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Madagascar rainforest & island escape
11 days from CAD5,070pp
Hear the haunting call of the indri across the Andasibe rainforest at dawn.
Search for a variety of lemurs and other wildlife while hiking through the rainforest.
Take a bike ride through the small villages of Île Sainte-Marie.
Enjoy a picnic on one of the island’s idyllic deserted beaches.
Go whale watching off Madagascar’s eastern coast (seasonal).
- Andasibe National Park (Perinet)
- Île Sainte-Marie
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Day 1 Antananarivo
On arrival at Antananarivo's Ivato Airport, you're met by your private driver and driven to your hotel. Depending on traffic and the location of your hotel, this can take up to an hour and a half. You have the rest of the day to relax at your lodgings or, depending on your time of arrival, explore the city's historic old town and vibrant markets with a guide.
Day 2 Andasibe National Park (Perinet)
This morning your driver-guide meets you from your hotel and drives you for around four hours through the Malagasy countryside to Andasibe National Park on the edge of the rainforest. A great option during your stay here is to take an evening guided walk, watching out for nocturnal animals such as tiny mouse lemurs and greater dwarf lemurs, whose eyes can be seen illuminated by your guide's flashlight.
Day 3 Andasibe National Park (Perinet)
You have all day to explore the rainforest on foot with your private guide, searching for the various lemur species found in the area. This includes indri, the largest species of lemur, which have a very distinctive, haunting cry that you can sometimes hear as you hike through the forest. You may also see grey bamboo, brown and woolly lemurs amongst the vegetation, as well as numerous reptile species such as the nose-horned chameleon, and vivid bird species like blue and red-fronted coucals. Your guide will help spot and identify the wildlife you encounter and tell you more about each species.
Day 4 Andasibe National Park (Perinet)
Today you're driven for around 45 minutes into Mantadia National Park, whose beautiful, untouched forest provides a home for even more lemur species, including diademed sifakas, black and white ruffed lemurs and the elusive aye-aye, which is notoriously difficult to spot and only comes out at night. Make sure you wear good walking shoes as the hiking trails here can be a little more difficult.
Day 5 Antananarivo
This morning you might like to head to Lemur Island, where you can get up close to a number of habituated lemur species, including ringtail and indri. While the lemurs here aren't wild, a visit gives you a wonderful opportunity to see these incredible animals at close quarters. In the afternoon, take the four hour drive back to Antananarivo. You can explore more of the city with your driver-guide or relax at your hotel.
Day 6 Île Sainte-Marie
Your private driver collects you from your hotel this morning to take you back to Ivato Airport - a journey of up to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. From here, you take the hour-long flight over to Île Sainte-Marie. Depending on the weather, you may reach your hotel by traditional zebu cart, which takes around 15 minutes, or take a five to ten minute journey in a 4x4. On arrival, spend the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing at your lodge amongst idyllic surroundings. You could head to the beach, do a spot of snorkeling or simply unwind with a cocktail.
Day 7 Île Sainte-Marie
Today you can take your time exploring this sleepy island. We recommend hiring a bicycle to get around, stopping at some of the island's small villages, cafes and beaches. The beaches themselves are often deserted, and you may see fisherman paddling offshore in wooden pirogues. We can arrange for you to take a pirogue trip to the island's pirate cemetery, where you can see the graves of dozens of pirates who used the island as a base during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Day 8 Île Sainte-Marie
Enjoy another day at leisure on the island. Snorkeling and diving is excellent here, with coral reefs providing a habitat for damselfish, whale sharks, eagle rays, tuna and many other marine species. The waters are calm and clear, with visibility of between 10m and 30m (33ft and 98ft) all year round. There are several PADI dive establishments and we can arrange this for you.
Day 9 Île Sainte-Marie
You have another day to spend exploring and relaxing on Île Sainte-Marie. If you're visiting during the whale season (June to September), you have the opportunity to see humpback whales, who migrate to Madagascar's shores to have their young. You can often see them from the beach, or you may wish to go out with a research boat for the day in order to get a closer look and learn more about them.
Day 10 Île Sainte-Marie
On your last day on Île Sainte-Marie, you could explore the tiny capital, Ambodifotatra. This is the hub of island life, with a bank, some shops and a small harbour. It's a pleasant place to walk around and take in island life, visiting the local market, the Catholic Cathedral and some of the cafes that line the streets.
Day 11 Return home
Today you're met by your private driver for the 10 to 15 minute trip back to the airport. The flight back to Antananarivo takes around an hour. If necessary you will have the use of a day room in a city hotel before your onward flight.
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Contact a specialist
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When to go
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|Andasibe National Park (Perinet)||