Great Madagascar Tours


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THE RN7 & THE TRAIN FEC | 10 DAYS/ 9 NIGHTS


Tana; Antsirabe; Ambositra; Ranomafana; Manakara; Fianar; Isalo and Tulear


Level:
Difficult
Rating: DOABLE:
Sept. and October

TAILOR-MADE

BOOK THIS TOUR


  • Antananarivo Madagascar
  • Post office Antsirabe
  • Dancing lemur Madagascar
  • Train station Fianarantsoa Madagascar
  • Train FEC Fianarantsoa
The RN7 & the Train FEC map


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THE SPECIALIST



anja ANDRIANJATO

The specialist himself is on your services for more informations about this trip; available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.




 

PLAN YOUR TRIP


 

OVERVIEW

Talking about Nosy Be Island is talking about the best beach in Madagascar. You will discover this paradise which is a really nice place to relax, ground excursions or sea are unlimited. For those who love Robinson trip can again console with islands … you should not miss the visit of Nosy Tanikely natural aquarium and the myriads of multicolored fishes & Nosy Komba, Nosy Iranja …

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Highlands Landscapes, the serpent’s hills, the plains, the rice fields …
Highlands’ house architectural and its red brick
The various ethnic groups, its cultures and arts…
The national parks and reserve (Ranomafana, Andringitra, Anja and Isalo)
Legendary small train FEC with its 67 bridges and its 48 Tunnels
Discover one of the most beautiful landscapes of Madagascar with the atmosphere during the route
Discover the biggest city of the south-eastern coast and its harbor
Discover a part of Pangalanes channel
Dry landscape of the most Southern part and the plateau of Horombe
The multicolored graves Mahafaly and its Aloalo
The multicolored graves Mahafaly and its Aloalo The majestic Baobabs
The tropic of Capricorn and Tuléar

PRICE PER PERSON SHARING

From € 1130 /pax (LUXURY HOTEL OPTION)


From € 960 /pax (MID-RANGE HOTEL OPTION)


From € 880 /pax (BUDGET HOTEL OPTION)


The price indicated is per person sharing room (DBL or TWIN), it is based on 2 Persons; if less or more, please contact us and we will send you the final price.

INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS

Inclusions:

Private Meet & greet at Tana international airport
Return private transfers from/in airport/hotel
4WD Private vehicle with a driver English speaking (Gasoline included)
The train ticket in 1st class
Accommodations in standard DOUBLE/TWIN room with private sanitary
The meals as specified
Entrance Parks/reserve and local guide fees
The internal flight ticket Tulear/Tana (DECOUVERTE OFFER / LL1)
Taxes, VAT and the service fees

Excludes:

All international flight costs and visa fees or assistance unless otherwise specified .
Tips; drinks; personal expense and none specified items.
Travel insurance, it is a condition that all clients travelling with GMT+3 must have appropriate Travel insurance, including emergency medical evacuation cover .

Ticket Flight Condition:

COUP DE COEUR (EL1): Nonrefundable and non modifiable rate after issuing the ticket flight
DECOUVERTE OFFER (LL1): Nonrefundable and modifiable rate with penalty of € 18/person after issuing the ticket flight
LIBERTE (YL1): Refundable and modifiable rate with penalty of € 18/person after issuing the ticket fligh
PRIVILEGE (CL1): Refundable and modifiable rate with penalty of € 18/person after issuing the ticket flight

JOINING TOUR ABROAD

10 days/09 nights: From Antananarivo to Antananarivo. This is a tailor-made wildlife safari and can be edited to suit your needs, wants and budget. Talk to our destination specialists to find out more about this trip and to get advice on whether it is the best one you’re your specific requirements and interests.

Day 1: Antananarivo

Meet and greet at Antananarivo airport by GMT+3 staff and then transfer to your hotel in Antananarivo city. Briefing about the program and introducing the timing.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Include
TRANSPORATION: Minibus

Day 2: Antananarivo – Antsirabe (170km +/- 3h)

After breakfast, depart for Antsirabe “Malagasy Vichy” by the famous national road number 7 through the typical landscape of the High land such as: rice fields in terraces, red brick houses with thatched roofs... First stop in Behenjy to taste the famous “foie gras” which is the specialty of this small town. Continue toward Ambatolampy to visit the craft aluminum foundry which produces cookware like pots, spoons, forks that makes its reputation. Nearby, other workshops are dedicated to produce "football games" featuring the best international football teams. Reach Antsirabe and upon arrival, check in at your hotel and then visit the city by vehicle of Rickshaw, discover the avenue place, its beautiful garden, rail station and the old post office. Continuation to Mr. Mamy and his workshop of miniaturized rickshaw, cars, and bicycles will amaze you. Visit in the same time Mrs. Maminirina and her zebus’ horn workshop that you are able to see demonstration how it makes. Finally day will be ended with the visit of the Malagasy’s candy shop manufactured by Mr. Marcel. After the visit, drive back to the hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 3: Antsirabe – Ambositra – Ranomafana (280 km+/- 6h)

