The ideal route for your 25-day Madagascar impact trip
- Travel with a maximum positive impact
- Cruise over the Tsiribihina river
- Visit Tsingny
- Relax and unwind in Sainte Marie
Madagascar is one of the largest islands in the world, which makes it difficult to discover in a short amount of time. Especially considering it has only one main road. This 25-day itinerary for a holiday in Madagascar shows you the south and the east of the island. According to our Madagascar travel expert this is the best route you can take to discover the island. After a visit to the capital city of Antananarivo you will go on to Antsirabe, the city of the brightly coloured rickshaws. From Miandrivazo you will go by boat over the Tsiribihina River to Bekopaka. This is the entrance of the Tsingy de Bemaraha park. Via the Allée des Baobabs you will travel to the Ranomafana, Isalo and Andasibe National Parks. Here you can set off in search of lemurs, makis and other wildlife. You will sail through the Canal des Panagalanes and meet friendly, smiling locals. Round that off with a few days on the heavenly beaches of Sainte Marie and this holiday in Madagascar is one of the most enjoyable journeys there is.
Find out how our local travel expert can help you design your ideal trip
What is impact travel?
Better Places Travel is a social enterprise and certified B Corp. This means that we are committed to making a social impact above making a profit. As a social enterprise we find it important that the people in the countries we work with fully profit from tourism. This means, for example, that the people we work with receive a fair wage and have decent working hours and conditions. For you as traveller it means you’ll often stay in small-scale, locally owned hotels and accommodations and take part in local excursions that offer you a truly authentic experience. We also invest a portion of our profits in various social and environmental projects.
Route Madagascar Impact Trip
- Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo
- Day 2: Antsirabe
- Day 3: Miandrivazo
- Day 4-6: cruise over the Tsiribihina
- Day 7: Bekopaka
- Dag 8: Morondava
- Day 9: Antsirabe
- Day 10-11: Ranomafana
- Day 12-13: Isalo
- Day 14: Tuléar
- Day 15: Antananarivo
- Day 16-17: Andasibe
- Day 18-19: Canal des Pangalanes
- Day 20: Tamatave
- Day 21-23: Sainte Marie
- Day 24: Antananarivo
- Day 25: Departure from Antananarivo
Share your travel wishes with Frank and he will send you a tailor-made proposal
Day 1 – Arrival in Antananarivo
Today is the beginning of your holiday in Madagascar. After arrival at the airport you will be brought to a comfortable hotel in the capital city. The rest of the day you’ll have the time to relax and recover from your flight or stroll through the city.
Day 2 – Antananarivo to Antsirabe
After breakfast you will drive for about four hours in an off-road vehicle to Antsirabe. This adorable town is the place to find a pousse pousse, a brightly coloured rickshaw. The old colonial buildings give this town extra character and make it a charming place to stop by on your way to the south.
Day 3 – Antsirabe to Miandrivazo
After breakfast you will drive to the crater lake, which lies about 20 kilometres away. A short hike through the forest will quickly bring you to the shores of this holy lake. If after this tour you head back to the main road, don’t forget to stop by the villages along the way. The inhabitants of these rural villages would love to chat with you. After lunch you will drive another four hours to Miandrivazo.
Day 4 – Miandrivazo: boat ride over the Tsiribihina
After breakfast you will board the boat for a three-day cruise over the Tsiribihina River. This calm cruise over the river will take you past forests, rocks and baobabs. If you’re lucky you might even spot some makis and crocodiles on the shore. A chef on board will take care of all your meals. You will spend two nights on the banks of the river.
Day 5 – Cruise over the Tsiribihina
You will continue your cruise in the direction of the Canal of Mozambique. You will pass the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park where you will most likely see many chameleons and makis. At the Anosinampela Waterfalls you will have some time for a refreshing swim.
Day 6 – cruise over the Tsiribihina and to Bekopaka
In the morning you will cruise on till just before Belo. Today you will see the first Baobabs of your journey. After lunch you will get off the boat and continue your way through the wilderness in a 4-wheel drive car. You will end the day in Bekopaka, the entrance of Tsingy de Bemaraha.
