The central Highlands includes the capital, Antananarivo, which is mild and temperate and stretch to the south as far as Ambalavao. Hills, extinct volcanoes and green scenery of groves, vineyards, terraced rice fields are its main features.
Antananarivo, one of the most picturesque capital with its brick houses perched on the hillsides, its stairways, and its swarming small street trades. The 12 sacred hills where Andrianampoinimerina established a wife of his to seal the unity of his kingdom, but above all, Ambohimanga has classified as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The capital of mimosa in July-August and also that of craft manufacturing of cooking-pots and baby-foot tables which is the town of Ambatolampy. The right spot for marquetry and "Savika", a traditional and very spectacular bullfighting event, starting point for excursions to the Zafimaniry land which is a really village on wood.
Village of crafts ("arindrano" fabric, antemoro paper) and second zebu market in the island. Picturesque houses with terraces of varied desings. Starting point for hiking to the massif of Andringitra, the highest accessible summit in Madagascar, hot stop for mountain climbing and paragliding. Along the RN7 where is the small reserve of Anja with its hundreds of affectionate lemurs, its caverns where yhe local people lived one century ago.
You've read a lot about the endemic fauna and flora of madagascar, and you would like to see it ? we tailor-made tours focusing on lemurs or birds, orchids or succulent plants or any other interest you might have... We work with specialized englishspeaking guides (or french and spanish on request) that will take you ona memorable journey through our so rich nature. The best of Madagascar
Arrival in Antananarivo - Meet and great at the airport, then transfer to your hotel, either the residence lapasoa or the hotel de france.
- Antananarivo / Antsirabe / Ambositra Morning walking visit of the ancient part of the capital. you'll be told a part of the story of the former antananarivo, and see some nice typical houses on your way. Then departure to antsirabe, about three hours away by car. lunch in a local restaurant, and continuation to ambositra,a small city known for its woodcarving handicraft. dinner at the typicalhotelygasy the tanamasoandro, and night at the hotel mania.
- Ambositra / Sakaivo Evaluated walking time : 4h level difference : 100m+ early departure to the zafimaniry area. Thisethnic group counts only a few members. they live in family villages spread out in the forest, and are especially known for the special architecture of their houses, with sculpted doors and windows.Our trekking starts at the antoetra village, and will take us to remote places. today we cross eucalyptus and acacia forest, till sakaivo. dinner and night camping in this village.
- Sakaivo / Ankidodo Evaluatedwalking time : 6h level difference : 200m+ today we will go from a village to another, through rice fields and pine forest. we will certainly see people building their house, or making some fancy carving,women taking care of the meals, and children playing with us, hiding them when we approach. Dinner and night camping at ankidodo.
- Ankidodo / Ambositra Evaluated walking time : 7h level difference : 200m-/250m+ today, we will cross hills and some deforested areas. Itmakes you feel all the dimension of the deforestation problem, due to the ancestral use of the forest for their house and carving, and also due to the tavy agriculture :Zafimaniry, and others ethnic groups are cultivating on burnt land nowadays, a lot of work is done by localngo in partnership with villagers to stop this practice and replant trees. Nice villages on our way, with their famous rice loft. way back in the late Afternoon to ambositra. dinner at the grand hotel restaurant, and night at the hotel mania.
- Ambositra / Fianarantsoa / Ambalavao Morning drive to fianarantsoa, the capital sister city. you'll be taken today on a short excursion going through the nice and amazing terrace rice fields, and the villages. It will be the opportunity of learning about the rice culture, talking to some rice grower. also you probably see women platting some baskets, men making some bricks, or coating their house with a cow dung mixture. Continuation by car to ambalavao (about 1h30), a small city known for its big zebu market which take place every wednesday. dinner and night at the hotel bougainville.
- Ambalavao / Andriampotsy camp site Evaluated walking time : 4h level difference : 400m+ before leaving the city, we visit the traditional antemoro paper factory. then, we leave ambalavaoto the andringitra national park, which lays out 55kms (2 hours). It is a dirt road, going through a nice landscape till the impressive andringitra massif. we will arrive at namoly, where the national park office is. then, we will walk to reach the andrianampotsy camp site, in the national park (altitude 2050m). dinner and night camping.
- Andriampotsy camp site / Pic Boby ascension/ Iantaranomby camp site Evaluated walking time : 9 hours level ifference : 600+ / 900- we will wake up at dawn and get prepared to reach the pic boby summit (2658m). This place is very sensible to the eastern humid climate, and weather can quickly change. the earliest we leave, the best weather we will have. It takes approximately 2h30 to reach the top, where from the view is just superb. if the weather is clear, you can see till the isalo national park in the south. way back to the camp for a generous breakfast. Then departure for a spectacular area named the moon landscape it is a mineral area with surprising forms and colours. Continuation to a small forest of endemic palm trees raveneaglaucae. arrival in the mid afternoon at our today's camp site at iantaranomby, by a little river where you can rest and get refreshed.
- Iantaranomby camp site /Tsaranoro valley Evaluated walking time : 6 hours level difference : 700m- after a enerous breakfast, we start our today walk downhill to the tsaranoro valley, in the south direction. Onour way, we will see different species of pachypodium and aloes (some of them endemic) we also cross different barabory illage, these people are a special ethnic group of this area, a mix of bara and betisleo people. we then go down to morarano, which is the south entrance of the national park of andringitra. The walk in this large valley is really nice, till the village of soavahiny, where we will spend the night in a tented camp lodge, the tsara camp, situated at the bottom of the impressive tsaranoro cliff (800m).
- Tsaranoro valley / Isalo national park Morning walk to the top of the chameleon hill, where from you get a nice iew of the valley. On our way, you'll cross a small protected forest, managed by the local population where catta lemurs live. also you'll walk beside a neat natural swimming pool where swimming is possible. way back to the camp for lunch. Afternoon drive to the isalo national park. accommodation at theisalo ranch or the relais de la reine.
Day 12- Isalo national park Evaluated walking time : 5 hours level difference : 400m+/- full day dedicated to the visit of this eroded mountain range offering spectacular and odd forms. This mineral world hide in its canyons a forest remaining where live lemurs (lemur catta, sifaka) and birds among which the endemic merle de roche. visit of the isalo house at the entrance of the park on our way back. It gives interesting geological informations. dinner and night at your chosen hotel.
Day 13-Isalo national park / Tulear / Antananarivo Drive to the tulear airport for your flight back to antananarivo. Transfer to your hotel, le residencelapasoa or the hotel de france.
Day 14- Antananarivo / Maroantsetra Transfer to the airport for the flight to maroantsetra, upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. free day. your guide will explain you in details your trekking on the peninsula and answer your questions in the late afternoon. night at the relais du masoala.
- Maroantsetra / Nosy mangabe Evaluated walking time : 3 hours level difference : 350m+/- early morning boat ride to the small island of nosy mangabe, in the atongil bay. Day visit of this wonderful small national park. beeing an island, this site is still very preserved, and a walk hrough the forest is especially rewarding. For example, it is probably the best place to spot the famous aye-aye (daubentaunia), this lonely and shy lemur which looks like a bat. it is also the place to meet the world smallest chameleon brookesia and many species of uroplatus. nocturnal short walk just before dinner, night camping.
- Nosy mangabe / Masoala village Boat ride to the masoala village (about 3 hours) situated in the south of thepeninsula.Installation either at our campsite or at a simple "hotelygasy", a local hotel (basic comfort, traditional houses).Participants have the opportunity to choose which accommodation they prefer.Visit of the fishermen village, where about 200 people are living in small houses mainly built with satrana, a local vegetal matter. Lunch at thevillage.In the afternoon, we go by boat to nosy behento, Close by thevillage.It is a small island very appreciated for its coral reefs and different kind of coloured fishes that can be seen. Snorkeling available. Way back to the village, dinner, and short conference to introduce you the local history, and traditions. It will help you to understand what you will see and live the next days.
