Madagascar's National Parks

Code: MCWHW

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Activity types:

  • Flora
  • High Mountains
  • New 2017 Itinerary
  • Rural peace

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £2,289.00 - 14 to 17 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Trip notes will be available to download early in 2017 

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.

Holiday highlights:

  • Explore the national parks of this enigmatic island. Visit Isalo, Andringitra, Ranomafana, and Andasibe (2016)
  • 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

Prices include:

  • 12 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms, 2 nights in a tented camp (2017 3 nights in tented camp)
  • Full Board, from breakfast on Day 2 to dinner on Day 15
  • Full holiday programme with a specialist local guide and an HF Holidays’ leader (2017 local guide only)
  • Internal flight, national park entrance fees and travel by air-conditioned minibus or coach
  • Tips

Accommodation

 

2016

Although comfortable, facilities are modest compared to international standards, and on some evenings accommodation is comfortable, but simple. 12 nights offer en-suite rooms, two 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, Toliara (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 (2 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 (2 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!  

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.  


2017

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, Toliara (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

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.

Itinerary

Trip notes will be available to download early in 2017 

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. 

2016

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 3-4: journey to Ranohira and Isalo National Park (2 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. En-route our journey takes us on a visit to one of the sapphire mines on the island.  

Days 5-6: to our camp (2 nights) in the majestic valley of Tsaranoro, Andringitra National Park. The park is a sacred place for many cultures, and home to many mysteries and legends. Its scenery is superb, with vistas of dramatic peaks and waterfalls accompanying our walks as we visit the surrounding villages. Andringitra is also home to the highest peak on the island - Boby Peak, known locally as the Roof of Madagascar. 

Days 7-8: 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 9-10: 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 11-12: 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. 

Days 13-14: we travel to the heart of Andasibe National Park (2 nights), home to many endangered species, including 11 types of lemur and the Indri. 

Day 15: return to Antananarivo in time for our late evening flight home.

Day 16: arrive UK


2017

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 6-8: to our camp (3 nights) in the majestic valley of Tsaranoro, Andringitra National Park. The park is a sacred place for many cultures, and home to many mysteries and legends. Its scenery is superb, with vistas of dramatic peaks and waterfalls accompanying our walks as we visit the surrounding villages. Andringitra is also home to the highest peak on the island - Boby Peak, known locally as the Roof of Madagascar. 

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 15-16: we travel to the heart of Andasibe National Park (2 nights), home to many endangered species, including 11 types of lemur and the Indri. 

Day 16: return to Antananarivo in time for our late evening flight home.

Day 17: arrive UK

General Information

Passport
Passports must be valid for 6 months on date of entry and you must have 2 spare pages for the visa stamp.

Visas
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: info@ambassade-madagascar.fr).

Other nationals should check with their nearest embassy or consulate for details of entry requirements.

Health advice

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.

Climate
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.

Money
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.

General

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.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
3 Dec 2016, 7:34 a.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

-

Service review:

Excellent but not enough warnings!

Product review:

Roads very poor giving some very long driving times. No-one told m E coli had been evolving separately for 85 million years along with the rest of the flora.
13 Oct 2016, 7:03 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

+

Service review:

No review provided

Product review:

Living in the USA and dealing with HF Holidays by e-mail only, I've never had a problem, my questions are answered promptly and in writing and the website is easy to navigate.
10 Oct 2016, 6:41 a.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

++

Service review:

I would have rated this holiday excellent, but it was let down by a bad meal at the bush camp, and an empty swimming pool at Vakona Lodge. Madagascars' roads are not good, and guests should be prepared for some long bumpy rides.

Product review:

The guides and drivers used by HF were excellent, enthusiastic and considerate. They worked hard to make our holiday a wonderful experience. Madagascar is a poor country, populated by many friendly people.
30 Nov 2015, 6:01 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

++

Service review:

No review provided

Product review:

The service from HF was okay .. but let down by trying to cut corners.. i.e combined booklet on all destinations limited the space for some more detailed advice that would have been helpful. Offering just one set of papers per booking is inconvenient, and mean, when people travelling together are not a "couple" .Service from local incoming agent was excellent
5 Nov 2015, 2:25 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

-

Service review:

This time we did not achieve the expected holiday content

Product review:

Would dispute the standard and comfort of the accommodation provided.
Thank you for your feedback.

I was sorry to read that you were disappointed with the standard and comfort of your accommodation. If you would like to email me at tmcnulty@hfholidays.co.uk with further details I can pass your comments through to my Worldwide Product Manager to address. We endeavour always to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible.

I do hope that we can welcome you on another HF holiday in the future.

Assuring you of our best intentions at all times.

kind regards
Toni

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
3 Nov 2015, 8:39 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

+

Service review:

The usual good standard of HF

Product review:

Saw lots of interesting places, a bit too much traveling.
2 Nov 2015, 9:14 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

HF keep us informed regarding any changes and we were contacted in advance by our tour leader with helpful information specific to our holiday.

Product review:

HF used an excellent local guide who was with our group for the whole holiday and was able to resolve any issues including obtaining medical support when required.
2 Nov 2015, 3:19 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

N/c

Product review:

N/c
1 Oct 2015, 3:37 p.m.

Service rating:

++

Product rating:

++

Service review:

Efficient , helpful and good quality overall

Product review:

Overall well organised with a few minor glitches
1 Oct 2015, 12:11 p.m.

Service rating:

+

Product rating:

+

Service review:

Mostly excellent but website is poor and information inaccurate.

Product review:

Great holiday but still room for improvement

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
3 Jun 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks + Extension 17 £2,819.00 Book Now
3 Jun 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 3 Jun 2017, 6:55 a.m.
  • Arrive: 3 Jun 2017, 11:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Antananarivo Ivato International

Flight - Return

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 18 Jun 2017, 1:45 a.m.
  • Arrive: 18 Jun 2017, 1:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Antananarivo Ivato International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
15 £2,999.00 Book Now
3 Jun 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks 14 £2,289.00 Book Now
9 Sep 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 9 Sep 2017, 6:55 a.m.
  • Arrive: 9 Sep 2017, 11:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Antananarivo Ivato International

Flight - Return

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 24 Sep 2017, 1:45 a.m.
  • Arrive: 24 Sep 2017, 1:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Antananarivo Ivato International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
15 £3,079.00 Book Now
9 Sep 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks 14 £2,359.00 Book Now
9 Sep 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks + Extension 17 £2,889.00 Book Now
7 Oct 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks 14 £2,359.00 Book Now
7 Oct 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks + Extension 17 £2,889.00 Book Now
7 Oct 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 7 Oct 2017, 6:55 a.m.
  • Arrive: 7 Oct 2017, 11:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Antananarivo Ivato International

Flight - Return

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 22 Oct 2017, 1:45 a.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Oct 2017, 1:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Antananarivo Ivato International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
15 £3,079.00 Book Now
4 Nov 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks + Extension 17 £2,889.00 Book Now
4 Nov 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks 14 £2,359.00 Book Now
4 Nov 2017 MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 4 Nov 2017, 6:55 a.m.
  • Arrive: 4 Nov 2017, 11:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Antananarivo Ivato International

Flight - Return

AIR FRANCE

  • Depart: 19 Nov 2017, 1:45 a.m.
  • Arrive: 19 Nov 2017, 1:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Antananarivo Ivato International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
15 £3,079.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £400 (2016), £340 (2017)
  • Extension to Andasibe from £530 (2017)
  • Non member associate fee: £5 per person

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