ANTANANARIVO – ANTSIRABE – RANOMAFANA – MANAKARA – FARAFANGANA – SANDRAVINANY – FORT DAUPHIN – BERENTY – LAVANONO – AMBOLA – ANAKAO – RANOHIRA – AMBALAVAO – FIANARANTSOA – AMBOSITRA – ANTSIRABE – ANTANANARIVO
In 23 days, by the “South East Loop in 4x4” you will discover the marvelous South Eastern part of the Island. On a visit to the parks and natural reserves, you will be able to see the specific fauna and flora of this area. Everyday you will have a surprise. Many sceneries, unforgettable meetings with the local people, discovering the cultures of some ethnic groups and the magnificent beaches will fascinate you during this great adventure. Crossing rivers by ferries will mark your stay there.
Drive on the national road 7 through the Merina country with its rice fields and its pastoral scenery. At Ambatolampy a visit to an aluminium salvaging and transforming workshop. Arrival in Antsirabe around midday, lunch at your expense. The afternoon is reserved for the city tour, for a visit to handicraft workshops: semi-precious stones cutting, embroidery, zebu horn workshop. Settling in a bed and breakfast hotel.
Direction to the South. Stop to look at the terrace rice cultivation which makes up the Betsileo country riches. Lunch at your expense and continuation through a scenery of pastoral hills typical of the Betsileo area to get to Ranomafana. Arrival in the early evening. Settling in a bed and breakfast hotel.
Morning devoted to a visit to Ranomafana National Park, one of the most visited and important parks in the Island. It was especially created in 1991 after the discovery of the golden hapalemur. The dense and humid forest at an average altitude is the type of natural vegetation met in Madagascar at a height of 900-1200m. A little morning visit usually allows you to meet some of the 12 lemurs species as well as some orchid species, one of the flora groups making Madagascar famous. Lunch and afternoon in your charge, possibility of using the thermal pool. Overnight with bed and breakfast in your hotel.
Walking time : about 4 hours
Drive to Farafangana via Vohipeno the ancient Antemoro capital city. Notice the traditional architecture used in this part of Madagascar: a perfect reminder of Indo-Malayan origin of the Malagasy. Lunch at your expense. Possibility of seeing the Antemoro typical tombs along your way. Overnight with bed and breakfast in your hotel
A nice sight of rice fields after the city of Vangaindrano. The Crossings on the big track and the ritual passing of the ferries are the highlights of the day to get Sandravinany. Picnic lunch at your expense. Arrival on the site and installation for a half board night in a hotel.
Day in your charge at Sandravinany after the long track before continuing on the road up to Fort Dauphin. Lunch at your expense. Possibility of a tour in the local village. Half-board night in your hotel
Day in your charge in Fort Dauphin. Many activities are available on the site: swimming on Vinanikely beach, city tour...or just relaxing before continuing the long-distance drive to Berenty. Half-board night in your hotel.
Alternated track of paved road leading to Berenty. The track allows you to understand the peculiarities of the Antanosy and Antandroy areas: lush landscapes and vegetation, rice paddies, cassava and sugar cane cultivation, crossing the villages of Anosy, stelae and mortuary standing stones. Passage to the gateway to the Androy area and its vast panoramas on the arid and dry plateaux. Before arriving in Berenty, you will cross the sisal plantations. Lunch at your expense. In the afternoon, a visit to the magnificent Antanosy museum. Half-board night in a hotel.
A day devoted to a visit to a private reserve. A visit to the gallery forest in the morning. Guaranted encounters: maki, propitheque de Verraux, red-browed lemurs, white-foot lepilemur in its dormitory, birds including giant coua, crested couas, and paradise fly-catchers. Lunch at your expense. In the afternoon you have to take a short walk in the forest: a guaranteed change of scenery. It’s like being in another planet. Possible encounter with the little duke of Madagascar in its dormitory or with the tiny spider-tortoise in its natural environment. Half-board night in your hotel.
