Exploring Madagascar’s Great South
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12 nights

Exploring Madagascar’s Great South

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Isolated and otherworldly, the island of Madagascar is one of Earth’s last remaining havens, where nature has evolved and thrived in separation from the rest of the world. This exhilarating 12-night itinerary will take you from the lush rainforest playground that is the Mantadia National Park, to the iconic spiny forests of the Mandrare Valley, before concluding on the island's spectacular southern coastline. 

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Itinerary includes:
  • Return flights from the UK
  • Transfers to and from the airports
  • Private domestic charter flights
  • All tours and activities, plus English-speaking guides
  • 1 night at the 4 star Relais Des Plateaux Hotel and Spa
  • 2 nights at the 4 star Mantadia Lodge
  • 3 nights at the 4 star Le Jardin Du Roy
  • 3 nights at the 4 star Mandrare River Camp
  • 3 nights at the 4.5 star Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge
Day 1
Fly from UK to Antananarivo

You’ve landed in Madagascar at the vibrant city of Antananarivo, or ‘Tana’, as it's affectionately named locally. After being greeted by your English-speaking guide, you’ll be transferred to your first hotel; so for now, sit back and admire the enchanting colonial architecture and Indonesian influences of this bustling capital city. 

Day 1-2
1 night stay at Relais Des Plateaux Hotel and Spa

Just five minutes from Ivato International airport in Antananarivo, Relais Des Plateaux Hotel and Spa is the perfect place to rest and recharge in comfortable luxury after your long flight. Soak up the views of the surrounding tropical vegetation before enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, and perhaps treat yourself to an invigorating massage in the spa. 

Day 2
Andasibe – Perinet Reserve

After an early breakfast, you’ll head out on a scenic 4-hour drive east with your guide to Andasibe, en-route to your next hotel. Made up of two protected areas - the Perinet Reserve and Mantadia National Park - upon entering Andasibe you’ll get to see the habitat of a beloved creature that is endemic to Madagascar – the lemur! 

The Perinet Reserve is renowned over the world for its population of Indri lemurs. The largest living lemur species, the ‘Indri Indri’ are recognisable by their distinctive black and white colouring and wide, inquisitive eyes. You’ll get to explore this incredible rainforest with your guide and keep on the lookout for the Indri lemur, as well as another 11 species that call the protected reserve home. 

Day 2-3
2 nights stay at Mantadia Lodge

Mantadia Lodge incorporates itself effortlessly into its natural surroundings and perches atop a hill overlooking the dense forest canopy below. Sip on hot beverages on your private terrace and feel the fresh, rainforest air on your face as you enjoy the lodge’s perfect blend of cosiness and style. The talented chefs at Mantadia will also treat you to delicious cuisine and unrivalled service – they can even create a picnic basket for you to take on your excursions! 

Day 3
Andasibe - Mantadia National Park

Today you’ll be venturing into the Mantadia National Park for a thrilling day of lemur spotting, as well as encountering an abundance of birds, reptiles and other animals that are exceptionally rare in the natural world. As you navigate the trails through this rich and diverse park, you’ll find this area wilder than the neighbouring Perinet Reserve, but the rewards are better than you could ever dream of.  

With a forest that’s taller, wilder and less crowded than Perinet, this goldmine of natural wonders has a cast of colourful birds, including the scaly ground roller, the ground roller and the red-breasted coua. After enjoying your picnic lunch by the Rianasoa Waterfall, you’ll hike back to the vehicle and return to the lodge. You'll also have the chance to go on an organised night walk through the forest, where you can see the nocturnal lemurs come out to play. 

Day 4
Fly from Antananarivo to Isalo

Today you’ll drive back to Antananarivo and hop on your private charter to Isalo; once you've landed, you'll be met by your private driver and transferred to your next hotel. As you discover Isalo National Park, you’ll be swept away by the spectacular shapes of the canyons and the sandstone rocks that have been eroded away over time.

Day 4-6
3 nights stay at Le Jardin Du Roy

Located on the edge of Isalo National Park, Le Jardin Du Roy is a secluded and unique luxury hotel with a real homely, family feel to it. Enjoy the Malagasy authenticity of the hotel and the breathtaking views across the park and river from your room. You can some downtime in-between your amazing park excursions by taking a cooling dip in the outdoor swimming pool or indulge in house cocktails and gourmet European and Malagasy fusion dishes in the restaurant and bar. 

Day 5-6
Isalo and Zombitse National Parks

Isalo is one of Madagascar’s most diverse parks and we’ll bet you can’t wait to get out there and explore. There’s something for every nature-lover here; botanists will appreciate the Pachypodium plants and locally endemic Aloe, whilst lemur lovers can get their fix with the sifakas, brown lemurs and ring tails that call this unique national park their home. The park is also sacred to the Bara tribe, who for hundreds of years have used caves within the canyon walls as burial sites. 

