+261 (0)20 220 2012 info@travpactmadagascar.com
+261 (0)20 220 2012 info@travpactmadagascar.com

Madagascar in a Nutshell 12 Day Luxury Tour

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1212
  • 12 Days, 11 Nights
  • Max People: 1014 with Children
  • Mar - Jan

Looking to see as much of Madagascar as you can on your short luxury holiday? This 12-day tour shows off the highlights of this extraordinary island nation. Enjoy journeying into private parks to see Madagascar’s famous wildlife in their natural habitats. Learn about local conservation efforts to protect the many endemic species here. Madagascar in a Nutshell is an ideal way to delve deeper into wild and wonderful Madagascar! 

Do you have more time to explore? Check out our 21-day tour of 7 parks. Or feel free to get in touch so we can help you choose the best tour for you!

Price Includes

  • Night in B&B in Antananarivo and in Andasibe
  • All Hotel and Airport Transfers
  • National Park entrance fee in Andasibe, Scheduled Charter private flights with a PA – 28 or Cessna P210.
  • Rental car with an English-speaking driver/guide on Day 02-03 and Day 12
  • All Inclusive of meals & all drinks in Mandrare River Camp (including imported wines & spirits) and at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • The services of an English-speaking guide in Mandrare/Manafiafy
  • All excursions, park fees and community/environmental levies from Days 4-11

Price Excludes

  • Guiding in Andasibe National Park
  • All international flights
  • Visa
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Health insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • All other services not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Single travelers will be accepted on a case-by-case basis

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Antananarivo

Today, you will arrive in Madagascar via a flight booked by yourself. Upon your arrival at the airport, a car and a driver/guide will wait for you to take you to quite a luxury hotel located in the city center for your first night. We recommend you exchange money upon arrival at the airport as it is easy to do at the bank and currency exchange.

Transfer: Airport – hotel
Accommodations: Gardensquare

Day 2Antananarivo - Andasibe (B)

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be driven eastward (with private transport) to Andasibe, a journey of about 138 km that takes around 3.5 hours. You could also enjoy a tour of the city with your driver/guide if you wish to do so. Andasibe has a national park that is 810 hectares in size; it is considered one of the nicest and most well-known parks of Madagascar. While there, you will have the opportunity to visit some private parks at night, at your own cost.

Here are some possibilities:

The Mitsinjo Park: This park has plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy. You can meet lemurs there as well, but the private park is well-known for its diversity of amphibian species, especially the coloured frogs. This park is also distinguished by its large array of reptile species, notably the bright-coloured chameleon, lots of geckos, and snakes. Mitsinjo is also famous for the different activities that can be done there, such as tree climbing, canoeing on the Analamazotra River, or choosing your own tree seedling at their tree nursery and planting it directly into the reforestation area.

The reserve is located close to the Andasibe village and helps the expansion of the forest station in Analamazaotra. To date, there are two working tree nurseries that produce about 40.000 seedlings from 125 different endemic Malagasy trees per year.

VOI (Vondron’olona Ifotony): This is a small local reserve managed by local people who also protect different species of animal and flowers, including some groups of Indris, diademed sifakas, woolly lemurs, reptiles, amphibians, and different insects like the famous giraffe-necked weevil.

The letter sequence means, in English, “Local people love the forest.“ The private park not only serves recreational purposes but also informs local people about conservation and ecotourism. Half of the generated money is used for various projects in Andasibe, e.g. building water taps or supporting a small local hospital.

Transfer: Antananarivo – Andasibe (3.5-hours’ drive)
Accommodations: Eulophiella

Day 3Andasibe - Antananarivo (B)

You will spend the morning visiting the Andasibe National Park. There, you will find 11 species of half monkeys, many species of birds, large chameleons, an orchid park, rosewood trees, lianas, etc. In this forest, the largest of the lemurs is found: the Indri. It’s interesting to spot this lemur and to hear its “yell” through the forest. Afterwards, you will be driven back to Antananarivo where you will spend a night close to the airport to prepare for your journey to the extreme southern part of Madagascar.

Transfer: Andasibe – Antananarivo (3.5 hours’ drive)
Accommodations: Bois Vert

Day 4Antananarivo - Mandrare River Camp (B, L, D)

You will take a morning flight to Mandrare River Camp (3hrs) with our scheduled charter. Upon arrival at the Camp, settle into your tent and enjoy the majestic views over the Mandrare River.

A 3-course lunch will be served on our river terrace.

Around 5pm, you will depart for a night walk in the Forest of Zenavo. This is a fantastic way to see diurnal lemurs bedding down, and the nocturnal lemurs begin to wake in the eerie and prehistoric Spiny Forest. You will also spot Sifakas and sleeping White-foot Sportive lemurs; once the sun has set, you might be lucky enough to see two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls, and active Sportive lemurs.

Flight: Antananarivo – Tulear (1 hour)
Transfer: Tulear – Mandrare (2 hours)
Accommodations: Mandrare River Camp (All-inclusive)

Day 5Mandrare River Camp (B, L, D)

After a breakfast of freshly-baked croissant and pain au chocolat, fresh fruits, cereals, and breads, you will head to the stunning Sacred Gallery Forest to the south of the Camp. Depending on the river depth, you will walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River to reach this largely-deciduous forest. Inquisitive groups of ring-tailed lemurs and the always-entertaining Verreaux sifaka are the highlights of this excursion.

Return to the Camp for lunch and have time to relax afterwards.

In the late afternoon, head out for a walk through the Sacred Spiny forest filled with the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe, as well as an extraordinary array of flora and fauna unique to the spiny forest. Your English-speaking guide and a tracker from the local community will give you an introduction to Antandroy culture and customs. Your visit is followed by sundowners on the Mandrare River bank.

