Madagascar's National Parks
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New 2017 Itinerary
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
This is “the” island paradise for anyone interested in wildlife. Of all the plant and animal species found on this diverse island, 90% are endemic, found nowhere else in the world. This includes the famously lovable lemurs, the fossa, and myriad bird species. With the expertise of our local guide, we will introduce you to this charismatic and vibrant island’s diverse landscapes, species and culture.
- Explore the national parks of this enigmatic island. Visit Isalo, Andringitra, Ranomafana
- Snap shots of Madagascar’s many endemic species
- Enjoy walks through rainforests, traditional villages and magnificent mountains
- Discover magical Malagasy culture
- 2017 - option to extend the tour to visit Andasibe National Park
- 12 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms, 3 nights in a tented camp
- Full Board, from breakfast on Day 2 to dinner on Day 15
- Full holiday programme with a specialist local guide
- Internal flight, national park entrance fees and travel by air-conditioned minibus or coach
Although comfortable, facilities are modest compared to international standards, and on some evenings accommodation is comfortable, but simple. 12 nights offer en-suite rooms, three nights are in a basic tented camp in the Tsaranoro valley, a truly stunning location.
Au Bois Vert, Antananarivo (1 night)
Au Bois Vert is located a short transfer, only 5 minutes, from the airport. The lodge has been built in the heart of a 3 hectare forest and its setting, along with its pool, makes it the ideal place for you to rest after your flight. Rooms are air-conditioned and facilities include TV, safe and free internet connection.
Caliente Beach Hotel, Tulear (1 night)
The Caliente Beach is a simple hotel, in a beautiful location. Though classified as 3-star, we would rate this 2 to 3-star. After an early flight from Antananarivo, this makes the ideal place to relax, either by the pool, or with a stroll along the beach. the bungalows are beachfront and offer simple, en-suite accommodation.
Relais De La Reine, Isalo National Park (3 nights)
This is a fabulous hotel. The location of Relais de la Reine is superb, in the Isalo National Park. The comfortable chalets are all en-suite, with their own veranda, and are arranged around a shaded garden next to the pool.
Tsara Camp, Tsaranoro (3 nights)
Our camp is located in the Tsaranoro Valley with the Tsaranoro Mountain on one side and the huge mountain chains of Andringitra National Park on the other. The camp is basic. Each tent is large with two simple beds, bedside-table and space to hang up clothes. There is a basic en-suite bathroom attached to each tent. Chairs on the veranda of each tented area provide the perfect place to watch the changing light on the backdrop of the Andringitra mountains.
Lac Hotel Sahambavy (2 nights)
Located at the foot of a hill, the Lac Hotel offers breathtaking panoramic views of the island's unique tea plantation. Bedrooms are located in comfortable but traditional bungalows, some on stilts. All have private bathrooms, but the rooms are designed with comfort and quiet in mind, so there are no TVs in the rooms.
Setam Lodge, Ranomafana (2 nights)
Setam lodge is located just on the outskirts of the national park. It makes the most of its stunning setting with huge windows in the restaurant to take in the views, and each of the rooms has a small terrace overlooking the valley. Each chalets contains two bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom.
Residence Madalief, Antsirabe (2 night)
Residence Madalief is a charitable organisation which operates community projects in and around Antsirabe. The guest house was opened to generate funds to support the charity. Our stay there is in en-suite rooms which look out onto a well-kept garden, the ideal place to relax. Watch out for the bird of prey that has made its home above the kitchen door!
Extension to Andasibe National Park
Au Bois Vert, Antananarivo (1 night) (see above)
Vakona Forest Lodge, Andasibe (2 nights)
Vakona Forest Lodge welcomes you with a log fire in its central seating area and fantastic views overlooking the lake. Dotted around the hillside nearby are the Malagasy-style bungalows that provide our accommodation. Each of the bungalows has its own terrace. Rooms are all en-suite and are simple but comfortable. There is also a pool and sun deck.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
This holiday is at the upper end of our level 2 walks. Trails are rough and rocky underfoot. Walks are 3-6½ miles (5-10km) with up to 1,850 feet (570m) of ascent. There is quite a lot of travelling on this tour, on some poorly made roads. You'll need plenty of stamina for this trip. Some National Parks have more walking than others, and because of the wildlife element of this holiday, some of the walks do turn into nature walks.
