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He was voiced by Phil LaMarr who also voiced Vamp in the Metal Gear Solid games, Mad Jack in Samurai Jack , Count Veger in Jak 3 , The Beast in inFamous , Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) , Goigoi in The Lion Guard , Aquaman in the Injustice games, Rag Doll in The Flash and Dormammu in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
- 1.1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
- 1.2 Madly Madagascar
- 2.1 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
- 2.2 Madly Madagascar
- 3 Navigation
Biography [ ]
Madagascar: escape 2 africa [ ].
He first appeared when he was showing a lion (Alex) to the people riding in the jeep. He then appeared again when the penguins took their jeep, and then finally appeared again when Nana and the others tried to eat Alex.
Madly Madagascar [ ]
The Tour Guide first appeared when he was in his car he finds Hula Girl (the doll that Skipper was falling in love with) saying it was his lucky day and puts her in his car. When he heard a noise from his tent, he noticed the penguins in the tent, then the penguins exploded the tent and he ran away. When the penguins return to the car to get Hula Girl, Tour Guide noticed them again, so then they had to do a car chase. The penguins finally take Hula Girl and defeated him. He jumps off of his car and ran away back to the safari camp.
Navigation [ ]
- 1 William Afton (2023)
- 2 Afton Family
- 3 William Afton (Five Nights at Freddy's)
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Madagascar Travel Guide
Last Updated: September 2, 2023
Madagascar, a country famed for its lemurs, massive baobab trees, birding, and jungles, offers visitors a rich playground to explore .
I was enthralled by the country’s beauty during my visit. There are sweeping canyons and gorges, grand waterfalls, and a diverse landscape that spans the entire island. One day you’re in a tropical jungle, the next you’re in an arid plain, and a few hours later you’re on a pristine beach. The scenery here is unlike any other destination I’ve been to. Plus, there really are a seemingly endless variety of cute lemurs!
Located 400 kilometers (250 miles) off the eastern coast of Africa, Madagascar is nearly the size of France and is the fourth largest in the world. It has a population of over 20 million but sees only 300,000 tourists a year.
While traveling Madagascar is challenging , it’s also incredibly rewarding. The travel trail here isn’t well-worn, which means visitors get a much more rugged, unique experience.
This Madagascar travel guide will help you plan the trip of a lifetime, save money, and ensure you make the most of your time in this off-the-beaten-path destination.
Table of Contents
- Things to See and Do
- Typical Costs
- Suggested Budget
- Money-Saving Tips
- Where to Stay
- How to Get Around
- How to Stay Safe
- Best Places to Book Your Trip
- Related Blogs on Madagascar
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Madagascar
1. See the Avenue of the Baobab
Baobab trees are massive trees that can grow 30 meters (98 feet) tall, 11 meters (36 feet) wide, live up to 1,000 years, and are completely unique to Madagascar. While the trees can be found throughout the country, this road lined with them is one of the most iconic images of Madagascar .
2. Visit Tsingy
This park, near the western coast, is really two parks: Great Tsingy and Little Tsingy. It’s not an easy place to visit (it takes a full day via 4WD on very rough terrain to get here) but the views are worth it. The rock formations here are amazing and otherworldly. Admission is 55,000 MGA.
3. Explore Isalo National Park
Featuring multiple rugged hiking trails, cliffs, ravines, gorges, canyons, and plentiful fauna, this Westworld-like park blew me away. You are required to hire a guide before you explore though (they are found at the entrance). Admission is 65,000 MGA and guides cost between 80,000-100,000 MGA.
4. Relax at Nosy Be
Nosy Be is the place to go for Madagascar’s trademark beaches. Located 8 kilometers (5 miles) off the coast, this small island is home to white-sand beaches, expensive restaurants, and upscale resorts. Beach parties erupt each Sunday and there’s some amazing snorkeling, diving, fishing, and whale watching.
5. Explore Lemur Island
Lemur Island is a wildlife refuge that has four species of lemurs that have been rescued from being pets. They are also released back into their natural habitat when ready. If for some reason they can’t make it alone in the wild, they stay in the park. Admission is 12,000 MGA.
Other Things to See and Do in Madagascar
1. relax at île sainte marie.
While everyone goes to Nosy Be for the fancier resorts, if you want something a little more local, cheaper, and more relaxed, check out Île Sainte Marie. Located off the eastern coast, this former pirate capital (the 17th-century pirate Captain Kidd’s ship sank nearby) is a funky, relaxed island full of little coves, a pirate graveyard, and delicious seafood. The beaches aren’t as good as Nosy Be but there’s a beautiful white-sand beach in the south of the island that few people visit. This is also the best part of the country for whale watching. Round-trip flights here cost around 810,000 MGA. (Don’t take the boat, it’s slow and terribly inconvenient).
2. See Ranomafana National Park
This is one of the best spots in the country to see lemurs as it’s home to twelve different species of them. Besides lemurs, there are the famous giraffe beetles as well as lots of birds, chameleons, over 130 species of frogs, and other wildlife to see. Of the multiple trails available, I would do the morning hike, then the afternoon and night hikes at the secondary entrance (a guide is required for these). The majority of tours skip the latter hikes, so if you do them, you’ll get more of the park to yourself. Due to the park’s popularity, there’s a daily limit on the number of people who can visit so it’s best to go in the low season. Admission is 22,000 MGA per day and guides cost between 80,000-120,000 MGA.
3. Visit Toliara
This small west-coast town is famous for its expats, pizza (a seriously popular dish in the country), and for being a launching pad for diving excursions to the Great Reef offshore. There’s not much else to do except sit by the beach and relax. Driving here on the N7 (the only north-south highway) is also pretty amazing as you can take in Ranomafana National Park, Isalo National Park, and other stunning vistas along the way! A single dive costs 180,000 MGA.
4. Explore Antananarivo
The capital of Madagascar, known as Tana for short, it’s a gritty city with terrible traffic — but there’s a lot of history and culture here that make a short visit worthwhile. See the lemur park and the Rova (the old palace), get a sense of the international scene in the city and use it as your launching pad for stops further afield.
5. Try zebu
Zebu is a type of cow with a large hump on its back. It’s more of a work animal, like an ox, and you’ll see them all over the country (they are even used as dowries in weddings). It’s the only kind of beef here, and it is always on the menu (along with healthy portions of rice). The meat is really tough (thanks to all the work the animals do in the fields) and so it’s best in a stew. Be sure to try it while you’re here!
6. Drive the N5
Heading north along the east coast from Toamasina to Maroantsetra, this road — and I use the word “road” loosely — is a potholed-filled expedition through some of the rawest and most pristine areas of Madagascar. It’s also your best chance to see the famous aye-aye lemur (which kind of looks like a possum). The road weaves through dense jungle, across rivers, and through tiny towns in one of the most undeveloped parts of the country. Stretching 400 kilometers (250 miles), Route Nationale 5 (N5) is arguably the worst road (in terms of its condition) in the country. Many sections are often impassable so budget lots of time to drive it (they say it takes over 24 hours to drive the entire “road”).
7. Go whale watching
Between June and November more than 7,000 humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Madagascar to breed, meaning the whale watching here is some of the best in the world. While we were taking the boat to Île Sainte Marie, we saw a couple breach the water and it was absolutely stunning to see. Plus, with so few tourists here, you aren’t stuck in a horde of boats vying for a photo. Adult humpback whales grow up to 16 meters (52 feet) and weigh over 30 metric tons (66,000 lbs.). You can also see the less-common Omura whale (dwarf fin whale) around Madagascar as well. Tours cost 135,000 MGA.
8. Enjoy Mantadia National Park
Located 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of the capital, Mantadia National Park is a protected area spanning 155 square kilometers (60 square miles). It’s home to 14 species of lemurs as well as over 115 types of birds and 84 kinds of amphibians — many of which are endangered. The landscape is a stunning mix of old-growth forest and rainforest, and you’ll see lemurs almost everywhere you go! Admission is 45,000 MGA and the required local guide is 60,000-80,000 MGA. There are also lodges in the park where you can stay overnight for 57,000 MGA per night.
9. Visit Lokobe National Park
Situated on the southeastern tip of Nosy Be, Lokobe National Park is one of the Sambirano region’s only remaining forests. Black lemurs, panther chameleons, and several endemic species of birds all make their home here. To get to Lokobe National Park, you’ll need to take one of the park’s pirogues (rowboat) from Nosy Be, which takes roughly 20-40 minutes. Admission is 55,000 MGA. Lokobe is one of the few national parks in Madagascar where a local guide is not needed.
10. Relax on Nosy Mangabe
Nestled deep between the coastal hills of Helodrano Antongila Bay as it carves its way inland on the north-eastern edge of Madagascar, this small island is famed for its booming populations of bug-eyed aye-aye lemurs. Huge fig trees wrangle around groves of palms, ruffed lemurs meet Mantella frogs in the undergrowth, and the green hills crash down into secluded bays of bright yellow sand. It’s a stunning landscape to say the least. Boats to the island and all the necessary permits are available in Maroantsetra. Admission is 45,000 MGA.
11. Visit Ambohimanga
The sacred royal hill of Ambohimanga, located 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the capital, was the one-time home of the country’s kings and the modern country’s first capital. Expanded throughout the 1700s, the walled complex contains a mound of palaces and burial grounds, crumbling fortifications, and regal tombs. King Andrianampoinimerina launched his now-famed campaigns to reunify the country from here, following more than seven decades of civil war in the 18th century. Admission is 10,000 MGA and you can also get a guide to show you around for free (just be sure to tip them).
12. Go to Antsirabe
Perched high up in the Central Highlands, Antsirabe is the third-largest city in Madagascar and the premier destination for the French who came here during the height of colonialism. They built elegant Parisian-style mansions, raised Gothic cathedrals, and laid wide boulevards with plane trees casting shade. The dusty city retains some of that charm and is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities in the country. Antsirabe, a name that means “place of much salt” in Malagasy, is home to multiple natural thermal springs, making it a popular healing retreat. It’s also one of the best food spots in the country.
Madagascar Travel Costs
Accommodation – There are only a few hostels in the entire country and a bed in a dorm costs around 35,000 MGA, though sometimes you can find beds for as low as 20,000 MGA. For a private room, expect to pay at least 50,000 MGA. Free Wi-Fi and self-catering facilities are standard, though free breakfast is not.
Camping is available around some of the national parks. Wild camping is not recommended.
Budget hotels start at 60,000 MGA per night for a twin or double with a shared bathroom. For a room with a private bathroom in a hotel with more amenities (such as a pool), expect to spend at least 75,000 MGA per night. Free Wi-Fi is common but not included everywhere. A few hotels also offer free breakfast.
Airbnb is available around the country in larger towns and cities. You can find private rooms for 48,000 MGA per night and entire homes/apartments for around 100,000 MGA per night.
Food – Malagasy cuisine reflects the trading and colonial history of the island, with French, Southeast Asian, African, and Middle Eastern flavors all making their way into the country’s dishes. Tomato, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and onion are the commonly used spices in Malagasy cuisine.
Food in Madagascar is based around the country’s main staple: rice, usually accompanied by seafood or zebu. Rice is so central to food here that the Malagasy term for “to eat a meal” literally means “to eat rice.” Any side that comes with rice is called laoka . Some examples of sides include tomato salsa, stewed leafy vegetables, or beans.
Since zebu is quite tough, it’s often stewed (which is the best way to have it in my opinion), such as in romazava , which contains braised meat, tomato, garlic, ginger, and anamalao flowers, and is often considered the national dish.
Beef or prawn skewers are another common offering. For food on the go, be sure to try the nem (spring rolls) and mofo (fritters). They are cheap (usually around 50-200 MGA) and delicious!
Dining out is very inexpensive here. For a meal of traditional cuisine at a casual sit-down restaurant, expect to pay around 7,700 MGA.
Meals at restaurants that cater to tourists are the most expensive, offering Italian food or crepes for 25,000-28,000 MGA for a meal with a drink. For a pizza (which you can find almost everywhere), prices start at 10,000-15,000 MGA. A fast-food combo meal costs 20,000 MGA.
A beer costs 3,000 MGA while a latte or cappuccino costs 4,500 MGA. Bottled water is 1,500 MGA.
Cooking your own food won’t really save you any money since restaurants here are so cheap. However, if you do want to buy your own food, expect to pay around 77,000 for a week’s worth of groceries including staples like rice, pasta, seasonal produce, and some meat.
Backpacking Madagascar Suggested Budgets
On a backpacking budget of 110,000 MGA per day, you can stay in hostels, take shared or self-guided excursions, take buses between destinations, enjoy a couple of beers, eat street food for all your meals, and do mostly free activities like hiking and enjoying the beach.
On a mid-range budget of 240,000 MGA per day, you can stay in a private hostel room or Airbnb, take some guided tours, visit some islands and national parks (with the required guides), eat out at traditional Malagasy restaurants for all your meals, drink more, and take minibusses between cities.
On a “luxury” budget of 575,000 MGA per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out at any restaurant, hire private drivers, do as many excursions as you want, and take taxis everywhere. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!
You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in MGA.
Madagascar Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips
Looking to save money while you’re traveling Madagascar? Here are some of the best ways to save money during your trip:
- Travel during the off-season – Flights to Madagascar are cheapest during the low season (October-April). While it’s not the most ideal time to visit, your flight is your biggest expense (assuming you’re not booking a multi-day tour). Visiting during the shoulder season can go a long way to saving you money.
- Take local minibusses – When traveling between towns, take public minibusses. Fares are 20,000-50,000 MGA. Exercise patience, as you’ll rarely show up to your destination on time — but you’ll save money over hiring a driver and they are better than the regular bus.
- Skip the car rental – Car rentals cost the same as renting a car and driver. Skip going solo and hire a driver — they’ll not only be more familiar with the driving conditions but most drivers know a lot about the country and landscape too.
- Avoid the hotel restaurants – Food at hotels is cheap, however, it’s usually double the price of a restaurant elsewhere in the city.
- Get a local SIM card – Local SIM cards cost 4,000 MGA, and around 30,000 MGA per gig of data. A local SIM is much cheaper than your data plan from home.
- Bring a reusable water bottle – The tap water in Madagascar is not safe for drinking. Avoid single-use plastic by bringing a bottle and filter like LifeStraw . You’ll save money, stay safe, and help the environment!
Where to Stay in Madagascar
Hostels are few and far between in Madagascar. Here are some suggested budget-friendly options in the country:
- Madagascar Underground (Antananarivo)
- Le Karthala (Antananarivo)
- Coucher de Soleil (Nosy Be)
How to Get Around Madagascar
Tours – Multiday tours are the most common way to get around Madagascar. It’s a hard destination to navigate on your own, especially if you don’t want to hire a driver or speak a lot of French. Tours are the most popular choice for anyone looking to experience the country. I met travelers of all ages on my tour with Intrepid Travel .
Tours usually range from 11-24 days. A 14-day tour is around 9,000,000-17,000,000 MGA.
Bus – Buses here are slow, crowded, and unreliable. They don’t leave on a set schedule and often break down due to the terrible road conditions. However, they are the most affordable and best option to get around.
The 350-kilometer (217-mile) journey from Antananarivo to Toamasina takes around 7 hours and costs 30,000 while the 570-kilometer (355-mile) trip from Antananarivo to Mahajanga takes 12 hours and costs 40,000 MGA.
For shorter distances, most minibusses cost between 10,000-20,000 MGA.
Air – There’s only one domestic airline here (Air Madagascar and its subsidiary Tsaradia) and one-way tickets cost at least 350,000 MGA. If you’re on a budget, flying isn’t feasible.
Additionally, flights run on limited schedules, and flights are often canceled without notice, so make sure your plans are flexible if you’re flying.
Train – The train is only available between Fianarantsoa and Manakara. It’s a 300-kilometer (186 mile) trip and it usually takes around 10 hours (often much longer due to dilapidated railway lines and trains). Tickets are 70,000 MGA.
Car Rental – Car rentals can be found for around 280,000 MGA per day. However, it’s uncommon that rental agencies rent cars without a driver. Having a driver is recommended since the roads here are quite challenging and you’ll need a local to help in case anything goes wrong. I’d avoid driving here as the roads are hectic and in poor condition.
When to Go to Madagascar
April-December is the best time to visit Madagascar. You’ll avoid the rainy season as well as the cyclones that often occur. This is the most popular time to visit, however, Madagascar doesn’t see a huge influx of tourists so it doesn’t really get crowded here.
July-September is the best time to see the migrating humpback whales, while October and November are best for seeing baby lemurs. If you want to beat the “crowds” then visit in April, right at the end of the rainy season. It won’t be as hot, but the jungles will be lush and the beaches quiet.
Expect temperatures around 21-24°C (70-75°F) during the peak months of June-August.
How to Stay Safe in Madagascar
Madagascar is a relatively safe country, however, due to the extreme poverty here theft can occur. Don’t flash money or valuables and keep an eye on your belongings if taking a bus or if in large crowds. Keep your wallet and phone secure at all times, just to be safe.
While most cities and towns are safe, avoid walking around at night in Antananarivo.
Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, though some precautions apply (avoid walking around alone at night, never accept drinks from strangers, dress appropriately so you blend in, etc.).
The roads here are terrible and accidents are common. Always wear your seatbelt (if you have one).
If exploring a city or rural area and you come across wild dogs, act with caution and don’t provoke them.
There are a lot of beggars here, especially kids, and you have to just keep saying no and walking away. Be polite but firm.
There aren’t many common scams here, but if you want to learn which to be on the lookout for, here are some common travel scams to avoid .
As always, keep your wits about you at nighttime, particularly in the capital. Ask your hotel to call you a taxi if you need one (always negotiate the price before getting in the car). Your hotel/hostel staff can write down directions and help you with the fare estimate so you don’t get ripped off.
If you do experience an emergency, dial 117 for assistance.
Always trust your gut instinct. Avoid isolated areas at night, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID, before you leave on your trip. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.
The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past.
Madagascar Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources
These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
- Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
- Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
- Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
- SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
- LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
- Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
- Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
Madagascar Travel Guide: Related Articles
Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling in Madagascar and continue planning your trip:
A Journey Through Madagascar: Notes on the Privilege of Travel
How to Travel Around Madagascar
The Top Things to See and Do in Madagascar
30 Epic Photos From My Trip to Madagascar
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- Where To Stay
- Booking Resources
- Related Blogs
Madagascar Tour Guide
Licensed and experienced tour guide: groups and private tours
Mada TheoTours, tour guide for Madagascar
Hello! (Salama). My name is Santatra Theophile, but you can call me Theo. I am a Madagascar National Tour guide, with an official Tour Guide License issued by the Malagasy Government. I love Nature, I got a degree in Environmental Sciences and I speak good English.
I am an experienced tour guide and know all about Madagascar. I have led many different of tourist clients and groups. I am proud of my country, it’s unique and overwhelming flora and fauna, beautiful landscapes and various cultures and traditions. I am happy to be your guide to share the wonders of Madagascar with you. Enjoy nature, culture, good food and have a good relaxation.
I hope my website and Facebook page will inspire you to come visit Madagascar and enjoy all the beautiful things the “Big Island” has to offer. If you want me to be your guide in Madagascar or if I can be of any service or organize a tour for you, please let me know!
TheoTours Rental Car Service
Looking for a Rental Car in Madagascar? If you want an independent holiday and all the freedom to organise your own tours on the ‘Big Island’ of Madagascar. Car rental with a driver in Madagascar: for cheap car rental, luxury car rental and allround car hire service: Theo Tours Car rental Madagascar ! Easy and convenient with a good selection of rental cars available. Organise your own Madagascar tour with Theo Tours Rental Cars Madagascar . More information .
Read some reviews on Tripadvisor
Convenient and Comfortable
Responsible and sustainable, high quality, safe and trusted, most popular, trending tours:, tour: tsiribihina river and tsingy.
