East Coast & Deep South - The splendor of the slopes
experience with us the Terra Incognita in Madagascar
In the context of our brand new tour with the beautiful name "The splendor of the slopes -with us the Terra Incognita in Madagascar experience" it was possible for the team of vacation on Madagascar to compile the extremely unusual tour offered here.
The first part of the trip takes you along the east coast on partly adventurous tracks with some river crossings to the hot south. This section is hardly offered on the German-speaking market in this form and is a real highlight. You cross. An adventure off the beaten track for every guest.
In the second section we will drive north from the south via the N7. The famous Route Nationale 7 connects different locations which we will show you in our own way. No matter if the barren and warm south, or the cooler highlands. You will carry this part of your journey in your heart for a long time.
Day 1 Arrival in Antananarivo
The first thing you have to do in Madagascar is the visa formalities at Ivato airport. Immediately after that the adventure Madagascar begins for you. We will welcome you in the halls of Ivato. Depending on the time of day, you will have your first activities in Tana or your first night's sleep in our Villa Sibyl on the schedule.
Overnight stay in the "Villa Sibyl“
Day 2 Antananarivo-Antsirabe
When we stop for lunch in Behenjy or Ambatolampy, the suburbs of Tana are already gone behind us and we are in the middle of the famous N7. Antsirabe, which we reach after about 170km on a well maintained road, was originally founded in the 19th century by a Norwegian missionary and can still be recognized by the way some of the buildings in the older part of the town are built. In a nice and quiet hotel you can process the first experiences of your trip and with a little luck find the first chameleons in the garden.
Overnight stay in hotel "Chambres du Voyageur“
Day 3 Antsirabe-Ranomafana
Slowly the excitement rises what will await you in the further course of your journey. Today the journey goes over a curvy but still very good road to Ranomafana, where also the national park of the same name is located. When the landscape changes to a dense rainforest with lush vegetation and the road leads through the middle of the forest, the destination of today's stage is not far away. The Ranomafana National Park opens its gates for us.
Overnight stay in hotel Grenat“
Day 4 Ranomafana N.P.-Manakara
When the morning slowly announces itself and the clouds of fog hanging over the forest are lightened by the sun as they are every morning, you see with wide eyes where you are. The Ranomafana forest is one of the last intact mountain cloud forests in the world. A fascinating atmosphere lies over the just awakening tree giants on the slopes of the forest. You will not be able to escape the fascination of this region. 12 species of lemurs, over 100 species of birds, insects, frogs, reptiles can be found. Several walks with local guides are available. We will be guided according to your wishes and your physical condition. For this you have the whole morning at your disposal.
In the afternoon, depending on how long the morning tour in the park was, we continue east. Over a strange hilly landscape near Irondro our way leads directly to the east coast. After only about 3 hours of driving we reach palm trees and the blue, endless expanse of the Indian Ocean. Manakara is the center of the spice trade of the island. Spices like cinnamon, cloves, curcuma and of course first class vanilla can be purchased and tested in an incomparable quality.
Overnight stay in hotel "La vanilla"
Day 5 Manakara-Vaingandrano-Sandravinany
On the fifth day of our trip you will literally experience what Madagascar has to offer in terms of extreme and extraordinary landscapes. The first 180km from Manakara to Vangaindrano go very well and easy, the road is here in a very good condition. From Vangaindrano, however, a real adventure begins. Over a total of four rivers we have to cross with driving, the slopes to these are partly very difficult and demand our driver and the 4×4 off-road vehicle everything what is in them. You will experience how nature and landscape change again. Not so long ago you were in a mountain cloud forest, now the landscape is much more bare and impresses with its vastness. The 4th and last ferry of the day has just taken us across the river and the dirt road winds through the infinity of rounded hilltops until we discover a sign in the middle of absolute nowhere. "Le relais du sud-est" is written on the signpost and announces that our accommodation is approaching. A Frenchman has settled here and created a small oasis directly on the Indian Ocean that welcomes us with a friendly atmosphere. Let the rest of the day dangle the soul and enjoy one of the most beautiful places of Madagascar.
