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

Marine Adventure 18 Day Tour

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1326
  • 18 Days, 16 Nights
  • Max People: 8Tourleader included here
  • 28 October 2021

This trip will take you to the north-western corner of Madagascar between Nosy Be and Diego Suarez. Especially designed for ocean-lovers we focus on colourful tropical coral reefs, seagrass beds, vast sandy beaches as well as rocky islets, lagoons, mangroves and the open sea to look for marine megafauna and to enjoy the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. Since it would be a shame to miss out on the unique and endemic Malagasy wildlife and flora on land, we also include visits to several national parks and community reserves along the way to look for lemurs, chameleons, frogs and birds in a lush vegetation.

This adventurous trip truly allows for a great exploration of the unique Malagasy biodiversity. Along our journey, we will get insight into different conservation approaches and how ecotourism supports conservation, be it in traditionally government-managed national parks, through conservation tourism as well as in community-run reserves that contribute not just to safeguarding the amazing natural heritage but also to providing additional income for communities. Come and join us on this marine and terrestrial biodiversity journey to experience it first-hand!

2022 Marine Adventure - Where the forest meets the sea

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    Price Includes

    • All airport/hotel transfers
    • Domestic flights
    • Except in the capital, transport with driver and fuel included the whole trip
    • Bed and Breakfast the whole trip
    • 18 dinners and 14 lunches included
    • Whale shark excursion with specialised guide and lunch included
    • Excursion to the Lokobe reserve on Nosy-Be with local guide and lunch included
    • Full board Alefa sailing trip with 2 bivouac nights
    • Visit of Ankarana and Amber Mountain National parks including picnic, entrance fee and local guide
    • Visit of Nosy Hara with one bivouac night, local guide, entrance fee included
    • Three bay circuit excursion
    • Tips included

    Price Excludes

    • Visa
    • Drink
    • 4 lunches (arrival day, day 9, day 13 and departure day)
    • Health insurances
    • Personal expenses
    • Intercontinental Flights
    • All other services unlisted in the inclusive

    Itinerary

    Day 1ARRIVAL IN TANA, SHORT FOR ANTANANARIVO (D)

    Landing at Ivato airport in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Welcome or ‘Tonga Soa’! Our driver will bring you to your hotel near the airport, so you can relax and have dinner after your long flight. On the road to the hotel, you will start with overlooking the characteristic rice paddies of the high plateau right away. Your journey begins!

    Visa and money exchange on arrival in the airport

    Shuttle from airport to hotel

    Overnight at Chez Jeanne or similar

    Day 2 - 4NOSY SAKATIA (B, L, D)

    On day 2, we take a domestic flight to Nosy Be, known as the Perfume Island, where upon arrival we will continue to the pristine quiet little island of Nosy Sakatia by boat crossing.

    In front of the Sakatia Lodge the Ambohibe Green Turtle Reserve was put in place to protect the seagrass beds and green turtle population that feeds here year-round. In front of the lodge is also a colorful and beautiful house reef for everyone to enjoy. Sakatia Lodge houses one of the region’s best dive centers, so for those who have scuba experience or want to get some, there are plenty of dive sites to explore the marine biodiversity. If you are interested, please let us know upfront to make reservations!

    During our stay here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the scenery, search for birds and chameleons, snorkel and swim, visit the mangroves or the nearby village, walk up the sunset hill, enjoy a massage, take some pictures, read a good book and learn more on how the Lodge contributes to marine conservation

    On day 4, researcher and conservationist Stella Diamant from the Madagascar Whale Shark

    Research and Conservation Project will guide us on a boat trip with Rand’eau, to look for whale sharks out in the big blue and join them in the water for a swim. These harmless beautiful giants come close to the surface to feed on plankton and small fish in Nosy Be waters, an area recently discovered as an important feeding hotspot for this species. If we are lucky we might see some dolphins or other marine wildlife along the boat ride.

