Madagascar

£7,279.00 per person

Capacity 10 guests (minimum 4 guests)

Imagine a place where almost all the flora, fauna and landscapes you see and experience are unlike anything you’ve ever encountered before. Welcome to Madagascar.

Just choose your preferred dates from the drop-down below. You can pay a 20% deposit on booking with the balance being payable 90 days before the departure date. We will send you a reminder for balance payment at least two weeks before payment is due. If you are booking within 90 days of departure, we will need full payment on booking.

Single supplement prices are available on request, please call us on 01604 961931 to discuss, or alternatively please complete the form below.

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Masoala National Park Extension

Masoala National Park Extension

Enjoy the wonders of Masoala National Park, the spectacular rainforest covered peninsula on Madagascar’s northeast coast and the backdrop for the Masoala Forest Lodge – a luxurious outpost lost in time and nature. The Lodge is the perfect place to relax, explore and connect with the natural world.

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Tour Highlights

14 nights/15 days from £7,279 per person (excluding international flights)

* option to extend to Masoala Forest Lodge for three nights.

Day 1 – Antananarivo
Your Avventura Airport Representative will meet you at Ivato International Airport to take you to the Palissandre Hôtel & Spa hotel in the upper town of Antananarivo.   The city is known locally as “Tana” and was the capital of the Merina people before the arrival of colonists from Europe.  There are strong Indonesian influences here, more so than in the rest of the country.  Antananarivo translates as, “City of the thousand” which refers to the soldiers used by the first Merina king to take power here in his conquest of the city.  Antananarivo was built from the hillsides downward into the valley, and the great Queen’s Palace or Rova dominates the skyline from on high.  Once you’ve had a chance to settle in your guide and driver will help you find a restaurant of your liking in the city centre.

Day 2 – Antananarivo – Andasibe
After an early breakfast, your guide will drive you east to the glorious rainforest park of Andasibe.  En route you will wind your way through the island’s high plateau seeing much of traditional rural life as rice fields, redbrick houses and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables line the route.  You will arrive at your second hotel, Mantadia Lodge, in time to check in and have lunch.

Andasibe Park is made up of two protected areas, the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park and is home to twelve different species of lemurs.  This afternoon you will visit the community-run Mitsinjo forest within the park to meet the largest of them, the indri lemur.  Madagascar’s relative geographical isolation has allowed myriad species of plants and animals which can’t be found anywhere else on the planet to thrive here.  Even when you don’t see the indris you may hear them, especially in the mornings when they sing to each other in the trees.  Indris spend their entire lives in the trees and have never been successfully kept alive in captivity; so, this really is the only place in the world you will ever see them.

Later you will be taken for a guided night walk through the VOI MMA community reserve to see more lemur species.  There are a host of nocturnal members of the lemur family here including mouse lemur, white-footed sportive lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur and the woolly lemur.  The reserve is home to more exotic and unique creatures including several chameleons from the two foot long Parson’s chameleon to the tiny nose-horned and Brookesia chameleons. Your guide will help you spot these and the plentiful varieties of amphibians and birds which are also unique to this island.

Day 3 – Andasibe
After breakfast, your local guide will take you deep into the Perinet Reserve in search of wildlife.  There are 25,000 animal species so far discovered on Madagascar of which three-quarters are endemic. You may find a troop of grey bamboo lemurs, common brown lemur, diademed sifaka or the black and white-ruffed lemur.  287 bird species have been recorded on Madagascar and again, 105 of those are unique to the island with a handful of others are shared only with the neighbouring Comoros Islands. Far too many of these are recognised as endangered or critically endangered so for some of them your visit here could quite literally be a last chance to see them in their natural habitat. Perinet is also home to a host of reptiles, invertebrates, and many of Madagascar’s more than a thousand orchid species.


After lunch, you will visit of Mitsinjo Reserve and take the reforestation trail to plant an endemic tree. Maintaining up to three tree nurseries at a time, Mitsinjo produces an annual average of 30,000 seedlings of up to 100 endemic species of rainforest trees per nursery. The reserves nurseries are among the most species-rich in the whole of Madagascar. Your guide will accompany you and give you information about climate change, reforestation and the relationship between animals and the forest in Andasibe. You day will end with a night walk through the forest where you may spot Goodman’s mouse lemur, Parson’s chameleons, Uroplatus geckos and more.

Day 4 – Andasibe (Mantadia National Park)
Today you will be driven to a different kind of habitat in Mantadia National Park in search of more lemur species in this breathtaking location including the indri, diademed sifaka, grey bamboo lemur, red-bellied lemur and whiteruffed lemur.  The trees are taller and more spread out here than at Perinet making it easier to spot some of the many colourful and unusual birds such as the scaly ground roller, the pitta-like ground roller and the breasted coua.  You will take your picnic lunch by the beautiful Rianasoa Waterfall, one of several gorgeous waterfalls in Mantadia Park, and then hike back to the vehicle to return to your lodge.

Day 5 – Antananarivo to Tsingy de Bemaraha
There is an early start this morning in preparation for driving back to Ivato International Airport’s private terminal for your short charter flight to Tsingy de Bemaraha.  You will be met at Amborondia airstrip by your Avventura Representative for a 4×4 ride to your next hotel, the Le Soleil des Tsingy.

The Tsingy de Bemeraha is a place like no other and is the only single-site UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madagascar.  Tsingy is the local word for the other-worldly limestone forest which makes this area so distinctive.  Huge areas of rock have been eroded over time both horizontally and vertically leaving countless sharp peaks, narrow sunken canyons and forests making a surreal landscape with an ecosystem all of its own. It is home to eleven kinds of lemur and more than a hundred bird species.  On top of that there are fifteen varieties of bat, twenty-two different amphibians and numerous reptiles.  This is the largest Tsingy forest on earth and some of the limestone pinnacles are more than two and a half thousand feet tall.  You will have the opportunity for a good look round this amazing location after lunch.  There are two options here for walkers, the Tantely circuit which is approximately two kilometres long and lasts about an hour or the Andadoany forest trail which is more physically demanding but certainly worth the effort to see such fine views.

Day 6 – Tsingy
After breakfast it’s time for a full day of adventure on the Grand Tsingy, the part of the park where the peaks are routinely fifty or a hundred metres high.  Walk on tiptoe over the razor-sharp roof of the Tsingy, over the high rope bridge and wind your way through scattered areas of dry deciduous forest.  Exploring this wild and unfamiliar landscape with its kaleidoscope of creatures and plants brings home precisely why Madagascar is sometimes known as the “eighth continent.”

Day 7 – Tsingy – Morondava
This morning there is a choice of fascinating excursions; you may decide to return to spend more time marvelling at the tsingy or take a trip by dugout canoe to Manambolo gorge to see the tombs of the Vazimba tribe in the cave walls above the river.  There is much debate about who the Vazimba were.  Traditionally it has been held that they were the first settlers on Madagascar, originating from Indonesia and small of stature, possibly even pygmies.  However recent genetic research has raised doubts about this and their tribal story remains shrouded in mystery.

You will be driven to the local airstrip later this morning for the brief flight by private charter to Morondava.  Morondava is in the traditional territory of the Sakalava people who are best known for their elaborately sculpted and highly decorated wooden royal tombs. The tombs are covered with images of life and fertility and play an important part in ancestor worship.   After lunch you will be taken from your hotel, Palissandre Côte Ouest, for a tour of the city Morondava including a visit to the local market and the Palais du Lambahoany, a famous and generations old cloth shop selling traditional Malagasy clothes.   A further short drive takes you to the “Allée des Baobabs” for one of the most spectacular island sunsets.  These baobab trees are what remains of the dense tropical forests which once covered much of the island and some are close to three thousand years old.

Day 8 – Morondava – Mandrare River Camp
After breakfast you will be driven back to the airport for your private charter flight to Ifatoka where your Avventura Representative will meet you to take you to the Mandrare River Camp.  Now is the time to settle into your stunning tent and take in the endlessly fascinating views over the Mandrare River.  You will be served a delicious lunch on the river terrace comprising grilled local meats and salads made from fresh Malagasy ingredients.  This evening you will go for a night walk in the Forest of Zenavo.  Here you can watch the diurnal lemurs bedding down for the night as their nocturnal cousins wake up in this atmospheric, prehistoric spiny forest. At first, you’re most likely to see sifakas and sleeping white-foot sportive lemurs.  Once the sun has gone down their place is taken by two species of mouse lemur, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and active sportive lemurs.

Day 9 – Mandrare River Camp
After breakfast you will head out to the stunning sacred gallery forest south of the camp. Depending on the depth of the river, you will walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River to reach this largely deciduous forest.  Always inquisitive groups of ring-tailed lemurs (the kind upon which King Julian is based in the Disney film, Madagascar) and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka (the hopping kind of lemur) are not to be missed.  You will return to camp for lunch and an afternoon spent relaxing by the pool.  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 Avventura Concierge will bring a local tracker to tell you about Antandroy culture and customs. Your visit is followed by sundowners on the riverbank.