Accommodation at Le relais du sud-est
Day 6 Sandravinany-Fort Dauphin
Today is again very eventful and takes us with the ferries N° 5 to 10 across another 6 rivers. The road is again much better than yesterday, partly it is currently even renewed. Also the landscape becomes clearly different to the days before. At the latest after ferry N°9 in Vatomirindy the first trees and the typical vegetation of the east coast become visible. This section captivates not only by the adventure to be expected but also with a again unique constantly changing landscape. There are about 50 km left to Tort Dauphin (Taolagnaro) and it takes about 2 hours to complete this final stretch. Before reaching the town there is the possibility to visit the Nampoina Reserve, but this visit can also take place the next day. This reserve, adapted to the typical environment, offers insights into the fauna and flora of the region.
Overnight at Lavasoa Hotel and dinner at the nearby Talinjoo Restaurant.
Day 7 Fort Dauphin-Nahampoana Reserve
A day to experience nature and the flora and fauna or just to relax once in a while. Whether you are looking for a walk through the markets, a visit to the sandy beaches or the action in Nahampoana nature reserve. We will be at your disposal and supportive. The reserve, which is only about 67 hectares in size, impresses with its diversity. The highlight of the reserve are surely the sifakas. The lemurs are more accustomed to visitors than in the wild and can be observed and photographed much better. The reserve offers everything in flora, fauna and landscapes what also the in my eyes completely overpriced Berenty Reserve shows. In the forest there are waterfalls and natural ponds, quiet and secluded picnic areas. You can also make a short trip with a pirogue through the mangroves.
Overnight at Lavasoa Hotel and dinner at the nearby Talinjoo Restaurant.
Day 8 Fort Dauphin-Lavanono
Very early in the morning we say goodbye to Fort Dauphin. The second part of the incredible trilogy of this trip begins this early morning. Because now we will get to know the real south of Madagascar, already a few kilometers after Fort Dauphin one notices clearly that here is a climatic border which makes itself recognizable by a unique transition vegetation. It was warm and it was humid, now it is dry and it is hot. Precipitation is rare in this area, so the landscape is dry and parched. After some KM we pass the Andohahela National Park but a visit is not possible in time. Later, huge sisal plantations appear along the track. In Amovombe we have the last chance to visit a bank and a gas station. We will not find any infrastructure until Lavanono. The area is deserted until Tsiombe. The labyrinth of sandy roads begins and only absolute professionals with appropriate off-road vehicles can find their way here. Huge ray turtles of the genus Astrochelys radiata appear as if from nowhere. To observe these giants among the turtles in their ancestral habitat is fascinating. We drive past the Cap Sainte Marie National Park. If time permits, the visit can take place immediately. Otherwise you can either camp there or continue to Lavanono and stay at Gigi's place. Chez Gigi is a very simple accommodation but it is far and wide the only one that still has an acceptable but still very spartan comfort to offer.
Surveillance "chez Gigi" in Lavanono
Day 9 Lavanono-Cap Sainte Marie N.P.
Today we spend the day in the area around Lavanono and in Cap Sainte Marie N.P. Not to visit it would be almost criminal. We head for the southernmost cap of Madagascar and let our gaze wander over the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean into the distance. Knowing that the next land mass is Antarctica. Here the national park Cap Sainte Marie consists of a very rugged landscape with very low vegetation, opuntias are widespread and serve as food for the many ray turtles that can be observed almost everywhere. In another not less interesting place of the N.P. we will visit a sacred grotto inhabited by bats. Various birds and reptiles can be observed again and complete the experience.
Overnight stay with Gigi in Lavanono
Day 10 Lavanono-Ambola
We now leave the vast landscapes of the southern end of our island on almost even more impossible tracks compared to the last days. In some places our Landcruiser fits only with folded rear view mirrors through the cacti. To get to Ambola where the starting point to the Tsimanampetsotsa N.P. is located, it is strongly recommended to contact a local driver. Our guide will lead you through this area without GPS, cell phone or maps. The track itself is not so demanding, but the orientation is only feasible for professionals.
