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Adult (Age 0+)

South Circuit - Classic Tour Route: Route 7, Anja, Isalo Mountains, Desert Dunes, and Baobabs

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Duration: 13 days
Product code: 5007
Overview

After meeting with your driver‐guide we will hit the road to the north part of the capital to Ambohimanga or Blue Hill, where the old summer palace of the last monarch is settled. This one-of-a-kind cultural heritage site is considered to be the spot of unification of the Imerina kingdom. At the capture of Antananarivo in 1794, the famous 12 sacred hills of the Imerina country became unified and directed by one and the only king: Andrianampoinimerina. Originally born in Ambohimanga, he decided to establish his summer palace in the city, and at death, he was buried there. The ex-royal city was considered as sacred and forbidden to any foreigner. This situation changed in 1897 when Gallieni decided to transfer all the powers to Antananarivo.

We will spend the night in the valley town of Antsirabe. On the way to Antsirabe we will stop in small towns and highlands villages like Ambatolampy, the third highest point of the island which is up in the great Ankaratra hills. We will visit the Vichy Malagasy; this modest-sized, scenic cultural town is known for its thermal springs. The city economically burst at the arrival of the Norwegian missionaries, who developed pastures thanks to the fresh air, altitude, and climate. The French developed a thermal complex along the Ranomafana lake, where the buildings still remain. Walk through rice fields, encounter peasants and their daily work and life.

Explore Ranomafana Rainforest, situated in the south‐eastern highlands. We will stop in Ambositra, noted primarily for the master woodcarvers and furniture manufacturing. The Zafimaniry Capital is a veritable work of art, with shutters and walls carved in geometric designs. Discover Ranomafana, your rainforest expedition and a veritable and unparalleled open-air museum various wildlife and endemic plants in Ramanofana's immense emerald, misty tree canopy, stretching over miles like a green ocean. Make a night walk along the National Park to meet some nocturnal species of fauna such as the Microcebus, or Lemur Mouse the tiniest primate, but also the biggest carnivore in Madagascar - The Fosa or Cryptoprocta Ferox. These are just a few of the famous inhabitants among thousands of unique animals birds and plants that call Ramanofana rainforest home. The possibility of other visits depending on the timing: the park museum and education centre are also a free option, and if open, the thermal pool (hot springs).

We will take you to the National Park. Discover more of Ranomafana national park, characterized by its unmistakably spectacular rain forest, lying at an altitude of 800 to 1200 meters. It was created in 1990; thanks to the discovery in 1986 of the “golden bamboo lemur” (his scientific name is Hapalemur Aureus). This particular and amazing species of lemur has strange eating habits and can’t be seen anywhere else. Apart from this, you hunt through the woods in search of other species such as the red‐fronted brown lemur, Red‐bellied lemur, and the shy Grey bamboo lemur. Ranomafana appears on all Madagascar birding itineraries, and with good reason: many of the rainforest-dwelling endemics occur in the park. Frequently-seen specials include the nationally rare Brown mesite, the lovely Blue coua, Grey‐crowned tetraka, the peculiar Velvet asity, and the diminutive Common Sunbird-asity. Ranomafana is a holy grail of herpetology as well, with a variety of chameleons, geckoes, skinks, snakes, and frogs being spotted frequenting the humid rainforest. The floral diversity is bewildering, with numerous species of palm, bamboo, and orchid thriving in the sea of green. Note that trails are steep and when it rains, they can also be muddy. When driving to Ambalavao we will pass through Fianarantsoa, the capital of the Betsileo tribe. We will visit the old city of Fianar, (classified by UNESCO). Keep on driving to reach the small town of Ambalavao, our staff favourite, and also renowned as the town of wine lands. You can find there the biggest open market of Zebu (the Malagasy species of cattle) every Wednesday.

After a walk in the private park of Anja, which is owned by the villagers and benefits the local community while saving countless (cute) ringtail lemurs, that are extremely friendly and known to even hang out with the guests, you will be able to approach the famous Maki or Lemur Catta easily. This maki is characterized by its ringed tail and appearance in lots of cartoon movies.

Visit the National Park of Isalo, the coolest geology of the island. Ruins form rocks wildly carved by the wind and the rain give Isalo strange, ghostly shapes as if from another planet. Choose on the spot which way to drive (It is all a great direction!) by following your local guide advice and your sense of discovery! A lot of tours are proposed depending on your physical capacity and curiosity on foot too, but today, Isalo is your playground.

Explore the Zombitse National Park. We’ll leave Ranohira and pass by the new village of Ilakaka which has experienced rapid demographic increase because of the existence of Sapphire mines and other mining exploration. On the route we will visit Zombitse National Park and also see baobabs and the funerary art of the southern ethnicities, represented in typical tombs (“fasambezo”) encircled by erotic funerary carvings, to express life and fertility of the deceased. Take the sandy track to Sarodrano to see the mangroves and some marvellous coral rag scrub habitat with large and bloated Moringa trees.

