Madagascar Contrasts in Style
Aerial view of Mandrare River with spiny bush on front bank  
Verreaux's sifaka leaping in Octopus trees, Ifotaka  
Guided spiny bush walk in Ifotaka  
Drinks on the dunes near Mandrare  
Adansonia za baobabs in Ifotaka area  
Sundowners at the Mandrare River  
Antandroy (People of the Thorns) dancers  
The new swimming pool at Mandrare River Camp  
Quiet coastal scene, Itampolo, Masaoala National Park  
Endangered Red-ruffed lemur, found only in Masoala Peninsula  
Manafiafy has lovely white sand beaches  
Male Panther chameleon, Masoala National Park  
White-fronted lemurs are fairly plentiful on Masoala and Nosy Mangabe  
Helmet vanga is an icon of Masoala and surrounds  
Giant leaf-tailed gecko can be seen in Masoala and on Nosy Mangabe  
Scaly ground-roller is easily seen on Masoala in spring and summer  
Masoala Forest Lodge, boat and guests  
There's good snorkelling in discreet coves along Masoala Peninsula  
Guided rainforest walk in Masoala's lowland rainforest  
Essence of Maoala - rainforest extending down to deserted beaches  
Lowland streaked tenrec is common in Masoala National Park  
Humpback whales migrate to Antongil Bay in July and August  
Climbing mantella can be seen in Masoala and on Nosy Mangabe  
Superb kayaking to be had in Masoala!  
Moore's woolly lemur (Avahi), locally endemic to Masoala Peninsula  
Remote, secluded Anjajavy peninsula on the sunny West coast  
Endangered Coquerel's sifaka, the flagship lemur of Anjajavy  
Precious West Malagasy dry deciduous forest at Moramba Bay, Anjajavy  
Critically Endangered Madagascar fish eagle are resident at Anjajavy  
Milne-Edwards sportive lemurs are often seen and heard on night walks  
Moramba Bay boat trips are a must at Anjajavy  
Anjajavy's caves make for an interesting excursion  
Baobabs growing on limestone, Anjajavy (Moramba Bay)  
Gangs of Sicklebilled vanga can be seen at Anjajavy  
16 day tour
Including flights and transfers
Prices from
£13520 - £14370

Tour Highlights

  • Mandrare's Ringtails, Sifakas, Baobabs and Spiny bush
  • Madagascar's greatest lowland rainforest at Masoala
  • Anjajavy's extensive tropical deciduous forest with its Baobabs and rare wildlife
  • Top notch hospitality in remote, secluded lodges
  • Abundant and diverse wildlife
I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Contrasts in Style

Rainbow Tours takes your privacy very seriously and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Policy so you can understand how we collect and use your personal data.
I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Contrasts in Style

Madagascar Contrasts in Style

For discerning travellers wishing to experience Madagascar's incomparable diversity in comfort, this sample itinerary is an excellent choice. To understand the island's widely constrasting ecotypes, the trick lies in visiting one location in each of its three chief climatic/floristic zones. This itinerary begins with a trip to the sub-desert South, where the exclusive Mandrare River Camp is well positioned to enable guests to experience the 'Spiny Desert' and to see its iconic wildlife.
Afterwards, experience the complete opposite with a trip to the great rainforests of the wild Masoala Peninsula in the humid North-east. Here, guests stay in 'treehouse' tented bungalows in Masoala Forest Lodge, fronted by a deserted beach and backed by verdant coastal rainforest. Day and night walks in these rainforests are sure to reveal wonderful and rare wildlife unique to the Malagasy rainforests.
Complete the overview with a visit to Anjajavy Le Lodge, which, being as remote as the previous two properties, is located on a discreet peninsula on
the sunny West coast, accessibe only by means of light aircraft transfers. Anjajavy protects a large tract of West Malagasy tropical dry deciduous forest, brimming with rare and endangered wildlife.
At all three locations, accommodation and hospitality are of an impeccable standard, and all are reached by means of light aircraft transfers. The trip can be done from May to early December and as it is a sample itinerary, we'll be more than happy to tailor it to suit individual requirements and special interests.