Accommodations: Mandrare River Camp (All-Inclusive)

Day 6Mandrare River Camp (B, L, D)

After a cup of tea or coffee, head to the Spiny Forest for an early morning walk. Witness the sunlight break through the octopus trees while looking out for the many endemic birds such as Crested Coua, a variety of Vangas, and the Running Coua.

Head back to the Camp for a sumptuous breakfast, followed by a visit to the local market (on Thursdays and Saturdays) or the local village to meet the fascinating Antandroy tribe.

Lunch will be served at the Camp, followed by a relaxing afternoon watching life along the river from your tent terrace. At 5pm, depart for a sundowner amidst the baobabs. Watching the sunset and moonrise with a view across the baobabs to the mountains beyond is a magical experience. In the evening, the local village may come to perform beautiful traditional dances, accompanied by singing and music. Song and dance are at the heart of Antandroy culture and are used to accompany the major rituals and events of everyday life.

Accommodations: Mandrare River Camp (All-Inclusive)

Day 7Mandrare River Camp (B, L, D)

After breakfast, be ready for a day-trip to the stunning Lac Anony. This saltwater lake is separated from the Indian Ocean by a series of large sand dunes and is home to Greater Flamingos and a variety of salt water birds. The lake is a two-hour drive from the Camp. On arrival, walk along the lake shore to a beautiful picnic spot. Then, scale the 70-foot-high sand dunes for an incredible view of the surrounding area, and you can also swim in the lake. Return to the Camp in time for dinner.

Accommodations: Mandrare River Camp (All Inclusive)

Day 8Mandrare River Camp to Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)

After one last visit to the local market or the spiny forest, take a short flight to Fort Dauphin (25 minutes) where you will meet a vehicle and guide from Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge You can choose one of the many lovely restaurants in town for lunch. In the early afternoon, continue your journey by vehicle to Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge (2.5 hrs).

Manafiafy, also known as Sainte Luce, is a beautiful sandy bay, fringed with forest-covered mountains and wildlife-rich mangroves. Upon arrival, check into your luxury bungalow and, at 4:30 pm, head for a night walk in the Coastal Rainforest. Explore the last untouched block of coastal rainforest in southern Madagascar to spot some of the 5 species and 3 sub-species of lemur, over 80 bird species (over half of which are endemic), and an abundance of geckos, chameleons, and other reptiles present in the forest. You’ll see nocturnal lemurs leaping through the trees, Madagascar Scops Owl, satanic leaf-tailed geckos and other masters of camouflage. Return to the Lodge for dinner at 8pm.

Transfer: Mandrare – Airport
Flight: (25 minutes)
Transfer: Fort Dauphin – Manafiafy (2.5-hours’ drive)
Accommodations: Manafiafy Lodge (All-inclusive)

Day 9Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)

After a continental breakfast with fresh fruit, pain au chocolat, breads, cereals, and eggs, head to the Stitch Project and local woodworking shop to interact with the local Antanosy community. Stitch was created by the NGO Azafady to provide local women with sustainable livelihoods by training them in embroidery, English, and business skills. Embroidery is a traditional Malagasy skill that these women have used to make beautiful purses, belts, and more.

After a sumptuous 3-course lunch and a bit of a rest, head to the nearby mangrove network at 4pm for birdwatching and photography. Ideal for botanists, landscape photographers, and adventure seekers, this 40-km network stretches from Manafiafy to Fort Dauphin, with the magnificent Anosy mountain range in the backdrop. Motorboat or kayak excursions here can last anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days. Today, you will be exploring the mangroves by motorboat. Endemic birds include the Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher, Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher, Madagascar Harrier Hawk, Madagascar Crested Ibis, and Blue Coua.

Accommodations: Manafiafy Lodge (All-inclusive)

Day 10Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)

Before breakfast, head for a sunrise walk in the coastal rainforest. On this walk, you will see groups of red-collared lemurs foraging for food as they leap through the rainforest canopy. The red-collared lemur can be seen only in southeastern Madagascar, lives in groups of up to 20 individuals, and is active mostly at dawn and dusk. This is a great time for birding; some species to see are Crested Coua, Giant Coua, Hook-billed Vanga, and Lesser and Greater Vassa Parrots.

Return to the Lodge for a well-deserved breakfast. Relax until your late afternoon excursion to see Madagascar’s largest bat, the Flying Fox, roosting in a nearby community forest, then filling the sky at dusk as they fly off in search of food.

Return to the Lodge for storytelling on the beach. Immerse yourself in Malagasy oral history and culture as the stars form a canopy overhead.

Accommodations: Manafiafy Lodge (All-inclusive)

DAY 11Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge (B, L, D)

Enjoy the morning at your leisure. If you’re interested, whale watching or deep-sea fishing are available at an extra cost. Manafiafy is one of the best places to see humpback whales in Madagascar, with regular sightings of mothers and their calves. After lunch, head to Manafiafy, a lovely Antanosy village where you can see the interesting traditional wooden houses and pirogues lining the beachfront. Learn about the local customs and interact with the fishermen and their families.

End your day with a sundowner overlooking Manafiafy Bay from a rocky outcrop offering stunning views of the area.

Accommodations: Manafiafy Lodge (All-inclusive)

Day 12Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge - Fort Dauphin – Tana

After an early breakfast, you will be driven back to Fort Dauphin (2.5 hrs) and will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Tana.

There, you will have a car at your disposal for a city tour if you want to. Afterward, you will be transferred to the Hotel Bois Vert for the day before your intercontinental flight.

Transfer: Manafiafy – Fort Dauphin (2.5-hours’ drive)
Flight: Fort Dauphin – Antananarivo
Available: Car with driver/guide at your disposal in Antananarivo (before international flight)
Transfer: To the Airport for your international flight

Map

Sustainable Tourism

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.