National Road 7 : The 1000 views

Day 1 Antananarivo – Andasibe

We head eastwards to Andasibe through the green landscape of the East. Because of the heavy traffic in this RN2 ( the first harbour of Madagascar) and its winding road, the 135 km distance will take us 3 to 4 hours’ drive. On the way stop in Pyereras Reptiles Park to see farmed chameleons and other species of reptiles. This step brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forest and lakes. Arrival in Andasibe. Check-in and overnight in your hotel.


Peyreras reptile park

Vakona Lodge BB

Day 2 Andasibe

Morning, 3 to 4 hours guided walk in the Andasibe National Park, a huge tropical rainy forest in the east. 9 species of lemurs can be spotted; the highlight is the « Indri Indri » which is the largest lemurs of the island. This 810 ha reserve is also home to numerous unique wildlife. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds. After the hike, visit to Andasibe village, a typical Betsimisaraka (The-Many-inseparable) village; who mainly lives on agriculture. Then visit the private park of Vakona in the « islands of lemurs » which the best spot to take photo of lemurs

Indri Indri

According to the legend, Indri Indri or Babakoto’s name in Malagasy comes from the legend that one day, a small boy called Koto went and climbed a tree to collect bees. Arriving on the top, he was stung by the bees. Losing his lose, he fell but was saved by the Indri Indri which brought him to his village and from that time, Indri was called Babakoto or father of Koto. Members of the Indri family includes the adult male and female, who stays together for life with their young. A female Indri gives birth to a single offspring every 2-3 years. No one knows how long an Indri may live, but their lifespan is estimated between 25 and 40 years. Adults are from 70-90 cm tall and weigh from 7-10 kg.


AM: 3 to 4 Hours guided visit of Analamazaotra Andasibe National Park

PM: 45MN visit of Lemurs Island in Vakona

Vakona Lodge BB

Day 3 Andasibe – Antsirabe

Breakfast at hotel, then head on to Tana, Green landscape, composed with tropical rainforest, alternated with eucalyptus and pine, hills, valleys, lakes and rivers, villages with huts, bricked house with thatched roof are the scenery we will see along the way. From Tana, we take the National 7 and head southwards for 3 to 4 hours’ drive to Antsirabe. We cross the highland with its mountanous landscape, beautiful teraced rice-fields and its spectacular eroded hills called « lavaka ». Optional stop in Ambatolampy, an agricultural city, also known for its aluminum recycling workshops that we might visit during the weekdays. The next hours, we’ll drive among rural scenery with thatched roof villages, valleys, rivers, rice and vegetables fields. Being a volcanic area, Antsiarbe and its  surrounding supply vegetables and rice to almost the whole country. Arrival in Antsirabe late in the afternoon. Overnihgt in Hotel

Arotel BB

Day 4 Antsirabe – Ranomafana

After breakfast, well have a short city tours, visit a lapidary of semi-precious gem, then a workshop making  » pousse  pousse »  and  cars  in miniature then drive towards Ambositra, we are still in the Highlands with its green landscapes dominated by terraced rice fields and pine and eucalyptus forests. One thing which marks the Highlands is its architecture. Almost all houses are made from brick, with ornately carved wooden balconies and shutters with nice colours. Before Ambositra, we see the  » col de tapia » where the Tapia tree grows, a type of tree which resists bush fires. Arrival in Ambositra, a city known for its wood carving and its numerous small handicraft workshops. Visit to workshop where one attend craftsmen working. Continuation to Ranomafana, which will be reached in 3 hours. The landscape is now changing into a lush green one, with a tropical forest on the both sides, sometimes interrupted by small villages selling bananas or charcoal. Curving roads run up and down steep hills, making the driving quite long. Rice paddies, eucalyptus forest alternate with local villages along the way. We stop in Ambohimahasoa, an important town enroute to visit the weekly Saturday local market. After Alakamisy, we leave the RN7 and take the RN45 towards Ranomafana Ifanadiana. The 35 remaining kilometers is through thick tropical rainforest, often in rain under cloudy skies. Overnight in hotel


