Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Madagascar Baobabs & Beyond tour

Madagascar Baobabs & Beyond

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
98%
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
11 days
From: $ 2,128 $ 193 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Watch a sunset behind towering, 800-year-old trees along the Avenue of the Baobabs
  • Travel along the Tsiribihina River in a traditional  Barge, stopping to walk to hidden waterfalls, explore villages and camp on the banks
  • Trek through a forest of limestone karsts and cross a sheer drop on a suspended bridge at the Big Tsingy
  • Float down the meandering Manambolo River dugout canoe, through a deep gorge and past rocky cliffs
  • Hike through pine forests and past volcanic crater lakes in the Antsirabe district

Short Description

Discover the varied landscape of Madagascar in this 11-day adventure, exploring lakes, cruising rivers, and scrambling through karst forests. Watch ancient baobab trees turn golden in the light of the sunset, see the legendary tombs of the Vazimba people while caving and experience life along the Tsiribihina River during a two-day cruise.

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 Antananarivo
End City Antananarivo

Destinations

Madagascar

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Activities

N/A

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Antananarivo

Tonga soa! Bienvenue! Welcome to Antananarivo, Madagascar's crowded but charming capital. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception or your travel agent. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you decide to arrive early, take some time to get acquainted with the city. Perhaps head to Analakey to visit the permanent street markets.

Day 2 Miandrivazo

Begin the long journey west. Maybe kick back with a book or get to know your fellow travellers during the seven-hour drive to Miandrivazo, a small city that will act as the starting point for your adventure down the Tsiribihina River. On arrival, check in to the hotel and listen to a briefing on essential information for your 2-day cruise. Head out to pick any extra supplies you may need or desire for the next few days, then get some rest in preparation for tomorrow.

Day 3 Tsirbihina River Excursion

Rise and shine for the 35 kilometre drive to Masiakampy, where you will find a traditional barge waiting to escort you along the Tsiribihina River, depending on water level the depature point may vary a little.  These flat bottom boats were once used to transport tobacco, but without that precious cargo they make a comfortable way to cruise along the water and access the remote reaches of western Madagascar. For the next few days, you’ll have the chance to spot wildlife on the banks and in the water, enjoy easy walks to hidden waterfalls and stop off in rural villages. Climb aboard and meet the crew. Then settle in and enjoy some lunch as you travel through flat farming plains and enter the dramatic gorges of the Tsiribihina, stopping in the afternoon to trek to a waterfall before returning to a large sandbank to set up camp. River camping for the next two nights is a simple wild camping experience. Sleeping mats are provided and one single blanket. As recommended in our packing list, travellers may wish to carry a sleeping bag and or sleeping sheet. These items are not available for hire.  There are no bathroom facilities, a bush toilet is the only option for the next three days, there will be limited fresh water on the boat for washing.

Day 4 Tsiribihina River Excursion

Enjoy a full day gliding along the water today, travelling into the heart of the river. Wave to the locals on the banks and barges as you pass. In the absence of roads, daily life happens along the river in this part of Madagascar. Watch out for herds of zebus crossing the river, and flashes of colour as you look for bee-eaters, herons, and egrets in this bird lovers’ paradise. Stop occasionally for a village walk or a short trek for some lemur spotting before setting up camp at a village along the shore. This evening, light a campfire and enjoy some traditional Malagasy music and dancing with some local folk.

Day 5 Bekopaka

Disembark the chaland and farewell the crew. Make a quick stop at Belo-sur-Tsiribihina, a small village, to check out the market and grab some lunch before beginning the 2.5-hour drive to Bekopaka. Arrive, check in to your hotel and settle in for the afternoon. Perhaps enjoy a swim or a shower, and rest your weary limbs. Tomorrow you’ll be taking on the Small Tsingy.

Day 6 Bekopaka / The Small Tsingy

Rise early, pick a comfortable outfit and pack some food. Today you’ll spend between four and five hours trekking through the Small Tsingy, located in Bemaraha National Park. Scramble and navigate through a labyrinth of limestone formations that resemble a forest made of rock. Stop at two lookout points along the way for photo opportunities and a chance to take in the impressive surrounds. In the afternoon, unwind with a float down the Manambolo River on a pirogue (wooden dugout canoe) under the shadow of these towering rock cliffs. Take an easy afternoon cave stroll, taking the sight of stalactites, stalagmites and the eerie tombs of the Vazimba – said to be the earliest inhabitants of Madagascar.

Day 7 Bekopaka / The Great Tsingy

Embrace another early start this morning and prepare a lunch to take with you during an action-packed trip to the Great Tsingy. Getting up early again might be a struggle, but it’s the best way to beat the heat and more intense crowds. Largely unexplored until the 1990s (the name Tsingy is very roughly translated as ‘place where one cannot walk barefoot’ in Malagasy), the area is now easier to navigate due to a series of bridges, semi-permanent climbing plugs and other equipment. Feel your heart stop as you pass over a sheer drop via suspended bridge, a truly breathtaking experience that those with vertigo may wish to skip. Animals lovers should keep an eye out for 11 species of lemurs, 100 species of birds and 45 endemic reptiles and amphibians, including the Madagascar iguana and Antsingy leaf chameleon.

