Travel to Madagascar Small Group Guided Tour

Experience Madagascar Culture, Wildlife, Beauty

Our Madagascar tour is a fantastic journey to experience three different ecosystems. Including the eastern rainforest vegetation, the spiny desert and the dry deciduous forest of Madagascar.

The tour travels through the mountainous central Highlands of Madagascar with its red lateritic soil and terraced rice fields.

Onward to the rainforest of the Eastern slope and then to the semi-arid savannah and the canyons of the south.  In addition, enjoy the idyllic and wild beaches.

Several national parks and reserves are visited on our Madagascar tour.

Admire the unique fauna and flora of Madagascar and enjoy wildlife viewing up-close. Park visits include: Berenty Private Reserve, Isalo National Park, Ranomafana National Park, Andasibe National Park, the Analamazaotra Special Reserve and the Palmarium Reserve called Ankanin’ny Nofy.

There will be many opportunities to observe several species of lemurs quite easily.

During this tour, we will meet several ethnic groups and get to know their cultures: the Merina, the Betsileo, the Antandroy, the Bara’s and the Mahafaly.  The tour will enjoy the quiet beach of Ifaty and meet the famous Vezo fisher tribe alongside beautiful beach of the Mozambique Channel.

If lucky, we may have the opportunity to witness the Famadihana, a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people—no guarantee.

October is the best month to visit Madagascar and enjoy the wildlife. It is spring; trees are blooming and temperatures are at their best and the baby lemurs are born. This is an active tour with daily walks, however the walks are moderate level of difficulty.

MADAGASCAR TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit Madagascar’s diverse national parks and reserves.
  • Meet several ethnic groups
  • See thrilling native wildlife, fauna and flora
  • Observe several species of lemurs quite easily.
  • Optional Pre-Tour Extension to Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Kirindy Reserve and theFamous Baobab Trees.

View A Detailed Itinerary:

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Lemur Indri

  • 1
    Madagascar
    Day 1: Arrive Antananarivo

    Suggested flight: arriving afternoon. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.

    Rest of afternoon is free to rest. Some snacks will be provided to tide you over until dinner.

    Dinner tonight at La Varangue Restaurant.

  • 2
    Day 2: Fort Dauphin - Berenty Reserve

    A one hour flight to Fort Dauphin in the southeastern tip of Madagascar. On arrival, drive to Berenty Private Reserve. The 90 km/ 4 hour drive by 4WD from coastal rainforest to the spiny desert.

    Lunch and stops along the way to view the unique baobab trees, rare triangular palm trees and funerary art of the Antanosy burial grounds. Berenty is the headquarters of the Antandroy people.

  • 3
    Day 3: Berenty Reserve - Fort Dauphin

    We spend the morning in the reserve with walks along the wide, well swept paths. The walks in this park are the easiest of all with broad paths, all flat and wildlife viewing easy and abundant. The Lemur Catta or Maki, better known as the ring-tailed lemurs, are very friendly and seem to pose for photographs. Be ready for surprise encounters with the beautiful sifaka lemur and other species including flying foxes, lizards, chameleons, the endangered radiated tortoise and dozens of species of rare birds.

    Return to Fort Dauphin.

  • 4
    Day 4: Fort Dauphin -Antananarivo

    Morning flight to Antananarivo. This afternoon, we drive 15 mi NE of Antananarivo to visit Ambohimanga (a hill and fortified royal settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site). Ambohimanga is considered to be the most significant symbol of the cultural identity of the Merina People and most important and best
    preserved monument of the pre-colonial Kingdom of Madagascar and its precursor, the Kingdom of Imerina.

  • 5
    Day 5: Drive Antananarivo - Antsirabe

    A 2.5 hr drive to Antsirabe, meaning “the place of much salt” and the capital of pousse-pousse “rickshaws.” This colonial town is located in a volcanic area and the land is very fertile. Antsirabe is known for its precious stones and minerals that you will have the opportunity to discover during the visit of workshops.

  • 6
    Day 6: Drive Antsirabe- Ankanin’ny nofy

    This morning a 4 hour drive to Manambato where we board a boat and sail in the Pangalanes Channel to Ankanin'ny Nofy (3.5 hrs). Check-in at the hotel and lunch.

    This afternoon, visit of Palmarium Reserve. We observe the various species of lemurs and other endemic animals and discover Malagasy fauna.

    At about 5:30 pm, we go for a nocturnal visit for aye aye observation.

  • 7
    Day 7: Ankanin’ny nofy

    Departing at 8:30 am, we visit Andranokoditra village for short walk. The ethnic group here are the Betsimisaraka. They are the 2nd largest group, after the Merina; approx. 15% of the Malagasy people. Tromba (spirit possession) ceremonies feature strongly in the Betsimisaraka culture.
    This afternoon, another visit of Palmarium Reserve.

  • 8
    Day 8: Ankanin’ny nofy -Tamative-Antananarivo

    Departing at 8:30 am, we sail in the Pangalanes Channel to Tamatave (3.5 hrs) Lunch on arrival. Then we visit the markets and a city tour.
    Transfer to the airport for flight to Antananarivo TZ505 18:00 - 18:55 (subject to change).

    On arrival transfer to hotel.

  • 9
    Day 9: Antananarivo -Antsirabe

    Departing at 8:30 am, start driving to the south. After 1.5 hours, we stop in Ambatolampy to discover the amazing the work of aluminum used to make cooking pots for the whole country.

    Continue approx. 2.5 hours to Antsirabe, meaning “the place of much salt” and the capital of pousse-pousse “rickshaws.” Antsirabe is known for its precious stones and minerals which we will have the opportunity to discover during the visit of workshops.