- Masoala village / Ampotatra Evaluated walking time : 8 hours level difference : none after breakfast, We start ur today's walk on a trail along the coast. We walk on beautiful beaches, and cross two rivers : one walking, the Other using a traditional dugout.then walk through a secondary forest of high trees.They are natural plant stakers for vanilla, cinnamon, bot clove... This vegetal variety have been introduced in this area undercolonisation, they are not native. picnic lunch half way. Arrival atampotatra in the late afternoon. camping set up, dinner. Then discussions with your local guide about the masoala peninsula, and just to share your feelings.
- Ampotatra / Ankazofotsy Evaluated walking time : 9 hours level difference : +/- 150m breakfast and departure to the north. Our first stop is the ratranavona village, in the a humid middle altitude forest. this place gives us the opportunity to discover the daily life ofbetsimisaraka farmers. The next part of our today's walk will be quite difficult, on a muddy and slippery trail through rice fields and food crops. the difficulty is occulted by the magnificent surrounding : this deep tropical forest by the coast. then we enter the national park of masoala. on our way, we have good chances to spot the red ruffed lemur (vareciarubra). On nocturnal walks, we can see woolly lemurs (avahi laniger) and the weasel lemur (lepilemurmustelinus). dinner and night camping.
- Ankazofotsy / Marofotatra Evaluated walking time : 6 hours level difference : +/- 500m we head today to the heart of a thick primary coastal rainforest, home for endemic species of orchids, ferns, tree ferns and other medicinal herbs. Also, we will have the occasion to spot the white-fronted brown lemur (eulemuralbifrons).Msoala peninsula is the habitat for endemic birds, such as the reunion harrier, the madagascar serpent eagle, the namaqua dove, the thich-billed cuckoo, the dusky greenbul, the brown tailed lemur..The trail is going up and down all day long and is quite strenuous. picnic lunch at mid-day. arrival at our camp site by the ocean in the middle afternoon. Dinner.your guide will relate you some ancestral stories about the masoala forest.
- Marofotatra / Ambodifotatra Evaluated walking time : 6 hours level difference : +/- 100m Our itinerary today is flatter, and easier. we cross a few rivers, either walking or using a traditional dugout (depends of the tide and the river water level), and we leave slowly the masoala southern rainforest for a typicalbetsimisaraka village : ambodifotatra. Children songs coffeeflavour welcome us. we share some moments with the local population watching for example the vanilla treatment, or the hand made coffee roasting. Then installation at aroll lodge, a simple lodge apart from the village and by the ocean. it is a simple place, but we will feel like being at a 4 stars hotel in the middle of nowhere! Dinner and night at the lodge.
- Ambodifotatra Resting day at the lodge. walks around are possible, snorkelling on coral reefs is available, discover of the local culture (traditional dance and music).
- Ambodifotatra / Maroantsetra / Antananarivo / final destination way back to maroantsetra by speed boat, and ransfer to the airport for your flight back to the capital. onward flight to your final destination. end of our services. Prices per person from : 02 pers 04 pers 06 pers single suplement price / person Air madagascar flight tulear / antananarivo and antananarivo / maroantsetra / antananarivo from euros / person. Included : commodation
days 13 and 22
full board from day 2 to 12 and from day 14 to 21as mentioned / all mentioned boat and car transfers / all mentioned visits, the entrance fees to the national parks, the local guides (english or french speaking), the porters and a cook during trekking / the camping material (tents, blanket & foam mattress) Trekking Tours our trekking are a unique blend of simple moments : an early morning wake up in the soft and diffuse dawn light, the pleasant smell of a freshly brewed coffee...then comes the walk itself, across villages, forest or bush, the meeting with villagers or zebu keepers, courteous salutations and short talks. some hard time also, climbing mountains or walking on humid lands each one is a unique experience.