South and the Tsingy

(15 days/ 14 nights)

At the beginning classical southern tour, with a trip to Ranomafana and Isalo nationalparks. Then, flight to Morondava and  drive by 4wd car through the famoused Baobab Alley and on to Belo and then to Bekopaka. You can see the sharp and up to 50 m high limestones called “Tsingy”, which are a UNESCO world nature site.  The tour is unsuitable for big people and people who are afraid of heights as there are passages in the Tsingys where you have to climb through narrow gaps. Due to weather conditions possible only end of May to October.

 

1st day : EUROPE – ANTANANARIVO
Meeting at Ivato international airport and transfer to the city. Overnight at the hotel

2nd day: ANTANANARIVO – ANTSIRABE (169 km about 3 h drive)
Breakfast and continuation to Antsirabe through a landscape composed mainly of mountains and rice fields . Tour of the “Town of Water” so called because of its numerous thermal springs and the existence of two crater lakes . Visit of a workshop where they make miniatures from recycled materials. Overnight at the hotel.

3rd day: ANTSIRABE – RANOMAFANA (240 km about 5 h drive)
After breakfast, drive to Ranomafana – a national park of rainforest which is home to various species of lemurs such as the golden bamboo lemurs, brown lemurs, more than 100 species of birds, chameleons, and frogs. Stop in Ambositra for the visit of some Zafimaniry handicrafts centres: wood carving. Continuation to Ranomafana. After check-in at the hotel, night walk along the road to try to spot nocturnal species of animals, with some luck you’ll see mouse lemurs, chameleons etc.. Overnight at the hotel.

4th day : RANOMAFANA – FIANARANTSOA (85 km about 1,5 h drive)
After breakfast, visit of the some 40’000 hectares big Nationalpark with its lemurs, chameleons, spiders, frogs, varieties of orchids and medicinal plants. Only in 1986 was discovered the golden Bamboo lemurs here, and there are more than 100 species of birds. This walk takes around 3 to 4 hours, and goes mostly on trails, sometimes a bit steep up and down, and sometimes you’ll go off the paths and into the forest to spot the lemurs, it’s a bit exhausting and requires endurance and agility. After lunch, off to Fianarantsoa – the capital of the Betsileo tribe. Overnight at the hotel.

5th day : FIANARANTSOA – RANOHIRA (295 km about 5,5h drive)
Early departure to Ranohira. Stop in Ambalavao – the commercial centre of the southern Betsileo region, renowned for its folks, arts and crafts. Possibility to visit the “Antemoro Paper” factory (visit not possible on Sundays) . This paper is a delicate, handmade, flower-decorated paper made of the fibres of the tree called “Avoha”. Another stop 12km south of Ambalavao to visit the Anja park, where you can see on a walk of around two hours on a little bumpy tracks, but not steep, some families of ring-tailed Katta lemurs in their natural surroundings. Continuation to Ranohira, overnight at the hotel.

6th day : RANOHIRA
Morning trek inside the Isalo National Park to discover on a walk of around three to five hours on sometimes bumpy tracks, at some parts a bit steep, the massif of Isalo, its ruin like sandstones, canyons, endemic fauna and flora (Lemurs and endemic plants such as Pachypodium , aloes,..) and to swim in its natural pool. Back to the hotel and overnight.

7th day : RANOHIRA – TULEAR (240 km about 4 h drive)
After breakfast, off  to Tuléar along a mostly straight road. The landscape is composed of dry forests, baobabs and some proudly decorated Mahafaly tombs. Visit of the Arboretum with many species of endemic plants, Overnight at the hotel

8th day: TULEAR – ANTANANARIVO
Breakfast and transfer to the airport for flight to Antananarivo. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the city. Overnight at the hotel.

9th day: ANTANANARIVO – MORONDAVA
Transfer to the airport for flight to Morondava. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the city.
Overnight at the hotel

10th day: MORONDAVA – BELO – BEKOPAKA (200 km about 9 h drive)
Departure to Bekopaka by four wheel drive cars with a stop to the Kirindy reserve for a visit to see lemurs (dancing lemurs), tenrecs, reptiles and birds. On the way to Kirindy visit the “Baobab in love” and stop at the Baobab avenue to admire the beauty of the scenery. Before arrival at Belo, you’ll have to cross the Tsiribihina river on a local ferry. Continuation to Bekopaka. Along the way, you’ll see some baobab trees, dry forest and savannah. Shortly before arrival in Bekopaka, you and the car will have to cross another river, the Manambolo, on a local ferry. Overnight at the hotel.