- Tsiribihina river tour (by Motor boat)
- Baobab Avenue in Morondava
- Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
- Adventure and relaxation
- 8 days (7 nights)
Tour: Tsiribihina by motor boat
- Tsiribihina river tour
- Watching birds and wildlife
- Visit some local villages
- Relax and enjoy good food
- 3 days (2 nights)
Tour: Indri Indri (Andasibe NP)
- Pereiras Reptiles Farm In Marozevo
- Andasibe: Night Walk
- Analamazaotra National Park
- Rain forest and relaxation
- 4 days (3 nights)
Tour: South; Antananarivo to Ifaty
- Ranomafana National Park
- Isalo National Park
- Anjaha and Zombitse Vohibasia Park
- Tulear and Ifaty beach
- 7 days (6 nights)
Andasibe, Pangalana & Ste Marie
- Andasibe National Park
- Peireras Reptiles Farm
- Pangalana Channel By Speed Boat
- Sainte Marie Island
Tsiribihina river & Baobab Ave
- Antananarivo to Miandrivazo
- Tsiribihina river tour (by local boat)
- Kirindy forest (Night / day walk)
- Baobab Avenue, Morondava beach
The north of Madagascar
- Ankarafatsika National Park
- Ankarana National Park
- Red Tsingy, Emerald Sea and Diego
- Amber Mountain National Park
- 10 days (9 nights)
Coastal Trail: west & beaches
- baobab Avenue
- the beaches of South Madagascar
- 14 days (13 nights)
West of Madagascar (Morondava)
- Antananarivo to Morondava
- Baobab Avenue
- Kirindy dry forest
- the beaches of Morondava
- 5 days (4 nights)
Outside of Antananarivo
- Antananarivo local markets
- Lily waterfall
- Blue Hill of Ambohimanga
- Lemurs Park and Geysers
- 3 days (3 nights)
Your wishes, requirements and personal preferences
The tours on my website have been carefully put together to show you as much as possible in a short period of time. Of course there is also time for rest, relaxation and good food. In addition, there are countless possibilities for a photo stop, interesting cultures and contacts with the friendly local population. It is your holiday and our job and pleasure to make it an unforgettable holiday!
Do you want more nature or more culture? Tropical forest or beautiful beaches? Luxury, middle class or budget accommodation? Do you have preferences for type of transport (airplane, 4WD, private car or local transport)?
We are happy to take your budget, requirements, wishes and personal preferences into account. Please let me know! .
The Ultimate Madagascar Itinerary for 2 weeks
When you think of Madagascar you will probably picture idyllic beaches, massive baobabs and funny dancing lemurs, but on top of that you will cross high mountains, country sides, amazing canyons, beautiful rainforests, limestone rock formations and a lot more. When you travel to Madagascar you will see it is an island of passion with surprisingly diverse landscapes, cultures and traditions and very rich and endemic flora and fauna, a Treasure Island waiting for you to be discovered!
In this Madagascar travel blog I will share the best things to do in Madagascar, tips on where to stay in Madagascar and an amazing Madagascar itinerary to make the most of your trip. Start planning your trip with this travel blog.
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Our Madagascar trip
We explored this beautiful island in 23 days. We started with a relaxing 10-day North Madagascar itinerary along the coast. Then explored the Avenue of the Baobabs and Kirindy Forest in West Madagascar and continued our journey to South Madagascar with a road trip along the scenic RN7.
The journey along highway 7 included some of the best places to visit in Madagascar like: Lake Tritriva in Antsirabe, the rainy Ranomafana NP, the serene and peaceful Lake Sahambavy near Fianarantsoa, Anja Reserve with its ring-tailed lemurs, the beautiful peaks of Andringitra National Park, Isalo National Park and Zombitse National Park.
When planning a trip to Madagascar keep in mind that even within 23 days we didn’t manage to squeeze in all the best things to do in Madagascar, but many of Madagascar’s highlights from North to West and South Madagascar were included in our itinerary.
After seeing the best of Madagascar with its great biodiversity I understand why this 4th largest island in the world is also called the Eight Continent, Rainbow Island or the Red Island. Visit Madagascar as soon as you can, you will not regret it.
Remote River Expeditions Madagascar (RRE) is a small, experienced tour operator offering high quality and personalized services. We travelled in 4WD with a skilled driver and an English-speaking guide with a huge knowledge of the Malagasy nature, culture and history. Because of Stella, we learned a lot about this ‘red island’ and that definitely made our Madagascar trip complete.
RRE is able to customize your Madagascar itinerary to your wishes and needs, from a 1-day tour in Morondava to a 1-week itinerary in West Madagascar or for example a complete 4-week Madagascar itinerary to discover the best places to see in Madagascar. We had a great experience and I would highly recommend contacting Remote River Expeditions if you’re planning to travel to Madagascar. I got in touch by mail and we had quick and reliable communications until our arrival. Their office is located at Chez Maggie, a great property in Morondava that also belongs to the owner of Remote River Expeditions .
Our Madagascar Itinerary
This 2-week Madagascar itinerary includes our route from West Madagascar along the national highway 7 to Tulear. We drove about 985km, excluding the drives inside national parks and detours to hotels. Because of the constantly changing landscapes and presence of several national parks and reserves along the way, the RN7 or Route Nationale 7 is the most popular tour in Madagascar and not to be missed if you travel to Madagascar.
Planning a trip to Madagascar then also take a look at the beautiful archipelago Nosy Be in the North of the country. For my all my North Madagascar travel tips click on the link.
This is the best 2-week Madagascar itinerary possible
Antananarivo - 1 night
- Morondava and Kirindy Forest Reserve – 3 nights
Miandrivazo – 1 night
Antsirabe – 1 night.
- Ambositra - stopover
Ranomafana National Park – 1 or 2 nights
Fianarantsoa and sahambavy - 1 or 2 nights.
- Ambalavao and Anja Reserve - 1 night or stopover
- Isalo National Park - 2-3 nights
- Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park - stopover
Tulear (Toliara) - 1-3 nights
Antananarivo (tana) - 1 night.
You can either start your road trip along the national highway 7 in Antananarivo or from for example Morondava in West Madagascar. Because we first explored Northern Madagascar, we decided to fly to Morondava to start the RN7 road trip from there. From Diego-Suarez in North Madagascar there are no direct flights to Morondava, so we had to bridge 1 night in the capital city of the country.
We even had some time left to explore Tsarasaotra Bird Park, close to Antananarivo airport. The domestic flights are operated by Madagascar’s local airliner Tsaradia, a subsidiary of Air Madagascar.
Where to stay in Antananarivo?
I had two domestic flights to Antananarivo during my Madagascar trip. The second time I flew into Tananarive I stayed in the beautiful San Cristobal Boutique Hotel only 4 km from Ivato Airport in Antananarivo. San Cristobal Hotel offers a nice garden, a terrace and a cosy bar with a nice seating area including a flat screen TV. The Wifi is free and worked very well; also inside the rooms!
The hotel has several art-works like photos and paintings hanging around the whole building, something I really loved. This 3-star hotel has quite big air-conditioned rooms with a flat screen TV, coffee & tea facilities and a fridge. I loved their continental breakfast with fresh eggs as well as their coffee. The employees at the reception were very friendly and helpful and made us feel at home. Since you are at Ivato Airport in no time, it’s an ideal base to catch your onward flight.
Morondava & Kirindy Forest Reserve – 3 nights
Before we started with our national highway 7 Madagascar road trip we first explored the best things to do in Western Madagascar and more specific the laid-back town of Morondava. It literally means ‘place at the beach’ and it’s the gateway to Avenue of the Baobabs .
But also tours to Kirindy Forest Reserve and Tsingy de Bemeraha National Park are totally worth it. If you visit Madagascar you can’t leave the Island without exploring Morondava. Check out the best things to do in Morondava in this link.
Where to stay in Morondava?
I highly recommend staying at Chez Maggie . For Kirindy I would advise to either stay in Kirindy Lodge inside the reserve or at Relais du Kirindy. In my blog about things to do in Morondava I also write about Chez Maggie and where to stay in Kirindy.
Miandrivazo is a village that lies on the main RN34 road between Morondava and Antsirabe. It’s a perfect stop to break the long drive to Antsirabe. Kaominina, the Malagasy name for Miandrivazo, is considered to be the warmest city of the island. Because of its geographical situation, there is almost no wind. An interesting place to add to you Madagascar road trip itinerary.
The city is situated at the Mahajilo River and the starting point for boat trips down the Tsiribihina River to Belo-sur-Tsiribihina. You can enjoy swimming near a natural waterfall and observe different animal species like lemurs, bats and chameleons.
Where to stay in Miandrivazo?
In this area there are very few places to stay. Most of the tourists will drive directly to Antsirabe or overnight in Princesse Tsiribihina Hotel . The rooms here were good and comfortable and there’s Wifi in the main building, where you can also watch TV and have a beer at the bar. There’s also a small pool to relax and cool off.
A cool Madagascar travel tip is that you can apparently walk up to the hill behind the hotel to enjoy an extraordinary panorama. The walk will take you one hour. If I knew this before, I would have left Morondava quite early instead of after lunchtime. We checked-in quite late, even too late to watch the sunset over the river, so there was nothing to see or do by the time we arrived and the next morning we had to leave early on our way to Antsirabe.
Antsirabe (literally ‘the place of much salt’) is well known for its thermal springs and therefore also called the ‘city of water’. This city is located in the central highlands of Madagascar. From Miandrivazo, it took us 4,5 hours to get there. Because of its geographical location, Antsirabe has a cool climate throughout the year; so don’t forget to pack a sweater and a pair of trousers when you visit Madagascar.
Transportation in Antsirabe
The most common transportation in Antsirabe is the colourful rickshaw or ‘pousse-pousse’, which is pulled by a man on foot or on a bicycle, the ‘cyclo-pousse’. It’s not only for tourists but also the daily transportation of local Malagasy.
It’s a fun way of exploring the city and the owners of these rickshaws are happy to earn some extra money. On the other hand I found it weird to be pulled by this friendly Malagasy man.
Things to do in Antsirabe
Antsirabe is rich in history. You will feel a strong colonial influence through the architecture of the city buildings. The most prominent buildings in town are the Cathedral Church and the charming Hotel de Thermes, in front of the baths. Another interesting architectural building is the Antsirabe Train Station, dating from the colonial period. Nowadays, they only use it for cargo transportation.
Antsirabe Crater Lakes
There are two popular natural crater lakes outside of Antsirabe town, which are worth a visit: Lake Andraikiba and Lake Tritriva. From Antsirabe it took us around 40 minutes to get there by car. There’s a parking space near Lake Tritriva and from there it will only take you a few meters to look down on the blue-opaque green Crater Lake.
Apparently there are two roads leading to these lakes: a short, but bad road and a way longer but better road. We took the shortest one and it sure wasn’t the worst road of my Africa travels.
Lac Tritriva or Lac Andraikiba? The area around Andraikiba Lake seems to be ideal for walking because of its peaceful and harmonious environment. It’s the largest lake and the closest one to town.
We only stopped there from a distance on our way to the prettier Tritriva Lake. At Lake Tritriva you’ll have to pay a guide- and entry fee of 5000 Ariary ($1,5) to enter the area.
Crafts and markets in Antsirabe
In the lively city of Antsirabe you have the opportunity to visit various craft workshops, where objects are made from for example zebu horn or natural fibber. For me, these workshops were too much focussed on tourism, but there are definitely some great artists around in Antsirabe.
To see the real Malagasy life, I would advise you to go to the local market. The Tsena Sabotsy (Saturday market) is the central open-air market of Antsirabe, a good place to discover what the local Malagasy are buying from clothes and vegetables to pots and pans. The vendors were very friendly and didn’t mind me taking their photos.
The Countryside of Antsirabe
Antsirabe’s countryside is beautiful as well! You will walk through rice fields, small villages and meet friendly locals.
Where to stay in Antsirabe?
Couleur Café Antsirabe is perfectly located near the city centre of Antsirabe, close to the RN7 road. They offer a number of individual brick bungalows, facing a lovely and well-maintained garden. There is plenty of space in the room, with a TV and fireplace and the beds are really comfortable. They offer a WIFI connection in the room, something you don’t find often when traveling in Madagascar. Their restaurant serves good food for diner and in the morning you can enjoy a buffet breakfast with fresh eggs from Antsirabe’s market.
Ambositra - stopover on your way to Ranomafana
From Antsirabe we were able to take the RN7 (National Highway 7) southwards, with Ambositra as first stop after 90 km along the Route Nationale 7. The RN7 in Madagascar is the 980 km long main road in Madagascar, connecting Tananarive (Antananarivo) to the western-coast town Tulear. A journey along Madagascar’s RN7 highway includes the most famous highlights of Madagascar.
The city of art, culture and crafts
Ambositra is famous for the quality of its marquetry, weaving and especially woodcarvings. Ambositra is home to the Zafimaniry Tribe and their houses have colourful carved wooden balconies and shutters. The woodcarving knowledge of this tribe is internationally recognized as a world treasure. In some shops, it’s possible to see the artist working on its crafts. A handy Madagascar travel tip is that on Sunday all the shops are closed. As we were there on a national holiday, all shops were closed and we sadly couldn’t find any artists at work.
Madalief | foundation for mothers and children in Madagascar
This non-profit organization with the purpose of giving underprivileged children in Madagascar a better future, was the result of a Dutch travel guide - Remi Doomernik - working in Madagascar and settling in Ambositra. In 2004 they bought a site with a house in Ambositra where nowadays still children live. Apart from that they take care of the meals of 45 children.
Madalief also helped restoring the nearby school and built two classrooms. They restored about 10 houses and more than 40 women received small loans for starting up small trade to take better care of themselves and their children. Since they couldn’t take care of more children in the home, they started supporting families around Ambositra (40 families in 2019). The foundation helps single mothers with a donation for daily needs, school fees and medical costs.
Since I thought Remi’s story was quite impressive I planned a visit to Residence Madalief in Antsirabe , 4 miles south of Antsirabe, to add this to my Madagascar travel blog. To create employment and working experience for their youngsters and single mothers from Ambositra they chose Antsirabe because of the touristic route to the south. So when you travel to Madagascar please include this in your itinerary.
The site offers a hotel with 11 rooms for tourists and also a youth hostel, where they welcome groups of children from other orphanages and foundations as well as their own children, to give them nice holidays for little money. We stayed an extra night in this Residence, located in a beautiful area in the middle of the rice fields.
Visit their website if you want to know more about this foundation and all of their projects and achievements. It’s definitely worth to stay in Residence Madalief on your Madagascar trip and it’s good to know that your money is spent well.
When you continue the RN7, you need to take the RN25 to Ranomafana through the Betsileo highland region. Hills and rice fields are part of this landscape. The roads are curvy and close to Ranomafana a bit dangerous depending on the weather conditions; road verges can be very soft or roads can even be closed after rain.
The popular Ranomafana Park is part of the eastern rainforest, which used to take up nearly the complete island. Rano means ‘water’, and mafana means ‘hot’, referring to the many hot-water springs, in this area. Ranomafana is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and became a protected area in 1991 after the discovery of the golden bamboo lemur in the rainforest in 1985. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Madagascar. Ranomafana National Park is known for its tropical rainforests, humid climate, waterfalls, hot mountain streams and different species of Madagascar wildlife.
This large rainforest is home to 12 lemur species. Lemur comes from the Latin word ‘lemures’, which means ‘ghosts of the forest’. Seeing the lemurs up close requires some effort. You’ll need to hike off the beaten path into the forest with an experienced guide to spot them in the treetops. Apart from the golden bamboo lemur, you may spot some other lemur species like the rare Aye-Aye, the Sifaka or the mouse lemur. Other wildlife includes chameleons, frogs and the Malagasy striped civet. Ranomafana National Park is also a paradise for birders!
The entrance of Ranomafana National Park is located on the national road RN25. For the budget travellers: It is possible to get a taxi-brousse (shared taxi bus) directly from Antananarivo or Fianarantsoa, but there is no transportation between the park and the village of Ranomafana.
Things to do in Ranomafana
Ranomafana offers a lot of activities, but because rainforests are subject to heavy rainfall, the weather can ruin your activities. During our stay we had heavy rains all-day long and there was a lot of fog. Even inside the rainforest (where trees and plants provide some shelter) it was almost impossible to take pictures.
It is highly recommended to pack water-resistant clothes that cover arms and legs when you visit Madagascar, as well as anti-mosquito gels that will keep mosquitoes and leeches away.
Hiking or trekking lovers will love Ranomafana rainforest and its mountain ranges! There are many different hiking circuits that vary in length and duration. Some of the best hiking In Madagascar can be found here. Apart from the hiking, you can enjoy a swim in Ranomafana’s thermal bath. The hot springs of Ranomafana are located across the Namorona River and are very popular among locals. It’s best to swim in the thermal bath on Wednesday, since they clean everything on Tuesday.
One of the other activities in Ranomafana is a night walk along the road – outside of the National Park – where you have the chance of spotting the Ranomafana’s five nocturnal species, including the adorable mouse lemur. The extreme weather conditions kept me from doing this activity. Near Ranomafana NP, there is a research station called Centre ValBio that is open to visitors. They work to protect Madagascar’s unique and biologically diverse ecosystems through conservation science and projects that directly benefit the local people, including rural health care delivery.
Where to stay in Ranomafana?
SETAM Lodge Madagascar is located on a slope of the rainforest, conveniently close to the park entrance of Ranomafana National Park. The lodge is situated along the main RN25 road, but completely surrounded by rainforest. For that reason, it offers stunning views from your private terrace.
It’s a very quiet and peaceful place. The cottages are aging a bit, but they are spacious, functional and comfortable. What more do you need? There’s no Wifi in the cottages but there’s occasionally Wifi in the restaurant area. The staff is very helpful and friendly and the 3-course dinner as well as the breakfast was good. I recommend staying at this lodge when visiting Ranomafana National Park.
The city of Fianarantsoa is considered to be the capital of Betsileo, located 60 km of Ranomafana. On the road you will pass some wonderful landscapes and small villages.
Most of the tourists spend one night in Fianarantsoa on their Madagascar itinerary, or to take the train to Manakara at the East Coast of Madagascar. The Sahambavy train station is close to Lac Hotel in Sahambavy, where you can also enjoy a night in a vintage train wagon! They can also help you to arrange train tickets.
Sahambavy is a small place near Fianarantsoa and apart from the train station worth a visit because of their huge tea plantations and the serene Lake Sahambavy. These beautiful tea plantations are among the best places to visit in Madagascar.
FCE Train (Fianarantsoa Cote Est)
For the adventurous traveller, the train rain ride from Fianarantsoa to Manakara seems to be one of the best things to do in Madagascar. The 163km route takes you through the rainforest, offering very scenic views. It’s the only operating passenger train line in Madagascar.
In theory, this journey will take about 8 to 12 hours (20 km/h), but in reality around 12 to 24 hours. Be prepared for train failures and bring enough water and food. It’s all about the experience and getting in touch with the Malagasy villagers who use this train to cover long distances to get from one village to another.
Therefore, the train stations are quite bustling with vendors selling food and other goods. A first-class train ticket from Fianarantsoa to Manakara will cost you 70.000 Ariary (19 dollar).
Sahambavy Lake and Tea Plantation
We didn’t overnight in Fianarantsoa on our Madagascar itinerary, we decided to make a small detour to Sahambavy, which is located 23 km from the city of Fianarantsoa. I’m still happy with that choice, since I loved to relax at Sahambavy Lake enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
Lac Hotel, which lies directly at the lake, offers different activities around the lake. They also have some water bikes you can use to explore the lake, which was great fun!
If you have a chance I recommend visiting the nearby Sahambava tea plantation on your Madagascar trip, which covers nearly 400 ha. They have a monopoly position, as it’s the only centre of farming and tea production in Madagascar. Since we visited the place on a public holiday the factory was closed and there were no Malagasy working in the field, but I liked walking around the plantation chatting with some locals.
Photographer Pierrot Men
As an avid photographer, I couldn’t leave Fianarantsoa before visiting the photo laboratory of Pierrot Men. He has been the most famous photographer of Madagascar for over 40 years. Visitors can buy his books and a huge selection of postcards and poster prints of his photo collection of Madagascar. It’s a unique souvenir to bring home when you travel to Madagascar. If you’re lucky, you can meet Pierrot in the studio. Unfortunately for us, he was at an exhibition in Paris at the time we visited the laboratory.
Where to stay in Fianarantsoa or Sahambavy
I highly recommend staying at Lac Hotel Sahambavy . Lac Hotel is a wonderful and charming hotel at Lake Sahambavy and next to the Sahambavy tea plantation. It’s also close to the FCE train station. The bungalows on tilts at the water are amazing: very peaceful, huge, comfortable and clean. We were given the so-called honeymoon bungalow, the biggest bungalow at the lake with a private terrace overlooking the lake and its surroundings.
Lac hotel Fianarantsoa is also very innovative and eco-friendly. The products they use are organic, homemade and homegrown. They have their own vegetable garden to provide quality and fresh products. The restaurant offers a European and Malagasy menu and the food is good.
Another big advantage is their agreement with the Malagasy train railway, the FCE, to give customers the best quality of service in terms of ticketing. Last but not least, they are planning to build a spa to complete your relaxing stay at Lac Hotel. There’s WiFi available in the restaurant area; it’s not working in the bungalows.
