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20 DAYS WHALE MIGRATION TOUR THE BEST OF MADAGASCAR

INTRODUCTION

This tour is exclusively offered in the months of July, August and September because of the Whale season. The tour takes you through the highlands of Madagascar with Isalo NP and Ranomafana NP. You will travel East to the rainforest Andasibe NP and enjoy a unique experience on Canal de Pangalanes where you will track the rare Aye Aye. End your tour on the Pirate Island of St Marie where you will track the Humpback whales.

This tour is complete tour of all the highlights of Madagascar and more.

Combine the flora and fauna of Madagascar with the seasonal migration of Humpbackwhales on the pirate island of Ile St.

Marie! Travel time: July - August - September

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humpback whales on St Marie Island
  • Ranomafana and Andasibe N.P.
  • Canal de Pangalanes

Day 1: Welcome to Madagascar!

On arrival at the airport of Antananarivo your driver/guide will pick you up from the airport and take you to a cozy guesthouse on the outskirts of town. Susie’s Place recently opened and in a quiet neighborhood nearby the airport.

Journey Time: 15 minutes from airport

Accommodation: Susie's place

Meal Plan: No meals inclusive today

Day 2: Domestic flight to Tulear

An early flight will take you to the southwest coast to Tulear. You are now at the coast of Canal de Mozambique. You driver/guide will take you to Caliente Beach lodge where you will be able to rest after your long journey and enjoy the sea breeze. Your bungalow has an amazing sea view!

Journey Time: 4 hours

Accommodation: Caliente Beach lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 3 & 4: Isalo N.P.

A half day drive will take you to the Grand Canyon of Madagascar, Isalo National Park. This landscape is an amazing mix of deep canyons, green oases, sandstone formations and plains. Here the history of earth is close to you.

The next two days are there to enjoy this beautiful area. On day 4 you will be in the park all day. With a professional local guide you will cross Isalo by foot. Don’t forget to bring your swimming costume to be able to dive in one of the natural pools. Lunch will be inclusive in the walk.

Journey Time: 4 hours (on day 3)

Accommodation: Ranche 'd Isalo

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 5 & 6: Tsaranoro hiking

Today you will drive further North on the RN7. You will enjoy many short stops on the way to see a glips of Malagasy culture. Soon you will turn on a sandroad, leading to the Tsaranoro Valley, where you will stay in a lodge in the middle of the valley overlooking the great Andringitra Massif.

On day 6 you can choose one of the many hikes through the valley. Every guided walk will give you incredible views and plenty of Madagascar’s wildlife.

Journey Time: 4 hours

Accommodation: Betsileo Country Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 7: To Ranomafana N.P.

After breakfast you will travel to Ranomafana National Park. This park is without doubt the most popular national park of Madgascar.

In the afternoon you can enjoy the pool filled with hot water from the nearby hot springs or go to the spa. You will sleep in the comfortable thatched en-suite rooms of Centrest Hotel. The hotel is located 30 minutes from the starting point for tomorrow’s activities.

Journey Time: 4 hours

Accommodation: Centrest Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 8: Ranomafana N.P.

Ranomafana national park became a national park after the discovery of a new Lemur species called the Golden Bamboo Lemur which is critically endangered. The rainforest has unique flora and fauna with 12 species of Lemurs, 118 bird species of which 30 only exist in Ranomafana national park.

The name literally translates in the local Malagasy language to “warm water“, there are several hot water springs in the national park! This park is famous for its 12 different species of Lemures which you will be able to spot. You will also be able to see the ruffed Sifaka and many different chameleons and geckos.

Today you will have all the time to spot different species of lemurs. There are 5 different tracks that you can explore with a professional guide. The walks start early morning and depending on your fitness you can choose the track which is right for you.

Don’t miss the evening night walk in along the park to see the nocturnal animals, like the mouse lemur, chameleon, gecko and the Treefrog.

Journey Time: Depending On The Activity

Accommodation: Centrest Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 9 & 10: To Antsirabe

A long but scenic drive will take you to the colorful town of Antsirabe. On the way you will see the scenery changing to farm lands where primarily rice is grown by the local people. You will have the possibility to pay a short visit to one of the best duck liver producers in the country, and taste this delicacy.

In Antsirabe you will see more of the Malagasy way of life. You can enjoy a ride through the town on a pousse-pousse. The pousse-pousse (translated literally “push push”) are the local bikes for Antsirabe. You can also enjoy a drink on one of the local terraces. You will spend the night in Antsirabe town. There are plenty of good restaurants in town to enjoy the local cuisine.

On day 10 you will visit a beautiful crater lake with and have the possibility to walk on the country side of Madagascar and see the local way of life.

Journey Time: 5 hours

Accommodation: Coulour Cafe

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 11: To Andasibe N.P.

After a good night sleep and a good breakfast you will start your journey eastwards. The drive will take about 8 hours. On the way you will have the possibility to have a pick-nick stop and pay a visit to Peyrieras Reptile Reserve. This reptile farm as a large collection of Chameleons, geckos and frogs. Here you will be able to see most of the reptiles that you will look for in the forests during the rest of your tour and take good pictures of them.

After this visit you will continue to Andasibe National park. The coming two nights you will spend in the mid-range Andasibe Hotel.

Journey Time: 8 hours

Accommodation: Andasibe Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 12: Andasibe N.P.

Andasibe national park is the habitat of the biggest lemur in the world, the Indri-Indri. You will take an exciting walk in the national park with a professional guide looking for these very special creatures. You will be amazed by the impressive sound the Indri Indri make to communicate with each other. You will probably also see the Bamboo Lemur, Brown lemur and the largest chameleon, the Parsons Chameleon.

