Tsingy, Baobabs, Wildlife and Whales
 
Tsingy de Bemaraha  
Exploring the Grand Tsingy (June to November)  
Grandidier's baobabs at Allee des Baobabs  
Crossing the Tsiribihina River by ferry  
Indri at Andasibe-Mantadia National Park  
Parson's chameleon capturing prey at Andasibe-Mantadia National Park  
Whale watching around Ste Marie can be good in July and August  
Some Fosa (the island's largest carnivore) are habituated at Kirindy  
17 day tour
Prices from
£4425

Tour Highlights

  • Grand tsingy at Tsingy de Bemaraha
  • Wildlife at Kirindy Forest
  • Whale-watching (July - September) at Ste Marie
  • Baobabs galore!
  • Indri and other rainforest wildlife in Andasibe-Mantadia
  • Quiet palm-lined coves at Ste Marie island
  • Colourful coral reefs at Ile Aux Nattes
I'm enquiring about: Tsingy, Baobabs, Wildlife and Whales
I'm enquiring about: Tsingy, Baobabs, Wildlife and Whales

Tsingy, Baobabs, Wildlife and Whales

Madagascar


This wonderful tailor-made individual tour includes a visit to one of Madagascar's most spectacular national parks, Tsingy de Bemaraha, with the iconic Allee des Baobabs and Kirindy Forest en route. You will also explore the isand's number 1 'must see' rainforest wildlife hotspot, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. End with a relaxing beach break on Ile Sainte Marie, where in season (July to mid September) whale watching is superb.

Due to accessibility of the Grand Tsingy formations at Tsingy de Bemaraha, this trip should be done from late May to November. The order of locations in the itinerary can be swapped around / tailored to suit your schedule and other requirements. 


Day 1
Arrival in Antananarivo
Fly on Air France from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Paris CDG and connect on the mid morning Air France flight to Antananarivo. On your late evening arrival you will be met, assisted and transferred to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 2
Day 2
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
After breakfast (time to be confirmed locally), your guide and driver collect you at the hotel. Travel 3 - 4 hours east along good, winding tarmac roads to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park ('Perinet') where you stay for 2 nights in an en suite bungalow on a half board basis. This afternoon, take an introductory rainforest walk with your guides.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
       
Day 3
Day 3
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
Explore Madagascar's 'number one must see' protected rainforest site with your guides. Trails are mostly graded as 'easy' and the guides are adept at locating sought-after species such as Indri, Diadem sifaka; a multitude of rainforest birds and interesting reptiles such as Parson's and Nose-horned chameleons. In the quieter middle part of the day, visit Lemur Island. In the evening, a night walk is possible in the rainforest concession of Analamazaotra, administered by proactive and exemplary NGO Association Mitsinjo.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
       
Day 4
Day 4
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park - Antananarivo
This morning, visit the primary rainforest at Mantadia National Park where some rare mammals and birds not necessarily present at Andasibe ('Perinet') may be sought. Trails here are steeper than at Andasibe and they can be slippery during or after inclement weather. Depart mid-afternoon for the drive back to Antananarivo, where you arrive at dusk to overnight in Relais des Plateaux with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 5
Day 5
Kirindy Forest
Transfer to the airport for the Air Madagascar flight to Morondava on the central-west coast. On arrival your guide and driver meet you and transfer you about 2 hours north on a dirt road to Kirindy Forest via the alley of giant baobabs. Overnight in an en-suite tented room at the simple but well tended Camp Amoureux in Marofandilia Forest, about 30 minutes drive from Kirindy. Day and night guided walks in the forest for rare and unusual wildlife. At Kirindy, you have the chance to see mammals such as the endangered Giant jumping rat (photographed here by our own Fiona Herring) and the Fosa, the island's largest carnivore.
Accommodation: Camp Amoureux
         
Day 6
Day 6
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
After breakfast and an early morning walk in Kirindy, travel north to Tsingy de Bemaraha. This 8 hour journey includes a ferry crossing. Stay 3 nights in the superb Soleil des Tsingy with all meals included.
Accommodation: Le Soleil des Tsingy
               
Day 7
Day 7
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
Your guides will take you to visit the Petite Tsingy formations and during the balance of the day, take a river trip on the Manambolo River, praised for its spectacular gorges where one can see wildlife and wonderful baobabs as well as deciduous dry forest.
Accommodation: Le Soleil des Tsingy
               
