Trip Overview

Journey with us to the magical island of Madagascar in August 2018 for an off the “beaten path” adventure in Africa to explore a bizarre world completely unlike any you’ve experienced before!

Welcome to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar! Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world. You will be amazed by this African island’s biodiversity, home to some 2,300 species of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. But this island’s greatest secret is its warm and friendly people. The Malagasy are proud of their heritage and are keen to share their art, handicrafts, food, and music with travelers to Madagascar.

We begin our journey in Madagascar in Ambositra, a small town recognized for its Zafimaniry woodcarvings and handicrafts. The Zafimaniry people are known for the typical wooden architecture of their houses, and their woodcarving knowledge and art was added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage sites.

We then drive to the Manandriana area to learn about silk weaving from a group of local women weavers. From the silk worm to a woven scarf, discover the art of transforming a cocoon of wire and different stages of silk weaving. You will learn about the different stages of silk weaving, cooking the cocoons, spinning, dyeing, and weaving. And you’ll even try your hand on the loom!

Explore the Kirindy Forest, a private reserve in Madagascar, and one of the only places where you can see the endangered giant jumping rat, which hops around like a kangaroo but also walks on all fours. On your way to Kirindy, stop at the Avenue of the Baobabs for a remarkable sunset that paints the sky in reds and oranges.

Madagascar is world-famous for its lemurs. Lemurs are primates that look something like a cat crossed with a squirrel and a dog. These animals are unique to the island and display a range of interesting behaviors. Today, lemurs are found in virtually all of Madagascar’s ecosystems and share some of the social and behavioral characteristics of monkeys, including forming social groups, eating fruit and vegetation, and being active during the day. Search Kirindy for lemurs during the day, and you’ll even get to experience a nocturnal visit nearby.

After exploring the forest, four-wheel-drive vehicles are waiting to take you to Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park. This is a true African bush adventure where you will be traveling on bumpy roads as you drive through remarkable, relatively remote countryside before arriving at your hotel.

The Tsingy are a very peculiar rock formation, which only exist in Madagascar. These limestone pinnacles are formed by the slow sedimentation of coral and shell along with the effects of wind and water.  These “stone forests”, which can tower several hundred meters high, contain a labyrinth of caves, underground rivers, and canyons, where rich populations of bats, lemurs, birds, and a specific flora thrive.

You’ll then fly back to Antananarivo on a charter flight and make your way to the Anjozorobe Protected Area. Home to numerous species of flora and fauna, the area is also rich in medicinal and endemic plants. Settle in at your charming forest lodge, and then head out to look for the Indri indri, one of the largest living lemurs. You’ll have an opportunity to learn about the diverse plant life, including rare orchids.

We end our Madagasgar adventure, leaving the countryside and heading back to Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. Visit Lemurs Park, home to nine species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs before returning to the city for your farewell dinner, where you will celebrate the warmth and hospitality of the friendly Malagsy!

Join us in August 2018 for culture, art, and wildlife on a true African adventure on the magical island of Madagascar!

 

Main Attractions

  • Search for lemurs, birds, chameleons and rare flora, found nowhere else on Earth
  • Explore Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park with stunning rock formations only found in Madagascar
  • Marvel at the fauna and baobab trees found in Kirindy Reserve
  • Learn silk weaving and embroidery from local women
  • Visit the Angavo Anjozorobe Protected Area to search for Madagascar’s largest lemur

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Camping
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Handicrafts
  • Local Delicacies
  • National Parks
  • Natural History
  • River Cruising
  • Spa Element
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, August 5 – Arrive in Antananarivo
Welcome to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar! Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the World. You will be amazed by its biodiversity, home to some 2,300 species of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth! The island’s greatest secret is also the most obvious – the warm and friendly people. The Malagasy are proud of their heritage and are keen to share their art, handicrafts, food, and music with travelers.

You will be picked up at the Ivato International Airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Enjoy a welcome dinner and group orientation this evening.
Welcome Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Colbert
The Colbert Hotel shines at the heart of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Situated in the city center, its privileged location will impress you with its panoramic view of the city.

 

Day 2

Monday, August 6 – Antananarivo to Ambositra
Ambositra is a small town recognized for its Zafimaniry woodcarvings and handicrafts. The Zafimaniry people are known for the typical wooden architecture of their houses, and their woodcarving knowledge and art was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Leave Antananarivo this morning and head for Ambositra. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the way.