Ambalavao and Anja Reserve - 1 night or stopover on your way to Ranohira
On this part of your Madagascar road trip, you will enjoy Madagascar’s vineyards with steep-terraced slopes and typical Betsileo mud brick houses with local people working on the land.
Madagascar has several vineyards in the district around Fianarantsoa and Ambalavao. They were originally planted by French Jesuit priests and make about 10 million litres a year for the local market. Along the way you’re able to visit a winery or by Malagasy wines at local wine shops along the RN7 road. You have to try the local wine when you travel to Madagascar.
Things to do in Ambalavao
Ambalavao is situated at the Route Nationale No. 7 at 56 km from Fianarantsoa and is the most southern part of the Central Highlands of Madagascar. The city is famous for their big Zebu Market that takes place every Wednesday. You can also visit the factory where they produce Antemoro Paper. Once you reached the area of Ambalavao you will notice a change in landscapes. You cannot miss the high mountain peaks with Pic Boby (Pic Imarivolanitra) as second highest mountain of Madagascar. Pic Boby is also the main attraction of Andringitra National Park and another place to visit in Madagascar on a road trip south.
During a photo-stop along the streets of Ambalavao we met friendly Malagasy from the Betsileo tribe who were celebrating their new house. It’s a tradition like a huge house warming where all family and other villagers are invited to celebrate this event together.
They were all well dressed: men wear a traditional cover over the shoulder and women braid their hair. We were invited to celebrate with them, but unfortunately we had to continue our journey because of our planned visit to Anja Reserve or Parc D’Anja, about 13 km south of Ambalavao. The friendly Malagasy people are one of the reasons you should visit Madagascar.
Anja reserve is famous for its numbers of Ring Tailed Lemurs (lemur catta- king Julien from Madagascar film). There are 11 lemur families living in this park. Some other interesting fauna such as giant chameleons and boas also call this place home.
Anja Community Reserve is a forest, protected area and freshwater lake, situated at a rocky landscape at the feet of the ‘three sisters’ or ‘telo mirahavavy’.
Hiking in the Anja Reserve is another Madagascar travel tip. You can choose between two different circuits, but a local guide must accompany you. The shorter trail can be completed in around one to two hours and you will easily see different lemur families and the variety of flora. Depending on the time you have, you can see the natural cave(s) and climb up the rocks to a viewpoint, with stunning views of the valleys, mountains and villages.
The longer trail includes a hike to the top of the mountain at 1400 meter, where you will have a 360-degree view that includes a view of the city of Ambalavao, 13km away. This trail will take up to six hours. Be sure to wear covered footwear and bring enough water. There is a small restaurant nearby where you can have lunch before or after the hike.
Because it’s a reserve run by locals, all the profits go back to the community. Unfortunately we got the impression they wanted to take advantage of the ‘rich’ tourists by charging more money. After our walk along the short circuit, we were asked to pay extra because we walked an extra small loop.
We understand that our money is very valuable for the local community, but situations like this are not pleasant. Make sure to agree on the circuit (and the time spend on that particular circuit) before you enter the reserve.
Andringitra National Park
Andringitra National Park has been called the Yosemite of Madagascar and has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2007 and definitely a place that needed to be included in this Madagascar travel blog, although I wasn’t able to visit myself. If you love Yosemite National Park then you should definitely visit Andringitra National Park.
We were not able to add this place to our Madagascar itinerary, which is a pity because it seems to be a hikers paradise with spectacular views and a must-visit if you travel to Madagascar. Near Andringitra National Park lies the Tsaranoro Valley. You will pass this beautiful valley after a visit to Andringitra on your way to Ranohira.
When you’re heading to Ranohira, you will pass the huge impressive rocky hill called ‘Bisshops Hats’ and cross the Ihorombe plateau. The road from Ambalavao to Ranohira is a spectacular part of the famous RN7 with a lot of great photo-stops along the way to capture this beautiful landscape. I’m sure a Madagascar road trip will blow your mind.
While road tripping on this part of the RN7 I was sad we didn’t have enough time to overnight in this area to enjoy more of maybe one of the most beautiful places to visit in Madagascar. After seeing this part, I truly wish I get to chance to travel to Madagascar again to visit Andringitra National Park, Tsaranoro Valley and the surrounding areas.
Isalo National Park - 2-3 nights (trekking inside the park)
Isalo National Park is the most visited national park in Madagascar and one of the natural wonders of the country. It’s mostly known for its incredibly rugged Jurassic terrain that has been formed into beautiful canyons and gorges by eroding winds and rain. On top of these canyons you have breath-taking panoramic views. No wonder Isalo is a hikers paradise and one of the best things to do in Madagascar.
Apart from rock formations you will cross true oasis with crystal-clear water and natural swimming pools. A hike to the Piscine Naturelle and the Namaza circuit are definitely a must-see in Isalo National Park.
Isalo is also home to rare plants endemic to Madagascar. During your hikes you will discover the fire resistant tree ‘Uapaca Bojeri’ and the small iconic ‘Pachypodium rosulatum’ plant that grows between the inlets of the rocks. Wildlife lovers are able to spot different lemurs, including the dancing ring-tailed lemur, birds, chameleons and other reptiles.
Hiking in Isalo National Park
There are numerous hiking circuits in Isalo National Park ranging from easy hikes of a few hours to average or heavy multiple-day circuits including camping. Every circuit will show you parts of the amazing landscape of Isalo National Park.
We chose to do a hiking trail including a night at a remote campsite inside Isalo National Park to cover more of the park. This definitely is one of my best Madagascar travel tips for you. It’s not possible to do an overnight trip on your own! We planned our hiking trip in Isalo with Momo Trek. I highly recommend contacting them if you’re searching for a local and reliable agency for multiple hiking-days inside Isalo National Park.
Porters will carry your camping equipment and backpacks directly to the campsite. They follow a different route, so you have to pack a daypack with stuff you really need during the hike (like water, mosquito-repellent, sun cream, camera-equipment and lunch).
We chose a medium level hiking circuit, a combination of two circuits including one night of camping inside Isalo National Park. The medium hiking circuit offered different sights. The natural pools and the waterfall were unexpected oases among the rocks, where fresh water flows.
We also discovered cliffs, eroded massifs and savannah and desert landscapes. The visit of the Bara and Sakalava burials gave our tour in Isalo National Park a bit of a mystical touch. The Bara is the only tribe that is allowed to bury the dead inside the park, up to the rocks. If you are lover of history, then this is one of the best places to visit in Madagascar. Visit the temporary and sacred tomb where these bodies are held before the complete decomposition. The tomb is basically a heap of stones.
In the forest you have the chance to spot lemurs. Unfortunately we didn’t see any ‘dancing lemur’ in Isalo. If you are more into lemurs instead of the landscape I highly recommend visiting the Namaza campsite. Especially in the morning and late afternoon you’ll have a high chance of seeing ring-tailed lemurs sunbathing.
The different viewpoints, for example the climb to Namaza, were amazing with views of the valley. The different shapes as well as the changing colours of the eroded rock formations are quite interesting.
We enjoyed our packed-lunch – arranged by Momo Trek – at the beautiful natural pools ‘Piscine Noire’ and ‘Piscine Blue’ with a small waterfall, we had a freshly prepared dinner under a sky full of stars at a remote campsite and we ended our Isalo trek with a breakfast at the plateau while watching sunrise over Isalo National Park. If you are an adventurous traveller then this is another great Madagascar travel tip.
It was a truly memorable experience and one of the best ones on my Madagascar trip. Make sure to bring enough water during the hike(s), because it can get really hot in the fierce sun. Apart from some oases, the trails offer very little shade.
Trekking in Isalo with Momo Trek
The team of Momo Trek is specialized in organizing hiking and camping tours in Isalo National Park. They have been offering tours of all levels, for over 20 years. Momo Trek offers a very complete package including guide, porters, meals and camping equipment.
This experienced local Ranohira operator offers Isalo treks from a 2-hours hiking circuit to a 15-days all-inclusive hiking package including different campsites and expeditions to the remote Makay Massif. You can check the different Isalo hiking circuits on their website. If you want to see more of Isalo National Park I highly recommend a minimal of a 2-day hiking package with Momo Trek.
After a long day of hiking, the Momo Trek staff already set up our tent and cooked a great dinner. We also enjoyed some beautiful polyphonic live sung Malagasy songs by the talented staff members. I loved the combination of their cooking skills and musical qualities. The meaning and sounds of these live sung Malagasy songs made the peaceful and serene atmosphere in Isalo National Park even more special. We were the only ones on the campsite and it felt like we had the whole national park to ourselves.
I really loved the hiking experience in Isalo National Park. We had a great English speaking guide with a lot of knowledge of the flora and fauna of Isalo, Madagascar wildlife in general and the history of Isalo National Park and the history and traditions of the Sakalava Tribe and Bara tribe. Did I already convince you to go on a camping adventure on your Madagascar trip?
Isalo Window | famous Madagascar tourist attraction
A lot of people choose to do a one-day hike and visit the touristic ‘Window of Isalo’ afterwards. This is a natural window in a red rock formation that frames the sunset. Our initial plan was to visit Window rock in Isalo on our arrival day in Ranohira, but didn’t make it for sunset because we spent too much time in Anja Reserve including several photo stops along the way. I’m still a bit disappointed we didn’t make it there on time.
If I would do this again I would either choose to spend an extra night near Isalo National Park or to spend extra nights near Ambalavao or for example Andrigitra National Park to spend more hours exploring Anja Reserve and the beautiful granite peaks and views of the surrounding mountains. A lot of Madagascar tour agencies include Anja Reserve as a short stopover on their way to Ranohira, so it’s quite normal, but I felt very rushed and needed more time to enjoy and photograph all the beautiful views along the RN7 road.
Isalo National Park is must-visit when you travel to Madagascar. Because of the low tourist numbers in Madagascar, you will only see a few other tourists, especially when you’re planning to do a longer hike. Apart from hiking in Isalo National Park, there are plenty of other things to do in Isalo, like mountain biking, horse riding and wildlife watching. Because of the dry climate, the best time to visit Isalo National Park is all year-round. Don’t miss out on this stunning park, add this to your Madagascar itinerary.
Where to stay in Isalo (Ranohira)?
Le Relais de la Reine is a great option if you’re looking for a hotel between the rocks that is close to Isalo National Park. This eco-friendly hotel offers everything you need after a tough hike. They have huge and really spacious rooms and cottages with a comfortable bed and a spacious bathroom.
Le Relais de la Reine also offers a number of sport and leisure activities in a serene area. The most outstanding and exclusive sport activities are Via Ferrata (rock climbing) and horse riding. On top of that you can spoil yourself with a facial or massage at their professional therapy centre for beauty and massage. The service and kindness of the staff is amazing, very friendly and helpful. Their relaxing pool surrounded by the Isalo rocks is amazing! I would definitely stay here again on my next trip to Madagascar.
Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park - stopover on your to Tulear
On your way from Ranohira to Tulear along the RN7 I highly recommend to make a short stop at Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park. It’s one of Madagascar’s least known but most accessible National Park, located along the RN7. From Ranohira it takes 1,5 hour to reach this park.
If you are a bird lover you should visit Zombitse National Park as early as possible to have a fair chance of seeing Madagascar’s rarest endemic birds, like the ‘Appert’s Greenbul’. Apart from that, you will probably spot other Madagascar wildlife, like the Red-fronted brown lemur, the Sifaka or White lemur, the nocturnal sportive lemur, chameleons and the Standing’s Day gecko.
As you approach Tulear – the end of Madagascar’s RN7 highway – you cannot miss ‘Table Mountain’, a large flat mountain that is called the Table Mountain of Madagascar. It’s also possible to climb this mountain all the way to the top, which will only take you about 30 minutes. On top of the Table Mountain you will have a 360 degrees overview of the beautiful coastline of Tulear. The starting point to climb Table Mountain is about 10 km from Tulear.
Another thing to do in Tulear is visiting the Arboretum d’Antsokay, a botanical garden. According to experts, this botanical garden has 900 plant species of which 90% is endemic to Madagascar. They also state that 80% of these Madagascar plants have medicinal value. The Arboretum is located next to Auberge de la Table Hotel. For guests of Auberge de la Table, the entrance fee for the Arboretum is free.
Where to stay in Tulear?
Since we had to fly back to Antananarivo the next day we decided to stay our last night of this RN7 road trip in Auberge de la Table . At this place you have a wonderful view of the Table Mountain in Madagascar and it has a small swimming pool. For those who have more time to spend in Tulear (read: beach days), I would advise to continue your road trip to Ifaty; a beautiful place along the coast about 30 km north of Tulear, where you can also discover a different species of Baobab: the Fony Baobab.
Antananarivo is the largest city in Madagascar and interesting for travellers who have enough time to visit Madagascar. If you don’t have that much time, I would only stay in Tana to bridge your time between flights. In my North Madagascar Travel Blog I wrote about my short stay in Antananarivo and the Tsarasaotra Bird Park I’ve visited that is very close to Ivato Airport.
Travel to Madagascar now!
Traveling to Madagascar blew me away. It’s an amazing place on earth, with an intense kaleidoscope of nature, that I highly recommend putting on top of your travel bucket list. In this Ultimate Madagascar Travel Blog I tried to describe the best places to visit in Madagascar, but apart from these highlights of Madagascar there’s still so much to see and do on this Treasure Island that wants me to visit Madagascar again!
This Madagascar travel guide is written by travel photographer Kim Paffen , one of Traveltomtom’s talented team members with a deep-seated passion for traveling to Africa. She traveled for Traveltomtom to this beautiful country and shared all her Madagascar tips and incredible photos in this Madagascar travel blog and itinerary. Check out her Instagram account: ourplanetinmylens .
She also wrote about her North Madagascar itinerary , the best things to do in Nosy Be Madagascar and things to do in Morondava and a complete guide for visiting the Avenue of the Baobabs .
For more Africa inspiration and amazing photos of Kim have a look at her Uganda travel blog or read more about Gorilla trekking in Uganda .
I hope this travel blog and all the above Madagascar travel tips and things to do in Madagascar were helpful to plan your own Madagascar trip. Please help me in return by sharing the link of this article on the Internet. Every tweet on Twitter, pin on Pinterest or share on Facebook is very much appreciated. Also don’t hesitate to reach out on my Instagram account. I’m happy to help!
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Lemurs, baobabs, rainforest, desert, hiking and diving: Madagascar is a dream destination for outdoors enthusiasts – half the fun is getting to all these incredible attractions.
Must-see attractions for your itinerary.
Allée des Baobabs
One of Madagascar's most recognisable images, this small stretch of the RN8 between Morondava and Belo-sur-Tsiribihina is flanked on both sides by…
Musée de la Photo
Opened in early 2018, this fabulous photography museum is Antananarivo's best museum. There are four small rooms showing films (in French, English or…
Parc National Isalo
Isalo is one of Madagascar's most beautiful parks. It contains sculpted buttes, vertical rock walls and, best of all, deep canyon floors shot through with…
Parc National Bemaraha
If you visit one place in western Madagascar, make it Parc National Bemaraha. A Unesco World Heritage Site, its highlights are the jagged, limestone…
Poised atop Ambohimanga hill is the Rova, the fortress-palace. The walls of the compounds were constructed using cement made from sand, shells and egg…
Tana’s rova (fortified palace), known as Manjakamiadana (A Fine Place to Rule), is the imposing structure that crowns the city's highest hill. Gutted in a…
Parc National Masoala-Nosy Mangabe
This 2100-sq-km national park contains one of the best primary rainforests in the country. It is famous for its vegetation, which includes rare hardwoods,…
Parc National Analamazaotra
This is the most popular park within Parc National Andasibe Mantadia. The real draw of this reserve is the rare indri, Madagascar’s largest lemur, whose…
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Why Go To Madagascar
Dreaming of a tropical getaway spent lounging on idyllic islands, trekking through verdant rainforests, hiking around jaw-dropping rock formations and spotting unique wildlife? Then set your sights on Madagascar. Located in the Indian Ocean, about 743 miles east of Mozambique, this African paradise is the fourth largest island in the world. Approximately 19,000 types of plants can be found in the country's 47 national parks and reserves, but its one-of-a-kind animals are the main draw for nature lovers. All of the world's 100-plus lemur species call this island nation home, as do more than 340 kinds of chameleons and a variety of birds.
Though you'll likely spend some time in populous areas like Antananarivo (the country's capital) and Nosy Be (a small island off the mainland's northwest coast), Madagascar is filled with regions ripe for exploration. Travelers can head offshore to snorkel around Nosy Sakatia or swim at The Three Bays , and photography enthusiasts can snap breathtaking pictures of the sun rising or setting over Morondava's Avenue of the Baobabs . Fitness buffs, meanwhile, have access to hiking trails at Anja Community Reserve , plus Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve 's towering limestone pinnacles, which are ideal for climbing. If you'd rather have a more quintessential Malagasy vacation, travel deep into national parks like Isalo and Mantadia to watch lemurs, boa constrictors and more lingering in the trees.
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Madagascar Travel Tips
Best months to visit.
The best time to visit Madagascar is from April to October. This dry season brings fewer rain showers, meaning optimal conditions for observing animals, hiking and participating in water sports activities. Although accommodation rates are higher at this time, properties will be easier to access due to the country's roads being clear. Temperatures will also be more comfortable than they are during the wet season.
Weather in Madagascar
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
What You Need to Know
- Beaches are not guarded Lifeguards and security personnel are rarely stationed at beaches. If you plan on visiting a beach, do not leave your belongings unattended at any time, and keep a close eye on children.
- Bottled water is a must Tap water is not safe to drink at hotels, restaurants and all other locales in Madagascar, meaning you'll need to drink bottled water at all times. You'll also want to avoid ice in drinks unless it's been made from filtered water.
- Malaria is prevalent Local mosquitoes may carry malaria, so bring long-sleeved clothing, insect repellent with DEET (a chemical that limits mosquitoes' ability to smell you) and anti-malarial medication, which can be obtained from your doctor.
- Cash reigns supreme Few restaurants, shops and hotels accept credit cards in Madagascar, so bring Malagasy ariary with you or withdraw some from a local ATM to pay for goods and services.
How to Save Money in Madagascar
- Use taxis-brousse Though this mode of transportation is notoriously slow, taxis-brousse are one of the country's most affordable ways to travel long distances.
- Be mindful of trail fees Some paths, such as those found at Isalo National Park and Mantadia National Park , can only be accessed after paying park admissions, plus a trail fee. To save money, choose to explore paths where there is no additional fee, such as Lokobe National Park 's Circuit Kindro and Circuit Ramy trails.
- Pitch a tent High-end accommodations in Madagascar can cost more than $500 per night, so consider camping at a protected area like Anja Community Reserve or Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve . Campsite spaces are generally $2 to $12 per night to reserve.
Culture & Customs
Home to 18 main ethnic groups, Madagascar is a diverse island nation. Malagasy and French are the country's official languages, the latter of which was introduced when the French colonized the region from 1896 to 1960. You may also find a few Malagasy people who speak English, but it is best to use Malagasy or French when possible. Of the two primary languages, Malagasy is more commonly used. Some key Malagasy and French terms and phrases to use while traveling in Madagascar include "manao ahoana e" and "bonjour" (hello), "Manao ahoana ny fahasalamanao?" and "Comment allez-vous?" (How are you?), "Tsy azoko" and "Je ne comprend pas" (I don't understand), "Mahay miteny angisy ve ianao?" and "Parlez-vous anglais?" (Do you speak English?), and "veloma" and "au revoir" (goodbye).
Although Madagascar's capital city of Antananarivo has a population of more than 1.3 million people, the majority of Malagasy people live in rural areas, where traditional customs and practices are the norm. Men and women who live in the countryside, for example, mainly wear locally made garments like dresses with gathered skirts and oversized shirts with long pants, while wealthier individuals and those living in cities often wear a mix of Western attire and traditional items like lambas (shawls) and raffia hats. Many Malagasy people will also celebrate family-focused ceremonies, such as Famadihana (a sacred ritual that involves removing the bones of loved ones from an ancestral crypt to rewrap with fresh garments).
Music is an integral part of Malagasy culture. Western dances, lyrics and instruments are blended with Malagasy rhythms to create the bulk of the country's contemporary music. Western musical styles like rock, jazz and hip-hop can also be heard here, but one of Madagascar's most popular genres is salegy , an energetic style that features electric guitars, accordions, drums and call-and-response vocals. Salegy and other genres are played at various bars and clubs throughout Antananarivo, including the Hotel Glacier , Pandora Station and Espace Dera, but prostitution – which is illegal in Madagascar – occasionally takes place in entertainment venues, so exercise caution when enjoying Malagasy nightlife.
