IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE UNIQUE BIODIVERSITY OF THIS ISOLATED ISLAND
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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.
Trek through the impressive canyons and sheer sandstone cliff s that jut upwards across the Isalo National Park, and marvel at the cascading waterfalls of Andringitra National Park. Wander through gorgeous landscapes and the lush, dense rainforests of Ranomafana National Park. Nature lovers can discover the unique wildlife of one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, including iconic ring-tailed lemurs.
- 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
- 2018 - option to extend the tour to visit Andasibe National Park
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.
Palissandre Hotel & Spa, Antananarivo - 2nts
Palissandre Hotel & Spa is 4-star hotel located in the center of Antananarivo overlooking the famous Avenue of Independence. It provides the perfect base for exploring the capital.
Le Paradisier, Tulear- 1nt
Le Paradisier provides the perfect place for relaxation, located on the lagoon of Ifaty. The rooms take full advantage of the surroundings with each freestanding bungalow overlooking the ocean. Facilities also include an infinity pool, timer patio and on-site restaurant.
Relais De La Reine, Isalo National Park - 3ntsThis 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 - 2nts
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.
Ambalakely Hotel, Fianarantsoa - 2nts
Ambalakely means ‘in the small country side’ and this hotel certainly lives up to its name with its beautiful lush surroundings.
Rooms are modern, and all have private bathrooms, but are designed with comfort and quiet in mind.
Setam Lodge, Ranomafana - 2nts
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 - 2nts
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!
Au Bois Vert, Antananarivo - 1nt
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.
Extension to Andasibe National Park
You’ll stay overnight in Au Bois Vert, Antananarivo (see above), then travel to the heart of Andasibe National Park.
Vakona Forest Lodge, Andasibe - 2 nts
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 with 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.
Days 1-3: Antananarivo & Tulear
Arrival in the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo (2 nights), and transfer to our accommodation.We explore the capital and take a heritage walk in the old city of Tana followed by an afternoon exploration of Ambohimanga Rova, cradle of Malagasy monarchy. The next day we fly to Tulear, in the south of the island (1 night) for an introduction to the island’s endemic flora at the Antsokay Arboretum, before we begin our tour of the national parks.
Days 4-6: Isalo National Park
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 7-8: Andringitra National Park
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 9-10: Fianarantsoa
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: Ranomafana National Park
Days 13-14: Around Antsirabe
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: Antananarivo and return flight
Return to Antananarivo in time for our late evening flight home.
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 a minimum of 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 by cash either in Euros (€35) or US Dollars ($37). 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. Travellers Cheques 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.
Alain was born and raised near Fianarantsoa and was trained by the MNP(Madagascar National Parks) of Andasibe as a park guide. He was a waiter and a receptionist at the Buffet de la Gare restaurant in Andasibe as well, before moving to the capital Antananarivo, in 1996, where he started to work as a freelance tour guide for several tour operators.
He is now an official and accredited national tour leader and his area of expertise covers all regions of Madagascar.
He now lives in Antananarivo and has strong knowledge in wildlife, both fauna and flora. He is very active and is a taekwondo master. He has now been a freelance tour guide for more than 10 years.
Alain has been the local guide for our HF Holidays in Madagascar since we started offering holidays here, and he’s looking forward to showing you his wonderful country.
Alain is leading all departures in Madagascar in 2018
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Dates & Prices
Here at HF Holidays, we pride ourselves in offering a unique holiday full of experiences that you can’t find with anyone else. Find out what's included in this holiday.
|6 Oct 2018||
MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|6 Oct 2018||MCWHW - Madagascar's National Parks - Without Flights||14||£2,745.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- 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
Other important information
- Single room: £430 (2018)
- Extension to Andasibe from £744 (2018)
- Non member associate fee: £10 per person