After breakfast, depart for Ambositra which is the capital of Malagasy wood crafts by the famous RN7 dominated by the green landscapes. Upon arrival, you are going to visit the some handcraft workshops to see craftsmen working, a marquetry and sculptures made from precious woods like Rosewood; Palissandre and Eben woods. Visit the finish products before having lunch. Continuation to reach Ranomafana National Park. Leave the highlands and enter the rainforest area. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and have a nocturnal walk before dinner.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 4: Ranomafana – Manakara (170km +/- 4h)

After breakfast, transfer to Ranomafana National Park to discover its fauna and flora. Visit the park and see a range of lemurs, including Bamboo Lemurs and the rare diademed sifaka, birds, orchids, chameleons, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife. After the visit, have lunch then visit the thermal town of Ranomafana before setting off towards Ranomafana. See the beautiful coastal landscape with fields of banana trees, coffee trees, and the famous travellers’ palms. On arrival, transfer to Manakara Be and then check in to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 5: Manakara

After breakfast, travel along the canal by pirogue to “troux de commissaire”. This is a beautiful place to relax and have a picnic lunch and swim before visiting coffee and vanilla plantations and fishermen’s villages. After this long day, return to your hotel

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 6: Manakara – Fianarantsoa (163km +/- 8h)

After an early breakfast, transfer to the railway station for your train to Fianarantsoa. Built between 1926 and 1936, the FEC is 163 km long, connecting Manakara and the capital of Betsileo and is one of the most stiffest railway passages in the world, comparable with those of with those of Ecuador and Burma. There are 67 bridges and 48 tunnels as it crosses one of the most beautiful landscapes of Madagascar, between the high plateaus and the sea. During the journey there will be numerous small stops, where you can observe the daily life of the Tanala and the others who live near the rails. Thousand of surprises wait you along the road. Before arriving in Fianarantsoa, pass by the only tea plantation in Madagascar. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 7: Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao – Ranohira (370km +/- 6h)

After breakfast, depart for Ranohira, via the colonial town of Ambalavao which is the capital of the wine in Madagascar; upon arrival, visit the vineyard cellar for tasting, continuation to the Antemoro paper made by Avoha” (tree of the same family as the mulberry) and silk factory handmade from the bark of boiled “embroidery and wild silk. A short walk to admire the old colonial houses with their famous veranda. We reach to the 2nd biggest zebus market in Madagascar (every Wednesday and Thursday before noon). Continuation and visit Anja reserve to see the famous lemurs in Madagascar (The ring tailed lemurs), you will discover in the same times endemic orchids; traditional tombs and caves and then reach Ihosy and crossing the high Plateau of Horombe, a landscape of open grassy plains will amaze you to. Upon arrival in Ranohira, we will visit 1st the natural windows of Isalo to see the sun set and then transfer back to the village and then check in at your hotel

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 8: Ranohira (Isalo National Park)

After breakfast you will explore this area. It is preserved by the gigantic rocky massifs. Some 1000 species of plants are known within the Park and vegetation differs according the forest, dense and humid of lower and medium altitude. The Aloes Andrinitriensis, endemic and renowned for its psectacular flowers which bloom from June to September. Lemurs, birds, reptiles will enchant your stay through its multiple day trip.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 9: Ranohira/Isalo – Tulear – Antananarivo (250Km +/- 4h & 1h15min.flight)

After breakfast, departure for Tulear crossing the high plateau of Horombe, passing by the “Sapphire Village” of Ilakaka. Continue to Tulear through the desert landscape and see by the way some Mahafaly tombs with their Totems carved from Aloalo and the famous Baobabs. On arrival, transfer to the airport for your flight to Antananarivo then you will be transferred to your hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Day room - Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

Day 10: Antananarivo

After breakfast, depart for Ambohimanga Kings Palace which is located at 22 km from Tana, it is the cradle of the Merina dynasty, the Mecca of the Merina Kingdom and the starting point for the unification of Imerina. This ancient royal city was reputed to be a sacred city where no foreigner could enter. There's a lot to admire in this place. From the entrance of the village, the old stone gate-shaped disc in the chamber, the royal box of Andrianampoinimerina, the summer palace of the queens, the Horse Park and sacred ponds. The enclosure is surrounded by a wall consisting mainly of egg whites in place of cement. The door to the east has "Ambatomitsangana" inscribed on it, and is actually a large stone disc 4m in diameter rolled closed every night and open every morning by dozens of men. After the visit, continuation to the Digue market, the place for handcrafts Malagasy that you will be able buy some souvenirs. Drive back to your hotel and have dinner and then transfer to the airport for your international flight

