30 September 2016
Lemurs, baobabs, rainforest, beaches, desert, trekking and diving . . . Madagascar is a dream destination for nature and outdoor lovers – and half the fun is getting to all these incredible attractions. The world's fourth largest island is unique and five per cent of all known animal and plant species can be found here, and here alone. The remarkable fauna and flora is matched by epic landscapes of an incredible diversity as you can go from rainforest to desert in just 250 miles. Few places on earth offer such an intense kaleidoscope of nature and this highlights tour will make sure that you see the best of it.
On arrival at Antananarivo airport you will be met by one of our experienced tour representatives who will help you to complete customs and immigration formalities before driving you to your hotel in the downtown area. The island's capital city is a bustling place with activity on every corner. Here people flood the streets selling everything you can imagine – fruit, sunglasses, flowers, mobile phones, calculators, bamboo, even live animals. Go out and explore and get a feel for the place.
After breakfast at your hotel you are taken to the airport for your flight to Mandrare river camp. Madagascar Classic Camping's Mandrare River Camp has six tents and offers a luxury camping experience, with strong focus on local culture and the natural environment. Tomorrow you will be exploring the Ifotaka community forest with its population of ring-tailed lemurs but tonight a traditional group from the nearby village perform Antandroy music and dance around the camp fire before dinner.
After a breakfast of eggs, bacon, freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolate, you head for the sacred forests and ancient tombs across the river. The car trip to the Ifotoka village takes about 20 minutes and your forest guides will explain the culture of ancestor worship and show you how to use a Piletse, the traditional Antandroy slingshot. Return to camp and relax before a sumptuous lunch and in the afternoon drive to a village to experience a traditional ‘Ringa’ competition, a form of traditional wrestling. After the Ringa take a night walk looking for Mouse and Sportive lemurs then drive back to the camp for dinner.
An early start takes you to nearby Gallery forests to see the excellent Sifaka and Ring Tailed Lemur populations, as well as exotic birds. Then back to camp for a late breakfast and the rest of the morning is at leisure to go bird watching along the river or just relax in a hammock reading a book. The more energetic may like to visit a market or school. After a barbeque lunch the afternoon is spent exploring nearby spiny forests for more lemur sightings. After dinner walk to the beach with a pair of binoculars or astronomy telescope to see the stars in an area with zero light pollution.
Leave Mandrare river camp today and take a flight to the Manafiafy rainforest for your next unique Madagascar adventure. Here you will be staying in a beautiful eco-hotel where you can relax or go out and explore seeing the diverse wildlife and more exotic birds. There are plenty of organised activities to choose from if you can tear yourself away from the comfort of the hotel.
Spend today exploring the surrounding villages, forest and beaches of this gorgeous eco-hotel. You can take a trip with a guide to the local forest to search for the brown, sportive and mouse lemur, embark on a whale watching excursion, snorkel among the colourful local reefs, experience the Malagasy culture in the local village or take a boat trip to a secluded beach for a memorable picnic.
Make the most of your final morning in the rainforest before you are picked up at the hotel and driven the two and a half hours back to Fort Dauphin Airport to catch your Air Madagascar flight to Antananarivo. On arrival at the airport you will either be taken back into the city to continue your stay or helped by one of our tour representatives to catch your onward flight or begin your journey back home.
Standard fr £2218pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated