Paris Roissy CDG - Antananarivo
Program elaborated as an indication according to the schedules of arrival of the Company Air France.
A member of Détours Madagascar will welcome you at the Ravinala airport in Ivato Antananarivo in the evening. Transfer to your hotel for the night.
Scheduled flight by Air France: departure from CDG @ 10:10am - arrival in Antananarivo @ 9:40pm
Antananarivo - Antsirabe
We will leave early in the morning by 4x4 from the capital Antananarivo in direction of Morondava. We will be crossing the landscapes of the Highlands by taking a winding road lined with a mosaic of fields of various crops and rice fields arranged in terraces.
Along the way, I will show you how to read the consequences of deforestation in the landscape.
Antsirabe - Miandrivazo
After Antsirabe, we will be driving due west towards Miandrivazo. As we go along, mosaics of rice terraces and various crops, hills overhung with red brick houses of the Central Highlands will give way to the arid landscapes of the Sakalava Middle-West and the "peeled" mountains jagged by erosion of the southern Bongolava massif.
Our first day will end in Miandrivazo, a stopover town located on the banks of the Tsiribihina River.
Miandrivazo - Morondava
We will take the road to Morondava early in the morning.
About forty kilometers before reaching our destination, we will be observing our first baobabs along the national road.
In the early afternoon, we will reach the world-famous Baobab Alley.
We will be discovering the "love baobabs" located not far from there before returning to the foot of the alley to watch a sunset.
A good meal will await us at the Relais du Kirindy.
Morondava - Belo sur mer
In the morning, we will be visiting the covered market of Morondava to meet fruit and baobab bark merchants. We will then leave Morondava in 4x4 vehicles in the middle of the morning, driving on a track through savannahs, forests, and salt flats before reaching the village of Belo sur Mer.
A journey punctuated by stops to admire the baobabs crossed along the track. The track is quite difficult with its share of fords, rivers and sandy portions. We will be following this beautiful road to get to the village of Belo-sur-mer.
Several baobab conservation projects are underway in this region, with nurseries and income-generating activities for the villagers, in order to raise awareness about the protection of this endangered species.
Once we arrive at our destination, we will join our hotel, the Ecolodge du Menabe, on the edge of the Mozambique Channel.
Moments of relaxation are guaranteed in this little corner of paradise.
Belo sur mer - Mitea
Early in the morning, we will be sailing by pirogue with Vezo sailors to reach the Mitea dune, a site only accessible by sea.
From the top of the dune, we will be able to admire a forest of baobabs in perfect state of conservation, forest we will be visiting too.
The day will end with a sunset from the top of the dune which culminates at 42 meters of altitude.
A night visit of the forest will allow us to attend a moment of great beauty, the blooming of a baobab flower and to surprise, hopefully, some nocturnal visitors of the flowers.
After a good meal taken around a campfire, we will join our tents planted in edge of sea.
Mité - Kirindy Mitea National Park
After a last climb to the top of the dune to watch the sunrise, we will then return to Belo sur mer.
We will be having lunch at the hotel before taking the road to visit the Kirindy Mitea National Park, a new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
I designed a baobab trail there about ten years ago, a trail that we will walk together in the heart of one of the best preserved baobab forests in the world.
Very different from the forests found north of Morondava, the Kirindy Mitea Park is largely covered by a primary dry forest, which marks the transition between the western and southern landscapes. We find several plant species representative of the arid climate of the South including Didiereaceae and Euphorbiaceae, as well as 3 species of baobabs.
The park shelters a littoral part composed of a patchwork of brackish wetland which makes it an excellent center of observation of the birds. A great diversity of landscapes is found on this site, between coastal dunes, islets, mangroves and savannah, sheltering a varied fauna: lemurs, reptiles, fish, birds, bats…
Kirindy Mitea National Park - Mangoky river
We will leave at dawn by 4x4 to reach the famous Mangoky River which naturally delimits the Sakalava and Bara territories.
Bivouac at the feet of baobabs that populate the banks of the great wild river.
Mangoky river - Morombe
It was thought for a long time that the biggest baobab of Madagascar lived in the big south in the region of Ampanihy. It is not the case. The record is currently held by giants of the species grandidieri which live in the forest of Andombiry in the north-east of the city of Morombe. The visit of this site will constitute one of the strong moments of our trip. I will guide you to meet the giants of Andombiry. There are several hundreds of them living here!
Morombe - Andavadaoka
We will be following the coastal track bordering the Mozambique Channel to arrive in the late morning in Andavadoaka, beach, fishing village…
The bay of Andavadoaka is one of the most beautiful of the Malagasy west coast.
Its turquoise waters and extremely rich seabed lined with idyllic beaches attract many visitors. Inland, the vegetation is amazing. Baobabs with strange shapes grow in low thorny forests. The baobabs here are only a few meters high. They are called bottle trees because of their round and squat shape. We will be visiting these baobab stands and try to understand the origin of their particular morphology.
We will stay at the Laguna Blu Hotel, just a few steps from the lagoon. An ideal place to enjoy the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Ifaty - Tulear
We will be following the coastline on a beautiful track before reaching the city of Tulear where we will have lunch at the Oasis restaurant.
In the middle of the afternoon, we will join the arboretum of Antsokay created in 1980 by the botanist Hermann Petignat. The visit of the arboretum will allow us to enrich our knowledge on the flora of the south of Madagascar. Night and dinner in the idyllic setting of the arboretum.
Arboretum Tuléar - Ampotaka
We will leave in the early hours to reach the small village of Ampotaka on the Mahafaly plateau. Around the village, the baobabs are the object of a unique practice in the world. Their trunks are hollowed out to form cavities used as cisterns.
In this region without lake or river, where it rains only a few months in a year, these cisterns and their reserves allow the inhabitants to survive in a particularly arid and hostile environment. During two days, we will be taking time to meet the baobab diggers of Ampotaka and their living tanks.
Meals and magical bivouac outside of time in the village of Ampotaka.
Ampotaka - Tsimanampetsotsa National Park
In the morning, we will take our 4x4 to reach the National Park of Tsimanampetsotsa, a lake saturated with lime sulfate which will reserve us beautiful floral and faunal surprises.
We will penetrate in a forest of baobabs, which gathers various specimens. Especially, we will be visiting the "grandmother", the oldest baobab known in Madagascar.
An abundant fauna is also present on the spot: birds, reptiles, turtles, and we will have perhaps the chance to cross the famous radiated turtle.
Picnic lunch in the shade of a baobab before continuing our day of discovery of the park. We will be enjoying a magnificent view of the lake while the sky turns red and orange at sunset.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Domaine d'Ambola Hotel.
Ambola - Tulear
After having experienced a wonderful expedition to discover the baobabs of the southwest, we will be returning back to Tulear by boat, the city of the sun.
We will have lunch at the Oasis restaurant then we will be joining the airport for the returning flight to Antananarivo.
Tulear - Antananarivo
A member of Détours Madagascar will welcome you upon arrival in Antananarivo.
Rooms will be made available for your last preparations and refreshment before the return flight to CDG.
Scheduled flight with Tsaradia TZ719: departure from Tulear @ 2:35pm - arrival in Antananarivo @ 4:25pm
Antananarivo - Paris Roissy CDG
After dinner, we drop you off to the airport. You will fly over the sky of the Indian Ocean with the feeling of having lived unique moments at the end of the world.
Scheduled flight with Air France: departure from Antananarivo @ 11:55pm - arrival in CDG @ 09:55am the following day
Misaotra betsaka !