hotel. The national Mantagne ‘d’Ambre reservate covers a vulcanic area of 300.000 hectares with varying heights from 800 to 1475 meters. Nature is all around us with an enormous variety of flora and fauna. An abundance of medicinal plants, tall trees, orchids, ferns and so on can be found in this tropical forest, in addition to various species of lemures and the smallest chameleons on Madagascar, and one of the smallest primates in the world, the Mircocebus rufus. Walks can start from the entrance where the options can be explained to you. Again, accommodation is provided by local nuns.
Transfer Joffreville – entrance park : about a 30 minutes drive
Today, you will be taken to Diego Suarez, a 45 minute drive from Joffreville. We recommend to start early in the morning, because later you will take the ferry to Mer d’Emeraude and the see is the quietest in the morning. Also, the tide has to be taken into account for the crossing, we cannot give you an exact duration of sailing at this moment. You will be taken to hotel Paillottes Babaomby for the conclusion of your tour. The hotel is situated at the famous Mer d’Emeraude primarily known for snorkeling and kitesurfing. Even if you do not want to go kitesurfing our experience is that our visitors consider the stay a fitting conclusion in this wonderful region. The bungalows are simple, yet beautiful and good, a small swimming pool offers the possibility to swim when the tide of the sea is out, nice snorkeling excursions are possible. Personnel is still being trained but competent. We consider it high class ‘gasy style’. The food is excellent.
Hotel: Paillottes Babaomby
Two free days at the mer d’Emeraude in the Babaomby Paillottes.
Hotel: Paillottes Babaomby
Depending on the tide and the inland flight schedules you will be ferried to Diego-Suarez, where a local flight will take you back to Antananarivo and in the evening (depending on the airline company) you will fly back to Europe. In Antanamarivo you will be taken to guesthouse Chez Jeann near the airport for a last dinner before departure.
Mora Travel dedicates itself to organizing ‘sustainable’ trips to Madagascar every day. Sustainability is very important to us! By organizing these trips, we believe our travelers can experience Madagascar and enjoy everything that the country has to offer. And because you are traveling with us, we can contribute to preserving biodiversity and endemicity and giving local people in Madagascar a real chance.
Madagascar is not an easy destination to promote sustainable tourism as the logistics in remote areas are often very basic, the options are limited, and many resources are hard to get by. There aren’t always sustainable options, but wherever possible we opt for the most sustainable choice. Nevertheless, we do promote responsible travel to lessen our negative impact on our destination as much as possible.
This means we work together with partners that are environmentally conscious (renewable energy, sustainable waste management) while also looking after the social and economic wellbeing of the local people. We give preference to local Malagasy accommodations, businesses or for example parks that employ local staff under good conditions, that use mainly local products and/or are engaged in community initiatives. This means that the hotels during the trip are a real mix of very simple and luxury hotels depending on the criteria mentioned above.
We also contribute to reforestation. To compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions of all tourists who travel with us, we plant trees. The purpose of planting trees is to house animals, because they have less and less place to live because of deforestation. We still have a long way to go, but we feel that making this a choice and communicating this to our partners will help create a larger sustainable tourism community in the long run.