An expedition in the heart of the baobab aforests of southwest Madagascar with Cyrille Cornu - Détours Madagascar
Adventure

An expedition in the heart of the baobab aforests of southwest Madagascar with Cyrille Cornu

Lovers of adventure, passionate about biodiversity and baobabs, this trip is for you. Explorer, scientist, world-renowned specialist of baobabs, Cyrille Cornu has designed a tour to bring you to the most beautiful baobab forests of Madagascar.

The trip we propose is located in the southwestern part of the island between the cities of Morondava and Tulear. Throughout this journey, you will benefit from the explanations of the great specialist, Cyrille, who will accompany you and bring you the knowledge necessary to understand the extraordinary diversity of baobabs on the Big Island.

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Paris Roissy CDG
10h-8500km

Day 1You get in in Antananarivo, welcome to Madagascar !

Day 1You get in in Antananarivo, welcome to Madagascar !

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

Meal and accommodations
Accommodation: Tsanga Tsanga | Antananarivo
4h-180km
4h 30m-220km
Miandrivazo

Day 2En route westwards to Miandrivazo

Day 2En route westwards to Miandrivazo

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Tsanga Tsanga | Antananarivo
Lunch: On road
Dinner: Hôtel Princesse Tsiribihina | Miandrivazo
Accommodation: Hôtel Princesse Tsiribihina | Miandrivazo
Miandrivazo
4h-235km
Morondava
Kirindy

Day 3Sundowner on the Baobab Alley

Day 3Sundowner on the Baobab Alley

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Hôtel Princesse Tsiribihina | Miandrivazo
Lunch: Picnic during the hike
Dinner: Hôtel Trecicogne
Accommodation: Hôtel Trecicogne
Morondava
3h-85km
Belo sur mer

Day 4Direction to the baobab forests of the Menabe

Day 4Direction to the baobab forests of the Menabe

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Hôtel Trecicogne
Lunch: Picnic during the hike
Dinner: Ecolodge du Menabe | Belo sur Mer
Accommodation: Ecolodge du Menabe | Belo sur Mer
Belo sur mer
20km
Mitea

Day 5The dune of Mitea by the sea

Day 5The dune of Mitea by the sea

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Ecolodge du Menabe | Belo sur Mer
Lunch: Camping
Dinner: Made by your team
Accommodation: Camping
Mité
70km
Kirindy Mitea National Park

Day 6The baobab path of Kirindy Mitea

Day 6The baobab path of Kirindy Mitea

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…

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Made by your team
Lunch: Camping
Dinner: Made by your team
Accommodation: Camping
Kirindy Mitea National Park
10h-160km
Mangoky river

Day 7Bivouac on the banks of the Mangoky River

Day 7Bivouac on the banks of the Mangoky River

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Made by your team
Lunch: Camping
Dinner: Made by your team
Accommodation: Camping
Mangoky river
3h-80km
Morombe

Day 8The giants of Andombiry

Day 8The giants of Andombiry

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!

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Made by your team
Lunch: Picnic during the hike
Dinner: Chez Laurette
Accommodation: Chez Laurette
Morombe
3h-75km
Andavadaoka

Day 9The mysterious baobabs of Andavadoaka

Day 9The mysterious baobabs of Andavadoaka

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Chez Laurette
Lunch: Picnic during the hike
Andavadaoka
5h-205km
Ifaty
1h-45km

Day 10Tulear and the Arboretum of Antsokay

Day 10Tulear and the Arboretum of Antsokay

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.

Meal and accommodations
Lunch: On road
Dinner: Auberge de la Table | Tuléar
Accommodation: Auberge de la Table | Tuléar
Arboretum Tuléar
8h-180km
Ampotaka

Day 11-12At the baobab diggers

Day 11-12At the baobab diggers

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Auberge de la Table | Tuléar (11)
Breakfast: Made by your team (12)
Lunch: Picnic during the hike
Dinner: Made by your team
Accommodation: Camping
Ampotaka
2h-60km
Tsimanampetsotsa National Park
1h-30km
Ambola

Day 13The baobab "grandmother

Day 13The baobab "grandmother

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.

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Made by your team
Lunch: Picnic during the hike
Dinner: Hôtel Le Domaine d'Ambola
Accommodation: Hôtel Le Domaine d'Ambola
Ambola
2h-70km
1h 55m-935km

Day 14Back to Tulear & return flight to the capital

Day 14Back to Tulear & return flight to the capital

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 pick you up.

    Scheduled flight with Tsaradia TZ719: departure from Tulear @ 2:35pm - arrival in Antananarivo @ 4:25pm

Meal and accommodations
Breakfast: Hôtel Le Domaine d'Ambola
Lunch: On road
Dinner: Tsanga Tsanga | Antananarivo
Accommodation: Tsanga Tsanga | Antananarivo
10h-8500km
Paris Roissy CDG

Day 15Last day in Tana, then return flight to Paris CDG

Day 15Last day in Tana, then return flight to Paris CDG

Antananarivo - Paris Roissy CDG

  • Last day in Tana to explore the Capital freely (we can organize city tour or another activity according to your envies).

    Your hotel rooms are made available for your last preparations before the return flight to Paris 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 @ 9:55am the following day

    Misaotra betsaka !

Meal and accommodations
Accommodation: Tsanga Tsanga | Antananarivo
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