Madagascar Reef & Rainforest
Black & white ruffed lemur can be seen at Mantadia and on Nosy Nato  
Parson's chameleon, Andasibe: it can reach 2ft in length  
See Indris leaping up to 30ft between trees in Andasibe-Mantadia  
Quadbiking around Ste Marie is great fun!  
Princesse Bora has all you need for a chillaxed break  
Ste Marie has many quiet, palm-lined coves  
Whale watching is best in later July and August.  
Humpback whale and her calf off Ste Marie  
Humpback whales are a huge drawcard around Ste Marie in July -August  
Enjoy magical sunsets on Ste Marie  
Near Princesse Bora  
Loo at a Pizza Restaurant on Ile Aux Nattes (Nosy Nato)  
Sublime beach scene, Ile Sainte Marie  
Aerial of Princesse Bora's swimming pool  
Ile Aux Nattes (Nosy Nato) is a must see for all visitors to Ste Marie  
14 day tour
Including flights
Prices from
£3165 - £3720

Tour Highlights

  • Exquisite, wildlife-rich rainforest at Andasibe-Mantadia National Park - see Lemurs, Chameleons and rare birds
  • Palm-lined beaches on Ile Sainte Marie
  • Whale-watching (in season) off Ile Sainte Marie
  • Snorkelling around Ile Aux Nattes
I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Reef & Rainforest

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I'm enquiring about: Madagascar Reef & Rainforest

Madagascar Reef & Rainforest


This is an easy two-week tailor-made holiday in Madagascar combining stunning wildlife-rich eastern rainforests and a lovely eco-sensitive hotel at a reef-protected beach on the tropical Ile Ste Marie.

The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park protects 11 species of lemur as well as many reptiles including the enormous Parson's chameleon, and most of the country's rainforest-dependent endemic birds, such as the Blue coua and Nuthatch vanga. In th 10,000ha primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park, you can see the Diademed sifaka and a select band of other rarities not necessarily found at Andasibe ('Perinet').  

Night walks may reveal the localised Goodman's Mouse lemur and a host of other nocturnal denizens of the central-eastern rainforests. This area holds a world record for number of frog species among rainforests of comparable size. 

End the holiday on the balmy, tropical Ile Sainte Marie where Princesse Bora Lodge is also home to a research project for the protection of marine mammals and a great place to indulge in some whale-watching from July to beginning September.

Ile Aux Nattes is a must for any visitor - its a chilled islet off the southern side of Ste Marie which is easily reached by boat or by local dugouts or 'lakana'. There's a good pizza restaurant and in the woods, you may even see some well habituated Black and white ruffed lemurs. You can visit the World's only Pirate Cemetery and for a lovely day trip, go to remote Coco Bay up in the north, by tuk-tuk. 

This trip is perfect for couples and also, for families who have children aged 10 or older.

***** AIRLINE UPDATE: (APRIL 2022): Currently, domestic flights between Antananarivo and Ile Sainte Marie are operated only on Fridays and Sundays.  *****

