Face to face – short version

Short programm, 10 days

This popular program for a group tour has been created by Klaus Heimer, who has been living in the country for more than 20 years as photographer and journalist and also works for the Madagascar guidebook of the Reise-Knowhow serie in german language (the next edition will come out in 2024).

This tour of around 700 km in an internationally mixed group leads to the east of the country, along the Pangalanes canal, through Tamatave, Foulpointe, Fenerive Est and then from Soanierana-Ivongo by boat to the former pirate island of Sainte Marie (if the sea is not too rough), where you can see with some luck from June to September humpback whales. Then back to Tana by domestic flight. This tour includes the visit of one Nationalpark and two small reserves. Meet the local population, enjoy the knowledge of your English and German speaking guide, and many opportunities to take great pictures. You’ll also experience some culinary highlights.

The departure on the listed below dates is guaranteed if there are a minimum of two pax.

We’ll offer this tour in 2024 at the following 8 dates, in an internationally mixed group. There can also be german speaking clients in the group. If there’d be four or more English speaking persons in the group, we’ll normally add a supplementary English-speaking guide:

  • April 19. to 28. (Arrival the latest on April 20th  05AM, departure the earliest April 27th at 10PM)
  • May 10. to 19. (Arrival the latest on May 11th 05AM, departure the earliest May 18th  at 10PM)
  • May 31. to June 09. (Arrival the latest on June 1st 05AM, departure the earliest June 8th at 10PM)
  • July 12. to 21. (Arrival the latest on July 13th 05AM, departure the earliest Juli 20th at 10PM)
  • Aug. 09. to 18. (Arrival the latest on Aug. 10th 05AM, departure the earliest Aug. 17th  at 10PM)
  • Sep. 06. to Sept. 15. (Arrival the latest on Sept. 7th 05AM, departure the earliest Sept 14th at 10PM)
  • Oct. 25. to Nov. 03.
    (Arrival the latest on Oct. 26th  05AM, departure the earliest Nov. 2nd at 10PM)
  • Nov. 22. to Dec. 1.
    (Arrival the latest on Nov. 23rd 05AM, departure the earliest Nov. 30th at 10PM)

Other dates upon request.

Subject to modifications of the flights.

Depending on the chosen airline, some additional nights in Tana will be necessary; you’ll find the tariff per supplementary night here below.

Madagascar 1st day Friday:
Depending on flight arrival, meet and greet at the international airport of Antananarivo Ivato (short form for Antananarivo is “Tana”) and transfer to the hotel Belvedere in the city center or similar, overnight there.

Due to the events on some airports in the world, the safety regulations have been tightened, and only people with a valid flight ticket have access to the airport now. Don’t let your luggage out of hand. The driver will wait for you with a sign just outside of the arrival hall.

Madagascar  2nd day Saturday:
ANTANANARIVO – ANDASIBE (142 km, about 4 hours driving time, on a tared road)
Drive on the National Road No. 2 (RN 2) around 142 km to the well-known National Park Andasibe (Analamazaotra – Mantadia). On the way, stop at the private reptiles park in Marozevo where we can see chameleons and other animals close up. In the morning, we’ll buy at a supermarket in Tana already all we need for an open air picnic lunch. Check-in at the hotel Feon’ny Ala or similar. Possibility to do a nocturnal visit along the road outside of the park with a local nature guide, where with the help of flashlights you can see nocturnal lemurs (mostly Goodman mouse lemurs with maximum 50 grams, wooly lemurs and fat tail lemurs), sleeping chameleons, tree frogs, etc.. We’ll walk maximum one hour along the flat road.  Dinner possible at Mary’s guesthouse. Overnight at the Feon’ny Ala hotel or similar.

Madagascar 3rd  day Sunday:
ANDASIBE – MANAMBATO – AKANIN’NY NOFY (Akanin’ny Nofy means „Nest of dreams“, 125 km on good road, then 7 km on dirt track, then some 1,5 hours on the boat on the canal)
The around three hour long early morning walk (first a little ascent, then mostly flat) leads from around 07h30 with a local park guide through the evergreen secondary forest of the Park Analamazaotra, on the trail Indri 2. Here we can see with some luck two of the 63 families living in this area of the biggest lemur, the Indri, with its distinctive call. You can also see many birds, some reptiles (if its not too cold) and other species of lemurs (Diadem Sifakas, Brown lemurs, Bamboo lemurs etc.). Then drive on the RN2 to Brickaville, we’ll then shortly after the big railway bridge turn right and drive -then by 4WD car – on a dirt track to Manambato which is situated on the shore of lake Rasoabe. Then drive by boat along the Pangalanes canal to Akanin’ny Nofy at lake Ampitabe, where we’ll stay in the Palmarium hotel with an attached lemurs park or at the annex “Palmarium beach”. Overnight with breakfast at the Palmarium hotel or annex , electricity is produced by a generator and switched off at night.