City tour of Antsirabe

Centrest Séjour BB

Day 5 Ranomafana

4 hours expedition in the forest with a local guide to see 12 species of lemurs, Ranomafana is the most important site  of lemurs in Madagascar, it is the only confirmed site for the two rarest species the greater bamboo lemur Hapalemur simus and the golden bamboo lemur Hapalemur aureus. Different species like Fulvus Rufus, Varieca Variegata, Hapalemur griseus, Avahi lanigeur, Lepilemur mustelinus, Propithecus diadema edwardsi, Cheirogaleus major and Daubentounia madagscariensis are also seen there. More than 100 birds, five species of viverrids, reptiles, lizards, butterflies and other insects have been recorded in this park. The area is covered with forest, in the higher areas ,the trees are festooned with mosses and lichens, much of this secondary forest is dominated by the introduced tree  Psidium cattleyarum, also giant bamboo Cephalostacyum viguieri. Various orchids such as Bblophyllum and  Eulophiella, steep mountains, dramatic waterfalls and natural hot springs make this endangered and exotic forest charming and unusual . The name Ranomafana means  » hot water  » due to its thermal springs. Overnight in hotel


3 to 4 Hours guided visit of Ranomafana National Park

Centrest Séjour BB

Day 6 Ranomafana – Ranohira (Isalo)

Morning, we’ll have 1 hour drive to Fianarantsoa, the capital of Betsileo tribes, the second largest tribe  of  the Highlands, also the second most populated city of the country after Antananarivo. From there, 60mn drive  to Ambalavao and visit the « Anteimoro paper » workshop; Paper making was introduced in Madagascar by Arab traders. Then we’ll visit ANJA, a park run by the local community where part of the income serves to pay the teachers of the local school. We will spot ringtail lemurs during our 2 hours hike inside the park. We’ll head on to Ihosy, the capital of Bara tribes, through the mountain chain of Andringitra, which serves as a transition between green Highland and the  dry South. The landscape is more and more grandiose. Huge Granite blocks are marking the spacious and empty plains. It is  » the gate of the south  » which marks the end of the Highlands and the beginning of the South. We feel like

being swallowed by this emptiness, as we pass through the « plateau de Horombe » with its spacious red soil, reminding us of  »  no man’s land ». In various places we can see  zebu herds, accompanied by Bara men with  rifles.  Arrival in  Isalo at the end of the afternoon. Overnight in your hotel.

City tour of Fianarantsoa:

Capital of Betsileo tribe, Called the gate of the South it is the centre of the catholic religion and the seat of the Jesuit order. The best schools and universities are found there. Fianarantsoa means «Place of good learning », as the Betsileo were taught by the Merina governors during 19th Century to behave in a good and civilian way. The city tour of Fianarantsoa which was build on the same plan as Antananarivo, with 3 different levels: high city where the old king’s palace was, the main cathedral are found, the mid city with its administrative zone and where the town hall is found, then low city which is the commercial area with the main railway station. Overnight in your hotel.

Zebu Market

Wednesday and Thursday is the popular weekly zebu market in Ambalavao, said to be the most important in the country. Many traders from all over the island come to sell or buy zebu. In case we happen to be there on one of these days, we’ll have the opportunity to experience this weekly event. For the local people, the market serves as a meeting point where people from all over the country meet, buy sell zebu. According to the tradition young girls are still traded against zebu in this market.

Anja Park

A park run by the local community where part of the income serves to pay the teachers of the local school. We will spot ringtail lemurs during our 2 hours hike inside the park.


