Land of the Lemur
|Resort:||Land of the Lemur|
Evolving in relative isolation for millions of years, the island of Madagascar is a truly one-off place. Travelling south from the capital, well enjoy a gentle introduction as we tour Antsirabe, a former colonial spa town. Over the next 10 days, youll experience the best of the island, scouting out lemurs, discovering tombs inside rugged sandstone rocks and passing through a plateau of wide-trunked baobab. Youll also come up close to dozens of Madagascars endemic flora and fauna throughout your journey.
Day 1 UK – In flight
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Antananarivo.
Day 2 Antananarivo
Arrive in Antananarivo.
Day 3 Antananarivo – Antsirabe
Our adventure begins in the colourful capital of Antananarivo, known by most as Tana. Nestled in the greenery of the highlands, Tana enjoys a cool climate – perfect for our sightseeing tour this morning. Well then wend our way south, through landscapes of terraced rice fields and eroded hills, known locally as lavaka. Take in the bright colours and bustling atmosphere at a local market in Ambatolampy, where unusual fruits and local snacks are sold. We arrive in Antsirabe this afternoon, an elegant city with European flair. The colonial architecture, turn-of-the-century villas and wide tree-lined avenues will have you thinking youre somewhere else entirely.
Day 4 Ambositra – Ranomafana
The highland landscapes of pine and eucalyptus forests continue, as we journey to Ambositra, popular for its wood-carving and handicraft workshops. After a lunch accompanied by folkloric dancing, the scenery changes to lush green tropical forests and Ranomafana National Park – home to some beautiful waterfalls.
Day 5 Ranomafana
The greater bamboo and the golden bamboo lemurs are the islands characterful and most rare inhabitants – and theyre the top of todays watch list as we venture into the steamy jungle of Ranomafana National Park, their only confirmed habitat on the planet. The jungle hums with the sounds of insects and the wail of wildlife in the distance. As well as the lemur, well be on the lookout for different species of bird, lizard and butterfly that make their home here. The name Ranomafana means hot water in Malagasy and is named because of the thermal springs dotted around the area. This afternoon you can choose to explore on an afternoon walk, or relax in the famed hot springs.
Day 6 Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao – Ranohira
Depart for a tour of Fianarantsoa, the cultural capital of Madagascar and the capital of the Betsiloo people. Later, in Ambalavao, we get a close-up view of the process of making Antaimoro – the lovely papyrus-based paper containing wild flowers. If were lucky, our visit will coincide with the weekly zebu cattle market – a lively, animated meeting of people from all over the country. We also visit Anja Park, run by the village to raise funds for local teachers. Our arrival in Ihosy signifies the end of the highlands and we pass through the vast red-soiled savannah of Plateau de lHorombe before reaching Ranohira – the gateway to Isalo National Park.Day 7 Isalo National Park
Day 7 Isalo National Park
We take a walking tour through Isalo National Park, encompassing 815 square kilometres of rugged sandstone rocks, hewn by rain and wind erosion into dramatic canyons, impressive gorges and stalagmite pinnacles. As the area is used as a burial place of the Bara people, we may spy tombs inside the rocks as we walk. Keep your eyes peeled for Sifaka, brown and ring tailed lemurs en route. The day will come to a memorable end as we watch the setting sun turn the sky shades of deep purple, orange and red through La Fentre de lIsalo rock formation. Guided visit to Isalo National Park (all day)
Day 8 Ranohira – Tular – Ifaty
We visit Ilakaka, the village which exploded in population with the discovery of sapphire deposits in 1998. Traversing Zombitse National Park, we enter the dry south and pass the plateaux des baobabs of Andranomaintso – these upside-down looking trees are an icon of Madagascar – before arriving in Tular for a city tour. The city was one of the main harbours of the colonial-era and home to many different tribes of people. Its now a cosmopolitan collection of cultures and traditions. Continuing along the sandy coastal road lined with mangroves and dunes, well see many fishing villages; in this area the men fish twice a day in their dugout canoes known as pirogues, for the women and children to collect and deliver to Tular. Well stay overnight in Ifaty.
Day 9 Ifaty
An early morning start is required for a visit to Reniala Reserve, filled with different types of baobab and thorny bush. Its also an excellent spot to search for some of Madagascars unique bird species. Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the day is free to spend as you wish – perhaps on the beach, watching the fisherman earning their living.
Day 10 Tular – Antananarivo
Journeying back to Tular, a flight then returns us to Antananarivo.
Day 11 Andasibe
Our journey to Andasibe takes us into humid landscapes of rainforest and lakes, rich in plants and wildlife. We meet members of the predominant tribe of Madagascars east coast – the Betsimisaraka people. An evening walk is a perfect opportunity to look for nocturnal animals.
Day 12 Andasibe
For wildlife lovers, today is likely to be a big highlight, as we explore Andasibe National Park. The large tropical rainforest is home to nine species of lemur, including the largest – the critically-endangered indri. Known for its distinctively loud call, its no surprise that it features in Malagasy myths and legends. There are plentiful other unique species, orchids, chameleons and birds. Returning to the lodge, its private park is one of the best spots for photographing lemurs. Maybe youll spot a bamboo or brown lemur.
Day 13 Antananarivo
Our journey back to Antananarivo includes a stop at Peyrieras Reptile Reserve, a small reserve home to a collection of reptiles, amphibians and butterflies. Continue to UNESCO-listed Ambohimanga – a sacred royal city of immense historical, cultural, and spiritual significance.
Day 14 Antananarivo – In flight
Depart to the airport for our overnight flight to the UK.
Day 15 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.