The Zafimaniry are celebrated for their woodworking skills. Their homes are built entirely of wood without using any nails. Houses and other wooden household items are decorated with symbolic geometric patterns that blend Arab and Austronesian influences. The woodworkers use over 20 types of trees, each with their own specific properties and uses. Their woodworking style was formerly widespread across Madagascar but is now largely preserved only among this ethnic group.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Artisan Hotel
This small, basic hotel is a perfect place to stay in Ambositra. You’ll enjoy the woodcarvings around the property as well as the simple but excellent local cuisine.

Day 3

Tuesday, August 7 – Ambositra to Antsirabe
Antsirabe is the third-largest city in Madagascar and is known for its relatively cool climate and the high concentration of pulled rickshaws or “pousse-pousse” in French.

Drive to the Manandriana area to learn about silk with local women. From the silk worm to a woven scarf, discover the art of transforming a cocoon of wire and different stages of silk weaving. You will see the different stages of silk weaving, cooking the cocoons, spinning, dyeing, and weaving. Try your hand on the loom!

Join a local family for lunch.

Drive to Antsirabe and relax at your hotel this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Plumeria Hotel
Plumeria Hotel has a lovely terrace and a shared lounge. These comfortable rooms have all of the essential amenities. There is even a spa on site.

 

Day 4

Wednesday, August 8 – Antsirabe to Miandrivazo
Miandrivazo is a small town on the Tsiribihina River. This sleepy town is home to farmers who grow rice, beans, and maize.

This morning, you will visit an embroidery workshop led by local women. Spend some time with them to learn how to embroider tablecloths and bedding.

Enjoy some of the local cuisine in Antsirabe.

Leave Antsirabe for Miandrivazo. This will be your launch point for your descent of the Tsiribihina River.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Princesse Tsiribihina
Enjoy your comfortable room with a private terrace, the large garden, and the stunning swimming pool with a perfect view to watch the sunset.

Day 5

Thursday, August 9 – Miandrivazo to Kirindy Forest
Kirindy Forest is a private reserve in Madagascar and is one of the only locations where the endangered giant jumping rat can be seen. The animal hops like a miniature kangaroo, but can also be seen walking on all four limbs.

Leave Miandrivazo this morning and head to Kirindy Forest in four-wheel drive vehicles – lemurs await you tomorrow! This drive is about six hours.

Before you arrive at your hotel, stop at the Avenue of the Baobabs to enjoy the sunset. These giant trees are a remarkable sight in the orange glow of the evening light.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Le Realis du Kirindy
The bungalows at Relais du Kirindy are all on raised decks and set a short walk from the main area of the lodge. En-suite bathrooms are found at the rear of each room, and a shaded deck is at the front. The main part of the lodge is reminiscent of an upmarket safari lodge, with a large pool and deck area as well as an open-plan lounge, dining room, and bar area.

Day 6

Friday, August 10 – Kirindy Forest
Madagascar is world-famous for its lemurs. Lemurs are primates that look something like a cat crossed with a squirrel and a dog. These animals are unique to the island and display a range of interesting behaviors. Madagascar’s lemurs — isolated from evolutionary changes of the world — radiated into the large island’s many niches without much competition or predation. Today, lemurs are found in virtually all of Madagascar’s ecosystems and share some of the social and behavioral characteristics of monkeys, including forming social groups, eating fruit and vegetation, and being active during the day.

Explore the area today. The Kirindy Forest Reserve protects the dry deciduous forests, which are home to the giant jumping rat, as well as seven species of lemurs, the fosa (the only predator of lemurs), and endemic reptiles.

Spend some time viewing nocturnal species tonight – a rare opportunity!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Le Realis du Kirindy

 

Day 7

Saturday, August 11 – Kirindy Forest to Tsingy de Bemahara
There are nine species of the baobab tree found in the world, and six of them are found in Madagascar. Baobabs are often referred to as “upside-down trees”, due to the root-like appearance of their tangled branches.

Today your four-wheel-drive vehicles are waiting to take you to Tsingy of Bemaraha National Park. This is a true adventure – you will be on rough roads for about six hours. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the way. At the end of your drive through remarkable, relatively untraveled countryside, you’ll cross the River Manambolo and arrive at your hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Soleil des Tsingy
Nestled at the heart of a well-preserved natural area, the Soleil des Tsingy Hotel is the ideal base for an extraordinary stay in the Tsingy of Bemaraha. Enjoy the infinity pool, a wide choice of menus at the restaurant, a dramatic view of the Manalambo river, and the stunning sunset, while you appreciate one of the most impressive and unique natural views in the world.

Day 8

Sunday, August 12 – Tsingy de Bemahara
The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is a national park located in the Melaky Region, northwest Madagascar, centered on two geological formations: the Great Tsingy and the Little Tsingy.