Day 1
Day 1
UK - Antananarivo
Depart from London Heathrow or selected other UK airports on the Air France flight to Paris CDG***. Connect with the mid morning Air France flight on to Antananarivo. Upon arrival in the late evening you are met and transferred to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight with breakfast included.
*** This sample itinerary is based on Air France but if you prefer to use other international carriers, do let us know and we shall be happy to prepare another proposal for you.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Day 2
Day 2
Antananarivo - Fort Dauphin - Mandrare River Camp
This morning you'll be taken to the airport for the MCC Charter flight to Ifotaka, departing at 09h30. On arrival in Ifotaka at 12h30, you will be welcomed and transferred to Mandrare River Camp. Stay 3 nights in a luxury en-suite tented room. All meals, canapés, picnic lunches, drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits) and scheduled lodge excursions are included.
Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp
Day 3
Day 3
Mandrare River Camp
Days here can be spent seeking out wildlife in extraordinary landscapes created by the spiny bush habitat, and learning about the complex culture of the people of southern Madagascar. There are a number of designated forest areas near the camp, where with permission from local village chiefs, it's possible to explore this unique ecosystem with your guide. Also look for the various species of lemur unique to sub-arid southern Madagascar (White foot sportive, Grey mouse, Grey-brown mouse, Ringtails and the entertaining Verreaux’s Sifaka) but there are also many other animals which make walks a memorable experience.
The baobab forest is surreal experience - the baobab trees, held sacred by many Malagasy, have been left standing like sentinels presiding over the landscape where the surrounding bush has been cleared to make way for sisal plantations.
A day’s excursion to Lac Anony with its white sand shores and dunes, contrasting with azure blue water, is seasonally home to flamingos and to local fishermen who for generations, have fished on the lake.
Another interesting excursion is to one of the local village markets. This region is far from the tourist circuits, so often villagers are just as interested and fascinated in the visitors as the visitors are in the lives of the residents. Market day is quite an event in these parts, with people coming from miles around on foot or ox-cart to bring produce and to see friends and neighbours.
Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp
Day 4
Day 4
Mandrare River Camp
Enjoy more activities around Mandrare River Camp today - and we'll weave in a visit to Berenty Reserve nearby, as there you'll see high concentrations of southern Malagasy wildlife, which makes it a photographer's dream.
Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp
Day 5
Day 5
Mandrare River Camp - Antananarivo
You will be transferred to Mandrare River Camp's airstrip for the private charter flight back to Antananarivo, where on arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight with breakfast included.
In the afternoon, we can take you to Ambohimanga, a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site in a tranquil location about 24km from the capital.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Day 6
Day 6
Antananarivo - Masoala National Park
Transfer to Antananarivo Airport for the twice-weekly scheduled charter flights to Maroantsetra, the access airport. Flight duration is about 90 minutes and there is no irksome check-in, as you go straight to the private lounge.
On arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to the boat pickup point. Set off on the speedboat transfer to Masoala Forest Lodge, at a beautiful, quiet beach on the wild Masoala Peninsula.
On the way, about 45 minutes into the deep blue Antongil Bay, stop at Nosy Mangabe, an uninhabited reserve island which has plenty of rare wildlife including Black & white ruffed lemur, White-fronted lemurs and lots of 'herps' such as Leaf-tailed gecko and Climbing mantella.
After a picnic lunch on the little beach, set off in the speedboat across Antongil Bay over to Masoala Forest Lodge. During this approximately two hour journey, you will be overawed by the dramatic rainforest backdrop, especially where lowland rainforest still extends unbroken to clear waters. You might see dolphins, flying fish and from July to September, Humpback whales.
Once you have settled comfortably into your treehouse, meet the other guests for sundowners around a fire on the beach.
After dinner, your guide meets you to discuss possible excursions for the rest of your stay here.
Accommodation: Masoala Forest Lodge
Day 7
Day 7
Masoala National Park
Awaken early for coffee and breakfast on the sea deck before setting off on the day’s adventure with your guide. Take a quick boat ride up the coast to the primary rainforest in search of the Red ruffed lemurs, Dwarf chameleons, Helmet Vangas, and other wildlife endemic to the forest.
After some hours in the dense forest with the giant hardwoods and majestic tree ferns, return to camp by boat for a well - earned lunch and rest .
