The Western Baobab Safari

Price
£££ FROM £2999.00 /PP
  • 14 Day
  • Antananarivo
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  • Itinerary
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Overview

Join us on an extraordinary adventure to discover the magical beauty of Madagascar, the Island of a Thousand Marvels. Our adventure will take you deep into the heart of the island, where the rocky landscapes of the Makay massif in Southwest Madagascar await discovery. This special hiking trek is intended for those who want to get off the beaten road and immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of this extraordinary region.
 
Prepare to be enchanted by the Makay massif's distinctive topography, which includes towering sandstone cliffs, verdant woods, and crystal clear lakes. This distant and difficult environment has a very high level of endemism, with a diverse flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. As we travel through this pristine wilderness, you will have the opportunity to see rare and elusive species in their native habitat, including colourful orchids and endemic lemurs.
 
Our skilled guides will take you on a series of thrilling hikes, each with spectacular views and amazing experiences with Madagascar's natural marvels. Whether you're hiking through steep mountain paths, visiting hidden caverns, or swimming in crystal-clear rivers, each step of the journey offers a new and exciting experience.
 
So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare to embark on a journey that will leave you with lifelong memories. Join us as we explore the pristine beauty of the Makay massif and discover Madagascar's hidden treasures one step at a time.

Itinerary

Welcome to Antananarivo, Madagascar's dynamic capital city, where history, culture, and natural beauty combine to create a truly unique destination. This bustling metropolis, popularly known as "Tana" by residents, is a melting pot of influences, with a rich tapestry of traditions, languages, and cuisines ready to be found.
 
Nestled amidst the rolling hills of the central highlands, Antananarivo has a breathtaking location, with panoramic vistas of terracotta rooftops, verdant rice paddies, and distant mountain peaks stretching as far as the eye can see. The Rova of Antananarivo, a mediaeval royal palace located atop a rocky outcrop, dominates the city's skyline and provides a look into Madagascar's regal past.
 
Explore the city's thriving markets and colourful neighbourhoods, where the air is filled with the noises of bustling activity and the aromas of exotic spices and street cuisine delights. Wander through the Analakely Market's small lanes, where sellers sell everything from vibrant textiles and handicrafts to fresh food and local specialties.
Discover Antananarivo's rich cultural heritage by visiting historic landmarks like as the Ambohimanga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Madagascar's royal hilltop residence. Explore the dynamic arts scene at the Is'Art Galerie, where local artists display their work in a range of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media.
 
But perhaps the true heart of Antananarivo is its people, who are kind, inviting, and proud of their past. 
 
Accommodation: Le Belvedere or similar
 
Meals: Dinner
Travel along the magnificent National Road N°7, where we will pass through Ambatolampy, which is well-known for its production of aluminium items like as kitchen utensils, sculptures, and other aluminium products. Continuing on, we arrive in Antsirabe, the lovely capital of the Vakinankaratra area, known for its calming hot springs, pleasant climate, and picturesque scenery. Our journey continues to Ambositra, which is famed for its excellent woodworkers and artisans who create complex woodwork, ranging from furniture to sculptures and decorative things. As the day comes to an end, we arrive at Fianarantsoa, our final destination, ready to relax and reflect on our discoveries.
 
Accommodation: Zomatel or similar
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After a substantial breakfast, we'll start the day with a visit to the lovely city of Fianarantsoa before continuing on our adventure. The gorgeous rice terraces that decorate the hillsides demonstrate the indigenous ethnic group's distinct expertise, as well as its time-honored customs.
 
When we get in Ambalavao, we will have the opportunity to see the famous Antemoro paper factory. This old papermaking process, passed down through generations of the Antemoro people, exemplifies Madagascar's rich cultural legacy. This paper is renowned for its quality and unusual texture, as well as its longevity, and is frequently used for artistic purposes.
 
Next, we'll travel to Anja Park, which is known for its spectacular natural beauty and unique species, including a large population of ring-tailed lemurs. Guided excursions of the park allow visitors to witness these interesting creatures in their native habitats while also exploring the region's beautiful flora and fauna.
After a day of exploration and discovery, we'll hit the road again to continue our trek to Ranohira.
 
Accommodation: Isalo Ranch or similar
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We leave Ranohira bright and early for a northward drive along the spectacular Isalo massif to the Mangoky River. Our journey takes us down a difficult 155-kilometer unmade track, an exciting 7 to 8-hour trip through wide savannah dotted with tiny baobabs, mango trees, and jujube trees.
 
We cross the Mangoky River by ferry and arrive on the opposite bank, where we set up camp among the calm riverbank surroundings. Later in the afternoon, we take a leisurely stroll through the lovely village of Beroroha, which serves as the region's capital. We encounter the final vestiges of civilization here, among the bustling streets and vibrant markets, before travelling deeper into the wilderness beyond.
 
Accommodation: Camping
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Following a hearty breakfast, we set out north on a 65-kilometer trail to the settlement of Beronono. Here, we assemble our dedicated local porters, who are critical to the smooth running of our trek into the heart of the Makay region.
 
