On this interesting and varied Madagascar tour, see the gorgeous rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia, marvel at the animals and cultural experiences along the Mandrare River, and take part in activities in the rainforest and the ocean at Manafiafy.
Upon arrival into Ivato Airport you will be greeted by your private English speaking guide who will accompany you to your hotel in Antananarivo’s higher town. In contrast to the rest of Madagascar, Tana, as the locals refer to it, has beautiful traditional architecture and a stronger Indonesian influence.
After breakfast, your tour guide will take you east to the magnificent rainforest park of Andasibe, which is about a 4-hour journey from the city. The Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park are the two protected areas that make up the park. The largest extant species of lemur, Indri lemurs, are famous around the world for inhabiting Perinet. The trip to Andasibe provides first-time visitors to Madagascar with an exposure to rural life as the route is lined with rice fields, redbrick homes, and roadside shops offering seasonal fruits and vegetables. Afternoon excursion to Lemur Island, a private reserve owned by Vakona Lodge that is home to several habituated lemurs. There are four species to see: a diademed sifaka, a bamboo lemur, and a black and white ruffed lemur.
After breakfast, you’ll travel the 1.5 hours to Mantadia National Park, where you’ll pack a picnic lunch. Look for the indri, diademed sifaka, grey bamboo lemur, red-bellied lemur, and white ruffed lemur among other lemur species in this magnificent park. The forest is taller, wilder, and less crowded than Perinet, despite the routes being a little bit more challenging. There are numerous birds, such as the breasted coua, the scaly ground roller, and the ground roller that resembles a pitta. Spending the entire day in the park is necessary to do Mantadia justice. With so many uncommon species of birds, reptiles, and animals, this is a naturalist’s paradise. After having a picnic lunch beside the Rianasoa Waterfall, hike back to the car and head back to the lodge. You might decide to embark on another night stroll with your local guide later in the evening.
After a leisurely breakfast, have a guided tour of the 810 hectare Perinet Reserve to look for the Indri. This lemur is one of the few species in the world that cannot thrive in captivity. It has a scarcely discernible tail, black and white patterns, and a surprised teddy bear face. While strolling through the rainforest, keep an eye out for the other 11 species of lemur. You might come across a group of black-and-white ruffed lemurs, diademed sifaka, common brown lemurs, and grey bamboo lemurs. Velvet asity, blue coua, Nuthatch vanga, among many more indigenous species, can be on birdwatchers’ radars. Invertebrates, numerous reptiles, and some of Madagascar’s over a thousand orchid species can all be found in Perinet. Driving back to Tana and on to your hotel in the city after lunch is recommended.
Today, we’ll take a short flight to Fort Dauphin from Ivato Airport. You will be met in Fort Dauphin by a driver and guide from Mandrare River Camp who will accompany you to one of the city’s top eateries. Drive (4 hours) to Mandrare River Camp after a leisurely lunch. When you get to the site, put up your tent and take in the magnificent views of the Mandrare River. Leave for a nighttime stroll in the Forest of Zenavo at around 5:00. This is a great method to witness the nighttime lemurs waking up and the daytime lemurs sleeping in the mysterious and ancient Spiny Forest. Once the sun has fallen, two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls, and now-active sportive lemurs will be visible in addition to sifakas and sleeping white-foot sportive lemurs.
Following breakfast, you will depart for the breathtaking sacred gallery forest to the south of the camp. To access this primarily deciduous forest, you may need to cross the Mandrare River on foot or by boat, depending on the river’s depth. The highlight of this trip is a group of ring-tailed lemurs, which are known for their curiosity, and the Verreaux sifaka, which is never boring. After lunch, head back to camp for a leisurely afternoon by the pool. Head out for a stroll in the revered spiny forest in the late afternoon. It is home to the ancestral tombs of the nearby Antandroy tribe as well as a remarkable variety of flora and wildlife that are exclusive to the spiny forest. Your private guide and a tracker from the local community will give a preamble of Antandroy culture and customs.
Following an early breakfast, you will be quickly driven back to Fort Dauphin (2.5 hours away), where you will then be transferred to the airport for your journey back to Antananarivo. You will be driven to a nearby accommodation at the airport.
Eventually, Today is the last day of your Classic Madagascar Tour. After breakfast, your private guide will pick you up from Relais Des Plateaux and take you to Ivato Airport to catch your homebound international flight.
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