Go on a sightseeing city tour of Tulear, the capital of Vezo Tribe. Then, take the track to join Ifaty, a fishermen's village scattered with famous Madagascar. Baobabs standing proud like alien monoliths guarding the coastline. On the route, you will visit the Baobab forest where you can find different kinds of endemic plants especially those which are typical to the south region. Observe also several other types of Baobab: like the Reniala one. Transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day at leisure. We strongly advise our clients against the visit of the shells market. The shells and coral displayed are the result of massive destruction of the coral reef around Tulear and Ifaty. By any show of interest, you shall encourage pillage. Please kindly stay away, for the good of our island.

 

Highlights
  • Visit the old summer palace of Ambohimanga or Blue Hill
  • Visit the Old city Antananarivo
  • Ride along the famous National Route 7
  • Visiting Antsirabe or the Vichy Malagasy
  • Trekking through the countryside of Antsirabe
  • Drive to Ranomafana Rainforest
  • See the amazing species of lemur
  • Visit the old city of Fianar
  • See the small town of Ambalavao
  • Meet the famous Maki or Lemur Catta
  • A visit Zombitse National Park
Good to Know
  • Scheduling Scheduling: Shared Tour
  • Languages offered on the Activity / TourLanguages offered on the Activity / Tour: English
  • Duration Duration: 13 days
  • Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Pick-up service Pick-up service
    You will be collected from the airport.
  • Easy Cancellation Easy Cancellation
    There is no cancellation fee once Customers Cancel at least 7 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
    There is 50% cancellation fee for Customers to Cancel 3 and 6 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
    There is 100% cancellation fee for Customers to Cancel 2 day(s) prior to the date of the activity or tour.
  • On Request On Request
  • Cut-off TimeCut-off Time
    Available to be booked until 2 days before the tour starts. We reserve the option to confirm the tour or not due to availability.
Inclusions
  • English-speaking guides
  • Entrance Fees
  • Accomodation and breakfast
  • Airport Transfers
Exclusions
  • Personal expenses
  • Food, drinks and any other service not specified
  • Gratuities
Itinerary
Days

Arrival from your International flight at the airport of Ivato. Customs formalities, then meet our staff.
Drive to the city centre for about 30 minutes to your hotel. Accommodation in a local bed and breakfast hotel.

  • Accommodation :

After breakfast at the hotel. Meet with your driver‐guide then hit the road to the north part of the capital to Ambohimanga or Blue Hill, where the old summer palace of the last monarch is settled. This one-of-a-kind cultural heritage site is considered to be the spot of unification of the Imerina kingdom. At the capture of Antananarivo in 1794, the famous 12 sacred hills of the Imerina country became unified and directed by one and the only king: Andrianampoinimerina. Originally born in Ambohimanga, he decided to establish his summer palace in the city, and at death, he was buried there. The ex-royal city was considered as sacred and forbidden to any foreigner. This situation changed in 1897 when Gallieni decided to transfer all the powers to Antananarivo. Lunch in a restaurant on the overlook spot. Return to Antananarivo in the afternoon. Visit the Old city, situated on the highest hill in the capital city. Visit the Queens Palace. Return to the hotel at the end of the afternoon.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up and departure South along the famous National Route 7. Fist stop where you spend the night in the valley town of Antsirabe. Stops en route in small towns and highlands villages like Ambatolampy, the third highest point of the island which up in the great Ankaratra hills. Have lunch then continue on to Antsirabe in the afternoon. Short sightseeing tour by car or by rickshaw. Transfer to your hotel.

  • Breakfast

Day fully dedicated to visiting Antsirabe or the Vichy Malagasy This modest-sized, scenic cultural town is known for its thermal springs. The city economically burst at the arrival of the Norwegian missionaries, who developed pastures thanks to the fresh air, altitude, and climate. The French developed a thermal complex along the Ranomafana lake, where the buildings still remain. Meet with your local guide and transfer by car to the trailhead for trekking through the countryside of Antsirabe. Walk high through rice fields, encounter peasants and their daily work and life. Drive to Tritriva and Andraikiba crater lakes to hear the fascinating history about them. Back to the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Ranomafana Rainforest, situated in the south‐eastern highlands. Stop in Ambositra, noted primarily for the master woodcarvers and furniture manufacturing. The Zafimaniry Capital is a veritable work of art, with shutters and walls carved in geometric designs. Lunch on the way.
Arrival in Ranomafana, your rainforest expedition and a veritable and unparalleled open-air museum various wildlife and endemic plants in Ramanofana's immense emerald, misty tree canopy, stretching over miles like a green ocean. Make a night walk along the National Park to meet some nocturnal species of fauna such as the Microcebus, or Lemur Mouse the tiniest primate, but also the biggest carnivore in Madagascar - The Fosa or Cryptoprocta Ferox. These are just a few of the famous inhabitants among thousands of unique animals birds and plants that call Ramanofana rainforest home. The possibility of other visits depending on the timing: the park museum and education centre are also a free option, and if open, the thermal pool (hot springs).

