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Madagascar North Coast Adventure

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Rating in Madagascar
Tour details
Destinations: Antananarivo, Ankarana Reserve
Type of adventure: icon-09.png Multi
Guide language: English
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An action packed trip through Madagascar’s wild North West. Starting from the red highlands, whilst on our unique expedition, we move on through the wide open spaces and the green valley of Sambirano to the white sands of Madagascar’s northern tip. On this expedition you will be  rafting, canoeing, hiking the Tsingy, sleeping in tree huts, exploring Ankarana and so much more, you’re guaranteed to experience plenty of excitement in this 2 week Madagascan adventure.
Madagascar is a one-off; there is no other place like it. Its landscapes, animals and plants are simply fantastic! Near the equator with an astonishing array of habitats, ranging from rainforests to deserts and from mountain tops to mangrove swamps, it is one of the most important countries for biodiversity on the planet. The tropical climate is a perfect host to the process of nature and, like nowhere else, the variety and richness of life has flourished.
As part of our commitment to responsible travel and in conjunction with we finance a tree nursery and orchard in Italavina – which is a long term reforestation project.

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After arriving in Antananarivo (or Tana, as it is known by the locals) late pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel
Overnight – Hotel
After breakfast you will meet your guide and we will set out by car and head towards Gondwana Island on the Ikopa River (approx. 5hrs). Upon reaching the river we will transfer to our rafts and spend the next hour paddling to the island – the river is quite wide and the rapids are easy. Gondwana is a relatively new camp on this 50 ha island and is a brilliant place to spot birds with the possibility of seeing crocodiles.
Overnight – Camp
We will get back into our rafts for our return journey back to shore. Our car will be waiting for us and we will set out on our relatively long journey to Antsohihy. This journey provides a great chance to view Malagasy life on the roads. (driving time approx. 6  hrs, depending on road conditions).
Overnight – Hotel
Later in the season (August onwards) the Sambirano river levels are too low for the canoe trip. We therefore have 2 programs depending on the time of year for this trip.
We have a short hop this morning (approx. 4hrs driving time) to Ankarana.  We will stay at a lovely lodge just outside the park. After enjoying a lunch at this lodge, we will head out for our first trek into Ankarana.
The next two days will be spent trekking through this reserve.
Overnight – Lodge
Today will be spent exploring this amazing park. The trails are not easy but are feasible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness and we recommend visiting this park in the dry season (May-Nov).
You will hopefully get a chance to cool off in the lodge swimming pool at the end of a hard days trekking.
Overnight – Lodge
DAY 9: ANKARA TO Montagne d’ambrE (B,L,D)
After another morning in Ankara we will head back to the car and drive to Jofreville (approx. 3+ hrs on another bumpy road) and the Montagne d’Ambre – the Amber Mountain.
Our accommodation whilst here will be a charming boutique hotel The Litchi Tree.
Overnight – Hotel
DAY 10: Trekking in the AMBER MOUNTAIN (B,L,D)
We can spend the day trekking in this national park before heading back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight – Hotel
Today we head to Montagne de Francais, just a short 1 ½ hour by road, but a very different environment – a tropical dry forest with baobabs, caves and fish eagles and different species of lemurs. This reserve protects deciduous dry forest characteristic of the north of Madagascar. Much of the forest is on a calcareous massif that has been eroded into Tsingy. The forested area ranges from 100-450 metres above sea level. This is one of the best places to see one of the most beautiful baobabs, Adansonia suarezensis. We will have a unique experience here as we will overnight in the tree bungalows – literally huts built in trees!
Overnight – Tree Bungalow
Today we will hike the 3 hours to Sakalava. With beautiful white sand and a shallow lagoon with pristine waters this is the perfect place to relax and unwind after all the activity of the past 12 days. You will be staying in a ” bush ” hotel, for guests who want to stay off the beaten path , in a quiet and magical environment. The hotels incorporates 7 acres which are inhabited by wild lemurs and thousands of birds. Sakalava bay, with a 3 mile stretch of beach enclosed by barrier reef is a perfect place for wind or kite surfing (it’s a safe place to learn as the wind blows you back into shore).
Overnight – Sakalava Bungalow
We will leave Sakalava and head to Diego, where we will take an Air Madagascar flight back to Tana. Depending on your time of arrival in Tana you can visit the handicraft market en-route to your hotel.
Overnight – Hotel
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.

NB: This itinerary is subject to change – arrangements, routes and facilities are subject to variation depending on local conditions.  We can also tailor itineraries to suit your exact requirements. Please note times given are approximate driving times and do not include stops, the journey times are therefore longer. When driving times are given, this is only an indication.  It aims to reflect the actual driving time (and doesn’t include stops, lunch, traffic). The road journeys, while often long, are one of the great ways to experience Madagascar.  There is so much life on the road and many photographic opportunities along the way from a natural and people perspective.

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Optional Beach / Island Hopping Extension
(Other beach extensions available, please contact us for more info)

We head to Diego where we will take an Air Madagascar flight to Nosy Be. Upon arrival we will transfer to a hotel where we will spend the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight Hotel.

DAY 15: Nosy-be / Anjiabe (B,L,D)
First thing this morning we will meet at the beach for where we board a dhow Sakalava to explore an area where the sea is the only path.   Swimming, snorkelling and diving discovery of an incredibly rich and diverse underwater world awaits us.  After a dhow journey we will land at Anjiabé, a 3km long beach bordered by a semi-abandoned coconut plantation, a site with extraordinary low tide. This is where we will camp for tonight.  After a drink and a stunning meal of seafood prepared for us by our chef, we will have the chance to nap, swim and for those who wish, walk trails to observe the many species of birds, mostly endemic to Madagascar. Sunset, cocktails, meals … And good night!

Overnight – Hotel

Depending on the tide we will depart relatively early towards the Island’s northernmost archipelago Radama. (approx. a 2 1/2hr crossing).  Along the way we will get a chance to swim. Nosy Ambariopôtaka rises to 166 meters and includes a different landscape to last night and we camp facing the majestic Mozambique Channel.  In the next bay we tend to find a Sakalava carpenter at work – with one or more shells of dhows resting on a bed of pink and white periwinkles. The whole island is surrounded by a lagoon. Scuba diving, nature walks in the jungle and lazing are the order of today.

Overnight -Hotel

We set off early to head Ambariomena.

We set up camp a lovely little village and, depending on the tides, in the afternoon, we head out to the sea in a canoe or explore the island on foot.  After our evening aperitif, we will enjoy a meal under the stars and camp the night.

Overnight – Camping


This morning we head back to Nosy Be where we will take an Air Madagascar flight back to Tana. Depending on time of arrival you will have the option of a visit to the handicraft market and also day use of a hotel. International flights are usually at 01:00hrs. Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.

End of expedition.
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All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Pioneer Expeditions
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