Overnight stay at Vahombe Hotel
Day 11 Tsimanapetsotsa N.P
The Tsimanapetsotsa NP. will deeply impress you with its salt lake inhabited by a colony of over 3000 flamingos and the landscape belonging to it. Once again, Madagascar will surprise you with a landscape that you would not have expected. The reptiles that are found here are all endemic to the area, which means that they are only found here. It is also possible to visit a cave where fish live that have gone blind for lack of sunlight and have adapted to the extreme conditions. We also have to adapt. Drink a lot and drink again. It is just hot.
Overnight stay at Hotel Vahombe
Day 12 Ambola-Soalara-St.Augustin-Sarondrano
To reach the ferry between Soalara and Saint Augustin the tour must be planned accordingly. The ferry commutes only 3 times a week. Through picturesque fishing villages along the coast, our way leads us to the huge bay of Saint Augustin. Here the car is shipped together with us travelers on a large ferry and unloaded in less than an hour in Saint Augustin. From there it goes over the cliffs to the other side of the bay to the fantastically beautiful Eden Lodge.
Overnight stay in the "Résidence Eden Lodge"
Day 13-14 Sarondrano and surroundings
The scenery and opportunities in the area around Eden Lodge are, in my opinion, second to none in Madagascar. Outrigger pirogues, motorboat, canoe, off-road vehicle, visits to a huge protected area and even paragliding are available. No matter what activity you decide to do, reliable and knowledgeable guides are available. To relax, you can retreat and enjoy the sunshine with excellent food and 32° warm water. As a tip, a trip to the island of Nosy Ve inhabited by very rare sea birds can be advised. An unforgettable picnic in this environment awaits you.
Overnight stay "Residence Eden Lodge“
Day 15 Sarondrano- Ranohira
From Sarondrano we head north almost to Tulear, the city on the Tropic of Capricorn that has very few rainy days in the year. Now we return to the southernmost part of the N7 and this will accompany us in the next days back to Tana. On the way to Ranohira we cross the Zombitse-Vohibasia NP which is famous especially among ornithologists. Here 47% of all bird species endemic to Madagascar are found and some are even locally endemic. Also rare lemurs and reptiles can be found there. Before we reach our hotel, we will pass through areas that strongly remind us of African savannahs.
Overnight stay at the hotel "Isaalo Rock Lodge
Day 16 Ranohira - Park Anja - Ambalavao
The day will take us along the N7 to Ambalavao. Before we reach the city we will have the opportunity to visit the: "Association Anja Miray", called Anja Park for short. The hikes in this private reserve are very diverse and in any case good and sturdy shoes are required. In some places the hikes resemble full-grown climbing tours on the solitary granite rocks. The reserve is about 3 hectares small and is home to several katta families which can be observed perfectly. Rare reptiles like the dwarf chameleon Brookesia will also be shown to you by the local guides. Since the park is also home to the Betsileo, several burial caves and spiritual meeting places can be visited. A stay here is worthwhile in any case.
Overnight stay in hotel "Tsienimparihy Lodge"
Day 17 Ambalavao - Ialatsara
After breakfast, the journey continues on the well paved road further and further north. The huge granite rocks and the barren red laterite soil we leave behind us, the landscape is green and changes again tremendously.
We drive through many small villages whose colors vary from red earth color to bright red with green background. The landscape is rich green, the rice fields are a mosaic of all possible shades of green in the mirror of countless ponds created by the rice fields. We visit the photo studio of the world famous photographer Pierrot Men in Fianarantsoa and then we branch off to the east. A few hours ago the landscape was barren and without trees, beautifully slowly we sink into a tropical vegetation.
Continuation to the small reserve "Ialatsara Lemurs Forest Camp" where during the day Milne-Edward's sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi) and during the night visit in the forest mouse macaws and other nocturnal animals can be observed. The accommodations are quite spartan, the food is excellent and for a nature trip in Madagascar this stop is still a must.
