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The Lost Continent tour
Education / Learning Educational/ learning The Lost Continent package

The Lost Continent

Explore! Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 2,980 $ 199 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Andasibe Reserve - Track the Indri lemur and other remarkable wildlife
  • Antsirabe - Walk along a stunning crater lake in Tritriva.
  • Highland Scenery - Rice paddies, villages and colourful markets.
  • Ranomafana - Walk in the rainforest and observe various species of lemurs, chameleons and amphibians.
  • Isalo National Park - Explore the 'Grand Canyon' of Madagascar and meet troops of Ring-tailed lemurs.

Short Description

There is no more unique landscape on earth in which to discover exotic wildlife than on the isolated island of Madagascar. We explore the rainforests, nature reserves and national parks in search of the many species of endangered lemur. We travel from the Malagasy capital ‘Tana’ across volcanic lakes and sandstone rock formations to the golden shores of the Indian Ocean.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Antananarivo

Travel Theme

Education / Learning

Destinations

Madagascar

Cities & Attractions

N/A

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join tour Antananarivo

Description

Arrive in Antananarivo. The city is cheerfully stacked on the sloping sides of the Highlands. This medieval capital is affectionately known as 'Tana' and enjoys a pleasant climate (1350m).

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Drive to Andasibe Reserve, view wildlife

Description

Today we will drive to Andasibe village otherwise known as Perinet. Although only eight square kilometres, Andasibe Reserve boasts nine species of Lemur, including the largest, the Indri indri, whose piercing voice can be heard throughout the forest. Colourful chameleons and many birds can also be seen as we spend the afternoon walking trails in this beautiful forested reserve. There will also be a nocturnal walk in search of wildlife including mouse and dwarf lemur, sleeping chamelons, frogs and insects.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Visit to National Park or Lemur Island, looking for Black and White Ruffed Lemur

Description

This morning we have a chance to do some birdwatching before making our main wildlife walk in the Analamazoatra Reserve. We hope to find the Indri Indri again and to hear their haunting morning group communication calls. Other lemur species we might see include the lesser bamboo lemur, diademed sifaka, brown lemur, red-bellied lemur and sleeping eastern woolly lemur. This is also a good site for birding and spotting chameleons and sometimes snakes or tenrec. In the afternoon there will be optional visit to a private reserve with more opportunities to spot lemurs at close quarters, or else a visit to the village of Andasibe itself.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Drive to Antsirabe, explore the colonial architecture and churches

Description

Heading south we reach the spa town of Antsirabe, the coolest place in Madagascar. Its climate made it a favourite spot with European missionaries and their influence can still be seen in the colonial architecture and churches. Antsirabe is also the agricultural and administrative centre of Madagascar and is also regarded as the ‘pousse-pousse’ capital.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 5 - Lake Tritiva; drive to Ambositira, Malagasy meal and local dancing

Description

This morning we drive to the volcanic Lake of Tritriva. Local myths and taboos have grown up around this mysterious lake which seems to have many guises, changing colour from one day to the next. We have the opportunity to walk round the lake before driving to Ambositra in the afternoon. We'll visit some of the craft shops, which produce carvings of Malagasy life, furniture and detailed marquetry work. We shall stay at a local development guest house, and there may be the opportunity to enjoy a traditional
Malagasy meal and see a folk dancing display this evening. Although the accommodation we use on this night stop is modest and of lower standard than what is provided throughout the rest of the trip, by staying here we directly support an important base for the development of health projects, agriculture, water supply and the empowerment of women within the local community. Any school supplies you may like to donate such as notebooks and pencils would be very gratefully received and passed on to the local children. The accommodation is dormitory style, simple but clean, with shared facilities. Hot water is not available.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Scenic drive to Ranomafana National Park

Description

The drive to Ranomafana takes up most of the day, however the winding road passes varied landscapes of rugged ridges, huge boulders and rural villages surrounded by rice paddies. En route we will stop in Ialatsara for lunch. In 1987 in Ranomafana National Park a new species of lemur named the Golden Bamboo was found. There are many hidden waterfalls and the Namorona river flows through some impressive gorges, flanked on either side by tropical rainforest.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - In Ranomafana National Park, searching for Lemurs and birdlife

