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Madagascar

Madagascar

Exuberant and Bountiful Nature

One of Africa’s most iconic destinations, the fabled “Red Island” of Madagascar is a land of legends. Home of lemurs and chameleons, with dramatic landscapes, lush rainforests and distinctive baobabs, Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world and lies in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa.

A unique beach and island safari destination, it is the home of five percent of the world’s plant and animal species, 80 per cent of them unique to Madagascar. Most famous among those are the lemurs. Its teeming fertile forests and geographical isolation have served to preserve and propagate ‘nature’s design laboratory’ in a mix found nowhere else on earth.

Madagascar has much to offer its visitors from a wildlife and cultural tour to a beach holiday and the many special interests like scuba diving, birding, kite surfing, surfing, fishing and more…

A sample of our Malagasy Experiences:

Enquire about more tour options here

TRΛVELBOECKER TΛILOR-MΛDE
– combing your personal preference with our expertise.
We create unique & authentic experiences
designed to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.

Contact Vancouver Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
for your Malagasy Experience!

 

About Madagascar:

Area: 594,180 sq km
Capital: Antananarivo (Tana) (pop 588,000)
Currency: Malagasy Franc
Climate: hot with sub tropical weather. From November to March it’s summer which is also known as hurricane season. From April to October it’s winter, its dry and the temperature is mild.
People: Eighteen major ethnic groups, including Malayo-Indonesian, African, Arab, French, Indian, Creole and Comoran
Official Language: Malagasy, French
Time: GMT plus three hours

Best Time to travel: With Monsoon time from December through to March the best time to travel to Madagascar is in general February to December. Madagascar has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and dry season with a cooler temperature from May to October. There is, however, great variation in climate owing to elevation and position relative to dominant winds.

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lemur

Lost Continent

15 Day Lemur Tracking & Cultural Sights of Madagascar (EX-MD)

Explore the habitat of the Indri – largest of the surviving lemurs – as well as brightly coloured chameleons and many bird species.
Drive through sparkling green highlands and typical Malagasy villages to Lake Tritriva, dramatically trapped inside a perfect volcanic cone. Search the rainforest for the Golden Bamboo lemurs, only discovered in 1987.
Descend from the high plateau to Ranohira and walk deep into Isalo National Park – Madagascar’s ‘Grand Canyon’ – to explore the sandstone massif, strangely eroded rocks and rare endemic plants.
See the carved and painted tombs of local tribes around Toliara, and enjoy time on the beach at Anakao, one of the finest snorkelling and diving spots in Madagascar.

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Tour Highlights:

  • Andasibe Reserve – rainforest walks and home of the Indri
  • Antsirabe – excursion to Lake Tritriva
  • Highland Scenery – rice paddies and villages
  • Ranomafana N. Park – rainforest walks and lemurs
  • Isalo National Park – the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Madagascar

Lemur tracking is on foot on well-maintained trails. Each walks usually lasts 2 to 3 hours.

Click here to request detailed itinerary

Tour Dates: Thursdays to March 2017

Tour Cost: from $2,700 per person sharing twin accommodation
Single Supplement from $400
Group Size: 10 – 16 passengers
Type of Accommodation: basic & standard hotels, lodge, local community house
Vehicles: bus, various walks, flights
Meals: 14 breakfasts, 7 dinners, 4 lunches

Contact Vancouver Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
for your Malagasy Experience!

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Rainforests, Waterways and Islands

8 Day Lemur and Beach Experience (AT-1)

This fascinating journey will not only satisfy your curiosity about the famous Lemurs. During walks through the rainforests you’ll discover many unusual creatures – such as the satanic leaf-tailed gecko – and enjoy a plethora of orchids, endemic plants and trees.
Learn about the Malagasy’s traditional way of life, as you travel by boat on the Pangalanes – a man-made channel and the main trade route along the east coast of Madagascar.
End your adventure on the tropical beaches of Île Sainte Marie for some well-deserved R&R.

Tour Highlights:

  • Andasibe Reserve – rainforest walk in the home of the Indri Indri Lemur
  • Voimma Reserve – eco project run by local tribes
  • Mantadia National Park– home to 14 Lemur species
  • Canal des Pangalanes – a fascinating journey through time
  • Akanin’ny Nofy Reserve – rainforest walk and more Lemurs
  • Île Sainte Marie – tropical island surrounded by beaches and reefs

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1: Antananarivo
On arrival in Tana (as the locals call their capital city), you will be met and transferred in a private vehicle to an intimate and freshly renovated boutique hotel, situated atop a hill close to the old Queen’s Palace in Madagascar. This prominent viewpoint looks out across the city and is the perfect spot from which to enjoy magnificent evening sunsets.