The official currency in Madagascar is the Malagasy ariary (MGA). One Malagasy ariary equals approximately $0.0003, or less than one American penny, but you'll want to check the latest exchange rate before visiting. Euros are easiest to convert to Malagasy ariary in-country, but some currency exchange vendors will take dollars. Credit cards are not accepted at most Malagasy locales, so plan on using cash; if you need additional currency, ATMs are available in most major towns.
Visitors are expected to tip for tourism-related services, but tips are not required for taxi services. It is customary to tip 5 to 10 percent of your food bill at restaurants that do not list service charges on receipts, while hotel employees (think: bellhops and housekeepers) should receive about 2,000 Malagasy ariary (less than $1) each per stay. Tour guides generally expect 10,000 to 20,000 Malagasy ariary (or $3 to $6) per day, and you should allot about 5,000 to 10,000 Malagasy ariary (or $1.50 to $3) per day for drivers.
What to Eat
The predominant cuisines in Madagascar are Malagasy and French, with French fare generally being more expensive. Antananarivo and Nosy Be are considered the best cities for fine dining and house many of the country's most popular restaurants. For a quintessential French meal, travelers suggest La Rhum Riz - Chez Nono on Nosy Be and Le Restaurant La Varangue , KUDéTA and Restaurant Sakamanga in Antananarivo. Nosy Be's Chez Loulou and Chez Mama are also highly regarded for their authentic Malagasy dishes, such as ravitoto (a pork and cassava leaf entree that's commonly served with white rice) and romazava (a stew made with beef, chicken or pork and leafy greens).
If you're willing to trek outside Madagascar's culinary meccas, try grabbing a bite to eat at Le Restaurant Mad-Zébu de Belo , which is in the small town of Belo Tsiribihina. Though service is sometimes slow, visitors say the European-inspired dishes are as tasty as those served in many Michelin-starred restaurants. L'Idylle Beach , on Nosy Boraha (also known as Île Sainte-Marie), is also recommended for French cuisine and panoramic ocean views.
For more affordable meals, consider savoring some of the country's street fare. By Antsirabe's daily market, you'll find hawkers selling fried finger foods like nem (eggrolls) and sambosa (similar to samosas, or triangular pastries stuffed with potatoes and ground beef). Antananarivo's Analakely market, meanwhile, boasts an array of fresh fruit (think: lychees, bananas and papayas), plus fresh fish and grilled meat dishes.
Pickpocketing and stealing luggage from Ivato International Airport's baggage claim occurs regularly in Antananarivo. Additionally, violent assaults against travelers occasionally takes place in areas like Nosy Be and Tamatave, and remote highways are frequently targeted for robberies. What's more, street altercations and traffic accidents designed to draw a scene and incite violence against a foreigner is becoming increasingly more common. As a result, it is best to be aware of your belongings and surroundings at all times and to avoid unpopulated roads and public disputes.
Since a democratic government was elected in 2014, violent political events have been rare. However, deadly incidents do occur from time to time, so it's best to avoid or stay alert when visiting government buildings, national sports arenas and historic monuments in Antananarivo.
Malaria can be contracted from Malagasy mosquitoes carrying the disease. To protect yourself while staying in the country, wear long-sleeved clothing and insect repellent with DEET (a chemical that makes it difficult for mosquitoes to smell you). You'll also want to speak with your doctor before your trip to obtain an anti-malarial medication and go over possible drug side effects.
The U.S. State Department strongly advises all Americans who plan on vacationing in Madagascar to sign up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program , which notifies the nearest embassy or consulate of your travels. Additional security concerns and safety tips for Madagascar can be found on the U.S. State Department's website .
Getting Around Madagascar
The best way to get around Madagascar is to hire a car with a driver or join an organized tour. Car rentals commonly come with a driver as part of their rates and give you the most flexibility with your itinerary. Tours, however, generally cover the cost of accommodations and some or all meals, but you'll have to stick to a set schedule and travel with other visitors. Limited public transportation options are also available, but these affordable services are slow and often uncomfortable and unsafe. For longer trips between select towns, traveling by plane can be arranged. Getting to the island will require flying into Ivato International Airport (TNR) in Antananarivo or arriving by cruise ship to various Malagasy locales, including Antsiranana, Nosy Be and Tamatave, via cruise operators like Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises .
Entry & Exit Requirements
To enter Madagascar, you will need a U.S. passport that is valid for six months past your arrival date and has three blank visa pages. A tourist visa is required for all stays less than 90 days, which can be purchased at the Embassy of Madagascar in Washington, D.C. , or any port of entry in Madagascar. Visas cost $28.70 for stays lasting up to 30 days; $35.88 for stays lasting between 30 and 60 days; and $50.23 for stays lasting 61 to 90 days. For visas purchased upon arrival, only dollars, euros and Malagasy ariary are accepted. A valid World Health Organization-approved International Certificate of Vaccination (also known as a "yellow card") is also required if you have visited or had a stopover in a country where yellow fever is present up to six months before your arrival. Additional information about entry and exit requirements can be found on the Embassy of Madagascar's website and the U.S. State Department's website .
Madagascar is the only country in the world where wild lemurs reside. You'll find 97 species of this one-of-a-kind primate living throughout the island.
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Madagascar in Two Weeks – The Perfect Itinerary 2023
When planning your trip to Madagascar, it’s important to remember that it takes a long time to get anywhere in the country.
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Post Updated Sept 2023
Some of your days will purely be spent just travelling from one place to another as the roads are terrible here and this country is huge.
We had 16 days to spend in Madagascar and we wanted to see as many highlights as possible.
We decided to explore the East and West Coast of Madagascar in two weeks.
Our itinerary was busy, yet we found time to see the major highlights such as the Avenue of the Baobabs, Tsingy National Park, Ill Sainte-Marie Island, and lemurs in Andasibe National Park to name a few.
If you only have time to see Madagascar in two weeks, here is our daily itinerary. This includes some great tips for getting around, where to stay, where to eat, and what things cost.
The currency used in Madagascar is the Malagasy Ariary. At the time of writing, 1 USD = Ar 3,728.
We visited Madagascar in November 2019
Let’s Go! The Perfect Itinerary for Madagascar in Two Weeks
Table of Contents
Day 1 – Antananarivo
Our flight arrived at the airport in Antananarivo at 6 pm. In the evening, a taxi from the airport costs Ar 50,000 ($13). There is an ATM in the arrivals hall to withdraw local currency. There are also two places here selling local sim cards. Orange store quoted us Ar 80,000 for a 2GB sim card. The other place called ‘Telma’ has a sim card for Ar 500 and an additional Ar 25,000 for 2GB data (ours also came with a bonus 2GB data to use between 18:00 – 06:00 only). It took about ten minutes to register, the guy just needed a passport to do so.
We asked our taxi driver to stop at the Cotisse transport office in the city on the way to our hotel. And it was the smart thing to do, as we scored the last two seats to head to Morondava the next morning at 06.30. Tickets cost Ar 45,000 each.
The office in Tana is located here. You will need your passport to book a ticket and make sure you have local currency too. If you don’t get local currency from the ATM at the airport, there is an ATM just across the road from the Cotisse transport office.
Our hotel in the capital city
We stayed at Hotel Tana Jacaranda . This budget hotel is a travellers favourite and rooms are affordable at Ar 57,000 per night (USD 15). The hotel is in a good location in the centre of Tana. The rooms are quite small, yet clean and comfortable with a separate private bathroom.
The great service here is why this place is so popular and why it fills up quickly. We ordered some food at the hotel when we arrived as it’s not recommended to walk around in the evening here. We paid Ar 10,000 for a lentil curry with rice which was good.
The hotel booked us a taxi for the following morning too. I’d say that being super organised is the key to enjoying your trip in Madagascar in two weeks.
Day 2 – Antananarivo to Morondava
The taxi picked us up from the hotel at 05.30, the price was Ar 27,000. We checked in at Cotisse Transport at 06:00, they tagged our luggage and we grabbed some simple pastries and coffee from the small cafe attached to the station that was just opening up. It was going to be a long day, so it’s important to have some food or at least have some snacks for the drive.
Cotisse Transport is THE COMPANY that you want to try and travel with as much as possible to get around Madagascar. Especially if you’re backpacking Madagascar and trying to keep the budget down.
The transport is affordable, reliable and they depart and arrive on time. The alternative, unless you have the money to pay for a private driver and car for your trip in Madagascar will be taxi-brousse (shared taxis). These are the opposite of Cotisse Transport and you want to try and avoid using them if you want to maximize your precious time spent in Madagascar.
The journey took 13 hours and 15 min. There were only a few 5-minute stops for a toilet break and one 30min stop at a local restaurant on the way. You can eat a local dish of a mountain of rice and some meat curry for Ar 4000 each.
We arrived at 7.45 pm. The Cotisse office is conveniently located right near the beach with a few budget/mid-range hotels close by. We stayed at Jean Rasta (also known as L’Oasis) , a Bob Marley-looking bar/restaurant that has only two small bungalows with fans and a bathroom, it’s about 7 min walk straight down the road from Cotisse Transport office. The price is 50,000 per night (two people).
It’s worth noting that this place has live music from 8 pm each night. The rooms are very close to the bar area, so it’s not a place to get rest. No wifi here either.
Next time, I’d make a reservation at Select Hotel . This new hotel has rooms from USD 30 per night. It has fabulous reviews, and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. It is located on the main street (further from the beach). Once you arrive at the Cotisse transport station, or the shared taxi station, just take a tuk-tuk to this hotel for about Ar 4000-6000 (about $1-2), depending on how good your negotiating skills are.
Click here to see the availability of other hotels in Morondava.
We walked for 5 min to a restaurant called Les Bouvillers. They serve decent local Malagasy dishes for Ar 6000. (the zebu coco curry is tasty). They have good wifi and cold beer here too.
You’ll learn to appreciate these things after many long travel days in Madagascar in two weeks. The food we ate during our Madagascar itinerary seemed to get better and better – it may be a surprising highlight for you too.
Day 3 – Morondava
We woke up and enquired at our accommodation about taking a trip to visit Tsingy National Park. We were in luck, as Jean, the guy who ran the accommodation used to be a guide there years ago and he can arrange trips for tourists to visit. I wrote a detailed post about how to get to Tsingy National Park , so check it out.
We spent the afternoon exploring Morondava and finding some more people to fill our 4WD for the trip to Tsingy. (more about that in the above post) Morondavea is small so it’s easy to find your way around. The main street has small shops, markets, a great bakery where you can buy amazing baguettes and lots of pharmacies too. Once we confirmed a French couple to take the trip to Tsingy with us, we paid for the trip (in EUR or local currency is ok).
We returned to the Cotisse Transport office and booked our return transfer to Tana for 3 days’ time. This is highly recommended as seats fill up very quickly. The cost was Ar 45,000 each and it was going to be another very early departure.
This Madagascar Travel Itinerary in two weeks is busy.
This Madagascar itinerary in two weeks is going to be busy – but the key to making your trip run as smoothly as possible is to be super organised.
At the same time as booking the above tickets, we also booked the next leg of our trip with Cotisse Transport for the day after our arrival into Tana. We were heading to Tamatave for the next morning.
We paid for these tickets, Ar 20,000 each.
Tamatave is a town that breaks the journey – as we wanted to get to the beach, Ill Sainte-Marie for some beach time.
I’d recommend that you buy any food, baguettes, cream cheese, biscuits bananas etc for the trip to Tsingy. There are very few places to get food and snacks and fresh bread is not available anywhere there. Obviously, you can purchase all meals from your accommodation in Tsingy National Park.
TIP: The accommodation isn’t included with the Tsingy trip, so you need to book this separately.
We stayed at a lodge called Tanankoay. We didn’t have a reservation, but we were lucky they were able to offer us a simple bungalow for 15,000 per night (less than EUR 4). They also have upgraded bungalows for 25,000 and more expensive ones too. This is THE place you want to stay at.
Reservations are highly recommended as this place books out regularly with tour providers using it to accommodate small groups. All details, including phone and email information, are available on their website here.
Day 4- Morondava to Tsingy National Park
Our driver arrived at 07.00 and we left soon after. We shared the ride with a young French couple. The journey today is very bumpy and it takes about 9 hours. This includes one long ferry ride (30-40min) and one short one. The 4WD is driven onto a huge wooden raft/ferry placed over motorised boats. It’s quite clever.
In between ferry rides, we stopped for lunch in a town called Bel Sur.
There are lots of places to eat here, tourist restaurants where you can buy an expensive plate of food for Ar 30,000 or you can choose to eat street food for as little as Ar 100- 500 for deep-fried sweet potatoes or small plates of simple noodles. We arrived at the lodge at 4 pm.
We stopped at the entrance to the National Park to pay entrance fees and our guide for the following day. Prices are noted at the end of our detailed post about how to get to Tsingy National Park .
It’s up to you how you spend your time once you reach this lodge. You can relax here or walk back into the small town if you like, it takes about 20 min. This lodge has good wifi between 5.30-9 pm and great food in the evening. They offer a plate of the day for Ar 19,000 and the food is very good.
Day 5- Exploring Grand Tsingy & Small Tsingy
We departed at 07:15 am in a convoy with all the other 4WDs and passengers from our lodge and a few others. We drove for about 45 min – to 1 hour to Grand Tsingy. First, our guide helps us put on our harness, then we walk in. We walk around and explore the forest first, spotting our first lemurs and a mongoose.
Then the fun begins. We enter a small cave and start clipping on /off to ensure our safety. (Exploring Grand Tsingy requires you to climb a protective climbing route called via Ferrata). It is here that you see all the other small groups of people on the route and you must wait for each other to climb safely and clear the route so you can ascend. I’d say that the climb is a little difficult, yet safe. If you suffer from vertigo, you may not enjoy this activity. The limestone rocks you are climbing are sharp, so it takes quite a bit of concentration.
Epic views from the top !
Once you climb to the top, the view is awesome. There are a few different platforms to look out for these incredible rock formations. You’ll cross a very cool bridge, one person at a time, and see more platforms. Then it’s time to climb down using ladders and lots of clipping on/off for safety. There is a part where you pop down inside a chasm or slim rocks and caves.
There are a couple of different circuits to take to visit Grand Tsingy. We chose Andamozavaky, as it’s the most popular circuit and the one that most visitors take. It is around 4 km long and you will spend approximately 4-5 hours inside the park.
Exploring Grand Tsingy requires you to be climbing over very sharp rocks, so you need to wear good footwear/hiking shoes.
NOTE: The route will take you through some very slim openings in the rocks, therefore it would be difficult for larger people to complete the route.
We returned to the car park (with everyone else) and had half an hour or so to eat lunch. There is an option for the lodge to prepare a pre-packed lunchbox for you to take today for Ar 16,000. You can choose to take your own (baguettes, cheese & jam you bought from Morondava perhaps) or some people return to the lodge to enjoy a hot lunch and take a break there. We drive past the lodge to get to the small Tsingy, so it’s entirely up to you or your group.
We then drove to Small Tsingy. This circuit is a much easier option. If you’re not a very fit person or if you carry a lot of weight, I’d recommend only exploring the Small Tsingy. This route does not require any harness, you won’t be doing any difficult climbs except for a few ladders to reach a couple of great views.
Again, there are a number of different circuits you can do in Small Tsingy. Our circuit was 1.7 km, it took around 1.5 hours. Once we finished, we dropped our guide in town and we returned to camp in the late afternoon. You will definitely need a shower as it is a hot and sweaty day.
Day 6 – Tsingy to Morondava
Our departure was 07:00 am. We drove back to Morondava today. I noticed again that all the other 4WDs leave at the same time, so you kind of follows each other along the bumpy, dusty tracks. We stopped again for a lunch break in Bel Sur town. This time I found a local restaurant called ‘Hotel Renala’, with a menu for local plates of food for Ar 6000. It looked good, I’d eat there next time. All other options to eat are so expensive and clearly geared at the tourists passing through on tours.
Then we drove towards the big ferry crossing. This took some time today as new people and vehicles are being ferried over and it takes time to fill up the ferry with all the 4WDs on our side. We hung around in the shade for about 1 – 1.5 hours.
The crossing takes about 45 min. Once we unload from the ferry, we continue driving. Around 3.30 pm, we approached the baobabs. First, we stopped to check out a ‘sacred baobab’ and then a ‘love baobab’ on the way.
We arrived at the Avenue of the Baobabs at 4.15 pm. The driver will park and wait for you (and request Ar 4000 from you to pay for the parking fee). Here you can wander down the avenue, take photos and chill out. There is a nice cafe here serving large THB beer for Ar 7000.
We sat down and enjoyed the moment for a while with a beer, it had been a busy few days. There are lots of people here at this time of the day. The best photos we took are from standing on the opposite side facing the sunset with a line of trees and the sun is setting just behind them. It was a nice moment, except for the 4 drones flying above our heads the entire time.
Our driver dropped us at our accommodation for the night – Select Hotel .
Related Post – How to get to Tsingy National Park – Where to Book, Costs, and what’s included
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Day 7 – Morondava to Antananarivo
An early start again, we checked into the Cotisse Transport office at 05:00 am. Our departure at 05:30 was on time, just as the sun was rising. This was another 14-hour drive day. We stop at a small town where we ate breakfast at a very simple stand serving big sweet bread rolls and small black cups of coffee. Each was only Ar 1000.
Our lunch stop was somewhere in the lush green part of the country for a plate of rice and vegetables. We got back in the van and arrived in Tana at 7.30 pm.
A taxi to our hostel, Madagascar Underground was Ar 15,000.
This time, we booked a private room for Ar 84,000 and ate some dinner upon arrival at the hostel. The staff was very good here and this was one of the most comfortable beds we had during our whole time backpacking Madagascar.
Day 8 – Antananarivo to Tamatave
This morning we took a pre-booked taxi from the hostel at 07:00 am. The cost was Ar 20,000. We checked in at Cotisse Transport again and had our luggage tagged. There’s a small cafe here where we ate some fresh pastries at Ar 1500 each and fresh black coffee for Ar 1000. Our departure at 08:00 to Tamatave was right on time. This drive would take most of the day again.
We stopped at 1 pm for lunch and ordered the standard rice and sautéed vegetables for Ar 4000. You can order meat with rice, but from my experience, you get very little meat in the portion, mostly just bones. This was a nice spot, with tropical surroundings and the food was very good.
On the journey today, we experienced many curving and winding roads. I felt sorry for the small boy sitting across from me that vomited in a bag the entire trip.
We arrived at 5.00 pm. We initially went to the Eden Hotel as it is marked in the guidebooks as a good budget option. I’m sure that this information hasn’t been updated for a very long time because the rooms are very old and tired. Sure, they’re cheap (Ar 20,000 for a room) or Ar 30,000 with an old shower inside the room, but we just couldn’t do it.
We walked down the road and found the Java Hotel. They offered a room to us for Ar 110,000 per night (USD 30). This hotel is very nice, modern, has a good bed, was clean and the wifi was fantastic (something that is hard to find in Madagascar).
Click here for the best prices and availability for other hotel options in Tamatave.
As we arrived quite late at this hotel and it was also Sunday, so everything was closed. We asked the guys in reception to help us arrange a transfer to get to Ile Sainte-Marie the following morning. They booked us two seats with the company, Cap Sainte Marie. and our pick-up was for 04:00 the next morning. One thing you will get used to when travelling in Madagascar in two weeks is that everything starts super early.
Go and eat dinner at La Terrasse, a restaurant that is about 5 min walk down the road. This place is busy with locals and tourists. They have good food starting from Ar 11,000 mains and the beer is cold and cheap too.
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Day 9 – Tamatave to Ile Sainte-Marie
We were picked up at 04:15. The van then drove us ten minutes to the Cap Sainte Marie office in Tamatave.
We paid Ar 80,000 each for a one-way ticket. This includes a van transfer to Soanierana – Ivongo, and then a boat transfer from here to Ile Sainte-Marie. The larger minivan was filled with other passengers and we left at 4.45 am.
The roads are dismal along the way, it is very slow going. We got to see the coast and watch the sunrise on the water to our right in between the huge potholes in the road. The very bumpy ride lasts for several hours. Soon it gets a little better and a few small towns and villages pop up amongst the tropical surroundings and vibrant green rice paddies too.
We arrived at Soanierana – Ivongo at 10 am. We had to check in with the guy at the small Cap Sainte Marie office, then show your passport to the Police, just across from this office. I picked up a few baguettes and some bottled water and then headed through the busy little laneway to get on the boat.
Life jackets are provided and I was happy to see that the boat isn’t overcrowded. It fits about 25-30 people. We left at 10.30 am, arrived at 12.30 pm.
