Itinerary Highlights

  • Highlands culture: the Merina and Betsileo people
  • Rainforest wildlife in Ranomafana and Andasibe-Mantadia National Parks
  • The ringtailed lemurs of Anja
  • Hiking in spectacular surrounds at Isalo National Park
  • The bizarre spiny bush at Ifaty
  • Zombitse for rare wildlife and Baobabs

What's Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Travel Guide
  • Transfers
15 nights from £5,565 - £5,730 per person

Janine Bullen

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.
This private, tailor-made tour follows the scenic RN7 road journey, which includes some of Madagascar's most rewarding national parks, wildlife hotspots and culturally interesting sites. (It is an individual version of our popular small group 'Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tour so can be done at any time of the year).
 
It is an unforgettable trip that allows one to experience Madagascar's incredibly varied landscapes, habitat types, wildlife, flora and also, allowing for the opportunity to learn about the wonderful Malagasy people and their intriguing culture. 
 
To enhance the wildlife aspect, we include a stay at Andasibe-Mantadia National Park to the east of Antananarivo: this can be done either before or after completing the RN7 circuit. In this sample itinerary, we include a two night stay at Ifaty on the arid south-west coast.
You will be taken care of throughout by your private, wildlife expert guide and private driver, and your transport will be in a private, air-conditioned 4-wheel drive vehicle. (These are the only vehicles which are now suitable for the road to Andasibe-Mantadia and for the RN7). 
 
For those who want some more beach time, we recommend venturing to sunny Anakao. (Ask us for details). If you have a special interest, such as birding, please let us know and we'll provide an excellent, experienced, professional birding guide for your trip.
This itinerary is best done from April through to December. It is also suited for active families who enjoy the outdoors. 

