Trekking in Madagascar

14 days
from
2 705 €
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 22 reviews >
Trip code: 
TZMA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–16

Explore Madagascar's National Parks, mountains and incredible wildlife.

This exciting itinerary allows us to experience the incredible diversity of Madagascar, predominantly on foot. We trek in Andringitra National Park, one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks on the island, and in Isalo National Park with its unique landscape of rock formations, deep canyons, waterfalls and natural swimming pools. We go in search of lemurs in Anja Reserve and visit Ranomafana National Park, walking through spectacular scenery in the hope of spotting endemic lemurs, including dancing sifakas. Throughout the trip, the unique wildlife of this island will enchant and amaze.

Highlights

  • Trek in Isalo National Park
  • Climb Madagascar's second highest peak - Peak Boby
  • See lemurs in their natural habitat
  • Relax on the beach in the coastal town of Ifaty

Key information

  • 9 nights hotels with en suite facilities, 4 nights full-service camping, some basic campsites, all with shared facilities
  • 5 days walking with full porterage
  • 3 shorter daywalks
  • Altitude maximum 2658m, average 500m

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Pace:

Moderate/Challenging : Approximately 5-7 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 24.0km/2.0miles
Day 310.0km/5.5miles
Day 57.0km/4.0miles
Day 69.0km/5.0miles
Day 720.0km/11.0miles
Day 813.0km/7.0miles
Day 1011.0km/6.0miles
Day 1110.0km/6.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Antananarivo; overnight.

    There are no included activities today so you are free to arrive at any time.

    Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere or similar
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Morning city tour; transfer to Ambositra.

    We take a morning walk to the upper part of Antananarivo, ascending to Antaninareina (the commercial and administrative part of town) and walking to the main entrance of the Queen's palace, with outstanding views over Tana. In the afternoon we drive to Ambositra, where we have the chance to visit some Zafimaniry handicraft centres.

    Walk: Distance 4 km Ascent 160m Descent 0m Max Altitude:1360m Time: 1.5 hours

    Accommodation: Artisan Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Antoetra; full-day trek through hills and rice fields, visiting local villages.

    A full day walking to Antoetra allowing us to discover and explore the Zafimaniry villages. The Zafimaniry people are renowned for their woodcarvings; in their villages, even the houses are works of art! In 2003, the Zafimaniry people and their work with wood were considered to be masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, a list maintained by UNESCO to protect and preserve their way of life. We will walk through habituated areas - through rice fields, hills and small villages, following regular paths used by locals. After the walk, we drive back to Ambositra.

    Walk: Distance 10 km Ascent 238m Descent 311m Max Altitude: 1780m Time:6 hours

    Accommodation: Artisan Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Ranomafana N.P.

    Today we head south and east to the well visited national park of Ranomafana. The drive takes us through spectacular scenery, past neat Betsileo rice paddies and thick forests. We reach our destination in the afternoon and after some time to rest at the hotel, we take an evening walk along the roadside of Ranomafana to spot nocturnal wildlife.

    Accommodation: Hotel Le Grenat or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning visit to Ranomafana N.P.; transfer to Ambalavao in the afternoon.

    In the morning we visit Ranomafana National park - a mountainous rainforest park with elevations ranging from 600m to 1400m that contains many different forest types (from lowland rainforest to cloud forest and high plateau forest), and provides opportunity to see various species of lemurs (Golden bamboo lemurs, Greater and Lesser bamboo lemurs, Red-bellied lemurs, Red-fronted lemurs, Mile Edward’s Sifaka) as well as birds, frogs, reptiles, snails and orchids.

    In the afternoon, we drive to Ambalavao, the commercial centre of the southern Betsileo region, renowned for its folk art and craft. Whilst here we will visit a wine farm and also take the opportunity to learn about the production of the Antemoro-paper: a paper which is produced from the bark of the Havoha-tree.

    Walk: Distance: 6-8 km Ascent 120m Descent 120m Max Altitude: 1000m Time: 4-5 hours

    Accommodation: Tsienimparihy Lodge or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Early transfer to Andringitra N.P. to start the three-day trek to climb Peak Boby.

    Early transfer to Andringitra National Park - one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks in Madagascar. Andringitra National Park has been managed by the WWF since 1993, and has three distinct eco-zones: low altitude rainforest, montane rainforest and high altitude vegetation. Although Andringitra contains diverse wildlife (over 100 bird species, 50 mammal species, including 13 lemurs types, and 55 species of frogs), the prime reason for visiting is for the stunning landscape, vegetation and superb trekking. More than 1000 plant species are known to exist in this national park alone, and the guides are highly knowledgeable on the plants contained within the park and their medicinal uses.