Day 8 Morondava

There is a long day of travel ahead, so get that book, podcast or stimulating conversation ready to stay occupied. Cross Manambolo River and Tsiribihina River by ferry, arriving in relaxed Morondava in time for a spectacular sunset in the Avenue of the Baobabs. These cartoonish, towering trees are native to Madagascar, and the variety you’ll see lit from behind this evening are adansonia grandidieri, the tallest of them all. Watch the sky turn pink and yellow and finally cast these trees – many of which are up to 800 years old – in shadow. Spend the night in Morondava and take a well-deserved rest.

Day 9 Antsirabe

Depart this morning for Antsirabe, the capital of the Vakinankaratra region. It’s another drive that will last around eight hours, and after an orientation stroll around the city and included dinner at the hotel, it’s up to you whether you’d like to crash out or explore further. The town is fairly quiet after dark, but there are a few places to grab a nightcap if you so desire. If you’re so inclined, perhaps head to travellers favourite Le Pousse Pousse, where the booths are made from rickshaws, or ask your leader for recommendations.

Day 10 Antananarivo

Enjoy breakfast and then hit the surrounding region on a soft trek, a good way to limber up after a few long days of driving. Discover the beauty of the local lakes, including the emerald-green waters of Tritiva, an extinct crater surrounded by verdant forest. Hike through the lakes district, sitting down for a picnic-style lunch along the way. Later, continue to Antananarivo. Perhaps spend your last evening on this trip indulging in some fine Malagasy food with your fellow travellers. There’s plenty of international cuisine on offer in ‘Tana’, but why not toast to your Malagasy adventure with a Three Horses Beer and a bowl of Madagascar’s national dish, romazava (a one pot rice and meat sensation).

Day 11 Antananarivo

This adventure comes to an end today, and you’re free to depart after breakfast. If you have arranged a private transfer please confirm the time with your leader. If you are continuing your travels on our Madagascar Adventure trip, your group meeting will be at 6 pm this evening. Please refer to your trip notes for optional activities available in Antananarivo for today, or simply relax until you meet your new fellow travellers later.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,128
Price Per Day: $ 193 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Nov-06-2019Nov-16-2019$ 2,128YesSold Out Reserve
Jun-03-2020Jun-13-2020$ 2,485Yes3 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2020Jun-27-2020$ 2,365Yes9 spots left Reserve
Jun-24-2020Jul-04-2020$ 2,365Yes11 spots left Reserve
Jul-08-2020Jul-18-2020$ 2,275Yes11 spots left Reserve
Jul-15-2020Jul-25-2020$ 2,345Yes7 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2020Aug-08-2020$ 2,275Yes12 spots left Reserve
Aug-05-2020Aug-15-2020$ 2,345Yes7 spots left Reserve
Aug-19-2020Aug-29-2020$ 2,275Yes12 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2020Sep-05-2020$ 2,275Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-02-2020Sep-12-2020$ 2,365Yes10 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2020Sep-19-2020$ 2,365Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-16-2020Sep-26-2020$ 2,365Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2020Oct-03-2020$ 2,365Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-30-2020Oct-10-2020$ 2,435Yes3 spots left Reserve
Oct-07-2020Oct-17-2020$ 2,275Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-14-2020Oct-24-2020$ 2,275Yes11 spots left Reserve
Oct-21-2020Oct-31-2020$ 2,275Yes9 spots left Reserve
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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

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3,182 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,376
Great 625
Average 101
Disappointing 37
Terrible 38
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Madagascar Baobabs & Beyond

Write a Review

The tour leader Bruno cannot be faulted.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The tour leader Bruno cannot be faulted. He was professional, knew the trip well, was able to answer all questions with ease, and the country is quite simply amazing!
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This was our 4th trip with Intrepid

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our 4th trip with Intrepid and I just love the trip formats, group sizes, and responsible travel ethics

- price / service balance is really

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
- price / service balance is really good (high value for money)_x000D_
- the tour guide was excellent_x000D_
- no problem at all during the whole trip, everything perfectly organized_x000D_
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Good balance of nature, landscape, physical activity

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Good balance of nature, landscape, physical activity and social interaction

The format of the holiday is ideal

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The format of the holiday is ideal, enabling one to get the most out of the country in a short time. Patrick, our guide, was outstanding and went above and beyond in every aspect. Knowledgeable, informative and courteous.
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Our guide, Patrick Randriamboavonky was excellent. He

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Our guide, Patrick Randriamboavonky was excellent. He was generous with his knowledge and experience and really brought Madagascar alive for us. He eas exceptionally helpful and polite at all times and also had a great sense of humour. This was my first Intrepid trip and I will definitely do another and this is in no small part to our guide. If they are all this good Intrepid has done well.
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Details

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

Hotel (8 nights),Camping (2 nights)

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Antananarivo
  • Array
  • Antananarivo
  • MADAGASCAR

Trip ID#:

intrepid-YBSO

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