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Madagascar offers unique experiences and a variety of activities whilst exploring the rainforests and beautiful surrounds

This itinerary includes a variety of activities and two lodges. Highlights include forest walks at different times to see Lemur including visits to the Forest of Zenavo, the Spiny Forest, the Sacred Valley Forest, whale watching by boat, a visit to Lac Anony to see the Greater Flamingos, explore mangroves by motorboat, village visits to name but a few of the unique experiences.

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $6405
Includes internal flights: Yes
Length of safari: 10 days
Best months: June - November
Countries visited: Madagascar Madagascar
Parks visited: Not specified
Activity level: Moderate - Game walks, Cultural visits
Safari type:
  • Cultural
  • Birding
  • Boating
This itinerary starts from Antananarivo (or Tana as the locals like to call it) and starts on a Sunday or Wednesday with your departure on a Tuesday or Friday. The combination of the two lodges offered in the itinerary works well to maximise your experience in Madagascar by offering a variety of activities. By using Mandrare River Camp and Manafiafy Beach and Forest Lodge as your base for exploring it always more time to fully experience areas and everything that they have to offer. The advantage of the scheduled charter flight is that it is more reliable than a scheduled airline flight and less time is spent travelling from one place to the next.

Day One: On arrival into Madagascar at Ivato airport youa re met English speaking guide who will accompany you to your hotel in the upper town of Antananarivo. ‘Tana’ – as the locals call it has fascinating traditional architecture and a more Indonesian influence than the rest of Madagascar. Overnight at Relais des Plateaux in luxe room (Half Board)

Day Two:  After breakfast, drive to Ivato airport for 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 is served on our river terrace. Around 5pm 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 spot Sifakas and sleeping White-foot Sportive lemurs, then once the sun has set, two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and now active Sportive lemurs. Overnight Mandrare River Camp (All Inclusive)

Day Three:  After breakfast of freshly baked croissant and pain au chocolat, fresh fruits, cereals and breads, continue 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 highlight of this excursion. Return to the Camp for lunch and a relaxed afternoon. In late afternoon, head 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 banks.Overnight Mandrare River Camp (All Inclusive)

Day Four: 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 relaxed afternoon watching life along the river from your tent terrace. At 5pm, depart for a sundowner amidst the baobabs. Watching the sun set and moon rise 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 is at the heart of Antandroy culture and is used to accompany the major rituals and events of everyday life.Overnight Mandrare River Camp (All Inclusive)

Day Five: After breakfast depart for a day trip to the stunning Lac Anony. This salt water 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 go for a swim the lake. Return to the Camp in time for dinner. Overnight Mandrare River Camp (All Inclusive)

Day Six: After a last visit to the local market or the spiny forest, take a short flight to Fort Dauphin (25 minutes) departing at 08h30 and arriving at 09h00 where you will be met by a vehicle and guide from Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge and escorted to one of the many lovely restaurants in town for lunch. In the early afternoon continue by vehicle to Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge (2 ½hrs). 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. Overnight at Manafiafy Lodge (All Inclusive)

Day Seven: 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 which the 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 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. Overnight at Manafiafy Lodge (All Inclusive)

Day Eight: Before breakfast, head for a sunrise walk in the coastal rainforest. On this walk you will see groups of red-collared lemur foraging for food as they leap through the rainforest canopy. The red-collared lemur is endemic to south-eastern Madagascar, lives in groups of up to 20 individuals and is actives largely at dawn and dusk. This is a great time for birding, some species to see are Crested Coua, Giant Coua, Hook-billed Vanga, 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 on 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. Overnight at Manafiafy Lodge (All Inclusive)

Day Nine: Before breakfast, depart for your whale watching excursion in the Lodge’s boat. Every year, large groups of humpback whales (Megaptera) make their annual migration from the Antarctic to the sheltered waters around the Sainte Luce peninsula where they calve, nurse their young and engage in their spectacular courtship ritual. From June through mid-November, Manafiafy is one of the best places to spot humpback whales in Madagascar. You will also spot pods of dolphins and occasionally Southern Right Wales. Return to the Lodge for breakfast and relax. After lunch, head to Manafiafy village. Manafiafy is a lovely Antanosy village with 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. Overnight at Manafiafy Lodge (All Inclusive)

Day Ten: After an early breakfast, drive back to Fort Dauphin (2 ½hrs), transfer to the airport for your flight back to Tana (3hrs), departing at 09h30 and arriving at 12h30. Upon arrival, meet your English speaking guide who will transfer you to Relais des Plateaux for lunch. Then head back to the airport with your guide who will assist you in checking into your outbound international flight.

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • Relais des Plateaux
  • Mandrare River Camp
  • Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge
Malagasy kingfisher
Malagasy kingfisher by Rockwood Specialist Tours
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