Colours of Madagascar is the comprehensive tour of Madagascar. Explore all of the most important National Parks that the country has to offer, from the Andasibe and Ranomafana rainforests to the Isalo Massif which is the oldest geological formation in Madagascar. The tour will end in the Berenty private reserve with its’ intriguing thorny forest home to hundreds of wild lemurs.
You will also get to experience the Malagasy way of life as you pas through the country seeing the friendly and vibrant people.
- Spotting lemurs
- Relaxing in Antsirabe natural hot springs
- Hiking through Isalo National Park
- Seeing turtles, chameleons, birds and butterflies
Start your Journey
Arrival into Antananarivo
Arrival in Antananarivo from your international flight. You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps explore the city or just relax in the hotel.
Andasibe National Park
After breakfast you will leave Antananarivo to go to Andasibe passing a myriad of villages and getting acquainted with the traditional lifestyle of the Malagasy people. With pretty golden grasslands on the background, you will enjoy the amazingly abundant rice paddies, chimneyless long clay red houses and millions of roadside markets displaying a variety of handicrafts, fruit and meat. On the way, you will visit the Peyrieras farm where reptiles and chameleons are easily seen. You will arrive in Andasibe in the afternoon and get settled at the hotel.
Andasibe National Park
A whole day devoted to discovering Andasibe parks and reserves. The humid forest of Andasibe is one of the most beautiful and richest areas in terms of biodiversity. These forests are located at an altitude of 900-1,250 metres and trade winds blow permanently on its Eastern part. These parks and reserves shelter many animals which has ensured their preservation.
Here 108 species of birds can be found, some of them, like the Terpsiphone mutata, contribute to some plants’ survival. You can also see 14 species of lemurs, 51 species of Boa reptiles including the famous Boa Manditra and 84 species of amphibians. In terms of flora, they are home to creepers and epiphytes such as orchids, mosses and ferns. You can find various orchids as there are more than one hundred listed species.
Place you will visit are:
• Special Reserve of Indri-Indri: A 3-4 hour stroll to observe the biggest species of Indri-Indri lemur, some endemic species as Eulemur fulvus and Hapalemur griseus can be seen there. You can also observe a few bird species.
• VOIMMA Park: This park is run by the village community. It is here that late-night strolls are enjoyed as there are many species of nocturnal lemurs and chameleons.
• Islets of lemurs: Private reserve of Vakona Forest Lodge.
After breakfast, you will hit the road towards the Great South. Discover the typical highlands sceneries with rice paddies and traditional red clay houses. Stop in the tiny city of Ambatolampy at the foot of the Ankaratra massif (3rd highest summit of the island). Continue to Antsirabe, the thermal city.
Ranomafana National Park
In the morning, visit Antsirabe and see its history. Famous for its thermal springs, the city economically burst at the arrival of the Norwegian missionaries who developed some pastures thanks to the fresh altitude climate. The French developed a thermal complex along the Ranomafana lake, where the buildings can still be seen.
Visit the local art craft centre where semi-precious stone cutting, embroidery and traditional sweets are made. Continue to Ambositra, famous for the master woodcarvers and furniture manufacturing. The Zafimaniry Capital is a veritable work of art, with shutters and walls carved in geometric designs.
After lunch, you will drive to Ranomafana, this pleasant resort offers an open air museum sheltering various wildlife and endemic plants. Like Antsirabe, Ranomafana offers the opportunity to enjoy a thermal bath. Get settled at the hotel.
Journey to the National park of Ranomafana to enjoy a full-day visit. This park is located on a rain forested uphill that lies at an altitude of 800 to 1,200 meters. Ranomafana national park was created in 1990 after the discovery of the “golden bamboo lemur” in 1986 (its scientific name is Hapalemur Aureus). This particular and amazing species of lemur has strange eating habits and can’t be seen anywhere else. You will find:
- 115 species of birds there, thirty of which are strictly forest species
- 90 species of butterflies
- 98 species of amphibians
- Some species of fish
- 62 species of reptiles, chameleons, lizards
Journey to Fianarantsoa in the mid-afternoon.