Read more about this tour

Day 1
Day 1
London - Paris - Antananarivo
Fly with Air France**** from London (or selected regional airports) via Paris.
On arrival into Antananarivo. you will be met and transferred to the Relais de Plateaux for a one night stay. This comfortable hotel, which has one of Madagascar's best restaurants, is just 5 - 10 minutes drive from the airport so very conveniently located.
**** Should you prefer to fly with another international carrier, please do let us know and we can quote accordingly.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Day 2
Day 2
Antananarivo & Andasibe-Mantadia National Park (Perinet)
After a leisurely breakfast, your professional wildlife expert guide and driver collect you at your hotel. You will be driven 3 and a half hours eastwards along winding tarmac roads to Vakona Lodge in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
Begin your exploration of the reserve in search of the iconic, ape-like Indri along with a plethora of other rainforest-dependent wildlife. Evening walk in the Station Forestier de Analamazaotra rainforest concession managed by proactive NGO Association Mitsinjo, for nocturnal wildlife. Stay 3 nights at Vakona Forest Lodge, Mantadia Lodge or Andasibe Hotel, breakfast, dinner included.
Accommodation: Vakona Forest Lodge
Day 3
Day 3
Mantadia National Park
Explore the primary rainforest of Mantadia National Park to seek Diademed sifaka, Black-and-white ruffed lemurs, the insectivorous tenrecs and the rainforest-dependent ground rollers. You may wish to take a picnic lunch and eat it beside a waterfall. In the afternoon you may wish to visit Lemur Island, where visitors go to get that 'lemurs on the shoulder' experience.
Day 4
Day 4
Andasibe aka Amalamazaotra ('Perinet')
Your guides will take you to explore the rainforest of Andasibe, where groups of Indri and other iconic rainforest species are readily seen along paths mostly graded as 'easy'.
Day 5
Day 5
Andasibe - Antananarivo
Much of the day to explore either more of Andasibe, or visit the rainforest concession of Analamazaotra across the road, administered by Association Mitsinjo which works with Money for Madagascar.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Day 6
Day 6
Antananarivo - Ile Ste Marie (flight)
You will be driven to the airport for the flight to Ile Ste Marie for a 7 night stay in a double charme bungalow at Princesse Bora Lodge, with breakfast and dinner included.
Complimentary lodge activities include snorkelling, kayaking, use of bicycles, sauna, Jacuzzi and swimming pool.
Activities with a surcharge include spa treatments, day excursions, rental of motorbike or quad bikes and scuba diving.
Rates for whale watching (payable at the hotel):
From 45 Euros per adult (and 23 Euros per child) for the first whale-watching excursion; 30 Euros per adult and 15 Euros per child for subsequent excursions.
Transfers to Ile Aux Nattes (Nosy Nato), payable at the hotel: 12 Euros return.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 7
Day 7
Ile Ste Marie
Enjoy palm-lined coves, discover the offshore islands such as charming Ile Aux Nattes, see the legacy of pirate and French settlement, explore the coastal bush and the mangrove system, dive the wrecks, snorkel, watch village life and in season, arrange unforgettable whale watching excursions through the hotel.
(Please note that whales are wild animals so sightings can never be guaranteed: officially the whale watching season is 01 July - 30 September, but global weather patterns can result in unforeseen changes of seasonal movements - our recommendation for those who want to see the whales, is to travel in later July through August).
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 8
Day 8
Ile Sainte Marie
Aside from rest and relaxation time, you could explore some of the island of Ste Marie, where attractions include the world's only pirate cemetery.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 9
Day 9
Ile Sainte Marie
Relax on Ile Sainte Marie or partake in various activities which can be arranged at the lodge. (Activities are payable directly).
Bora Dive, an excellent scuba diving centre, is right next to the lodge property. The center has quality equipment and qualified PADI instructors. Diving programs are tailored for all levels of divers, starting with initiations in the swimming-pool for children from age 8 and over.
Bora Dive will help keen underwater enthusiasts discover the coral reefs of Sainte-Marie, explore shipwrecks, or even try a night dive. PADI certifications are offered. Luciano Toto, Bora Dive's Malagasy diving instructor, has more than 2,000 hours of diving experience in these tropical waters and is passionate about enabling guests to have fun and interesting dives. The 18 dive sites each has its own special attractions. Rays, groupers, triggerfish, reef sharks, turtles, moray eels, jacks, snappers and so much more. Also to be seen are nudibranchs, ghost fish, leaf fish, pipefish and a myriad other wonderful marine life forms.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 10
Day 10
Ile Sainte Marie
With Princesse Bora as your base, you can either relax by the lodge, or venture out and explore Ste Marie.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 11
Day 11
Ile Ste Marie
Another day to savour the delights of Ile Sainte Marie.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 12
Day 12
Ile Sainte Marie
Day to enjoy Ile Sainte Marie. Another plus of Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa, is the Jungle Spa, where a range of treatments is on offer.
Accommodation: Princesse Bora Lodge
Day 13
Day 13
Sainte Marie - Antananarivo (flight)
Take a Zebu oxcart transfer (or car, if you prefer) transfer to Ste Marie airport for the Air Madagascar flight back to Antananarivo.
Once in the capital, your guide and driver will meet you for a city highlights trip, time allowing. During this you can stop at one of the artisans's markets and at Lisy Gallerie for some shopping. You'll have the use of a day room at Relais des Plateaux if flying out on Air France early the next morning.
Late evening transfer back to Ivato airport for the Air France check in (if you choose to fly on Air France). If you prefer to fly out on a different carrier, overnight with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Relais Des Plateaux Hotel & Spa
Day 14
Departure (reluctantly)
If flying out on Air France, you will depart Antananarivo around 01h30 and arrive in Paris CDG late morning. Connect there with the lunch time Air France flight back to London Heathrow or select other UK aiports).
If you prefer to fly internationally on other airlines, please call us for a tailor-made quotation.

