This is a unique expedition and explores the little visited region in the North East of Madagascar. We will trek approximately 50km in 3 days through remote rainforest, camping overnight in clearings, before reaching the little rafted Sahatandra river, spending the next few days riding the rapids.
It was an amazing holiday, everything I wanted it to be and more….Pioneer will be used again for future trips A.Stacey
We start our trek at the Perinet Nature Reserve and will trek approximately 50km through remote rainforest, camping overnight in clearings, before reaching the little rafted Sahatandra river where we spend the next few days riding the rapids. Each day on the trek and on the river, the scenery will be spectacular and present new wonders. We shall encounter truly fantastic landscapes, exotic flora and see some of the endemic wildlife including lemurs, reptiles and birds. At the end of the trip, there is an option for a beach extension at Mahambo, a small, little known coastal town where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful white sandy beaches.For the adventurous among us, we will be able to take advantage of the surf school here as this is a remarkable place to surf. This expedition is a great combination for the adventurous and the wildlife enthusiast.
Madagascar Trekking and Rafting Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Tana
After arriving in Antananarivo (or Tana, as it is known by the locals) late pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Andasibe National Park (B,L,D)
After breakfast, and introductory briefing from your tour leader, we will set off for Andasibe National Park. En-route we will stop at a farm specialising in Madagascan reptiles and butterflies, before arriving at our lodge. This afternoon you will get a chance to stroll around the private reserve – lemur island with the opportunity to get close to lemurs as they are known to jump on your shoulder to get a closer look! Overnight hotel.
Day 3: Analamazaotra Park & Trekking in Mantadia National Park (B,L,D)
After visiting Analamazaotra Park, we will drive along a scenic road to Andasifahadimy (1/2hr). Here the adventure really starts, when we set out towards Lohariandava, reaching the rainforest after a 1 mile of trekking. A multitude of lemurs inhabit this rainforest including the Indri (the largest lemur), the woolly, greater dwarf, brown mouse, crowned lemur and even the aye aye – as we are trekking we cannot guarantee seeing the wildlife but it will be a truly remarkable experience and we hopefully will have the opportunity to see some of the indigenous species living in this are. Today we will hike for around 3 – 4 hrs, crossing the Sahatandra river – the pace is not too fast and the hiking path is good.. Tonight we will set up camp next to a small village. Overnight Camping.
Day 4: Trekking in the Forest (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will break up camp and head off on the next part of the adventure. All morning we walk through the forest, the path is pretty good, but with some hills. On our way out of the first part of the forest we should get a fantastic view of the surrounding area. This afternoon we walk alongside the forest and we setup camp near the small Satronima river. Our hike today should be around 5 – 6 hours. Overnight Camping
Day 5: Trekking in the Forest (B,L,D)
We will spend most of the day under the forest canopy, the path gets more complicated with branches and muddy passes. Tonight we will camp at the end of the forest. Overnight Camping. Day 6: Trek from Andekaleka to Lohariandava (B,L,D) We have a steep ½ hour climb before leaving the forest behind us. From here you can observe how the forest is disappearing because deforestation and farming methods used by locals. The locals are always welcoming and friendly towards us. We cross the Sahatandra / Vohitra river again and head to Andekaleka train station – here we take the train to the next step of our adventure. At Lohariandava village our rafts and river gear will be waiting for us and we will go through some basic safety and training checks before a relaxing evening at our riverside camp. Overnight Camping with all meals.
Days 7 – 9: Sahatandra River descent (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we will set off on the next part of our adventure – the rafting descent of the Sahatandra river. This little rafted river provides us with a fantastic range of Grade II/III/IV rapids, and we will be able to practice our skills on the first few gentle rapids. As the river descends and we are confident of our rafting skills we will navigate the numerous stretches of white water. This river flows through beautiful narrow passages and snakes its way through either dense rainforest or bamboo groves. There are many bamboo lemurs on the shore and an active bird life on the river. At night we will pitch our tents on the riverside and enjoy campfires, good food and immense Madagascan skies. Overnight Camping
Day 10: Sahatandra River descent (B,L,D)
We set off this morning to paddle the last section of our Sahatandra descent. Upon arrival in Anivorano, we transfer by road to Antananarivo. Or for those opting for the beach extension to Mahambo! All meals and overnight hotel. Overnight Hotel
Day 11: Flight Home (B)
Day at leisure before transferring to the airport in time for your flight home. Optional excursions. Optional beach extension- £620
Optional Extension Day 10: Transfer to Mahambo (B,L,)
Upon arrival in Anivorano, we transfer by road to Mahambo! Mahambo is a small coastal town and is still a relatively new destination on the East Coast. The majority of the population are farmers growing rice, bananas, cloves and lychee plus a small number of fishermen. Until 2003 it remained little-known, and since 2003, and the opening of the first school of Surf, this small town has become a destination for surfers. Breakfast, lunch overnight hotel
Optional Extension Day 11-14 : Relaxation and /or sea activities(B)
After the last 9 action packed days, we now get the opportunity to relax looking out onto the azure blue seas of the Indian Ocean…..Or the for restless ones among you, why not take advantage of the rolling waves and thrill of surfing (if you are not already a surfer, this is a memorable place to learn). Or why not try your hand at sea kayaking? Whilst in Mahambo, you will be able to enjoy your time at your leisure. In the evenings you will be able to enjoy fresh seafood and cold beers in one of the local restaurants. Wherever you go, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the residents of Mahambo. Breakfast, and overnight hotel.
Optional Extension Day 15: Transfer to Antananarivo & Flight Home (B)
We set off for a full day travelling back to Antananarivo and the airport in time for our flight home (the flights normally leave around 01:00 on Day 16) NB:This itinerary is subject to change – arrangements, routes and facilities are subject to variation depending on local conditions
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'Thank you for such a great holiday! I really enjoyed it and didn't want to come home. I was really impressed with the organisation of the trip, all the logistics that must go into it. and transporting all the equipment and us. The tents were comfortable and I wasn't expecting beds and pillows! Max and the porters were brilliant, they made sure we were always well looked after. He even gave us piggy back lifts over some of the river crossings! They all worked so hard and didn't complain. Nothing was too much for them. The lovely Max is such an excellent cook, I don't think we had the same meal twice while he was cooking which is very unusual for a vegetarian abroad. I am missing his cooking. I loved the lemurs! They were fantastic and we got to witness the Indri calling, I feel very privileged to have seen that. The reptile/butterfly place was amazing too, a great way to start the holiday. I really think Madagascar needs to be promoted so much more as a holiday destination, its such a beautiful country and the people are so friendly and helpful. I shall certainly be encouraging people to go there. You do such great work, I didn't realise the company was involved in reforestation, not sure if that is on your website but you should definitely promote it. Everyone was great out there and you can tell they are passionate about the environment and their country. I loved Madagascar and would definitely consider going back there, there is so much more to see. I felt I saw the real Madagascar too, not just the tourist bits but by walking through the villages and rafting the river you could get a real feel for the place and that's the kind of travel I prefer. I really hope you are able to get more tourists going there, they are missing out if they don't go. Thanks once again for an amazing adventure.
Unforgettable, some wonderful memories, I would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend.
It was an amazing holiday, everything I wanted it to be and more....Pioneer will be used again for future trips