I can offer a variety of tours through Madagascar, but the most popular tour is down the
RN7 from Antananarivo to Toliara in the South West of Madagascar. This route is popular among visitors as it traverses across a variety of landscapes and Madagascan tribes, and follows the convenient national highway.
For visitors with limited time getting a driver in Madagascar is essential as the local buses can be unreliable, time consuming, and dangerous. As your driver I also know the most cost effective and best hotels, and can arrange additional trekking tours along the way. Here is a brief description of a possible tour from Antananarivo to Toliara:
Antananarivo to Antsirabe, and Ambositra:
Follow the passes in the mountainous interior to the sleepy town of Antsirabe, famous for it’s rickshaws, and arts and crafts. After lunch head to Ambositra and watch master wood carvers at work, carving exquisite wood art which can be bought inexpensively for gifts for people back home.
Ambositra to Ranomafana:
Travelling further south the landscape starts changing towards more rainforests and rice paddies, and through the territory of the Merino tribe. Ranomafana is a rain forest that is a protected area, and is host to the Golden Bamboo Lemur of which there are 50 left in this world and only in Ranomafana.
Ranomafana village is a short drive from the entrance to the rain forest, and a day or overnight hike in the rain forest is highly recommended.
Ranomafana to Ambalavao:
From Ranomafana we get back onto the RN7 and head through Fianarantsoa to the sleepy mountainous village of Ambalavao. Here trekking can be organised to the nearby Andringita mountain reserve which is a 50km journey by 4×4. Organise these tours in the local national parks office in Ambalavao, and try to avoid unscrupulous tour agents who can over inflate the price. The peak of Andringita is the second highest peak in Madagascar and is well worth the hike to the top.
Ambalavao to Isalo National Park:
Just outside Ambalavao the small reserve of Anja is the ideal place to observe the famous ring tailed lemur up close and in their natural environment. From there we continue on south while the landscape changes to a more savanna grasslands feel. Isalo National Park in Ranohira is one of the most popular parks for trekking and boasts some beautiful and surreal landscapes. It is recommended to spend at least 2 days here taking in the scenary of the deep river canyons, and bizarre rock formations, before heading south to Toliara and Ifaty.
Ranohira (Isalo) to Toliara and Ifaty:
The final leg south takes you through more savanna landscapes, and it is here you will spot a couple of baobab trees closer to Toliara. The seaside village of Ifaty is a recommended final destination to rest weary legs and take local Piroque sail boats into the bay for snorkeling trips. The small reserve of Reniala which is walking distance from Ifaty is a protected site for the indigenous Baobab trees of the area, some of which are over 1500 years old!
From Ifaty you can take a flight from Toliara back to Antananarivo for your flight home or on to more Madagascar adventures!
View a video below of some of the trip highlights: