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Baobab tour with Tsingy of Bemaraha for self-drive

Self-driving in Madagascar was almost impossible until our offers. Unlike other African countries known for this, Madagascar remained untouched by this trend due to the somewhat rustic conditions and also because of the difficult traffic conditions.

It is not easy traffic conditions even now and self-driving while on vacation in Madagascar is not for beginners.

The trip is a fascinating mix of breathtaking and incredibly diverse landscapes, partly on asphalt and about half on sandy tracks of medium difficulty. A local guide is present and takes care of the guests and the vehicle.

Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo

After completing the visa formalities, you will be picked up by one of our guides or by the hotel directly at the airport. Depending on the time of arrival, either a hotel transfer and well-deserved rest is on the agenda or, time permitting, various activities are possible.
In any case, the guesthouse is always near the airport.overnight stay in the "Villa Sibyl

Day 2: Antananarivo - Antsirabe (170km paved road)

As agreed, the driver takes over the car until the chaotic city of Antananarivo is out of sight. As soon as the RN7 begins, you will have to slowly get used to the Toyota Landcruiser specially converted for dirt roads and to the local "traffic rules".
Antsirabe is the highest city in Madagascar. There is a lot to experience. If you feel like it, you can try the first slope up to the volcanic lake Tritriva, otherwise city visits are on the program.

Overnight stay in hotel "Chambres du Voyageur"

Day 3: Antsirabe - Ranomafana (250 km track and paved road)

We leave Antsirabe after breakfast and continue south until we arrive at the "Ialatsara Camp" after a winding drive. The private reserve is home to numerous rare species of lemurs, which can be discovered and observed on a game walk. This is followed by lunch and onward travel via an almost unknown shortcut that leads through highland villages to the rainforest west of Ranomafana.
A very warm bath in the local thermal bath is possible to recover from the rigors of the trip.

Overnight stay in hotel "Grenat"

Day 4: Ranomafana N.P. - Ambalavao (130km paved road)

Early in the morning the drive goes up numerous serpentines to the park entrance. In the morning hours the numerous species of lemurs are most active and the cloud forest then reveals all its magic. Breakfast is taken as a picnic and eaten at "Solitude", an impressive viewpoint in the middle of the forest.
After that, we drive through many small villages whose colors vary from red earth color to bright red with green background. The landscape is lush green, the rice fields are a mosaic of all possible shades of green in the mirror of countless ponds. The region of Fianarantsoa is intensively used for agriculture (mainly tea, wine and rice). In Fianarantsoa you will visit the photo studio of the world famous photographer Pierrot Men.
Then the drive on the well paved road goes further and further south. Huge granite rocks, increasingly barren red laterite soil and meager grasses can be seen. The landscape changes tremendously when you get up to the pass with the beautiful viewpoint. From there you can see very far down into the valley of Ambalavao, which lies peacefully between the high mountains. The drive down the valley is full of curves. Vines appear to the left and right of the road. The landscape is surrounded by a truly unique mountain scenario.

Overnight stay in hotel "Tsienimparihy Lodge"

Day 5: Ambalavao - Anja - Andringitra - Tsarasoa Camp (52km paved road and dirt road)

Today begins a real adventure: after breakfast, we first head south until we first come to a reserve founded by a village community, which is beautifully located. There hundreds of lemurs and other animals can live undisturbed. After that we have to drive about 20 kilometers on the RN7 until we reach the turnoff to the Tsaranoro Valley, one of the accesses to the Andringitra Mountains. After a 1 hour drive on a bad track we reach the Tsarasoa camp below the famous "Pic Chameleon", which lives up to its name. Here there is still enough time to do an approximately 2-hour climb to the summit or optionally to "get up close and personal" with numerous lemurs in a nearby forest area.

Dinner and overnight at Tsarasoa Camp

Day 6: Andringitra - Ranohira (185 km paved road)

Continue to the south: after crossing the gate of the south, the landscape becomes increasingly meager. We leave the highlands quickly, because the road is well developed. The area resembles a bit the African savannas. In the afternoon we arrive in the most famous national park of the island in Ranohira, Isalo National Park.

Overnight at Hotel "Chez Berny

Day 7: Isalo N.P. (22km track)

Today is the day of the discovery of the Isalo massif, its strange granite and sandstone sculptures, as well as its unique flora and fauna. The Isalo National Park covers much of the massif north of the RN7. It is made of continental sandstone from the Jurassic period, whose shapes, colors and natural sculptural formations are very different in different areas of the park. Isalo is a vast area that stretches over almost 82,000 hectares with an average altitude of 1,000 meters.
Amidst the barren and mineral landscape, there are beautiful natural pools and waterfalls surrounded by lush tropical nature. You can swim there in clear water and let your mind wander.
The duration and severity of the day hike will be tailored to the skills of the participants.