Day 7 – Bekopaka
Millions of years ago the northwestern and western side of the island were pushed upwards from the bottom of the sea. Wind and weather erosion then turned this area into this unique, sharp and rocky formation that in the local language is called Tsingy. This morning you and a local guide will set off to explore Tsingy de Bemaraha. After lunch you will set off in a boat to explore some of the caves under the massive limestone formation.
Day 8 – Bekopaka to Morondava
Morondava is a cozy little beach town wedged between the canal of Mozambique and a mangrove forest. The place is most famous for its neighbouring road: the Allée des Baobabs. We recommend to drive through it in the afternoon at golden hour when the sun is just setting.
Dag 9 – Morondava to Antsirabe
Today a long journey is awaiting you. You will first drive some 6 to 7 hours to Antsirabe. Thankfully the road is paved properly. Once you arrive in Antsirabe you will stay again in the Résidence Madalief.
Day 10 – Antsirabe to Ranomafana
After breakfast you will drive for five hours to Ranomafana National Park. If you’re up for it you can do a night hike, but you can also opt to do this tomorrow. During the hike you will set off in search of wildlife.
Day 11 – Ranomafana
The Ranomafana park became world famous in the 1980s when a new species of lemur was discovered: the golden bamboo lemur. Together with a guide you will set off in search of this special lemur as well as other kinds of lemurs in the park. In the afternoon you can enjoy a hot water bath in the nearby spa.
Day 12 – Ranomafana to Isalo
You will continue your trip over the Route National where via Ambalavao you will drive to the town of Ranohira. This is the entrance to Isalo National Park. You will spend two nights in a hotel with a pool very close to the national park.
Day 13 – Isalo
Isalo is seen as the most beautiful national park of the south. Today you will spend the whole day exploring the park under the guidance of a local guide. You will pass waterfalls, natural pools and impressive canyons. In the middle of the wilderness you will get a barbeque lunch. Of course, there are many makis and lemurs that you’ll see here playing in the bushes around you.
Day 14 – Isalo to Tuléar
Today you will leave Isalo and after a relatively short drive you will reach Tuléar in the beginning of the afternoon. You have the rest of the afternoon off to relax and recover from your southern adventure. You will spend the night in a comfortable hotel with a pool.
Day 15 – Tuléar to Antananarivo
A domestic flight will bring you to the capital in a little over an hour. Here you will spend the night in the same hotel you stayed at on your first day. You can explore the city in the afternoon if you wish, but this is also possible later during this trip.
Day 16 – Antananarivo to Andasibe
After breakfast you will embark on a 4-hour car ride to Andasibe in the eastern part of Madagascar. The park located here is better known than the Périnet Park. Here you can spot the Indri Indri, a species of maki that lives in this park. Tonight, the plan is to take a night hike. You have the chance to spot mouse makis, chameleons, gekkos, and tree frogs. You will spend two nights in wooden chalets on the edge of the rainforest.
Day 17 – Andasibe
The whole morning you will spend discovering the park together with a guide where you will be able to spot Indri indris, bamboo makis, brown makis, and the Parsons chameleon. After lunch you will drive to the Vakona area. You will visit a wildlife refuge where you will be able to take good pictures of the animals you spotted earlier. There are also a some crocodiles in the lake here.
Day 18 – Andasibe to the channel of Panagalanes
After breakfast you will drive to Manambato, the entrance to the canal of Panagalanes. You will take a small boat through a network of lakes, creeks, lagoons and channels. In the middle of this unique area is your accommodation for the night.
Day 19 – Channel of Paganalanes
Today you will have all the time to discover the beautiful surroundings. You can take hikes, either with a guide or by yourself. Set out in search of makis or other wildlife. The forest has many species of plants, including meat-eating ones. You can also opt to take the boat and cruise over the lake to spot birds along the shores. If you would like to see how the locals live you can also check out the local fishing village.
Day 20 – Channel of Panagalanes to Tamatave
After breakfast it’s time to leave Panagalanes. You will continue your journey over the Canal des Panagalanes by boat where after a few hours you will moor at the pier of Toamasina (Tamatave). Here you will spend the night in a resort before heading to the paradise island of Sainte Marie.