Description

This morning will will enter the park for an early morning walk, but you may choose to do some optional birdwatching before this. Most lemur species are endangered, the last survivors of a once abundant family of primates, now confined to pockets of forest and bush throughout Madagascar. Deforestation has taken a heavy toll on these arboreal creatures – about 80 species remain. With luck we may see some of the species found in the park including Red-Bellied lemur, Grey Bamboo lemur, Milne-Edwards’ sifaka and perhaps the Black and White Ruffed lemur and the extremely rare Golden Bamboo lemur. We may also spot the Malagasy boa constrictor, chameleons, the black parrot, cuckoo roller and many other birds. In the afternoon there will be an additional optional walk within the park with a chance to spot the species not already seen during the morning.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - Drive to Isalo National Park (Ranohira)

Description

Returning to the main road this morning, we continue south via the regional capital of Fianarantsoa, the academic centre of Madagascar. Leaving the highland plateau and descending through superb mountain scenery to the plains we pause at Ambalavao paper workshop before arriving at Anja Community Reserve. Here we have the chance to watch troupes of ring-tailed lemur among the granite boulders. Continuing south the pine trees thin out and the fertile soil of the highlands gives way to drier savannah, cactus, termite mounds, and the dust of the midsouth. We finally reach our destination late in the afternoon. Ranohira, situated on the edge of the Isalo National Park.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 - Isalo National Park, admire Madagascar's Grand Canyon

Description

One of the highlights of our trip is Madagascar’s ‘Grand Canyon’ in Isalo National Park. Dervla Murphy, in her book ‘Muddling through Madagascar’ describes it thus – 'Landscapes that are literally incredible. You don’t believe it. You think you’re hallucinating. How can wind and water have done all this?'. Natural erosion has produced fantastic canyons and bizarre outcrops of wind-blasted sandstone. Sparse dry deciduous forest, including species of dwarf-like baobab and succulents, is found in the park. We plan to walk to a natural oasis pool known as ‘Piscine Naturelle’ and see tombs of the Bara people. This afternoon you have the opportunity to take an optional walk within the park to Namaza to see the Cascade des Nymphes.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 - Drive to Toliara, through the spiny desert, stopping at Mahafaly Tombs

Description

This morning we continue our journey south. The temperature rises as we lose height and head for the coast, crossing the savannah plain, dotted with herds of Zebu cattle. The south of Madagascar is largely desert, and weird cactus-like plants unique to the island smother the land and make up the vast areas of so called ‘spiny desert’. Close to Sakaraha is the Zombitse National Park. Here we will walk near the remarkable dry forest which is home to many birds, including black parrots, the Madagascar buzzard and the cuckoo roller. The very rare Apperts’ Greenbull is also here. As we continue our drive, we’ll pass by a number of fascinating Mahafaly Tombs before reaching the town of Toliara once an important port of call for Dutch and English ships plying the trade routes during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 11 - Morning boat journey to fishing village of Anakao, afternoon free

Description

After breakfast this morning we transfer by boat from Toliara to the small fishing village of Anakao, located to the south, just past the Onilahy river estuary. The rich turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean beckon from our beach hideaway. Please note: due to limited space on the boat we kindly request that you take a smaller overnight bag to Anakao. Your main luggage will be stored in Toliara.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 - In Anakao; optional snorkelling visit to Nosy Ve

Description

Today has again been left free to enjoy Anakao.You may wish to spend your day here relaxing on the beach; alternatively there is the option to take a trip out to the island of Nosy Ve, located just off Anakao’s western shore. The island is still considered a sacred site for the local Vezo people and with its reefs and colonies of Red-tailed tropicbirds, it is an ideal place to soak up the tropical atmosphere of this island paradise, and an opportunity to do some snorkelling.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 - Transfer to Toliara and fly to Tana.

