This itinerary has a heavy focus on wildlife and culture and is what we consider to be the best way to see the highlights of southern Madagascar in the most time efficient, away from the tourists and without too much driving.
Depending on what time your inbound flight lands, your holiday may start with an overnight at a hotel in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo (or just Tana for short). The following morning, your guide will take you east to Andasibe, a stunning rainforest park, about 5 hours drive from the city.
Andasibe consists of two protected areas, the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Perinet is world famous for its population of Indri lemurs, which are the largest living lemur species. This first element of your trip would allow you to get a close encounter with these incredible animals.
You would spend two nights here exploring the ecosystems with a visit to Lemur Island, Vakona Lodge’s private reserve that protects a number of habituated lemurs. There are four species to see, the bamboo lemur, the black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and one diademed sifaka. You would also spend time exploring Mantadia National Park - a naturalist’s goldmine with many seldom seen species of endemic mammals, reptiles and birds.
After your two amazing nights in Andasibe, you would drive back to Antananarivo for a flight south to Fort Dauphin.
Landing at Fort Dauphin airport, you will be met as you step off the plane and driven up to the beautiful Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge for three nights of secluded bliss.
This beach experience would be completely different to anything you’d find elsewhere in the world! While you could of course just relax with a cocktail in a hammock, there are also so many activities on offer such as whale watching from the lookout tower, enjoy an open air massage in the spa pavilion, travel up the coast for a picnic lunch, tour the local fisherman’s village of Manafiafy, visit the local markets and schools. All of this while enjoying day and night guided walks through the surrounding rainforest to search for lemur, flying fox, chameleon, or any number of the endemic animals that live in this area.
You’ll be welcomed back to the lodge every evening with open arms to enjoy a sundowner on the beach before tucking into a delicious cooked meal on the deck.
After three nights at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge, you will drive across to Mandrare River Camp (via Fort Dauphin) for the final portion of your holiday.
Mandrare River Camp is a unique lodge that has garnered a very special relationship with the local Antandroy tribe. The Antandroy tribe are nomadic people ‘of the thorns’ who were never conquered by French or Madagascan government. Think of the Maasai tribe of Kenya that have only really very recently become accustomed to tourism. They believe their ancestors live in trees so protect the forest that surround them.
Your time at Mandrare would be spent exploring lemur filled forests (including an amazing baobab area) and visiting the tribe’s sacred areas with the village chief. It really would be a truly unique and phenomenal experience! With only 4 ‘rooms’ at Mandrare, every day can be tailored to you. If you’d rather just relax by the pool, no problem!
After your three incredible nights at Mandrare River Camp, you will drive back to For Dauphin for your return flight back to Antananarivo. Depending on your outbound flight departure time from Antananarivo, you may have to overnight again at one of our preferred hotels.
7th May 2019
by Toby Pheasant
We work on a commission basis, meaning that you pay no more and sometimes even less booking through us than if you had gone direct.
5% of the commission we earn from a trip through Bonamy will be donated to the fantastic charity Rhinos Without Borders.