Great Madagascar Tours


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THE CLASSICAL RN7 TO BERENTY | 12 DAYS/ 11 NIGHTS


Tana; Antsirabe, Ranomafana, Fianarantsoa, Ranohira, Isalo, Tulear, Fort Dauphin & Berenty


Level:
Medium
Rating: Doable:
From April to December

Next Departure: May 05-16, 2018

REGISTER ON THIS GROUP


  • Handcraft in Antsirabe
  • Cameleon in Ramomafana Park
  • Isalo Natural windows
  • Ring-tailed Lemur
  • Sifaka Great Madagascar Tours
The Classical RN7 & Berenty map


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THE SPECIALIST


anja ANDRIANJATO

anja ANDRIANJATO

The specialist himself is on your services for more informations about this trip; available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.




 

PRIVATIZE THIS TOUR

Choose your own date
Travel with your family & friends
Optionally, tell us your comments or desired changes

Privatization possible from 2 persons




 

PLAN YOUR TRIP


 

OVERVIEW

This tour is going to make you discover the famous RN7 and makes you cross more of 950km. Beautiful landscapes; serpents’ hills, plains, rice fields, various ethnic groups; admiring their cultures and handcrafts (the Zafimaniry woodcarving in Ambositra; the Antemoro Papers and silks in Ambalavao and more other). Visiting the best of the national parks and reserve in Madagascar (Ranomafana N.P; Anja community reserve; Isalo; Zombitse N.P); crossing the amazing plateau of Horombe and see the majestic baobabs and the Mahafaly’s graves and its Aloalo and reaching Tulear. Fly to Fort Dauphin and reach Berenty reserve that is a magic place, it homes 115 species of plants, 83 varieties of birds among which the buzzard of Madagascar, the bird of paradise flycatcher, 6 species of “eutoxères” and 4 species of clinkers. It is the best place in Madagascar as well to see the dancing lemur. The Antandroy’s tribe museum before driving back to Fort Dauphin. Visit Nahampoana Natural Reserve which is an old botanical French Garden but you can spot Sifaka's and other lemurs. Fly back to Tana...The next day; learn about the history of Antananarivo and Madagascar by visiting Ambohimanga Kings Palace which is the second world heritage by UNESCO in Madagascar …

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Highlands Landscapes, the serpent’s hills, the plains, the rice fields
Highlands’ house architectural and its red bricks
The various ethnic groups, its cultures and arts ...
The national parks and reserve (Ranomafana, Anja and Isalo N.P)
Dry landscape of the most Southern part and the plateau of Horombe
The multicolored graves Mahafaly and its Aloalo The majestic Baobabs
The tropic of Capricorn and Tuléar
Discover the ethnic group Antandroy’s daily life and its cultures
Discover Berenty Private & Nahampoana reserves
Discover the dry vegetation of the Southern part
Ambohimanga Kings Palace (UNESCO SITE)

PRICE PER PERSON SHARING

From € 1,880/pax (MID-RANGE HOTEL OPTION)


The price indicated is per person sharing room (DBL or TWIN), it is based on 4 Persons + 1 private assistant/guide during the whole tour; if more, we will send you the final price at the confirmation.

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Includes:

Private Meet & greet
Return private transfers from/in airport/hotel
Private vehicle with a driver (Gasoline included)
The private tour guide (anja) English speaking durnig the whole tour
Accommodations in standard DOUBLE/TWIN room with private sanitary
The meals as specified
Entrance Parks/reserve and local guide fees
The internal flight ticket (Tulear/Fort Dauphin and Fort Dauphin/Antananarivo)
Taxes, VAT and handling fees

Excludes:

All international flight costs and visa fees or assistance unless otherwise specified .
Tips and personal expense and none specified items .
Travel insurance, it is a condition that all clients travelling with GMT+3 must have appropriate Travel insurance, including emergency medical evacuation cover .

JOINING TOUR ABROAD

12 days/11 nights: From Antananarivo to Antananarivo. This is a tailor-made wildlife safari and can be edited to suit your needs, wants and budget. Talk to our destination specialists to find out more about this trip and to get advice on whether it is the best one you’re your specific requirements and interests.