ACCOMMODATION: Day room - Hotel | LUNCH: Excluded | DINER: Excluded | BREAKFAST: Included
TRANSPORATION: Private Vehicle

WALKING GRADES & FITNESS

Grading is a somewhat difficult topic as much depends on the individual's own perception of his or her abilities. The following is intended as a general guide to our walking grades. This tour is rated medium so everyone can join it. We will usually involve easy walks (2 to 6 hours/day) at low altitudes (below 2000m). Some previous hill walking experience would be beneficial but these walks should be within the capabilities of those who lead a normal active life.

WE ONLY USE THE MID-RANGE HOTELS FOR THIS TRIP

DAYS CITY LUXURY MID-RANGE BUDGET
1  Antananarivo Palissandre hotel  Sakamanga hotel Niaouly hotel
2  Antsirabe Couleur Cafe  H1 Hotel Hasina hotel
3  Ranomafana Setam Lodge  Grenat hotel Manja hotel
4 & 5  Manakara Parthenay Club  Ampilao Beach Padoula Hotel
6  Fianarantsoa Tsara Guest House  Zomatel Soratel
7 & 8  Ranohira Relais de la Reine  H1 hotel Orchid hotel
9  Antananarivo Palissandre hotel  Sakamanga hotel Niaouly hotel
10  Antananarivo -  - -

Most of the hotels in Madagascar do not have the standard internationnal level, except some hotels in Antananarivo, Sainte Marie and Nosy Be but GMT+3 guarantees to find you the best hotels and accommodation for your budget. We will supply all of the necessary details for you to prepare your holidays and have a memorable stay in each hotel. Please note that in Madagascar, there is only one 5 star hotel, which is the Carlton Hotel in Antananarivo,. Once you leave the capital, the ranges of hotels are varied.

GMT+3 LUXURY (hotels/Lodges/guest house/Camping)

Wherever you stay in Madagascar, we will guarantee to find comfortable hotels, lodges or guesthouses with twin or single rooms and en suite facilities. Our hotels have air-conditioning/heating where appropriate and reliable hot and cold water. They generally have a very good level of service and mosthaveadded amenities such as a restaurant, bar, gardens or swimming pool.

GMT+3 MID-RANGE (hotels/Lodges/guest house/Camping)

These hotels usually have twin or single rooms with en suite facilities. They are generally standard, no-frills hotels with adequate amenities and service standards. Whilst comfort levels are perfectly acceptable to most, please don’t expect too much! These are often small, family-run establishments

GMT+3 BUDGET (hotels/Lodges/guest house/Camping)

These accommodations may be communal or dorm-style, and WC / washing facilities are usually shared. Running hot and cold water may be unreliable or even unavailable. However, these can be the most rewarding and memorable places to stay, despite the comfort levels being low.

SAINTE MARIE

Sainte Marie Island (Nosy Boraha) is situated on the East Coast of Madagascar. The most Beach tourist place after Nosy Be and known by its kilometrical sandy beaches shaded by coconut palms, bays and coves protected by coral reefs. Please note that the best beaches are located in the northern; western and in Islet aux Nattes. In the same time, you will like its lush vegetation and animals. In winter (from June to the end of September) the humpback whales (Megaptera) are present around Madagascar but the best place to spot is in Sainte Marie Island …

HOW TO GET THERE ?

Location: You need to return in Antananarivo first and then take the flight from Antananarivo to Sainte Marie or continuation to Tamatave and then to Soanierana Ivongo + speed boat to Sainte Marie.
Transportation: by plane; vehicle & Speed boat

NOSY BE

Nosy Be island lying about 5 miles (8 km) off the northwestern shore of Madagascar. The name means “Big Island.” It is 19 miles (30 km) long, 12 miles (19 km) wide, and has an area of about 120 square miles (310 square km). Formed by volcanoes, the island is forested and has numerous craters and crater lakes. Its highest point is Mount Passot (1,079 feet [329 metres]). It has an annual rainfall of 78–118 inches (1,975–3,000 mm). The island’s products, chiefly sugar and oils for perfumery, also include rum, vanilla, black pepper, and bitter oranges. Nosy Be is the top beach destination in Madagascar with its surrounding islands remain paradise in the buff. A lot of activiies are available to make your holidays more Unforgettable .

HOW TO GET THERE ?