Madagascar 4th  day Monday:
In the morning, walk of several hours in the Palmarium park to spot several species of lemurs, who’ll watch us attentively, we’ll see some from quite close up. When night falls, boat excursion to a place where you can spot the very rare and nocturnal Aye Aye lemur (Daubentonia madagascariensis) with the long middle finger, eight of them live on this well guarded island in the canal. Should the weather be good on the day before, we’ll be flexible and do this visit possibly then. Overnight with breakfast again at the Palmarium hotel or at the annex.

Madagascar 5th day Tuesday:
AKANIN’NY NOFY – TAMATAVE – FOULPOINTE (around 2,5 hours by boat, then some 60 km on the road to Foulpointe)
60 km long Motorboat transfer to Tamatave, the biggest harbour town of Madagascar, then lunch or buy a picnic lunch, and continue after by minibus to Foulpointe, a seaside resort, which is also popular among the Malagasy on weekends. We’ll discover the 1817 to 1824 built old Fort Manda with its guide Lucien, enjoy the sea and its food, walk along the beach or relax. Dinner possible at the “Friendly Fisherman” restaurant. Overnight at the Manda Beach Hotel or similar.

Madagascar 6th day Wednesday:
FOULPOINTE – SOANIERANA-IVONGO – SAINTE MARIE (around 100 km on the road with potholes, then some 1,5 to 2 hours on the ferry boat to the former pirate island)
Early breakfast at 05h30 AM, then at 6 AM departure to Soanierana-Ivongo, then do the registration formalities there and then cross the sea with the “Gasikara Be” ferry to the beautiful island of Sainte Marie. Overnight at the bungalow hotel Lakana or similar on the beach between the airport and the city of Ambodifotatra, on half board base.

Madagascar 7th day Thursday:
Free day on  Sainte Marie. We can explore the south of the island with the  Ile aux Nattes or explore the North or east by walking or bicycle or by Tuk Tuk, or do water sports or relax on the beach. The pirates cemetery is also interesting to see at low tide (communal tax around 4 €/person), it can now be reached easily. Between July and September, a whalewatching excursion can be booked through the hotel. Enjoy the nice sunset. Overnight again at the Hotel Lakana or similar.

If due to the rough sea, the ferry transfer to Sainte Marie wasn’t possible, we’ll start the drive back, and will drive until Andasibe or Moramanga (depending on hotel availability), overnight there and continue to Tana next day.

Madagascar 8th day Friday:
SAINTE MARIE – ANTANANARIVO (domestic flight, not daily)
Depending on flight schedule, transfer to the airport and flight to Tana, if there’s no last minute change with Air Madagascar / Tsaradia. Rest of the day free. Overnight at the Belvedere Hotel or similar.

If the Sainte Marie island visit wasn’t possible due to weather conditions, we’ll continue the drive back to Tana

Madagascar 9th day Saturday:
Visit the historical sites of Ambohimanga (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001). It is the sacred city of the Merina, and was once the residence of the most powerful of all Merina princes, King Andrianampoinimerina. No stranger was allowed to enter it until its conquest and final subjugation by the French in 1896. It had seven city gates, and the most powerful of them still serves as the entrance gate to the place. Next to the gate stands a huge, smoothly polished and almost circular stone slab. In earlier times, it was rolled in front of the entrance gate every evening. From the 1468-metre high “Blue Hill” – as Ambohimanga is called in translation – you have a beautiful view of Tana and the surrounding area. Then if flying with AF, day use of a room where you can relax a bit, shower and change and possibly have dinner. Then, depending on departure time, transfer to the airport for the return flight with Air France. Or if flying with ET or another airline, then an overnight stay in a hotel.

Madagascar 10th day Saturday:
Take off at about 01.25 AM or later, or, depending on the airline, transfer to the airport for your flight back home

Changes in the program reserved.

The above mentioned hotels are planned for the tour, but this is subject to modification.
Tariffs are subject to changes, especially if heavy fluctuation in exchange rate and/or fuel prices. All tours and tariffs are subject to changes in case of cancellations or overbooking of flights or trains, changes in timetable, bad weather and road conditions, strike, political troubles, problems with fuel supply, tribal and other war, closing of sites, natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods and other acts of God. Please also see our general conditions.