You will need at least one week to drive the RN7 of Madagascar from Antananarivo to Toliara, to experience everything that the route has to offer. This tour in the southern part of Madagascar offers you the beauty of the landscapes and culture varieties from the midle highland to the south-west with its way of life, customs and colors. You are going to drive past Antsirabe colonial town and Ambositra the Zafimaniry’s arts specialist of woodcarving and all handicraft made of wood. The Ranomafana national park is one of the best tropical forests for wildlife and beautiful parks in Madagascar. Back to the RN7, you drive past Fianarantsoa and arrive to Ambalavao. This village is known for zebu market every Wednesday, silk breeding and the manufactured Antemoro paper. The Anja reserve is a natural small habitat for ringtailed lemurs presently managed by villagers association. The Isalo national park next to Ranohira Village is a huge canyon to hike with its amazing sandstone massifs and natural swimming pool. At the end of this tour, you can decide to stay in Ifaty for beach time or sleep in Toliara if you prefer to have a beach time in Anakao.
DETAIL OF TOUR
Day 01 Antananarivo – Antsirabe
You start to drive towards Antsirabe, stopping on the way to take some photos of the beautiful scenery, rice paddies and red hills. People build red bricks for house construction from the rice paddies. You can stop in Ambatolampy to see how they make pans and cooking-pots with recycled aluminum. Far of 100km from Ambatolampy, the city of Antsirabe has neither dense forests nor particularly endemic animals, but it’s a magnet for people who are looking for a quiet and inspiring place. This is the favourite place for european people who live in Madagascar from the colonization time. After check-in at the hotel, we drive past the lake of Andraikiba to the Tritriva lake : A beautiful lake of volcanic origin with dark colour due to its considerable depth of more than 100 meters. You will enjoy to hike and to stumble across an emerald green lake surrounded by pine trees where two lovers ended their romance when their parents didn’t allow them to stay together. The lake’s shape evokes the map of Madagascar. Night at hotel Green Park in Antsirabe.
Day 02 Antsirabe - Ranomafana
Before driving to Ranomafana, we will visit some of the craft shops and their working places in Antsirabe to produce the handicraft made of horn of zebu, tiny bikes from recycled metals and embroidery of the daily life of Madagascar. At 100km from Antsirabe, you arrive to Ambositra. This is the biggest city next to the Zafimaniry villages who are very talented on woodcarving and all handicraft made of wood. You will stop to see how they work on it before visiting the market of 100 shops for more or less same articles. Before midday, we stop for lunch (on your expense) in Ambositra and there may be the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Malagasy meal then see a high-land folk dance from Imerina and Betsileo at the hotel Artisan. we continue driving to Ranomafana. We arrive there before the evening. Night at hotel Grenat
Day 03 Ranomafana
This day is dedicated to visit Ranomafana national park and the villages of Ranomafana : after breakfast, you drive to the entrance of the national park and will start your daytime visit to this beautiful humid tropical forest. In this misty rainforest, covering elevations of 500–1,500 metres, numerous endangered lemur species can be found here, including the Milne-Edwards’ sifaka, different species of bamboo lemurs and black-and-white ruffed lemurs. A variety of other animals also exist in this cloud forest, such as satanic leaf-tailed geckos, elusive ground rollers and streaked tenrecs. Lunch at the restaurant (on your expense) in Ranomafana. The afternoon is dedicated to a walk-around the Ranomafana village : the market of fruit, and the natural warm spring – hence the name of the city – are some curiosity that you may discover by yourself or with assistance of your driver/guide. It is also recommended to spend some times drinking beer in one of local restaurant of the village to see the particularity of Malagasy people.After dark, you will meet your driver and guide for the nightwalk of one hour next to the national park. During this night walk, you may see a variety of nocturnal lemurs, reptiles such as Uroplatus geckos, many tree frogs and fascinating invertebrates including the Madagascar comet (lunar) moth. Night at hotel Grenat
Day 04 Ranomafana - Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao
Returning to the main road after Ranomafana, you continue driving southward through the big city of Fianarantsoa. This city was built with the model of Antananarivo city to be the academic centre of Betsileo ethnic group. Visit of the Upper Town with nice panorama and neighbourhood. After Fianarantsoa, you will notice the change of the landscape once you arrive to the mountain before Ambalavao. Check-in at the hotel. In afternoon, you can go to visit a paper Antaimoro working place, handmade silk working place, and walk around the village with assistance of the driver/guide or by yourself. Night at hotel Bougainvillée
