|11 days and 10 nights|
The Tour of the South is an itinerary leading from Antananarivo to Toliary, along the RN 7 (Route Nationale); a several-day driving tour which brings you through various different regions, admiring unique natural beauties.
The tour starts from the Highlands and crosses regions peopled by ethnic groups as the Merina and Betsileo which cultivate fields and rice fields on the plains or carved in terraces on the mountain-sides.
You will go to interesting small towns, such as: Ambatolampy, a big agricultural village, known for the handicraft manufacturing of aluminium articles; Antsirabe, with its large and tree-lined boulevards, crossed by the "posy" (rickshaws); Ambositra, the "capital" of the precious woodcraft which you will admire in several shops; Fianarantsoa, the best starting point for tours to Ranomafana National Park; Ambalavao, a big gathering centre for herds of zebu coming from the south.
Further on you see granite massifs contrasting with the great plains down to Ihosy, the chief town of the region of the Bara, a fierce zebu breeding people.
From there you come to the vast Horombe savannah interrupted only by the calcareous massif of the Isalo National Park with beautiful landscapes; luxuriant forests full of lemurs and canyons, gorges, natural pools.
Further south, you admire the big savannah baobabs and those in the Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park tropical forest, and then the semi-desert bush characterized by a wild and beautiful, thorny vegetation, of great naturalist interest, typical of the Malagasy south.
In the last part of the tour, you reach Toliary, on the shores of the Mozambique Channel. From here you leave to discover the coral reef, one of the longest in the world, in Anakao.
The beaches of the Coral Reef invite to experience this uncommon habitat, revealing a fascinating world, full of magic and charm, be slowly rocked by the gentle tide; while time seems to stands still, one feel stolen away and mesmerised by its enormity, punctuated only by pirogues with an outrigger which silently parade themselves. Take a half-day excursion to the island of Nosy Ve, where you can dive into the depths of the reef’s transparent waters.
Although the sea remains the dominant element of the Coral Reef world, the luxurious beauty of vegetation cannot fail to capture your attention, as in Tsimanampetsotse Lake National Park, not far from Anakao, where you can discover the stunning flora of southern Madagascar, rare animals like Radiata turtles and flamingos, just near near the shores of the salty, sky-blue water, of the lake.
Then, back to the mainland to discover a different habitat, the strange world of Mangroves near the coastline, where flora and fauna act like amphibious: trees that grown in the water, fish that “walk” on earth. A complete tour of the south of Madagascar is truly an incredible experience!
DAY 1 : ANTANANARIVO > ANTSIRABE
According to the time, a sightseeing tour of the capital-town of Madagascar, Antananarivo, will be made; then departure by car to Antsirabe; during the trip stops in the most interesting places, as Ambatolampy, famous for handicraft manufacturing of aluminium articles; have lunch in restaurant; continuation on the paved road, among cultivated fields and typical villages to Antsirabe; arrival in the afternoon and visit of the thermal town of Antsirabe; setup in the hotel Royal Palace (standard room) or similar; in the evening dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 2 : ANTSIRABE > RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast; road trip to Ranomafana; standstill to Ambositra for the visit of this characteristic town of the Highlands, famous for the valuable objects of handicraft in wood; at the end, lunch in restaurant; continuation of the road itinerary toward the eastern slope, with arrival in the late afternoon to Ranomafana National Park; setup in the hotel Setam Lodge (standard room) or similar; in the evening, dinner and overnight in hotel.
DAY 3 : RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, whole morning devoted to the excursion to the park, among rivers, falls, along the paths that cross the rainforest, where various kinds of lemurs and other endemic animals will be observed; have lunch in restaurant; in the afternoon take a tour to the eastern slopes and visit a traditional village of Tanala people where you can see the way of life of this gentle population; at the end back to Ranomafana; in the evening, dinner and overnight in hotel Setam Lodge (standard room) or similar.