Your afternoon activities could range from snorkelling on the nearby, highly diverse coral reefs to a sunset paddle out to a scenic outlook (and the chance of a close encounter with Green Turtles) to relaxing in a hammock underneath the beach
After dinner, a guided night walk provides the only opportunity to spot some of the secretive nocturnal wildlife, such as Dwarf and Mouse lemurs, Leaf - tailed geckos, or even the elusive Aye Aye
Accommodation: Masoala Forest Lodge
Day 8
Day 8
Masoala National Park
After breakfast on the sea deck, traverse the unusual rock formations of Tampolo point by kayak. Stop for a swim on the beach at the “Sacred Island” and then continue your paddle into a pristine mangrove and forested river, with the chance of spotting Blue- spotted stingrays in the shallow water or perhaps the Lesser Bamboo lemurs crossing the river.
Paddle back to the lodge for lunch and spend another afternoon lounging in our beach hammocks or exploring the lodge’s various reefs.
Enjoy sundowners around the fire on the beach and dinner in the lodge.
Accommodation: Masoala Forest Lodge
Day 9
Day 9
Masoala National Park - Antananarivo
You will be transferred by speedboat back to Maroantsetra Airport where you will be checked in quickly for the scheduled charter flight back to Antananarivo.
On arrival, you'll be welcomed and transferred back to Relais des Plateaux to stay overnight with breakfast included.
We can arrange a sightseeing trip for you during the balance of the day and highly recommend for our clients to visit the Cafe de la Musee, where if you wish, you can even have a Malagasy cooking class with the renowned Chef Johary.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Day 10
Day 10
Antananarivo - Anjajavy
You'll be transferred to Antananarivo Airport to check in for the scheduled MTA flight to Anjajavy (these operate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings both ways).
On arrival into Anjajavy's airstrip, you will be welcomed and transferred to Anjajavy Le Lodge to stay for 5 nights in a sea-facing, airconditioned villa with all meals and some non-motorised activities included.
Being here completes your experience of Madagascar's three chief floristic zones, so you can truly appreciate their dramatic contrasts and enjoy what they have to offer in terms of biodiversity.
Accommodation: Anjajavy Le Lodge
Day 11
Day 11
Enjoy remote Anjajavy, where aside from excellent accommodation in an idyllic location, you can see plenty of wildlife, much of it unique to the highly threatened west Malagasy tropical deciduous woodlands.
Among the non-motorised activities included in the rates are the following walking excursions:
• Cove to cove • The Salt Wells Path • The Crab Path • The ;King’s Alley • The Sakalava path • The Tsingy Enclosure • The 'Alley of Baobabs' Marobozo • The Giant’s Walk • Night walks around Lodge
Accommodation: Anjajavy Le Lodge
Day 12
Day 12
More time to explore the fantastic tropical dry deciduous forest of Anjajavy Reserve, which during recent years was doubled in size and protects one of the very few remaining tracts of this highly threatened forest type on the island.
The total protected area of the Reserve is 10,803ha, including 1,030ha of Private Reserve and 9,773ha of IUCN V Protected Area Harmonious Landscape).
As terrain is generally flat and gentle, walks are graded as 'Easy' and there are good guides, who will point out rare wildlife along the way. Additionally, the area includes a healthy mangrove system in which boat excursions are on offer.
Accommodation: Anjajavy Le Lodge
Day 13
Day 13
Another day which can be spent either exploring more of the wonderful forest reserve, or perhaps relaxing on one of the sunny beaches. There's snorkelling to be had especially around Moramba Bay, which is certainly a place all guests should visit as a day trip.
Night walks too, are very interesting and rewarding - you may see (and certainly hear) vociferous Milne-Edward's sportive lemurs, and encounter many tiny Mouse lemurs of two species - the Gray mouse lemur which is very common here, and the larger Danfoss' mouse lemur. In spring and summer, look for Fat-tailed dwarf lemurs, which aestivate in winter.
Accommodation: Anjajavy Le Lodge
Day 14
Day 14
Your last day in this remote, secluded and wonderful place. Savour the delights of Anjajavy, where you'll also be assured of top-notch hospitality and great food. Many of our clients who have travelled here with us, return for more visits.
Contact us if you'd like to arrange optional extras, such as a Star Bed night in a discreet cove.
Accommodation: Anjajavy Le Lodge
Day 15
Day 15
Anjajavy - Antananarivo and departure
Take the scheduled light aircraft transfer from Anjajavy back to Antananarivo, arriving at 11h00.
You will be transferred to Relais des Plateaux where you have the use of a day room and can freshen up. You will then be transferred back to the airport to check in for your flight home after an extraordinary and wonderful trip!
Day 16
Arrival home
Arrive back home with a wonderful catalogue of memories and a smorgasbord of wildlife observations and experiences to treasure.