Overnight at Hotel "Chez Berny

Day 8: Ranohira - Zombitse - Sarondrano (280km of good road and piste)

After the unique landscape of the Isalo NP, savannas and desert landscapes follow as far as Tuléar, the coastal city with only a few rainy days a year. We are almost directly under the Tropic of Capricorn.
On the way we can visit a sapphire pine in Ilakaka and also see the first giant baobabs. In a village where there is no water at all, we distribute the drinking water accumulated over the journey in the empty bottles.
Before Tuléar it goes on the sandy track south through remote areas. Before you approach the headland of Sarondrano, which extends between sand dunes and mangrove forests in the turquoise-blue Lagon, it gets exciting. Between Tuléar and Saint Augustin is one of the most pleasant guesthouses I know on this island.Résidence Eden Lodge
"is still an insider tip, but this will soon get around and there are very few accommodation options.

Overnight at the hotel " Résidence Eden Lodge

Day 9: Sarondrano and surroundings

Today is a rest day, before the slopes of the west begin. But for those who need action, a variety of visits and activities are offered. Competent guides are available and the planning and logistics are taken over immediately under the best possible conditions. There are jib, pirogue, motorboat, canoe, off-road vehicles, visits to a huge reserve and even paragliding. If you just want to relax, you can enjoy the 32 ° warm sea and the unclouded sunshine.

Overnight " Résidence Eden Lodge

Day 10: Sarondrano - Tuléar - Ifaty - Ambatomila (mainly piste 160km)

After breakfast we start to Tuléar and then on the RN9 north. Visits to Ifaty are possible. The thorn forest in Reniala is especially recommended. The onward journey takes place on a sandy track to Ambatomila.

Overnight at the hotel "Shangri La

Day 11: Ambatomila - Andavadoka (track 50 km)

Sandy piste with sometimes very deep sand, turquoise lagoons, the most beautiful beaches without people as far as you can see and a fantastic forest of thorns with giant baobabs: Here live the legendary Mikea, a small ethnic group that is considered to be the indigenous people of Madagascar.

Overnight at the hotel "Manga Lodge

Day 12: Andavaoka - Manja (track 210 km)

A magnificent red laterite road, lost in the immensity of savannahs and baobab forests, small dusty villages, zebu carts: the beauty of Madagascar passes by. The first difficulty is the crossing of the Mangoky River. The ferry from Beovay crosses the wide Mangoky River, but for the first time you have to cope with the churned sand and this could happen at the Camel Trophy. After that, the ancient ferry takes you to the other bank, which takes at least 2 hours.
We continue over pretty bad roads to Manja, a small town "in the middle of nowhere", where we (have to) stay in the only hotel.

Overnight stay at Hotel Kanto

Day 13: Manja - Belo sur Mer (track 100km)

Wild and beautiful landscapes, sandy tracks surrounded by euphorbias and baobabs, termite mounds and tall grasses are typical of this dry savannah landscape. Slowly you will approach again the Mozambique Channel Baobab Raid in Madagascar. Orientation on the very narrow trails that turn in all directions would be impossible without the support vehicle - especially since there are no GPS maps. You will be in pristine landscapes, with no or almost no population. The nature is immense and wild. There are some rivers in the heart of the deep south to cross until you finally find the lagoons and the beautiful fishing villages of the Vezo tribe at the end of the world, in Belo sur Mer, our stage today.
Overnight stay at the hotel "Ecolodge du Menabe

Day 14: Belo sur Mer - Morondava (track 90km)

After a sufficient breakfast on the beach, where you can watch the outrigger pirogues of the fishermen, who earn their living on the turquoise sea, we continue on the pistes to Morondava, where we take up quarters in a nice beach hotel. Everything has to be refueled and prepared for the coming 900 km of piste.

Overnight stay at the hotel "Chez Maggie

Day 15: Morondava and surroundings

This day will be dedicated to Morondava and its surroundings. We will make an excursion to the north and visit the famous "Baobabs Amoreux", which hold each other like two lovers entwined. We will also see the unique "Allée des Baobabs", one of the most famous motifs of all Madagascar. In the afternoon we return to Morondava and have the opportunity to get to know the town and visit one of the excellent restaurants.

Overnight stay at the hotel "Chez Maggie

Day 16: Morondava - Bekopaka (road and bad track 235km)

This stage is relatively long: 235 km and at least 7 hours of driving through the territory of the Sakalava tribe.

Overnight stay in the hotel "Olympe de Bemaraha".

