My Madagascar Itinerary

My Madagascar Itinerary

I always told people Madagascar is one of my favorite country! It has everything you want to see and do. From great nature and scenery to national park and paradise beach! One thing to keep in mind is, the local transportation is very very old and inconvenience and travel information is limited! People normally will choose to rent a car or join local tour unless you have like 2-3 months times to travel around this biggest island in the world. To me, this is the end of my trans-africa trip! I am exhausted and running out of time. So, I decided to join a luxury tour to pamper myself. I only spent 14 days in Madagascar! If you ask me did i see everything? I will tell you I only see like 10%! Really, this country have a lot of offer, but I will show you the highlight of it. Below are my 13 days itinerary. It’s a great preview of what’s I going to show you in the next 10 posts or more:) Stay tune.

madagascar-the overland great south
madagascar map
This journey is is a more than 1200kms of discovery from the mountainous Highlands with its red lateritic soil and terraced rice fields to the rainforest of the Eastern slope, then to the semi- arid savannah and the canyons of the south and which ends in idyllic and wild beaches. You will be visiting national parks and reserves to admire the unique fauna and flora of Madagascar. Through this tour, you will meet several ethnic groups and get to know their cultures: the Merina’s, the Betsileo’s, the Antandroy’s, the Bara’s and the Mahafaly’s. This tour also gives the opportunity to observe several species of lemurs quite easily. Your journeys to quiet and idyllic lagoon of Ifaty will also allow you to meet the famous Vezo fishermen and to go for sea excursions onboard their sail boats

The train trip from the East Coast with its 56 tunnels towards the mountains to Fianarantsoa is also a unique experience.
Itinerary: Antananarivo – Ambatolampy – Antsirabe – Ambositra – Ranomafana – Manakara – Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao – Ihosy- Ranohira – Toliary – Ifaty – Antananarivo.

Day 1: Antananarivo

Arrival in Antananarivo
Meet with Cactus Tours’ Agent Transfer to hotel
Overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Antananarivo / Antsirabe (B)

Your discovery tour starts in the Capital of Madagascar, in the Central Highlands. After 3 hours drive, you will reach Antsirabe – a city of water and rickshaws. On the way, you will visit villages and fields to get close to local people and to know their way of life. In this volcanic area, vegetables and fruits are abundant.

In the evening, you will attend a traditional musical performance. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3: Antsirabe / Ranomafana (B)

After a morning visit of handicraft workshops and gemstone shops, you continue the adventure tour southwards to Ranomafana. In Ambositra, you will stop at some woodcarving workshops, as this town is inhabited by the talented ethnic group, the Zafimaniry.

Upon your arrival in Ranomafana, you will take a short walk to observe nocturnal animals, before checking in to your hotel. The famous Fossa will be easy to observe as well as the mouse lemur , chameleons and other animals.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: Ranomafana (B)

Ranomafana is an opportunity to experience a rainforest, home for rare primates amongst other animals and plants.
The morning will be spent inside the park.
In the afternoon, you will visit the village of Ranomafana and its water springs center, you can have a massage with essential oils extracted from local plants.

Overnight at hotel.

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Day 5: Ranomafana / Manakara (B)

This is a half day trip to the east coast by the Indian Ocean towards the villages of Antanala and Antaimoro with its deforested landscapes – victims of slash and burn practices of agriculture.
One can take a break and relax afternoon by the beach. A resort is waiting for you with fresh grilled seafood and evening entertainment.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 6: Manakara / Fianarantsoa (B)

You will take the train upwards to the Highlands again. This is a unique opportunity to experience train travel in Madagascar.
This 7 to 8-hour trip will lead us to the middle of the rainforest and throughout its 56 tunnels in the mountains of the eastern slope of Madagascar, reputed for its wonderful scenery.

Although you travel in first class wagons, this is not a luxury trip, but it is also a great experience and another way to meet Malagasy people and understand their way of life. This is actually a crossroads for the Antaimoro, the Antaisaka, the Antanala and the Betsileo tribes.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 7: Fianarantsoa / Isalo (B)

In Ambalavao, you will visit the Antaimoro paper factory, silk weavers’ workshops belonged to a local association of women as well as the community-run reserve of Anja – where one can get very closed to the ring tailed lemurs.
You day will be spent mostly on the road through the rocky landscape and savanah scenery. This huge plateau and valley is the area of the Bara, – a conservative farming tribe whose livelihood and rituals are centered on the zebu. If it is a Wednesday or Thursday, you will visit the largest zebu market of the Island or even in the whole of Africa. Overnight at hotel.

Day 8: Isalo (B, L)

Composed of eroded ruiniforme sandstone formations from the Jurassic era, Isalo is a semi-desert area characterised by its canyons, oases and lunar landscape – home for lemurs and many other endemic species. It gives the feeling of open space and stillness.
The major part of the day will be spent inside the park to observe its beauty. Lunch will also be served there to save time.
As the temperature can rise considerably in the afternoon, you will spend some comforting time by the natural swimming pool or at the black pool inside the canyon.
Several amazing figures have been sculpted by the erosion inside the park.
The sunset at Isalo is a nostalgic moment – especially when viewed it through the “window of Isalo”.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 9: Isalo / Tulear / Ifaty (B)

After an early breakfast, you will continue to Tuléar.
You will have a short hike in the border of the Zombitse National Park on the way. Upon arrival in Antananarivo, you will have a city tour.
After lunch, leavo to Ifaty beach, in the north of Tuléar.
Relax by the beach to end up the day.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Ifaty (B)

Visit of the spiny forest in the morning. Afternoon at leisure.
Diving, fishing and sea excursion are possible. Overnight at hotel

Day 11: Ifaty / Tuléar / Antananarivo (B)

Fly back to Antananarivo.
Upon arrival, city tour with our archaeologist/historian tour guide. A visit to the Ambohimanga palace, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site– the Queen’s palace (under reconstruction), and the old palace of the prime minister Rainilaiarivony who married three Queens.
Shopping at the handicraft market and other commercial centers .
Overnight at hotel

Day 12: Antananarivo / Johannesburg

Morning at leisure.
You will be transferred to the airport for check-in. Fly homewards.



– 4×4 vehicle – Motorboat


REF: CTM1101-007454

Net price Domestic flights

: USD, 2 272 – per person : USD, 300 – per person

Tuléar – Antananarivo

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  1. Dearest Tammy,
    That must have been an incredible experience and such a diversity of sightseeing on this world’s biggest island! LOVE those Lemurs.
    Wishing you the very best in 2014 with safe travels.

  2. It’s good you joined a luxury tour this time. The itinerary looked interesting. Looking forward to the rest of your trip to Madagascar.
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  3. Hi Tammy! Hope you had a beautiful start of 2014!:) I know you love this country, you did right to join a luxury tour. The journey sounds great and Im waiting to see more of it. Happy Monday my dear, take care and stay warm! Kisses! xo

  4. Wow great head start for 2014. Madagascar is a beautiful island. Been wanting to visit the place too. Enjoy the tour. Looking forward for incredible photos.
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  5. Very nice trip !!!!
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  6. Thanks to give this wonderful article. I really enjoyed to read this article…………….

  7. thanks for sharing nice views…….
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  8. Thanks a lot, I hope I can travel there one day!

  9. Interesting article, dear.