    – Whale shark excursion with Rand’eau

    – Overnight at Sakatia Lodge or similar

    Day 5LOKOBE COMMUNITY RESERVE (B, L, D)

    Today we make the crossing to Nosy Be, drop our luggage in our next hotel and go visit the Lokobe Community Reserve, Nosy Be’s last remaining lowland rainforest. We travel by car to the village Ambatozavavy, where we step into a local dugout canoe in the mangrove area and paddle for one hour to the Reserve. Lokobe is home to the black lemur and the locally endemic Hawks’ sportive lemur. Chameleons and boa constrictors are a common sight and for plant lovers the lush vegetation and palm Dypsis ampasindavae are a real treat. We will do a 2,5-hour hike in this beautiful forest and enjoy a local traditional lunch together on the beach, before paddling back and returning to our hotel to pack for the next adventure.

    – Lokobe Community Reserve excursion

    – Overnight at L’Heure Bleu or Domaine Mangabe

    Day 6 - 8ALEFA SAILING TRIP (B, L, D)

    After breakfast we will embark on a traditional Sakalava boutre for a sailing trip that will take us southwards along the coast, islets and bays for 3 days, getting to remote places and traditional fishing villages only accessible by sea. This experience will give us insight into the daily life of remote coastal communities. We will be sailing, swimming and snorkelling on reefs, enjoying the marine life, passing by many fishing boats along an amazing scenery of long desolate beaches, inlets, azure water, lush vegetation, mangroves, coconut plantations and charming fisher’s villages. Our day stretches from sunrise to sunset and we will enjoy fresh seafood and local fruits along the way, while sleeping in simple tents under the stars. For those who want to, there is the opportunity to go on walks to look for wildlife inland or to climb up the hills to enjoy the spectacular views even more.

    – Return 3 day sailing trip

    – 2 nights of camping on the beaches

    – Overnight at Heure Bleu or Domaine Mangabe

    Day 9NOSY-BE (B, D)

    Today is a day to relax from the intense sailing trip, to get some washing of clothes done, to stroll around in town, to enjoy a book, the beach, and some down time before we head to the mainland to enjoy some of Madagascar’s terrestrial biodiversity.

    – Overnight at Heure Bleu or Domaine Mangabe

    Day 10NOSY BE TO ANKARANA (B, L, D)

    Following our adventures at sea, we will now be focusing more on the biodiversity inland. We drive to Hellville, the capital of Nosy Be where we embark for Ankify, on mainland Madagascar. From there we drive northwards to Ankarana National Park, one of Madagascar’s geological wonders. After lunch we will go on a short afternoon hike to explore the impressive bat cave and the surrounding dry deciduous forest.

    – Transport Ambatoloaka –Hellville, crossing Hellville- Ankify, drive to Ankarana (+/- 5 hours)

    – Guided excursion Ankarana National Park

    – Overnight at Chez Laurent or similar

    Day 11ANKARANA (B, L, D)

    Today we start early and visit the limestone massif of Ankarana, that is home to a unique Malagasy geological phenomenon, fields of spiky tsingy, limestone karst pinnacle formations sitting next to dry deciduous forests. The massif is penetrated by canyons and caves. We will do a 5-hour hike to get to the most spectacular sites while looking for crowned and sanford’s brown lemurs as well as numerous birds, reptiles and insects along the way. The vegetation that has adapted to survive the dry conditions of the tsingy are a true attraction. Besides the giant baobabs, there is also a wide diversity of weird looking Euphorbia species and the even more peculiar Pachypodium, also called the elephant foot. We will stop for a picnic lunch and in the afternoon continue our journey northwards to the national park Montagne d’Ambre, where we stay in a beautiful nature lodge.

    – Transport Ankaranana – Montagne d’Ambre (4 hours)

    – Guided excursion Ankarana National Park

    – Overnight at Montagne d’Ambre Nature Lodge

    Day 12MONTAGNE D’AMBRE NATIONAL PARK (B, L, D)

    Another day, another natural park. Today we head into the Amber Mountain National Park, a splendid example of montane rainforest, a massive with its own microclimate, cooler and wetter than the surrounding areas. It rains here every day so bring your raincoat and put on an extra layer of clothes! These local conditions have led to luxuriant fairy-tale forests with amazing waterfalls and crater lakes. We will do a half-day easy hike in the forest. The flora is as exciting as the fauna here. The large tree ferns, epiphytic bird’s nest ferns, Pandanus and endemic cycad palms are, even for the amateur plant-lover, a beautiful sight. As always, we continue to look out for the local wildlife, in particular the avifauna, the ring-tailed mongoose and of course the lemurs. After a late lunch there is ample time to enjoy the Nature Lodge and its beautiful views.