Day 8
Day 8
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
Visit the Grand Tsingy today. These incredible formations are accessible from June to November and are one of the trip highlights. But please note that (a) a reasonable level of fitness is required for this excursion and (b) you will need a head for heights. The routes do involve hanging bridges and chain ladders - safety harnesses are provided. Afterwards, relax at the hotel which is a veritable oasis in the middle of Menabe-Sakalava country.
Accommodation: Le Soleil des Tsingy
               
Day 9
Day 9
Morondava
All-day drive with ferry crossing back to Morondava where you stay overnight in the comfortable Palissandre Cote Ouest on a half board basis.
Day 10
Day 10
Antananarivo
Transfer to Morondava airport for the Air Madagascar flight back to Antananarivo. On arrival, your guide and driver will meet you and transfer you to the hotel where you overnight with breakfast included. Time allowing, take a city sightseeing trip with your guide and driver.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 11
Day 11
Ile Ste Marie
Transfer to the airport to check in for the Air Madagascar flight east to Ste Marie, a balmy tropical island off the east coast. Transfer on arrival to Princesse Bora Lodge for a 5 night stay in a double charme bungalow with breakfast and dinner included.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
                   
Day 12
Day 12
Ile Sainte Marie
Enjoy sublime Ile Sainte Marie and Ile Aux Nattes. In season (July and August in particular), whale watching is often productive.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
                   
Day 13
Day 13
Ile Sainte Marie
Another day to enjoy Ste Marie. More active guests could hire quadbikes or mountainbikes, or take an excursion for snorkelling to nearby Ile Aux Nattes.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
                   
Day 14
Day 14
Ile Sainte Marie
Relax at Princesse Bora or partake in activities which can be arranged at the hotel - enquire at reception or ask us for details.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
                   
Day 15
Day 15
Ile Sainte Marie
Final day to enjoy Sainte Marie.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
                   
Day 16
Day 16
Antananarivo and departure
Transfer to Ste Marie airport for the Air Madagascar flight back to the capital. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to Relais des Plateaux where you have the use of a day room. Late evening transfer back to the airport to check in for the Air France flight departing early the next morning.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux
   
Day 17
Departure
Air France flight to Paris CDG where you connect with your onward Air France flight back to London or selected other UK airports.

Pricing Information & Dates

17 day tour, from £4425 per person
Price Includes:
  • Accommodation
Price Includes
Return economy class Air France flights from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Antananarivo
Domestic Air Madagascar flights
Airport taxes
Private transfers and private 4WD transportation
Accommodation and meals as listed
All excursions and activities
Services of professional English-speaking Malagasy guide and of driver
Park permits and park guide fees
Price Excludes
Drinks and any meals not listed
Visa
Tips
Items of a personal nature
Price Notes
Price is based on low season Air France airfares from London Heathrow. (economy class seating) and on 2 people travelling together.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  3.   Kirindy Forest
  4.   Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
  5.   Ile Ste Marie

Accommodation on this Tour

Camp Amoureux
Camp Amoureux
Kirindy Forest, Madagascar
Camp Amoureux In Marofandilia forest, about 44km north of Morondava, this simple but well-tended camp, managed by proactive NGO FANAMBY (the Malagasy 'arm' of Conservation International), is......
         
Le Soleil des Tsingy
Le Soleil des Tsingy
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar
Best accommodation at the magnificent Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park. Bright and airy with stunning views over the forested valley from an infinity pool which offers welcome respite from the tropical heat.
               
Princesse Bora Lodge
Princesse Bora Lodge
Ile Ste Marie, Madagascar
Princesse Bora Lodge is a superb hotel on the west coast of Ile Ste Marie. Twenty lovely, self-contained villas built of natural materials are set amidst a grove of coconut palms, beside the long white beach at the edge of the lagoon. Many marine sports are on offer including a PADI dive centre.
                   
Relais Des Plateaux
Relais Des Plateaux
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Relais Des Plateaux is positioned on the outskirts of Antananarivo and is just a ten minute drive away from the airport. Rooms are large and comfortable with air-conditioning and mini-bar. The hotel has a large outdoor heated pool and a spacious new restaurant.
   