Day 2: Andasibe and Voimma Reserve
We start our journey along Route Nationale 2, the main commercial road of the country leading to the East coast. During our journey, we will see various landscapes of the highlands and small traditional villages perched on hill sides. A twisty, steep and lush portion of the road will announce that we are entering Andasibe, known for its Mantadia National Park, home of the primary and secondary forest.

At nightfall, pick up our headlamps and flashlights for a nocturnal walk in the rainforest of the Voimma Reserve. Villagers from Andasibe founded the reserve so they could manage their own land and be a part of ecotourism in this area.
Search for lemurs, listen to the countless frogs, or stumble upon several species of sleeping chameleons.  This is a place to find the unique satanic leaf-tailed gecko, and bizarre insects like the famous giraffe necked weevil.

Day 3: Mantadia National Park and Vakona Reserve
The primary forest of the Mantadia National Park spreads over 15 000 ha and is home to 14 species of lemurs, and many species of reptiles, including the Boa manditra snake, 84 species of amphibian and magnificent orchids. Some 108 bird species are known in the park, some playing a role in the survival of plants like Terpsiphone mutata.

Of all lemurs in the park, the Indri Indri – endemic to Madagascar, is the biggest and most prominent. Other species like Eulemur fulvus, Hapalemur griseus, the smallest lemur Microcebus and Lepilemurs can be also found.
Note: This hike requires medium to good physical conditions as there are some steep slopes and dense vegetation.

Vakona Reserve: an island surrounded by fresh water is home to various species of lemurs: common brown lemurs, bamboo lemurs, ruffed lemurs, diademed sifakas. This will be a rare opportunity to get up close and interact with these primates and take some amazing photos. Numerous crocodiles can also be found in one of the lakes of the reserve.

Day 4: Analamazaotra and Akanin’ny Nofy Reserves
In the Analamazaotra Special Reserve we will look for biggest lemur of Madagascar – the famous Indri Indri. During an easy hike of about 3 hours, we will also find other species of lemurs, birds, chameleons, as well as endemic flora such as orchids and medicinal plants.

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Leaving the reserve, we head east towards the coast and enter the Betsimisaraka region of Madagascar, the territory of the Merina tribe. As the landscape and vegetation changes, the Betsimisaraka people here have a different culture, architecture and crops.

Arriving at Lake Rasoabe, one of the great lakes of Madagascar, we board a speed boat and travel along the Canal des Pangalanes. The great lakes are linked by man-made channels to form a 600-kilometer long inland waterway. It was constructed during the early French colonial years of 1896-1904 and still dominates daily life in this region, as it provides the main source of trade, transport and travel.

Cruising by boat on the calm waters of Pangalanes is a fascinating journey through history. Many traditional Betsimisaraka villages can be seen along the banks, as well as pirogues (traditional dugout canoes), local fishermen, over-crowded ferries and rafts carrying timber to Tamatave.

Our destination is the Palmarium Ankanin’ny Nofy Reserve located on the shores of Lake Ampitabe on the east coast of Madagascar, and accessible only by boat. Home to a dozen species of lemurs, such as the Indri, Sifaka, Coronatus, Varecia, Variegata and Propithecus lemurs, this reserve hosts rare terrestrial and arboreal and endemic fauna, wonderful flora (orchids, carnivorous plants, ebony, mahogany, traveler trees) and the most beautiful palm trees.

Aye-aye Island: Later, enjoy a quiet ride on a pirogue along the Pangalanes Chanel to see the famous Aye-Aye monkeys, roaming free on an island.

Day 5:  Manambato – Tamatave
We navigate by boat along the Pangalanes Channel to Toamasina, the largest port in Madagascar. Commonly known as Tamatave, it is the capital of the Atsinanana region on the east coast of Madagascar on the Indian Ocean. Madagascar’s second largest city and the country’s largest port, it is the commercial hub, handling much of the island’s foreign trade.

A visit to the local markets is highly recommended.  At the Bazar-Bé (“Big market”) or Bazar kely (“Tiny market”) you can enjoy the vanilla, spices and clove fragrances, taste tropical fruits, such as litchis, mangoes, guavas, jackfruit, and check out the local handicrafts, like baskets made of Ravinala leaves.

