Madagascar and Mauritius – these magical names conjure up all sorts of exotic images! And, Naomi has put together a complete Peregrine and Back Track Adventures package so that you have nothing to do but explore these Jurassic worlds with their history and shipwreck-dotted coastline, perfect beaches, lagoons and reefs, and their amazing cultures.
What to expect
Travel and adventure is our way of life and this trip promises it all. We’ve put together a package that incorporates a quality Madagascar Peregrine tour with a sprinkle of Mauritius, and takes advantage of the weather, the location and incorporates your flights and accommodation! It also allows for some downtime for relaxation, sun and sand after your Madagascar tour.
We’ve tried to think of everything, so this trip includes:
- Guaranteed departure!
- Return airfares
- Quality accommodation twin share (or single room with a single supplement)
- Meals as specified on the itinerary
- A local guide for your Madagascar tour.
Costs & dates
^Although we are not expecting any price increases from our suppliers, airline prices and/or taxes could increase. These increases will be added to our quoted holiday costs.
Day 1: Perth
Today we fly Brisbane to Perth, overnighting in Perth.
Day 2: Mauritius
We’re flying to Mauritius … but it will be just a short visit and a taste of what’s to come. We’ll be back for more after we finish our Madagascar tour.
Day 3: Antananarivo
Today we transfer to Antananarivo, Madagascar, ready to join our group and explore this amazing location. You will be met on arrival at Ivato Airport and transferred to your hotel (approximately 15 minutes). There will be a Welcome Meeting this evening and insurance details and next of kin information will be collected at this meeting, so please have all these details to provide to your leader. Take some time to get acquainted with this charmingly crowded capital – with cobbled streets, wooden houses and impressive churches, ‘Tana’ has a distinctly romantic air. Wander the colonial streets of the Haute-Ville, visit the permanent Analakely street market or seek out the high quality restaurants.
Day 4: Ifaty
Take an early flight to Tuléar this morning (approximately 1 hour 40 minutes). Tuléar is the gateway to the Great Reef that stretches all along the southwest coast of Madagascar and is starting point of National Road N7, which goes all the way to Antananarivo. You will be collected on arrival at Tulear Airport and then drive to Ifaty (approximately 4 hours) with a number of interesting stops en route. First is the Be Avenir NGO, which is dedicated to helping less fortunate Malagasy people; primarily focusing on children, but also helping their families. Their important work seeks to improve the lives through better access to and quality of education surrounding health care, the environment, sports, arts, and social assistance. You will also make a stop at the Arboretum Reserve, created in the 1980s by a Swiss botanist who turned the poor soil in the area into a home for an impressive collection of more than 900 native species of plant. The Arboretum offers a condensed version of the regions plant life, and features many endangered succulent species as providing a habitat for numerous birds, reptiles, and lemurs. Tonight you will stay in beautiful sustainable accommodation just minutes from the beach. This evening there will be an easy 20-minute walk along a sandy trail to reach a private candlelit dinner at the Reniala Park, just beside the magnificent baobab trees.
Day 5: Ifaty at leisure
Today is a free day for you to explore Ifaty at leisure. The town is known for its beaches and seafood, and you can choose to do as little or as much as you’d like. Maybe choose to take a snorkelling trip, heading out on the crystal clear waters in a pirogue boat to explore the beautiful reef below; otherwise perhaps lying by the pool or on the beach is more you speed.
Day 6: Isalo National Park
Early this morning you’ll drive inland to Isalo National Park (total driving time today approximately 6 hours). Isalo National Park is known locally as the ‘Malagasy Colorado’ and is a place of contrasting landscapes. A unique combination of sandstone rocks cut by deep canyons, bush plains and rare endemic plants make this park particularly rewarding for walking. You will enjoy an afternoon walk in the National Park, when you might spot ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux’s sifakas in the lush forested entrance to the canyon. The park is also home to approximately 55 species of birds, including the endemic Benson’s rock thrush, as well as a variety of lizards and snakes. The six-kilometre hike amidst stunning rock formations will take you to Piscine Naturelle, an unbelievably clear and beautiful natural swimming pool in an oasis-like setting – a perfect place to wash of the heat and dust. Tonight you’ll stay in amazingly located accommodation, on the edge of a canyon where large sandstone rocks surround some of the buildings.
Day 7: Isalo National Park
Enjoy a full day to explore the Isalo National Park. As Madagascar is home to more than half the world’s chameleon population, there’s good chance of seeing these unique, self-camouflaging creatures along any number of walks you might take. Covering an area of 81,540 hectares, Isalo National Park makes up the entire stretch of the Isalo Massif, a spectacular mountain chain comprised of eroded sandstone. This strikingly beautiful reserve is filled with golden plains punctuated by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons, waterfalls and even tombs – the local Malagasi Bari tribe bury their dead in natural cliff caves, blocking the entrance with hundreds of stones. A perfect way to end the day is with a sundowner at the accommodation, looking out over the huge rocks as the light changes their colour.
Day 8: Tsaranoro Valley
Depart for the Tsaranoro Valley (approximately 4 hours). The plains of the valley are overlooked by huge, 800 metre high black and orange streaked granite mountains. The area is perfect for walking and attracts rock climbers from all over the world. You will make your way to tonight’s accommodation, which sits in the shadow of the dramatic mountain for which the valley is named. Tsara camp features ten permanent tents, each with privately-enclosed outdoor en suites. The beautifully atmospheric camp, lit by storm lanterns and candles, has a large, communal dining and lounge tent where you’ll enjoy hearty meals and get to experience the rich Malagasy food culture. As darkness falls, the star-filled sky will seem close enough to touch.