Day 10 – Mandrare River Camp
After a cup of tea or coffee you will head to the Spiny Forest for an early morning walk.  Here you can watch the sunlight breaking through the succulent octopus trees.  Keep an eye out for some of the many bird species including crested coua, a variety of vangas and the running coua.  Then head back to camp for a well-deserved breakfast before visiting the local market or a nearby village to meet the Antandroy people face-to-face.  Lunch will be served at the camp followed by a relaxed afternoon watching the life of the river from your tent terrace.   In the early evening you will go for a sundowner and dinner among the baobab trees.  The sight of the sun being slowly chased from the sky by the moon across the trees to the mountains beyond is never to be forgotten.  In the evening the local village may come to perform some of their beautiful traditional dances and songs.  Your fabulous bush dinner will be served beneath a five hundred year old baobab tree.

Day 11 – Mandrare River Camp – Antananarivo
If you’re going home today you will fly back to Antananarivo by private charter.  Your Avventura representative and driver will help you get to where you need to be for your international flight home.

If you choose to extend your stay, you will fly back to Antananarivo by private charter to be met by your Avventura representative who will take you to the Relais des Plateaux which is handy for the airport.   Check-in for lunch and then take the afternoon to treat yourself to some pampering in the spa or a dip in the gorgeous swimming pool.  If you’re itching to get out into the city your concierge will be delighted to point you in the direction of the best things to see and do.  Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.

Day 12 – Antananarivo – Maroantsetra
After an early breakfast, it’s back to Ivato International Airport for your scheduled charter flight to Maroantsetra in the north-east of the island.  The Masoala Peninsula is covered in thick forest and is home to the largest remaining acreage of now protected rainforest in Madagascar.  A wealth of rare and often unique species live here, including the red-ruffed lemur which is seen only in Masoala.  You will be met on arrival at Maroantsetra Airport and taken to board your boat for the two hour voyage across Antongil Bay to Masoala Forest Lodge.  The bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is a strong possibility that on your journey you will see dolphins and even the humpbacked whales which come here to breed.  When you arrive on the wonderful sandy beach you will be given a warm welcome and shown to your thatch and canvas tree house. Once settled in, lunch will be served in the beach house.  The afternoon activities include exploring the beaches and coastal forest in the lodge area or enjoying a swim in the sea.  Later there will be a guided walk along the coastal path where you may be lucky enough to see white-fronted brown lemurs in the coastal forest.  In the evening it will be back to camp for sundowners on the beach before a sumptuous dinner in the beach house.

Day 13 – Masoala Forest Lodge
After a relaxed breakfast on the sea deck there will be a guided walk along the coast and into the primary rainforest in search of the red-ruffed lemurs, dwarf chameleons and the many other extraordinary creatures which make this place their home.  This is a fabulous spot for birders.  There have been regular sightings of several rare or endangered species including scaly and short-legged ground-rollers and vangas among the hardwoods and soaring tree ferns.  A boat will take you back to camp for lunch and a well-earned rest.  The afternoon activities could be a snorkel on the nearby coral reefs, rich in diversity, or a guided sea kayak to the look-out rock at the “Secret Cove” for the sun set, with the chance of a close encounter with a bottlenose dolphin or green turtle.

Day 14 – Masoala Forest Lodge
After another relaxed start to your day, depart on a guided walk through the coastal forest, in search of more birds and mammals. Sightings of the incredible scaly and short-legged ground-rollers are regular. Mixed species flocks can contain an incredible diversity of vangas – the islands most celebrated bird family.

After a couple of hours walk, take a welcome swim in the crystal clear pools of the Tampolo River at the foot of the forested mountains.  Return to camp on a traditional dugout canoe paddling down the shady river.  After lunch, enjoy a relaxed afternoon swimming on the private beaches or snorkelling on the coral reefs. In the evening, enjoy a guided nocturnal walk with the intriguing possibility of seeing some of the secretive nocturnal wildlife such as leaf-tailed gecko, mouse lemurs and maybe even the elusive aye-aye.

Day 15 – Masoala – Maroantsetra – Antananarivo
This morning you head back to Maroantsetra by boat in time for you scheduled charter flight back to Antananarivo.  Upon arrival, your Avventura Representative and driver will accompany you to the international terminal for your outbound flight.

