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Highlights of the East

Eastern Madagascar is fascinating for both adults and children. This holiday package offers a real biology class right in the middle of nature. This adventurous 12-day private guided itinerary is for those who like to explore and discover new things. Throughout this trip the children and adults alike will learn about the fascinating biodiversity of Madagascar, including lemurs, chameleons, frogs, whales and the marine life, while also enjoying beautiful scenery. Sailing along Pangalanes Canal is another wonderful experience. Driving distances are moderate. The tropical island of Sainte Marie with beautiful pristine beaches is a great place to relax at the end. Accommodation in charming small hotels is included. Lunch and dinner meal plans can be arranged. You can also choose to do the trip the other way around, and we will adjust the trip depending where you arrive. We can tailor this itinerary to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities.

12 Days – From £1,300 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Andasibe, Manambato, Akanin’ny Nofy, Tamatave, Mahambo, Ile Sainte Marie, Antananarivo

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double room
  • Accommodation with breakfast + BBQ lunch at Ile aux Nattes
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary on a private basis
  • Regular boat transfer to Sainte Marie (50 to 100 pax). Schedule: Departure from Mahambo at 10:00. Arrival in SMS at 13:00.
  • All transfers on a private basis
  • Entrance & guiding fees to all the mentioned National Parks and private reserves
  • English speaking driver / guide 
  • All mandatory local taxes
  • Visa, where applicable
  • International Flights (See Flights to Madagascar)
  • Domestic Flights (approx. £185 – 115 pp for the SMS-TNR flight)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the description

International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to book the flights yourself, use miles and choose your preferred airline, and if you are stuck we can help you find the right connections. Return flights to Madagascar start from £700 per person, depending on the connections and time of the year.

For families and groups (starting with 5 pax), we can book domestic flights in Madagascar, during the high season, and if the trip is part of a more complex itinerary. This is to ensure a seamless travel and no complications.

Send us a message on WhatsApp or Email us to check availability, discuss your preferences and get a quote.

This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor it to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added. Other hotels can be chosen, according to your liking. For more travel inspiration check these itineraries.

To avoid unpleasant weather surprises, we recommend to check our Madagascar Weather Guide to plan your trip in the right season. Click on the month you want to travel in and see the tours which are best for each month of the year. 

Whale-watching excursion is done in small groups and is payable locally (about £15-34). Due to weather conditions it is better to arrange the trip onsite.

Day 1 - Antananarivo

Today you will arrive in Antananarivo where you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Antananarivo means “City of thousands”, the place which unified the tribes of Madagascar about 500 years ago. The city is built on 3 levels: the high city where the queen’s palace is situated, the mid-city with nice boutique shops and all the administrative buildings, and the bustling low city with the markets. Time permitting, a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ambohimanga is highly recommended (45 min drive). The fortified hill which is also a royal burial site is considered sacred to the Malagasy people. Don’t miss the spectacular sunset. Overnight at Au Bois Vert.

La Varangue in Antananarivo, Madagascar

Day 2 - Andasibe

After breakfast you will be transferred to Andasibe, through the winding roads of the 2 National Road, green highlands and rice fields (160 km / 4 hours). You will leave behind the highlands by the steep slope of Mandraka where the forest corridor starts. On the way, stop at the Peyrieras Reptile Reserve which is home to chameleons and lemurs. Andasibe has a rich endemic fauna and flora. The east is the humid part of the country, the realm of rainforest and lakes. After check-in, in the afternoon, visit the Mitsinjo village reserve, a solidarity development project based on ecotourism. They have orchids, medicinal plants, lemurs, and various small wildlife. Have a guided night walk in the in the VOI community reserve forest to spot nocturnal inhabitants of the forest. If we are lucky enough, we will surely encounter the world’s smallest primate: the mouse lemur. Overnight at Vakona Forest Lodge.


Day 3 - Andasibe

In the morning you might be awakened by the singing of the Indri Indri, the largest lemur in Madagascar, known for its spectacular whooping calls. This lemur can only be found in the park of Andasibe. After breakfast, take a morning exploration walk in the Andasibe Special Reserve, a huge tropical rainforest. Many rare and endemic species can be found in this rain forest. The biodiversity is so amazing. Expect orchids, chameleons, tenrecs, frogs and lovely birds. 9 species of lemurs can be spotted and the highlight of Andasibe is definitely Indri Indri. In the afternoon, visit the Island of Lemurs in Vakona, called Mitsinjo Forest. This reserve has rescued lemurs from captivity, so they are very adapted to human presence and come really close to visitors. Overnight at Vakona Forest Lodge.


Day 4 - Andasibe to Akanin'ny Nofy

After breakfast, drive to Manambato (170km/3h). Stop and visit the town of Brickaville, an old colonial city known for its sugar cane plantation. In Manambato take a short picturesque boat trip across Rasoabe Lake and Pangalanes Canal (1h). The Canal stretches over nearly 700km from Tamatave all the way to Farafangana in parallel to the Indian Ocean. Navigate through the magnificent Canal surrounded by beautiful forests, luxurious palm-trees and mangroves, small sand-dunes and cheerful local villages. Once arrived in Ankanin’nyNofy you will find a heaven of peace and tranquility. It’s a true paradise for nature lovers. Overnight at Le Palmarium.