DAY 4 : RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK > ISALO NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast in hotel; continuation of the itinerary and arrival to Fianarantsoa; visit of the Upper Town affiliate in the "World Monument Watch" among the 100 most endangered historical sites in the world; then continuation of the journey; stop to Ambalavao for the visit of a typical handicraft factory where you can see the creation of the "Antemoro Paper"; continuation of the trip and new stop to the reserve of Anja to admire many lemurs Catta (ring-tailed Lemur); have lunch in the restaurant; in the afternoon crossing the savannah and the Horombe Plateau with arrival at the end of the day in Isalo Park; setup in the hotel Le Relais de la Reine (standard room) or similar; in the evening, dinner and overnight in the hotel.
DAY 5 : ISALO NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast in the hotel; whole day devoted to the excursions in the park, characterized by canyons pinnacles of rock and calcareous steeples, rivers, natural little ponds fed by rivers and falls, where the bath can be made, forests inhabited by lemurs of various species; picnic lunch during the excursion; in the evening, dinner and overnight in the hotel Le Relais de la Reine (standard room) or similar.
DAY 6 : ISALO NATIONAL PARK > TOLIARY
After breakfast departure to Toliary crossing the region of the seekers of sapphire; then stop to Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park to visit the dry forest inhabited by many species of birds and lemurs; picnic lunch at the end; then continuation through the bush where Mahafaly funeral constructions can be admired; arrival in Toliary, on the shores of Mozambique Channel, in the late afternoon; setup in the hotel Serena (standard room) or similar; in the evening dinner and overnight in the hotel.
DAY 7 : TOLIARY > ANAKAO
Breakfast in hotel; transfer to the port and boarding on a moto-boat and navigation to Anakao for about 1h30; at the arrival set up in hotel Anakao Ocean Lodge (standard room) or similar; rest of the day at your disposal for swimming in the reef clear water and individual visits; full-board in hotel.
DAY 8 : ANAKAO
After breakfast, departure for a 2 hours trip by 4WD car to reach Tsimanampetsotsa National Park; named after its spectacular lake (which means “there are not dolphins” in Malagasy) and main park highlight, comprises 430 km² of spiny forest and wetlands; this area was protected due to its biological meaning (90% of the flora and fauna is endemic!); at the end lunch in restaurant in front of the coral reef; time at your disposal for relax and bathing in clear water; in the late afternoon back to Anakao; in the evening dinner and overnight in the hotel Anakao Ocean Lodge (standard room) or similar.
DAY 9 : ANAKAO
After breakfast, departure aboard motor powered boat for an excursion to Nosy Ve, a deserted island that rises along the coral reef, where you can swim and dive in fantastic turquoise waters accompanied by a multitude of coloured fish; return to Anakao for lunch, then in the afternoon possibility of taking relaxing walks inland to discover the unique flora of the place or to visit the big Vezo village where you can see the numerous brightly coloured balancing pirogues, lined up on the beach; in the evening dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
DAY 10 : ANAKAO > TOLIARY
Breakfast in hotel; departure by motor-boat to Toliary; at the arrival continuation on 4WD car to the northern part of the region on a sandy track; first you visit the Reniala Botanical Garden, where some trails in the spiny forest have been made to allow visitors to enter in this spectacular habitat; at the end have lunch in restaurant on the beach where you can swim and relax; in the afternoon take an interesting excursion through the Mangroves, to admire this strange world where trees grow in the salty water and fishes “walk” on earth !; then back to Toliary and set up in hotel Famata Lodge (standard room) or similar; in the evening dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
DAY 11 : TOLIARY >
Breakfast in hotel; time at your to disposal; lunch in hotel, transfer to the airport.
. Full-board from the lunch on the 1st day to the lunch on the last day included
. Transport in private vehicle Antananarivo / Toliary with French speaking driver
. Private excursions
. Entry tickets
. All transfers
. Hotel and local Taxes
. 24/7 telephone assistance (English/French/Italian/Spanish)
. All flights and airport taxes
. Tour Guide
. Local Guides
. Beverages, tips and extra