Popular Routes – Madagascar

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Insight guide to Madagascar.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Philip is the author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.

Popular Routes in Madagascar

Popular Routes Where Wildlife Viewing Is a Major Part of the Tour

Madagascar is deceptively large and the roads are quite bad. Therefore, many tour itineraries include at least one domestic flight. It is impossible to include all of Madagascar’s highlights in one trip. Most people will choose between the north or the south of the island, but with internal flights and enough time, you could combine both.

Southern Madagascar (1.5 to 2 weeks)

This popular itinerary takes in some of the main highlights of Madagascar. Andasibe-Mantadia NP can be done at the beginning or the end as it is a side trip from the capital city Antananarivo, your point of entry to the country.

Destinations:

  • Andasibe-Mantadia NP (3 to 4 days) is home to the most sought-after of all lemur species, the indri.
  • Antsirabe (1 day) is a vibrant highland town and perfect place to break up the journey south.
  • Ranomafana NP (2 to 3 days) is a biodiversity hot spot with 12 lemur species present in rolling hills of thickly vegetated rainforest.
  • Anja Community Reserve (1/2 day) is a community-managed eco tourist site and protects a large population of ring-tailed lemurs.
  • Isalo NP (2 to 3 days) is a prime dry-country hiking destination and a photographer’s dream.
  • Ifaty (2 to 3 days) is a beach destination ideal for ending the tour with some swimming, snorkeling and relaxation.


Popular add-ons:

  • Nosy Be for an idyllic island resort experience.
  • Avenue des Baobabs and Kirindy Forest to see the elusive fossa.

Northern Madagascar (1.5 to 2 weeks)

After arriving in Antananarivo at Ivato International Airport (TNR) you take a scheduled flight to Antsiranana, also known as Diego Suarez. The itinerary takes in rainforest hikes, the tsingy of Ankarana and beach relaxation on Nosy Be.

Destinations:

  • Antsiranana (1 to 2 days) is steeped in French colonial history and is the base for the popular day trip covering the three bays.
  • Amber Mountain National Park (2 to 3 days) is a magnificent rainforest with waterfalls and crater lakes.
  • Ankarana Special Reserve (3 to 4 days) protects a limestone plateau eroded to form tsingy.
  • Nosy Be (3 to 4 days) is a paradise island and Madagascar’s most popular beach destination.


Popular add-ons:

  • Andasibe-Mantadibe National Park for seeing more lemur species including the teddy bear look-alike indri.
  • Ile Sainte Marie for a more off-the-beaten-track beach and island retreat, and a chance to see humpback whales in season.

Exclusive Madagascar (1 to 2 weeks)

This itinerary is centered on two exclusive properties offering all-inclusive experiences in rustic luxury accommodation with excellent service and guiding. Transport to and from the properties is also part of the package.

Destinations:

  • Antsiranana (1 to 2 days) is a great base for the day trip covering the three bays and is brimming with history.
  • Ifotaka Forest (3 to 4 days) is the setting for Mandrare River Camp offering loads of activities including lemur viewing.
  • Sainte Luce Reserve (3 to 4 days) and Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge for bush, beach and cultural activities.


Popular add-ons:

  • Andasibe-Mantadibe National Park for seeing the cuddly looking indri and other lemur species.
  • Avenue des Baobabs and Kirindy Forest to see the rare fossa.

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