    In the morning we visit two famous waterfalls: 'Riandahy' and 'Raimbavy' and then we begin our trek to reach the second highest peak in Madagascar, Peak Boby. Peak Boby is also known as 'Pic d'Imarivolanitra' which means 'close to the sky'. The trek begins in forest which slowly becomes replaced by alpine meadows covered with orchids by the end of the rainy season. Leaving the forest we ascend a steep path which arrives onto the Andohariana plateau, climbing higher behind granite mountain tops. As we walk through the high montane vegetation we reach a natural pool, which offers a freezing but very refreshing swim! After approximately 6 hours of walking, we camp at Anderamposty (2100m).

    Walk: Distance 9 km Ascent 530m Descent 90m Max Altitude: 2080m Time: 6 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Andringitra National Park

    The longest day of treks, we begin our climb to the summit of Peak Boby early, to avoid climbing in the full heat of the day. This is a day to keep your camera handy as the trek climbs higher, giving unrivalled views and superb high-altitude flora. Although this is the highest accessible peak in Madagascar, it is a technically easy ascent up carved steps, and we should reach the summit after about 2 hours. We descend the same route back to our campsite where we have a chance to relax by the river while our lunch is prepared. After lunch, we head out through moon-like landscapes, granite cliffs and a forest of palm trees known as Gloka, on our way to our campsite. After approximately 6 hours of walking we camp at Iantaranomby (1650m).

    Walk: Distance 20 km Ascent 1092m Descent 1526m Max Altitude: 2658m Time: 10.5 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Andringitra National Park

    Today we have our final day of walking in Andringitra National Park. After breakfast we leave the mountains, exploring some of the villages on foot. With the decreasing altitude, we pass by many forms of succulent plants, such as the Pachypodium (looking like a mini baobab tree), Euphorbia and through savannah landscape. After approximately 4 hours, we camp at Meva Campsite in Tsaranoro Valley (900m)

    Walk: Distance 13 km Ascent 237m Descent 899m Max Altitude: 1535m Time: 5-6 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Visit Anya Reserve to look for Ring-tailed lemurs; to Isalo N.P.

    We drive to the little town of Ranohira today, which is the base for visiting Isalo National Park. Along the way we visit the small reserve of Anja, where Katta (otherwise known as Ring-tailed) lemurs can be observed in their natural surroundings.

    Accommodation: Les Toiles de l'Isalo or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Exploring Isalo National Park

    One of the highlights of the trip, we spend two days exploring Isalo National Park. Isalo is a vast region of wind-polished and water-scoured rock towers, deep canyons, gorges and oases, often described as Eden. Today we will start by walking along a relatively flat path, following the foot of the rocky mountain range, until the magnificent Canyon of Makis where we will search for cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux Sifaka. From here, we will do a fairly steep climb, (those suffering from vertigo may find this challenging) and then walk through the scenic, moonlike landscape of the park to our campsite.

    Walk:  Distance 11 km Ascent 461m  Descent 410m Max Altitude: 1094m Time: 5-6 hours

    Accommodation:
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Continue exploring Isalo National Park

    Today is our second day spent exploring Isalo National Park. Today we will visit Namaza waterfall, once again in search of cheeky Ring-tailed lemurs and the Verreaux Sifakas. We will then head to the 'Piscine Naturelle' (natural swimming pool), a beautifully lush spot in such an arid landscape, where we can swim and relax after the hot walk. Perhaps the magic is just to soak up the sheer beauty of the park. The combination of coloured, eroded rock formations, strange plants and the enveloping silence make this one of the most captivating places in Africa.

    Walk : Distance 10 km Ascent 30m Descent 20m Max Altitude: 1200m Time: 5 hours

    Accommodation: Les Toiles de l'Isalo or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To west coast and beaches; overnight at Ifaty beach

    After an early breakfast, we drive to Tulear, among the dry forests of the west and the spiny desert of the south, and we pass both the 'Mahafaly tombs' and the 'Antandroy tombs', briefly observing their ornate decorations. Antandroy and Mahafaly are reputed to be the most impressive of all Malagasy tombs, with the Antandroy tombs being large and brightly painted, relating to the life story and wishes of the deceased. They are also topped with zebu skulls which were sacrificed during the funeral festivity - a ceremony of great significance. Mahafaly tombs are characterized by their wooden sculptures known as 'Aloalo', relating to the life of the deceased and their unfulfilled dreams, as well as their rank within the clan. After a brief stop in Tulear, we continue past the coastal town of Ifaty to our hotel on the beach.



    Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Free time for relaxation or optional activities at Ifaty beach.

    Today we have a free day at  Ifaty beach. Running all the way around the south-west Malagasy coastline, Ifaty beach lies on one of the world's largest barrier reefs and hence is an excellent venue for scuba diving. Between late June and early September, whales can be observed off Ifaty's beautiful white beaches and the offshore islet of Nosy Ve is a terrific place for snorkelling. Protected by coral reefs, the beach and waters beyond the hotel offer a welcome rest from your trekking itinerary for those who wish just to relax.



    Accommodation: Hotel de la Plage or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Fly to Antananarivo and end.

    Today we transfer to Tulear airport for our flight to Antananarivo which will arrive in the afternoon. Depending on the flight schedule, you may have free time to explore Antananarivo on your own. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport in the late evening for the very early flight the next morning.

    Please note that flight delays on the internal flight are not uncommon – we strongly advise not to book your international flights to depart before midnight.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Madagascar

Visas are required for entry to Madagascar. 30-day tourist visas may be obtained at the airport on arrival. If obtaining a visa at the airport, you should ensure that an entry stamp is recorded in your passport. The visa fee is payable in US dollars or Euros (US$31/€28).

Vaccinations

Madagascar

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners included.

The food in Madagascar is generally of a good quality, particularly so by the coast where the seafood is excellent. A one-course lunch/dinner should cost £4-6 while a three-course lunch/dinner should cost £9-12 . Please allow approximately £160 for meals not included, plus a little more if you enjoy a drink with dinner! Malagasy lager is reasonably priced and easily available. Malagasy wine is also reasonably priced but is not to everyone's taste. It is sometimes possible to get hold of French or South African wine. A delicacy in Madagascar is the various flavoured rum’s which are widely sold and very reasonably priced.
Please note that if you eat neither fish nor meat, your food options will be rather limited (i.e. omelette, cheese, pasta, vegetables and rice) on this trip. Breakfasts are usually simple: eggs, a baguette, jam and coffee or tea, and sometimes fruit. You may wish to bring something to supplement your morning meal (e.g spread, peanut butter etc).

Weather

Madagascar has a tropical climate with two seasons - rainy and dry. The driest season extends from April to October. It can be cold on the central plateau (including Antananarivo) in the evenings, and in the rainforest areas, so you should bring warm clothes (fleece and waterproof). There is considerable regional variation but coastal areas will normally be very hot and dry. Expect daytime in the shade temperatures up to 38ºC from October-December and up to 30ºC during April and September.

Antananarivo

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 4 (Moderate/Challenging):

These trips are suitable for clients with a good level of fitness. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not vital as long as you are confident of your physical condition. Some of the areas we visit are quite remote and will have basic facilities. Some of the walks in the national parks are uneven and may be slippery underfoot so you need to be comfortable with this. In addition, some of the trekking days are quite long, and at certain times of the year, the heat can make these walks more strenuous.

Madagascar is a rewarding destination with its wealth of flora and fauna, but, before you decide to travel, we would highlight the following issues for you to consider:

Travelling by vehicle in Madagascar can be uncomfortable as some of the road quality varies. Please read our travelling conditions for more information. We do have some longer drives but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with stops to visit villages, to take photos and to stretch our legs.

Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries and a degree of flexibility and improvisation is required at times. The tourist infrastructure in Madagascar is relatively new and some services are limited. It is not unusual for there to be changes to accommodation or internal flights and for this reason, the order of the itinerary (but not the content) may sometimes change.

Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camping

You will spend 9 nights in hotels with en suite facilities, and 4 nights full-service camping, with some basic campsites, all with shared facilities We use tourist class hotels throughout the trip except during the treks where we camp in the national parks.

The hotels are simple but comfortable. Most of the hotels have mosquito nets in the rooms. Please note that although all of the hotels are said to have a reliable electricity and water supply there may be instances in which you experience some gaps in supply - this is more a reflection of life in Madagascar than the standard of the hotel. Please be aware that some hotels do not have 24 hr electricity, and in some, hot water is not always available. There is WiFi in most of the hotels but often this is only in the communal areas and not in the rooms.

