This is a great trip for fit trekkers. Steep terrain, majestic mountains, dense forest, rockland and stunning waterfalls. We will also have a relaxing couple of days canoeing down the Mananjary river. This is an intense and diversified itinerary – a real trip to remember.
Madagascar is a one-off; there is no other place like it. Its landscapes, animals and plants are simply fantastic! 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.
Trekking Madagascar Itinerary
Day 1: Antananarivo
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 – the Au Bois Vert
Day 2: Ambositra (B,L,D)
After breakfast you will meet your guide and we will set out by car to Ambositra (3hrs on a good road). Here we will be able to visit the famous woodcarving workshops.
Overnight at Hotel L’Artisan
Day 3: Vohidahy (B,L,D)
We can set out early this morning for Vohidahy ( 1 ½ hrs on tracks) . The Vohidahy is a very isolated and stunning area between Tanala and Zafimaniry country. For the next two days we will explore the deep valleys, steep and rustic trails, dense forest and waterfalls. The locals live very basic / primitive lives in wood houses with carvings. This is definitely not on a tourist route and we will spend a very special time in this area.
Day 4: Vohidahy (B,L,D)
Another great day exploring the remote Vohidahy.
Day 5: Vohidahy – Ranomafana (B,L,D)
Today we will head to Ranomafana.
Day 6: Hiking and Canoeing of the Mananjary River (B,L,D)
We will take a morning hike before moving to Kianjavato to sleep by Mananjary river. Upon arrival we will meet our canoeing team and this will be where we begin our 3 day descent of this river. The river is a mixture of flat waters & fun rapids. It is a stunning location with lots to see and do.
Day 7 – 8 : Canoeing of the Mananjary River (B,L,D)
We continue our descent of the Mananjary river the remote countryside.
Day 9: Trekking (B,L,D)
We will reach our pull out point and pack up the rafts before heading to Fianarantsoa by car. Tonight you can freshen up in a hotel before heading out on the next part of your adventure tomorrow
Overnight Guest House
Day 10-11: Trekking in the Zomandao Valley (B,L,D)
This morning we will drive to Zomandao to the start of our trail where will meet up with our logistics team before beginning our trek in these rocklands..
The next few days will see us hiking up one Valley (the Zomandao) and crossing 6,000 ft rocky pass to plunge in Sahanambo valley and the impressive cliffs of Tsaranoro. We will safely navigate between the vertical cliffs and spend the time exploring the valley, climbing to the top of rocky spires, spotting lemurs, exploring forests and enjoying the pools and waterfalls in this area.
We will continue our exploration of this area. Our trek will include mountainous terrains, steep trails and narrow tracks but there are no special difficulties, as long as you are ready to move on: mixed terrain, poorly marked, steep and sometimes exposed ledges, crests (with rope protection when necessary).
Day 12: Tsaronao (B,L,D)
Today we will arrive at our camp/lodge ‘Tsarasoa’. Tsarasoa is more a camp than a hotel. It is the base for our local agents’ reforestation which is a big passion that both he and Pioneer Expeditions share. There are large nurseries where 65,000 – 70-000 trees are planted per season.
Accommodation is in bungalows – the bungalows are new, clean and basic with mosquito nets and spectacular views.
Food is based on local products and we have a very good cook who uses fresh vegetables, local recipes, fruits, home cooked bread, and so on. We will spend today exploring this stunning area on foot and meeting all the locals – a fantastic opportunity to see Madagascar in all its natural glory. 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 and birds including the famous peregrine falcon.
Day 13: Fianaransoa (B,L)
This morning we will hike up to the viewpoint at Tsarasoa before saying goodbye and heading to Fianarantsoa (approx. 3 hrs driving time).
Day 14: FIANARANTSOA – ANTSIRABE (B)
We will have a full drive today as we head back up on the RN7. Tonight we will stay at Antsirabe.
Day 15: Drive back to Antananarivo & Flight home (B)
Today we will head back to Antananarivo (approx. 3 hours). Depending on your time of departure we can visit the handicraft market in Tana on the way to the airport. If your flight is later, we can organise a day use room in a hotel.
NB: This itinerary is subject to change – arrangements, routes and facilities are subject to variation depending on local conditions. We can also tailor itineraries to suit your exact requirements. When driving times are given, this is only an indication. It aims to reflect the actual driving time (and doesn’t include stops, lunch, traffic). The road journeys, while often long, are one of the great ways to experience Madagascar. There is so much life on the road and many photographic opportunities along the way from a natural and people perspective.
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