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer by car from the hotel to the National Park entrance. Discover more of Ranomafana national park, characterized by its unmistakably spectacular rain forest, lying at an altitude of 800 to 1200 meters. It was created in 1990; thanks to the discovery in 1986 of the “golden bamboo lemur” (his scientific name is Hapalemur Aureus). This particular and amazing species of lemur has strange eating habits and can’t be seen anywhere else. Apart from this, you hunt through the woods in search of other species such as the RRed‐fronted brown lemur, Red‐bellied lemur, and the shy Grey bamboo lemur. Ranomafana appears on all Madagascar birding itineraries, and with good reason: many of the rainforest-dwelling endemics occur in the park. Frequently-seen specials include the nationally rare Brown mesite, the lovely Blue coua, Grey‐crowned tetraka, the peculiar Velvet asity, and the diminutive Common Sunbird-asity. Ranomafana is a holy grail of herpetology as well, with a variety of chameleons, geckoes, skinks, snakes, and frogs being spotted frequenting the humid rainforest. The floral diversity is bewildering, with numerous species of palm, bamboo, and orchid thriving in the sea of green. Note that trails are steep and when it rains, they can also be muddy. After lunch drive to Ambalavao by passing through Fianarantsoa the capital of the Betsileo tribe. You will visit the old city of Fianar, (classified by UNESCO). Keep on driving to reach the small town of Ambalavao, our staff favourite, and also renowned as the town of wine lands. You can find there the biggest open market of Zebu (the Malagasy species of cattle) every Wednesday. Transfer straight to your hotel at your arrival.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Breakfast at the hotel. Start the day with a walk in the private park of Anja, which is owned by the villagers and benefits the local community while saving countless (cute) ringtail lemurs, that are extremely friendly and known to even hang out with the guests! You can find there and approach easily the famous Maki or Lemur Catta, the emblem of this region but also of the country. This maki is characterized by its ringed tail and appearance in lots of cartoon movies. After the visit, drive to Ranohira. Lunch on the way. Leave behind the highlands once we get over the “Porte du Sud” (Gate of the South), a rock structure crossing the Plateau of Horombe. Arrival late in the afternoon.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

You will have a full day to visit the National Park of Isalo, the coolest geology of the island. Ruins form rocks wildly carved by the wind and the rain give Isalo strange, ghostly shapes as if from another planet. Choose on the spot which way to drive (It is all a great direction!) by following your local guide advice and your sense of discovery! A lot of tours are proposed depending on your physical capacity and curiosity on foot too, but today, Isalo is your playground. Picnic lunch inside the park. Return on foot to parking where the vehicle is waiting for you. Enjoy a beautiful sunset during an aperitif. Back to the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Zombitse National Park. We’ll leave Ranohira and pass by the new village of Ilakaka which has experienced rapid
demographic increase because of the existence of Sapphire mines and other mining exploration. On the route we will visit Zombitse National Park and also see baobabs and the funerary art of the southern ethnicities, represented in typical tombs (“fasambezo”) encircled by erotic funerary carvings, to express life and fertility of the deceased. Take the sandy track to Sarodrano to see the mangroves and some marvellous coral rag scrub habitat with large and bloated Moringa trees. Drive back and transfer to your hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Breakfast at the hotel. Leave the hotel and make a sightseeing city tour of Tulear, the capital of Vezo Tribe. Then, take the track to join Ifaty, a fishermen's village scattered with famous Madagascar. Baobabs standing proud like alien monoliths guarding the coastline. On the route, you will visit the Baobab forest where you can find different kinds of endemic plants especially those which are typical to the south region. Observe also several other types of Baobab: like the Reniala one. Transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day at leisure. We strongly advise our clients against the visit of the shells market. The shells and coral displayed are the result of massive destruction of the coral reef around Tulear and Ifaty. By any show of interest, you shall encourage pillage. Please kindly stay away, for the good of our island. After your installation at the hotel, Our Staff (driver-guide) shall leave you and start his way back to Tana the day after.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

A day of leisure. Also, the Possibilities of many activities to peruse and pay for all guests discretion. Tulear has adventure sports and outdoor activities, watersports, lots of clubs and cafes, and more.

  • Breakfast
  • Accommodation :

Meet at your hotel then transfer by 4-wheel drive (4x4) to the airport of Tulear, depending on the flight schedules. Check‐in and flight to Tana. Welcome by our staff, after which you will have a car at your disposal for the last visit to Tana and any shopping for buying souvenirs. Lunch in Tana or in Tulear.

  • Breakfast

Return to the airport in the evening or for flight departure time.

  • Breakfast
Meeting Point
Your meeting point will be disclosed upon confirmation booking.

Know Before You Go
  • Please include your pick-up details when making your booking.
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