Madagascar Tour Plan

As a country that starts with M listed on, Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, is 450 kilometers from Mozambique in the Indian Ocean and is almost as big as Spain and Portugal combined. Most of the country consists of highlands with an average height of 1,100 m, which slopes steeply into the sea to the east towards the Indian Ocean. The highest peak is the Maromokotro in the north of the island at 2,876 m.

Madagascar 3

  • Day 1: Arrival in another world: Madagascar
  • Day 2: Antananarivo – Morondava – Kirindy
  • Day 3: The Kirindy Forest – Bekopaka
  • Day 4: The Tsingys, Madagascar’s unique rock needle points
  • Day 5: Hike in Tsingy
  • Day 6: The Baobab Alley – Morondava
  • Day 7: By boat to Belo sur Mer
  • Day 8: Belo sur Mer
  • Day 9: beach day !
  • Day 10: Morondava – Miandrivazo
  • Day 11: Miandrivazo – Antsirabe
  • Day 12: Antsirabe – Antananarivo – Andasibe
  • Day 13: Special Reserve-Mantadia National Park
  • Day 14: Andasibe – Akanin’ny Nofy
  • Day 16: Akanin’ny Nofy – Palmarium Reserve on the Canal de Pangalane
  • Day 17: Akanin’ny Nofy – Toamasina
  • Day 18: From Toamasina to Tana
  • Day 19: One day in Antananarivo
  • Day 20: Departure from Tana

The gray calcified needles and teeth between which we wander are razor-sharp. Some of these “Tsingy” look like Gothic buildings that someone has pushed together with an excess of strength; others are reminiscent of ghostly figures with hoods on their heads. “Tsingy” literally means “like walking on tiptoe.” It’s good that we have sturdy shoes on, after all, we are not lemurs – many of these endemic animals just jump around between the sharp rocks. Deep under the tropical heat that lies over this stony sea, caves and miles of passages stretch out, even underground lakes. The tombs at the mouth of the Manambolo River are considered sacred by the locals.

In the west of Madagascar you can discover tropical forests and avenues made of baobab – those trees that look like they are stretching their roots towards the sky. And everywhere there are animal species that are nowhere else on earth, like the aye-aye with its long spider fingers. We also visit rice terrace fields, thermal springs and small lagoons.

We chug over the Canal de Pangalanes by boat; erected in the French colonial times, it has since silted up. Despite the lack of roads, it is still the region’s lifeline today. We encounter countless colorful boats, pirogues (dugout canoes) and children playing on the shore, we stop at some villages. Finally we reach the port city of Toamasina, where the influence of the Portuguese, French, British and Merina can be seen – and where the majority of the residents are less than twenty years old.

Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner

1st day:

Arrival in another world: Madagascar

Descent on Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar – our adventure on the “Red Island” begins. Why does Madagascar have this nickname? Gradually this had to give way to rice cultivation and arable land and so the bright red soil came to light in many places.
Due to the isolated development, very independent plants and animals such as the lemurs have developed on the island. That is why it is also known as the “sixth continent”.
At the airport, our tour guide picks us up and takes us to the city.

Overnight stay in the Hotel Les 3 Metis or similar
(- / – / -)

2nd day:

Antananarivo – Morondava – Kirindy

After breakfast we board the plane to Morondova. Once there, we continue to Kirindy Mitea National Park, in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. Krindy means something like “dense forest with animals”. The dry forest of Kirindy extends over 12,500 hectares between the village of Beroboka and Mandroatse or Ankaraobato.

Driving time: approx. 2 hours (65 km), flight time approx. 1 hour,
overnight stay in Lodge Renala or similar
(B / – / D)

3rd day:

The Kirindy Forest – Bekopaka

We lace up our hiking boots and hike through the Kirindy dry forest. 8 lemur species, 23 other mammals, 50 reptile and 15 amphibian species are at home here. But we can also observe over 40 species of birds there. The dense dry forest is known for Madagascar’s largest predator: the fossa. We are curious which of these animals will run in front of our lenses today!
Then it goes with the off-road vehicle to Bekopaka on the “red slope”.
During an evening walk we encounter the nocturnal and small animal world and let our day end comfortably.