Take a flight from Antananarivo to Nosy Be

YOU CAN MIX WITH THE FOLLOWING TOURS

GENERAL INFO

Area: 594,180 sq km.
Population: 24,890,189.
Language: French, Malagasy.
Religion: Christian, Muslim.
Local Time: GMT +3
Electric Supply & Plugs: 220V, 50Hz, two pin round plug.
Recommended Maps: Freytag & Berndt 1:2,000,00 Madagascar.
Recommended Books: Bradt Guide: Madagascar, Dervla Murphy: Muddling through Madagascar, G. Durrell: The Aye-aye and I, D. Attenborough: Zoo Quest to Madagascar, I. Sinclair: Birds of the IndianOcean Islands, I. Tattersall: The Primates of Madagascar.

SEASON & CLIMATE

The climate is tropical, but very cold in the highlands (dropping as low as 5°C at night in July/August in Antananarivo). The dry season is March to October continuing into November in most areas. The southwest area is hot, dry and semi-arid. November (spring) is generally the best time for wildlife and birds, but lemurs can be viewed all year round. Additional information and climate charts can be accessed here.

The western coast of Madagascar is much drier than the eastern coast. In general, we can say the climate here is dry tropical. During the dry months between May and November it does not rain at all and the temperatures are pleasant (20 to 25°C on average). Between December and April it can rain torrentially or just a couple of showers, depending on the area and the year. The northern area is greener and indeed considerably wetter than the south. The hottest months are March, April, November and December, when the average temperature is 30° C or even more.

FORMALITIES

VISA REQUIRMENTS:

The visa is always free for an holidays less than month and subject to change. We will confirm you before your arrival. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of return.

All visitors must obtain a tourist visa (maximum duration 3 months).
This costs approximately 25.00 Euro per person and can be obtained in any Madagascar Embassy or upon arrival at the international airports of Antananarivo, Diego Suarez, and Nosy Be or in Tamatave (Toamasina). Return International flight tickets.

VACCINATIONS & PROTECTIONS:

Please consult your doctor when planning your journey: Malaria is present in most parts of Madagascar. Some form of anti malarial is recommended. Always use mosquito repellent and avoid being bitten. Vaccinations against tetanus, cholera and yellow fever are recommended. Bring your usual medicines because they may not be available in Madagascar.
In top Urgency, GMT+3 works with specialist doctors to assure and assist you before your evacuation.

INSURANCE:

We recommend you to see a Travel insurance to secure your holidays in Madagascar. You must take your policy document with you on tour and it should state in writing that you are the named policyholder and that the cover is valid for your period of travel. Your policy document must also indicate that you have medical expenses and emergency repatriation cover and a 24-hour contact telephone number for your Insurance Company must be shown on your documentation in case of emergency.

MONEY

CREDIT CARDS & TRAVELERS CHEQUES:

Credit cards are still not used widely in Madagascar. However, they are accepted in big cities, international hotels and in the banks of all cities. You will find ATMs in most main cities, where you can withdraw Ariary. VISA and MASTERCARD are most commonly accepted cards. It is also useful to bring some Travelers Cheques or cash in Euros or US dollars. AMERICAN EXPRESS is seldom accepted outside of Antananarivo. Please note that $100 date 1996 bills are not accepted (better from 2006 dated)

TIPPING:

Tips are expected for most services. The size of the tip depends on your satisfaction but 5 to 10 % is an acceptable level. We suggest that you plan on average 10 Euros per person per day for a guide. Remember that wages are very low in Madagascar so be careful not to over tip and create unreasonable expectations for other travelers

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT TO BRING

LUGGAGES:

Unfortunately it does occasionally happen that luggage does not always reach its destination on the same flight as its owner, or possibly it may be damaged in transit. If you are unlucky enough for this to occur, it is important that you file a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) with the airline before leaving the airport. This is essential when you come to make a claim either against the airline or from your travel insurance company. Please note that 20kg per person is allowed for the internal flight.

CLOTHING:

Given the variations of day and night temperature, and the changes of altitude between the highlands and the coast, we recommend that you dress in layers. Bring light clothes but have additional layers (fleece, pullover, jacket, windbreaker or raincoat). Make sure you have long sleeves and long trousers to protect against mosquitoes in early morning and dusk.

PERSONAL FIRST AID KIT:

On each tourt a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the tour leader. See the list in the General Information Booklet for more information. A good pair of sunglasses is essential for protection against UV rays and glare at high altitudes. Sun Hat, High Factor Sun Cream/Block & Lip Salve.
Choose a high factor sun cream (Factor 30 or more) to protect your skin against the sun at high altitudes. A combination sun block/ lip salve are ideal for facial protection. A head torch is essential for NOCTURNAL visit. Remember to bring some spare batteries and a bulb. Sun screen and insect repellent. Make sure you have enough camera film and spare batteries, as both are difficult to obtain locally. Bring a beach towel and swimming costume.

VIDEO RESUME