During the camping portions, we will be camping in small mobile two-person tents. The camping is full service so the tents will be erected for you. Campsites in the parks in Madagascar usually offer only very basic facilities. You should not expect hot showers, flushing toilets and western standards of cleanliness at some of the places we stay. Some toilets may be long drops. Please come prepared. All camping equipment is provided except sleeping bags.

Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2017
    Ross Bishop

    Trekking in Madagascar - September / October 2017

    This trip is a thoroughly varied and perfectly paced active journey through one of the most captivating African destinations I've ever visited. The scenery is constantly stunning, the wildlife which is often unique was a privilege to see and the Malagasy people are humblingly friendly and welcoming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspiration was frequent and varied on this trip: from spotting lemurs in the treetops (we saw a total of 5 species) to being amongst some dramatic rock scenery in both Andringitra and Isalo National Parks. If I had to choose one moment, it would probably be the sense of achievement in reaching the summit of Pic d'Imarivolanitra and marvelling at the remoteness and drama of the surrounding scenery. The Hotel de la Plage at Ifaty on the coast was a gorgeous way to end the trip too with the opportunity to take a sedate pirogue trip out to sea and snorkel on a beautiful reef.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rija worked tirelessly and always with a great sense of humour and patience to ensure that the tour operated smoothly. She was typical of all the Malagasy people we met who continually impressed me with how they achieve high standards with limited resources in a country that is obviously lacking in economic clout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although the road journeys are often quite long, the scenery is continually interesting and helps you get a real sense of rural Madagascan life so don't let that put you off. Temperatures can be quite high and the sun can be fierce in late September so sun protection is important. Although accommodation and food standards were generally high, there were a few cases of food poisoning in our group so don't forget to pay attention to food hygiene.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had high expectations for this trip before I left and they were exceeded by a significant margin. I would urge any traveller who likes to get away from it all and combine activity and wildlife into their adventure travel destinations to seriously consider Madagascar - a country so deserving of the opportunity for economic growth through the sustainable development of its tourist industry. This trip contributes towards this goal perfectly.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Helen Rogers

    Fascinating experience

    The trip was a great experience. Madagascar is very different to anywhere else I've been in Africa. The tourist industry is less developed, which in itself added to the 'adventure'. This does mean that there was no alternative to eating in the hotels along the way. We covered a lot of ground, which leads to long hours in the bus, but there is lots to look at along the way, and it's the only way to see all the different locations that we visited. The unmade road to Andringita National Park was an experience in itself - in 4x4 jeeps, with planks on top, in case they are needed (and they were) to enable us to cross basic wooden bridges. We saw less wildlife than I had hoped, but never had the dispiriting experience of seeing nothing!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trekking days were great. The countryside varies - the granite in Andringitra is very different from the sandstone in Isalo. Some of the trekking gradients, particularly in Isalo, were more challenging than I had expected from the trip notes. Be prepared for hills up and down throughout - and some steep drops at the side of the path. It was hot, we needed lots of water. The trekking guides were attentive, very knowledgeable and keen to share information. The porters singing and dancing in the evening in Andringitra was very special, and not just because of the local rum! The night wildlife walk was busy with chameleons, mouse lemurs and a rat, and the local guide's enthusiasm was infectious. The rain forest of Ramomafana was beautiful, but really brought home how horribly deforested Madagascar is. The Madagascan people are lovely, and keen to make contact. The children love having their photo taken, and then seeing themselves on the camera screen. Crayons, balloons etc are very welcome gifts - but take advice from your guide how to give them, as you can provoke a feeding frenzy if you're not careful, or provoke begging. The guided visit to the fishing village was really interesting, with the opportunity to ask questions about local life. The local shop was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rija worked hard for us, and was always positive and enthusiastic. We sometimes could have done with better details of the day's activity - for example, we didn't know that we would be spending nearly 3 hours at the natural swimming pool in Isalo.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long days on the bus. There is always plenty to see outside, but I was glad to have an iPod with me for some of the longer journeys. We had a number of power cuts, and some of the hotels switched off electricity overnight. Be alert to charging batteries when you can. A powerbank is a useful backup, and removes some of that stress. I was surprised by the blandness of the food. If you crave something a little spicier, you can ask for chilli sauce ('sakay') at any meal - including breakfast! The first night camping at Andringitra is cold, you do need a warm jacket, gloves, etc. Change your money at Tana airport, the rate is fine and it's much quicker than using a bank. There is very little opportunity to spend money on this trip, around £200 was ample for me. You need a minimum of 50 Euro to change money back on your way out of the country, and the change back rate is poor.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Peter Rogerson

