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.
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.
As this is a full-on camping expedition we plan to spend our last few days relaxing by the beach at a small, little known coastal town. 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.
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 (L, D)
After breakfast, and introductory briefing from your tour leader, we will set off for the Perinet Rainforest Reserve.
En-route we will stop at a farm specialising in Madagascan reptiles and butterflies, before arriving at the Vakona Lodge. This afternoon you will get a chance to stroll around the private reserve of this hotel with the opportunity to spot lemurs and crocodiles.
Days 3 - 5 (B,L,D)
Today our adventure really starts, when we set out after breakfast on a trek through the rainforest towards Lohariandava. A multitude of lemurs inhabit this rainforest including the Indri (the largest lemur), the wooly, greater dwarf, brown mouse, crowned lemur and even the aye aye (although chances of seeing this is very unlikely).
This will be a truly remarkable experience and during the next few days we will hopefully have the opportunity to see some of the indigenous species including over 100 species of birds as well as chameleons, geckos, bats and frogs.
Each evening our camp will be set up in a rainforest clearing where we will be able to hear and marvel at the cacophony of the night sounds.
We will be hiking an average of 5 - 6 hours per day and will end up trekking approximately 50km.
Day 6 (B,L,D)
After another full day (5-6 hrs) of trekking, we will arrive at Lohariandava. 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.
Days 7 - 9 (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.
Day 10 (B,L)
We set off this morning to paddle the last section of our Sahatandra descent. Upon arrival in Anivorano, we transfer by road to Mahambo area for a beach and surf break!
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.
Tonight we will take advantage of the relative luxury of a beach bungalow.
Day 11 (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.
Day 12 (B,D)
We spend another leisurely morning enjoying all that Mahambo and the Indian Ocean has to offer, then we meet up again for short road transfer to the port of Toamasina (Tamatave). Tamatave is Madagascar’s largest port and has a beautiful coastline. The town itself has a calm and relaxing feel to it.
Day 13 (B,D)
Today, after breakfast we set off back to Antananarivo, more commonly called Tana. This afternoon there will be time to explore this city, which is a crazy mix of African, Asian and French sights. For the first time visitor just a stroll around the bustling streets, with their diverse collection of vendors and stalls, will be a never forgotten experience.
Day 14 (B,L,)
Today we transfer to the airport for our flight home.
Or why not stay a few extra days to explore Tana or other Madagascan sites. We are more than happy to book some extensions to give you the opportunity to visit some more National Parks or assist you with any other places you may wish to visit whilst in Madagascar.
NB:This itinerary is subject to change – arrangements, routes and facilities are subject to variation depending on local conditions
Beach break on the Indian Ocean for surfing
What our clients say
'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.
- K. Abbiss - East Coast Trekking & Rafting Oct 2012
Unforgettable, some wonderful memories, I would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend.
- D. Phillips
East Coast Adventure 2011
This has been an amazing trip. We have really really loved it. The organisation was superb. The guides completely trustworthy. Food was superb and our safety was paramount when out and about. It is truly away from everything. Thank-you
- N Morton
Northern Adventure, 2011
A great experience all round but the most memorable part was the river experience. Some wonderful memories, I would not hesitate to recommend it to a friend
Tailormade Nature, 2011
Fantastic holiday, many thanks for organising everything. The team were excellent, first class - great guiding from Max, he was perfect for our family
-R. Sawtell : Family Tailormade Trekking, 2011
It was an amazing holiday, everything I wanted it to be and more....Pioneer will be used again for future trips
-A.Stacy : East Coast Trekking and Rafting, 2009
Words cannot describe how amazing this trip....I absolutely loved the flexibility of the trip and how we were an integral part. I look forward to seeing our guide next year, maybe to do a different river
-J.Shields : Benahy Descent, 2009
Contact us by phone 0845 0047801 or email us to discuss tailormade options and we can design your perfect itinerary.
Free Wildlife Guide with each booking
Everyone who travels to Madagascar with Pioneer are contributing towards a unique community reforestation effort run by Pioneer Expeditions. We fund a school tree nursery near Italavina. This is a long term project which aims to plant over 2000 trees every year, as well as provide fruit for the children in the local school. We invest 2% of every trip cost to help fund this and you can include a visit to this project as part of your Madagascan itinerary or even spend time 'volunteering' to help develop this project further. Click here for further information