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1000 Views of Madagascar




Private Lodge tour through Madagascar

Minimum Group Size: 1 person
Maximum Group Size: 10 people

Contents:
Highlights
Departure Dates
Itinerary
Included in the price

Pre departure Information                    Not included in the price

Highlights

Antananarivo, Andasibe National Park, Antsirabe, Ambositra, Ranomafana National Park, Ambalavao, Isalo National Park, Ifaty.

Departure Dates 2011

Every day of the week
Please note that there are special airfares for flights from Johannesburg to Antananarivo 7 days of the week.

Included in the price

Accommodation based on BED & BREAKFAST basis in twin sharing room, all transfers and transport mentioned in the program, all entrance fees, specialist local guides in the national park as per program, all excursions mentioned in the program, an English-speaking driver (cannot advise on Flora and Fauna, and therefore will not accompany clients into parks).

Not included in the price

All excursions not mentioned in the program, bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, laundry, international flights, flight from Tulear to Tana, visas and travel insurance, all lunches, dinners, personal items. (Flights from/to Johannesburg can be arranged by Jenman African Safaris). 
Please note: If you require a specific language speaking guide to accompany you on your entire tour, please request this at time of enquiry.

This carries an additional cost. Meal Key

B – Breakfast    L – Lunch D – Dinner

Itinerary DAY 1: Antananarivo – Andasibe

Arrival in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Welcome and assistance at the airport. After a short briefing, drive to Andasibe through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way we will see Merina villages in the rocky mountains. Arrive at Andasibe around 18h00. Check-in hotel. Later this evening at approximately 19h00 we have a night walk in the area of Andasibe to observe night active lemurs and other nocturnal animals. Back to hotel where we overnight.
Distance: 150 km
Accommodation: Grace Lodge or Feon’ny Ala (bungalows with en-suite bathrooms, verandah overlooking the forest)

DAY 2: Natural Reserve of Andasibe                                                          B

A morning visit to the Special Reserve of Andasibe, to see the Indri Indri, the largest lemurs on the island. This 810 ha reserve is unique with its endemic fauna and flora. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. After the visit we walk through the orchid park to admire all the nice flowers. In the afternoon, we visit Andasibe village, a typical Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village, and the second largest tribe on the island. They cultivate rice and live mainly off the forest. This small visit helps us to have contact with the local people, to see how they live and what they eat. Overnight at the same hotel.
Accommodation: Grace Lodge or Feon’ny Ala (bungalows with en-suite bathrooms, verandah overlooking the forest)

DAY 3: Andasibe – Antsirabe                                                                     B

We drive back to Tana, and head south to Antsirabe, across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields on stage. The spectacular eroded hills called ‘lavaka’ remind us of the Far East with its rice fields and green landscape with vegetables and fruit trees. A stop in Ambatolampy for a short visit of this huge agricultural city, which is also known as a source of aluminium. Arrival in Antsirabe around 17h00, or ‘the place of salt’, an elegant city well known as the centre of the beer industry and we can smell the Star Brewery as we enter the town.
Founded by the Norwegians in 1856, it is the only place which really feels and looks like a European city. It has a temperate climate and all fruits and vegetable, which grow in cold climates, are found in Antsirabe.
Distance: 309 km
Accommodation: Chambres du Voyageur (rooms with e-suite bathrooms)

DAY 4: Antsirabe to Ranomafana National Park                                        B

After breakfast we drive to Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry. We are still in the highland, which is characterized by its architecture: The houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colours. Further on we pass the ‘le col de tapia’, a type of tree, which resists to the bush fires of the area. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields on stage, pine forests and eucalyptus trees and rocky mountains.
We are taking a turn-off from the main road. Before we reach our destination for the day: Ranomafana National Park.
Distance: 250 km
Accommodation: Centrest, or similar (rooms with e-suite bathrooms)

DAY 5: Ranomafana National Park                                                            B

Parc National de Ranomafana (approximately 40,000ha), with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most heavily visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitudes in the park range from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest.
You will go for walks in the National Park for several hours spotting some of the lemurs, chameleons and other animals.
Accommodation: Centrest, or similar (rooms with e-suite bathrooms)