    Trekking in Madagascar (September 2016)

    A very busy but well paced trip that I thoroughly enjoyed. The trekking is tougher than I'd expected, due to the heat, and there were some stiff climbing and descents, but the paths were very good and the views en route were stunning. Both Isalo and Andringitra, where the majority of the trekking takes place, are very different and offer very different experiences. Madagascar is an interesting country, quite different to other places in Africa that I've been too, but sadly, almost totally deforested nowadays, so the distances between the various national parks are several hours drive apart, meaning some long sessions on the bus. However, the scenery is very interesting nevertheless - Madagascar is not a flat country so there is plenty to look at while you drive. A nice touch was that the bus would stop one side of a village, you'd all get out and the bus would drive a couple of miles up the road allowing you to amble through the village to break up the journey - we did this several times and they were very welcome breaks. This did mean, however, that there was very little wildlife to see outside of the parks, and indeed, within them sometimes. I had expected more if I'm honest, however, our tick list of Lemur spieces was still good - around 6-8 I think. In Ranomafana, the rainforest, we saw quite a few, although they tended to be high up in the canopy. The night walk we did here was excellent though - our guide managed to find 2 mouse lemurs in the dark, and there were lots of Chameleons, and this was definitely worth doing. The beach resort at the end was paradise. You have a free day and although the whales had gone, so that trip was out, some of us elected to visit the fishing village just up the coast, which I loved. You can easily walk to the village, by turning left out of the lodge, but the paid for visit allows you to wander around the village itself, rather than just watching all the boats on the beach. In the afternoon, we visited the "Spiny Forest", which was actually more of a botanical garden, but still interesting. On the camping portions on the trip, the first two nights (in Andringitra) were very basic, and it got quite cold at night, but the 3rd night was at a lodge, which was lovely - and they sold beer there - so was a very welcome place to end the time in the national park. In Isalo, the camp site is in a lovely location, and the porters had kindly brought a couple of crates of beer with them, so we had beer that night too, so it was only the first two camping nights were we had no beer and very basic facilities. The hotels were all excellent and tourist standard for Madagascar. They all had patchy Wi-Fi and the restaurants and bars were good and all sold beer, so we didn't need to leave the hotels in the evening to eat or drink. However, there is only 2 places where you stay for 2 nights, and we tended not to arrive until tea-time, so there was very little unpacking. I think I only had one cold shower during the two weeks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved seeing the mouse lemur on the night walk in Ranomafana, as that was very unexpected. In Anja reserve, you WILL see a lot of ring tailed lemurs, which are great fun, and I loved the time we spent with them. The scenery in the two national parks was stunning and worth the effort to get there. The beach resort at the end was lovely and I really enjoyed the visit to the fishing village Although not a particularly hard slog, getting to the top of peak boby and enjoying the amazing views was also great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rija was delightful - she always had a smile on her face and was unfailingly nice and polite and it was lovely to meet her.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. The beer is quite strong. THB, the national beer, is 5.5%. Even the Skol, the weakest we found, was 5% and there are beers stronger than this. Don't get caught out thinking you are drinking Fosters, or you will regret it the next day (speaking from experience I'm afraid). 2. The first two nights of camping were quite cold, so take some warm clothes for the evening, and something you can sleep in. 3. The food is good generally, and the beer reasonably priced. Just after Brexit the currency had dropped from around 5,000 Ariary to the £ to less than 4,000, but the beer was still around 5000 for a large bottle. A main course for dinner was around 15,000, so still good value. I made do with £300 worth for the whole trip. 4. Get currency at the airport when you arrive as the banks are VERY slow - it took 3 or 4 people about 2 hours to change money at the first money stop, making us very late for the hotel on day 2. 5. During the day it was very hot, even if the evenings were cold, so you will need plenty of water - so take a bladder to put in your rucksack as you'll go through bottles very quickly. 6. When camping, you leave a chunk of your luggage behind. If you have a second Exodus bag, which folds up small, take this to put what you won't need while trekking. The porters will take up to 10kg for you, leaving you with just your day sack to take while walking. 7. washing in the rivers is possible, but awkward. The first couple of days it was too cold in the evenings, but the final two were fine for washing as it was still warm (there were hot showers at the 3rd campsite). 8. On the last day in Isalo, you visit the natural swimming pool, so this is the day to take your cozzies. You will have a couple of hours to rest / swim. Porters bring your lunch to this spot - as it is only 45 mins walk from the bus. 9. I opted not to do the early walk on the last day in Isalo, as you return to the campsite for breakfast, but they saw some lemurs on this walk, so I was gutted to miss that. 10. take a few little gifts for the kids - balloons, pens etc. - they will greatly appreciate it, particularly if you plan on doing the village walk in Ifaty. 11. There was very little opportunity for souvenir buying, apart from the village we visited on the first walk, and on the beach by the beach resort - although one of the masks I bought turned out to be riddled with woodworm, so check this if you buy anything. 12. Ignore the height gain / loss that the trips notes give for the Isalo trek, it's another two days of steep ups and downs, but the scenery is again wonderful. 13. Take loo roll for the camping, and wet wipes if it's too cold to wash in the rivers. Pack as lightly as possible, as you don't see your luggage during the day as it's on the roof, and you have to leave quite a lot behind when camping.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really enjoyed this trip and I think it had a nice balance of wildlife and trekking.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Dani R

