"Explore the jungle, canoe through National Parks and see lemurs in the wild in this diverse and exciting adventure across South Eastern Madagascar."
The wildlife of Madagascar is so impressive that it almost goes without saying, but it means that other attractions on the island sometimes get forgotten about on the typical tourist trail. On this 2-week tour, you’ll get the chance to see amazing animals as well as exploring other aspects of Madagascar, such as the expansive green tea plantations or getting to know the Malagasy people a little better as you canoe alongside them. With train rides, rafting, canoe trips and hikes, this tour offers a variety of ways to get a real feel for Madagascar, giving you an authentic and unique experience.
Starting in the capital city, you’ll get a taste for local life in a charming town before heading on to discover the wildlife in Lemur Forest. Days spent canoeing and rafting, as well as the opportunity to head out on a night hike means that all bases are covered for seeing nature up-close and personal. Get really wild with a night camping on the beach - an unforgettable outdoors experience – or get a little distance from the landscape as you watch it whizz past the windows on a scenic train journey. For a combination of animal encounters, cultural experiences and exciting journeys, this is the ultimate 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.
Welcome to Tana: After landing in Tana (or as a novice, you may still be calling it Antananarivo), you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel for your first night in Madagascar.
Authentic Antisrabe: After breakfast and meeting your guide, it’s time to head to Antisrabe, a charming and peaceful town. Along the way there’s a choice: either stop off at Ambatolampy where you can see the local craftsmen going about their work, or (if there’s time) visit Lake Tritriva, a stunning volcanic lake.
Lemurs on the Loose: Drive to Ambohimasoa and stay in the Lemur Forest camp, which is within a private eco-reserve. Spend the afternoon exploring the forest, which – unsurprisingly due to the name – is home to a variety of different lemurs. If you fancy a nocturnal experience, you can also go on a walk after dark to see the forest in a different light.
Tea as far as the eye can see: After another walk through the lemur forest and an early lunch, it’s time to travel to Sahambayy. Spend the afternoon visiting the tea plantations and this night will be spent in the Lac Hôtel, which has stunning views across the island’s impressive tea plantations. The scenery and the tranquil lake make for an ideal relaxation spot.
Transport Adventures: An exciting day ahead, which includes a train to Manakara and a then a canoe trip along the Faraony River. The 1st class train journey weaves through beautiful landscapes, lasting about 5 hours or so. After this, head off in canoes until reaching the beach, which will be the campsite for the night.
Water Watching: The next two days will be spent exploring the Faraony river and all the nature around it by canoe. Not only does this offer you a unique view of the surrounding wildlife, but you’ll also encounter Malagasy people along the way (and maybe a few rapids…).
Back on Solid Ground: As the rapids become stronger, it’s time to disembark the canoes and continue the journey on foot. A 12-mile hike awaits, leading you to Ranomafana National Park in time for dinner.
Jungle Exploration: Ranomafana National Park is home to a huge array of animals, including infamous Madagascan lemurs known as Sifika and rare frogs. Spend the day exploring this tropical rainforest by foot, giving you the chance to get up close to the wildlife.
Art at Ambalavao: It’s back to the water, as you spend the morning rafting down the Namorana river within the National Park. Then head off to Ambalavao, a small town in the highlands, which is renowned for its elaborately carved balconies, papermaking and lively cattle!
Animal Encounters: In the morning, head to Anja park, where wild ring-tailed lemurs have become quite accustomed to visitors and will let you get up close for great photo opportunities! The next stop is the Tsaranoro Valley, where you’ll sleep in a traditional bungalow at the very foot of the cliff. Spend the afternoon either hiking or simply relaxing – whichever you prefer.
Discovering the Tsaranoro Valley: Spend the day exploring the valley and meeting the locals, as well as witnessing some incredible landscapes the stunning red land and the impressive Massif of Andringitra. There’s lot of wildlife to be seen including chameleons, snakes, and lizards, as well as birds and orchids. Take the chance to visit Tsarasoa, which is the heart of Pioneer Expedition’s reforestation efforts. Depending on the time of year, you might even be able to plant your own saplings.
Home time: It’s time to leave the highlands behind you and start the long journey back to Tana, which will be tackled in two parts. On the first day, stop off in Ambositra, before travelling the final leg the next day. You’ll be back in time to catch an afternoon flight, but if you fancy some beach relaxation then you can add an extension onto the tour.
- 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 are included except for on the first and last day
- Accommodation as described
- English speaking Madagascan guide from day 2 – day 14
- Local guide within Ranomafana National Park
- Canoe team
- All transfers
- All entrance fees
- All camping and canoe equipment
- Porters for trekking (you only carry your day pack)
- International flights
- Meals other than those mentioned
- Alcoholic and soft drinks (water included)
- Personal expenses
- Sleeping bag
- Optional tours/activities in Ifaty
- Any other services or activities not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' to speak to the operator directly!
Area & Location
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