Description

This morning we depart Anakao and return to Toliara for our flight back to Tana, where we will spend the night.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 14 - Visit Ambohimanga, oldest palace in country; visit to Lemur park

Description

This morning we head to the oldest palace in Madagascar situated on Ambohimanga, a forested hill, north of Antananarivo. It was from this fortress that the Merina, a highland tribe, first established an effective administration and military command under the King Andrianampoinamerina. The fort includes the original king's hut and later European buildings. From here we have magnificent views over the fertile rice fields below. We will then continue on to the Lemur Park which is located approximately 25km outside Tana. Nine species of lemurs coming from different regions of Madagascar wander freely in this botanical garden covering an area of five hectares of small forest situated by the Katsoaka River. The park also contains many species of the flora of Madagascar. In the afternoon you may have a chance for some last minute sightseeing or shopping in Tana before our final night of the tour.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15 - Tour ends Tana

Description

This morning our tour ends in Tana after breakfast.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 2,980
Price Per Day: $ 199 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

The Lost Continent

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Company Reviews

Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I was grateful to Explore with my booking as I was forced to cancel at a late date and then was enabled to rebook which meant the difference between having no summer holiday and a wonderful one. All of the administration seemed to be very efficient, friendly and professional.
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Wonderful holiday memories

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have travelled all over the world with explore on their family adventure holidays. We have an only child and she benefited so much with instant friendships, and has some wonderful holiday memories. Explore has always been very helpful with the booking process, and we have found most of the tour leaders they use to be professional, committed, really good at their jobs.
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Extremely enjoyable

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have travelled with Explore on several occasions. Each experience has been positive and every trip extremely enjoyable. The itinerary’s are excellent ensuring a full and varied experience and the use of local guides is hugely beneficial.
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It's fantastic trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's fantastic trip for me..just not very happy for accommodation. And the trip leader .If he can make more time with us.and make more interesting and funny when he was talking. It is should be good..other way he is good..
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wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Danijela, our tour guide, was wonderful. She shared plenty of facts about Croatia with us and managed all the arrangements really well. One of our group had a birthday while we were away and Danijela gave her a present and we celebrated. Transfers to and from the airport went well. Prior to going, the staff on the phones were really helpful with any questions.
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Great experiences

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our third family adventure with Explore, all have been great experiences. Kids bond immediately and adults can melt into the background and relax. The size of the groups makes mixing manageable and the guides and crews have been first rate throughout.
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Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Andasibe - Nocturnal walk £5. Dawn Birdwatching £5. Extra Park or village walk £3. Private Reserve £5 Ranomafana - Bird walk approx £3-5 depending on numbers. Optional Forest walk £3 Anakao - Snorkelling £15, piroque to Nosy Ve £15 Toliara - Arboreteum £10, Spiney Forest Walk £15 (depending on numbers).

Guides

A Tour Leader is an integral part of any Explore tour and your tour will be led by one of our experienced Tour Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Tour Leaders are the key to the success of our tours; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Tour Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this tour fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Ranger(s), Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s), Ranger(s)

Additional Information:

Additional JIs for FI - End Tour

Please be advised that all international flights incur the following departure taxes: From Ivato (Antananarivo) Airport: International airport departure tax is approximately 38Euros Domestic airport departure tax is approximately 20Euros From all Madagascan airports: International country departure tax of US$15.00 per person. Flight tickets issued after 04 November 2016 will include the departure taxes as part of the ticket. If you have booked your flight ticket independently please check with your travel agent/airline if these taxes are included in your ticket. If any are not you will need to pay for the above taxes locally at the airport in cash. Please note all airport taxes and visa fees must be paid in the applicable Euro or US Dollar currency, sterling is not accepted.

Additional JIs for LO - End Tour

Please be advised that all international flights incur the following departure taxes: From Ivato (Antananarivo) Airport: International airport departure tax is approximately 38Euros Domestic airport departure tax is approximately 20Euros From all Madagascan airports: International country departure tax of US$15.00 per person. Flight tickets issued after 04 November 2016 will include the departure taxes as part of the ticket. If you have booked your flight ticket independently please check with your travel agent/airline if these taxes are included in your ticket. If any are not you will need to pay for the above taxes locally at the airport in cash. Please note all airport taxes and visa fees must be paid in the applicable Euro or US Dollar currency, sterling is not accepted.

Trip ID#:

explore-MD

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