    Wonderful experience

    This trip was just amazing. An excellent opportunity to discover this beautiful country. During the two weeks, you can discover a big variety of landscapes (rainforest, savannah, beach...) and see many animals. I found it particularly great, that we spent almost two days in the Ranomafana (rainforest) region. I appreciate that there are no visits to animals in captivity/ zoos. During our tour, we saw unexpectedly plenty wild animals. I would say that chances to see many various Lemurs are quite high! The highlight of the trip for me were the two trekking "sequences" with camping. It is just awesome to have a swim in one of the most scenic "natural pools", and then walk refreshed through the breathtaking landscape of the Andringitra national park. I furthermore really liked the sunrise hike to Peak Boby, Madagascar's second highest peak. Eating at the fireplace and singing with the local helpers Malagassy songs was very inspiring and a great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I found the encounter with the lemurs very touching. These animals seem so friendly and it is a great pleasure to observe them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel took great care of the group. Including all sorts of special needs. He has a great spirit, respects the nature and his funny comments has lead to a great atmosphere among all travellers. He supported us in all possible needs (hiking tips, airport transfer, clothing, lost sleeping bags...) We could profit from his multiannual experiences: he showed us animals and places that are otherwise overseen by tourists.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Please be aware of the long driving days. Even if you can stretch your legs during the breaks, those days are very long. I experienced myself - even though I expected many hours in the bus, they became somewhat annoying. But also note that this is just the nature of the trip. Without the travel, it is just not possible to discover all the sites we have seen. And after all, there are of course still many hiking opportunities! So don't let the drives demotivate you, just be prepared for them. And even in the "always sunny south", there can be rainy days. If you are prepared for them, you'll enjoy the holidays weather independently. We also had a great time on hikes in the rain.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    During the two trekking phases, there are local porters that cook, guide and set up the tents for you. They also transport the luggage. You should thus restrict the to-be-transported luggage. Since we can store away luggage that is not needed during the three trekking days, this can very easily be achieved. I even managed to carry my luggage by myself. Personally, I think it is important to respect the native porters/ helpers. Even though they get a (very small) wage, it is nothing but fair to be polite and grateful for the great services they provide. This is not the place to be demanding, but to make new friends. And finally, don't hesitate to book this trip. It will be an unforgettable journey to encounter amazing animals and to discover a wonderful place on earth!
  • Reviewed April 2015
    Sophie Green

    Brillant trip and a great adventure!

    A delightful trip into the realms of Madagascar. Well designed tour/trekking holiday with plenty to see and do. The pace was good and relaxed. The opportunities to see wildlife were maximized at every opportunity and a host of endemic species were on view as well as some stunning scenery. Would definitely recommend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are so many...from discovering the "giraffe" weevil, dancing lemurs, views from Peak Boby, entertaining camp fires and Armel's singing!!! Full of diversity. My favorite moment was dozing on a rock to have three ring-tailed lemurs join me for their lunch!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel was excellent and a pleasure to spend time with. Without doubt a highly passionate man, with a great depth of cultural and wildlife knowledge. Made for a joyous adventure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Like any country which has not got a fully developed infrastructure there a few hicups...or indeed bumps in the road! In general the standard of infrastructure was good, roads are a bumpy at times (in other cases not so and there are plenty of stops for stretching legs on the couple of long drives). It can be hot and humid so remember rehydration salts and take on plenty of fluids. The trek portions of the trip are well designed with plenty of breaks/opportunities to take pictures.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is a delight and the speculator views and wildlife were amazing. All the standard hotels were good and had a local touch, very pleasant. The camps were good (tents/mats in excellent condition), and plenty of opportunity for a quick dips in natural pools/rivers. The food is lovely as well.
  • Reviewed October 2014
    Catherine Marvell