During your stay, you’ll also get to explore the nearby Zombitse National Park, a 36,300 hectare transition forest between Madagascar’s western and southern habitat types. It's incredibly rich in biodiversity, offering an outstanding chance for avid birdwatchers to glimpse Appert’s greenbul, one of Madagascar’s rarest endemic species. Here, you can also see six endemic species of the unusual Baobab Tree, or the ‘tree of life’, which have become an iconic natural sight for visitors to the country. 

Day 7
Fly from Isalo to Ifotaka

Today you’ll depart Isalo and take a private charter flight to Ifotaka. After meeting your guide and transferring to your luxury camp lodgings, you’ll have time to settle in before departing for a thrilling night walk in the Forest of Zenavo. As diurnal lemurs bed down for the night, nocturnal lemurs such as the mouse lemur will spring to life in the eerie and prehistoric spiny forest.  

Day 7-9
3 nights stay at Mandrare River Camp

One of the most remote and exclusive places you will ever stay in, Mandrare River Camp is truly enchanting, with only seven bespoke tents available at any time. Sheltered by tamarind trees that have unique carvings, each tent has an en-suite and private terrace. Couples will be wowed by the romantic ambience of the open dining room as the sun goes down, where you’ll feel miles away from the world you know as you dine by lanterns and starlight within the forest. 

Day 8
Mandrare Valley and the Sacred Spiny Forest

The Mandrare Valley is one of Madagascar's most sublime landscapes, and you'll begin your time here by exploring the stunning, sacred gallery forest to the south of the Mandrare River Camp. As you trek through this rugged wilderness, you'll have the chance to spot the ever-inquisitive groups of ring-tailed lemurs and the ‘dancing’ Verreaux's sifakas, endemic to Madagascar. 

After a relaxing lunch, you'll spend the afternoon exploring the almost alien spiny forest, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. As well as this, you'll discover the many ancestral tombs belonging to the local Antandroy tribe within the forest, whilst learning from your guide about their unique culture and customs. 

Day 9
The Antandroy Tribe

You'll begin the day on an early morning walk in the spiny forest, where you'll witness the sunlight break through the region's distinctive octopus trees. This a time where birdsong echoes through the trees, so you'll have the opportunity to spot a plethora of unique bird species, including the crested coua and the running coua. 

After a sumptuous lunch, you'll meet the Antandroy Tribe in their village or the local market, where you'll learn more about their culture and experience their unique way of life. As dusk approaches, you’ll end the day with a sundowner amidst the baobabs, a truly magical moment where you'll be able to really connect with the natural surroundings. You may even catch a traditional dance performance from the local village, accompanied by singing and music. 

Day 10
Fly from Mandrare River Camp to Fort Dauphin

After an incredible time in the Mandrare Valley, you'll depart Mandrare River Camp and take a short private charter flight to Fort Dauphin. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your guide and will continue on to Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge and the stunning area of Manafiafy, also known as Sainte Luce.

Day 10-12
3 nights stay at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge

The exclusivity continues on at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge, which features only four luxury thatched bungalows and a family villa, really making you feel truly ‘away’ from it all. Here, you can enjoy locally inspired dishes in the open kitchen, such as sustainably sourced seafood, all before watching the vermilion sunset by a rustic outdoor campfire.

Day 11-12
Coastal Rainforests and Malagasy Culture

You'll begin you stay in Manafiafy visiting the Antanosy community, where you'll find out about the Stitch Project, a programme that provides local women with sustainable livelihoods. After lunch and some relaxation, you'll head to the nearby mangroves; you’ll be blown away by this 40km slice of paradise, which stretches from Manafiafy to Fort Dauphin and is framed by the magnificent Anosy mountain range. Adventure seekers will jump at the chance to explore the mangroves by motorboat or kayak.  

On your last day, get up bright and early to catch the sunrise as you head out into the coastal rainforest to spot some more wildlife; on your walks through this region you may spot red-collared lemurs leaping through the canopies, or at dusk the stealthy flying fox bat as groups of them often fill the skies. 

Day 13
Fly from Fort Dauphin to UK

Your adventure in Madagascar has sadly come to an end, but the sights you’ve seen and memories you’ve made will stay with you for a lifetime. After catching a domestic flight back to Antananarivo, you'll soon be boarding your international flight back to the UK. Without a doubt, you'll leave Madagascar with a newfound awe and appreciation for the incredible natural world and will want to return to explore more of this fascinating island. Once you’re ready for your next unique holiday, make sure to contact your Luxury Travel Specialist who will readily begin planning your next adventure. 

ID: 39UR

Call us for itinerary price

Itinerary includes:
  • Return flights from the UK
  • Transfers to and from the airports
  • Private domestic charter flights
  • All tours and activities, plus English-speaking guides
  • 1 night at the 4 star Relais Des Plateaux Hotel and Spa
  • 2 nights at the 4 star Mantadia Lodge
  • 3 nights at the 4 star Le Jardin Du Roy
  • 3 nights at the 4 star Mandrare River Camp
  • 3 nights at the 4.5 star Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge
Speak to one of our experts to find your perfect trip!
Speak to one of our experts to find your perfect trip!
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