|6 days and 5 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 Ihoshy, 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 can leave to discover the coral reef, one of the longest in the world, near the beaches of the Coral Reef.
DAY 1 : ANTANANARIVO > ANTSIRABE
Departure in the morning by car, taking the road that crosses the central highland, amidst cultivated fields and rice paddies created in the plains by the inhabitants of these regions, the Merina; arrival after about 3 hours at Antsirabe, capital of the Vakinankaratra region; lunch at a restaurant; at the end, tour of the characteristic town swarming with “posy-posies” (rickshaws), the main town of an agricultural region inhabited by ethnic groups of Asian origin, whose chief activity consists of working the cultivated vegetable fields and rice paddies; check-in at hotel; in the evening, dinner and overnight at the hotel Couleur Café (standar room) or similar.
DAY 2 : ANTSIRABE > RANOMAFANA PARK
After breakfast, continuation of the journey with a stop in Ambositra for the visit to typical town and shops whose artisans carve objects in precious wood ; "Zafimaniry" handycrafts is classified by UNESCO as an Intangible Culture Heritage; then continue the road itinerary between woods, pine trees and eucalyptus trees, crossing the villages of the Betsileo ethnic group until reaching, at the end of the day, Ranomfana on eastern slopes; dinner and overnight in hotel Setam Lodge (standar room) or similar.
DAY 3 : RANOMAFANA 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 PARK > ISALO PARK
After breakfast continuation of the journey; towards Fianarantsoa to visit of the Upper Town affiliate in the "World Monument Watch" among the 100 most endangered historical sites in the world; another stop will be made in Ambalavao to admire the artisan production of Antemoro paper, derived from natural fibres and an ancient process; arrival at the Anja Village Reserve, where you can discover plenty of Catta lemurs in a beautiful landscape; after that, beyond the mountainous spurs of the plateau you reach an area of vast savannahs, populated by vast herds of zebus, which is interrupted only by the Isalo massifs; accommodation in hotel; dinner and overnight in hotel Le Relais de la Reine (standar room) or similar.
DAY 5 : ISALO PARK
After breakfast whole morning devoted to park excursions, characterised by canyons, rock pinnacles and bizarrely shaped calcareous spires, waterways, natural lakes fed by rivers and waterfalls, where you can swim in absolute tranquillity, forests populated by lemurs of various species and strange rare plants like Pachypodium Rosolatum, Aloes and the palm Satrana (Bismarkia Nobilis), used by local people in building traditional housescontinuation of the trip, crossing the Sapphire miners villages and passing through the bush filled by Mahafaly ancestors' burying sites; picnic lunch during the excursion; in the evening dinner and overnight in hotel Le Relais de la Reine (standar room) or similar.
DAY 6 : ISALO PARK > TOLIARY >
After breakfast continuation of the journey through the savannah and the bush; arrival in Toliary; lunch in restaurant; transfer to the airport.
. Transport in private vehicle Antananarivo / Toliary with French speaking driver
. Private excursions
. Entry tickets
. All transfers
. Hotel and local Taxes
. Telephone Assistance in English/French/Italian (7/24)
. Tour Guide
. Local Guides
. Beverages, tips and extra
. All not mentione in "Services includes"