Trekking in Madagascar

15 days
from
$4,479 USD
incl. taxes
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Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Moderate / Challenging
Activity Rating - Moderate/Challenging
Trip code: 
TZMA3
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Ages:
18+

Explore Madagascar's National Parks, mountains and incredible wildlife.

This exciting itinerary allows us to experience the incredible diversity of Madagascar, predominantly on foot. We trek in Andringitra National Park, one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks on the island, and in Isalo National Park with its unique landscape of rock formations, deep canyons, waterfalls and natural swimming pools. We go in search of lemurs in Anja Reserve and visit Ranomafana National Park, walking through spectacular scenery in the hope of spotting endemic lemurs, including dancing sifakas. Throughout the trip, the unique wildlife of this island will enchant and amaze.

Highlights

  • Trek in Isalo National Park
  • Climb Madagascar's second highest peak - Peak Boby
  • See lemurs in their natural habitat
  • Relax on the beach in the coastal town of Ifaty

Key information

  • 10 nights hotels with en suite facilities, 4 nights full-service camping, some basic campsites, all with shared facilities
  • 5 days walking with full porterage
  • 3 shorter daywalks
  • Altitude maximum 2658m, average 500m
  • Countries visited: Madagascar

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Flights
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Moderate/Challenging : Approximately 5-7 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 24.0km/2.0miles
Day 310.0km/5.5miles
Day 57.0km/4.0miles
Day 69.0km/5.0miles
Day 720.0km/11.0miles
Day 813.0km/7.0miles
Day 1011.0km/6.0miles
Day 1110.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Antananarivo; overnight.

    The group flights usually arrive into Antananarivo in the early afternoon and the group will be met and transferred to the start hotel. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.

    Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere or similar
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Morning city tour; transfer to Ambositra.

    We take a morning walk to the upper part of Antananarivo, ascending to Antaninareina (the commercial and administrative part of town) and walking to the main entrance of the Queen's palace, with outstanding views over Tana. In the afternoon we drive to Ambositra, where we have the chance to visit some Zafimaniry handicraft centres.

    Walk: Distance 4 km Ascent 160m Descent 0m Max Altitude:1360m Time: 1.5 hours

    Accommodation: Artisan Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Antoetra; full-day trek through hills and rice fields, visiting local villages.

    A full day walking to Antoetra allowing us to discover and explore the Zafimaniry villages. The Zafimaniry people are renowned for their woodcarvings; in their villages, even the houses are works of art! In 2003, the Zafimaniry people and their work with wood were considered to be masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, a list maintained by UNESCO to protect and preserve their way of life. We will walk through habituated areas - through rice fields, hills and small villages, following regular paths used by locals. After the walk, we drive back to Ambositra.

    Walk: Distance 10 km Ascent 238m Descent 311m Max Altitude: 1780m Time:6 hours

    Accommodation: Artisan Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Ranomafana N.P.

    Today we head south and east to the well visited national park of Ranomafana. The drive takes us through spectacular scenery, past neat Betsileo rice paddies and thick forests. We reach our destination in the afternoon and after some time to rest at the hotel, we take an evening walk along the roadside of Ranomafana to spot nocturnal wildlife.

    Accommodation: Hotel Le Grenat or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning visit to Ranomafana N.P.; transfer to Ambalavao in the afternoon.

    In the morning we visit Ranomafana National park - a mountainous rainforest park with elevations ranging from 600m to 1400m that contains many different forest types (from lowland rainforest to cloud forest and high plateau forest), and provides opportunity to see various species of lemurs (Golden bamboo lemurs, Greater and Lesser bamboo lemurs, Red-bellied lemurs, Red-fronted lemurs, Mile Edward’s Sifaka) as well as birds, frogs, reptiles, snails and orchids.

    In the afternoon, we drive to Ambalavao, the commercial centre of the southern Betsileo region, renowned for its folk art and craft. Whilst here we will visit a wine farm and also take the opportunity to learn about the production of the Antemoro-paper: a paper which is produced from the bark of the Havoha-tree.

    Walk: Distance: 6-8 km Ascent 120m Descent 120m Max Altitude: 1000m Time: 4-5 hours

    Accommodation: Tsienimparihy Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Early transfer to Andringitra N.P. to start the three-day trek to climb Peak Boby.