Pricing Information & Dates

14 day tour, from £3165 - £3720 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
Itinerary Dates From Price
01 May 2022
04 Jul 2022
05 Jul 2022
31 Aug 2022
01 Sep 2022
30 Sep 2022
01 Oct 2022
30 Nov 2022
Price Includes
Air France international flights via Paris CDG (economy class seating from London or other UK airport)
Departure taxes
Air Madagascar domestic flights
Accommodation and meals as specified
Park entry permits
Exclusive services of a qualified driver and a professional English-speaking wildlife expert guide for Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Antananarivo
Transfers and private transportation.
Price Excludes
Visa fee (€35)
Drinks, items of a personal nature, additional meals and any activities not mentioned.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Antananarivo
  2.   Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
  3.   Ile Ste Marie

Accommodation on this Tour

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 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.
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 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


Hi Derek

Madagascar was incredible.  We had an amazing time, and saw and did things that we could never have imagined.  Radu, our guide, met us at the airport and was superb throughout.  His understanding and insight into Madagascar was excellent, and he proved to be a truly outstanding person to travel with.  Additionally, Abraham, our local guide within the Andasibe-Mantadia regions was great.  He took us deep into the parks, and off the beaten tracks in order that we could see the wildlife up close and in its natural habitat.  We did.  We saw all of the lemurs indigenous to the area in question, and saw some of them very close up.  We even did a night-time walk to see if we could see the nocturnal lemurs.  

The hotel we stayed at in Andasibe was very good.  Our room was very spacious and clean, and had all the facilities that one could hope for.  The hotel staff were also very helpful, and on hand when they were needed.  The food in the restaurant was first class, and we got the opportunity to try traditional Madagascan dishes that neither of us had ever heard of.  It's always nice to try another country's traditional cuisine!  

Our time on Ile St Marie was truly extraordinary.  I don't think either of us was prepared for what we saw.  It was, literally, a paradise island in the sun.  And the sun shone almost all of the time!  We were met by and ox cart, which took us to our lodge, and then shown to our quarters, which were very comfortable.  As honeymooners we were also given a complementary spa treatment and lantern lit dinner of the beach!  Everything was extremely well organised and the hospitality couldn't have been better!  

We took excursions to Ile aux Nattes, Coco Bay, and Point Laree.  Each of these areas was amazing in its own way.  Neither of us had ever seen sea like it - it was so clear and warm.  We also went quad biking to the opposite side of the island.  We visited several of the markets, and also the pirate cemetery.  

I also took a lot of photographs some of which look very good.  If you'd like me to, I could process some of the better ones and send them through to you...

Overall, the holiday was fantastic, and we had an amazing time.  We would certainly both do it again.

All the best

Phil and Santie


Mr and Mrs Kerr
November 12, 2018

'Dear Helen

Overall we had a great trip, absolutely memorable.

Our guide was called Vola (?) and she looked after us very well In Andasibe and Mantadia.  There with a local guide, we saw 6 species of Lemur; Indri, Common Brown, Sifuka, Red bellied Black & White, Bamboo and Easter Woolly.  Having IS binoculars helped a great deal and with a new camera we got some good photos of Lemurs 30m or 40m above us.  In fact we could see things the guide could not.  The night walks were less successful, but interesting all the same.  Orchids & birds were a tad disappointing due to the season.  The Orchid Park was devoid of any blossoms on any of its many orchids due to the season.  It must be wonderful when they bloom.

The Andaside Hotel was comfortable and the service good.  We experimented with Malagasy food with varying success.  Zebu steak was good; a chicken curry mostly bone!  Rice with every meal!  Vola took us through the village to see how the locals live and Di bought some small locally made Indri lemurs. 

The road transfers were most interesting seeing the paddy fields and brick making and the washing.  More alarming were the mountainsides cleared and planted with Eucalyptus for charcoal production – but that seems to be the main fuel.  We came across a 100 or so people singing and dancing with a body taking it for re-wrapping; later we saw a second just as we were leaving Ste Marie.    We also saw the freight train; pity it does not carry passengers.

The transfer to Ste Marie began slightly bizarrely.  It was a very early take-off, but we had been directed to a back entrance to the airport, where we sat in the car for almost an hour as the aircrew gradually arrived.  Eventually we were admitted and processing the 10 or so passengers was pretty quick. 