DAY 6: Fianarantsoa – Isalo                                                                        B

We leave Ranomafana using the road that entered on, and pass Fianarantsoa ‘the city where one learns good things’. It is the gate to the South and the capital of the Betsileo tribes. This is the centre of the catholic religion and most of the best schools are found here. Then we head southwards, our first stop is in Ambalavao to visit a wine industry for wine tasting, as Ambalavao is the centre of wine industry. The climate is not said to be ideal for grape vines but it is a tradition left by priests and monks, who lived in the area of Fianarantsoa. Still in Ambalavao, we visit the ‘Anteimoro Paper Factory’ a vestige of the Arabian civilisation in the island. We continue to Ihosy the capital of the Bara tribes, who are the shepherds of Zebu, and pass through the mountain chain of Andringitra, which serves as a transition between the dry south and green highlands with its famous ‘3 hillocks’ and its huge ‘archbishop's cape’. Along the way we will see afar a spectacular huge granite dome with twin rock towers called: ‘the gate of the south’, which marks the end of the highland and the beginning of the south. The other imposing one is the ‘Bishop's hat’, which is a sacred place for the local people, as it is a place where their ancestors chose a collective suicide rather than to give in to the Merina tribes. We then pass through the huge ‘Plateaux de Horombe’ where with its very deep red soil, reminds us of ‘the no man's land’. Arrive in Isalo.
Distance: 355 km
Accommodation: Isalo Ranch (rooms with e-suite bathrooms, restaurant)

DAY 7: Isalo                                                                                                B

Visit to ISALO National Park. The park covers an area of 81 540 ha comprising of the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is very spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain. Today we will walk to the ‘Natural swimming pool’. After a 10-minute drive from Ranohira village we park our car and walk about 1½ hour to reach the Natural Swimming Pool. Along the way we will see vegetation like Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum or ‘elephant's foot’, Aloe isaloensis, a native species of aloe and endemic to Isalo. We walk through the eroded mountains, which are also where Bara placed their dead before they can bring them into their real tombs. We start our climb and reach the massif, (after 20 minutes walk) where we will have a spectacular view of the huge sandstone mountains with its beautiful colours and its strange and eroded forms giving many different images like ‘the tortoise’, ‘the masks’ and ‘the crocodiles’. We see small streams of water, and rivers which are marked by lines of brilliant green, generally made up of numerous Pandanus pulcher and the delicate, slim-stemmed, feathery leaved palm Chrysalidocarpus isaloensis. Along the way, for lemur lovers, there may be sifakas, brown lemurs and ringtaild lemurs, as well as fifty-five species of birds, lizards and snakes. We finally reach the swimming pool, with its crystal clear water, which is a great reward after a long and very hot walk.
Accommodation: Isalo Ranch (rooms with e-suite bathrooms, restaurant)

DAY 8: Isalo to Ifaty                                                                                    B

After breakfast, we continue to Tuléar, the terminal of the National Road N° 7. This step brings us new scenery, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. On the way, we admire the different ‘Mahafaly tombs’ and the ‘Antandroy tombs’. After a short visit of Tuléar we drive to Ifaty, which lies about 27 km from Tuléar. Due to the bad condition of the road, it will take us about 2½ hours to reach Ifaty, and this step brings us to the driest part of the country. Situated in the deep south, the landscape is dominated by the spiny forest like the cactus, different euphorbiacea and didieracea. We will cross the dry and sandy soil where the local people battle to find drinking water. Mangrove trees line the coast alternated by Vezo villages, which earn their living from fishing. We will see many small pirogues and men who go out fishing twice a day. The children and women wait on the coast to fetch the fish and take them to Tuléar for sale.
Distance: 265 km
Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage (rooms with e-suite bathrooms)

DAY 9: Ifaty                                                                                                 B