Overnight stay at "Ialatsara Forest Camp
Day 18 Ialatsara - Antsirabe
This morning we head back to the highlands, the town of Ambositra itself is known for its craftsmen who specialize in carving and veneering precious wood. Several sculptor's studios and carpenter's workshops invite to visits, which are located directly at the inhabitants if someone is interested, otherwise we continue immediately in the direction of Antsirabe. On the way to the north we can visit a quite original reforestation project with orange trees.
In the afternoon we will arrive in the highest town of the country, this former spa town is located at an altitude of about 1600m.
Overnight stay in hotel "Les Chambres du Voyageur"
Day 19 Antsirabe - Antananarivo
After such a long time in nature, in the heat of the deep south and along the untouched southern east coast, we come back to the very hectic capital of Madagascar. This last stage of this extraordinary tour gives the guests a different insight than at the beginning where the same route was driven in the opposite direction. These were the first impressions of Madagascar, three weeks full of unforgettable events have been experienced since then. We return to the starting point Antananarivo of the trip.
Overnight stay in the guest house " Villa Sibyl"
Day 20 Antananarivo and surroundings
The last day of what is sure to be an unforgettable journey through landscapes and to locations that are not unique to Madagascar. You can once again visit the city of Antananarivo or one of the nearby attractions such as the Lemur Park. You can also relax in the tropical garden of the guesthouse of Villa Sybille.
Day 21 Return flight
Return flight to Europe
Prices per person:
|2 guests||A 4X4 vehicle||2990 €|
|3 guests||A 4X4 vehicle||2780 €|
|4 guests||Two 4X4 vehicles||2970 €|
|6 guests||Two 4X4 vehicles||2780 €|
|7 guests||Two 4X4 vehicles||2650€|
|8 guests||Three 4X4 vehicles||2970 €|
For the provision of a single room, a total surcharge of 590.00 euros will be charged.
20-day nature tour: The services included in the basic price
- complete planning and logistics
- English-speaking accompaniment by experienced tour guide
- Four wheel drive car including driver and fuel
- all nights in the specified hotels
- Catering concerning breakfast and dinner
- Transfers, taxes and trips specified in the program
20-day nature tour: Services not included in the basic price
- Lunch and drinks as well as other individual catering
- Tips and all personal expenses
- Entrance fees for the national parks and private parks
- additional local guides and optional leisure activities
- Airfares for international flights and domestic flights
- Taxes for flights as well as airport fees
- Travel health insurance and travel cancellation insurance
- Visa costs (currently not applicable)
It is possible to book this trip on your travel dates as an individual trip
It is also possible to book two other variants of this tour:
The splendor of the slopes - long version
The splendor of the slopes - West Coast
This tour is only feasible from mid-May to mid-November. The south and the east of Madagascar are very hot areas, the coolest months would be June to August but in the remaining months where the tour is offered it is of course also feasible without any problems.
This is an adventure trip to difficult to access and sparsely populated areas, we attach great importance to the best possible accommodations wherever possible but on this trip a few poorer accommodations have to be accepted because there are no alternatives far and wide.
Although it is not a physically demanding trip, it should be clear from the beginning that the participants should not have any serious health problems because medical care can be difficult when traveling far from the usual routes. Vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis are neither mandatory nor really necessary, but some precautions for the usual medications for tropical travel should be taken. A good physical condition is absolutely necessary, this tour is not suitable for guests with heart problems.
The climate is mostly very warm to hot but it can get very cold on the highlands in the winter months (June to August), so both light summer clothing and warmer clothing must be taken.
There are chargers and voltage converters in the car, but it is advisable to bring your own power bank or enough batteries.
For all other questions we are at your disposal
As already mentioned above, you always have the possibility to express individual suggestions or wishes on our nature tours. As far as it is possible, we will do everything to make your trip to Madagascar one of the most beautiful experiences of your life. If you have any questions about our travel package, the organization or the prices you can contact us directly under firstname.lastname@example.org. The same applies, of course, if you already have a concrete booking request. We are looking forward to meeting you!