When we arrived at the small port, we booked our boat back in a few days to ensure we didn’t miss out. It was the same price, Ar 80,000 each.
Ile Sainte-Marie should definitely be included in your itinerary
Booking.com is an easy-to-use search engine. It offers the best selection of accommodation available all over the world. We find they offer the lowest prices and no fees. Our Tip: Search by price, and filter by best reviews.
To get a bit of a break, we pre-booked our accommodation and stayed at Hotel Paradise Club . We loved our stay here, so quiet and the beach is gorgeous and blue. For our stylish bungalow right on the beach, we paid Ar 130,000 or $30 per night. This place has a French owner, so it is very well run. This is also where we ate some of the best food during our whole time in Madagascar.
The plate of the day (main only) costs Ar 23,000 per person and we enjoyed delicious fish each night. You can also order the complete menu (3 courses) for Ar 50,000 each or $13. The 3-course menu we ate on our first night was something to talk about. Our starter was a French salad with dressing, the main course was a huge plate of fresh fish brochettes and vegetables. We finished with a dessert of toasted coconut balls with fresh mango.
It was so delicious and then we just wandered back to our beach bungalow to relax with the sound of the waves crashing nearby. Bliss.
There are many wonderful accommodation options on Ile Sainte-Marie. Click here to see rates and availability for some other properties to compare.
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Day 10 – Rest day in Ile Sainte- Marie
Today we had our first sleep-in since forever! It was so nice to wake up to the sounds of the ocean and have no plans but to chill! We made our own chilled espresso using our trusty portable coffee machine and sat on our porch overlooking the palm trees for the morning. It was nice to read our books and take a dip in the blue water just footsteps from our bungalow. In the afternoon we walked through the small village to the main road and checked out some of the island.
It has a nice atmosphere on this island, locals are going about their day, small shops have small fried snacks and fruit for sale, and tuk-tuks and motorbikes whiz past. We walked back to our bungalow before it got too dark and enjoyed another fresh fish dinner at our hotel. We figured the food was too good not to do it again.
Day 11 – A day trip to Ile Aux Natte
We woke this morning and packed our large bags, checked out, and left them at reception. We flagged down a tuk-tuk to go to the small island of Ile Aux Natte today. The tuk-tuk drops us off around 4km away at the tip of our island.
Here you will find many small pirogue boats that take you across to Aux Nattes for Ar 4000 for a return trip. The island is literally a stone’s throw away – you can also walk or wade across here in low tide, but for a $1 return, it’s a fair deal.
This island is very cute with a really beautiful beach to your right as you’re crossing over. In some parts, you can see that a recent cyclone has hit as some places are cleaning up.
Again, there are a number of good accommodation options for very affordable prices. The most popular options here are:
Baboo Village – A beautiful resort from $27 p/night. They offer a delicious breakfast for $5 and this is the perfect place to relax and get away from it all.
Residence Monique – Beachfront accommodation from $30 p/night.
We walked around the island today, then relaxed and swam in the gorgeous blue water. Later in the afternoon, we caught a pirogue across the water, and negotiated a price of Ar 20,000 for a tuk-tuk to return to Club Paradise to pick up our bags and drop us 10km away in Ile Sainte- Marie town.
The reason we are moving to town and staying the night here is that we needed to check in for our ferry at 04:00 am the following morning and our original hotel is too far. We didn’t want to risk something going wrong at that time in the morning and we needed to be on that boat transfer.
We checked in Hotel Freddy – This place is located two streets back from the main street of Ile Sainte-Marie and only a 7 min walk to the boat port. The rooms are very clean with good beds and a hot water shower for Ar 40,000 p/night. A good deal. We dropped our bags and went to explore the town.
There are a few markets and restaurants where you can get local or Western food. We saw ladies setting up street food on the side of the road, so we decided to try some. We ate small plates of simple noodles with vegetables, mashed potato and mayonnaise (for Ar 500 or 0.15 cents a plate), and some fresh zebu brochettes (small skewers of meat that the lady grills when you order it). These were Ar 400 per piece.
We ordered a cold beer at one of the restaurants/bars on the main road and used their wifi for a while before we returned to our hotel for an early night.
Day 12 – Ile Sainte Marie to Tamatave
We woke up at 3.45 am, then walked down to the port to check in for the boat. It’s already quite busy at this time of the morning. The boat is booked for a 4.30 am departure, we sailed at about 05:00 am. This time the crossing took 1 hr 45 min.
On the other side, we were informed that the half-sized comfortable bus we arrived on had a problem with the brakes, so this vehicle wasn’t working. Instead, we were squashed into quite possibly the oldest and rustiest minivan in Madagascar. Both of us, plus the other 22 passengers. The van had no suspension, no padding on the seats and surprisingly, the windows didn’t open so it was stifling hot.
The next 6 hours driving back to Tamatave on the bumpiest road in the country. We arrived at Tamatave at 1.15 pm.
Our initial plan was to continue on further and try to get to Andisabe National Park today, but it just wasn’t to be. Today was one of those days when you just can’t catch a break. Our visit to Madagascar in two weeks was getting a little tiring from all those early mornings and long drive days. We searched for another ride to Andisabe or Tana (to get off halfway), but Cotisse Transport was booked out today and all of tomorrow.*sigh*
After asking around, we learned that all of the shared taxis going in that direction weren’t leaving until evening. We walked around in the shared taxi area of Tamatave in the scorching weather, dust, and rubbish for a while. A cycle driver walked us to a small place close to the Cotisse Transport office. Here we spoke to the lady here who said that their van departs for Andisabe today at 6.00 pm.
We booked two seats and decided we needed lunch and a drink, so we took a tuk-tuk to La Terrasse for food. We sat here for a few hours using their wifi and planning our last few days in Madagascar. At 5.45 pm, we returned to catch our van to Andisabe for the 6 pm departure. There was very little movement here. No passengers filling up the van and no sign of it beginning to load with luggage.
This wasn’t a good sign and we knew exactly what was happening here. We got very used to being told these little white lies from our travels in West Africa . This van would depart when enough people arrive to fill it.
We asked the woman in charge why it wasn’t departing at 6.00 pm, then she claims it will leave at 6.30 pm. Then at 6.30 pm and with no movement, we ask her again, and she says maybe 7.00 pm.
We explained to her that we needed to leave earlier and close to 7.00 pm, we requested our money back as we had to try and catch another form of transport that might actually depart in the next hour or so.
She didn’t like this much, but after some more explanation, she returned our cash.
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We ran around the corner to the Cotisse Transport office to check if there were any no-show passengers to Tana. We thought it was a chance that two passengers didn’t show. No, the van was full.
After walking around in dark asking if any vans were departing now and everybody giving us random information, we decided we had been defeated. We hailed a tuk-tuk and returned to Java Hotel.
This had been one of the toughest days of travel in Madagascar and we needed a clean and comfortable room to wash the day off and get some rest. The plan was to wake up very early again to return to the taxi station to try and get a ride to Andisabe tomorrow morning.
Day 13 – Tamatave to Andasibe National Park
We woke at 07:00 am, checked out soon after, and caught a passing tuk-tuk (price is Ar 1000 per person for any ride within the town) to the taxi-brousse station. We were directed to a small office called coTrans in the middle of the chaos that is the taxi-brousse station.
They offer good, reliable sprinter vans to Moramanga (the town is 25km after the turnoff for Andasibes National park, so it’s cheapest to take this route/van).
We arrived around 08:00 am and the lady here said departure for this van is at 8.30 am. The price would be Ar 15,000 each. Great, we thought, but in reality, we should have known better that it wouldn’t leave at this time after our experience last night. We were right, it didn’t. We eventually left around 10.00 am, which wasn’t too bad.
This route has many bad roads and lots of trucks. We arrived at the small turn-off for Andasibes National Park at 4.30 pm, we told our driver earlier that we’d like to get off there.
It’s only a 5 min walk down the road, and you’ll see a few budget hotels right there. Popular choices for many travellers are Maria Guesthouse and Hotel Luc.
We stayed in Feon Ny Ala Hotel. They offer basic bungalows for Ar 50,000 per night and a range of nicer bungalows depending on what you want to pay. It looks like all the tour groups and Europeans stayed here as it was quite busy, yet it was well organised.
If you’d prefer to stay in something a little nicer, I’d recommend this property – Andasibe Lemur’s Lodge. Great service, fantastic food, and very comfortable rooms.
Day 14 – Andasibe National Park
This morning we woke at 07:00 am and we could already hear the call of the Indri (the largest lemurs in Madagascar).
We checked out and ate an average breakfast at our hotel before leaving our bags at reception whilst we went to the park. We walked along the road, about 15 min or 1.5 km to the National Park. It’s busy with people and small groups at this time of the morning.
A guide is compulsory inside the park, so if one approaches you outside (and providing they can speak your language), bring them with you inside to purchase tickets to enter. You’ll need a guide with you to do so, the prices are set.
It’s very busy in the mornings here and there doesn’t seem to be enough guides to fulfill the number of people entering the park, so take a guide when they approach you.
The entrance fee is Ar 45,000 each. Guide for 2 people costs Ar 40,000 total (which you must pay to your guide directly). The price is a bit cheaper if your group is a little larger.
You can choose the circuit that you’d like to do, prices are based on this. We chose the Indri 2 circuit which is about 3 hours long.
Inside the park, we saw three different species of lemurs over the next couple of hours. The Indri lemur, some common brown lemurs with babies, and the Diademed Safika (otherwise known as the dancing lemur).
After our tour finished, we walked back to our hotel, collected our backpacks and made our way to the intersection to try and catch a passing van to take us to Antananarivo. The timing was perfect as it was midday and many vans and vehicles were here taking a break for lunch.
After asking around for 15 minutes, we found a nice Sprinter van with two spare seats available, heading directly to Tana. We agreed to pay the driver Ar 10,000 each and we managed to get two of the best seats in the van, right behind the driver.
Only 3.5 hours later, we arrived at Tana. The minivan stopped at a random outdoor bus station and we had to take a taxi from here to our hotel.
We wanted something a little more comfortable for our final two nights in Tana, so we booked Maison Lovesoa .
Rooms are from Ar 115,000 per night, ($29) it’s very nice and it’s in a good location close to the city.
Day 15 – Antananarivo
Today we explored more of Tana. It’s only a 10-15 min walk into the city from our hotel . We stopped at a bakery for coffee and some delicious pastries.
We returned home before dark after exploring the city and some ramen noodles for lunch.
We also recommend this Walking Tour of Antananarivo with a Local.
Day 16 – Departure
We left Tana this morning on an early flight to Mauritius. The taxi to the airport was Ar 50,000 at 04.00 am.
Travel Insurance for Madagascar in two weeks
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Travel Tips for Africa
And, if you enjoy discovering new food when you travel, then you may find our ULTIMATE Africa Food Map interesting.
Don’t miss our recap of our travels across West Africa in 2019 for even more helpful tips.
If you’re unfamiliar with this region’s cuisine, we wrote a post about the 8 most delicious West African foods we tried along the way.
If you’re keen to travel West & Central Africa, then it’s worth reading these 17 ESSENTIAL Things to know before travelling to West Africa.
We spent a great deal of time travelling overland in this region on Africa on our journey to visit EVERY country in the world . (We completed our goal in Nov 2022 – read more about it in this article from CNN ).
Honestly, this was one of the most challenging regions of the world to travel independently – but we’ve got some amazing memories. Our ESSENTIAL Packing List for Africa may be helpful to you.
And finally, read our best travel tips from 15+ years of travel here and for our ultimate travel resources to travel the world, head to our Travel Resources Page .
Travel Planning Resources
✈️ Flights : We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.
🏨 Accommodation : Booking.com is our preferred platform to book hotels and accommodation at the best price.
🏥 Travel Insurance : We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo from us!) & SafetyWing
🚌 Transportation : Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go.
🚘 Car Rental : We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.
👫 Group Tours : G Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar .
📸 Day Tours & Trips : GetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.
🎒 Luggage : Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.
🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank . To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers .
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7 comments . leave new.
Hi Rach, I’m looking to do something similar to your trip but with an 8 year old ( and my husband) do you have any thoughts on travelling with a child in Madagascar? Also do you have a rough daily budget? Thank you 🙂
As you could probably tell from our blog post, we really loved Madagascar. The thing we didn’t really love so much was the amount of time we had to spend on public buses, vans etc to get around. We experienced many 12-14 hr journeys on super hot days just getting to the next destination, even for us as adventurous adults – it was tiring at times. If you’re taking your 8-year-old, I’d recommend hiring a private local driver with a 4WD/car to get you around quickly and more comfortable to maximise your time. The going rate is about USD 65 per day (+ fuel) and you could easily find a driver once you arrive in the country (possibly through one of the accommodation places I’ve mentioned).
As for our budget (using public transport and as per the details in the blog), our expenses came in at just under USD $1000 total for two people in 16 days. Incl transport, accommodation, food, activities etc. This also incl our private trip to Tsingy National Park.
Hope this info helps you out 😉
Thank you so much! That is really thorough and very much appreciated!Really enjoying your blog!Happy travels.
Thank you very much for the information you shared here with us – travellers planning Madagascar in 2020 🙂 Just a question: when did you visit Madagascar. I didn´t find the month of your trip. Thank you!
Thanks for your comments, Martina. We travelled to Madagascar in November 2019. I’ve updated our post with this info now. Thank you 😉
What a great piece, so thorough and fun! Seems like you had a wonderful time in those two weeks, I’m inspired to plan my next trip to Madagascar. Happy travelling! 🙂
Thanks, we’re glad you enjoyed it. You’re going to love Madagascar! A beautiful country with some of the nicest people we’ve met in Africa 😉
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Madagascar Itineraries, Things To Do, and More!
By: Author Corinne Vail
Posted on Published: 25 January 18 - Last updated: 9 March 23
Home » DIY Travel » Guides » Madagascar Itineraries, Things To Do, and More!
Who wants to go to an exotic African island filled with lemurs, chameleons, great food, and gorgeous vistas? Madagascar it is! We’ve compiled some Madagascar itineraries, which include where to go, what to do, and all the best sights.
Traveling in Madagascar is different than any other country that I’ve been to. Jim and I love traveling in Africa , and try to get there as often as we can. We enjoy safaris and have done so many of them in places like Botswana , Uganda , and South Africa that we just couldn’t resist trying to do a few in a new country with new wildlife.
We expected it to be so African, but it turns out that traveling in Madagascar felt much more like traveling in Southeast Asia. Here’s what we learned on our trip to this amazing country. We’ve included some Madagascar itineraries, what to do, travel tips, and lots of travel information.
Disclaimer: Some of our articles may contain affiliate links; when you click on these links you’ll have the option to purchase or register for a service at no extra cost to you, but doing so helps us run this blog. That’s awesome!
Madagascar Travel Guide
Where is madagascar located and how do you get there.
Getting to Madagascar isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t cheap. Since it’s a large island off the eastern coast of Africa, there were no direct flights. Coming from Europe, we had three stopovers and a total flight time of over 24 hours with the majority of the flight time at least during the night, so we could get some sleep.
We arrived at the international airport in the afternoon, were taken to our hotel, and the first day was kind of a wash, because there was no energy to do anything except force ourselves to get up and go downstairs to eat dinner. Luckily, by the next morning, we felt refreshed and ready to get going.
Check out this article on Lemurs in Madagascar ! So amazing!
What is required for traveling to Madagascar?
For most countries, a tourist visa is required which you can buy upon arrival at the Ivato International Airport for about 20 Euros each. Even though there are no required vaccines, many are recommended such as Yellow Fever, which we had to record the date of ours when we landed.
Malaria is still a concern, so it is also recommended to visit your physician and get some preventive Malarials before you go. It certainly is a good idea to check on any new health and safety alerts before you go.
Some Facts about Madagascar
The capital city of Madagascar is Antananarivo, which is a serious mouthful, so they shorten it to “Tana,” which is much, much easier. Tana is the economic center and largest city in the country. It is probably the first and last place any visitor will see. We were surprised at the Tana food scene, as they have some excellent restaurants.
Check out some more of our Madagascar pictures as we posted each day in Instagram. There are two official languages of Madagascar, Malagasy and French. Before we’d gone, I’d read reports of people not really speaking French, but we did not experience this at all, probably because we stayed pretty much on the tourist trail and were in places that see foreigners all the time.
We did pick up a few words of Malagasy while we were there, thanks mainly to our driver who taught us a little each day. English is also widely spoken. We never had problems finding someone who spoke English, and all the guides had amazing English vocabularies.
Madagascar’s history has been a bit troubled. First populated by people from Borneo, the Asian influence is still very apparent all over the country. Pirates used to ply the waters around Madagascar, and there are pirate cemeteries and even a Pirate museum in Tana.
The French conquered the island in the late 1800s and did not leave until 1960, thus there is also a huge French influence. Today, Madagascar is run by the richest man in the country, and he continues to improve the country’s economy.
However, Madagascar is still very much a poor country where the average household income is less than $300 per capita, and this is evident as you drive through the countryside. Thankfully, they have a thriving agricultural and tourism industry.
When is the Best Time to Go to Madagascar?
Most people visit in June, July, or August, but we went a little off-season. December and January is the beginning of the rainy season in Madagascar, and it’s also summer. We hit temperatures of 41 degrees C, or 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity as high as 95%.
Hiking in the rain forests, this can certainly take its toll. We were drenched in sweat, from head to foot within a few minutes. However, it makes the whole country turn green. There is tons of produce for sale, and if it rained, it usually only rained in the afternoon for a short while.
The downside also was that Tsingy, one of the most famous parks, was closed down for the season; however, we felt it was a great time to go. There were fewer tourists, and we loved the vibrant colors that the rainy season provided.
No matter what time of year you visit, Madagascar weather is rather predictable, and you can ask any local and they will accurately tell you what to expect for the day.
What is the Best Way to Get Around Madagascar?
One thing that was difficult for us to grasp was how large Madagascar really is. When looking at Google Maps, it seemed like a distance of 160 kilometers should take about an hour and a half, but not so. It would take 6 driving hours.
The roads are curvy, mountainous, and filled with other cars, trucks, cattle, bikes, and people. We spent a lot more time driving than we thought we would. We had toyed with buying a couple of internal flights to reduce the time in the car, but found trying to make reservations prohibitive with the times and the cost factors.
However, there are a couple types of transport in Madagascar. You can rent a car, take a taxi-bus, or even fly, and there are pros and cons to each. The most expensive, but of course fastest option, is to fly into the closest airports to the national parks or to Nosy Be or some of the other islands.
The problem with this is that Air Madagascar will cancel flights very easily, and then it’s difficult to plan an itinerary that doesn’t get messed up. We ran into some travelers who’d taken this option and they lost three days from their itinerary because of cancelled flights.
The second and cheapest option is taking the Taxi-Bus. These are buses ranging from a large van to a full-on bus that travels between cities. You can often find ones that are express taxi-buses so at least you do not have to stop at every tiny village.
I met some backpackers who’ve taken the taxi-bus and found it to be quite an experience. The more expensive ones aren’t as crowded, but one traveler told me that she counted the people sitting along with her on the row of seats (3 cushions wide) and there were seven people. Lack of seat belts aside, there is usually no air conditioning and it’s stifling hot as well.
The other problem with taxi-buses is that you must pile your luggage on top and many a traveler, local and foreigner alike, have arrived at their destination and discovered their stuff had disappeared. In fact, on the evening we went on a night safari, the drivers were all in a tizzy because a barefoot Malagasy man was walking down the street having been left off by a taxi-bus and he had nothing that he’d brought with him left, including his shoes. He was destitute.
Driving Madagascar – Rather, Being Driven
Before we went, we had every intention of renting a car and driving ourselves. However, the more we investigated the less likely this became as an option. To begin with, the rental car agencies didn’t want to rent cars to folks who didn’t pay for a driver. So, this is what we did.
We hired a 4 X 4 with a driver, and once we were in country and driving, we felt that it was much easier to have someone who knew the ropes be in charge. Manoa, our driver, took care of us in ways that we didn’t even notice at first. He would say things like, “I suggest you roll your window up halfway through the city, and wrap your camera strap around your wrist.”
He didn’t want anyone reaching in to take our equipment. He also knew where to buy gas, find a working ATM, eat lunch, handle the few police stops we encountered, and so much more. It definitely took the edge off of making some of the decisions and made our trip very easy.
We visited for two weeks, and I’ve copied our itinerary which can be easily replicated with no problem. I have also included a one week itinerary, trying to include all the locations I believe to be the best places in Madagascar to visit, even with children.