Day 6:  Île Sainte Marie
Today we travel north by road to Mahambo, from where we will take the boat to Sainte Marie Island, the perfect place for a great beach vacation. This 57km long, narrow and lush tropical island is surrounded by beaches and reef.
The port of Ambodifotatra, on the west coast of the island, is the only sizeable town. To the south the shore is dotted with resorts, culminating in the small island of Île aux Nattes, a postcard tropical paradise, where one can easily imagine pirates coming ashore, treasure chests in tow.

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Day 7: Sainte Marie Island
Enjoy a day at leisure at the beach, or head to Île aux Nattes by pirogue and see the old lighthouse.
In contrast to the south, the northern half of the island is quite wild and perfect for exploration. Enjoy a buggy, quad or dirt bike ride through remote villages and along the unspoiled shoreline, culminating in the natural pools at the island’s northern tip.

Day 8: Antananarivo
After a last walk along the beach, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Antananarivo to connect with your onward journey.

END OF SERVICES

Tour Cost: from $2,790 per person sharing twin accommodation
Single Supplement from $500
Group Size: minimum 2 passengers
Type of Accommodation: boutique hotels, eco-lodges and beach resort
Vehicles: private vehicle, pirogue, boat, various walks, flight
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners

Contact Vancouver Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
for your Malagasy Experience!

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Madagascar2

8 Day Island-Hopping
around Nosy Be

Relax and enjoy a walk around the secluded and remote private beaches. Take pleasure in activities such as pirogue trips and snorkelling. Discover the Island of Lemurs (Nosy Komba); and take a day and night jungle walk to uncover the amazing wildlife in the Lokobe Nature Reserve.

Highlights:

  • Sakatia Island (including island walk and pirogue trip), Nosy Be, day excursion to Nosy Tanikely Marine reserve and Nosy Komba, day excursion to Lokobe Reserve.
  • Sea kayaking, Scuba diving, Quad biking available at extra cost.
  • Nosy Sakatia (Orchid Island) – a small tropical island situated off the northwest coast of Madagascar, is an unspoilt paradise only 1km west of Nosy Be. Sakatia Lodge offers a private beach, restaurant and bar.
  • Enjoy good snorkelling on the reef, pleasant walks and the use of pirogues and sea kayaks. Scuba diving and deep-sea fishing (sailfish) can also be booked from Sakatia Lodge.

Tour Dates: Tuesdays throughout the year (JS05)
Tour Cost: from US$1470 per person sharing
Single Supplement from US$460
Includes: all meals and transportation from Nosy Be

Contact Vancouver Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
for your Malagasy Experience!

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LaMichelineVikoViko

Madagascar Railroad Adventure

Since Madagascar – fourth largest island in the world – is famous for its spectacular nature and abundant wildlife, it is not surprising that a railroad trip is one of the best ways to experience and admire its beauty and variety of landscapes.

The journey will take you through cities, towns, villages including Antananarivo, Moramanga, Tamatave, Ambatondrazaka, Ambositra, Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao, Manakara, Ranomafana.

Highlights include night walks Andasibe National Park, reptile farms in Marozevo and Ranomafana National Park – well known for its vast wildlife and natural beauty.
En-route you will meet the local population and enjoy time with the train crew and tour guides, who are only too eager to share their knowledge of this gem of an Island with you.

The trains hold a special place in Madagascar’s history and offer a unique holiday experience. The adventure is undertaken by these three trains:-

La Micheline ‘Viko Viko’
The only operational one of 2 left in the world, this refurbished train is the revolutionary invention of the 30’s. With an average speed of 50 km/h it actually runs on rubber wheels along the track, is fitted with wicker chairs, bamboo flooring and a corner bar.

Dia Sora (‘Journey Good’) Train
The Dia Sora has 26 scheduled stops, each with the opportunity to meet and interact with the locals, who sell local products, souvenirs and foodstuffs at the stations.

The Jungle Express
This train runs on one of the steepest tracks in the world, crossing 67 bridges and travelling through 48 tunnels.

Get your camera ready… it’s a journey you’ll be talking about for a long time.

Back to African Train Journeys

Contact Africa Travel Expert
Christine Boecker
to plan your Malagasy Experience!

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TRΛVELBOECKER TΛILOR-MΛDE
– combing your personal preference with our expertise.
We create unique & authentic experiences
designed to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.

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