Isalo National Park
Leave Fianarantsoa to go to Ambalavao. Enjoy the magnificent scenery of terrace-rice fields and vineyard. Stop at Anja’s Private Park, a dry forest located at the foot of an enormous granitic dome, for the discovery of the « Ring Tailed Lemur ». It is a 2h30 ride.
You will then head to Ranohira through the grassy savannah plateau of Ihorombe. You are right in the heart of the Bara territory. Here, the Zebu regulates men’s life. People refer to it as the 'Zebu civilization'.
Isalo National Park
Enjoy a whole day discovering the second largest national park of Madagascar. The massif of Isalo, the oldest geological formation of Madagascar, is made up of sandstone massif from the first Jurassic era. The animals of Isalo are typical of the climate, the vegetation and the park’s geomorphology. Most of them are endemic species, there are 77 species of birds living at Isalo as well. Among them, the Benson’s blackbird or Pseudocosyphus bensoni, an endemic species of Madagascar which is protected. There are 14 species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs, 8 of which have been introduced to Madagascar, and 7 are endemic. Reptiles, amphibians, carnivorous, insectivorous and rodents complete the list.
Drive then to the foot of the massif of Isalo to discover the park on foot. Different possible visits on the spot: the natural swimming pool, the Canyons, the Nymph waterfalls or the Namaza forest.
Depending on how you feel, it is possible to organize bicycle and horse rides. You can also enjoy the SPA of your hotel.
About 4 hours drive with stops. You head south to Toliara, a city located on a broad coastal plain, surrounded by dunes and mangroves near the Tropic of Capricorn in the Mozambique Channel. Enjoy the first glimpses of baobabs rising majestically in the middle of the savannah and the magnificent Antandroy and Mahafaly tombs. Free afternoon at the hotel in front of the sea.
Depending on the flight schedule, proceed to your transfer to the airport and flight to Fort Dauphin. You will be met and driven to the Berenty Private Reserve, located in the heart of a vast sisal plantation and owned by the De Heaulme family. Get settled at your hotel and relax for the rest of the day.
The private reserve covers an area of 240 hectares and extends along the Mandrare River. There are four lemur species that are particularly widespread, the Propithecus verreauxi or ‘Sifaka’, Lemur catta or ‘Maki’, Microcebus murinus or ‘Tsidy’ and Lepilemur leucopus or ‘Sonygika’. The Lemur fulvus rufus ‘Gidro’ species is from the region of Morondava.
The reserve also shelters turtles, chameleons, birds and butterflies. The flora includes Tamarind, Didiereacea, Euphorbiaceae and Liliaceae.
Your guide will organize your visits at your ease.
After a leisurely breakfast visit the forest and the Arambelo Museum before you drive back to Fort Dauphin.
Morning visit of the Saidi Botanical Garden which contains most of the plants found in a tropical forest including palm trees, elephant ears, orchids, tree ferns and bamboos. It has as well a small crocodile farm and the ring tailed lemur which lives within the garden.
In the afternoon transfer to the airport and flight to Antananarivo. Meet and transfer to your hotel in town.
Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a city tour (depending on departure flight schedule). Departure from the hotel to discover the town. Drive to the midtown where there are banks, government departments, the presidential palace of Ambohitsirohitra, stores and jewellers, then to the modern city or the administrative district around Lake Anosy with a stop at the flower market. Continuation of the tour in driving through Independence Avenue and drive up to the upper part of the city or the old town situated on the hill of Analamanga at 1.463m altitude. This is the area of the old bourgeoisie of the capital. Magnificent panoramic view of the city.
Day room at the hotel until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight home.
- Accommodation, meals, activities and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Domestic flights Toliara to Tôlanaro and Tôlanaro to Antananarivo in economy class
- Transfers with English speaking driver/guide (2-4 people) or French speaking driver and English speaking guide (5+ people)
- Transfers in air-conditioned transfer vehicles
- Tourism tax
- International flights
- Any meals, activities and entrance fees not specifically mentioned as included
- Optional activities
- Drinks, gratuities, extras
- Personal insurances
- Expenses of a personal nature
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