Both can be tweaked to cut off some of the times if you want to fly to parts of it instead of driving each place. If you notice on our Madagascar map, we only visited a small portion of the country. Again, it’s hard to imagine how large this country really is.
Map of Madagascar Itineraries
Madagascar 2 Week Itinerary
Two weeks is an almost perfect amount of time to visit Madagascar. You’ll still need to make some choices, and those choices can be pretty tough, but it allows you enough time to really get around a good portion of the country.
As we mentioned before, travel times in Madagascar vary wildly. Roads can be difficult or even closed depending on the time of year. Flying can help reduce the amount of time spent traveling, but frequent delays and cancellations can actually increase the travel time between points.
The cost of the flights and the variability led to our decision to stay on the ground. We’re glad we did, as Madagascar is a beautiful country and we’re so happy we spent that time on the road.
Day 1 Arrival in Antananarivo (Tana)
All international flights fly in and out of Tana, so spending a night is almost a requirement. You shouldn’t book a connecting flight for the same day as your arrival or departure given the frequent schedule changes of Air Madagascar flights in country.
Instead, book a comfortable hotel with a good restaurant and relax after your long flight. We recommend Hotel Restaurant La Ribaudiere in the city center with comfortable rooms and excellent food. Try the zebu steak!
Day 2 Tana –> Miandrivazo
Get out of the city and on the road. You’ll be driving through terraced rice fields, farm land, and mountains on your way to the West. This is a long drive, and there’s not much in Miandrivazo other than some basic amenities.
However, it is too far to drive between Tana and Morondava in one day and you should not drive at night (even with a driver). In the summer, accommodation can be hard to find in Miandrivazo, the alternative is to drive from Tana to Antsirabe and spend the night there, instead.
Day 3 – 4 Miandrivazo –> Morondava
Morondava, on the west coast, is a welcome ocean-side town after the hot and dusty interior. This is the base for visits to the Avenue of the Baobabs, hiking in Kirindi NP, and (optionally) treks in the Tsingy NP.
A sunset visit to the Avenue of the Baobabs is a must for any visitor to Madagascar. There are some good hotel choices here, including one excellent spot right on the beach. Perfect for an afternoon swim.
Visits to Tsingy de Beharama will add three days to the itinerary, therefore you’ll need to adjust accordingly. Here you should really stay at the beach front Hotel Palissandre with its deluxe beach cottages and, inviting swimming pool, and delicious food.
Day 5 Morondava –> Antsirabe
Back on the road, through the mountains, past the villages of the gold diggers, through the incredible rice paddy terraces and on to Antsirabe for a welcome respite in one of the comfortable hotels there.
Antsirabe is also home to several cottage craft industries where you can see artisans creating such things as Zebu horn kitchen utensils, model toys made from recycled materials, and visit a gem and mineral shop. Our favorite Antsirabe hotel was the Eco Lodge Les Chambres Du Voyageur with a flourishing tropical garden complete with chameleons!
Day 6 – 7 Antsirabe –> Ranomafana
It’s time to head into the rain forests of the east now and visit the famous Ranomafana NP. The hikes here will take you deep into the jungle in search of several species of lemur. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but if you don’t spot at least four different species I’d be very surprised.
This is also the perfect spot for a night safari, where you might spot the elusive mouse lemur. Try to book your stay at Foret Austral Ranomafana as early as possible as this popular spa hotel fills up fast. While you there, why not splurge for a massage?
Day 7 – 8 Ranomafana –> Isalo
Back into the interior and along the central mountain range heading south you should not miss a stop at the Anja community reserve for some more lemur spotting. The stunning scenery changes regularly, it’s hard to get bored along these long drives with picturesque villages, craggy mountain peaks, and vibrant colors of red earth and green fields.
Isalo NP offers hiking in deep river gorges and through fantastic sandstone formations. Bring a swimsuit along for a cool dip into the waterfall fed Blue Pool. If swimming in the wild isn’t your thing, stay at the incredibly gorgeous Isalo hotel , Le Relais de la Reine with its magnificent pool.
Day 9 Isalo –> Antsirabe
Time to head back north, retracing the route along the world famous National Route 7. You’ll pass through incredible landscapes and colorful villages. Keep the camera handy, this is some of Madagascar’s most stunning scenery accessible by car. After a long day of driving, Antsirabe seems like an oasis waiting to comfort the weary traveller.
Day 10 – 12 Antsirabe –> Andasibe
Finish the journey along Madagascar’s beautiful National Route 7 passing through the capital, Antananarivo. Then head east again, through the jagged mountains and down into the rain forests of the East.
Andasibe NP has several options for wildlife viewing and hiking in the jungle. You should try and have two days here, there’s that much to see. Finding the perfect stay in Andasibe can be hard, but we really enjoyed our stay at Andasibe Lemurs Lodge.
Day 13 – 14 Andasibe –> Antananarivo
Return to the capital for one last night before flying out. Don’t miss the sights here like the Queen’s palace, the Pirate Museum, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Ambohimanga.
If you’re staying in the city, just be aware traffic can be horrendous so plan your transfer to the airport carefully. Finish off the perfect trip staying at the super comfortable Relais des Plateaux and definitely book some time in their amazing spa. Couples massage anyone?
Madagascar 1 Week Itinerary
One week in Madagascar is not much time, but with this itinerary you will definitely see the highlights like baobabs, lemurs, and chameleons. For a one week itinerary, you will really need to fly in country to make the most of your trip so get online and book your internal air travel with Air Madagascar as early as possible.
Day 1 Arrival in Antananarivo
There’s not a lot of wiggle room in the itinerary, so if your international flight arrives early enough, definitely consider booking your flight out to Morondava on the same day. Book a transfer from Morondava airport to your hotel and be sure and give them your flight number and scheduled arrival time so they can keep track.
Day 2 – 3 Morondava
While here in Morondava you can go for a hike in Kirindy NP to see lemurs, experience the awe and beauty of the Avenue of the Baobabs at sunset, go sailing in a traditional sailboat in the Mozambique channel, or take a stroll along the expansive sandy beach. Fly back out to Tana in the afternoon on day three.
Day 4 – 5 Antananarivo –> Andasibe
This is your best chance to see lemurs. In fact, if you go to Lemur island, it’s guaranteed! Make time, however, for a hike in the spectacular rain forests of Andasibe NP where you will experience so much more.
Day 6 – 7 Andasibe –> Antananarivo
Head back to the capital with a stop at Reserve Peyrieras and Ambomahinga along the way. Spend your last night back in the capital and be sure to have your transfer to the airport arranged before hand.
If you’d like to listen to a podcast interview I did on Mauritius, go here:
You can’t go wrong with a trip to Madagascar. It’s a beautiful country filled with exotic wildlife like lemurs and chameleons, and there is so much to see. If you like to hike and get into nature, you will be coming to the right place. Just follow this Madagascar itinerary and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
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Wednesday 29th of September 2021
What are the accommodations like? While in Morocco we stayed in Riads not hotels which was a nice experience.
Thursday 30th of September 2021
Sarah, The accommodations are hotels. The ones we stayed at were all lovely. I do love a Riad, but that's not what Madagascar has to offer.
Friday 8th of March 2019
"Since it’s a large island off the western coast of Africa" - that would be "eastern coast" :-)
Saturday 9th of March 2019
Oops, you are right, Frans! Thanks
Friday 16th of February 2018
Hiring a driver sounds like a good way to get some cultural immersion (and keep you safe). I like your itineraries and your suggestions for stops. It's lot of valuable information that should help in planning a trip. I love your photo of the Avenue of the Baobabs.
Rhonda, The baobabs rank up there with one of the most beautiful landscapes I've photographed. I loved them. Madagascar was quite the trip!
Friday 2nd of February 2018
Elijah, The baobabs were the main reason I wanted to go, and I found Madagascar surprising in so many ways. It's a great destination.
Thursday 1st of February 2018
Madagascar is one of those places I've always wanted to visit, but after reading this article I realize how little I knew about it. The views look stunning, different from what I saw in Tanzania, the only place I've been in East Africa. Great shot of the baobab trees too, with the people strolling along, you can see how massive they are.
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Ringtailed lemur carrying twin babies in Madagascar
Madagascar Itinerary 1 - The north: parks and beaches
Almost all trips in Madagascar start and end in Antananarivo. Allow 3–4 weeks to cover the north by a mixture of road and air travel – or skip half these stops and do it in 10–14 days.
Give yourself a couple of days to visit the Rova palace compound and the old royal capital of Ambohimanga.
2. Parc National d’Andasibe-Mantadia
Get up early to walk into the indris’ territory and hear their extraordinary call. Then plan a night walk looking for chameleons and mouse lemurs.
3. Île Sainte Marie
Fly or ferry out to this old pirates’ hideaway, then rent a scooter and explore its jungle paths, clean beaches and limpid waters.
4. Nosy Mangabe
Organize a boat and guide to this fabled, forest-stacked island – home to aye-ayes, leaf-tailed geckos and a host of other species, some almost certainly still to be discovered.
5. Parc National de Masoala
Easily visited on the same trip as Nosy Mangabe, you can camp here with locals or stay in a fancy lodge on the beach. Either way, the steep paths of the Masoala rainforest start at your doorstep. Every minute of every hike yields wonderful sights and discoveries, from vangas to boas, from tenrecs to sportive lemurs.
6. Diego Suarez
Cosmopolitan, warm and breezy, Diego Suarez – with its picturesque views and superb watersports – is the perfect rest stop between national parks.
7. Parc National de la Montagne d’Ambre
Much easier to explore than the other rainforest parks, and still bursting with life, the Amber Mountain and the little town of Joffreville are worth a day and a night.
8. Parc National d’Ankarana
If you don’t have time to take a boat trip to the Tsingy de Bemaraha, then this fascinating eroded plateau is the next best thing: lemurs and plenty of reptiles inhabit this rocky fortress. Take good footwear.
Don’t be put off, don’t be intimidated: Nosy Be’s beaches are beautiful, the resort trappings pretty tame and the interior well worth exploring. Don’t forget a trip to the wonderful Lokobé reserve.
10. Parc National d’Ankaranfantsika
Deciduous dry forest meets lakes and erosion gulleys in this enjoyable and accessible park between Majunga and Antananarivo.
Madagascar Itinerary 2 - The south: flights, hikes and highways
Allow three weeks to cover the south by air and road. Be sure to leave time to get back to Antananarivo at the end of the trip. Renting a car and driver for the last few days of this itinerary is a good idea, rather than relying on Air Madagascar.
Visit the capital’s historic sites and markets, walk through the old quarters and check out some of its many restaurants, bars and clubs.
Get a flight to this west-coast port and hire a cab to see the unmissable Allée des Baobabs and do some night walks in the stunningly rich Kirindy Private Reserve.
Fly south to the capital of the Vezo fishing people, with its great seafood restaurants: then taxi north to Ifaty and Mangily for spiny forest and take a boat south to snorkel and relax on the beach at Anakao.
4. Fort Dauphin
Fly to Fort Dauphin: watch whales and the crashing surf, or spend a few days in natural history heaven at Sainte Luce, Berenty or on the Mandrare River.
5. Parc National d’Isalo
Back in Tuléar, rent a vehicle and driver to tour up the scenic RN7: hike in the magnificent canyons of Isalo and pause at Parc National Zombitse-Vohibasia en route.
6. Réserve Villageoise Anja
Stay at a charming bed and breakfast and make an early morning start on a hike through the home territories of delightful ring-tailed lemurs.
Explore the Merina people’s cultural capital, with its fascinating hilltop old town.
8. Parc National de Ranomafana
See the rare golden bamboo lemur, along with countless other species, in this rugged and memorably scenic rainforest park.
Spend a day in this nineteenth-century spa town, shopping and eating (and possibly trying the waters, if they ever reopen the baths), before driving back to Tana.
The Rough Guides to Madagascar and related travel guides
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- Travel Tips Madagascar for planning and on the go
- Best time to visit Madagascar
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Highlights of Madagascar
- Enjoy the chance to watch lemurs in their natural habitat
- See incredible wildlife in the Andasibe Nature Reserve and in Ranamofana National Park
- Marvel at the amazing rock formations, spectacular canyons and natural swimming holes of Isalo National Park
- Discover the striking spiny forest in Tsimanampetsotsa National Park
- Relax on the beach in the coastal town of Anakao
- A wildlife lover's dream – count how many species of lemur and other exotic animals you can spot as you explore the Anja Community Reserve, Ranomafana National Park and Andasibe National Park.
- Connect with nature during a stay in a cottage deep within the Ranomafana National Park, surrounded by lush rainforest and countless species of fascinating plants and animals.
- Learn more about the important Malagasy process of silk production with a visit to local village industries in Manandriana where a cooperative of silk weavers are using their craft both to preserve local tradition and to provide for the future.
- Explore Mitsinjo Forest – a privately-owned reserve that’s giving back to the local community and promoting conservation – on a guided night walk where you’ll be lucky to catch glimpse of nocturnal species likes endemic butterflies and lemurs.
- Take a hands-on chocolate making class with a local chef and learn the secrets that make Malagasy chocolate so unique and delicious – and then get to sample your creations!
- Walk among the extraordinary limestone pinnacles of Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
- Enjoy the chance to see lemurs in their natural habitat
- Visit the Alley of Baobabs to see the ancient trees at sunset
- Explore Isalo National Park, home to amazing rock formations, spectacular canyons and natural swimming holes
- Discover the incredible wildlife living in Andasibe National Park
Madagascar in Depth
- Wander around 800-year-old trees along the Avenue of the Baobabs.
- Cross the Big Tsingy via suspended bridge.
- Float down the meandering Manambolo River on a morning canoe trip.
- Stay in a cottage deep within the Ranomafana National Park, surrounded by lush rainforest and countless species of flora and fauna.
- See how many species of lemur you can spot in Isalo, Andasibe and Ranomafana national parks (there are 33 different types!).
Imperial Cities Of Morocco (deluxe Class-7 Days)
- Tour overviewThe mystery and lure of this fabled kingdom begins in Casablanca and continues through the souks, dense winding kasbahs and entrancing architecture of fascinating cities including magnificent Marrakech. An extension
Trekking in Madagascar
- Trek in Isalo National Park
- Climb Peak Boby, the second-highest peak in Madagascar
- See lemurs in their natural habitat
- Relax on the beach in Ifaty
Madagascar Baobabs & Beyond
- Witness a spectacular pink and yellow sunset behind towering, 800-year-old trees along the Avenue of the Baobabs in the laid-back seaside town of Morondava.
- Travel along the Tsiribihina River in a traditional barge, stopping to hike to hidden waterfalls, explore remote villages and camp among nature on the banks.
- Trek through a forest of limestone karsts and cross a sheer drop on a suspended bridge at the Great Tsingy, keeping an eye out for native wildlife including 11 species of lemur.
- Float down the meandering Manambolo River in a traditional dugout canoe, wind through a deep gorge and past rocky cliffs, soaking up the tranquil atmosphere.
- Discover the emerald-green waters of Tritiva, an extinct crater surrounded by verdant forest, on a hike through the stunning Antsirabe district.
- Tour overview:This island country in the Indian Ocean lies off the east coast of the African continent. It split from the Indian subcontinent some 88 million years ago and as a result offers the visitor unusual and unique flora
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Small Group Madagascar Tours
- Discover the lush agricultural land of the north with paddy fields and orchards
- Visit Ambositra, the arts and crafts capital of Madagascar
- Explore Isalo National Park, with its amazing rock formations and natural swimming holes
- Marvel at the dense rainforest and cascading falls of Ranomafana National Park
- Relax on the white-sand beaches of the fishing village of Ifaty
1000 Views of Madagascar - 12 days
- Ranomafana National Park - spend two days in Madagascar's premier national park, the final stronghold for many of its endemic lemur species
- Isalo National Park - hike to the 'natural swimming pool' for a dip and spot lemur species including sifakas and ringtailed lemurs
- Ifaty - unwind on the beach, snorkel along a stunning coral reef or head inland for a spot of bird-watching
- Andasibe National Park - spot the Indri Indri - Madagascar's largest lemur, and visit a community reserve
- Antananarivo - explore free time to explore the capital of Madagascar, known as the 'City of Thousands'
Like Nowhere Else on Earth: The Wildlife & Cultures of Madagascar
- Hike into the wilds of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, home to more than 300 species of orchid, 20 species of lemur and an astounding array of endemic species.
- Join a naturalist on a 4X4 ride deep into Isalo National Park to search for the iconic Ring-tailed Lemur and Verreaux's Sifaka.
- Spend three nights in the pristine and un-touristic coastal village of Anakao, learning about the local lifestyle and endemic flora and fauna.
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Top Madagascar Attractions & Experiences
Top Madagascar Experiences
- Spotting a ring-tailed lemur or aye-aye on a trek through the rainforest.
- Snapping a photo of Madagascar’s incredible baobab trees that look like something Dr. Seuss would dream up.
- Catching a chameleon in the act of changing colors in its natural habitat, under the watchful eye of an expert guide .
- Searching for rare fluorescent frogs and geckos on night walks from your lodge.
- Watching for whales and dolphins off the coastlines.
- Staying in secluded jungle lodges either in national parks or private reserves, some reached only by airplane
- Relaxing on a beach or snorkeling in Nosy Be, the largest of Madagascar’s offshore islands, known as the “perfume island.”
- Taking an excursion to Nosy Komba, an island near Nosy Be, to see black lemurs.
- Visiting a bustling market in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city.
Madagascar Tours & Travel Guide
Madagascar Attractions & Landmarks Guide
Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, is known as the “Galapagos of Africa,” serving as a kind of living laboratory in the Indian Ocean. After splitting off from mainland Africa around 100 million years ago, and now lying some 225 miles away across the Mozambique Channel, its endemic animal species developed fully apart from the rest of the continent -- and the world.
Almost all of its mammal species -- including the island’s famous lemurs, a primitive type of primates -- are found nowhere else on earth. (The two major exceptions are bats as well as some lemurs found on the nearby Comoros Islands.)
Madagascar’s biodiversity is among the richest on the planet. Some 11,000 endemic plant species blanket the island, and more species of both flora and fauna are being discovered every year -- even as many others become endangered and face extinction.
Madagascar’s birds, reptiles, and amphibians are also mostly endemic. The world’s biggest and smallest chameleons, the world’s biggest primates (400-pound lemurs, now extinct) and the world’s largest bird -- the elephant bird, also now extinct -- are or were all found here.
Lemurs Are the Stars
Lemurs are the big draw in the wildlife parade. Madagascar has more than 100 species or subspecies of lemurs including pygmy mouse lemurs, the world’s smallest primates. Among the better known species are ring-tailed lemurs, aye-ayes, indris and sifakas. Loss of habitat and hunting, however, have also left lemurs the world’s most endangered primates.
The country has been aggressively establishing parks and reserves to try to protect those remaining, and deforestation has dropped dramatically in those areas. But a healthy eco-tourism industry, bringing much needed jobs and revenues into an impoverished country, is essential to maintaining their rainforest habitats.
You can look for lemurs in a number of locations throughout the island. One of the best is Montagne d’Ambre National Park, a rainforest wilderness dotted with lakes and waterfalls in the northern reaches of the island. It’s also home to the world’s smallest chameleons, among the park’s 59 species of reptiles.
Another park in the northern part of the island, Ankarana Reserve, is also rich in wildlife and plant life, as is Andasibe National Park in eastern Madagascar, where you may see several varieties of lemurs, birds and chameleons. A private reserve, Palmarium Park, also on the eastern side of the island, showcases lemurs as well as various endemic trees and plants including orchids and mahogany trees.
Giant baobabs, though, with their massive, gnarly trunks, are the most striking trees on the island. Madagascar is ringed by tropical beaches, which provide a great way to relax after tracking lemurs or spotting chameleons in the rainforests. One of the best places to recharge is Nosy Be, a much smaller island that lies about ten miles offshore, where the beaches are lined with palm trees and the snorkeling and diving are excellent amid the coral reefs.
The inland capital and largest city, Antananarivo (Tana), is built on hills and features steep stair-step streets, busy markets and old palaces to explore, while coastal Antsiranana (formerly Diego-Suarez) at the northern tip of Madagascar is located on a beautiful bay.
By far the best way to see endangered lemurs and other exotic wildlife on Madagascar is via guided tours, led by experts in navigating the local rainforests and highlands. You can rely on Stride to help you find the best outfitters on this unforgettable island.