Walking time : 4 hours
Early departure. A day dedicated to the visit of the Cap Sainte Marie Special Reserve, which extends to 1,500 ha. It is possible to see humpback whales. Every year, from August to November, humpback whales accompanied by their little ones pass by this extreme southern tip of Madagascar. It’s a one-of-a-kind show, don’t miss it. The ‘cap-circuit’ of this southern tip of Madagascar is characterized by its wind-adapted flora: the powerful gusts brought by the south-eastern trade winds put the vegetation to the test: the plants react by bending and flattening in the direction of the wind: tree up to 5 to 15 m elsewhere are only 50 to 70 cm here. The reserve is also the Kingdom of radiate tortoise. Lunch at your expense. Half board night in your hotel.
Walking time : 5 hrs depending on chosen tour
Departure to Ambola. Raid track. Still crossing the Androy area with its typical vegetation along the way. Picnic lunch in your charge. In the afternoon arrival at Ambola, a nice village by the Mozambique Canal. Half board night in your hotel.
A visit to the Tsimanampetsotse National Park. This park is classified as Ramsar site because of the importance of Tsimanampetsotse. It is particularly favorable to the aquatic birds. This park is particularly interesting for observing the endemic birds on the bank of its salty lake. It is the only lake in Madagascar containing lime sulfate. It is the reason why no fish can live in there. This site is also surrounded by calcareous cliffs sheltering caves with stalagmites and stalactites as well as a subterranean river of fresh water. The afternoon and lunch are in your charge. Half board night in a hotel.
Walking time : 4 hours
Drive on the track to Anakao, the fishermen’s village. Along the road, possibility to meet some tortoise. Lunch at your expense. Overnight on half board in the hotel.
Day in your charge. Some activities are available on the site: snorkelling, excursion to the isle of Nosy Ve,… (in your charge). Overnight on half board in your hotel.
Boat transfer to Tuléar, then drive to the North on the National Road 7 to get to Ranohira. You’ll drive across a scenery of thorny vegetation typical of the Southern flora. Along your way, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Mahafaly tombs (those of one of the ethnic groups in the Island) passing by Ilakaka, the mushroom town of sapphire; born in 1998and created by saphire diggers after a peasant had discovered a big saphire in his field. Arrival at Ranohira the afternoon, overnight on half board in your hotel.
Navigation time : 1 hour
A day devoted to a visit to Isalo National Park, famous for its canyons, its unique flora: tapias, pachypodes, aloes and euphorbia. With the park guides you will ddiscover birds, reptiles, amphibians but above all lemurs particularly the Lemur Catta or “Maky”; the Propithecus Verreaux or “Sifaka” and the Eulemur fulvus or “Varika”. Picnic lunch at your expense in the park. After the visit, overnight on half board in a hotel.
Walking time : 4 hours
Driving to the North. As soon as you get out of Ranohira town you cross the Horombe Plateau. A change in the flora scenery and you’ll see a grassy savannah which has given the name Horombe (“tall grass” or “where there is a lot of grass”). It is the zebu’s country: each bara family, the local ethnic group, has from tens to hundreds of zebus. Change of scenery and ethnic group at Ankaramena where you enter the Betsileo area: the huts and fields have a different aspect. Arrival in Ambalavao and settling in a hotel. After lunch, a visit to the Antemoro paper workshop then a visit to a wild silk workshop. Overnight with bed and breakfast in a hotel.
Drive to Ambositra, the capital of marquetry and wood carving. Stop in Fianarantsoa for a city tour in the old and middle part of it then continuation to the North. Crossing a typical Betsileo area with its terrace rice cultivation and traditional houses. Arrival in the late afternoon. Overnight with bed and breakfast in a hotel.
A visit to the marquetry and wood carving workshop. With a small income, but a lot of skill and ingenuity the craftsman can make artistic works. After the visit you still drive on the National Road 7, across undulating hills. Arrival in Antsirabe, the Spa, around midday. Lunch in your charge. Then you’ll drive on via Ambatolampy town. Arrival in Antananarivo in the mid afternoon. Overnight with bed and continental breakfast in your hotel.
Day use in your hotel. Then transfer to the airport for the final flight.