Day at leisure. Ifaty lies in the beach; it is an ideal place for diving and snorkelling and a popular place for birdwatchers. Here you can also experience the Vezo Fishermen's life. Many excursions are possible. Visit the ‘Reserve Domergue’, a communal reserve where one will see two kinds of baobabs, spiny bush, reptiles like ‘boa madagascariensis’, ‘geckos’ and ‘chameleon parsoni’ (the largest one). Take a boat trip to see the whales. From July to mid September, whales come to the cool seas off Madagascar to give birth to their young. It is a spectacular experience, and it is possible to see the whales very near to the boat. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, Ifaty is also protected by a large coral reef, which makes it an ideal place for diving and snorkelling. In the afternoon we can walk to the village of Mangily where we can visit a local school and also experience the Vezo Fishermen's way of life, especially after coming back from fishing.
Accommodation: Hotel d e la Plage (rooms with e-suite bathrooms)

DAY 10: Ifaty – Tulear – Tana                                                                      B

Early in the morning around 6h00 we transfer to the airport for the flight back to Tana. Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon free. Tana also called the ‘City of Thousands’ is the capital of Madagascar. It is the city where the first King started to unify the different kingdoms of the island. Built in stages: The high city, the first area occupied during the royal period where the old queen's palace is situated, the mid-city, where all the chic boutiques of the capital are found and then the low city, which is the commercial area of the town. Your walk can start from the high city to see the Rova, the queen's palace, the house of the first minister during these days, which is now a museum; all built by Frenchman Jean Laborde during the royal period. The mid-city, or the administration area ends at the Rainiharo tombs and the lower town is situated in the main avenue called ‘L'avenue de l'independence’ dominated by the railway station.
Distance: 20 km
Accommodation: Residence Lapasoa, or similar (rooms with en-suite bathroom, & restaurant

DAY 11: Tana                                                                                              B

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

End of Tour

Pre-departure information Contents:

Pre and Post Tour Arrangements 
Spending money
Clothing & other items
Departure   
First Aid    
Visas
Transport 
Luggage  
Gratuities
Accommodation  
Insurance

Pre and Post Tour Arrangements

Pre and post tour accommodation and transfers can be arranged on request.

Departure:

When arriving in Antananarivo in the morning of Day 1 of the tour  you will be picked up from the airport and embark on your tour. Should you arrive prior to day 1, pre tour accommodation can be arranged and you will be picked up from your hotel on the morning of day 1. (Pick up time will be confirmed on arrival).

Transport:

For 3 or less pax we use a Peugeot sedan car and for 4 or more pax we use a Mercedes Sprinter.

Accommodation:

Accommodation will be in basic Hotels. Please note that Madagascar is a country which is in its infancy when it comes to tourism. Accommodation is limited so all the above mentioned accommodation are subject to availability and we reserve the right to change these using similar accommodation of the same standards. The Hotels used are simple & clean and of basic standard, with bathrooms en-suite. Please note that there is an option for an upgrade to a higher standard of accommodation. For this option, please contact our office or speak to your travel agent.

Spending money:

Clients are advised to bring enough money to cover their  lunches and dinners, the purchase of curios and additional entertainment. Madagascars currency is the Ariary. Euros are the most practical and convenient currency to exchange into Ariary at the Airport. There are automatic teller machines (ATM’s) available in the bigger towns like Tana, Fianarantsoa and Tulear.
International credit cards and travelers cheques are very seldomly accepted.

First Aid:

Our guides are trained in basic first aid and the vehicle is equipped with a medical aid kit. Preventative Malaria medication should be taken before the trip and throughout its duration, although it is advisable to consult a doctor prior to departure.

Luggage:

Maximum baggage allowance on the plane will be 20 kg. Please bring a backpack or soft barrel bag, not a suitcase. Don't bring too much clothing, as there are washing opportunities along the way. Please adhere to the allowance specified as space for luggage is limited.

Insurance:

It is compulsory for all travellers to have insurance covering their personal requirements, medical expenses and personal possessions. This is to be arranged before leaving home country. Jenman Safaris has comprehensive public liability insurance.