Day 1: Antananarivo

Meet and greet at Antananarivo international airport by GMT+3 Tour guide English speaking and then transfer to your hotel in Antananarivo city.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 2: Antananarivo – Antisrabe (170km +/- 3h)

After breakfast, depart for Antsirabe “Malagasy Vichy” by the famous national road number 7 through the typical landscape of the High land such as: rice fields in terraces, red brick houses with thatched roofs... First stop in Behenjy to taste the famous “foie gras” which is the specialty of this small town. Continue toward Ambatolampy to visit the craft aluminum foundry which produces cookware like pots, spoons, forks that makes its reputation. Nearby, other workshops are dedicated to produce "football games" featuring the best international football teams. Reach Antsirabe and upon arrival, check in at your hotel and then visit the city by vehicle of Rickshaw, discover the avenue place, its beautiful garden, rail station and the old post office. Continuation to Mr. Mamy and his workshop of miniaturized rickshaw, cars, and bicycles will amaze you. Visit in the same time Mrs. Maminirina and her zebus’ horn workshop that you are able to see demonstration how it makes. Finally day will be ended with the visit of the Malagasy’s candy shop manufactured by Mr. Marcel. After the visit, drive back to the hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 3: Antsirabe – Ranomafana (280km +/- 6h)

After breakfast, depart for Ambositra which is the capital of Malagasy wood crafts by the famous RN7 dominated by the green landscapes. Upon arrival, you are going to visit the some handcraft workshops to see craftsmen working, a marquetry and sculptures made from precious woods like Rosewood; Palissandre and Eben woods. Visit the finish products before having lunch. Continuation to reach Ranomafana National Park. Leave the highlands and enter the rainforest area. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and have a nocturnal walk before dinner

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Days 4: Ranomafana – Fianarantsoa (70km +/- 2h)

After breakfast, transfer to Ranomafana National Park to discover its fauna and flora. Visit the park and see a range of lemurs, including Bamboo Lemurs and the rare diademed sifaka, birds, orchids, chameleons, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife. After the visit, have lunch then visit the thermal town of Ranomafana before setting off towards Fianarantsoa. Upon arrival, visit the famous workshop of the photograph Mr. Pierrot Men and his black & white post card, tour the old town, and admire the beautiful colonial architecture and then check in at your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 5: Fianarantsoa – Ranohira (270km +/- 6h)

After breakfast, depart for Ranohira, via the colonial town of Ambalavao which is the capital of the wine in Madagascar; upon arrival, visit the vineyard cellar for tasting, continuation to the Antemoro paper made by Avoha” (tree of the same family as the mulberry) and silk factory handmade from the bark of boiled “embroidery and wild silk. A short walk to admire the old colonial houses with their famous veranda. We reach to the 2nd biggest zebus market in Madagascar (every Wednesday and Thursday before noon). Continuation and visit Anja reserve to see the famous lemurs in Madagascar (The ring tailed lemurs), you will discover in the same times endemic orchids; traditional tombs and caves. After the visit; reach Ihosy and crossing the high Plateau of Horombe, a landscape of open grassy plains will amaze you to. Upon arrival in Ranohira, we will visit 1st the natural windows of Isalo to see the sun set and then transfer back to the village and then check in at your hotel

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 6: Ranohira

After breakfast, transfer to the Park entrance to discover its fauna and its flora. Isalo massif is a plateau of continental stoneware’s dating the Jurassic. Strongly affected, the only batons split by the sandy valleys and the canyons live: a really exceptional show. You are going to begin the visit with the canyons of the monkeys and finish by the Namaza site. Enjoy the panoramic views, rice fields, cliffs made an incision by gorges. You will discover the Old royal village, royal surrounding wall, Kings Shower, Kings Graves, and Bara Graves. You will cross the luxuriant gorges, marked by its exceptional flora of the rain forest and by its numerous groups of Lemurs. You can see also birds, butterflies, lizards. Continue towards to the Namaza site, go up till the top (800m altitude) and have a beautiful spot view of Ranohira. Walk throughout the Canyon till Namaza site. After the visit, drive back to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 7: Ranohira – Tulear (250km +/- 4h)

After breakfast, departure for Tulear crossing the high plateau of Horombe, passing by the “Sapphire Village” of Ilakaka. Continue to Tulear through the desert landscape and see by the way some Mahafaly tombs with their Totems carved from Aloalo and the famous Baobabs.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 8: Tulear – Fort Dauphin – Berenty (30min flight & 80km +/- 3h)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Fort Dauphin. Upon arrival, you will be met and then departed to Berenty though our trip takes slightly longer due to a tire blowout that almost causes us to leave the road and get up close and personal with the spiny forest. The drive is interesting taking you from the mountainous tropical forests and rice paddies of Fort Dauphin through a transitional vegetation zone (with the rare triangular palms Neodypsis decary) to the flat, dry spiny forest that is unique to this part of Madagascar. Virtually every plant in this ecosystem is coated in thorns and is well adapted to retaining moisture that is so rare in this climate. Along the road we pass some small villages selling charcoal made from the spiny forest tree Alluaudia. Use of the spiny forest for charcoal is the biggest threat to this special ecosystem. Upon arrival, check in at your lodge

