Itinerary Highlights

  • Kirindy Forest's famed Baobabs and rare wildlife
  • Awe inspiring rock formations in Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
  • Remote, coastal Belo Sur Mer for beach and Kirindy Mitea National Park
  • Snorkelling at Nosy Andravoho
  • The obligatory 'rainforest fix' i.e. Andasibe-Mantadia NP in the eastern escarpment, for wonderful contrasts to the dry West.

What's Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Travel Guide
  • Transfers
  • Car Hire
18 nights from £6,150 per person

Nikki Lynas

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.

Exploring Western Madagascar's Menabe region gives adventurous visitors a wonderful taste of the 'real' Madagascar. Beginning with a flight to Morondava on the sunny central-westerrn coast, you travel northwards to the famed Kirindy Forest, one of the country's best -known wildlife hotspots. At Kirindy, you'll have the first of two opportunities for a guided night walk, in search of some of its legendary critters, such as Fosa and Fork-marked lemurs. You'll be in the land of the Menabe Sakalava people, who have a really interesting culture, which your guide will explain to you during your adventure...

From Kirindy Forest, embark on the long road journey including a ferry crossing over the wide Tsiribihina River, to Tsingy de Bemaraha, a magnificent limestone plateau which is the site of one of Madagascar's biggest national parks. Here, a three night stay will give you the chance to discover the 'Grand Tsingy'; the 'Petite Tsingy' and to make a short canoe trip on the Manambolo River to check out the gorges.

From Tsingy de Bemaraha, return back down to Kirindy, which makes for a great spot for an overnight stay and to once again break the long journey. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate this also because of the second opportunity for a night walk in Kirindy, to chalk up some more of its amazing denizens. The next morning, enjoy an morning walk for Kirindy's diurnal wildlife, then drive back via Alley of Baobabs to Morondava, where you stay for the night.

From Morondava, travel southwards (4hrs by road or 2hrs30min by speedboat) to remote Belo Sur Mer, a Veso-Sakalava fishing village where you can see people still building Schooners using designs taught to their forbearers centuries back by European pirates. At Belo, we'll arrange for you to visit the fabulous Kirindy Mitea National Park (not the same as the Kirindy Forest you'd have seen previously) which also has majestic Baobabs; as well as Southern Spiny Bush with an abundance of Octopus trees, a lake where seasonally, Flamingos gather, and offshore, some deserted islets where we'll arrange for you to enjoy some snorkelling. 

From Belo Sur Mer, drive or take a speedboat transfer back to Morondava, and from there, set off on the long drive to Antsirabe, where you overnight and where you can learn about Highlands culture of the Merina and Betsileo people. Your last road stint will then be the drive up to Antananarivo.

- For the itinerary, we include the 'obligatory rainforest fix' at the beginning of the trip, to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, as no first-time wildlife enthusiast visitors to the island should miss a sojourn there. It can be moved to the end of the itinerary.

 

COMMENTS:

WHEN TO GO: this itinerary can be done from May to mid October because from November to April, many of the roads are rendered impassable due to rains. (In 2022 and 2023, the rains arrived earlier due to climate change, so we no longer recommend trips to Tsingy de Bemaraha beyond mid October).

NOTE: For now, the itinerary is structured around the twice weekly Air Madagascar flight between Antananarivo and Morondava, which operate on Thursdays and Sundays both ways. In 2024, a Tuesday flight will be introduced. So if you prefer not to drive to Antsirabe from Morondava, it is possible to fly.

 

 