    An amazing country

    This is a very full trip and full of interest from the scenery to the wildlife to the people. There is a lot of time spent sitting on the coach, more I think than is spent walking, but looking out at Madagasgar rolling past was never without interest. The accommodation is quite reasonable especially the two nights at the beach resort which was a little paradise. I went September when the country was still needing to green up after the dry winter season but it was still amazingly beautiful and lush in places.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick. Seeing lemurs close up in the wild was probably the most expected highlight but also other things that were not actually on the itinery such as the visit to the spiny forest park near Ifaty and the walk to the fishing village at Ifaty were also highlights. The mountain scenery was spectacular and the canyon was an unexpected treat. Opportunities to swim in natural pools.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was good and full of interesting knowledge about Madagascar and attentive but had not had a lot of experience with trekking groups so was not always clear in his briefing about what to expect, what to take etc for the walking. The local staff were all good and the guides great at finding all sorts of interesting things to see on the walks such as weird insects and had good knowledge of plants, birds etc.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If vegetarian dont expect a particularly good or healthy diet. Take nuts or other snacks. Make a decision about what flights to get. I went on the Air France flight which was the group flight for this trip and this meant that we lost the first day of the itinery. We got to the hotel about 2am after the long haul flight and rather than having a day to recoup and spend a bit of time in the capital (as in the itinery) it was straight up the next morning for a long day on the bus. There are lots of opportunities to recharge camera batteries but take lots of memory cards! It may be a bit obvious to say this but it gets very hot.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Every day offered something new and fascinating and the variety and diversity of experience on this trips is quite something.
  • Reviewed October 2014
    Sarah Hargreaves

    Happy Monsters

    An amazing country and a great way to see it, but some questions around the ethical travel policy in a country where exploitation is so evident and the population so poor.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people are inspirational - the warmth of the welcome and the generosity of spirit in the rural areas is like nothing i have known. The most idylic point was swimming in the lagoons at the base of the canyon having trekked all day in the heat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was enthusiastic and tried to help wherever possible. He took good care of us all though I think that at points his communication skills were lacking and there was some tension around understanding details of what it a logistically intensive trip. The trip notes could be better set up to assist with this and some expectation management around availability of water / toilets / electricity may also help to condition some of the less seasoned travellers.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take as many spare clothes as you can carry to give away. The children do not ask or beg, but they are often running around in rags with bear feet or odd shoes... an old pair of flip flops can be used as anything from footwear to fishing floats... the people waste nothing and are genuinely grateful for anthing you can spare.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We had an issue with an Air France strike that left us in Tanna 24 hours longer than expected and with no details of connections from CDG back to London - we were completely abandoned by our guide who said we were air Frances responsibility. Becasue we had booked via exodus (as advised at the point of booking) we got NO updates on the fligt status to our email or phones. As the delay was on Sunday we called the out of hourse helpline forExodus who offered absolutely no assistance with regard to infromation on our status not did they offer to try and find out. They only offered to try and assist with paying for a new flight from CDG to london at our own expense and so appeared only to try and capitalise on our distress. I was very disappointed that given the nature of the desitnations you offer that your company was so quick to abandon us. Also note that (though not your fault), the Air France hotel rendered 5 (of 15) of our party bed ridden with a fever and food poisoning for most of our extended stay, an gentleman who had been suffering with prostate problems and had already spent considerable time in a couple of local clinics was also abandoned with us. I am pregnant and mercifully had not touched the food that that poisoned the others so I count myself very lucky. The other issue is an ethical concern - we had a fantastic team (20) of young men who accompanied our 1st trek - they carried all our food luggae and water for 10s of kilometres. I have two issues with this - Firtsly the guidance on the weight limits for this trek were vague and so many partipants had glass bottles of Rum, litres of coke, ipads, multiple changes of clothes for each day as well as other arguably unecessry items that these poor boys had to carry bear foot over mountains in the heat. The second point is the tip. We had pooled the tip pot at the start and I was staggered to later discover that these porters had received just AR5000 each per day... so a total of £4.30 for each person for 3 days of backbreaking work. For a trip that costs close to £3000 I for one would be MORE than happy to tip more. I appreciate that it is a poor country and this £4.30 may well be comensurate with local wages but i would VERY VERY strongly encourage you to try and set a trend to pay a little more, or perhaps provision for better refreshments for them either at the end point or for them and their family's at home once they retrace the full trek in just half a day upon leaving us.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We are extremely sorry that Sarah felt abandoned during the Air France air pilot strike that regrettably impacted on her group. It is the responsibility of the airline to re-protect all flights, but nonetheless, our aviation team worked hard to intervene in this instance to confirm that our clients were re-protected and were able to return home as quickly as possible. We have received very good feedback from other Exodus clients whose journeys were affected by the strike and we are disappointed that Sarah’s experience was not so positive. We have spoken to all Exodus staff members who were on duty this weekend and it is unclear who Sarah contacted, but we are very sorry that Sarah’s group fell ill at the hotel that Air France accommodated them at; our aviation manager has raised this with our account manager at Air France. An Exodus staff member has recently returned from this trip without raising any ethical concerns, but we will review this set-up to ensure that this tour is running in line with our Responsible Tourism policy. We hope that Sarah has some great memories of her trip overall - Exodus Customer Services

