This is an unforgettable trek through this mysterious land. Long series of adventures from the dry western side of the island to the moist eastern tropical rain forests while summiting Madagascar’s second highest mountain in the country at 2658m – the might Pic Boby. This is not an easy stroll through gentle backcountry. We’re tackling the steepest terrains on sometimes poorly marked trails, the pace has to be steady with long days on the trails, mostly camping out, we could face some serious white-water, so not for the feint hearted! That doesn’t mean you need Indiana Jones type of profile, but be ready to get out of your usual comfort zone – The price for an exceptional adventure, something you won’t ever forget.
Madagascar is a one-off; there is no other place like it. Its landscapes, animals and plants are simply extraordinary! Near the equator with an astonishing array of habitats, ranging from rainforests to deserts and from mountain tops to mangrove swamps, it is one of the most important countries for biodiversity on the planet. The tropical climate is a perfect host to the process of nature and, like nowhere else, the variety and richness of life has flourished.
As part of our commitment to responsible travel and in conjunction with Woodenstock.org we finance a tree nursery and orchard in Italavina – which is a long term reforestation project.
Day 1: ANTANANARIVO & AMBOHIMAHASOA (D)
After arriving in Antananarivo we will head to Ambohimahasoa. Tonight we will spend the night in Lemur’s Forest camp/Ialatsara Bungalows which are set in a managed forest (within a private eco-reserve).
Overnight – Camp
Day 2: LEMUR’S FOREST & TSARANORO VALLEY (B,L,D)
This morning we will explore the forests. Several species of lemur can be found here including the Milne Edwards Sifaka. In the afternoon we will drive to Tsaranoro.
Visiting the Tsaranoro Valley is a fantastic opportunity to see Madagascar in all its natural glory. Prepare to be enchanted by the astounding landscapes, stunning red land and the beautiful and awe-inspiring Massif of Andringitra. You will be able to see many kinds of orchids, three sorts of palms including one kind which is endemic to the Andringitra, chameleons, lizards, snakes, batrachians, birds including the famous peregrine falcon as well as the especially friendly Catta (ring-tailed) Lemurs living in small families around the camp. The spectacular rock walls of the massif and the mind-blowingly beautiful valley offer numerous climbing routes and hiking trails and a thriving village which can be visited.
We will also have the chance to visit Tsarasoa, which is the base for our local agents reforestation effort (a passion which is shared (via wood-en-stock) by Pioneer Expeditions). Here we will have the opportunity to visit and see the reforestation effort for ourselves. Depending on the time of year we may also get to plant some young saplings.
Overnight – Camp
Day 3: ANDRINGITRA MASSIF – PIC BOBY (B,L,D)
We will spend today exploring this stunning area on foot and meeting all the locals. A full 6hr hike with steep trails and great boulder gardens on the way to Pic Boby.
Overnight – Camp
Day 4: ANDRIAMPOTSY & ANTANIFOTSY VIA PIC BOBY (B,L,D)
This is summit day and another 6 hour steep descent trek. Tonight we will be sleeping around 1600m at a simple hotel – Tranogasy.
Overnight – Hotel
Day 5: CROSSING HIGHLANDS (B,L,D)
Today will we experience a full day crossing highlands, rural backcountry, rice fields, zebu herds, small clusters of mud red houses and great mountainous backgrounds.
Day 6: TREKKING TOUR (B,L,D)
Today we will reach the eastern rainforest limit and will have to dive in, hardly following overgrown trails.
Day 7: RAINFOREST TREKKING (B,L,D)
That’s a full day deep in rain forest and muddy/slippery/steep trails. Somehow we might reach the edge of it and merge in a spectacular circus of waterfalls.
Day 8: ANKARIMBELO (B,L,D)
We will begin trekking at a more relaxing pace to reach the village of Ankarimbelo and ready ourselves for the next leg of the journey. Tonight we will sleep on a sandy beach along Matatana River.
Day 9& 10: EXCITING PADDLING (B,L,D)
We will be experiencing two full days on the Matatana river. If you have never paddled before you’ll have to carry/line the boats on quite a few occasions. The rapids are not excessively difficult but a few ones do need a bit of experience and/or good self control. The river remains mostly navigable for most and we can eventually set the less experienced ones with a guide.
Some longer portages will be handled by locals.
Day 11: MANAKARA (B,L,D)
We reach a potential pull out about midday and literally stuff the whole expedition in the back of a lorry. The tracks take us down to Vohipeno on the east coast and off to Manakara. Hotel Parthenay will be most welcome after those long nights out.
Overnight – Hotel
Day 12: AMBOSITRA (B,L,D)
Today we will drive back to Ambositra.
Overnight – Hotel L’Artisan
DAY 13: ANTSIRABE & FLIGHT HOME (B,L)
We can stroll a couple of hours before setting off and discover the woodworks of local craftsmen.
We’ll have an early lunch in Antsirabe before heading back to Tana in time for your flight home.