    Early transfer to Andringitra National Park - one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks in Madagascar. Andringitra National Park has been managed by the WWF since 1993, and has three distinct eco-zones: low altitude rainforest, montane rainforest and high altitude vegetation. Although Andringitra contains diverse wildlife (over 100 bird species, 50 mammal species, including 13 lemurs types, and 55 species of frogs), the prime reason for visiting is for the stunning landscape, vegetation and superb trekking. More than 1000 plant species are known to exist in this national park alone, and the guides are highly knowledgeable on the plants contained within the park and their medicinal uses.

    In the morning we visit two famous waterfalls: 'Riandahy' and 'Raimbavy' and then we begin our trek to reach the second highest peak in Madagascar, Peak Boby. Peak Boby is also known as 'Pic d'Imarivolanitra' which means 'close to the sky'. The trek begins in forest which slowly becomes replaced by alpine meadows covered with orchids by the end of the rainy season. Leaving the forest we ascend a steep path which arrives onto the Andohariana plateau, climbing higher behind granite mountain tops. As we walk through the high montane vegetation we reach a natural pool, which offers a freezing but very refreshing swim! After approximately 6 hours of walking, we camp at Anderamposty (2100m).

    Walk: Distance 9 km Ascent 530m Descent 90m Max Altitude: 2080m Time: 6 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Andringitra National Park

    The longest day of treks, we begin our climb to the summit of Peak Boby early, to avoid climbing in the full heat of the day. This is a day to keep your camera handy as the trek climbs higher, giving unrivalled views and superb high-altitude flora. Although this is the highest accessible peak in Madagascar, it is a technically easy ascent up carved steps, and we should reach the summit after about 3-4 hours. We descend the same route back to our campsite where we have a chance to relax by the river while our lunch is prepared. After lunch, we head out through moon-like landscapes, granite cliffs and a forest of palm trees known as Gloka, on our way to our campsite. After approximately 6 hours of walking we camp at Iantaranomby (1650m).

    Walk: Distance 20 km Ascent 1092m Descent 1526m Max Altitude: 2658m Time: 10.5 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Andringitra National Park

    Today we have our final day of walking in Andringitra National Park. After breakfast we leave the mountains, exploring some of the villages on foot. With the decreasing altitude, we pass by many forms of succulent plants, such as the Pachypodium (looking like a mini baobab tree), Euphorbia and through savannah landscape. After approximately 4 hours, we camp at Meva Campsite in Tsaranoro Valley (900m)

    Walk: Distance 13 km Ascent 237m Descent 899m Max Altitude: 1535m Time: 5-6 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Visit Anya Reserve to look for Ring-tailed lemurs; to Isalo N.P.

    We drive to the little town of Ranohira today, which is the base for visiting Isalo National Park. Along the way we visit the small reserve of Anja, where Katta (otherwise known as Ring-tailed) lemurs can be observed in their natural surroundings.

    Accommodation: Les Toiles de l'Isalo or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Exploring Isalo National Park

    One of the highlights of the trip, we spend two days exploring Isalo National Park. Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases, often described as Eden. Today we will start by walking along a relatively flat path, following the foot of the rocky mountain range, until the magnificent Canyon of Makis where we will search for cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux Sifaka. From here, we will do a fairly steep climb, (those suffering from vertigo may find this challenging) and then walk through the scenic, moonlike landscape of the park to our campsite.

    Walk:  Distance 11 km Ascent 461m  Descent 410m Max Altitude: 1094m Time: 5-6 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Continue exploring Isalo National Park

    Today is our second day spent exploring Isalo National Park. Today we will visit Namaza waterfall, once again in search of cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux Sifakas. We will then head to the 'Piscine Naturelle' (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot in such an arid landscape, where we can swim and relax after the hot walk. Perhaps the magic is just to soak up the sheer beauty of the park. The combination of coloured, eroded rock formations, strange plants and the enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Africa.

    Walk : Distance 10 km Ascent 30m Descent 20m Max Altitude: 1200m Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Les Toiles de l'Isalo or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To west coast and beaches; overnight at Ifaty beach

    After an early breakfast, we drive to Tulear, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south, and we pass both the 'Mahafaly tombs' and the 'Antandroy tombs', briefly observing their ornate decorations. Antandroy and Mahafaly are reputed to be the most impressive of all Malagasy tombs, with the Antandroy tombs being large and brightly painted, relating to the life story and wishes of the deceased. They are also topped with zebu skulls which were sacrificed during the funeral festivity - a ceremony of great significance. Mahafaly tombs are characterized by their wooden sculptures known as 'Aloalo', relating to the life of the deceased and their unfulfilled dreams, as well as their rank within the clan. After a brief stop in Tulear, we continue past the coastal town of Ifaty to our hotel on the beach.



    Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free time for relaxation or optional activities at Ifaty beach.

    Today we have a free day at  Ifaty beach. Running all the way around the south-west Malagasy coastline, Ifaty beach lies on one of the world's largest barrier reefs and hence is an excellent venue for scuba diving. Between late June and early September, whales can be observed off Ifaty's beautiful white beaches and the offshore islet of Nosy Ve is a terrific place for snorkelling. Protected by coral reefs, the beach and waters beyond the hotel offer a welcome rest from your trekking itinerary for those who wish just to relax.



    Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Fly to Antananarivo.

    Today we transfer to Tulear airport for our flight to Antananarivo which will arrive in the afternoon. Depending on the flight schedule, you may have free time to explore Antananarivo on your own.

    Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Antananarivo.

    Depending on flight times there may be the opportunity to embark on an optional short visit to Ambohimanga, the fortified village and its Royal Palace. Ambohimanga, otherwise known as Blue Hills, was for a long time forbidden to Europeans. The kings and queens returned here for rest and relaxation on top the forested slopes of this hill-top village. From here began the line of kings and queens who united Madagascar into one country. Ambohimanga still remains of spiritual significance for the Malagasy people with ceremonies and rituals still taking place.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Madagascar

Visas are required for entry to Madagascar. 30-day tourist visas may be obtained at the airport on arrival. If obtaining a visa at the airport, you should ensure that an entry stamp is recorded in your passport. The visa fee is payable in US dollars or Euros (US$37/€35).

Vaccinations

Madagascar

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners included.

Food standards in Madagascar can vary and are probably not of the same standard you are used to at home. A one-course lunch/dinner should cost £4-6 while a three-course lunch/dinner should cost £9-12 . Please allow approximately £160 for meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone's taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured rum’s which are widely sold and very reasonably priced.

Please note that if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options will be rather limited (i.e. omelette, cheese, pasta, vegetables and rice) on this trip. Breakfasts are usually simple: eggs, a baguette, jam and coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit. You may wish to bring something to supplement your morning meal (e.g spread, peanut butter etc).

Weather

Madagascar has a tropical climate with two seasons - rainy and dry. The driest season extends from April to October. It can be cold on the central plateau (including Antananarivo) in the evenings, and in the rainforest areas, so you should bring warm clothes (fleece and waterproof). There is considerable regional variation but coastal areas will normally be very hot and dry. Expect daytime in the shade temperatures up to 38ºC from October-December and up to 30ºC during April and September.

Antananarivo

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 4 (Moderate/Challenging):

This trip is suitable for clients with a good level of fitness. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not vital as long as you are confident of your physical condition. Some of the areas we visit are quite remote and will have basic facilities. Some of the walks in the national parks are uneven and may be slippery underfoot so you need to be comfortable with this. In addition, some of the trekking days are quite long, and at certain times of the year, the heat can make these walks more strenuous.

Madagascar is a rewarding destination with its wealth of flora and fauna, but, before you decide to travel, we would highlight the following issues for you to consider:

Travelling by vehicle in Madagascar can be uncomfortable as some of the road quality varies. Please read our travelling conditions for more information. We do have some longer drives but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with stops to visit villages, to take photos and to stretch our legs.

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries and a degree of flexibility and improvisation is required at times. The tourist infrastructure in Madagascar is relatively new and some services are limited. It is not unusual for there to be changes to accommodation or internal flights and for this reason, the order of the itinerary (but not the content) may sometimes change.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camping

You will spend 10 nights in hotels with en suite facilities, and 4 nights full-service camping, with some basic campsites, all with shared facilities. We use tourist class hotels throughout the trip except during the treks where we camp in the national parks.

The hotels are simple but comfortable. Most of the hotels have mosquito nets in the rooms. Please note that although all of the hotels are said to have a reliable electricity and water supply there may be instances in which you experience some gaps in supply - this is more a reflection of life in Madagascar than the standard of the hotel. Please be aware that some hotels do not have 24 hr electricity, and in some, hot water is not always available. There is WiFi in most of the hotels but often this is only in the communal areas and not in the rooms.

During the camping portions, we will be camping in small mobile two-person tents. The camping is full service so the tents will be erected for you. Campsites in the parks in Madagascar usually offer only very basic facilities. You should not expect hot showers, flushing toilets and western standards of cleanliness at some of the places we stay. Some toilets may be long drops. Please come prepared. All camping equipment is provided except sleeping bags.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 1 844 227 9087, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

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