The Different Ecological Regions of Madagascar
Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and as such exhibits several microclimates and the temperature fluctuates dramatically. There are 5 major climate zones (also called biomes) in Madagascar:
1. Desert - Southern Madagascar exhibits desert landscapes, most notable for the “Spiny Forest” which only thrive in this particularly arid region of Madagascar. If you visit the Spiny Forest, you’ll see plants that belong to the “ Didiereaceae” family and are native to Madagascar - seen very little anywhere else on earth.
2. Savanna - The southern part of Madagascar is also where you’ll find large and flat savanna landscape, famous for the whimsically shaped Baobab trees.
3. Tropical Rainforest - Central Madagascar and the eastern coasts have high humidity and rainfall - the perfect conditions for Tropical Rainforest. Along the coasts the conditions are very similar to the Amazon basin. In the Lowland Madagascar rainforest is where you’ll find a majority of the famous ring tailed lemurs.
4. Mountain Range - There is also a large mountain range in Madagascar, running from the northern part of the island to the south. The highest peak is known as “ Maromokotro” in the Tsaratanana Reserve and is open to experienced climbers.
5. Wetland - The Madagascar wetland regions run along the coasts. Mangrove forests thrive in these ecosystems, as do a large majority of Madagascar’s diverse bird population.
Madagascar Reviews & Ratings
Amazing sights and experiences.
In a short time this trip takes you to a number of amazing sights and experiences. Meeting the lemurs and kameleons is magic, but driving and especially walking thro...
Madagascar is an amazing experience.
Madagascar is an amazing experience. However, be prepared to spend the vast majority of time on this holiday sat down, either in a boat, minibus or in 4 x 4s. Trip n...
An amazing trip through this beautifully stunning and diverse country!
An amazing trip through this beautifully stunning and diverse country! Perfect balance between wildlife, culture and relaxation on the beach in the end! Andry, the t...
The country of Madagascar is amazing!
The country of Madagascar is amazing! The landscape and lemurs are fantastic but what really made the trip for me was the Malagasy people. So happy, helpful and frie...
Overall a fabulous trip with some amazing experiences.
Overall a fabulous trip with some amazing experiences. Highlights included getting up close to chameleons and lemurs, interacting with the local people in rural area...
See all Madagascar reviews
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Explore the list of top ranked local tour guides in Madagascar. Get tour activities offered by tour companies and independent travel guides in Madagascar.
Mixing a French colonial charm and lively Indian Ocean character, Antananarivo is a city of regal buildings, ancient traditions and multiculturalism. Allow your tourHQ guide to show the best the town has to offer.
Explore the list of top ranked local tour guides in Nosy Be. Get tour activities offered by tour companies and independent travel guides in Nosy Be.
Get help from a tourHQ Madagascar tour guide to explore the otherworldly rock formations of spiked Tsingy de Bemaraha, where lemurs and rugged cliffs combine
Enjoy the legendary Avenue of the Baobabs and all of Madagascar’s colorful wildlife in the parks and reserves around Morondava with the help of a qualified local guide form tourHQ.
TourHQ has guides for the Isalo National Park, dedicated to showcasing the natural beauty and biodiversity of this lemur-peppered reserve in Madagascar.
Engage an Antsirabe guide from tourHQ to make the most of this soulful city’s wealth of Art Deco mansions, painted timber terraces, breathtaking highland surroundings and bubbling hot springs.
TourHQ has Ranomafana National Park tour guides in Madagascar, all eager to reveal the elusive lemurs and great biodiversity of this national park.
Madagascar tour guides from tourHQ are at the ready to lead intrepid expeditions into the primeval forests of Anasibe-Mantadia National Park – just watch out for lemurs.
With its leaning palms and shimmering beachfronts, maritime jungles and nature parks, it’s hardly surprising that Toamasina is a top spot on Madagascar. Get a tourHQ guide to show you around.
Sample Madagascar’s quaint French charm and wander under the baobabs while being guided through Mahajanga’s port-side past in the company of a tourHQ guide.
- Price expand_more USD USD
- Tour Type expand_more All art ballooning battlefield bird boating gastronomical haunted horseriding hunting kid-friendly mountaineering nature nightlife religious romantic rural safari shopping skydiving sunandsand trekking bizarre underwater wellness winetour architectural archaeological climbing interpreter fishing educational diving driver cultural cycling photography aircraft skiing adventure-sports medical-tourism bike-tours historical museums astronomical sightseeing walking homestay accessible lgbt wedding tour-planners luxury jungle surfing celebrity camping volunteer golf kayaking airport_transfer atv backpacking campus Canoeing Carriage Cave Cooking Dance Desert Distillery Dog_Sledding Dolphin Eco_Tourism Fitness Glaciers Helicopter HeliSkiing Hot_Springs Ice_fishing Jeep_Safari Jet_Boating Jet_Skiing Kitesurfing Light_and_Sound Mountain_Biking Music Paragliding Pub_Crawl Rickshaw Sailing Segway Shark_Diving Shore_Excursion Snorkeling Snowmobile Story_Telling Sunset_Cruise Tribal Underbelly Volcano Whale_Watching Whitewater_Rafting Wildlife Ziplining skip-the-line gardening rappelling
Antananarivo & Antsirabe
Full Day Transportation Service In & Around Madagascar
180.00 USD USD
Car rental and tour guiding service wih Jean claude tour in Madagascar
3-Day Tour of Madagascar's Highlights
1050.00 USD USD
Full-Day Tour of Andohahela National Park
272.00 USD USD
- Tour Type expand_more All Architectural Museums Sightseeing Historical
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park & Antananarivo
5 day tour to visit the Lemurs in Madagascar
Welcome to the world of the lndri- the famous teddy bear like lemur, which is also one of the biggest lemurs on the island. Enjoy the magical morning call of the Indri deep in the forest. Add to this, the amazing Reptile reserves and a huge variety of other animals in the National ...
10 Day Western Madagascar Wildlife Tour
Take a 10 day-tour to the west eastern part of Madagascar, where the unforgettable morning call of Indri wakes you up! Make a trip to Kirindy to watch the biggest puma predator of lemurs called Fossa, and stop at the most spectacular Baobab Avenue for an amazing sunset view.
13-Day Nature & Wildlife Tour in Madagascar from Antananarivo
Embark on an adventurous tour to prominent places of Madagascar, starting from the Peyrieras Reptile Reserve to see reptiles and visit theNational Gendarmerie Museum. Next, head to the rainforest of Andasibe, home to the biggest lemur of Madagascar called Indri and enjoy the thermal pools and lakes ...
Full Day Tour to Madagascar's Fort Dauphin in Tôlanaro
Hungry for authenticity, discovery and adventure? Embark on this daylong tour to Fort Dauphin; explore the lush forests, contrasting rivers and mountains, protected parks with lemurs, and beautiful coasts. It was the first French settlement in Madagascar.
Antananarivo, Antsirabe & Manakara
Discover South of Madagascar in 12 Days
Discover Madagascar from Antananarivo to the south- Tulear. Along with this tour, you will have the opportunity to cross the country and allow you to know about the tradition and culture of the Malagasy people; the lemur and other famous species will be spotted in its unique biodiversity that makes ...
11-Day Tour of Southern Circuit of Madagascar: ...
Embark on an 11-Day Tour of Madagascar's Southern Circuit. Explore lush highlands, encounter lemurs in Ranomafana, discover the surreal landscapes of Isalo, and unwind in coastal Anakao.
7-Day Nature & Adventure Tour to Fort Dauphin & St Luce Reserve
Spend your holiday at Fort Dauphin and explore the Anosy Museum before heading to the Nahampoana Reserve to see lemurs and many other species. Relax & swim at the beautiful beaches of Libanona & Ankoba, sample delicious local seafood and explore the Sainte-Luce village. Also, enjoy a boat ...
7-Day Sun & Sand Getaway to Lokaro Bay from Fort Dauphin
Go on an adventure tour to Fort Dauphin to see Anosy Museum and visit the Nahampoana Reserve to see lemurs and other endemic species of Madagascar. Then, spend 4 days in Lokaro, relaxing and swimming in a beautiful white sand beach with views of the ancient hills of Anosy and sample delicious local ...
7-Day Rural Experience & Nature Tour in Fort Dauphin & Berenty ...
Go on a 7-day tour to Fort Dauphin to immerse yourself in the daily life of the local community and explore remote villages, where you will spend time with local people to learn the art of Malagasy dancing. Visit Berenty Reserve to see ringtailed lemurs, get to know the history of the south and ...
Tôlanaro, Toliara & Soanierana Ivongo
10-Day Culture & Adventure Tour of Tôlanaro, Toliara & ...
Set out on a less travelled road in Madagascar, camp at Cap Sainte Marie, at the very southern point of Madagascar, visit the dunes and see the remains of the Elephant Bird shells in this 10-day excursion. Next, catch a wave, relax on the beaches of Lavanono bay and Tolanaro, ride a Zebu Cart in ...
6-Day Morondava Baobab Trails Tour from Antananarivo
Home to stunning karst forests, ancient trees, and incredible wildlife, the island paradise of Madagascar begs to be explored. Visit the Avenue of the Baobabs at sunrise, look out for lemurs clinging onto the limestone cliffs in the Bemaraha National Park and discover the big and little tsingys in ...
Enjoy an 8 day national park tour in southwestern Madagascar
Travel through three provinces; Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa and Toliary, famous for their national parks. Hike through the natural landscapes to visit unique sights such as baobab forests, different species of lemurs, Isalo window and natural swimming pools. Understand the local culture at the ...
Antananarivo, Antsirabe & Morondava
wild life tour along Tsiribihina river by motor Boat
Opt for this 4- Days trip from Antananarivo (Madagascar's capital and largest city) to Miandrivazo (a town and commune in Madagascar). The trip comprises multiples stops, including Antsirabe, Miandrivazo, Begidro, Tsimafana, and Morondava. , etc. The most exciting part of the trip is a visit to ...
Do experience the best trekking in Madagascar through out Tsingy ...
Enjoy an impressive tour of a huge mineral forest in Madagascar. Get to visit a prominent national park here and explore the Kirindy forest on foot to spot lemurs. Admire the naturally intertwined trunks of Baobab trees that present a landscape of rare elegance. Cover tourist spots like little ...
6-Day Tour of Morondava Baobab Trails From Antananarivo
Enjoy this kind of tour which shows you the famous points which interest the world in Madagascar such as landscapes, endemic fauna, flora, history and culture of the western part of Madagascar. Gaze in wonder at the baobabs trees. From the beach to the park, this breathtaking environment is a ...
4-Hour tour to cattle markets and local farms in Ambalavao
Go for a leisurely walk through local farms to take in the beautiful landscape. Visit local workshops to observe traditional crafts and then experience the hustle and bustle of one of the largest cattle markets of Madagascar. End this journey by riding the charming tuk-tuks to return to the main ...
10-Day Madagascar Tour from Antananarivo
Embark on a vacation to Madagascar and discover a great variety of landscapes passing through the rainforest and dry savanna plateaus. Explore famous places such as Antananarivo, Ifaty, Antsirabe and Ranohira. Learn about the inspiring daily life of Malagasy tribes, and go to the Ranomafana ...
8-Day Tour To The Tsingy Of Bemaraha
Embark on an 8-day adventure to the Tsingy of Bemaraha. Discover Antsirabe's crafts, cruise down the Tsiribihina River, and marvel at the unique Small and Great Tsingy formations. Experience Madagascar's diverse landscapes, from lush mountains to baobab-lined trails.
5-Day tour for Andasibe, Mantadia National Park & Antananarivo
Explore Madagascar's exotic Wildlife Reserve and witness unique species of chameleons and lemurs. Spot the biggest lemur of Madagascar- the famous Indri and hear its unforgettable wail emanating in Andasibe. Marvel at the sacred waterfall in Mantadia National Park and see crocodiles at the ...
7-Day tour in and around the remote regions of Tolanaro
Explore the remote regions in and around Fort Dauphin and explore the spiny desert in this 7-Day excursion. Spend a day at Ifotaka community forest to experience the culture of the villagers and watch the sunset at Akomba Beach. Learn about the local community of the Evatraha village whilst ...
See very close up the Baobab, The amazing tree in the world
Discover various species of animals and three species of Baobab in the west coast of Madagascar. The west coast is famous for its baobab and Kirindy forest reserve which hosts 50 species of reptiles, 7 species of chameleons, 8 species of lemurs, and carnivore animal which can be seen during ...
2-Day Sightseeing Tour of Antananarivo
Explore Antananarivo - the central capital of Madagascar to discover its beautiful viewpoints, the Queen's palace, Lake of Anosy, Independence Avenue and the old central station with French colonial architecture. Also, visit its markets and get close to the friendly Magalay people!
Antananarivo & Morondava
Experience Boat Ride in Tsiribihina River in Madagascar
Take a boat ride in the Tsiribihina River. This excursion on Tsiribihina river is practicable during the year along. The boat leaves from Miandrivazo and rides to Belo/Tsiribihina. Also, visit the Baobab in love and the famous avenue of Baobab.I have already offered hundreds times the similar tour ...
Discover the South of Madagascar Over a 9-Day Tour from ...
Embark on a journey to Southern Madagascar and discover a great variety of landscapes passing through the rainforest, dry savanna plateaus, dramatic sandstone canyons and granite formations. Enjoy the highlands with endless rice fields, enter the inspiring daily life of Malagasy tribes, and go to ...
16-Day Tour through the Highlights of Madagascar Antananarivo
Sign up for this 16-day cultural tour around the mountain chain of the Ankaratra region and explore the highlights of Madgascar. Enjoy hiking, trekking, and camping in the scenic forests of Madagascar and pay visits to a thermal spring, Old Town (Tanana Ambony) and the wine factory. Explore the ...
17-Day Wildlife & Nature Excursion in Madagascar from ...
Embark on an all-encompassing tour around Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Ranomafana, Ranohira, Manakara and Ifaty in Madagascar. Get to see age-old canyons, trek by waterfalls, thermal pools and crater lakes, relax by the beach and spot indigenous wildlife such as spotted lemurs, sifakas, iguanas, ...
13-Day tour to Explore the Southern Coast of Madagascar
See the best of the southern region of Madagascar, starting from the Haute plateau, drive to Tritriva's sacred lake, see flora and fauna of Ranomafana National Park and view the stunning Namorana Waterfall. Visit the famous Fianaratsoa, see Maki- lemur in Isalo National Park and enjoy a whale ...
10-Day Tour of Antsirabe, Miandrivazo & Tsingy from Antananarivo
Enter a world like no other where the natural landscapes, wildlife and indigenous flora are so unique that you will feel relaxed from the chaos of urban life. Travel for 10 days from Antananarivo to the boundaries of the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park along with an expert local guide and explore ...
Set off to East Madagascar till Sainte Marie paradise island
Travel to the east of Madagascar, known for its beautiful authentic landscapes. Visit the biggest lemur reserve in Madagascar at Andasibe Park. End the tour at Sainte Marie- a charming island with its beautiful white sandy beaches and deep blue waters!
Full-Day Andasibe-Mantadia National Park Tour
Go on a full-day tour of the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in Madagascar and explore its two main protected components, the Mantadia and Analamazaotra reserves. See blooming rare orchids, medicinal plants, lemurs, chameleons, frogs, butterflies and plenty of endemic birds. Experience the beauty ...
3-Day Hike through Boby's Peak & Madagascar's Major Hiking ...
Embark on this short 3-day hike through Madagascar's famous trekking circuits. Hike to Boby's Peak and trek through the scenic circuits of Diavolana, Isahavato, and Imarivolanitra. Enjoy the panoramic trails as you hike through Southern Madagascar's landscapes.
3-Day Tour of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park from Antananarivo
Drive to the Mantandia National Park from Antananarivo to enjoy the world-famous exotic Madagascar wildlife. Visit a private reserve called Madagascar Exotic Park and see reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and insects ranging from different types of lemurs, chameleons and frogs to snakes, bats and ...
Antananarivo & Ampefy
2-Days Nature Tour of Ampefy from Antananarivo
Enjoy nature at its best in Madagascar. Visit the beautiful Geyser of Analavory and enjoy a special massage offered by the natives. Go on a boat ride to Ilot de la Vierge and enjoy the panoramic view of Itasy lake. Drive to the famous Lily waterfall and enjoy the view with a picnic lunch. Stop by ...
Le Train De La Vie Et La Rn7
Départ de Tana jusqu’à Anakao en passant par Manakara, Fianarantsoa, Ranomafana, Isalo, et Antsirabe sur la fameuse RN7.
Luxury Day-Trip to Fort Dauphin
Experience the beauty of Madagascar and its people to rejuvenate yourself. Our luxury day trip was created to offer the best of what the Indian ocean has to offer.
Morondava, Bekopaka & Tsingy de Bemaraha
5-Day Tsingy of Bemaraha Tour from Morondava
Sign up for this vacation to enjoy an impressive tour of a vast mineral forest in Madagascar. Get to visit a prominent national park here and explore the Kirindy forest on foot to spot lemurs. Admire the naturally intertwined trunks of Baobab trees that present a landscape of rare elegance. Cover ...
Full-Day Private City Tour of Antananarivo
Explore Antananarivo's rich history, culture, and biodiversity on a full-day private city tour. Visit must-see sites like Queen Palace, Praiminister Rainlairiviny Palace, FJKM, and Tsarasaotra. Indulge in the vibrant markets and picturesque Anosy Lake. End your tour with a delightful lunch. ...
10-Day Trip To Tsiribihina River and National Park Tsingy of ...
Embark on a 10-day adventure through Madagascar's heart, starting in Tananarive and culminating in the surreal landscapes of Tsingy of Bemaraha. Explore culinary traditions in Behenjy, navigate the Tsiribihina River's tranquil waters, and encounter diverse wildlife along the way. Your ...
I was born and grew up in the north east of the highland in Madagascar: Near the largest lake of ...
I am Danielos Tony, a passionate and experienced tour guide specializing in Madagascar. With a deep ...
Jean Claude RALAINIAINA
I began this work around 20 years ago and I am the first organizer of the boat trip on Tsiribihina ...
We organised a tour all arround Madagascar according to our client request, Family tour, Honey ...
I'm jahya from Madagascar and I am a tour guide freelancer in Madagascar and South ...
Hi! I have been guiding all over Madagascar for over 10 yeas. I love nature and adventures and can ...
About meMy name is Gera, from Morondava, Native Guide in the West Coast of Madagascar, I have four ...
Elodie et Manantsoa Guides Madagascar
Nous sommes des guides accompagnateurs nationaux agrées et titulaire des badges par le ...
Hi everyone!!! I'm Josaia but you can just call Saia!! I live in Morondava, the areas where I grow ...
I'm a Tour guide / Driver and Touf organizer. I can organize all tours and activities you want ...
Hello My name is Harilanto Vonjy, I am Malagasy, native of Madagascar. I choose Valahara as my ...
I am passionate about wildlife and travel especially in Madagascar. So I lead, guide and organize ...
My name is Luc and I work as tour guide and tour organizer in Madagascar. Since ...
Guiding tourists along miles in the rainforest, tracking and calling wild lemurs and bird for ...
Niry from Madagascar founder of WhyMadagascar
My name is Niry. I have been guiding around Madagascar for 9 years. I was a student of the National ...
Maminirina Rodin José Randriamanantena
I'm a NATIONAL GUIDE and a TOUR LEADER from Antananarivo, working all around Madagascar ...
Herivelo Germain Ranaivozafy
I am a main guide free lance agreed by MINTOUR of Madagascar since 2003 ;category:National and ...
rakotondrajaona daniel richard
Please add your other danielrakotondrajaona, guide national, help you to discover Madagascar by my ...
My name is Belaza. l have been guiding around Madagascar for about 8 years. l have become ...
Bonjour , Ma femme et moi , sommes guides nationaux à Madagascar : Circuit classiques , aventures ...
Klaus Konnerth, Tour Guide, and Madagascar Expert. We can organize almost everything from ...
After 02 years of University studies in Tourism and Hospitality, I am currently working as a tour ...
Driver/guide since 2004, I provide my services to the best inbound tour operators in Madagascar. I ...
I am a Malagasy citizen and I like my Madagascar, its people, and its nature - so unique and ...
My name is Harilala, I studied geography at the University of Antananarivo and followed many ...
I am a tour guide from Madagascar who will always be available to satisfy you during your stay on ...
Jean Emile Rakotonarison
If you are here, you are interested in the natural wonders of Madagascar. I Giving you access to my ...
not much but suffer a little to have the maximum of pleasure with CENTY! I like to make discover my ...
TSIROFO ANDRIAMIALY Andriarison jerry
I am a guide with 13 years of experience, I have worked for many travel agencies in ...
I am professional about my work as a guide. I like it as much as I like ...
hasina tsiresitosika ranerson andrianasolo
Hello, I am from a really nice and interesting country at the cross-road of Europe and Asia. ...