Driving time: approx. 4-5 hours (130 km)
Hike: approx. 4 hours and approx. 2 hours evening game drive
Overnight at Hotel Le Relais de Kirindy or similar
(B / – / D)

4th day:

The Tsingys, Madagascar’s unique rock needle points

A particularly impressive natural landscape awaits us today: that of the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. The park got its name from the “Tsingys”, which means “walking on tiptoe”: The razor-sharp, ribbed limestone rock needle points shape the appearance of the 15,200 hectare national park. The rock spikes and teeth protrude up to 40 m into the sky. This stone sea, which nature has created here over thousands of years, appears almost like a Gothic building.
Here, too, we see endemic plants and animals such as the snow-white blanket Sifala – one of 13 lemur species living there. In the lush green vegetation we also encounter many other animal species: reptiles, amphibians, almost 100 species of birds and bats.

Driving time: approx. 1-2 hours (17 km)
Hike: approx. 5 hours
overnight stay in the Hotel Le Relais de Kirindy or similar
(B / – / D)

5th day:

Hike in Tsingy

Today we hike through the “small” Tsingys along the Manambolo River. Here, on the bank of the river, we learn about the Vazimba tribe, presumably a Malagasy indigenous population who lived here before the colonization by Southeast Asians and Africans If you like, you can stroll through the small village of Bekopaka or relax in the hotel.

Travel time: approx. 30 minutes.
Hike: approx. 3 hours.
Overnight stay in the Hotel Olympe de Bemaraha or similar
(B / – / D)

6th day:

The Baobab Alley – Morondava

With breakfast in our stomach, we go back to Morondava. On the way there, another highlight of the island awaits us: the unique baobab avenue. The imposing baobabs are a symbol of Madagascar. Each of the baobab trees is impressive, but the stars among them are the intertwined loving baobabs and the up to 800 year old sacred baobab. “Renala – mother of the forest” is what the locals call the up to 30 m high symbol of Madagascar.
In the evening we reach our lodge.

Driving time: approx. 7-8 hours (200 km) Overnight at Lodge Renala or similar
(B / – / -)

7th day:

By boat to Belo sur Mer

Today we chug with the boat to Belo sur Mer. The village on the edge of a small lagoon awaits us with a white sandy beach, crystal clear water and a colorful underwater world with colorful schools of fish and glowing coral reefs. This place invites us to dream, here we can let our soul dangle for the rest of the day.

Travel time: approx. 3 hours by boat
Overnight in Hotel Entr’MEr or similar
(B / – / -)

8th day:

Belo sur Mer

Today we take a trip to the “salt pans” and the baobab forest in the hinterland. If you like, you can visit the boat factory in the fishing village of Belo sur Mer instead – the most renowned artisanal shipyards are located here.

Hike: approx. 4 hours
overnight in Hotel Entr’MEr or similar
(B / – / -)

Day 9:

Beach day!

Snorkel the colorful underwater world in the turquoise-blue sea, read a book on the white sandy beach. Let your gaze disappear behind the horizon of the Indian Ocean. Depending on our mood, we design today’s beach day.

Overnight in Hotel Entr’MEr or similar
(B / – / -)

10th day:

Morondava – Miandrivazo

It starts early in the morning. We’ll sail back to Morondava. From there we drive to Miandrivazo, which is the starting point for our onward journey the next day.

Travel time: approx. 4 hours (250 km)
Boat trip: approx. 2 hours
overnight stay in the hotel
(B / – / -)

11th day:

Miandrivazo – Antsirabe

Today’s destination is Antsirabe, in the central highlands of Madagarskars, which is located in the middle of a volcanic landscape. On Madagascar’s longest national road (920 km), Route National 7 (RN 7), we pass Malagasy hilly landscape. At the same time we drive through one of the coldest regions of the island. A lot of rice is grown in this area, often in elaborately landscaped rice terrace fields.
In the afternoon we reach the health resort Antsirabe, the “city of Visy water”. The place is known for its many mineral-rich thermal springs, from which its name “Any sira be” (“where there is a lot of salt”). But also its crater lakes like Tritriva and Tatamarina – deep blue, mysterious lakes – add to the popularity of Antisrabe.
It is also the city of rickshaws because the density of this mode of transport is greatest here. If you like, you can visit family businesses or workshops where various everyday items and nice decorations are made from recycled materials, zebu horns and other items.

