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This morning you will be picked up from Hotel Restaurant La Ribaudiere at 9am. After a short briefing, drive to Andasibe through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This first step brings you to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes. Along the way we will see Merina villages in the rocky mountains. Arrive at Andasibe around 18h00. Check-in to your ensuite bungalows, overlooking the forest. Later this evening at approximately 19h00 enjoy a night walk in the area of Andasibe to observe night active lemurs and other nocturnal animals.
A morning visit to the Special Reserve of Andasibe, to see the Indri Indri, the largest lemurs on the island. In the afternoon, visit of the village.
Drive back to Tana, and head south to Antsirabe, across the highland landscape with its beautiful rice fields on stage. The spectacular eroded hills called ‘lavaka’ reminiscent of the Far East with its rice fields and green landscape with vegetables and fruit trees. A stop in Ambatolampy for a short visit of this huge agricultural city, which is also known as a source of aluminium. Arrival in Antsirabe around 17h00, or ‘the place of salt’, an elegant city well known as the centre of the beer industry, you can smell the Star Brewery as you enter the town! Continuation to Antsirabe and arrival at the end of the day.
After breakfast, drive to Ambositra, the centre of Madagascar's wood carving industry. We are still in the highland, which is characterized by its architecture: The houses are made with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with bright colours. Further on you pass the ‘le col de tapia’, a type of tree resistant to the bush fires of the area. The landscape is still dominated by rice fields, pine and eucalyptus trees and rocky mountains.
Full day visit in the national park of Ranomafana. Parc National de Ranomafana (approximately 40,000ha), with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most heavily visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitudes in the park range from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest. You will go for walks in the National Park for several hours spotting some of the lemurs, chameleons and other animals.
Leave Ranomafana using the road that you entered on, and pass Fianarantsoa ‘the city where one learns good things’. It is the gate to the South and the capital of the Betsileo tribes. Then we head southwards, your first stop is in Ambalavao to visit a wine industry for wine tasting, as Ambalavao is the centre of wine industry. Along the way, see from afar a spectacular huge granite dome with twin rock towers called: ‘the gate of the south’, which marks the end of the highland and the beginning of the south. You then pass through the huge ‘Plateaux de Horombe’ where with its very deep red soil, reminds us of ‘the no man's land’. Arrive in Isalo.
Day Visit of the natural swimming pool. Back to the hotel after the visit. Afternoon at leisure. The park covers an area of 81 540 ha comprising the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain is spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountain. Today walk to the ‘Natural swimming pool’. After a 10-minute drive from Ranohira village you'll walk about 1½ hours to reach the Natural Swimming Pool.
After breakfast, continue to Tuléar at the end of National Road N° 7. Admire some different scenery - the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south. En-route see the fascinating ‘Mahafaly Tombs’ and the ‘Antandroy Tombs’. After a short visit of Tuléar you drive to Ifaty, which lies about 27 km from Tuléar.
Toliara / Antananarivo md 713 20h25 / 21h30 Breakfast at the hotel. Day free at leisure.
Breakfast at the hotel. City tour & stop at the artisanal market for a last shopping. Flight out.