ACCOMMODATION: Berenty Forest Lodge | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Included | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 9: Berenty

After breakfast, visit berenty reserve which its large populations of Ringtails, Brown Lemurs and Verreaux’s’ Sifakas, the private Berenty Nature Reserve is probably the country’s best known protected area. The reserve contains nearly a third of the remaining tamarind gallery forest in Madagascar and is the best place on the island to see Ringtail Lemurs and Verreaux’s Sifakas. These large white lemurs are among nature’s most accomplished acrobats, hurling themselves across vast distances between the tamarind trees. In addition to lemurs, we may see civets and flying foxes (large fruit bats). The reserve is one of the best bird watching sites in the country with 83 different species, including nine birds of prey. In the evening, we have the exciting opportunity to go on a night walk in search of the nocturnal Grey Mouse and White-footed Lemurs. The reserve protects both spiny bush and dry tamarind woodland, along the Mandrare River. The guides are among the best in Madagascar, but it is easy (and permitted) to follow the broad trails on our own.

ACCOMMODATION: Berenty Forest Lodge | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Days 10: Berenty – Fort Dauphin (80km +/- 3h)

After breakfast, depart to join Fort Dauphin via Andoahela National Park. The extraordinary variety of habitats of this stunning national park is mirrored in the richness of species that are home here. 13 species of lemurs are found inside the Park, including the diurnal species Verreaux's Sifaka, ring-tailed lemur, collared brown lemur or Southern Lesser bamboo lemur. Birds (130 species), reptiles (67 species, including same extremely rare species of geckos, turtles and snakes) and amphibians (50 species) cohabit in the diverse ecosystems of Andohahela. Flora is as rich as fauna: more than thousand of plant species grow here. Some representative plants are the local endemic trihedral palm, the traveller tree (ravinala), the octopus tree and the dwarf baobab. After the visit; continuation to Fort Dauphin and check in at your hote.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Included | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 11: Fort Dauphin – Antananarivo (1h15 flight)

After breakfast, visit Nahampoana private, an old French botanical garden and research center well-maintained, formerly named Garden of Acclimatization, covers an area of 50 hectares. Good hiking trails wind through the vegetation typical of the east and south of Madagascar. Amongst the many exotic plants which can be found in the park are the Ravenala Palm, Pachypodium, Madagascar Pitcher Plant, Oil Palm, Canela Cinnamon, Lemon Eucalyptus, young Baobab Trees and the conifer Arokaria, as well as the Triangle Palm Tree which exists in Madagascar only around the area of Fort Dauphin. Every lemur species native to the south of Madagascar lives in this park. During the early morning hours various groups of lemurs, such as Verreaux's Sifaka, Ring-tailed Lemur or Brown Lemur, usually play in the trees and on the ground near the old colonial style building. Other animals in the park include chameleons, tortoises, crocodiles and a wide variety of birds. After the visit, transfer to the airport for your flight to Antananarivo. Transfer to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Included | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 12: Antananarivo

After breakfast, depart for Ambohimanga Kings Palace which is located at 22 km from Tana, it is the cradle of the Merina dynasty, the Mecca of the Merina Kingdom and the starting point for the unification of Imerina. This ancient royal city was reputed to be a sacred city where no foreigner could enter. There's a lot to admire in this place. From the entrance of the village, the old stone gate-shaped disc in the chamber, the royal box of Andrianampoinimerina, the summer palace of the queens, the Horse Park and sacred ponds. The enclosure is surrounded by a wall consisting mainly of egg whites in place of cement. The door to the east has "Ambatomitsangana" inscribed on it, and is actually a large stone disc 4m in diameter rolled closed every night and open every morning by dozens of men. After the visit, continuation to the Digue market, the place for handcrafts Malagasy that you will be able buy some souvenirs. Transfer to the airport for your international flight

ACCOMMODATION: On Request | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

WALKING GRADES & FITNESS

Grading is a somewhat difficult topic as much depends on the individual's own perception of his or her abilities. The following is intended as a general guide to our walking grades. This tour is rated medium so everyone can join it. We will usually involve easy walks (2 to 6 hours/day) at low altitudes (below 2000m). Some previous hill walking experience would be beneficial but these walks should be within the capabilities of those who lead a normal active life.

