Upon arrival at Antananarivo international airport on Day 1 you will be met and transferred to the group hotel. (Normally this is late in the evening thus, there is a group briefing tomorrow.) Please check at hotel reception for details of the pick-up time tomorrow for your trip to Antsirabe. If you are arriving on any other day, private airport transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. Overnight hotel.
After breakfast we drive to Antsirabe, which is well known as the capital of rickshaw (pousse-pousse), a hill-station and spa town in the central highlands. Along the way, you can have a look at the beautiful landscape of the highlands decorated by rice fields and green fields. After lunch we will have a city tour and visit to the market. There is a meeting with the group this afternoon; dinner and overnight in hotel.
In the morning we begin our journey to Ranomafana Rainforest National Park located on the eastern mountain slope of the island and dominated by a humid tropical climate. We enjoy a picnic lunch and stopover at Ambositra to visit this little wood carving capital of Madagascar. (The local artisans are most famous for their wood carvings and we have an opportunity to explore and shop.) Then we continue driving to Ranomafana National Park. Overnight hotel.
Ranomafana National Park was established in 1991 to protect the habitat of the rare Golden Bamboo Lemur and is an area rich in wildlife. It's the only locality for the recently discovered Golden Bamboo Lemur as well as the world's rarest primate, the Giant Bamboo Lemur. Today is exploration day: we head out to explore this evergreen forest, hoping to catch a glimpse of these fascinating animals as well as some of the other 13 species of lemur only found here. We can appreciate the views of the waters of the Namorona river and a picnic lunch. Overnight hotel.
We start early today as the road is slow and we have a long day. We drive to Andringitra Tsaranoro Valley. We will break up our journey in the town of Ambalavao, with its colourful houses and local craftspeople who manufacture Antaimoro paper from the bark of Ahova trees. Continuing from here we arrive in the evening. Dinner and night of camping.
We enjoy a day of trekking in the high mountain prairies of the Tsaranoro Valley, with it's unique granite and gneiss formations. Andringitra has a wide diversity of ecosystems ranging from low altitude rainforest in the east to high mountain prairies in the west and the greatest diversity of lemurs in Madagascar. Perhaps we will encounter a few families of Lemurs Catta. Overnight camping.
Today we drive across the Horombe Plateau with its grasslands dotted with termite mounds. We journey to Isalo and arrive in the afternoon. Overnight hotel.
We enjoy exploring the rugged canyons cut deep into the sandstone plateau this morning. Lush vegetation in the moist canyons is home to many species of lemur and chameleon, which we have opportunity to see if we are lucky as we hike in the "Canyon des Makis". After lunch in Isalo town, we spend the afternoon hiking amongst the spectacularly sculptured rock formations of Isalo Massif, with its abstract sculpting and colors of the eroded sandstone rocks to the “Piscine Naturelle” – a natural swimming pool. Overnight hotel.
We continue driving southwards to reach Toliara, past the semi-arid landscape known as ‘Spiny Desert’ and the famous ‘Mahafaly Tombs’. Overnight hotel.
Transfer to the airport and flight back to Antananarivo. Transfer to hotel at the arrival and overnight in hotel.
Trip arrangements end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for onward travel. Please ask your reservations consultant for details if you would like additional nights in Antananarivo (extra cost applies) or airport transfers on any other day (extra cost applies).