Driving time: approx. 4 hours (225 km)
Overnight at the Hotel Residence de la Haute Terre or similar
(B / – / -)

12th day:

Antsirabe – Antananarivo – Andasibe

Today we drive to Andasibe through varied stretches of land and evergreen rainforests. On the way we stop at the Marozevo chameleon farm. Here we can watch the rustic reptiles “shoot with the tongue” and have the opportunity to photograph other, also very rare, reptiles.

Driving time: approx. 7 hours (300 km) Overnight at Vakona Forest Lodge or similar
(B / – / -)

13th day:

Special reserve-Mantadia Natonalpark

In Perinet it is especially the Indri-Indri lemurs who have a protected habitat here, in addition to a multitude of flora and fauna. 108 different types of birds live here, plus 14 different types of lemurs, 51 different reptiles and 84 types of amphibians. The variety of animal species is great here in the Analamazaotra National Park. The flora is also very varied. Located in the middle of dense tropical forests, you will find all kinds of plant species, including lianas, that convey a real jungle feeling.

Driving time: approx. 1 hour (17 km)
Hike: approx. 4 hours
overnight stay at Vakona Forest Lodge or similar
(B / – / -)

14th day:

Andasibe – Akanin’ny Nofy

It starts early in the morning. We visit the Vakona Reserve and then continue to Manambato. From there we cruise over the Canal de Pangalanes, a network of watercourses and small lakes. Since our accommodation is located directly above the white sandy beach of Akanin’ny Nofy Lake, the lake can also be used for swimming.

Driving time: approx. 5 hours (125 km)
Boat trip: approx. 1 hour
Hike: approx. 1 hour
overnight stay at Palmarium Lodge or similar
(B / – / -)

15.-16. Day:

Akanin’ny Nofy – Palmarium Reserve on the Canal de Pangalane

Today there are some optional opportunities for exploration on the water or on land. The Palmarium Reserve on Akanin’ny Nofy Lake is home to a few dozen species of lemurs: indri, sifaka, red-bellied lemurs, crowned lemurs, black lemurs and vari lemurs, but also a fascinating flora. If you want, you can also take a boat tour or an evening game drive in a reserve on a neighboring island where the strange aye aye, also known as the finger animal, live.

Hike: approx. 2-4 hours
overnight at Palmarium Lodge or similar
(B / – / -)

17th day:

Akanin’ny Nofy – Toamasina

Today we have a 63 kilometer long boat transfer over the Canal de Pangalanes to Toamasina. There are many possibilities for excursions to typically small villages on the shore. We would be happy to put these together individually for you. After a 3-hour boat trip, we reach the port city of Toamasina (Tamatave in French) with around 300,000 residents. Due to the influences of the different occupations during the colonial period – Portuguese, French, British, Merina and finally the French again – we still encounter a very interesting and multi-layered city today.

Hike: approx. 2-4 hours
overnight in Hotel M’Ray or similar
(B / – / -)

18th day:

From Toamasina to Tana

Today we visit the market in Tamatave before we continue our journey to Tana. Toamasina’s Bazary be is colorful, loud and always full of life. The market is best known for its size and variety of foods. The scent of different spices rises in our noses: cloves, cinnamon, wild pepper, vanilla pods, saffron and turmeric. Depending on the season, the freshly harvested fruits smile at us: mangoes, rambutans, lychees, guavas, jackfruits, bananas and pineapples. We find rice on every corner, but also Madagascan souvenirs such as raffia baskets or wood carvings.

Driving time: approx. 8 hours overnight in the Hotel Les 3 Metis or similar
(B / – / -)

19th day:

One day in Antananarivo

In Tana, as the capital of Madagascar is also called, we still have the opportunity to visit the city and buy souvenirs. Literally translated, the name of the city means “city of a thousand”. A day room is available to you!


20th day:

Departure from Tana

Today it is time to say goodbye to this species-rich island. We enter European soil with many new impressions, from which we will hopefully benefit for a long time.

(- / – / -)

Madagascar 4

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