Vakona Forest Lodge
Vakona Forest Lodge
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Madagascar
This is a family-run property and the best hotel in the area. It has 28 comfortable rooms and bungalows, a sparkling pool and stables in a eucalyptus plantation and private reserve 7km from the entrance to Perinet. The lodge is 140 km from the capital, about 3 hours by tarred road.
       

Image Gallery

Reviews


'The trip met with all our expectations throughout. Aside from the cancellation of the flight from Tana to Morondava, all our other flights were on time. A highlight for us was the Kirindy Forest. We enjoyed the setting and the variety of the more unusual wildlife sightings, e.g. the Fossa on the trails around the lodge and also the Giant Jumping Rat, which was fascinating to watch.

A bonus was to spend another night in the area at Camp Amoreux on the return from Bemaraha. All praise to our guide Lova and our driver Fily who took us between camps to maximise our wildlife viewings.

Ankarana: here we visited the Bat Cave and also went on a morning visit to the Crocodile Cave (where we walked through from the entrance to the sunken forest on the other end), seeing a single crocodile in each, as well as many bats in the former. The many stalagmites, stalactites and other weird and wonderful calcareous formations at the crocodile cave were intriguing. Not surprisingly we were the only tourists at the Crocodile Cave due to it being somewhat  remote from the other attractions.

Perinet and Mantadia: (Andasibe). Because of the greater flexibility of independent travel, at Perinet our guide arranged visits to two lesser visited reserves within the park area: Parc Villageos Reserve and Parc Mitsinjo. There we enjoyed closer wildlife viewing with no other tourists in the vicinity, although there was a BBC wildlife team filming at Mitsinjo. Mantadia was  rewarding (and far away from th annoying crowds) and where the guide found a Scaly ground-roller for us after we specifically mentioned our interest in seeing one of the Madagascan Ground-rollers.

We thoroughly enjoyed Bemaraha, paticularly the Grand Tsingy which added a bit of interest to the walking. This was in part due to having to use harnesses in order to scale the pinnacles.  We are used to scrambling about in rocks as this is something that one encounters when walking some of the bigger mountains of North wales or the Lake District, particularly if one deviates off the main tourist routes.  However it will not be to everyone's taste and we did encounter people who had to turn back on the 'classic' route as they were unable to cope with the heights / exposure.  Also the ,rope bridge caused others to falter/turn round. 

By contrast the Tsingy at Ankarana seemed somewhat tame (not so jagged at the part where we went to) but it made up for it with it's size.  However we only had about 2 hours there as we had been to the Crocodile Cave in the morning which linited the time available to us at the Grand tsingy in the afternoon.  (We met some people whose guide had taken them on an 8 hour circuit at Ankarana, which was inappropriate for their fitness levels). 

What we saw of the Petit Tsingy at Bemaraha was a bit tame by comparison, although there was wildlife to be seen (sifakas), which was not the case with the Grand Tsingy on our visit.  We arrived there about 20 minutes before closing time after driving from Kirindy, but our guide managed to arrange for a guide to take us round a small circuit for about 45 minutes. 

In the evening it was good to be able to return to the lodge (Solei des Tsyingy) which was up-market, comfortable and had good views.  The only minor thing about the hotel was the need to order one's evening meal in advance, which is OK except that on arrival on the first day there may not be very much choice avialable for the evening meal, unless one were to arrive earlier in the afternoon in order to place one's order.  Only a minor niggle though.  (There were not many people staying there whilst we were there).

The route to Bemahara via the ferry at Belo-sur-Tsirbihina was enjoyable despite the state of the roads.  Now that the local govenor has some influence in the central government funds have been made available to improve the section of the road north of Belo with new culverts /small bridges being built as well as some straightening out and re-alignment in some sections.  No tarmacing or anything like that but an useful improvements nevertheless. 

Travelling the road north of Kirindy makes one realise the extent of the deforestaion, with areas the size of medium English towns turned into black smouldering landscapes that look like the something out of the Somme.  They seem to clear the land both sides of the road leaving a thin strip of vegetation either side of the road which serves to hide the reality from the traveller.  Quite depressing to see.  

Despite the difficulties facing the guides in Madagascar, we found them to be dedicatedand enthusastic at all times'.

Mr & Mrs Mellor
November 12, 2015
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