Location

Accommodation

Palissandre Hôtel and Spa

The Palissandre Hôtel and Spa is the perfect spot from which to explore Antananarivo, the ancient capital of Madagascar, which was already a thriving urban centre before the arrival of European colonists. Set on a hillside the hotel overlooks the busy Avenue of Independence. Palissandre Hôtel is an elegant and comfortable place to stay, combining modern design with a traditional Malagasy welcome and care for guests.

Each of the forty-six en suite rooms showcases the local rosewood known as palissandre from which the hotel takes its name, and bright, colourful textiles making this at once an exotic and elegant place to stay. The hotel restaurant, La Table des Hautes Terres, has an outdoor terrace with spectacular views and combines traditional local cuisine with fine French à la carte menu dining, while Bar L’Amphore offers cocktails and snacks.

Mantadia Lodge

Set on the edge of the Andasibe National Park, Mantadia Lodge first opened its doors in 2018. A hundred metres up on top of a hill, the lodge enjoys wonderful panoramic views of the forest below. There are twenty-five well-equipped rooms, each with a terrace, indoor living room and reading area together with a wood-burning stove for the cooler season.

The restaurant has large picture windows making the most of the hotel’s delightful aspect and a large lunch terrace. There are two massage rooms and an infinity pool overlooking the beautiful valley below.

Le Soleil des Tsingy

The Soleil des Tsingy is a perfect haven of tranquillity set in its own nature reserve in the Tsingy de Bemeraha National Park on Madagascar’s west coast. The park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 in recognition of its remarkable and unusual geography, preserved mangrove forests and the incredibly varied range of lemurs and birds living here. At Soleil des Tsingy there are seventeen extremely generously sized bungalows with private bathroom and terrace. Each bungalow also has large picture windows from which to appreciate this romantic setting. The dramatic views of the landscape and the Manalambo River from the large infinity swimming pool must be seen to be believed, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Food at Soleil des Tsingy is served in an enchanting open-air restaurant and provides a creative mix of European and traditional Malagasy cuisines. The private park is home to more than five thousand varieties of tropical trees and plants and a thriving animal ecosystem.

Mandrare River Camp

Mandrare River Camp is a group of seven luxury tents amid a forest of tamarind trees, with stunning views over the tranquil waters of the Mandrare River and the sacred mountains beyond. The sounds of nature are broken only by the faraway singing of local tribes’ people at sunrise as they draw water from the river. This is the perfect spot to experience the animals and plant life of the spiny forest. The camp location is home to the Antandroy tribe known as the “people of the thorns”.

The furniture in each tent is carved with images of local wildlife Each tent has its own terrace with heating and lighting supplied by onsite solar power. Dining takes place around hand‐carved pallisandre tables bathed in lantern light, accompanied by the call of the birds and forest animals.

Relais des Plateaux

The Relais des Plateaux Hotel and Spa sits in a lush green area shaded by magnificent trees. Five minutes from the airport and fifteen from the city, it has all the facilities and services a traveller could expect from an international hotel.

With forty-six well-appointed rooms, this is an excellent stop-off point for the next leg of your exciting journey around this extraordinary island. The Ikambo restaurant and bar is named after the favourite bull of the nineteenth century Queen Ranavalona.

The M’Aloe fitness centre and spa offers a host of treatments, massages and therapies to suit every taste.

Masoala Forest Lodge

The idyllic seclusion and luxury which is Masoala Forest Lodge can only be approached by boat or on foot, nestles in this rainforest-covered peninsula on Madagascar’s northeast coast. The lodge has been carefully designed to be as kind to the natural environment around it as it is to its guests. There is room for only fourteen visitors guaranteeing the privacy and tranquillity in your thatch and canvas tree house this incredible location deserves.

From the comfort of the lodge you can explore the wildlife and beauty of this natural paradise with activities including forest walks, snorkelling, kayaking, traditional pirogues and experiencing sustainable life in the rainforest with the local Malagasy community.

At a Glance

Duration:
10 days / 11 nights with option to extend to the beach for 3 nights

Departure Dates:
4th November 2021.

Day 1 – Antananarivo

  • Arrive Ivato International Airport and welcomed by your Avventura Representative.
  • Private transfer to Palissandre Hôtel & Spa, a journey time of approximately fifty minutes.
  • Remainder of day at leisure.
  • Overnight Palissandre Hôtel & Spa in a Deluxe Room.
  • Meals included – Breakfast.