Day 5 - Akanin'ny Nofy

After breakfast, visit Palmarium reserve with its many species of lemurs living in full freedom. The park is adorned with beautiful trees, palms and orchids. Spend the afternoon at leisure, by taking a walk along the Canal, swimming or visiting surrounding villages. The bungalows are situated inside the park, surrounded by a huge lake with calm waters, an ideal place for relaxation. Visit Andranokoditra village on the other side of the Canal to meet and play with the local children.  At dusk, take a boat across Ampitabe lake and visit the Aye Aye island, a newly created park to protect the endangered and seldom seen lemurs Aye Aye. Overnight at Le Palmarium.


Day 6 - Canal des Pangalanes

Early in the morning, continue your journey through the Pangalanes Canal towards Tamatave (Toamasina). Built in the first half of the 20th century, the Canal was a major moving force for trade in the region. During this journey (3h), enjoy watching the simple way of local life: bamboo pirogue transporting charcoals, boats transporting goods and passengers, women washing dishes and laundry, kids swimming, fishing nets creating beautiful ornaments in the water etc. After a short stop in Tamatave, continue the trip to Mahambo (90km/3h). Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at La Pirogue.


Day 7 - Sainte Marie

Early in the morning, take a boat from Mahambo to Sainte Marie (3h)– a paradise island with turquoise waters, splendid beaches and forests with with endemic wildlife. The island is inhabited by a cheerful population living a chilled lifestyle with vibe inherited from pirates who found shelter here in the past. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Les Tipaniers. Located 34Km North of the capital Ambodifotatra, the lodge is implanted in a paradise of 6ha between primary forest and a huge cove bordered by a turquoise sea along of one of the most beautiful sandy beach of Sainte Marie. The bungalows are intimately designed with elegance under the coconut trees in the middle of the garden. Overnight at Les Tipaniers Lodge.

boat sailing in the turquoise waters of Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar

Day 8 - Sainte Marie

Ile Sainte Marie was on the shipping routes to the Indies. This strategic location has attracted many pirates around the 1700s. The Pirates Cemetery testifies to this part of the story: during a walk and a canoe trip, you will visit Ambodiforaha and discover the tombs of legendary pirates such as John Avery or Thomas Tew. You will also visit the first church built in Madagascar and a local palace. During the island tour, you can stop anytime for snorkelling and swimming. Alternatively rent a motorcycle or bikes and take a self-ride around the island. Overnight at Les Tipaniers Lodge.

aerial view of the pool at Princesse Bora Lodge, a luxury small hotel on Ile Sainte Marie in Madagascar

Day 9 - Whale Watching

Each year, hundreds of humpback whales come to feline in the warm waters of Sainte Marie after long months spent in Antarctica. During the mating season (early July to late September), this paradise becomes a nest for of whales. Expect spectacular parades, graceful ballets and impressive jumps out of the water. The humpback whales breed in the Antongil bay and the strait that separates the island of Sainte Marie from the mainland. Take an excursion in the sea to discover the frolics of the whales or the birth of baby whales. The trip lasts about four hours. Overnight at Les Tipaniers Lodge.

whale jumping out of the water in Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar

Day 10 - Ile aux Nattes

After breakfast depart to Ile aux Nattes by boat. Surrounded by a turquoise lagoon and white sand-beaches, Ile aux Nattes is a heaven of peace and tranquillity. After swimming and snorkelling, the guide will lead you to the local village where you will discover local crafts and delicious food. A barbecue lunch will be served during the trip. You can walk around the whole island on the beach in about 2 hours. Take a nice hike to the viewpoints Maison Blanche with a rooftop terrace and the lighthouse, a bit further south. Expect a 360* view over the whole island. Return to the hotel around 16:00. Overnight at Analatsara Ecolodge.

Fishermen in a wooden boat in the Indian Ocean, Ile aux Nattes, Madagascar

Day 11 - Back to Antananarivo

Today fly back to the capital. You can spend this day at leisure strolling around the markets or do some fun activity in the capital. There are a few nice spas in town worth trying. In Madagascar massages are accompanied with locally grown ingredients, such as lemon grass, vanilla, ginger and other nice scents. Your skin will smell like heaven! For dinner head to La Verangue. , an authentic restaurant located in the heart of the city. The cuisine is absolutely delicious and the ambiance is exceptional. You will find here vintage cars in the courtyard, a vintage bar and lounge. Overnight at Au Bois Vert.

Ile aux Nattes, Madagascar

Day 12 - Departure

According to your flight’s schedule, you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Extend this trip with some adventure in other parts of Madagascar. Get active by exploring the numerous national parks scattered across the island and hike in the Tsingy of Bemaraha or Tsingy d’Ankarana, Isalo or Andringitra. Go beach hopping in the north, around Nosy Be, or visit the Kingdom of Lemurs in the southern forests of Berenty. Madagascar has plenty of interesting activities awaiting for you. For families, we also recommend the highlights of the north circuit.

Antananarivo City View

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