The arrival in Ste Marie is memorable as is the transfer to the Princess Bora in a wagon drawn by two Zebu.  We very much enjoyed our stay at the hotel which was outstanding in a number of ways, although we do have one or two adverse comments which I will come to later.  What was excellent was the staff service who were all extremely friendly and helpful.   Despite the restaurant having burnt down a few months ago, the food was wonderful.   For the evening meals, there was a choice of two for each of the three courses.  Often Di had one choice and I took the other as the quality and presentation was so good.  Breakfast was an extensive buffet with plenty of choice of fruit and pastries and a chef who was pleased to cook you eggs any  style.  We always ate breakfast outside the restaurant tent with our binoculars.  On many occasions we were able to see whales as we ate breakfast!  Not many hotels can offer that!

We liked our villa; it is wonderful to go to sleep with the sound of the waves on the beach.  You might note that they do provide separate beach towels, so we brought our own towels back unused.  Also while there was one ordinary bike available free (another under repair), but there is a charge for a mountain bike – 30,000 Ar. for a half day and 40,000 Ar. for a full day.  We hired for a morning to cycle to Ambodifotatra to get more of a feel for the local life.  We had previously been into the town by Tuc-Tuc, but they travel at such a speed you cannot see much.  We walked to the Pirates Cemetery which was most interesting.  The sign says you can go without a guide, but we were compelled to take one and he was thoroughly worth the money.

After a lecture one evening by a young American on whale research programme, we went out the next day and had plenty of sightings including mothers and their calves.  Again lots of photos and videos.  We then got absolutely soaked in a torrential downpour, but that’s life.... 

The swimming and snorkelling are rather oversold.  While it is a major diving centre, the sea between the beach and the reef is only about 3 feet deep, is pretty polluted with a lot of weed and sea urchins and almost no fish.  We did borrow snorkelling equipment (good quality) on two occasions.  Locally we were told that you had to swim out through the gap in the reef used by the boats, about a 100m.  I did this, but felt uncomfortable that with no safety boat and a long swim back.  Di did not attempt it.  We were advised to try on the Ile aux Nattes and at the southern end of Ste Marie near the crossing.  However, we found the same.  Despite looking ideal, it is not a swimming or snorkelling beach.... The pontoon has a swimming area, but that is also not very deep.  If the pontoon had reached beyond the reef, it would be much easier to snorkel.  Another thing for your information, they offer Wi-Fi in the library/lounge but it is pretty slow and intermittent.  They also have it in the reception area where it is much faster, so we usually went there before breakfast each day.

As you know, our return flight time was changed and we are very grateful that it was re-arranged that we stayed a further day at Princess Bora rather than waste two days in Tana.  The flight in the Bora 4 seater was also memorable as we flew quite low.

On the final day, Lionel took us to the Craft Market, which was rather overwhelming – the relentless sales pressure is not for the faint hearted, but there is a fantastic range of souvenirs.  We had in fact bought most things we wanted from roadside craftsmen and vendors In Ste Marie.  After lunch we had a walk round the high town and visited the Queen’s Palace, where again we had an extremely good guide, who was an Anglophile.  He showed us the George III cannons and the positive influence Britain had from Mauritius before the French invaded.  Rugby is their second national game and his heroes were Jonny Wilkinson and Lawrence Dellaglio; a bizarre conversation to have in Madagascar.

Many thanks for helping us have a memorable and enjoyable trip; we saw plenty of lemurs and whales.   We had excellent guides, but we also saw how local people live e.g. when we visited Andasibe village and when we walked across the middle of the Ile aux Nattes; how despite their poverty (by our standards) there are plenty of smiles around and many are colourfully dressed.

Best wishes


PS I am still going through photos; if I find any good ones I will copy them to you.'

Mr and Mrs Mathisen
September 13, 2017

'The Royal Palissandre Hotel was lovely.

Sahatandra River Hotel at Andasibe: pool was nice. Staff were friendly. Room comfortable. Dinners were nice.

Princesse Bora Lodge: excellent. So much to do, in a lovely place.

Craig was very flexible in tailoring the holiday to suit our needs. The rest of the Raibow Tours team was very friendly and helpful when we called'

Mr Wilson and Ms Elliott
November 18, 2016

'Thanks for arranging such a wonderful holiday. Lovely, friendly staff at Andasibe Hotel. Excellent in all respects. Princesse Bora Lodge is excellent in all respects. Very good lodge with excellent staff'.

