South Tour with Ambohitsara

( 15 days / 14 nights )


Visit Ifaty with its beautiful beach and backlands with endemic fauna and flora. Drive to Ranohira and visit of the Isalo nationalpark, then continuation and visit of the rainforest of Ranomafana with its nationalpark. Drive to the sea at the east, then by boat along the Pangalanes canal to Ambohitsara, a typical village between sea and canal, also known for its “white elephant statue”. Extension in Ambohitsara possible.

1st day: EUROPE – ANTANANARIVO
Meeting at the airport and transfert to the city. Stay overnight at the hotel.

2nd day: ANTANANARIVO – TULEAR – IFATY (27 km about 1 h drive)
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Tulear. Reception at the airport and shuttle transfer to Ifaty – a seaside resort protected by coral reefs. Night at the hotel.

3rd day: IFATY
Day free on the beach, or walk in the back land to discover endemic species, (like baobabs, octopus trees, spiny bush, jujube trees ,cactus,…) or optionally visit the Reniala reserve. Night at the hotel.

4th day: IFATY – TULEAR (27 Km about 1,5 hours-drive) – RANOHIRA (240 Km about 4 hour-drive)
After breakfast , drive back to Tulear with visit of the Arboretum with many species of endemic plants, then continue to Ranohira along a straight road. The landscape is composed of high bushes, thick gallery forests and some proudly decorated Mahafaly tombs. Overnight at the hotel.

5th 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. Overnight at the hotel.

6th day: RANOHIRA – FIANARANTSOA (295 km about 5,5h drive)
After breakfast , drive to Fianarantsoa. 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. Then continue to Ambalavao to visit a hand made paper factory (not possible on Sundays). Arrival in Fianarantsoa at the end of the afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.

7th day: FIANARANTSOA – MANAKARA (on Tuesdays, and Saturdays, so arrival has to be planned accordingly)
Train ride to Manakara throughout tropical forests and plantations through 48 tunnels and over 67 bridges. On every station, the local population sell food, according to the season, river crabs, grilled fish, bananas, manioc, ricecakes… Transfert from the railway station to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

8th day: MANAKARA – MANANJARY (165 km about 3,5 h drive)
Car transfer to Mananjary along spice plantations, fruit trees etc. Overnight at the hotel.

9th day: MANANJARY – AMBOHITSARA (60 km boat trip about 4 to 5 hours)
Transfer to Ambohitsara aboard a motorboat on the Pangalanes canal. The Pangalanes canal has here an important function as there are no roads. Everything is transported on the canal, mainly in pirogues: fruits, toka gasy (a kind of local moonshine spirit), betsa-betsa (palmwine), and anything the people in the villages need or produce. Arrival in Ambohitsara – a small village between Pangalanes canal and the sea on the Pangalanes canal. Stay on full board at the simple hotel.

10th day: AMBOHITSARA – MANANJARY (60 km boat trip about 4 to 5 hours)
A morning visit to  discover Ambohitsara and its surroundings. Visit of the statue of the “white elephant”, of which the origin isn’t clear, the archeologists have different opinions about it. Some say that the ancestors brought it from Mekka, a german researcher says that the statue is not an elephant but a special kind of pig, and that it has been made locally from a stone found nearby, by chinese adventurers who came there before Jesus Christ was born, Walk through the typical village and see a part of the genuine Madagascar, far away from big cities and “modern life”. Drive back by boat in the afternoon to Mananjary and overnight there.

11th day: MANANJARY – RANOMAFANA (200 km about 4 h drive)
Drive to Ranomafana – a national park which is home to various species of lemurs, birds , reptiles .Possibility of doing a night walk along the road to try to see nocturnal species of animals, with some luck you’ll see mouse lemurs, chameleons, etc. Overnight at the hotel.

12th day: RANOMAFANA
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. Overnight at the hotel.

13th day: RANOMAFANA – ANTSIRABE (240 km about 5 h drive)
After breakfast, drive to Antsirabe – also called the “Town of Water “ because of  thermal spas and the existence of two crater lakes. Overnight at the hotel.

14th day: ANTSIRABE – ANTANANARIVO (169 km about 3 h drive)
After breakfast, a short city tour and visit of the lake Andraikiba, and of a workshop where they make miniatures from recycled materials, then drive to  Antananarivo. Overnight at the hotel.

15th day: ANTANANARIVO – EUROPE
In the morning, excursion to Ambohimanga – a UNESCO World heritage site: a King‘s palace built on the top of the hill covered with forests. In the afternoon, back to Tana and visit of a handicraft market. At the end of the afternoon, day use at the hotel, then transfer to the airport for the flight back to Europe.

TARIFFS PER PERSON

1 person SINGLE: 3275 Euro
2-3 people DOUBLE: 1820 Euro
4-5 people DOUBLE: 1395 Euro
6-8 people DOUBLE: 1285 Euro
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 455 Euro

Are included in the tariffs:

  • Airport transfers
  • Midrange accommodation based on bed and breakfast, except in Ambohitsara: on full board
  • Train tickets
  • entrance fees in the parks and reserves
  • The service of park and reserve guides
  • Car transfer from Tulear to Fianarantsoa and from Manakara to Antananarivo, shuttle from Tulear to Ifaty and back
  • Driver’s indemnities and Fuel
  • Motor boat Transfers in the Hotel owned boat, there may be other passengers on board: Mananjary – Ambohitsara – Mananjary
  • Excursion to Ambohimanga and handicraft market.
  • tourist levy and VAT

Are excluded:

  • International flights with their airport taxes
  • Domestic flight with airport tax and insurance: Antananarivo – Tulear: approx. 270 Euro per person without reduction, if flying long haul with MD, tariff will be reduced.
  • Visa fee (around 25 € 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 guide from the agency
from Tulear to Tana
1010 Euro (to be shared by participants)
Supplement for best hotels where available DOUBLE: 365 Euro/Person
SINGLE:  640 Euro/Person
Supplement in best hotels for Half board: 215 Euro
Full board:  410 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
Ifaty / Hotel de la plage** /Paradisier*** std room
Ranohira / Isalo Ranch** / Isalo Rock Lodge**** on half board
Fianarantsoa / Villa Sylvestre** / Zomatel*** new wing
Manakara / Parthenay** / unchanged
Mananjary / Vahiny Lodge*** / unchanged
Ambohitsara / Auberge* / unchanged
Mananjary / Vahiny Lodge*** / unchanged
Ranomafana / Centr’est** / Setam Lodge*** (Setam lodge on half board base compulsory)
Antsirabe / Chambres du voyageur** / Royal palace*** std room
Antananarivo /Lapasoa** / Tamboho Hotel*** Sup room