WE ONLY USE THE MID-RANGE HOTELS FOR THIS TRIP

DAYS CITY LUXURY MID-RANGE BUDGET
1  Antananarivo -  Sakamanga Hotel -
2  Antsirabe -  H1 Hotel -
3  Ranomafana -  Grenat Hotel -
4  Fianarantsoa -  Zomatel -
5 & 6  Ranohira -  H1 Hotel -
7  Tulear -  Serena Hotel -
8 & 9  Berenty -  Berenty Forest Lodge -
10  Fort Dauphin -  Lavasoa Hotel -
11  Antananarivo -  Sakamanga Hotel -
12  Antananarivo - - -

Most of the hotels in Madagascar do not have the standard internationnal level, except some hotels in Antananarivo, Sainte Marie and Nosy Be but GMT+3 guarantees to find you the best hotels and accommodation for your budget. We will supply all of the necessary details for you to prepare your holidays and have a memorable stay in each hotel. Please note that in Madagascar, there is only one 5 star hotel, which is the Carlton Hotel in Antananarivo,. Once you leave the capital, the ranges of hotels are varied.

GMT+3 LUXURY (hotels/Lodges/guest house/Camping)

Wherever you stay in Madagascar, we will guarantee to find comfortable hotels, lodges or guesthouses with twin or single rooms and en suite facilities. Our hotels have air-conditioning/heating where appropriate and reliable hot and cold water. They generally have a very good level of service and mosthaveadded amenities such as a restaurant, bar, gardens or swimming pool.

GMT+3 MID-RANGE (hotels/Lodges/guest house/Camping)

These hotels usually have twin or single rooms with en suite facilities. They are generally standard, no-frills hotels with adequate amenities and service standards. Whilst comfort levels are perfectly acceptable to most, please don’t expect too much! These are often small, family-run establishments

GMT+3 BUDGET (hotels/Lodges/guest house/Camping)

These accommodations may be communal or dorm-style, and WC / washing facilities are usually shared. Running hot and cold water may be unreliable or even unavailable. However, these can be the most rewarding and memorable places to stay, despite the comfort levels being low.

SAINTE MARIE

Sainte Marie Island (Nosy Boraha) is situated on the East Coast of Madagascar. The most Beach tourist place after Nosy Be and known by its kilometrical sandy beaches shaded by coconut palms, bays and coves protected by coral reefs. Please note that the best beaches are located in the northern; western and in Islet aux Nattes. In the same time, you will like its lush vegetation and animals. In winter (from June to the end of September) the humpback whales (Megaptera) are present around Madagascar but the best place to spot is in Sainte Marie Island …

HOW TO GET THERE ?

Location: You need to return in Antananarivo first and then take the flight from Antananarivo to Sainte Marie or continuation to Tamatave and then to Soanierana Ivongo + speed boat to Sainte Marie.
Transportation: by plane; vehicle & Speed boat

NOSY BE

Nosy Be island lying about 5 miles (8 km) off the northwestern shore of Madagascar. The name means “Big Island.” It is 19 miles (30 km) long, 12 miles (19 km) wide, and has an area of about 120 square miles (310 square km). Formed by volcanoes, the island is forested and has numerous craters and crater lakes. Its highest point is Mount Passot (1,079 feet [329 metres]). It has an annual rainfall of 78–118 inches (1,975–3,000 mm). The island’s products, chiefly sugar and oils for perfumery, also include rum, vanilla, black pepper, and bitter oranges. Nosy Be is the top beach destination in Madagascar with its surrounding islands remain paradise in the buff. A lot of activiies are available to make your holidays more Unforgettable .

HOW TO GET THERE ?

Take a flight from Antananarivo to Nosy Be

YOU CAN MIX WITH THE FOLLOWING TOURS

GENERAL INFO

Area: 594,180 sq km.
Population: 23,129,189.
Language: French, Malagasy.
Religion: Christian, Muslim.
Local Time: GMT +3
Electric Supply & Plugs: 220V, 50Hz, two pin round plug.
Recommended Maps: Freytag & Berndt 1:2,000,00 Madagascar.
Recommended Books: Bradt Guide: Madagascar, Dervla Murphy: Muddling through Madagascar, G. Durrell: The Aye-aye and I, D. Attenborough: Zoo Quest to Madagascar, I. Sinclair: Birds of the IndianOcean Islands, I. Tattersall: The Primates of Madagascar.