Pricing Information & Dates

16 day tour, from £13520 - £14370 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Guide
Price Includes
* International flights from London Heathrow or selected other UK airports (economy class seating)
* Light aircraft transfers (return) from Antananarivo to Mandrare River Camp; Maroantsetra and Anjajavy
* All private transfers and 4-wheel drive transportation
* Services of professional and experienced, English-speaking Malagasy guides
* All park permits and entrance fees
* Park guide fees
* Excursions and activities as outlined
* Accommodation with meals as per itinerary
Price Excludes
* items of a personal nature
* visa fee (35 euros.issued on arrival)
* additional meals and drinks
* gratuities.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Ifotaka Community Forest
  3.   Masoala National Park
  4.   Anjajavy Forest Reserve

Accommodation on this Tour

Anjajavy Le Lodge
Anjajavy Le Lodge
Anjajavy & the Northwest, Madagascar
Anjajavy Le Lodge stands beside the beach at the end of a peninsula that extends into a wide bay in the Mozambique Channel. It is a remote and exceptionally beautiful coast, with sandy coves and turquoise waters, and at Anjajavy it borders a superb dry forest reserve protecting a host of unique wildlife.
Mandrare River Camp
Mandrare River Camp
Ifotaka Community Forest, Madagascar
Luxury Mandrare River Camp stands in the shade of tamarind trees on the bank of the Mandrare River, about 110km northwest of Fort Dauphin. Large (17m²) tented rooms have a comfortable, netted, four-poster bed, electric lighting and private en suite facilities.
Masoala Forest Lodge
Masoala Forest Lodge
Masoala National Park, Madagascar
Masoala Forest Lodge is an exclusive, remotely located camp with 7 comfortable, furnished and fully netted safari-style tents on high stilts that accommodate a maximum of 14 people. The tents are set under thatched roofs and each stands on a wooden deck, with a hammock in which to doze after lunch.
Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
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.

Image Gallery


'Holiday of a lifetime! Michel in Tana and Ernest at Manafiafy were excellent ambassadors for Madagascar - well educated, informative, personable.

Luxury Camping Safari: Excellent in all respects. Couldn't have been better looked after; very comfortable. Enjoyable camping experience.

Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge: excellent. Elene is an excellent hostess and superb manager. The lodge runs like clockwork; her staff are well trained, enthusiastic and polite. She and they deserve continued success'

Mr & Mrs McClelland
December 10, 2015
Call our experts now 0203 131 5311
Send An Enquiry Fill out our online enquiry form Request Callback Enter a time for us to call you Send An Enquiry Fill out our online enquiry form Request Callback Enter a time for us to call you
Calling from one of the countries below?
If so use the toll-free number listed.
USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137
Your bookings are protected by our travel guarantee Read More