We embark on a 5-day journey across the lesser-known and relatively unknown Makay massif, where we will encounter extraordinary natural beauty and diversity. This mysterious sanctuary hides a wealth of flora and animals, each eager to reveal its secrets to those who dare to investigate.
 
Our journey begins on foot, as we trek the rough terrain to the Sariaka camp, a gorgeous location set in the bush. After a 2- to 3-hour climb, we arrive at our destination, where we relax and see the gorgeous Lake Sariaka.
 
Accommodation: Camping
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our journey takes us into the beautiful SAKAMANTSE gorge, where pristine, crystal-clear streams flow gently along the steep terrain. Descending into the canyon, we follow the twisting watercourses via towering cliffs that reach several hundred metres high, ornamented with verdant, humid vegetation that thrives in the canyon walls' sheltering embrace. Water reigns supreme here, making its presence felt in every nook of these magnificent canyons.
 
As our journey progresses, we are treated to sweeping views of the beautiful Behetaheta forest, a verdant oasis in the harsh country. Keep a watch out for zebus roaming freely in their native habitat, which exemplifies the untamed splendour of this distant wilderness. Our journey continues towards the awe-inspiring second canyon of Anosilahy, offering more stunning beauty and unique encounters.
 
Accommodation: Camping
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Embark on an exhilarating hike through the broad plains and winding ridges, where we'll be treated to spectacular panoramic views of the Anosilahy and Sariaka lakes. Each step provides a new perspective, presenting the peaceful lakes that sparkle in the sunlight against the rough environment.
 
Our journey continues to the Andranovinily camp, a lonely and enchanting site surrounded by the region's natural marvels. Along the route, we explore the canyon's depths, where cascading waterfalls punctuate the harsh terrain and provide a welcome relief from our journey. With the enticing waters beckoning, there's also the option of taking a refreshing swim, providing the ideal opportunity to immerse ourselves in the pristine beauty of the surrounds.
 
As we move closer to our campground, the sights and sounds of nature surround us, providing a sense of calm and peace that can only be experienced in the midst of the woods. With each passing instant, we are reminded of the natural world's extraordinary beauty and resilience, instilling in us a sense of amazement and wonder that will last long after our adventure has ended.
 
Accommodation: Camping
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Venture deeper into the heart of the Makay, immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of this remote wilderness. Traverse rugged trails and ascend to vantage points that offer unparalleled views of the massif's majestic scenery, where towering cliffs overlook lush palm forests teeming with life. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to spot playful lemurs darting through the treetops, adding an extra layer of excitement to your adventure.

Our journey continues into the enchanting Mazedrano canyon, a hidden gem tucked away amidst the rugged landscape. Here, crystal-clear waters flow gently, inviting us to wade through the canyon's depths, where the water may reach up to our hips. As we navigate through the canyon, we find ourselves surrounded by a dense forest of palm trees and pandanus, their verdant foliage casting dappled shadows on the shimmering water. It's a journey that promises to awaken your senses and ignite your spirit of adventure, as you immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the Makay wilderness.

Accommodation: Camping

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an extraordinary journey across the vast plateau of this ancient, eroded mountain, where the environment unfolds in a mesmerising patchwork of yellowish and reddish ruiniform sandstone. As far as the eye can see, jagged cliffs and sculpted rock formations rise from the ground, their aged surfaces bearing witness to the passage of time. Against this stunning backdrop, the land is ornamented with scant patches of dry flora, their stubborn presence a monument to the persistence of life in such difficult conditions.
 
Our quest takes us to the amazing Mahatiny cave, a hidden treasure concealed in the harsh environment. In the chilly darkness of the cave's depths, we find a world of wonder waiting to be discovered. The cave's walls are adorned with ancient rock paintings, their vivid colours and intricate designs providing an insight into the lives and beliefs of individuals who previously called this place home. It's a voyage back in time as we marvel at our forefathers' craftsmanship and skill and reflect on the rich fabric of history that surrounds us now.
 
As we stand in wonder in front of these ancient works of art, we are reminded of humanity's ageless relationship to the natural world, as well as the enduring heritage of those who came before. It's a journey of exploration and meditation as we honour the past while charting a course for the future, guided by the land's lessons and the wisdom of those who came before us.
 
Accommodation: Camping
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
As our stay in the enchanting sceneries of Makay comes to an end, we painfully say goodbye to the forest and prepare to return to civilization. On our way home, we take the scenic route, giving us one last chance to appreciate the raw beauty of this distant territory.
 
However, when we return to Beronono along the tortuous trails, fate intervenes and we are briefly separated from our trusted crew of native porters. Undeterred, we reorganise and continue on, seeking refuge in the warmth of our beloved 4x4 car.
 
As the familiar signs of civilization appear, we get a sense of bittersweet nostalgia for the untamed environment we have left behind. However, the promise of a warm welcome and modern amenities entices us back to Ranohira.
 
When we arrive, we are met with open arms by the kind personnel of our hotel, where comfort and relaxation await. As we settle into our rooms, we reminisce on the previous days' experiences, grateful for the memories and relationships formed amidst Makay's rough surroundings.
 