Day 05 Ambalavao - ANJA - Ranohira
The market day of Ambalavao is Wednesday. The local market is bigger than other day and the market of zebu is organized upon hill outside of the city. You can take some time to visit those two special and colourful markets before leaving Ambalavao. Stop at Anja reserve : a forest of ficus, lianas and orchids developed in between a spectacular rock forming caves used as shelter by animals. The rocky slopes have been colonized by succulent plants such as kalanchoes and pachypodiums. In this lush green paradise live in small colonies the ringtailed lemurs, the symbol of Madagascar. They are easy to find and to make close-up photo as they spend a lot of time on the ground, on the rocks and on trees. The profit of Anja's reserve are managed by the AMI (Anja Miray) organization, and are donated to finance social and economical projects, which purposes are to improve crop yield, crafts development, health and education towards the villagers. Continuation to the south and arrival to Bara ethnic group territory from Ihosy and crossing of the largest plateau of Madagascar, you will be surprised by the desert of Ihorombe few days after being in Ranomafana area. This is an evidence that Madagascar is a very big island. Arrival to Ranohira late in the afternoon. Night at hotel Chez Alice
Day 06 Isalo
After breakfast, you drive to Isalo National Park, park the car and start to hike. You can choose your itinerary according to the brieffing with the local guide for a beautiful day of hiking, discovering the Isalo National Park, between deep canyons, plateaux, natural swimming pools. Isalo National Park was created in 1962. It is large of 100 km from North to South and unique in Madagascar thanks to its geological formation, dating from the Jurassic period. You can also find there an exceptionally rich fauna including natives rock reptiles. You will be able to spot endemic species of lemurs, birds, reptiles, plants and butterflies. The main ethnic group in this region is the Bara, living essentially of farming zebus and agriculture. Considered as descendent of the Bantu, the Bara are livestock breeders but also fierce warriors, proud and ready to give up their life to defend their freedom. Night at hotel Chez Alice
Day 07 Ranohira - Toliara - Ifaty
This is your last day along the RN7. The temperature rises as you lose height and head for the coast through savannah plain. You cross the villages of Ilakaka and Sakaraha, small towns which used to be quiet, until a huge sapphire reservoir was discovered there, turning these quiet towns into mining cities worthy of the American Far West Gold Rush. Visit of the mining site. Then, you continue your trip passing by few baobab trees and a number of fascinating Mahafaly Tombs. Lunch (on your expense) in Toliara. In afternoon, you go to Ifaty to visit the reniala baobab forest : Reniala is a malagasy name of baobab tree. The place is known as home of many species of baobabs within just 60 ha. You will learn more about the Baobab and other endemic vegetal species in the dry area of the South or in spinny forest. If you are lucky enough you might taste baobab fruit. But the highlights of the day is to be in front of the biggest baobab of Ifaty Mangily area that looks like a coffee pot. This biggest baobab has over 1200 years with 7 meters of height and 12 meters of circumference. It belongs to the species of “Adansonia robrostipa” called also “Baobab FONY”. During your visit you’ll meet many endemic birds including Uratelornis and Monias, lemurs, reptiles, lizards that has the head of dinosaur and caiman’tail, and also turtles. Our driver will drop you off at your hotel in Ifaty if you decide to spend some days on the beach in there or bring you back to Toliara if you prefer to go to Anakao the next day morning. Hotel NOT INCLUDED
Important Notice :
- This is an economy offer to travel to Madagascar
- Price is per person sharing room as double occupancy. Departure is guarantee for 02 persons. Contact us for Single Price
- Are included into the price: 4X4, fuel, driver speaking French, all listed activities (entrance and guide of park, night walk), your hotel and breakfast,
- Are NOT included: lunch, diner, beverage and alcohol, additional activities, Guide speaking English, tips
- Please to specify if you need an AC car while booking otherwise you may have no-AC car
- Payment modality: bank transfer or VISA/Master Card or CASH on arrival. We accept USD and Euro with exchange rate online.
- Contact us for further detail. You can ask for tailor made tour according to your length of stay, your wish-to-see-list, your category of hotel, and your budget