Day 9: Tsaranoro Valley
Today you can choose from a wide range of excursions, ranging from gentle walks to more challenging expeditions like a climb up Mount Chameleon, which offers the prize of spectacular vistas across this ancient landscape. The easy walks over rocks and up winding pathways in the shelter of the granite walls will take you into a sacred forest where you’re likely to see a number of ring-tailed lemurs. You’ll then continue on past a waterfall and some nearby villages. Here you’ll have the unique opportunity to discover the traditional Malagasy life of this isolated people who live only with the season – the sun and the rice harvest are their way of keeping time. No matter what you choose, you are sure to be rewarded with stunning views and scenery throughout the day.
Day 10: Fianarantsoa
After breakfast you will drive towards Ambalavao. On the way, stop at the community reserve of Anja, a small park and community-based project that seeks to protect the area from deforestation, being surrounded on all sides by land taken over by rice and cattle. This rocky landscape boasts a wild and semi-tamed colony of around 300 ring-tailed lemurs, along with several chameleon species and rock caves that were traditionally used as tombs by Betsileo people. After exploring the reserve, you’ll continue on a visit to the Antemoro paper factory, where beautiful paper is handmade from the havoha bush and fresh flowers. Travel on to a local vineyard and winery, the stop for lunch in a local restaurant. On the afternoon, drive north to the old town of Fianarantsoa to explore. The city has a district called Haute-Ville, with cobbled streets, churches, and views out across the town and surrounding countryside. You’ll stay here for the night.
Day 11: Ranomafana
Continue on Ranomafana National Park. Your lodge accommodation is located at the door of the park, ideal for exploring the town and the park. Ranomafana National Park is full of biodiversity, beautiful primary and secondary tropical low cloud and high plateau rainforest. The flora and fauna are among the most varied in Madagascar, with the critically endangered golden bamboo lemur making its home here along with 12 other lemur species.
Day 12: Ranomafana
Today you will explore the natural reserve of Ranomafana, one of Madagascar’s best-known and important parks. An early morning wake up will give you the best possible chance to see the local wildlife. Streams rush through precious-wood trees, palms, bamboo, orchids and carnivorous plants to join the Namorona River. In the afternoon, you will take a tour of the village and its hot springs. In Malagasy Rano means ‘water’ and mafana ‘hot’, and the town was named after the springs that were discovered here around 100 years ago. This evening there may be the possibility of a night walk inside the national park, which the chance to spot the nocturnal lemurs and frogs and, if you’re lucky, the fossas – the only endemic carnivorous mammal species of Madagascar.
Day 13: Antsirabe
Today you will travel to north to the city of Antsirabe (approximately 6 hours). You will drive along windy roads through the terraced highlands and stop in stop in Ambositra. This is the home of the Betsileo ethnic group, the third largest ethnic group of Madagascar. Located close by the Zafimaniry forest, Ambositra is most famous for its woodcraft but it’s also known for its silk production, which is very important in the Malagasy culture. The use of silk was once reserved exclusively for royalty but now everyone can wear it, though most of the time its use is reserved for the dead. When a Malagasy is buried, his body is wrapped in a large silk sheet called a ‘lambamena’. After a few years, the family traditionally goes back to the tomb and changes this silk sheet with a new one – a custom known as ‘famadihana’. Here you’ll visit some handicraft workshops, specialising in crafts as diverse as printmaking, woodcarving and marquetry. You’ll then continue on to the beautiful city of Antsirabe in the Highlands of Madagascar. Founded in the 19th century by Norwegian missionaries as a high-altitude retreat, the town was nicknamed ‘Malagasy Vichy’ for its hot springs and thermal baths. The city reflects the warmth of its people and the authenticity of its traditions still alive in the surrounding countryside. Colourful rickshaws, known as ‘pousse-pousse’, are a popular form of local transport in Antsirabe. If you have time, maybe use them to discover tree-lined avenues, mixed European-style architecture, markets and more.
Day 14: Antananarivo
After an early breakfast, you will return to the capital (approximately 3 hours) and have lunch at Lokanga Boutique Hotel, built on the site that once housed the Queen’s musicians on Royal hill and enjoying a view out across the city. After checking in to your hotel you will then enjoy an afternoon guided heritage/historical walking tour of the old city, learning about the country’s heritage and royal history at the Roval Palace complex. This tour will be led by a local historian making it an immersive and comprehensive 2.5 hours. Tonight you will a enjoy farewell Madagascar dinner as you say goodbye to your new found friends and your Madagascan adventure, before we head off to Mauritius tomorrow.
Day 15: Mauritius
Your Madagascar experience will come to an end after breakfast this morning and we are off to Mauritius! You have three days ahead of leisure to explore, swim, sunbake, shop, pamper yourself or whatever your heart desires.
You can choose to stay at:
- The RADISSON AZURI RESORT & SPA (1 hour from airport). Stay in a deluxe ocean room, including breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with unlimited soft drink, and juices, water local, liquor and beer, imported house wines from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. daily. Also included is morning tea, coffee and afternoon tea PLUS late check-out;
- The SHANDRANI RESORT & SPA, MAURITIUS (20 mins from airport). Stay in a superior room, including breakfast, lunch & dinner daily; snacks at the bar from 3pm to 5pm; drinks (in all restaurants and bars*); unlimited French champagne by the glass as from 6 p.m; Imported wines, local & imported spirits; and poolside service.
Day 16: At leisure.
Day 17: At leisure.
Day 18: At leisure.
We’re flying out and flying home! What a trip, we’ll miss you. We fly Mauritius to Perth, then Perth to Brisbane and you’re home.
Here’s just a sample of some of the highlights on the tour: