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Madagascar Baobabs & Beyond


Day 1: Antananarivo

Tonga soa! Bienvenue! Welcome to Antananarivo, Madagascar's crowded but charming capital. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception or your travel agent. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you decide to arrive early, take some time to get acquainted with the city. Perhaps head to Analakey to visit the permanent street markets.

Day 2: Miandrivazo

Begin the long journey west. Maybe kick back with a book or get to know your fellow travellers during the seven-hour drive to Miandrivazo, a small city that will act as the starting point for your adventure down the Tsiribihina River. On arrival, check in to the hotel and listen to a briefing on essential information for your 2-day cruise. Head out to pick any extra supplies you may need or desire for the next few days, then get some rest in preparation for tomorrow.

Day 3: Tsirbihina River Excursion

Rise and shine for the 35 kilometre drive to Masiakampy, where you will find a traditional barge waiting to escort you along the Tsiribihina River, depending on water level the depature point may vary a little.  These flat bottom boats were once used to transport tobacco, but without that precious cargo they make a comfortable way to cruise along the water and access the remote reaches of western Madagascar. For the next few days, you’ll have the chance to spot wildlife on the banks and in the water, enjoy easy walks to hidden waterfalls and stop off in rural villages. Climb aboard and meet the crew. Then settle in and enjoy some lunch as you travel through flat farming plains and enter the dramatic gorges of the Tsiribihina, stopping in the afternoon to trek to a waterfall before returning to a large sandbank to set up camp. River camping for the next two nights is a simple wild camping experience. Sleeping mats are provided and one single blanket. As recommended in our packing list, travellers may wish to carry a sleeping bag and or sleeping sheet. These items are not available for hire.  There are no bathroom facilities, a bush toilet is the only option for the next three days, there will be limited fresh water on the boat for washing.

Day 4: Tsiribihina River Excursion

Enjoy a full day gliding along the water today, travelling into the heart of the river. Wave to the locals on the banks and barges as you pass. In the absence of roads, daily life happens along the river in this part of Madagascar. Watch out for herds of zebus crossing the river, and flashes of colour as you look for bee-eaters, herons, and egrets in this bird lovers’ paradise. Stop occasionally for a village walk or a short trek for some lemur spotting before setting up camp at a village along the shore. This evening, light a campfire and enjoy some traditional Malagasy music and dancing with some local folk.

Day 5: Bekopaka

Disembark the chaland and farewell the crew. Make a quick stop at Belo-sur-Tsiribihina, a small village, to check out the market and grab some lunch before beginning the 2.5-hour drive to Bekopaka. Arrive, check in to your hotel and settle in for the afternoon. Perhaps enjoy a swim or a shower, and rest your weary limbs. Tomorrow you’ll be taking on the Small Tsingy.

Day 6: Bekopaka / The Small Tsingy

Rise early, pick a comfortable outfit and pack some food. Today you’ll spend between four and five hours trekking through the Small Tsingy, located in Bemaraha National Park. Scramble and navigate through a labyrinth of limestone formations that resemble a forest made of rock. Stop at two lookout points along the way for photo opportunities and a chance to take in the impressive surrounds. In the afternoon, unwind with a float down the Manambolo River on a pirogue (wooden dugout canoe) under the shadow of these towering rock cliffs. Take an easy afternoon cave stroll, taking the sight of stalactites, stalagmites and the eerie tombs of the Vazimba – said to be the earliest inhabitants of Madagascar.

Day 7: Bekopaka / The Great Tsingy

Embrace another early start this morning and prepare a lunch to take with you during an action-packed trip to the Great Tsingy. Getting up early again might be a struggle, but it’s the best way to beat the heat and more intense crowds. Largely unexplored until the 1990s (the name Tsingy is very roughly translated as ‘place where one cannot walk barefoot’ in Malagasy), the area is now easier to navigate due to a series of bridges, semi-permanent climbing plugs and other equipment. Feel your heart stop as you pass over a sheer drop via suspended bridge, a truly breathtaking experience that those with vertigo may wish to skip. Animals lovers should keep an eye out for 11 species of lemurs, 100 species of birds and 45 endemic reptiles and amphibians, including the Madagascar iguana and Antsingy leaf chameleon.