  • Reviewed July 2014
    Alison Church

    Trekking in Madagascar

    A breathtaking trip, with the perfect balance of stunning scenery, fascinating wildlife, cultural experiences and wonderful people! Madagascar is a truly unique country with incredibly warm and welcoming people; this two-week itinerary gave a really good glimpse into what makes it so special. I literally loved every second of it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Impossible to give just one on a trip of such variety; every day had something new and unique. Getting to the top of Peak Boby was a great feeling; catching a rainbow arching over the hills as we drank beer with our feet in the river after our longest day of trekking was magical; dancing round the campfire with the porters under the stars was indescribably special; seeing a stunning sunset over the sea under the palm trees on a white sand beach was gorgeous; catching glimpses of the black-and-white ruffed lemur and the mouse lemur was unexpected; getting up close to the cheeky ring-tailed lemurs was highly entertaining; swimming in spectacular waterfalls was amazing; soaking up the most amazing silent landscapes was breath-taking; being invited into the homes of local villagers was heart-warming; and seeing the smiles and being treated like a celebrity by each and every Madagascan person we met is incomparable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel was brilliant! Entertaining, knowledgeable, inspiring, but most of all with an energy and drive to share with us everything he loved about his country, he made sure that every one of us also fell in love with Madagascar!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't miss Madagascar, it's the most incredible country with the most incredible people!
  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    TREKKING IN MADAGASCAR

    The trip was a wonderful introduction to Madagascar. We saw a variety of landscapes, animals and plants as we trekked and drove southward. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Peak Boby/Spotting lemurs.Dancing with the porters and guides the first night of camping 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Armel was a fine group leader. He handled that demands of the group very well.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

     I'd suggest obtaining a visa prior to the trip. This should prevent you from being held up getting through Immigration at the Airport.Bring flavour crystals or a squash to add a bit of flavour to your water. You will be drinking quite a bit of it.  
  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    TREKKING IN MADAGASCAR

    This trip was beyond fantastic, it was the first trip I have done with Exodus and the first trek I have done! It was completly fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, meeting the people, seeing the country and seeing the wildlife makes this an amazing experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When we had walked accross a drier desert area, in 34 degree heat.... we walked into a large crack in a cliff into a tropical paradise... there were palm trees and a beautiful lagoon. We jumped in, had a swim and within a hour were back ontop of the mountain again in a barren, dry, dusty area. ONLY to then go for another area before walking down into a forrest in the valley to our camp site to be greet by lemurs trying to steal buscuits off the table!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was completly fantastic! He really made the trip with his passion, knowledge, willingness to help and I cannot thank him enough for giving me the holiday of a life time! He really loved his job and gave everything he had to looking after us, I dont know how anyone could do what he does, stay so positive and happy and do such an amazing job!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Remember to take tipping money, there is more of an expectation to tip than I thought there would be so aim for about one hunderd pounds for trip leaders, guides, drivers and restaraunt tips (which given the service is more than desereved!)

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As a first trek, a holiday, an experience, this blew me away. Thank you Exodus and thank you to our tour guide for giving me one of my fondest memories of an amazing country! If this is on your list and its your first trek, JUST BOOK IT!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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