"A family adventure exploring Madagascar and all the wonderful wildlife and culture it has to offer."
Having kids doesn’t mean adventurous holidays have to stop! This incredible 2-week tour across South West Madagascar is designed to keep the whole family entertained and occupied, whilst discovering the stunning wildlife, landscapes and cultures of Madagascar. With the opportunity for animal encounters in the wild, caving in natural parks, bird watching and meeting the Malagasy people of Madagascar, this tour offers such a diverse range of exciting activities, making it an unforgettable trip that appeals to all ages and interests.
Starting in the capital city, you’ll have the chance to visit some charming local towns before heading off to discover Madagascar’s unique wildlife in national parks and reserves. The island is world-renowned for being home to unique and unusual species – all of which you’ll get the chance to see in the wild! It’s not all about the animals though – there’s a stunning volcanic lake to explore, canyons and gorges to hike across and of course a beach paradise where you can simply relax. For a combination of wildlife sightings, cultural experiences and outdoor adventure, this is the ultimate family tour of Madagascar.
The forests of Madagascar are home to a huge variety of wildlife and 90% of these creatures are found exclusively on the island. This means that threats such as deforestation pose a huge risk, as if these habitats are destroyed, the unique species will also be lost forever. To combat this danger, Pioneer Expeditions is hugely committed to conserving the rainforest and works to support reforestation efforts and since 2008, they have has planted over 500,000 trees. On top of this Pioneer Expeditions also funds a tree nursery in Italavina. If you're interested in getting more involved, you can add it to your itinerary for a visit or even spend time volunteering there.
Pioneer Expeditions supports the local community by only hiring local guides and bringing custom to local restaurants and businesses that may not always benefit from the typical tourist trails. This not only helps support the local communities economically, but also ensures that you get a truly authentic experience, as it is the locals who know the areas best.
You’ll be met at the airport and taken to Antananarivo – known as ‘Tana’ by the locals – where you can settle into your hotel.
After breakfast, meet your guide and head off to the charming town of Antsirabe, which is about 3 hours away. En route there’s the choice of two different stop-offs: either visit Ambatolampy, a hub for local craftsmen, or head to Lake Tritriva, a breathtaking volcanic lake.
Ranomafana is stunning subtropical National Park, about 4 hours drive away. There’s a stop on the way at Ambositra, where you can visit the famous woodcarving workshops. If time allows, you could even visit the reforestation project at Italavina. Once you get to the National Park, keep your eyes peeled for Lemurs, birds, lizards and frogs. In fact, there are 13 different species of lemur all in this one park!
To continue on you search for more animal sightings, head off on foot on an exciting hike through the forest (don’t worry, the track is easy) to see lots more lemurs and critters, as well as stunning waterfalls along the way.
After a cooling paddle in the Namorona river, head off to Fianarantsoa, one of the largest towns in the highlands area with a beautiful old town full of history and culture. At the local paper factory, watch a local family go through each stage of papermaking and pick up some handcrafted souvenirs. After a bite to eat, head to a beautiful town in the Central Highlands called Ambavalao. The old town is known for its beautifully carved balconies and eye-catching tiled roofs, and you’ll also come across herdsmen on the roads, giving you an authentic insight into local life.
A short distance away from Ambalavao – so short you can walk if you want! – is Anja Nature Reserve. Get a closer look at some wild animals, including lemurs that have become used to human interaction and might let you take some up-close photos. On top of this exciting animal encounter, check out the caves and explore the area, before driving to Tsarasoa, which is about 90 minutes away.
Pioneer Expeditions have worked with local agents on reforestation programs to protect the stunning wildlife in Madagascar. Tsarasoa is the main base for these reforestation efforts, and you’ll have the chance to visit and maybe even plant your own sapling (depending on the time of year). These two days will be spent exploring the area and getting to know the locals.
After a morning exploring more of Tsarasoa, head off by car to Isalo, a stunning National Park filled with deep canyons and gorges. Spend 2 days exploring the huge area (81,000 hectares), which is a special treat for birdwatchers, as its home to 55 species, including the rare Benson’s rock-thrush. Take a dip in naturally formed pools, offering the perfect cool down spot en route.
After an exciting 10 day trip, take the opportunity to wind down in Ifaty, where you can simply chill on white sandy beaches by the sea. If you fancy exploring, local fisherman can offer you a trip in their ‘pirogues’ (traditional fishing boats) or for an extra cost the hotel can arrange a trip to visit the Spiny Forest.
Transfer from Tulear back to Tana, where you have one last night to explore the city – check out the handicraft market to pick up some last-minute souvenirs. Then on the final day, there’s a transfer to the airport to take your flight home.
- The price shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly about this tour's availability, departure dates and costs
- Small group trip with a maximum of 8 people – can also be tailormade to suit.
- No single supplement
- All meals from days 2-10 and then once in Ifaty only breakfast is included due to independent activities
- Accommodation as described
- English speaking guide
- Driver and private vehicle from day 1 – day 11
- Local guides within the national parks
- All transfers
- Internal flight ticket
- All National Park entrance fees
- Any other services or activities not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator.
- Meals other than mentioned
- International flights
- Tips and personal expenses
- Alcoholic and soft drinks (water included)
- Optional tours/activities eg. Antsokoay & Spiny Forest