Accommodation: Isalo Ranch
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Explore the wonders of Isalo National Park, a natural masterpiece known for its stunning sandstone formations, labyrinthine gorges, gushing waterfalls, tranquil natural pools, and diverse wildlife. The park covers an area of 81,540 hectares and features a variety of breathtaking scenery that fascinate the imagination.
 
Over millions of years, the jagged sandstone formations of Isalo have been carved by the unrelenting forces of wind and water erosion, resulting in a scene of extraordinary beauty and mystery. From towering cliffs to hidden valleys, each rock structure offers a tale about the earth's ancient history, providing insight into Madagascar's geological treasures.
 
With various well-marked hiking paths of varying difficulty levels, Isalo National Park allows tourists to embark on a voyage of discovery through its diverse landscapes. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a casual explorer, there's something for everyone to enjoy as you explore the park's varied topography.
 
Keep a look out for a wonderful variety of animals, including lively lemurs, colourful chameleons, and a diverse range of bird species that call Isalo home. From the treetops to the forest floor, the park is bursting with life, providing infinite opportunity for animal aficionados and nature lovers to see and appreciate Madagascar's extraordinary biodiversity.
 
Accommodation: Isalo Ranch or similar
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we'll journey back to the highlands via the road, retracing our path towards Ambalavao. This journey is approximately 6 hours.
 
Accommodation: Zomatel or similar
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Embark on an enthralling journey around the city of Fianarantsoa, where you will learn the meaning behind the city's name, which translates to "Good Education" in Indonesian. This enchanting city is well-known for its stunning colonial architecture and vibrant local culture, providing visitors with a glimpse into the rich legacy of Madagascar. As you make your way through its crowded streets, you will come across bustling marketplaces, ancient buildings, and friendly inhabitants who are eager to share their experiences with you.
 
In addition, Fianarantsoa is a bustling centre for the production of coffee, tea, and wine, and the surrounding countryside is dotted with expansive plantations serving as manufacturing facilities. You will gain an understanding of the planting and harvesting processes that result in the production of these well-liked beverages as you delve into the agricultural traditions of the region. You should also make it a point to partake in a tasting session, during which you will have the opportunity to savour the opulent flavours and smells of locally produced coffee, tea, and wine, which will be a wonderful treat for your senses.
 
Accommodation: Arotel or similar
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Let's take a pleasant rickshaw tour of Antsirabe, which is a great way to immerse oneself in the city's unique ambiance and discover its picturesque streets. As we glide through the city's bustling streets, we will see everything from historic structures to lively local markets and stunning colonial architecture. Don't miss renowned sites like Place de l'Indépendance, a lively central plaza surrounded by quaint cafes and busy stores that provide a look into daily life in Antsirabe.
 
Following our rickshaw excursion, we returned to Antananarivo via road, stopping in Ambatolampy along the route. Our tour continues in Antananarivo with a visit to Vue Royal Andohalo, which is located close the Andafiavaratra Palace and the historic Rova of Andafiavara. We're given to beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as we relax and enjoy a well-deserved sundowner, reflecting on our fantastic experience.
 
Accommodation: Le Belvedere or similar
 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Take a fascinating city tour of Antananarivo, the renowned capital steeped in centuries of Malagasy history and culture. For almost three centuries, the city has served as the centre of Malagasy authority, and it is home to a plethora of unique landmarks and insights that await discovery. Explore the historic streets and landmarks that testify to the city's rich history, from old palaces to busy marketplaces filled with local goods and treasures.
 
While exploring the city, make sure to stop by the amazing markets and shops that sell products and crafts from all over the country at incredibly low costs. These vivid shops provide an insight into the diversity of Malagasy culture and are ideal for purchasing unique souvenirs and presents to commemorate your trip.
 
Before leaving Antananarivo, visit the bustling Digue market on your way to the airport. A plethora of sellers awaits, offering an assortment of locally manufactured products at cheap costs. It's the perfect place to pick up last-minute souvenirs or do some final shopping before heading home.
 
As we return to the Ivato airport, take a minute to think on the experiences and treasures you discovered while in Antananarivo. With a heart full of memories and a suitcase full of treasures, say goodbye to Madagascar, knowing that the spirit of adventure awaits you on your next voyage.
 
Meals: Breakfast

Price Includes

  • Accommodation on double/ twin room
  • Full board during the trip
  • 4x4 /minivan/Bus with driver guide speaking english from D1 to D3 and D 11 to D15 (depends on pax number)
  • Vehicle 4WD for 1 to 3 persons, from D4, D5 and D9,D10
  • Indemnity and accommodation of the driver
  • Entrance and guidance fees at National park of Makay and Isalo
  • Entrance and guidance fees at Anja reserve communities
  • National guide during the adventure from D1 to D15 (his indemnities and accommodation)

Price Excludes

  • The International flights
  • The property and casualty insurance (luggage, cancellation, medical expenses, repatriation etc)
  • Activities and tours not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses

Photos