Day 21 – Tamatave to Sainte Marie
A transfer will bring you to the airport for your domestic flight to the island of Saint Marie. Upon arrival there you will be brought to your hotel. The coming days you will have time to simply relax and enjoy the pristine beaches.
Day 22 and 23 – Sainte Marie, days off
Sainte Marie is known in the local language as Nosy Boraha. In contrast to the popular Nosy Be, Sainte Marie has managed to keep its authentic charm despite the tourists. Make sure to explore the quiet hidden beaches and time your time to relax. Between July and September you also have the possibility of going whale watching.
Day 24 – Sainte Marie to Antananarivo
A domestic flight will bring you back to the capital. You will stay in the same hotel that you stayed at on your first day. You still have the day to explore the parts of the city you haven’t gotten to see yet. You can, for example, stop at the Avenue de l’Independence and the various markets surrounding it. With a taxi you can easily reach the city’s highest point where the palaces of the last queen and that of her first minister are worth a visit.
Day 25 – departure from Antananarivo, end of your holidays in Madagascar
Today is your last day in Madagascar unfortunately. A transfer will bring you to the airport for your return flight. We hope you enjoyed your holiday in Madagascar!
An extraordinary hotel
The Madalief Foundation was born out of love for the children of Madagascar. This is a non-profit organization that offers underprivileged children in Madagascar the opportunity for a better future. It is a beautiful hotel with 13 rooms, a playground and dormitories for children. By staying in this hotel you will be helping Madalief with several projects. The Residence helps the foundation to create jobs and work experience for locals. Would you like to know more about this amazing organization? Take a look at their website.
Respect for traditions
There are many legends and myths surrounding the mountains of Tsarasoa. During your stay you will get to know lots about the local ‘fady’, or cultural taboos. You will go on beautiful hikes through the Tsarasoa area and get acquainted with the unique traditions that are still very present here. The villagers here often have to accommodate to the modern world, but with this visit you can help preserve their traditions.
Stay in the middle of the wilderness
During this trip you will spend two nights in the Tsarasoa Lodge, a hotel in the middle of the wilderness. Located between the beautiful Langela peaks, this unique lodge is the perfect space to relax. The cozy rooms offer lots of comfort and fully give you the chance to rest.
Meet the locals in Panganales
During your stay in Panganales, there are two things you must experience: the incredible biodiversity of this area and the authenticity of the villagers. During a boat ride you will not only see wildlife, but also the way that this small community sustains itself daily. You will see how people and nature peacefully coexist here.
Panagalanes Forest Lodge
Located in the heart of the woods on the Eastern coast, you will find Pangalanes Lodge, which is only reachable on foot or by boat. This little hotel is an oasis of tranquility and the ideal place to relax and unwind. Close to the lodge you will find a local fishing village that you can explore. Panaganales Lodge actively contributes to the conservation efforts of Madagascar’s forests and your stay here is part of that.
Share your travel wishes with Frank and he will send you a tailor-made proposal
Sustainable Development Goals
At the end of 2015, the United Nations set up 17 global goals to bring an end to poverty, inequality and climate change: the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals set guidelines to make the world a better place for everyone. At Better Places Travel, we believe that by travelling in a responsible way, tourism can make the world a better place. The great thing about responsible travel? Making the world a better place is goes hand-in-hand with making memories and having unique and authentic travel experiences. Want to know how you can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals while travelling? Click here to learn more.
Book a Direct Flight
By booking a direct flight you significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of your trip. And that’s just one of the many reasons to choose for a non-stop flight. Read more
We strive to make all our trips plastic-free by 2020. This means no more use of single-use plastic bottles. As a traveller you will on average use 15 water bottles per person in one week! This leads to a large amount of plastic waste, which unfortunately often ends up in the sea. Have a look at our many practical tips on how to reduce your plastic waste while travelling. Read more
Better Places Travel compensates the CO2 emissions of your entire trip, including the international flight you book separately. We use an award-winning carbon calculator to accurately compensate for all parts of your trip. We do this by investing in a Gold Standard project for efficient cooking appliances in Ghana. Read more