11th day : BEKOPAKA
Visit of the large TSINGY, rare sharp limestone pinnacles, up to 50 m high, sheltering some species of lemurs, various species of birds and many endemic plants. This walk is sporty and exhausting, you need to be fit, It goes up and down, sometimes steep, you have to climb on some ladders, and will wear for security reasons a harness. This Tsingy of Bemaraha are on the UNESCO list of the world nature sites, and a large part of the park is not accessible for the public. . In the afternoon, optional visit of the small Tsingy with its limestone pinnacles, the Tsingy have been millions of years under water, and so you can also see some fossils enclosed in the limestone. Overnight at the hotel.

12th day: BEKOPAKA – BELO – MORONDAVA (200 km about 9 h drive)
After breakfast, you and the car will have to cross the Manambolo river on a small local ferry again. Drive to Belo, and after this small town, cross the Tsiribihina river on another local ferry boat, then continue to Morondava through the Baobab Alley again. You may want to experience the sunset there, a magic moment! Continuation to Morondava and overnight at the hotel .

13th days: MORONDAVA
Day at leisure : relax on the beach, watch the fisherman coming in from their catch, or visit the market. Overnight at the hotel.

14th day: MORONDAVA –  ANTANANARIVO
Transfer to the airport for flight to the capital. Transfer to the Hotel and overnight

15th day: ANTANANARIVO – EUROPE
Visit of the handcrafts market to buy some souvenirs. Then transfer to the airport for the flight back to Europe.

TARIFFS PER PERSON:

1 person SINGLE:  3320 Euro
2-3 people DOUBLE: 1840 Euro
4-5 people DOUBLE: 1540 Euro
6-7 people DOUBLE: 1470 Euro
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 485 Euro

Are included in the tariffs:

  • Airport transfers
  • Midrange accommodation based on bed and breakfast
  • Visit of Ranomafana and Isalo National park
  • Visit of the Kirindy reserve and the Tsingy of Bemaraha
  • park and reserve fees and local parkguides
  • Ferry transfers across the rivers
  • Road transfers Morondava – Belo – Bekopaka – Morondava in 4 wheel drive cars
  • Driver’s indemnities and Fuel
  • Visit of the handicraft market
  • tourist levy and VAT

Are excluded:

  • International flights with their airport taxes
  • Domestic flights with airport taxes Tulear – Antananarivo, Antananarivo – Morondava – Antananarivo : about 770 Euro per person without reduction, if flying long haul with MD, tariff will be reduced.
  • Visa fee (80’000 Ariary (around 23 to 27 € depending on exchange rate) for a stay up to 30 days)
  • All other drinks and meals
  • Personal expenditures
  • Personal insurance for eventualities like accidents, theft or damage to luggage, cancellation etc
Supplement for a guide from the agency 1525 Euro
Supplement for best hotels DOUBLE: 580 Euro/person
SINGLE:  955 Euro
Supplement in best hotels for Half board: 225 Euro
Full board:  425 Euro

Planned hotels for this tour (subject to availability, other hotels are possible, tariff may have to be adjusted):
Name of city / Standard hotel/ best hotel
Antananarivo /Lapasoa** / Tamboho hotel*** Sup room
Antsirabe / Chambres du voyageur** / Royal palace*** std room
Ranomafana / Centr’est** / Setam Lodge*** (Setam lodge on half board base compulsory)
Fianarantsoa / Villa Sylvestre** / Tsara Guest house*** room with king size bed
Ranohira / Isalo Ranch** / Isalo Rock Lodge**** on half board
Tulear / Victory*** /Moringa*** suite
Antananarivo /Lapasoa** / Tamboho hotel*** Sup room
Morondava / Renala au sable d’or** / Palissandre Côte Ouest****
Bekopaka / Orchidée** / Soleil des Tsingys***
Morondava / Renala au sable d’or** / Palissandre Côte Ouest****
Antananarivo /Lapasoa** / Tamboho hotel*** Sup room