Itinerary

On arrival into Antananarivo off your international flight, you will be met, assisted and transferred to Relais des Plateaux, to stay overnight with breakfast included.
Your dedicated, experienced, professional English-speaking Malagasy guide and driver will collect you at the hotel after breakfast. Travel about 5 hours east to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, the island's number 1 must see protected rainforest area. Stay here for three nights in Mantadia Lodge (or similar), with all meals included. Your guides will take you for an introductory rainforest walk into the beautiful mid altitude rainforest here.
After breakfast, you will be taken to explore Maromizaha Experimental Reserve, which is similar to Mantadia National Park but in 2022, Maromizaha . Among the sought-after species on visiting birding enthusiasts' lists are the Velvet asity, Pitta-like ground-roller and Crossley's babbler. Activities possible in the area include horse riding or kayaking (payable locally) and for those who would like to participate in a conservation initiative, there is the opportunity to plant an endangered, endemic tree from the nurseries of Association Mitsinjo. (What better way could there be to literally put something back into Malagasy soil?).
During your time in Andasibe-Mantadia (formerly known as 'Perinet'), you will have three activities per day: an early morning rainforest walk; a second rainforest walk in the afternoon to seek more wildlife and enjoy more rainforest scenery and then after dark, visit one of the sites where guides take you to look for nocturnal wildlife. For the latter our favourites are either the rainforest parcel of Analamazaotra Forestry Station, administered by Association Mitsinjo, or, a small privately protected rainforest looked after by a group of guides, called VOIMA.
After a final rainforest walk during which you can seek species previously missed, have lunch and then depart on the 5 hour drive back to the capital city, where you overnight in Relais des Plateaux with breakfast included.
You will be transferred to Antananarivo Airport to check in for the Madagascar Airways/ Tsaradia flight down to Tulear on the arid south-west coast. On arrival, your dedicated, private, experienced, professional, English-speaking Malagasy guide and driver will welcome you and transfer you about 20 minutes north to Ifaty, where you stay 2 nights in the comfortable Paradisiers Ecolodge, dinner and breakfast included.
Very early this morning after a coffee, you will be transferred to Mosa Forest, where you enjoy a walk at dawn to experience the extraordinary Spiny Bush habitat here with its characteristic bottle Baobabs, thorny Octopus trees and many other strange and wonderful plants. There's a good chance to see some of the rare locally endemic birds such as Long-tailed ground-roller, LaFresnayes' vanga, Running coua and Sub-desert mesite. Keep a lookout also for Petter's sportive lemur and tiny Gray-brown mouse lemurs - both species may be seen in hiding places in the tangled Euphorbia bushes. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and then head out if you wish, to the barrier reef for some snorkelling.
After breakfast, set off in your private, customized and air-conditioned 4-wheel drive vehicle on the first part of the journey inland along the famed RN7 road. Just after Tulear, you pass by the Arboretum d'Antsokay, where keen natural history enthusiasts can stop for a quick wander in the botanical garden. Continue driving northwards along the RN7 for about 3hrs,30 min past the town Sakaraha, to the Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park, a 21,000 ha forest straddling the road. This wonderful little forest is one of the last remaining examples of transition habitat where the western and southern floristic domains merge, and it is home to plenty of wildlife including some locally endemic species: Hubbard's sportive lemur, Appert's tetraka and Standing's day gecko are found nowhere else. You'll also see a second species of endemic Baobab, the large southern Adansonia za. Birdlife is plentiful and Zombitse is also regarded as an excellent site for butterflies. The walks here are easy, as terrain is flat and sandy. Continue inland for about an hour and you'll arrive at the 'ruiniforme' sandstone massif of Isalo, where you stay for 2 nights in the very comfortable Jardin du Roy or its sister property Relais la Reine Isalo, dinner and breakfast included.
Your guide will take you to explore the mountain wonderland of Isalo, one of the country's oldest and most enjoyed protected areas, today. The park has an extensive network of trails to choose from; your guide will explain the options so that you can enjoy a circuit suited to your level of fitness.
After breakfast at Isalo, set off across the heart of the desolate, semi arid central southern interior (Bara country) to Ambalavao, the gateway town to the southern section of the Highlands. (Drive time will be about 4hrs) You will know you're near Ambalavao when you start seeing a dramatic change in landscape, which there is dominated by massive granite domes called 'inselbergs'. Visit the wonderful Anja Community Conservation Site, where a thriving population of Ringtail lemurs is the main attraction. Dinner and overnight at Betsileo Country Lodge.
Set off this morning with your guide and driver on the 4 - 5 hour journey northwards into the southern central-eastern escarpment where your destination for 3 nights is the beautiful upland rainforest national park of Ranomafana. This wonderful rainforest with its well mapped trail system, is a superb site for those keen to see more of the island's mammals (12 lemur species are resident here); birds and herpetofauna. Stay for 3 nights in the Thermal Hotel, dinner and breakfast included. You will be taken for an introductory rainforest walk and in the evening, for your first nocturnal stroll.
Early this morning your guide will lead you along one of the rainforest trails during which you should be able to see various lemurs; wonderful birdlife and diverse herpetofauna. Do note that Ranomafana has some long slopes, so a reasonable fitness level is required to enjoy this park.
Another day in which to explore Ranomafana during a day walk.
After a final walk in the rainforest at Ranomafana, set off on the half-day drive northwards to the pleasant Highlands town of Antsirabe, where you stay overnight in the charming Couleur Cafe with dinner and breakfast included.
After some sightseeing in Antsirabe, depart on the approximately 4hr drive to Antananarivo, where your guide and driver will take you to visit some of the capital city highlights (time allowing). You will be transferred to Relais des Plateaux Hotel where you have the use of a day/evening room if your flight out is late in the evening, or, stay overnight should you depart the following morning. (Breakfast included).
Depart Madagascar on your flight home *** *** This itinerary is quoted using Kenya Airways (economy class seating) for international flights from London to Antananarivo via Nairobi. Please let us know should you prefer to fly on another airline, such as Air Mauritius, Air France, SA Airlink or Ethiopian Airlines.

Janine Bullen

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Pricing Information & Dates

15 nights from £5,565 - £5,730 per person

Janine Bullen

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Price Includes

  • Return International Flights as per the itinerary
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Transfers as specified
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • All entrace fees on sightseeing tours as specified
* International return flights from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) on Kenya Airways (economy class seating) * Domestic Air Madagascar flights * Airport taxes * Services of your dedicated, professional, experienced, English-speaking Malagasy guide and driver. * All private transfers in comfortable, private, air-conditioned 4-wheel drive vehicle * Excursions and activities as outlined * Park permits and local park/ reserve guide fees * Accommodation with meals as specified, based on double or twin room occupancy.

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
* Visa fee (€18) * Any meals not listed * Drinks * Items of a personal nature (gratuities, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs).

Pricing Notes

* If you would prefer to use a carrier other than Kenya Airways, please let us know - we will be happy to provide a quotation. * FAMILIES: contact us for quotations because prices decrease according to the number of people travelling on this itinerary together. Children and teens are entitled to discounts.

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
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