In the evening you can go for an nocturnal walk around the forest to spot the nocturnal animals, like the Mouse lemur and the Sportive lemur and different species of Chameleons and Frogs.

Journey Time: Depending on the walk

Accommodation: Andasibe Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 13: Canal de Pangalanes

After a good breakfast your driver/guide will take you to the starting point of an amazing boat ride on Canal de Pangalanes! Here you will say goodbye to your guide and board the comfortable boat.

The 600 kilometres Pangalanes canal is a labyrinth of hundreds of kilometers of lakes, lagoons and small creeks connected through man-dug canals. The Canal was constructed for transportation and is still being used for this purpose today. During the Colonial rule of France the canal was used to transporting crops and goods from the southern farm lands to the harbor of Tamatave. Discover lush vegetation like palm trees, pandanus, the "elephant ears" of the mangroves, and the Ravinala tree also known as travelers tree. It makes an interesting boat ride to see authentic fishing villages on the way and discover the real Madagascar from the comfort of the boat.

You will spend the coming two nights in a bungalow camp called Palmarium Hotel. The camp overlooks the lake and the comfortable thatched bungalows will make you feel right at home. At the restaurant they serve both international and traditional Malagasy dishes.

Journey Time: 3 hours drive, 1 hour by boat

Accommodation: Palmarium

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 14: Aye Aye tracking

Today you will visit the special private reserve where you will do the Aye Aye tracking. The Palmarium Ankanin'ny Nofy reserve is located on 50 hectares island on Lake Ampitabe and connecting with the Indian Ocean. Accompanied by a guide you will discover the species of the island. A dozen species of Lemurs playing in full freedom in the reserve like Indri, Sifaka, Coronatus, Varecia, variegata, Propithecus. The rare Aye Aye is found in this reserve! This must be the strangest looking animal on Madagascar.

Journey Time: 30 minutes

Accommodation: Palmarium

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 15: To Tamatave

In the morning you will board the boat again to complete the final stretch of 4 hours on Canals de Pangalanes. The end point is the largest harbor of Madagascar, Tamatave also known as Taomasina!

You will stay in Palm resort in one of the standard rooms with en-suite bathroom. This resort has a swimming pool as well. From here you will depart tomorrow for your flight to Il Saint Marie!

Journey Time: 3 hours

Accommodation: Palm Resort

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 16: To St Marie Island

A domestic flight will take you to Ile saint Marie island or Nosy Boraha. Traditionally known as “Island of the pirates”. It is separated from mainland Madagascar by a narrow channel and remains a small green paradise preserved from mass tourism. This island was used as a hide-out for pirates in the 18th century. You will still be able to see some remains of that time through a small museum and the pirate cemetery. Now it is a tropical hide-out and the perfect beach location.

The coming 3 nights you will spend in the comfortable Libertalia Hotel. This is the best hotel to spot the whale migration in July, August & September.

Journey Time: 3 hours

Accommodation: Libertalia Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 17 & 18: Whale watching!

The real reason for coming to St Marie Island is to spot the Hunchback whales! Big groups of whales migrate from the Southpole to this place to give birth and raise their young ones. St Marie has ideal circumstances for the whales and it is a great spot to see them from up close. You will go on a half a day whale watching excursion on day 17 or day 18 which is inclusive of your tour! This will be an unforgettable experience.

Journey Time: depending on activity

Accommodation: Libertalia Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 19: Domestic flight to Antananarivo

Today you will fly back to Antananarivo with a domestic flight of Air Madagacar.

A short airport transfer will take you to Antananarivo town where you will spend the night at the Belvedere Hotel.

In the evening you will have the possibility to try one of the good restaurants in the neighborhood.

Journey Time: 3 hours

Accommodation: Belvedere Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 20: Departure

Today is unfortunately your last day with Matoke tours in Madagacar. Depending on your time of departure, you will have a day room at Sakamanga Hotel to freshen up and store your luggage.

If time allows you will have the possibility of visiting some of the interesting sites in the capital and do some souvenir shopping. Your driver/guide will take you back to the airport for your international flight home.

This is the end of hopefully a wonderful tour in Madagascar with Matoke tours!

Rates for 2017/2018 Persons Price per person

2 US$ 4390

3 US$ 3990

4 US$ 3450

INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PACKAGE

  • All accommodation mentioned in the itinerary; -
  • Day hike + lunch Isalo NP (Day 4); -
  • Day hike Tsaranoro Valley (Day 6); -
  • Morning hike Ranomafana NP (Day 8); -
  • Evening hike Ranomafana NP (Day 7 or 8); -
  • Visit Tritriva Lake (Day 10); -
  • Visit Peyreras Chameleon collection (Day 11); -
  • Evening hike Andasibe NP (Day 11 or 12); -
  • Morning hike Andasibe NP (Day 12); -
  • Visit Aye Aye Island (Day 13 or 14); -
  • Visit Palmarium Reserve (Day 14); -
  • Whale watching (Day 17 or 18); -
  • Entry to all National Parks mentioned; -
  • Transport in comfortable professional vehicles; -
  • English speaking driver/guide; -
  • Transfers from all sea- , airports and hotels; - Domestic flights with Air Madagascar.

EXCLUDED IN THE TOUR PACKAGE

  • International flight; -
  • Personal expenses like souvenirs; -
  • Visa for Madagascar; -
  • Meals and drinks that are not included in the itinerary; -
  • Tipping and gratitude’s; -
  • Optional excursions that are not part of the itinerary.
  • The accommodation mentioned in the program depend on availability.
  • Reservations will only be made after your booking.

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