Day 1: arrival in the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo (1 night), and transfer to our accommodation.
Day 2: fly to Tulear, in the south of the island (1 night) for an introduction to the island’s endemic flora at the Antsokay Aboretum, before we begin our tour of the national parks.
Days 3-5: journey to Ranohira and Isalo National Park (3 nights). Isalo is home to some of the most stunning scenery on the island, and affords you a fantastic chance of being able to observe the dancing ring-tailed lemurs. Walks explore a rocky plateau overlooking the canyons and sandstone cliffs of magnificent Isalo National Park. Its mountains are home to over 400 species of flora. There are some amazing natural pools and waterfalls on the walk. We'll also visit one of the sapphire mines on the island.
Days 9-10: en route to Fianarantsoa (2 nights), we stop to explore the community reserve of Anja and see ringtail lemurs up close, before village walks introduce us to the Betsileo culture and their traditions. We share a typical Malagasy lunch at the home of one of the families.
Days 11-12: the lush rainforests of Ranomafana National Park (2 nights) afford us excellent opportunities to discover a vast diversity of flora and fauna. We enjoy a night walk here too, introducing us to a host of different animal species. If we’re lucky we may see the park’s famous resident, the golden bamboo lemur. Walks will be scheduled in the early morning and the late afternoon to give us the best chance of spotting wildlife.
Days 13-14: a city tour of Antsirabe (2 nights). Our stay here is a guest house run by the charity Residence Madalief, which supports projects in the local community. Our stay here gives us a fantastic opportunity to support this worthwhile charity. Walks in the area discover the surrounding villages and the beautiful Lac Andraikiba.
Day 15: return to Antananarivo in time for our late evening flight home.
Day 16: arrive UK
Extension to Andasibe National Park
Days 15-17: Overnight in Antananarivo, then travel to the heart of Andasibe National Park (2 nights), home to many endangered species, including 11 types of lemur and the Indri.
Day 18: return to Antananarivo in time for our late evening flight home.
Day 19: arrive UK
Passports must be valid for 6 months on date of entry and you must have 2 spare pages for the visa stamp. You should carry your passport with you at all times (there are sometimes random police checks, but less so when part of a group). Always keep a photocopy of your passport, visa and insurance details somewhere safe, and leave further copies with family or friends in the UK.
Visas are required for UK, Australian, Canadian & USA passport holders. Return or onward tickets are required. You can get a 30-day tourist visa at the airport on arrival, payable in Euros (27 Euros), £25 or $30. Best value currently is the Euro payment. This amount also covers a tourist tax. If you are getting a visa at the airport, make sure an entry stamp is recorded in your passport. There is no Embassy of Madagascar in London. For further information about entry requirements, or if you wish to obtain a visa before travel, contact the Embassy of Madagascar in Paris, which offers a visa service (Telephone +33145 04 6211; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Other nationals should check with their nearest embassy or consulate for details of entry requirements.
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk
Vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid & Tetanus vaccinations are recommended. Malaria prevention may be recommended too. Some GPs recommend Malarone for the anti-malarial tablets, some guests in the past have experienced some side effects when taking these, so this may not be the best type for you.
Because of its geography, Madagascar's climate is highly variable. Generally, the climate is hot and sub-tropical; it is colder in the mountains, while the south and west regions are particularly dry. Monsoons bring storms and cyclones to the east and north from December to March. The rainy season is November to March, and the dry season is April to October. The mountains, including Antananarivo, are warm and thundery from November to April and dry, cool and windy the rest of the year. Temperatures can be up to and over 30 degrees, and it is essential that you drink plenty of water, at least 2-3 litres per day.
The local currency is the Ariary (Ar). Major credit cards are accepted at top-end hotels in Tana and the provincial capitals. However, outside of the main cities cash will be required. ATMs can be found in and around the capital and in some of the larger towns. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.
Good walking boots are recommended, with a comfortable pair of trekking sandals that you can wear whilst travelling and at the end of a walk.
For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.
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Dates & Prices
|7 Oct 2017||MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks + Extension||17||£2,889.00||Book Now|
|7 Oct 2017||
MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks + Extension
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|4 Nov 2017||MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks||14||£2,359.00||Book Now|
|4 Nov 2017||
MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
Prices are per person
- Single room: £340 (2017)
- Extension to Andasibe from £530 (2017)
- Non member associate fee: £10 per person