The Tsingy are a very peculiar rock formation, which only exist in Madagascar. They are limestone pinnacles, formed by the slow sedimentation of coral and shell along with the effects of wind and water. The Tsingy have been forming since Madagascar separated from the mainland of Africa 165 million years ago. These strange “cathedral like” peaks can tower several hundred meters high.

These “stone forests” contain caves, underground rivers, and canyons, where bats, lemurs, birds, and a specific flora have adapted.

Explore this remarkable national park, and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.

After a full day exploring this unique area, spend some time relaxing at your hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Soleil des Tsingy

Day 9

Monday, August 13 – Tsingy de Bemahara to Anjozorobe
The Anjozorobe-Angavo protected forest is home to numerous species of fauna and flora, and it is also rich in medicinal and endemic plants. The largest lemur in Madagascar can be seen here.

Take a charter flight to Antananarivo this morning, and drive about two and a half hours to Anjozorobe. Settle in at your charming forest lodge and enjoy the surroundings.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Saha Forest Camp
This simple yet comfortable camp has ten tented bungalows, each with a large balcony. Admire the lush green landscape from your terrace or while enjoying your meal at the restaurant.

Day 10

Tuesday, August 14 – Angavo Anjozorobe Protected Area
The Indri indri is one of the largest living lemurs, with a head and body length of 25-28 inches and a body weight of 13 to 21 pounds. This lemur is respected by locals, and plays an important part in local myths and legends.

Take a full day to explore this ecologically diverse area. Search for lemurs and other mammals, and enjoy learning about the diverse plantlife, including rare orchids.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Saha Forest Camp

Day 11

Wednesday, August 15 – Anjozorobe to Antananarivo
Leave the countryside this morning and head back to Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital.

Head to Lemurs Park, a private reserve that was created in 2001 to protect and educate the public about the different lemur species in Madagascar. The long-term goal is to reintroduce them into their natural environments. The park is home to nine species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs, and has more than 70 plant species so the lemurs can feed on leaves or insects in addition to the fruit and vegetables they are given by the park.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an incredible trip!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Colbert Hotel

Day 12

Thursday, August 16 – Antananarivo and Depart
Enjoy one last morning in Antananarivo before departing for the US.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport for your flights home.
Breakfast

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Madagascar



Traveling to Madagascar

Arrive: Arrive at Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo, Madagascar (TNR) on August 5, 2018.

Depart: Depart Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo, Madagascar (TNR) on August 16, 2018.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

You will need a tourist visa to enter Madagascar. You can either obtain your visa upon arrival at the airport, or you can apply for it prior to your trip. For more details, please visit http://www.madagascar-embassy.org/en/tourist/

Health Considerations

We rate this trip as moderate. You should be able to walk comfortably for two to three hours at a time. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you to ensure that you are prepared for the trip.
Visit https://fitfortrips.com/ partners/adventure-women/ for more information.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Madagascar, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Madagascar.

Money

US Dollars are accepted in Madagascar, but you will likely want to exchange money for local currency when you arrive. Credit cards are not generally accepted beyond in a few large hotels, where there is generally a surcharge for credit card use of 3-4%. ATMs are in larger towns only.

Suggested Gratuities (can be paid in US dollars):

  • Main guide: $10 per day
  • Drivers: $5 per day
  • National Park Guides: $5 per day
  • Hotel Staff: $5 per day

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before May 7, 2018.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guides throughout the trip
  • Bottled water during all drives and excursions
  • Snacks in the vehicles
  • One AdventureWomen Ambassador

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Madagascar
  • Domestic airfare
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

What to Bring

April until mid-November is the dry season in Madagascar. From mid-June to mid-September, it is Madagascar’s winter in the highlands; during the day, the temperature can rise to 65°F, but overnight it can get down to 41°F. On the coast it will be quite a bit warmer. Casual, comfortable clothing is recommended for this AdventureWomen trip.

There is no weight limit for the chartered flight, but please be sure to pack as lightly as possible as it is not a large plane.

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag or small suitcase
  • Daypack
  • Medium-weight, waterproof hiking boots (make sure they
    are broken in!)
  • 2-3 pairs wool hiking socks
  • 3-4 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1-2 long sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 medium weight fleece sweater/jacket for cool evenings
  • 1-2 pairs of pants
  • 1-2 pairs of shorts
  • 1-2 sets of nicer clothes for dinner
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hat for sun protection
  • 5-7 pairs underwear
  • 5-7 pairs of socks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • Sleepwear

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Prescription medicine you usually take (in original containers)
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686