Ideal if you yearn for a short, but memorable, getaway to experience the extremes of Madagascar.
This trip combines two of the best and most idiosyncratic locations that Madagascar can offer – one in the north and one in the south. Both offer extremely comfortable accommodation, and strike the perfect balance between activity and relaxation, with excellent guides who will help you decipher the complexities of life on the island.
Day 1: Depart UK
Day 2: Arrive Antananarivo, 1-night
Days 3-5: Fly to Maroansetra and boat transfer to Masoala. Walks, canoe trip to explore the national park
After an early breakfast, depart Antananarivo and transfer by boat to Masoala. The journey takes about 3 hours, passing Nosy Mangabe island, where you may see dolphin and whale (in season). You'll also travel past the thickly forested mountains of the peninsula which serve as a dramatic backdrop. There's time to explore the camp and nearby beaches and forest, or perhaps enjoy a quick snorkel on the reef before lunch. In the afternoon take a guided walk along the stunning coastline to view the sacred island at Tampolo point, returning to camp by sunset, in time for a hot shower and sundowners on the beach before dinner. Accommodation: Masoala Forest Lodge, 3 nights.
Day 6: Transfer to Maroansetra, fly to Antananarivo, 1-night
After breakfast at the hotel you'll depart by boat to Maroantsetra, and then take a domestic flight back to Antananarivo. On arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Days 7-9: Fly to Fort Dauphin, drive to Ifotaka. Walks to explore Ifotaka Community Forest
Today you leave Antananarivo once again and fly to Fort Dauphin, where you will be met by your guide and drive by 4x4 vehicle west towards the town of Ambosary, before continuing to Ifotaka, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, you can observe the gallery forest, and in the evening gather around the campfire for traditional music and dancing performed by Ifotaka villagers. Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp, 3 nights.
Day 10: Transfer to Fort Dauphin and fly to Antananarivo
After breakfast drive back to Fort Dauphin to board a flight back to Antananarivo. Upon arrival in Antananarivo, transfer to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 11: Transfer to the airport and depart
Day 12: Arrive UK
- When to go: Mar to Dec: Late March to end of December
- Price including flights from/to UK: From £4,395 pp
- Price excluding international flights: From £3,495 pp
- Duration inc. flights from/to UK: 12 days
- Duration exc. international flights: 10 days
- Single supplement: From £587
Ifotaka Community Forest
This remote tract of community-owned forest is an admirable illustration of an initiative that encourages local communities to manage their natural resources sustainably. The native Tandroy people harvest certain areas of the forest, but preserve the spiny forest which is home to wildlife, synonymous with the south.
Masoala National Park
The Masoala Peninsula supports the largest area of lowland rainforest in Madagascar, and the greatest number of species. The mountain and valley cloaked primary forest borders the Bay of Antongil and is home to several rare birds and the last refuge of the red-ruffed lemur, one of the country's largest primates.
Mandrare River Camp
African-style safari camping is a new innovation in Madagascar, and this camp exemplifies all that is good about the experience. Located on the banks of the Mandrare River, there are six spacious tents with private facilities, and expert local guides are on hand to show you the local wildlife.
Masoala Forest Lodge
Set next to the beach, this up-market lodge brings comfortable African safari-style camping to Madagascar, with large furnished tents set on wooden platforms. In addition to exploring the forest, you can snorkel in the nearby marine reserve and even spot whales from kayaks in the summer months.