Ms Holland and Ms Boers
October 10, 2016

'We had a fantastic honeymoon. All the locals were so friendly. Wanting to do more of Madagascar now!. Our guide Rova was brilliant, had great knowledge of the area, answered every question and was very helpful. Would recommend him to anyone!

Relais des Plateaux was jusa used as a place lay down our heads and get a good nigts' sleep.

Princesse Bora Lodge: we had a fantastic stay and made good use of the facilities i.e kayaking, snorkelling, bicycles. The staff are so brilliant and accommodating; would recommend to anyone.


Mr & Mrs Hewitt
September 30, 2016

'Well organised tour and couldn't fault the care we were given by our guides and representatives in a very poor country in its infancy of tourism.

Combava Hotel: Good. Fine for overnight stops and very nice to have use of a room before late evening transfer to airport.

Andasibe Hotel: Good. Unprepared for how cold Andasibe-Mantadia National Park was in the evenings. Otherwise absolutely fine.  

Princesse Bora Lodge: excellent. Couldn't fault the hotel - wonderful'.


Mr and Mrs Reekie
September 20, 2016

'Njiva was a fantastic guide - thoroughly recommend him. Driver, Dodo, was also very good. Overall holiday satisfaction (Classic Madagascar overland: the RN7 route): excellent. 

Vakona Forest Lodge is a lovely place but they wanted us to leave the bar/seating area by around 9pm. 

Setam Lodge: good in all respects. Location excellent.

La Varangue de Betsileo: Service and comfort: excellent. Location, meals and facilities all good. 

Relais la Reine d'Isalo: excellent.

Moringa Hotel: good in all respects; excellent meals.

Princesse Bora Lodge: Comfort, meals and facilities good; service and location excellent.'


Ms Godfrey and Mr Naylor
January 25, 2016

'Thank you for an excellent holiday. Fiona Herring has been very helpful all the way through - thank you Fiona! We would certainly recommend Rainbow Tours to other people thinking of a holiday in Madagascar'

Mr and Mrs Monckford
October 30, 2015

'We were very impressed that Rainbow Tours ensureed we had tickets on a private charter from Ile Sainte Marie when the Air Madagascar flight looked like it was going to be cancelled. This could have ruined the end of our holiday but it just goes to prove that Rainbow Tours are exceptional at what they do. We'd happily travel with Rainbow Tours in the future'

Ms Clements & Mr Stephenson
September 25, 2015

"Hi Derek, just a note to say thank you to yourself and Rainbow Tours for a great trip. June and I got back home at about 7:30pm last night after an amazing time on this beautiful island. It surpassed all expectations and so difficult to pick one highlight, but to list a few:

* Great support by Za Tours

* Excellent guides and drivers

* Lovely accommodation

* Lovely food

* Lovely, friendly people

* Driving through Tana - an experience not to be missed!

* drivng through villages, getting a glimpse of life - very humbling

* Rainforests were lovely

* Sainte Marie island - beautiful

* Performing Humpback whales - how lucky were we?!

* Wildlife, flowers, birds

* And of course...lemurs. FABULOUS!! Saw 10 different types (including aye ayes at the zoo).

I could go on but had better stop. Would highly recommend this trip. Will definitely return. Thank you to all the team. "

Ms Elgar
September 14, 2015

We thought you would enjoy these two photos which hopefully express how much fun we had in Ambodiforaha, blowing soap bubbles with the children, and touring Sainte Marie!


Sainte Marie

Nicole Fraser and family
March 16, 2015

From the very beginnings of our contact with Rainbow Tours we have been impressed with your service and prompt replies to our queries. The holiday itself was an astonishing mix of history, natural history, culture shock and relaxation – just as we had hoped. Our guides (Fan, in particular) and drivers were mines of information, charming and helpful. Barry in Andasibe had an incredible knowledge and ability to find lemurs, chameleons and birds – without him we would never have seen them.

M Hall & W Bayne
June 10, 2014

Fantastic time on the reefs and rainforests tour as a family of four with two teenage children. A little bit anxious before we left but there was no reason to be. We were well looked after at every stage….with a high emphasis on safety. Travel arrangements went smoothly, food was great and there was a nice mix of relaxation and interesting things to do (lemurs, whales etc). Madagascar is more turned to tourism than some websites lead you to believe. The dry season only means it is less wet than the wet season – you still need an anorak and won’t have any need for shorts in the rainforest. Really glad we chose Madagascar with Rainbow Tours.

July 29, 2013

Fantastic trip!

Mr Christie
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