Day 2 – Antananarivo – Andasibe

  • After breakfast, meet your guide and depart to Andasibe, a journey time of approx. 4hrs.
  • Visit community-run Mitsinjo forest.
  • Late afternoon/early evening guided night walk through VOI MMA community reserve.
  • Overnight Mantadia Lodge in a Double Bungalow.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 3 – Andasibe

  • Explore the Perinet Reserve.
  • Take a guided trek to see and contribute to an endemic species reforestation programme.
  • Guided night walk in the Mitsinjo forest.
  • Overnight Mantadia Lodge in a Double Bungalow.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 4 – Andasibe (Mantadia National Park)

  • Full day hike exploring Mantadia National Park.
  • Picnic lunch at Rianasoa Waterfall.
  • Overnight Mantadia Lodge in a Double Bungalow.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Picnic Lunch and Dinner.

Day 5 – Antananarivo to Tsingy de Bemaraha

  • Early private transfer to Ivato International Airport’s private terminal for flight to Tsingy de Bemaraha. Flight time is approx. 1hr 20mins.
  • Upon arrival at Amborondia airstrip, you will be met and transferred to Le Soleil des Tsingy Park, your hotel for the next two nights. Journey time is approx. 90mins.
  • After lunch, you have several hiking options including the Tantely circuit (approx. 1hr, 2km) and the Andadoany Trail (approx. 4hrs, 2km).
  • Overnight Le Soleil des Tsingy in a Bungalow.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 6 – Tsingy

  • Full day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site of “Grand Tsingy.”
  • Overnight Le Soleil des Tsingy in a Bungalow.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 7 – Tsingy to Morondava

  • Choice of returning to the Petit Tsingy or visiting the Manambolo gorge by dug-out canoe to see the tombs of the Vazimba tribe from the river.
  • Late morning private transfer to the airstrip for your private charter flight to Morondava (approx. 45mins flight) where you will be met and transferred to Palissandre Côte Ouest Hotel.
  • Guided tour of Morondava.
  • Visit to the Allées des Baobabs.
  • Overnight at Palissandre Côte Ouest Hotel.
  • Meal included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 8 – Morondava to Mandrare River Camp

  • Morning private transfer to the airstrip for your private charter flight to Ifatoka (approx. 2hrs 25mins flight) where you will be met and transferred to Mandrare River Camp.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Evening night walk in the Forest of Zenavo.
  • Overnight at Mandrare River Camp in a Luxury Tent.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all drinks.

Day 9 – Mandrare River Camp

  • Morning exploring the sacred gallery forest.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Late afternoon guided walk through the Spiny Forest.
  • Sundowners by the Mandrare River.
  • Overnight at Mandrare River Camp in a Luxury Tent.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all drinks.

Day 10 – Mandrare River Camp

  • Early morning walk through the Spiny Forest.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Sundowners and bush dinner under the baobab trees.
  • Overnight at Mandrare River Camp in a Luxury Tent.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all drinks.

Day 11 – Mandrare River Camp to Antananarivo

  • After breakfast you will be transferred to Ifatoka for a private charter flight to Antananarivo (2hrs 45mins). Your Avventura Representative will help you connect to your international flight home.
  • Optional Beach Extension to Maroantsetra

Day 11 – Mandrare River Camp to Antananarivo

  • After breakfast you will be transferred to Ifatoka for a private charter flight to Antananarivo (2hrs 45mins). You will be met by an Avventura Representative and transferred to your hotel, Relais des Plateaux.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Overnight at Relais des Plateaux in a Standard Room.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 12 – Antananarivo to Maroantsetra

  • Private transfer to Ivato International Airport for a scheduled charter flight to Maroantsetra (1hr 30mins flight).
  • After being met by your Avventura Representative you will be transferred to a jetty for a two-hour voyage to Masoala Forest Lodge, your home for the next two nights.
  • Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the lodge’s facilities and services.
  • Late afternoon guided coastal walk.
  • Overnight at Masoala Forest Lodge in a Treehouse.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all drinks.

Days 13 – Masoala Forest Lodge

  • Morning guided walk along coast and into the rainforest.
  • Afternoon at leisure or optionally enjoy a guided sea kayak trip or snorkel in the nearby coral reefs.
  • Overnight at Masoala Forest Lodge in a Treehouse.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all drinks.

Day 14 – Masoala Forest Lodge

  • Morning guided walk through the forest to the Tampola River returning to camp on a traditional dugout canoe.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Guided night walk.
  • Overnight at Masoala Forest Lodge in a Treehouse.
  • Meals included – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all drinks.

Day 15 – Departure

  • Transfer by boat for your scheduled charter flight to Antananarivo. Upon arrival, your guide and driver will accompany you to the international terminal for your outbound flight.

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