Clothing and other items:

Shorts                     
Track suit                      
Walking shoes
Light trousers/jeans             
Swimming costume                  
Sandals     
T-shirts                                       
Sun hat                              
Windbreaker
Warm clothes                           
Long-sleeved shirts                     
Camera
Torch & spare batteries             
Water bottle                              
Sunglasses
UV protection                           
Mosquito protection

Visas:

A visa is required to enter the territory of Madagascar: you can get a visa at the Consulate of Madagascar in your country, or easier, upon arrival at the international airport of Madagascar. Please check if your passport is still valid (at least 6 months before expiry date). You can easily obtain a visa at the airport of Antananarivo: it costs approximately 70 € per person (subject to change) with a valid passport and return flight ticket. Please note that, to get a visa at the airport, you do not need to bring photographs.
Gratuities
If you feel you have been looked after well by your crew or guides, and you wish to show your appreciation for their services, a monetary tip is very welcomed by those in Madagascar.  Here follows some suggested guidelines:

  1. Around EUR 4 per person, per day (10,000 Ariary) for a guide or a guide/driver.
  2. Around EUR 2 (5,000 Ariary) for a park guide, depending on your satisfaction.
  3. Around 5% of the bill at a restaurant
  4. 200 Ariary per bag for a porter.

As Euro coins cannot be changed into local money in Madagascar, it is advisable to tip in Ariary.
We would ask that you please reserve your generosity for tipping for services only, and not providing free handouts to children or adults, as this encourages begging.

Information on areas visited

Contents:
Madagascar                              
Ambositra                   
Isalo National Park
Antananarivo                         
Ranomafana              
Tuléar  
Andasibe National Park 
Fianarantsoa                 
Ifaty    
Antsirabe

Madagascar

Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa. Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world. It is the home of five percent of the world's plant and animal species, 80 per cent of them unique to Madagascar. Most famous among those are the lemurs. Madagascar and Mauritania are the only countries not to use a decimal currency. Its teeming fertile forests and geographical isolation have served to preserve and propagate 'nature's design laboratory' in a mix found nowhere else on earth. Madagascar's forests are a shimmering, seething mass of a trillion stems and dripping leaves.

Antananarivo

Antananarivo, better known in the short version Tana, is the bustling capital of Madagascar with about 2,000,000 inhabitants. Situated in the high plateau, the city was founded in 1610 by a Malagasy King. To protect the newly gained territory he left 1000 men behind and that’s how Antananarivo got its name (town of 1000).
It has developed to a quite interesting city with a lot of contrasts.
Thus that Tana habits the country’s major international airport, most visitors will find themselves at least passing through the city. But you should spend some days here and explore the city, visit the market places and Roya. Roya is a palace and one of the main features of Tana. It is built on the highest hill and can be seen from for tens of kilometers in any direction.

Andasibe National Park

Parc National d'Andasibe-Mantadia with its 12,810ha encompasses two distinct areas: the small Réserve Spéciale d'Analamazaotra (often referred to as Périnet, its colonial-era name, or simply as the Indri Reserve) in the south by Andasibe; and the much larger Parc National de Mantadia to the north. The park is easily accessed from Antananarivo and is a popular stop on tourist itineraries. The Réserve d'Analamazaotra - which is where most visitors come - gets crowded on weekends, but is usually much calmer during the week. It also tends to fill up during late July and August, Madagascar’s tourist high season.
Topographically, the area is characterised by low hills covered by degraded forest and dotted with a few small, attractive lakes.
The best times to visit are from September to January, and in May.

Antsirabe

Antsirabe is a large Malagasy city with about 110 000 inhabitants. It is very lovely place with nice little shops selling typical Malagasy artifacts and handicrafts.
To explore the cities and its sights you can ask one of the many pousse-pousse drivers who will bring through the city for a fair price.
Very popular are the thermal springs and baths. They are situated next to Lac Ranomafana and are the perfect spot to relax while getting some body massages.
The countryside of Antsirabe is very beautiful as well and a rich agricultural area.
Explore the vineyards or visit the lakes west of the town to go swimming. Lac Andraikiba is a large lake and provides you many quiet areas while Lac Tritiva is smaller and busier but more scenic.