    – Visit Montagne d’Ambre

    – Overnight at Montagne d’Ambre Nature Lodge

    Day 13DIEGO SUAREZ (B, D)

    After breakfast we travel to the port city Diego Suarez, Madagascar’s northernmost large city, rich in history and culture. We will stop at the main viewpoints of the second largest bay in the world, a natural shelter for generations of pirates and slave traders and then check into our hotel. You are free for lunch and the afternoon to go explore this colonial city, its cultural past, to visit the local markets or to shop for some souvenirs. You will still feel a strong Arab influence today with the mosques and locals shewing khat. In the evening we have a joint dinner at the seaside restaurant Melville from Allamanda Hotel, while packing for our 1,5-day trip to Nosy Hara.

    – Transport Montagne d’Ambre – Diego (1,5 hours)

    – Excursion on your own in Diego

    – Overnight at Jardin Exotique in Diego or similar

    Day 14 - 15NOSY HARA (B, L, D)

    After four days of dry feet, time to go back out at sea for an overnight camping trip to the magnificent Nosy Hara archipelago. This marine national park consists of one larger island and several small islets, islands of tsingy, the same spiky limestone as in Ankarana but this time surrounded by the sea. Nosy Hara is the only location where world’s tiniest chameleon, Brookesia micra, lives. During our short stay here, we will hike up the hills to an amazing viewpoint, look out for wildlife in the dry deciduous forest and enjoy a beautiful underwater landscape of corals vibrant of marine life, while camping on a local beach in rather basic conditions. On day 15 after more exploration and an early lunch we return by boat before the winds and the currents pick up, back to the village Ampasindava. Afterwards we drive eastwards and have a few short stops at the salt fields, viewpoint of the Sugar Loaf island and some magnificent baobabs before arriving in the Sakalava Bay, our final destination.

    – Transport Diego – Ampasindava (1.30 hours) by 4WD

    – Boat crossing Ampasindava – Nosy Hara (1,5hours)

    – Overnight simple camping at Nosy Hara

    – Transport Nosy Hara – Ampasindava – Sakalava Bay (3,5 hours)

    – Overnight Royal Sakalava at Sakalava Bay

    Day 16 - 17SAKALAVA BAY & RAMENA (B, D)

    All good things come to an end and our final two days we will spend in the Sakalava Bay, a beautiful long white sandy beach and heaven for water sports. During our stay here there is plenty of time to take a break and relax, go for a swim, read a book, take a snooze, enhance your photography skills or even go kitesurfing.

    On day 17, we will do the Three Bays Circuit, a half-day walk along 3 gorgeous sandy bays (Sakalava, Pigeons and Dune Bays) all the way to the fishermen village Ramena, where we will have lunch. This circuit is set in a wild, harsh, windy but starkly beautiful environment with white beaches and azure blue waters.

    – Three bays circuit excursion

    – Overnight Royal Sakalava at Sakalava Bay

    Day 18RETURN TO TANA (B, D)

    Today, depending on our inland flight schedule, you will be transferred back to the airport of Diego. There, you will take your return flight to Antananarivo. Upon arrival in the capital, you will be transferred to a hotel near the airport for a day-use. Afterwards, you will be taken to the international Ivato airport and will leave Madagascar with hopefully unforgettable memories.

    – Shuttle from Royal Sakalava to Diego Airport

    – National flight Diego-Tana

    – Day use at Chez Jeanne or similar

    – Shuttle to Ivato airport for your international flight

    (notice please book only flights back from the 16th (night 15th) onwards, not earlier

    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.