Day 17: Little Tsingy

A visit to Petit Tsingy and the gorge of Manambolo is on the program.
This day starts early in the morning with a visit to Manambolo Gorge by dugout canoe. There are caves to see and a famous family tomb of the mythical Vazimba tribes, who are said to have resided there in the 17th century and are considered the original inhabitants of Madagascar. In the afternoon, the leisurely exploration of the small Tsingy is on the agenda. There you can see a labyrinth of limestone and other strange mineral formations. But there also live the Sifaka lemurs, many species of birds and countless other endemic animals.

Overnight stay in the hotel "Olympe de Bemaraha".

Day 18: Great Tsingy

Early in the morning you start and the day begins with 15 km of dirt road up to the so-called big Tsingy. At least one hour drive is necessary to cover the relatively short distance and this very bad track is only passable during the dry season.
After that, hikes are planned in this fantastic landscape and, as always, they will be adapted to the abilities of our guests. To see, besides the whimsical rock formations, there are improbable rock cathedrals, waterfalls, forested gorges and, above all, a unique fauna and flora.
In the evening, local guides offer an optional night walk to see chameleons and especially the rare mouse lemurs.

Overnight stay in the hotel "Olympe de Bemaraha".

Day 19: Bekopaka - Kirindy - Baobab Avenue - Morondava (150 km paved road and dirt road)

On the way back, you can either visit Kirindy Forest, which is on the way to Morondava, or the famous Baobab Avenue at sunset.

Overnight stay at the hotel "Chez Maggie

Day 20: Morondava - Antsirabe (550 km paved road)

After a very early breakfast we will drive up the newly built "Chinese Highway" through the steppe-like landscape to Miandrivazo. Here the Mahajilo River, which is called Tsiribihina a little further on, flows by. It is one of the hottest places in Madagascar. From there we go up to the coldest and highest town, which we already explored at the beginning of the tour: Antsirabe.

Overnight stay in hotel "Chambres du Voyageur"

Day 21: Antsirabe - Antananarivo (170 km paved road)

After breakfast we drive north on the legendary "Route Nationale N° 7.
We drive along the winding road through beautiful villages across the highlands before stopping for lunch in Behenjy. The small town, situated in a green, wide valley, is famous for the duck liver specialties offered here. Animal rights activists can breathe a sigh of relief: the animals are by no means stuffed in the infamous manner, but lead a free life without coercion. The restaurant "Au Coin du Foie de Gras" is known far beyond the country's borders and offers a surprising variety of dishes.
The traffic is getting heavier: we are nearing the end of our journey. The driver takes the wheel to cross Antananarivo.

Overnight stay in the guest house of the "Villa Sibyl"

Day 22: Antananarivo and surroundings - Airport transfer

The "Lemurs Park" is particularly beautiful, in case young and old have not yet had enough of the droll animals. There are also other sights in abundance. Your tour guide will be happy to advise you!
In the evening we will take you to the airport. Usually the flight home leaves after midnight, so you will appreciate the possibility of a "day use" at the hotel and can prepare everything in peace before the flight.

Day Use in "Villa Sibyl"

Important notes:

A local and local driver will be there throughout the trip and he will retain the status of "captain on board" because he knows the roads and the conditions of the run, and he is much better at assessing situations and dangers. He has the right to take over the car if the guests drive bad or dangerous. Guests are entitled to drive with the exception of the chaotic city of Antananarivo, as long as they do not endanger other persons, themselves, the provided Toyota Landcruiser or other vehicles.
The stages are planned so that it should never happen at night.

This tour is individually adapted to the wishes and expectations of the guests and therefore there is no flat rate for it. Please inquire directly with us.

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After 10 months of total inactivity, self-employed people in the tourism industry in Madagascar are completely without income. There is no opening of the borders in sight in Madagascar and we are at the beginning of the rainy season, which is the low season, even in normal times. I have started a fundraiser for the guides and drivers I know well. From this money we will buy rice and other essentials and distribute them regularly, if possible, until the resumption of travel activities in April 2021 at the earliest. My special thanks to those who have already donated. I will start buying rice tomorrow and will begin distributing it this week.
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Or by bank transfer directly to my account to Klaus Konnerth
GLS Bank
IBAN: DE66430609674101878400
Keyword: Donation Madagascar

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I guarantee you that all donations to 100% will reach the people. Kind regards Klaus

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Thank you for thinking about donating to the poorest. Maybe you will come back here again.

I guarantee you that all donations to 100% will reach the people. Kind regards Klaus

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Do you have any questions? Simply get in touch with us! Please use the contact form on the right. We will take care of your request as soon as possible.

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