Ambositra Surrounded by scenic countryside, Ambositra is the centre of Madagascar’s woodcarving industry.  The rural style houses are built with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters.  An abundant choice of carved figures are available to purchase. Ranomafana

Ranomafana National Park was created in 1991, after the golden bamboo lemur was discovered there in 1986. Located 445 kilometres south of Antananarivo and 65 kilometres east of Fianarantsoa, this beautiful reserve protects a humid rainforest that is teeming with a vast array of wildlife. In addition to the golden bamboo lumur, other lemur species include the greater bamboo lemur, the red-bellied lemur, the grey bamboo lemur, Milne-Edwards sifaka, the red fronted brown lemur, the sportive lemur, the black-and-white ruffed lemur, the greater dwarf lemur, and the brown mouse lemur. Ranomafana also hosts the fanaloka, the eastern ring-tailed mongoose, the red forest rat, the eastern avahi, and ring-tailed mongoose. Present but hard to see are fosa and the aquatic tenrec.  
Many reptile and frog species can be found at Ranomafana, including Parson’s chameleon, Madagascar tree boa, three leaf-tailed geckos, the day gecko Phelsuma quadriocellata (common) and numerous frogs. The National Park of Ranomafana is arguably the best Malagasy rainforest for birding, hosting blue coua, red-fronted coua, Pollen’s vanga, Tylas, velvet asity, sunbird asity, pitta-like ground roller, scaly ground roller, short-legged ground roller, rufous-headed gound roller, brown mesite, Henst’s goshawk, Madagascar flufftail, slender-billed flufftail, forest rock-thrush, collared nightjar, common jery, green jery.

Fianarantsoa

Fianarantsoa (Place Where Good is Learnt) is a provincial capital and the academic and intellectual centre of Madagascar. Thanks to extensive missionary activity it is also the country’s Catholic centre.
Fianarantoa was founded in 1830 when Queen Ranavalona I decided to build an intermediate capital between Antananarivo and the remote southern provinces. It lies at the heart of one of Madagascar’s most fertile agricultural areas, and is renowned for its production of wine and tea. The city has a chilly high-country feel to it and can get quite cool in the evenings. To the west of Fianarantsoa is Mt Kianjasoa (1374m).
There are some good walks from Fianarantsoa. One easy one is leading northwest passing the Ambozontany cathedral; following the edge of the hill through villages, with pleasant views over the countryside.

Parc National de Isalo

This park was established in 1962 and covers 81,540 hectares of a wildly eroded sandstone massif. The grassy plains are surrounded by sandstone ridges sculpted into wild forms, and secluded in the rocks are many Sakalava Tombs. The Canyon des Singes ('Canyon of Monkeys') makes for an interesting day walk, and you'll have a good chance of seeing sifakas
(A common lemur) leaping through the trees.
You can also walk along the canyon to the Piscine Naturelle - a hot and thirsty walk but worth it for the breathtaking landscape along the way. The Grotte des Portugais is at the northern end of the park. The cave isn't worth seeing, but the surrounding Forêt de Sahanafa is beautiful, with natural springs and a lot of lemurs.
The Isalo is about 400km south-west of Tana, and the nearest town is Ranohira.

Toliara (Tuléar)

Toliara, which came into existence in 1895 and is also known as Tuléar, is Madagascar’s most recently established provincial capital. It is a regionally significant port and southwestern Madagascar’s major town.
Most commerce in the area is controlled by Indo-Pakistani traders who bore the brunt of Malagasy violence in 1987 rioting. On one street, a Chinese store escaped untouched to continue business while the Indian premises on either side, along with most of the central area, were gutted.
Apart from several interesting churches, most of Toliar’s remaining buildings are fairly nondescript, as is its setting against a backdrop of mangroves and mudflats. The surrounding area, however, offers numerous attractions including good beaches, diving and snorkelling, surfing, kite surfing and wild surfing at Ifaty to the north and Anakao to the south; intriguing topography; interesting flora and fauna; and remote villages. In addition to the beach at Ifaty, popular travel destinations nearby include Sarondrano, Miary, Lake Tsimanampetsotsa and the Réserve Spéciale de Beza-Mahafaly. The Tropic of Capricorn crosses Madagascar just south of Toliara.

Ifaty

In the southwest of Madagascar, 29km north of Tulear, you can find Ifaty.
It is popular for its huge variety of birds and its good possibilities to see even endemic species. But there is lot more to see. Ifaty has a fascinating flora with bloated trees and plants and spiny, drought resistant trees. Furthermore you can explore the underwater world with its magnificent offshore reefs or watch whales in season.


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