Day 8: Morondava

There is a long day of travel ahead, so get that book, podcast or stimulating conversation ready to stay occupied. Cross Manambolo River and Tsiribihina River by ferry, arriving in relaxed Morondava in time for a spectacular sunset in the Avenue of the Baobabs. These cartoonish, towering trees are native to Madagascar, and the variety you’ll see lit from behind this evening are adansonia grandidieri, the tallest of them all. Watch the sky turn pink and yellow and finally cast these trees – many of which are up to 800 years old – in shadow. Spend the night in Morondava and take a well-deserved rest.

Day 9: Antsirabe

Depart this morning for Antsirabe, the capital of the Vakinankaratra region. It’s another drive that will last around eight hours, and after an orientation stroll around the city and included dinner at the hotel, it’s up to you whether you’d like to crash out or explore further. The town is fairly quiet after dark, but there are a few places to grab a nightcap if you so desire. If you’re so inclined, perhaps head to travellers favourite Le Pousse Pousse, where the booths are made from rickshaws, or ask your leader for recommendations.

Day 10: Antananarivo

Enjoy breakfast and then hit the surrounding region on a soft trek, a good way to limber up after a few long days of driving. Discover the beauty of the local lakes, including the emerald-green waters of Tritiva, an extinct crater surrounded by verdant forest. Hike through the lakes district, sitting down for a picnic-style lunch along the way. Later, continue to Antananarivo. Perhaps spend your last evening on this trip indulging in some fine Malagasy food with your fellow travellers. There’s plenty of international cuisine on offer in ‘Tana’, but why not toast to your Malagasy adventure with a Three Horses Beer and a bowl of Madagascar’s national dish, romazava (a one pot rice and meat sensation).

Day 11: Antananarivo

This adventure comes to an end today, and you’re free to depart after breakfast. If you have arranged a private transfer please confirm the time with your leader. If you are continuing your travels on our Madagascar Adventure trip, your group meeting will be at 6 pm this evening. Please refer to your trip notes for optional activities available in Antananarivo for today, or simply relax until you meet your new fellow travellers later.

#YBSO#
Start date - End date Trip Status Price
21/AUG/2019 - 31/AUG/2019 BCAU$2680
(single supplement $310)
04/SEP/2019 - 14/SEP/2019 OR LR DGAU$2680
(single supplement $310)
11/SEP/2019 - 21/SEP/2019 OR LR DGAU$2660
(single supplement $310)
18/SEP/2019 - 28/SEP/2019 OR LR DGAU$2680
(single supplement $310)
28/SEP/2019 - 08/OCT/2019 OR LR DGAU$2585
(single supplement $310)
02/OCT/2019 - 12/OCT/2019 FS DGAU$2660
(single supplement $310)
09/OCT/2019 - 19/OCT/2019 FS DGAU$2680
(single supplement $310)
06/NOV/2019 - 16/NOV/2019 FS DGAU$2440
(single supplement $310)
03/JUN/2020 - 13/JUN/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
17/JUN/2020 - 27/JUN/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
24/JUN/2020 - 04/JUL/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
08/JUL/2020 - 18/JUL/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
15/JUL/2020 - 25/JUL/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
29/JUL/2020 - 08/AUG/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
05/AUG/2020 - 15/AUG/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
19/AUG/2020 - 29/AUG/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
26/AUG/2020 - 05/SEP/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
02/SEP/2020 - 12/SEP/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
09/SEP/2020 - 19/SEP/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
16/SEP/2020 - 26/SEP/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
23/SEP/2020 - 03/OCT/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
30/SEP/2020 - 10/OCT/2020 FS DGAU$2905
(single supplement $310)
07/OCT/2020 - 17/OCT/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
14/OCT/2020 - 24/OCT/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)
21/OCT/2020 - 31/OCT/2020 FS DGAU$2795
(single supplement $310)