I decided to run my own company as I have experienced fifteen years of tourism in M/car. We want to ...
I come from Tana, the capital of Madagascar. I 'm a travel consultant. I'm inspired by the ...
My name Hery, after my Master degree in Communication and Tourism at the University of Antananarivo ...
Madagascar Visite Company
We are a tour guide local in Madagascar , since 15 years Also ; we have renting car ...
Hajaina Christian Hasinavalona
Jean claude tours
Dear customers, I welcome warmly all of you to choose our company named Jean Claude toursas your ...
SOUL OF MADAGASCAR TOURS
Since 2017, we’ve started to organize tours and excellent services and offers to our respected ...
Madagascar Local Tours
Madagascar Local Tour is here to help you discovering the unique nature and the beautiful landscape ...
I am a local tour guide based in Fort Dauphin/Tolanaro, Madagascar. My aim is to ...
FANIRY RENT CAR
Faniry Madagascar Tours, offers Madagascar Tours & Car Rental based around your own interests and ...
Madagascar, in many ways, can be considered as one of the last sanctuary of wildlife on the planet. ...
Madagascar Safari Tour Guide
Author: Welcome to Madagascar Safari Tour Guide. By Moses , your Local Tour Guide and Tour ...
MADA ADVENTURING TOURS
MADA ADVENTURING TOURS is always ready to offer you the best service to make your vacation ...
NARCISSE TOURS DISCOVERY (Voyagiste professionnel )
"Narcisse Tours Discovery" is the best "TOUR OPERATOR OF MADAGASCAR" at the base of discovery trip ...
Madagascar junga tour
Madagascar junga tour is a local tour operator receptif based in antananarivo madagascar. But ...
Friendly Tour Guide Mada
Friendly Tour Guide Madagascar is a premier tour company that aims to provide visitors with an ...
Madagascar Tropic Voyage
We create tailor made private and group tours at a competitive price. We are locally owned and ...
Local agency based in Madagascar.
My name is RASAMUEL Jerifiahy Sanda. Having a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development, I ...
Tour Guide Lovemada
"Tour Operator in Madagascar, we organize different type of circuits such as adventure, classic, ...
My name is RATSIMBAZAFY Tantely Andriambelomanana, alias Bee. I am an independent tourist guide & ...
Detours Madagascar is a destination management company based in Madagascar. Our commitment is to ...
Madagascar green tours
"Madagascar Trip's and Pic's" is a tour operator specialized in travel for photographers and ...
Easy Madagascar Tours
We are a registered inbound tour operator based in Madagascar Island.Our main concern is to promote ...
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Madagascar Tours & Safari Packages
There is no other place like Madagascar. That might sound like brochure talk, but it is true. Madagascar is unique. Of roughly 200,000 known animal species found in Madagascar, 150,000 are endemic, meaning they occur nowhere else in the world. The same applies to the island’s weird and wonderful flora. How this incredible biodiversity came about is much up for debate. But there is nothing debatable about the sense of wonder one experiences when setting foot on this magnificently intriguing country, often referred to as the eighth continent.
17-Day Highlights of Madagascar
$10,206 to $11,312 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Tented Camp
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Isalo NP, Toliara (City) , Ifotaka Forest, Komba, Antananarivo (End)
4.9 /5 – 134 Reviews
15-Day Tired of Staying Home - Discover Madagascar
$1,766 to $2,842 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 8 people per vehicle) Mid-range Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Palmarium Reserve, Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antsirabe (City) , Fianarantsoa (City) , Isalo NP, Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Ambalavao (City) , Ranomafana NP, Antananarivo (End)
Malagasya Travel Tour operator has an office in Madagascar
4.8 /5 – 13 Reviews
12-Day Madagascar 1000 Views Tour
$3,135 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Budget Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antsirabe (City) , Ranomafana NP, Isalo NP, Isalo NP, Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Antananarivo (End)
Safari With Us
4.9 /5 – 203 Reviews
13-Day Andasibe - Tsiribihina - Baobab Alley - Ranomafana
$2,158 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 60 people per vehicle) Mid-range Camping & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antsirabe (City) , Miandrivazo (Town) , Tsiribihina (Town) , Allee Des Baobabs (Highlight) , Ranomafana NP, Antananarivo (End)
Soul Of Madagascar Tours Tour operator has an office in Madagascar
5.0 /5 – 6 Reviews
7-Day Nature and Beach
$975 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 15 people per vehicle) Mid-range Guest House & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Palmarium Reserve, Antananarivo (End)
Go Travel Madagascar Tour operator has an office in Madagascar
Not yet rated
16-Day Mystical Madagascar
$8,441 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 6 people per vehicle) Budget Camping & Lodge
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Kirindy Forest, Morondava (Town) , Tsimanampetsotsa NP, Maroantsetra (Town) , Masoala NP, Nosy Mangabe SR, Farankaraina Reserve, Antananarivo (End)
5.0 /5 – 4 Reviews
18-Day Where Africa Meets Asia
$2,267 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 6 people per vehicle) Mid-range Hotel & Bungalow
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Antsirabe (City) , Miandrivazo (Town) , Kirindy Forest, Bemaraha NP, Morondava (Town) , Manja (Town) , Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Isalo NP, Ranomafana NP, Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antananarivo (End)
Island Continent Tours Tour operator has an office in Madagascar
11-Day Madagascar Family Adventure Tour
$6,666 to $7,425 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Resort
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Morondava (Town) , Kirindy Forest, Anjajavy, Antananarivo (End)
15-Day Adventure and Beach
$2,428 to $2,622 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 20 people per vehicle) Mid-range Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Ankafobe, Antsirabe (City) , Fianarantsoa (City) , Isalo NP, Ambalavao (City) , Nosy Be, Antananarivo (End)
24-Day Tsingy - Baobab - Andasibe - Ranomafana - Nosy Be
$3,608 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 60 people per vehicle) Mid-range Hotel & Bungalow
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Antsirabe (City) , Morondava (Town) , Kirindy Forest, Bekopaka (Town) , Tsingy De Bemaraha NP, Ranomafana NP, Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Palmarium Reserve, Nosy Be, Komba, Nosy Iranja, Ivato Airport (Antananarivo) , Antananarivo (End)
10-Day Trekking - High Peak of Andringitra
$1,500 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 20 people per group) Budget Camping & Lodge
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Ambositra (City) , Ambalavao (City) , Andringitra NP, Antsirabe (City) , Antananarivo (End)
7-Day The Call of Indri
$1,110 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Palmarium Reserve, Lake Mantasoa, Antananarivo (End)
12-Day Luxury Madagascar Tour
$26,668 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Luxury Lodge & Resort
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Ankao, Antananarivo (End)
11-Day The Classic South
$1,578 to $2,375 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 12 people per vehicle) Mid-range Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Antsirabe (City) , Ranomafana NP, Isalo NP, Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Antananarivo (End)
16-Day Best of Madagascar Tour
$2,536 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 60 people per vehicle) Mid-range Lodge & Hotel
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Antsirabe (City) , Morondava (Town) , Tsingy De Bemaraha NP, Allee Des Baobabs (Highlight) , Belo sur Mer (Town & Beach) , Morombe (Town) , Salary Bay (Beach) , Ambatomilo (Village) , Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Ranohira (Town) , Isalo NP, Ranomafana NP, Ivato Airport (Antananarivo) , Antananarivo (End)
8-Day Trekking - in the Ridges and Canyons of Isalo
$1,127 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Shared tour (max 20 people per group) Budget Camping & Guest House
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Antsirabe (City) , Fianarantsoa (City) , Ranohira (Town) , Isalo NP, Ambositra (City) , Antananarivo (End)
11-Day Madagascar in Thousand Views
$1,569 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Mid-range Hotel & Bungalow
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antsirabe (City) , Ranomafana NP, Isalo NP, Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Antananarivo (End)
6-Day Madagascar Adventure & Beach Honeymoon
$4,559 to $5,512 pp (USD)
Madagascar: Private tour Luxury Resort & Guest House
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Anjajavy, Antananarivo (End)
19-Day Andasibe - Baobab Alley - Kirindy - Tsingy - Ifaty
$2,550 pp (USD)
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antsirabe (City) , Morondava (Town) , Kirindy Forest, Tsingy De Bemaraha NP, Allee Des Baobabs (Highlight) , Ranomafana NP, Isalo NP, Ifaty (Town & Beach) , Ivato Airport (Antananarivo) , Antananarivo (End)
15-Day Baobabs, Lemurs and Rainforest
$1,678 pp (USD)
You Visit: Antananarivo (Start) , Antsirabe (City) , Miandrivazo (Town) , Kirindy Forest, Morondava (Town) , Ambalavao (City) , Isalo NP, Ranomafana NP, Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Antananarivo (End)
- Madagascar Tour Operators
- Andasibe-Mantadia Tours
- Isalo Tours
- Nosy Be Beach Packages
- Ranomafana Tours
- Tsingy De Bemaraha Tours
- Palmarium Reserve Tours
- Kirindy Forest Tours
- African Safari Tours
- Mayotte Tour Companies
- Réunion Tour Companies
- Top Rated Tour Companies in Réunion
6 Questions About Madagascar Tours
Ariadne van zandbergen.
Why should I go to Madagascar?
“There are many good reasons to go to Madagascar. The immense tropical island of Madagascar is a special destination. For some people it’s the idyllic white sandy beaches and turquoise waters that are the main attractions. Others are lured by the fascinating animal world. There are cuddly lemurs, chameleons ranging from tiny to huge, slinky fossas, leaf-tailed geckos (the ultimate masters of camouflage), and much more. The wildlife is protected in a network of about 50 parks and reserves. These natural places are as diverse as the animals that live in them. Habitats range from pristine rainforest to dry spiny forest, dominated by the weird-looking octopus trees. Then there are oddities, such as the serrated limestone formations known as tsingy, and picture-perfect landmarks, such as the Avenue of the Baobabs.”
Where should I go on a Madagascar trip?
“Madagascar is a very big island and there is a surprising number of places to visit. When going on a road trip, you’ll probably need to choose between highlights of the north or the south. You can’t really do it all in one tour. If you incorporate one or more flights, your options to mix and match increase. Most tours start in Antananarivo. A popular tour takes you to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, the best place to see the world’s largest lemur, the indri. From there you follow the N7 south, spending time in Ranomafana National Park to see a large variety of lemurs and reptiles, and Isalo National Park for some hiking in spectacular sandstone formations. The tour ends on the west coast at Toliara or Ifaty, which are great places to relax on the beach. Highlights of the north include the rainforest of Amber Mountain National Park with its waterfalls, crater lakes and abundance of chameleons. Ankarana Special Reserve with its tsingy landscapes is another not-to-be-missed destination up north. Both parks can be visited from Madagascar’s most popular beach destination, Nosy Be. A great bush-and-beach combo is a tour combining time in two properties run as all-inclusive bush lodges: Mandrare River Camp at Ifotaka Community Forest and Manafiafy Lodge at Sainte Luce reserve. You’ll be spoiled for choice of guided activities on this tour. There’s lemur watching, night walks, cultural tours, whale watching, kayaking and much more.”
How long do I need in Madagascar?
“Unless you’re mainly going on a beach holiday in Madagascar, you’ll ideally need at least 12 days to visit some of the highlights. Many roads are in bad condition and the driving time between parks is often long. You might have to overnight in small towns along the way. Luckily, this is never wasted time. You’ll learn about the traditional cultures and the many crafts and arts the Malagasy people are known for. To take in the main highlights of the north and the south of the country, you’ll need about 20 days, even when making use of a couple of domestic flights. With limited time available, a return trip from the capital city, Antananarivo, to Andasibe-Mantadia NP is a great option. The driving time each way is three hours, and you can see a lot on a 4-day tour to this popular park. You’ll have a chance to see different lemur species and a variety of reptiles and amphibians. A night walk is a great opportunity to see some nocturnal species. This tour is a great introduction to Madagascar or a possible stopover on an Africa trip of a lifetime covering highlights of different countries.”
What is the best time of the year for a Madagascar safari?
“Madagascar can be visited at any time of the year. However, the wettest months of January, February and March are perhaps best avoided. September to November is a lovely time for a beach holiday, but the cool, dry months from May to October are better for hiking. The coldest months aren’t ideal to see some animals. Therefore, the best wildlife-viewing months are the shoulder months of April, May, October and November. These months are warm enough for all animals to be active, but not too wet. Having said all this, you have to keep in mind that there are wide regional variations. The east of the island sees the most rain, so avoiding the peak of the Wet season is more important here than in drier parts of the country.”
Do I need to be physically fit for a Madagascar safari?
“As all wildlife viewing in Madagascar is done on foot, you will need to have a reasonable level of fitness for a safari on the island. The rainforest parks tend to be wet and the paths can be very muddy and slippery. Walking in the dry parks in the southeast of the country is usually easier. There are different trails with different lengths and difficulties available in all the parks. Even the short trails are very rewarding and give great opportunities to see lemurs and other wildlife. There are also many sanctuaries and private reserves in the country where it is sometimes possible to see animals within the immediate vicinity of the lodge. So, while you’ll get the most out of a Madagascar safari with a level of fitness allowing you to take on some of the longer hikes, you can in fact see a lot without having to walk very far. However fit you are, it is important to come well prepared with good shoes, a hat and rain gear. A walking stick can also come in handy to keep you steady on slippery slopes.”
How much will this tour cost?
“There are many variables determining the price of a Madagascar tour. However, as a guideline, you can expect a 12-day mid-range package to start at around US$2,000 per person. The level of accommodation is a big factor. Taking a few local flights can save valuable time otherwise spent driving long distances, but it also increases the overall cost. Another variable is the choice between a private or group tour. Spending time on the beach is usually cheaper than moving around on tour. Taking all these variables into account makes for a wide range of prices.”
Madagascar Holiday Reviews
Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.
Madagascar: land of lemurs
Often referred to as the ‘Eighth Continent’, Madagascar is epic in scale, a unique world that I love for its wildness, vast tracts of wilderness, and wildlife. Separated from Africa for millions of years, its wildlife is found nowhere...
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
A world apart
Madagascar is, in a word, strange. Mind-bogglingly so, in certain respects. The world’s fourth-largest island, it is sometimes referred to as the Eighth Continent on account of its unique biodiversity and high level of endemism. Home to...
I thought my trip to Madagascar was amazing. I went for 2 weeks with Natural Habitat Adventures in the Summer of 2013. We saw 21 species of lemurs, an endless number of birds, with many endemics, and lots of chameleons. Our accommodations...
Great place for close ecounters with wildlife
We had a 8 days trip to Madagascar in November 2019. We spend the time on east cost of the island - Andasibe & Palmarium Reserve. The wildlife was very good - lemurs are close and provide excelent opportunites for photography. Birds in...
The smile island
Go to Madagascar for the smiles! They have nothing but they are all smiling and friendly. Hotel of quality with ready good food, this is the secret destination where you have to go to enjoy meeting peoples.
Madagascar : country of landscape and light !
Wildlife is unique and amazing, sceneries are exceptionnal ! Wheater, let's say : hot in september , accomodations are at the opposite : you can get high level comfort as well poor with sanitaries very very ... simple (forget hot water !). ...
Traveling in marvelous Madagascar
Foulpointe is a resort of reference for a successful seaside stay
Discovering Foulpointe is an unforgettable experience. Deckchairs walk, and swimming are to be enjoyed under the sun and in a heavenly setting
Local travel Expert
We are Local Experts- Tour Guide Operator that know our country very well, with our knowledge and expertise, you’ll get a local experience …
We will assist you with all your online requests including Airport transfers and pickup from your location. We offer a wide choice of tours and …
We offer a carefully planned trip and specially arranged visits to suit your personal needs. We like to create a friendly atmosphere to give …
Looking to start planning an adventure to Madagscar ?
CITY WALKING TOUR OF TANA
SOUTH RN7 ROAD TOUR
ANDASIBE INDRI TOUR
Wildlife & Nature
AYE AYE- PANGALANE TOUR
Wildlife & Discovery
VISIT TSINGY OF BEMARAHA
WESTERN ROAD TOUR
2500 £ per Tour
DIEGO SUAREZ TOUR
Ambre Montagne park
Wildlife & Culture
HIKE TO ANDRINGITRA PARK
2000Euro per Tour
Hikke & Camping
TANA TOUR TO MANTASOA
DAY TOUR TO AMPEFY VILLAGE
Out of city
DISCOVER NOSY BE ISLAND
Nosy be Island
07 Days Tour
Beach & Wildlife
EAST TOUR TO SAINT MARIE
Saint Marie Island
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what are our clients said about our services
My husband and I had the pleasure of having Tony as a guide when we were in Madagascar as part of our honeymoon. We were from the US so we were exhausted when we arrived, and Tony was there to greet us at the airport- very seamless. Tony was very informative about the country, the local culture, and animals. He was very trustworthy and showed us a great time in the country. I would highly recommend!
I had a great time with Tony, we were able to easily change plans when issues came up, to keep the tour going smoothly! Would definitely reccomend to anyone going to go with Tony.
Tony provided our tour in the North [Part 1] and East [Part 2] of Madagascar. Tony was organised, with contigencies, informative (but left the super local info to the tour guides), and brought a level of addictive enthusiasm for the trip around his country that will remain with us forever.Cannot recommend enough.
Came as customers, left as friend. It was a blast to be in resort for one week. Perfect weather, perfect waves, lots of activities. I need to come again to improve my diving and climbing skills.
ANDASIBE-MANTADIA NATIONAL PARK
TRAVEL VACATION COST TO MADAGASCAR
PONTENTIAL TOUR OF TANA
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2 week madagascar tours & trips.
Filter for departure dates and price to find the right 2 week Madagascar tour with TourRadar. Choose from 45 trips with 95 customer reviews, that range from 11 up to 14 days.
45 Madagascar 14 Days tour packages with 95 reviews
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Madagascar Wildlife Tour 14D/13N ( Comfort)
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Madagascar Adventure (including Andasibe-Mantadia National Park)
"Really great tour, with good itinerary and outstanding guide from Interpid (Patrick)...."
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Wonderful holidays in the water city and the paradise island Sainte Marie
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2 week madagascar tour reviews.
"Madagascar was so so much more than I imagined. It wouldn't have been the same though..."
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THE 10 BEST Madagascar Sightseeing Tours
Sightseeing tours in madagascar.
- Sightseeing Tours
- Private Tours
- Multi-day Tours
- Walking Tours
- Ports of Call Tours
- Cultural Tours
- Historical & Heritage Tours
- Photography Tours
- Motorcycle Tours
- Self-Guided Tours & Rentals
- Archaeology Tours
- Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
- Free cancellation
- Up to 1 hour
- 1 to 4 hours
- 4 hours to 1 day
- The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.
1. Lokobe Reserve
2. Full-day jungle trek on Nosy Komba (Lemur island) with the Black Lemur Sanctuary
3. Full Day Private Budget Trip to Nosy Iranja
4. Morondava Day Tour to Kirindy Park and Baobab Avenue
5. Private Guided Day Tour to Nosy Iranja Natural Island
6. Nosy Komba and nosy Tanikely islands private tour with guide
7. Madagascar Wildlife Tour for 02 days
8. Full-Day Exclusive Private Tour to Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve
9. Private Custom Walking Tour with a Local Guide in Antananarivo
10. 2-Day Private Tour in Mantasoa
11. Full-day Natural Style Private Tour of Nosy Be Island with Lunch
12. Full-Day Exclusive Private Tour to Breathtaking Nosy Iranja.
13. Private Tour for the Highlights of Madagascar
14. Highlights of the Northern Madagascar - Private Multi Day Tour
15. Hiking Tours Madagascar
16. RN7 Road Trip - Private Multi Day Madagascar Tour
17. Visit to Andasibe National Park
18. Trekking, Hiking And Tours Madagascar
19. Madagascar is a dream destination for outdoors enthusiasts.
20. (east Tour) Andasibe N.p / St. Mary
21. Tsingy and Andasibe Lemurs tour by Private Car
22. Private cruise in the Mitsio or Radame archipelagos: 6 days / 5 nights
23. Two days wildlife tour to Andasibe NP
24. Day trip to two palaces - a tale of mountain-top kings and a murdering queen!
25. Nosy be Full Day Private with Local Guide from Hell Ville
26. Nosy be tour by light car
27. Tsingy of Bemaraha and Morondava in detail
28. Madagascar Wildlife Tour 14D/13N
29. Lemur Day Tour at Andasibe Rainforest and Vakona Lodge Reserve
30. Private Tour to Lokobe Natural Park with guide
What travelers are saying.