- Ride a rickshaw through the tree-lined streets of Antsirabe.
- Stop by a town known for its woodcarvings and handicraft.
- Trace the hot springs of Ranomafana to their thermal source.
- Spot endemic frogs and birds in Ranomafana National Park.
- Hike through the countryside to meet Betsileo farmers.
- Take in otherworldly canyons and springs in Isalo National Park.
- Help mangrove habitats with a village in Madagascar’s coastal southwest.
Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg
The Residence Hotel
Today you will arrive into Johannesburg and relax after your long flights. Relax and maybe enjoy a spa treatment while you unwind.
Day 2: Flight from Johannesburg to Madagascar
Today you will take an afternoon flight from Johannesburg to Madagascar. Your English-speaking driver will be awaiting you at the airport and will then transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free, with a vehicle and driver at your disposal until 6pm. Dinner is on your own to explore nearby dining option. Recommended: Restaurant of La Varangue.
Day 3: DRIVE TANA TO ANTSIRABE
Early departure for a three-hour drive to Antsirabe. Time permitting, make a stop and visit Ambatolampy, an interesting ceramic workshop where they make handmade cooking pots.
After your stop, head on to Antsirabe, a beautiful city of the highlands of Madagascar. Antsirabe is the result of mixed cultures that built the city for two centuries. The city reflects the warmth of its people and the authenticity of its traditions still alive in the surrounding countryside. Famed for its “pousse pousse,” gemstones, and handicrafts, the wide tree-lined avenues invite you to discover its workshops where people work on transforming natural materials like zebu horn (for cutlery) or wheat straw (for hats). On spot, you can organize a city tour by car or by rickshaw. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 4: ANTSIRABE to RANOMAFANA
Early departure on a five-hour drive to reach Ranomafana, which means “warm waters”, known for its hot springs. Stop in Ambositra, a small town known for its Zafimaniry woodcarvings and handicraft. The Zafimaniry people are known for the typical wooden architecture of their houses and fine ancestral woodcarving art. Their culture and lands are classified UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Arrival in Ranomafana late in the afternoon, and later visit of the thermal source. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5: RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK – FIANARANTSOA
This morning will be dedicated to explore the natural reserve of Ranomafana.We recommend waking up early for the morning walk in Ranomafana, as it is the best time for animal observation. Ranomafana National Park is full of originality and variety.
Plants, frogs, birds, and interesting cultures make up this fascinating tropical rainforest. Here you find high diversity and endemism, meaning plants and animals only found in this special spot and no where else in the world!
After lunch, drive until Fianarantsoa and check into your hotel, relax and have dinner.
Day 6: FIANARANTSOA – BETSILEO COMMUNITY
Take an easy hike in which you will discover all aspects of the Betsileo Culture, all in an exceptional setting near Fianarantsoa. It is an excellent opportunity to meet and interact with the local Betsileo people.
During your hike, you will find the Betsileo farmers, often using zebu (horned cow) dung to cover buildings, making weaving mats and hats or even preparing building bricks. The Betsileo country is also rich in traditional ceremonies that cement the social life of Betsileo society. Have lunch with a local Malagasy family in their house.
Later, head back to your hotel to relax and have dinner.
Day 7: DRIVE FIANARANTSOA
RELAIS DE LA REINE
Embark on a five-hour drive to Isalo, with stop in Ambalavao to visit the private reserve “Anja” – an interesting park for close encounters with ring-tailed lemurs and Betsileo traditional tombs.
Continue onward to Isalo, admiring views along the way. Arrive this afternoon and check in to Relais de la Reine, where you check with the hotel for fun afternoon activity ideas such as horseback riding or birdwatching, or just relax and enjoy the amenities of this beautiful lodge and its surroundings on your own.
Day 8: ISALO NATIONAL PARK
RELAIS DE LA REINE
Today is dedicated to discover the national park of Isalo. A unique combination of sandstone rocks cut by deep canyons, bush plains and rare endemic plants make this park particularly rewarding. Covering an area of 81,540 hectares, Isalo National Park comprises the entire stretch of the Isalo Massif – a spectacular mountain chain made up of eroded sandstone. This strikingly beautiful reserve is filled with golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls.
Enjoy two half-day hikes in this surreal environment. In the morning we will walk to the Canyon of Lemurs, and in the afternoon to a natural swimming pool in an oasis-like setting, punctuated by a picnic lunch in between. Return to the hotel for dinner and relaxation at the hotel.
Day 9: DRIVE ISALO – TULEAR – IFATY
After breakfast, drive till Tulear (approximately 3 hours). Tulear is the southern capital of Madagascar, known as “the white city” or “sun city.” Here you’ll find a mosaic of ethnicities and cultures under the banner of a warm sun. Along the way, you will visit the Honko Mangrove Conservation & Education Project.
After your Honko visit, drive to reach Ifaty. Ifaty is a fishing village located in the north of Tulear. Check in to your hotel and relax.
DAY 10: Depart
According to your flight schedule, you will return to Tana to be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a trip to Madagascar? Get in touch with a private travel designer!