SEASON & CLIMATE

The climate is tropical, but very cold in the highlands (dropping as low as 5°C at night in July/August in Antananarivo). The dry season is March to October continuing into November in most areas. The southwest area is hot, dry and semi-arid. November (spring) is generally the best time for wildlife and birds, but lemurs can be viewed all year round. Additional information and climate charts can be accessed here.

The western coast of Madagascar is much drier than the eastern coast. In general, we can say the climate here is dry tropical. During the dry months between May and November it does not rain at all and the temperatures are pleasant (20 to 25°C on average). Between December and April it can rain torrentially or just a couple of showers, depending on the area and the year. The northern area is greener and indeed considerably wetter than the south. The hottest months are March, April, November and December, when the average temperature is 30° C or even more.

FORMALITIES

VISA REQUIRMENTS:

The visa is always free for an holidays less than month and subject to change. We will confirm you before your arrival. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of return.

All visitors must obtain a tourist visa (maximum duration 3 months).
This costs approximately 60.00 Euro per person and can be obtained in any Madagascar Embassy or upon arrival at the international airports of Antananarivo, Diego Suarez, and Nosy Be or in Tamatave (Toamasina). Return International flight tickets.

VACCINATIONS & PROTECTIONS:

Please consult your doctor when planning your journey: Malaria is present in most parts of Madagascar. Some form of anti malarial is recommended. Always use mosquito repellent and avoid being bitten. Vaccinations against tetanus, cholera and yellow fever are recommended. Bring your usual medicines because they may not be available in Madagascar.
In top Urgency, GMT+3 works with specialist doctors to assure and assist you before your evacuation.

INSURANCE:

We recommend you to see a Travel insurance to secure your holidays in Madagascar. You must take your policy document with you on tour and it should state in writing that you are the named policyholder and that the cover is valid for your period of travel. Your policy document must also indicate that you have medical expenses and emergency repatriation cover and a 24-hour contact telephone number for your Insurance Company must be shown on your documentation in case of emergency.

MONEY

CREDIT CARDS & TRAVELERS CHEQUES:

Credit cards are still not used widely in Madagascar. However, they are accepted in big cities, international hotels and in the banks of all cities. You will find ATMs in most main cities, where you can withdraw Ariary. VISA and MASTERCARD are most commonly accepted cards. It is also useful to bring some Travelers Cheques or cash in Euros or US dollars. AMERICAN EXPRESS is seldom accepted outside of Antananarivo. Please note that $100 date 1996 bills are not accepted (better from 2006 dated)

TIPPING:

Tips are expected for most services. The size of the tip depends on your satisfaction but 5 to 10 % is an acceptable level. We suggest that you plan on average 10 Euros per person per day for a guide. Remember that wages are very low in Madagascar so be careful not to over tip and create unreasonable expectations for other travelers

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT TO BRING

LUGGAGES:

Unfortunately it does occasionally happen that luggage does not always reach its destination on the same flight as its owner, or possibly it may be damaged in transit. If you are unlucky enough for this to occur, it is important that you file a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) with the airline before leaving the airport. This is essential when you come to make a claim either against the airline or from your travel insurance company. Please note that 20kg per person is allowed for the internal flight.

CLOTHING:

Given the variations of day and night temperature, and the changes of altitude between the highlands and the coast, we recommend that you dress in layers. Bring light clothes but have additional layers (fleece, pullover, jacket, windbreaker or raincoat). Make sure you have long sleeves and long trousers to protect against mosquitoes in early morning and dusk.

PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT:

On each tourt a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the tour leader. See the list in the General Information Booklet for more information. A good pair of sunglasses is essential for protection against UV rays and glare at high altitudes. Sun Hat, High Factor Sun Cream/Block & Lip Salve.
Choose a high factor sun cream (Factor 30 or more) to protect your skin against the sun at high altitudes. A combination sun block/ lip salve are ideal for facial protection. A head torch is essential for NOCTURNAL visit. Remember to bring some spare batteries and a bulb. Sun screen and insect repellent. Make sure you have enough camera film and spare batteries, as both are difficult to obtain locally. Bring a beach towel and swimming costume.