Itinerary

Fly to Antananarivo***, the Malagasy capital. If you are using Air France, your flight departs early morning*** from selected UK airports or from Paris, and arrives into the Malagasy capital late tonight. You'll be welcomed and transferred to Relais des Plateaux Hotel & Spa nearby, to overnight with breakfast included. *** If flying on another carrier such as Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Emirates or Air Mauritius, you depart from home the previous evening.
Begin your itinerary with a visit to Madagascar's number 1 must see rainforest, Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. Its a 5 hour drive along deteriorated roads in your private 4-wheel drive vehicle to the east of the capital into the eastern escarpment. Stay 3 nights in Mantadia Lodge, half board. Your private, professional guide will take you to check in at the lodge, and your guide then takes you on an introductory rainforest walk during which you can seek some of the resident wildlife here.
Your guide will take you into Andasibe rainforest early this morning, when wildlife viewing is at its best, In the afternoon, you can visit the rainforest of Mitsinjo, across the road and usually quieter with less tourists around. Tonight, take a night walk either at Mitsinjo or VOIMA, where a guides association looks after a parcel of rainforest.
Both Maromizaha and Mantadia rainforests cover 10,000 hectares. Mantadia is about 37km from Andasibe village along a rutted road. Both sites hold a selection of rare mammals and birds; our 2022 and 2023 clients have very much enjoyed Maromizaha, notching up sightings of - among others - Black & white ruffed lemur and Pitta-like ground-roller. These two rainforests are also perfect for a really enjoyable hike, and the views from the crest of the rainforest-clad hills is lovely. After finishing a circuit, return to Andasibe where once again you can make a night walk to chalk up more species.
Set off back to Antananarivo after a final rainforest walk if desired, timing the (half-day) drive so as to arrive late afternoon. Stay overnight in Relais des Plateaux Hotel & Spa.
Early this morning you'll be transferred back to the airport to check in for the flight over to Morondava, on the central west coast. On arrival into Morondava Airport, your private guide and driver will welcome you. Set off on the 90 minute drive north to Kirindy Forest, where you stay overnight in an en-suite bungalow at Relais du Kirindy, all meals included. You drive through the Alley of Baobabs along the way, so can stop for a photo opportunity there. In the mid to later afternoon, your guide and driver will take you to the central Research Station at Kirindy, and you'll be able to seek wildlife and birdlife around there. Then at dusk, you'll be taken in your 4w-wheel drive vehicle to another trail, where you seek nocturnal wildlife which is the big attraction here.
After breakfast, set off in your private 4-wheel drive vehicle on the journey north along variable roads (some are rough tracks) to Belo Sur Tsiribihina, where you cross by ferry which takes the vehicle, too. Here you can stop for lunch at Mad Zebu, one of the country's best restaurants. Continue north along some rutted roads to Bekopaka, the access point to Tsingy de Bemaraha, where you stay for 3 nights in an en-suite bungalow at the Soleil des Tsingy, all meals included.
You'll need a head for heights, for today's incredible experience: set off with your guide to the Grand Tsingy after breakfast and be amazed by the gigantic limestone karstic 'tsingy' formations, which here are so massive in some cases that it looks like a forest of church steeples in places. The walkways and paths have been thoughtfully, ingeniously and painstakingly created allowing active visitors the chance to get deep into this veritable limestone fortress. After you've taken in this extraordinary attraction, return to the lodge for lunch and relaxing time.
Another day in which to be awestruck by the geological formations of Tsingy de Bemaraha, this time focusing on the smaller Petite Tsingy and also, taking a short boat trip on the Manambolo River, with its impressive gorge. With luck, wildlife seen today will include the all-white Decken's sifaka (which can only really be sought here); Red-fronted brown lemurs and birds such as Tsingy wood-rail and Sicklebilled vangas.
Return back to Kirindy Forest today, where after the adventurous journey, you overnight once more at the Relais du Kirindy, with all meals included. Wildlife lovers will be in their element as there's another chance to seek nocturnal wildlife in Kirindy Forest, so be sure to have strong torches and some spare batteries handy.
This morning, enjoy a guided wildlife walk in the fabulous Kirindy Forest, where you can look for Verreaux's sifakas, Fosa and Boky boky around the campsite, and seek birds such as Coquerel's, Crested and Giant couas; Sickle-billed, White-headed and Rufous vangas and reptiles including Oustalet's chameleonn and Collared iguanids, and in the process also marvel at no less than THREE of Madagascar's six endemic Baobab species, represented here. Then drive back to Morondava via the 'Baobab Alley' and relax at the comfy Palissandre Cote Ouest, where you stay overnight with dinner and breakfast included.
After breakfast, you will be transferred either by road (4 hours in a sturdy 4-Wheel drive vehicle) OR by speedboat (2hrs,30min) to remote Belo Sur Mer, where you stay for 3 nights in a double en-suite bungalow in Entremer, with all meals included. Relax by the beach for the balance of the day, and take a visit to the Boatbuilding Yard, where you can see schooners being constructed by Veso-Sakalava people who have passed the skills taught to their forbearers by European pirates centuries ago. These remarkable boats are used nowadays for transporting mostly agricultural cargo up and down the Malagasy coastline.
This wonderful and remote national park is one of very few places in Madagascar which features not just tropical deciduous dry forest with plenty of magnificent Baobabs, but also, the southern Malagasy 'spiny bush' (Euphorbia-Didieracea thorn thicket), as well as a lake which is seasonally visited by Flamingos, and a marine component which includes some small, uninhabited islets around where snorkelling is good (sea conditions allowing). Enjoy a visit today to explore the terrestrial part of the national park, as yet visited by few tourists due to its remoteness.
You'll be taken by boat to visit and snorkel around the islets off Belo Sur Mer, notably Nosy Andravoho. In season (July - early September), this is also a good spot for some whale-watching, because migrating Humpbacks pass by on their movements from the Antarctica to the Nosy Be region, just as is the case off the other side of Madagascar.
Return to Morondava today, where once again you'll stay overnight in Palissandre Cote Ouest, with dinner and breakfast included.
Take the Tsaradia flight from Morondava back to Antananarivo, where you will be met and transferred to La Varangue Hotel to stay overnight with breakfast included. This afternoon your guide and driver will take you sightseeing in the capital - stops on this excursion can be adapted according to special interests.
You will be transferred to Antananarivo airport where you check in for your flight back to the UK (or elsewhere), after a wonderful trip!

Nikki Lynas

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

18 nights from £6,150 per person

Nikki Lynas

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
Return international flights (economy class seating) from selected UK airports to Antananarivo Domestic flight to Morondava Airport taxes All private transfers and private 4-wheel drive transportation Services of experienced, knowledgeable, private, English-speaking Malagasy guide Excursions and activities as described National Park/Reserve permits and park guide fees All accommodation with meals as indicated

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
Any meals not listed Items of a personal nature (drinks, tips, laundry, phone calls and travel insurance).

Pricing Notes

This sample itinerary is based on 2 people travelling and can be amended according to your schedule and requirements.

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
British Travel Awards Crest
ATOL Protected ABTA Protected IATA Protected
Trust Pilot LATA Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

Stay in Touch

Subscribe for our newsletter and to hear about exciting offers and experiences

By clicking ‘accept’, you consent to our use of cookies to improve our website experience. See our privacy policy for full information.
Accept