  • 10
    Day 10: Antsirabe

    We will walk from one village to another to learn the ways of the local people. Visit a school, meet farmers, artisans and blacksmiths and visit the homes of the inhabitants. We will enjoy a picnic lunch or perhaps lunch with a family.

    The walk is organized by a local association, a partnership with young Malagasy from Antsirabe. They donate part of their income to the villagers to purchase products and equipment to improve para-agricultural activities. Thus, our participation contributes to the development of the region.

  • 11
    Day 11: Antsirabe-Ambostra-Fianarantsoa

    Departing at 8:30 am, we drive 2.5-3 hrs to Ambositra on a good paved road. On the way, we shall visit Zafimaniry artisans and admire their carved wood and finely done square box marquetry. In addition: local markets and other typical villages of the Betsileo tribe.

    We shall have lunch in local restaurant in Ambostra where you can taste local food specialties. Here we may also have the opportunity to enjoy traditional music, (not guaranteed).

    We continue to Fianarantsoa (160 km/3.5-4 hr), to the Betsileo tribe region. It is a tar road with pot-hole patches and winding road as we are at the highest plateau of Madagascar highlands.

  • 12
    Day 12: Fianarantsoa- Ambalavao-Isalo National Park (Ranohira)

    Departing at 7:30 am, we leave the Highlands and drive approx 1.5 hrs south to Ambalavao. A stop to visit Antaimoro paper factory and a silk weavers’ workshop that belongs to a local association of women and the small community-run reserve of Anja - where one can get very close to the ring-tailed lemurs. Our visit here is about 2 hours.

    Picnic lunch on the road or early lunch at local restaurant. Onward approx 5 hrs to Ranohira, which is close to Isalo Massif and the National Park Gate. The drive continues through the rocky and savannah scenery. This huge plateau and valley is the area of the Bara, - a conservative farming tribe whose livelihood and rituals are centered on the zebu.

    We cross the largest plateau of Madagascar constituted by a beautiful herbaceous steppe.

  • 13
    Day 13: Isalo National Park (Ranohira)

    We depart at 8 am and have a leisurely hike in this eroded uniform sandstone formations from the Jurassic era. Isalo is a semi-desert area characterized by its huge canyons, oases and lunar landscape - home for lemurs and many other endemic species.

    As the temperature rises in the afternoon, you will be able spend leisurely time by the natural swimming pool or at the black pool inside the canyon.

    The sunset at Isalo is a memorable moment.

  • 14
    Day 14: Ranohira-Tulear - Ifaty

    We progress to the southwest towards the Mozambique Channel. It is a beautiful drive from Ranohira to Tulear through different botanical settings in the morning.

    Then, northwards to Tulear towards the savannah and the baobab areas, through the Ilakak village known for its sapphire mining. Several species of spiny vegetation of this area are endemic and exist nowhere else.

    We pass through villages and the famous decorated tombs of Mahafaly and Antandroy tribes. Here, the Aloalos (funeral-sculpted decoration) are considered as messengers between the living and their ancestors.

    Lunch in Tulear and continue south, driving 20 km/approx. one hour to the beach settlement of Ifaty set on a lagoon with barely penetrable spiny thicket behind the coast to the east.

  • 15
    Day 15: Ifaty

    This morning we visit Reniala Private Reserve, a small protected area of only 60 ha that shelters an amazing, bizarre and unique eco-system which only occurs in the south-eastern part of Madagascar: “the spiny forest.”

    The towering spiny bushes are home to more than 2000 plants species (many of them local endemic) some spectacular and very old baobab of 12,5 diameter) and complete endemic plants family, the Didieraceae, the Euphorbiaceae.

    Return to the hotel for lunch. Independent afternoon. Enjoy the beach and relax at the comfy hotel.

  • 16
    Day 16: Ifaty – Tulear - Antananarivo

    Depart at 9 am for a visit of the Honko Conservation Association managed jointly with the local population “Vezo people” – to observe the mangroves ecosystem located in Belalanda village area. In Ifaty you will encounter Vezo fisher tribe alongside beautiful beach of the Mozambique Channel.

    Then drive back to Tulear, have lunch, and a short browse of the bazaar de market place as well the local seashell and handicraft market.

    Transfer to the airport for the flight to Antananarivo TZ719 dep 1830, arr 20:00. Transfer to hotel.

  • 17
    Day 17: Depart

    If you have an afternoon/evening departure: Meet the guide in the lobby at 9 am. We’ll embark on a city tour to see the arcades (an ordered series of arched windows as a decorative work on a wall), train station, Analakely Market, flower markets and Lake Anosy.

    Transfer to the airport.

  • Trip Length

    17 day trip begins and ends in Antananarivo

  • Dates

    May 23-June 9 & September 26-October 13, 2025

  • Land Cost

    $5470 based on minimum of 4 people; Single Room Supplement: $1265. Plus flights within the tour.

  • Accommodations

    4 star hotels and best available.

  • Group Size

    4-12 guests

  • Included Meals

    All Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 15 Dinners

  • Duration

    17 Days

  • Reading List

    Madagascar Reading List

  • Extend Your Trip

    Madagascar Extension - Tsingy De Bemaraha, Kirindy Reserve & the famous Baobab Trees - Download PDF

Antananarivo

Fort Dauphin

Berenty Reserve

Tulear

Ifaty

Ranohira

Isalo National Park

Ambalavao

Fianarantsoa

Ranomafana

Ambositra

Antisirabe

Andasibe National Park

Ankanin’ny Nofy

Antananarivo

Ambohimanga

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