Antananarivo – Sambava – Marojejy -Vohemar – Daraina Reserve – Ankarana – Ankify – Nosy Be
11 Days – From £1,910 per person
This tour will bring you to the north-eastern part of the island, the Malagasy vanilla triangle. This is a trip to the land of scents. Awake your senses to the perfume of spices, vanilla, ylang ylang and many essential oils. Learn about the great culinary and medical traditions of the island. Discover and explore virgin rainforests with unique animals and plants. You will forever remember the time spend in the middle of green landscapes and joyful rivers. This is an off the beaten track itinerary suitable for nature lovers and hikers, with several nights of forest camping.
International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to 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. There are direct services to Nosy Be from JNB, ADD, from several airports in Italy and also seasonal flights from Eastern Europe. You can choose to start the trip the other way around as well.
This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor the itinerary to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added and different hotels can be chosen according to your preferences and needs.
Give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements, check availability and get a confirmed price.
Day 1 – Antananarivo to Sambava
In the morning, transfer to Ivato Airport (TNR) for your flight to Sambava (SVB), one the most prosperous cities in the north and the capital of the vanilla triangle. You will be met at the airfield and driven to Sambava along a beautiful coastal road. Sambava is nestled in small bay, sheltered by luxuriant vegetation, in the heart of vanilla fields and coconut plantations, palm trees, banana trees and bamboo. On arrival, visit a vanilla house and factory to learn about the vanilla processing from the field to the pod.
Day 2 – Sambava to Marojejy
Today leave early to Marojejy with the special park guide coming from Sambava. You will ride up to Manantenina reaching there by 8.30am, and then continue along a dirt track to Mandena. From there, walk up for 1 hour to the entrance of Marojejy National Park. This is one of the most beautiful and wildest areas of Madagascar, a place of dense jungle and sheer cliffs. Past the entrance, walk another 2,5h to reach Camp Mantella. On the way, stop to admire the forest. You will arrive at the camp by 2pm, take a rest and enjoy the enchanting surroundings. Later on take a walk to the Humbert Waterfall (1 hour walk each way). Camping overnight.
Day 3 – Marojejy National Park
In the morning, hike up to Camp Marojejya (2-3h), mostly uphill. The walk is challenging at times, but the pace is slow with lots of stops to enjoy the forest. Marojejya camp is located at the transition between the lowland and the mountainous rainforest, on a mountainside. When the clouds clear up, there are breathtaking views over the park. On arrival at the camp get some rest. Further exploring with the special park guide is also possible. There are many endemic species of flora and fauna here, found nowhere else in the world. Among other forest dwellers, you will have an opportunity to spot Silky Sifaka, a lemur’s species only found in Marojejy. Camping overnight.
Day 4 – Marojejy – Vohemar (Iharana) – Daraina
After breakfast (6.30am), trek back down to camp Mantella. The descent is quite easy, taking about 3h. Drive back to Sambava and turn northwards to Vohemar (1+2h). Pass by beautiful green scenery, small villages of wooden huts, rivers and streams. In Antalaha, the world vanilla capital, take a traditional canoe trip on the Ankavia and Ankavanana rivers. Arrive in Vohemar at noon and explore the attractive bay with a natural harbour. Then take a dirt track to Daraina, a challenging part of the journey. The trip can take between 2 and 5 hours, depending on the rain and weather. Upon arrival, check-in and have an evening hike inside Daraina Reserve.
Day 5 – Daraina Reserve
Today spend the full day in the Daraina Reserve. Nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts will be rewarded since Daraina is the starting point of fantastic hikes in the forest. The forest also has a sacred waterfall and many species of rare lemurs. The reserve is a mosaic of rolling hills covered with patches of forests – one of the richest and ecologically sensitive areas in Madagascar. Daraina has been transformed and fragmented by human activities. Currently, the reserve consists of forest fragments, interwoven by anthropogenic grasslands and croplands. Despite fragmentation, the flora and fauna is rich and diverse.
Day 6 – Daraina to Ankarana
Drive 100 km of dirt road to Ambilobe. From there take the tar road to reach Ankarana. The park is a spectacular fortress of sharp ridges (tsingy), patches of dense tropical jungle, deep caves and canyons (actually the biggest underground river network in Africa). With an annual rainfall of almost 2000mm, the rocks undergo heavy erosion producing an amazing karst topography. There are incredible trails, unique and terrific landscapes and a lot of animals. Coming from the eastern side, overnight in Mahamasina East.
Day 7 – Ankarana
Today take the 6-7h circuit from Mahamasina. It includes the visit of Perte de Riviere, Chauves Souris Cavl, Petit Tsingy, Ambahibe Cave, panoramic point Ambohimalaza, Lac Vert and Grand Tsingy. The trekking is challenging at times, but extraordinarily rewarding. In Amboandriky, the cave of the crocodiles and Lac Mangily are the main interesting points. The trails lead to awesome viewpoints on ridges above hundreds of limestone needles. Getting into the centre of the park requires a guide and coping with high temperatures. The best time of year to visit is during the dry season, from April to November.
Day 8 – Ankarana to Nosy Be
After breakfast, drive towards Ankify. The first stop will be in the town of Ambilobe, a Muslim city with a picturesque market. Continue driving across the volcanic fertile land of the north with coffee, cacao and ylang ylang plantations. The mountain chain of Tsaratanana, with the highest peak of the island will show up at the horizon. The second stop will be in Ambanja to visit Cyrille cacao and vanilla plantation. Upon arrival in Ankify, take a speedboat transfer to Hell Ville on the island of Nosy Be (1h). Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 9 – Island tour of Nosy Be
Today explore Nosy Be. Start with visiting Andoany – a melting pot of cultures. Mosques, churches and the sacred trees represent all forms of beliefs. You will see the impressive 200 years old Sacred Banyan Tree, the historic Marodoka village and the botanical garden Lemuria Land, located in the middle of an ylang ylang plantation. There is a museum and a distillery of essential oils and rum. Don’t miss Andilana, the most beautiful beach of Nosy-Be with turquoise waters. Finish with a splendid sunset at Mont Passot and the views over the sacred lakes. The legend says that spirits of the Sakalava royal family live in the lakes. Overnight at l’Heure Bleue.
Day 10 – Discover the smaller islands of Nosy Komba and Nosy Tanikely
Today visit two smaller islands, Nosy Komba and Nosy Tanikely. Start with Nosy Komba, the island with a lush tropical forest. Visit the small lemur park and the local community who are the masters of embroidery. Later on take a 1-hour boat ride to Nosy Tanikely, a protected marine reserve with a spectacular marine life. The island is a true aquarium with a very rich ecosystem of marine life. When you feel that it is time to refresh, a seafood lunch will be prepared for you on the island. Don’t miss the lighthouse at the top of the hill with 360° panoramic views over the region. In the evening return to Nosy Be. Balance the evening at leisure. Overnight at l’Heure Bleue.
Day 11 – Departure
According to your flight schedule, you will be transferred to the Fascene Airport (NOS) for your onward flight. We hope that you will have in the North.