This journey showcases the finest of Madagascar, particularly the contrast between the semi-arid west and the lush, humid east in terms of geography, population, and climate. The voyage to the west shows Madagascar’s top attractions, including its baobabs and semi-dry tropical forest. The other portion is the humid and wet scenery of the east, featuring its tropical rainforest of Andasibe National Park, where we will learn about Madagascar’s diverse and special animals.
Upon your arrival in Tana your be met by your guide and transfer you to your hotel in Antananarivo. Antananarivo translates as “City of Thousands.” It all started when the monarch Andrianjaka dispatched over a thousand men to clear the forest and conquer the territory 500 years ago. The magnificent city afterwards inspired the renowned King Andrianampoinimerina to construct a palace there, which later served as his successor’s primary residence. From this point on, the same king began to unite the island’s several kingdoms. Antananarivo was made the capital of all of Madagascar during the reign of King Radama. Antananarivo is constructed on three levels: the high city, where the queen’s palace is located, was the first area used during the reign of the king; the mid-city, the administrative region, is where all of the capital’s best boutiques are located; and the low city, which is the town’s commercial district.
Following breakfast, if time allows, we will take a city tour of Tana, Madagascar’s capital. Then, a 3–4 hour journey through the highland environment, past stunning terraced rice fields and stunning eroded hills known as “lavaka,” will bring you to Antsirabe. We will optional stop in the rural city of Ambatolampy, which is renowned for its aluminum recycling facilities. We’ll be driving through rural areas with thatched roof cottages, valleys, rivers, and fields of rice and vegetables for the next hour. Rice and vegetables are virtually entirely imported from this region. If time allows, upon arrival in Antsirabe, we will do a quick city tour, visit a lapidary of semi-precious gems, and then visit a workshop that creates “pousse pousse” and tiny automobiles.
We will proceed to Miandrivazo, where the scenery is altering. As we travel, we will see Highland communities and areas of erosion known as “lavaka.” Miandrivazo, which is on the Tsiribihina River, is a particularly productive area for cotton, corn, manioc, beans, rice, and tobacco. The rest of the day is free for leisure activities, such as relaxing at the hotel or taking in the scenery.
After breakfast at the hotel, drive for six hours to Morondava through a landscape dominated by baobab trees, vacant hills, and red dirt. Our first few baobabs may be seen just before we approach Morondava. Morondava, the capital of the Sakalava monarchy, is a thriving rice-growing region that is also well-known for being a beach town with a laid-back vibe. This region is unique since so many different cultures and religions coexist there. Continue on the 60 kilometers of track from Morondava to Kirindy. The “Allée des baobabs” is a section we cross. We will have a 1-hour guided hike in Kirindy Park after arriving in Kirindy and checking in. Rich in biodiversity and home to 8 types of daytime active lemurs, we will meet up with our guide once more at around 6 o’clock for a nighttime walk to witness nighttime active creatures before spending the night at the hotel.
This morning, we’ll go to Kirindy Parivate Park. We will have plenty of time to explore the region and capture our stunning sunset photo of the “Allée des Baobabs” after lunch as we return to Morondava. The magnificent Grandidier’s baobab, or “Andasonia Grandidieri,” grows here.
The day is free. Morondava is located on the beach. The Morondava region, which was the capital of the Sakalava kingdom and is now regarded as a beach resort with a relaxed atmosphere where many various cultures and religions manage to coexist, was formerly a thriving rice-growing area. This makes the place particularly special.
After breakfast, we will have a four-hour trip to Miandrivazo, followed by a five-hour drive to Antsirabe. Arrive late in the afternoon; spend the night in a hotel. Antsirabe, the primary malt, barley, and hops growing region in Madagascar, is also well renowned for its beer brewing. All fruits and vegetables that grow in temperate or cold climates can be found in Antsirabe thanks to its moderate temperature and volcanic soil. Antsirabe, which is surrounded by semi-precious stone mines, is also well-known for its factories that produce gems and semi-precious stones. It is a good destination to purchase these materials.
After breakfast, we’ll travel to Tana, the terminus of National Road 7. From here, we will travel east on National Road 2 to Andasibe, passing through the lush, green countryside of the east. The humid region of the country with numerous primary woods and lakes is reached by taking the second step. We’ll pass a Merina town in the Rocky Mountains up on a hill along the route. We will make a brief stop in Moramanga to browse the neighborhood market. We can choose to stop at the “Pyeras Reptiles Park” en route to witness chameleons and other species of reptiles that are kept in captivity. After that, it takes another two hours to go to Andasibe.
To reach Andasibe National Park, a sizable tropical rain forest in the east, it takes a 3–4 hour hike in the morning. There, you can see 9 different species of lemurs. The Indri Indri, the island’s largest lemur, is the main attraction. In addition, a large number of rare species call this 810-ha reserve home. It is home to a large variety of endemic orchids, a canopy, chameleons, tenrecs, and numerous birds. In the afternoon, we will go to Vakona’s private resort in the Lemur Islands, which is the greatest place to photograph lemurs. Return to your hotel in the late evening.
Today is your last day of 10-Days Madagascar Land Safari, you will wake up very early in the morning and take 6 hour drive back to Tana to catch your flight back home.
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