Antemoro paper factory

45MN guided visit of Anja Park

Satrana Lodge BB

Day 7 Ranohira (Isalo)

4 to 6 hours hike in ISALO National Park. The park covers an area of 81,540 ha comprising the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge massif is spectacular with its eroed sandstone mountains. 10 minutes drive from Ranohira village to the entrance of the park, then 90 minutes hiking through the massif to get a  spectacular view of Isalo’s  eroded sandstone mountains with its different colors, its strange and eroded forms giving many different images like  « the tortoise », « the masks » and « the crocodiles ». Vegetation is composed of Uapaca bojeri, Pachypodium rosulatum, an endemic species in Isalo, Aloe isaloensis.  During the hike, one can see tombs inside rockclefts, as these mountains  are also a Bara burial place. The canyon is just spectacular with its deep gorge. One will see small streams of water, small rivers which are marked by lines of brilliant green, generally made up of numerous Pandanus pulcher and the delicate, slim-stemmed, feathery leaved palm Chrysalidocarpus isaloensis. Along the way, for lemur’s lovers, one might see sifakas, brown lemurs and ring-tails, also fifty five species of birds, lizards, snakes. Back to the hotel at the end of the afternoon. Then around 04.30pm, visit the fenêtre de l’Isalo for the sunset. Back and overnight in your hotel


Overnight at Satrana Lodge or Similar on BB

Day guided walk in isalo National Park (Piscine Naturelle & Cascade des Nymphes)

Sunset in “Fenêtre de l’Isalo”

Satrana Lodge BB

Day 8 Ranohira (Isalo) – Manombo

After breakfast, head on to Tuléar, the terminal of the National road N° 7. After 1 hours drive, stop in Ilakaka, a tiny village transformed into a busy town since the discovery of sapphire 15 years ago. From here, new scenery arises, composed with semi-dry forest of the west, baobabs tamarind trees. As we come closer to Tulear, we start to see  thorny bush and from time to time some colorful tombs of Mahafaly and Antandroy tribes. Arrival in Tuléar, the end of this long and stunning National Road 7. Afterwards we take the National 9, and head  northwards to Manombo along  the coast along mangroves, thorny bushes, dunes. Overnight in hotel

Zombitse National Park

we will have 1 hour hike with a special guide in a semi-dry tropical forest, home to few endemic birds and 6 species of lemurs. Established in 1997 and covers 363 km² of dry forest, marshes, and savannas. It is located on the southwest of Madagascar about 90km west of Ranohira and 20km northeast of Sakaraha. The Park is divided into three different sections: Zombitse (168 km²), Vohibasia (161 km²) and Vohimena Isoky (32 km²). A transition zone between the dry and humid forest of Madagascar Zombitse shelters the most important remnant of dry deciduous forest of the country. Flora is especially rich within the protected area: Baobabs and several orchids are common. 15 small mammals, 2 carnivorous and 8 lemur species, such as Verraux´s sifaka, red-fronted brown lemur, ring-tailed lemur, pale  fork-marked lemur and the Hubbard´s sportive lemur might be spotted here. Birds are also a park highlight. There are 85 species, most of them endemic like the rare Appert´s greenbul. Also 33 reptile and 8 amphibian species.

City Tour of Tuléar:

Located in the Deep South, crossed by the Tropic of Capricorne and bathed by the Canal de Mozambique, Tuléar used to be one of the main harbours of Madagascar during colonial time. Different tribes: Vezo, Sakalava, Masikoro, Antandroy, manage to intermingle in Tuléar, making it a cosmopolitan city with different cultures and traditions, which are all based on the cult of ancestors.


 1hour guided visit of Zombitse National Park

Demeur de la compagnie BB

Day 9 Manombo

Day off. Manombo lies 45km north of Tuléar. Situated in the largest lagoon of the country, Manomnbo is protected by a large coral reef, which makes it an ideal place for diving and snorkelling or just for relaxing. Many excursions are possible on the spot like whales watching or sea excursion with local boat. From July to mid-September, whales are coming to the cool sea of Madagascar to give birth. It is a very spectacular experience as sometimes we will see the

Whales very close to our boat. Being anglers village, we can just walk to the village of Mangily and enjoy the lively and animated return of the fishermen from the sea and experience the Vezo Fishermen’s life, especially when the fishermen come back from fishing. Another option is the visit to the Reniala Spiny forest, a typical dry and thorny bush only seen in the southern part of the country, where we will find some Baobab samples and another special trees.Night in the same hotel.

Demeur de la compagnie BB

Day 10 Manombo

Day at leisure, overnight in the same hotel

Demeur de la compagnie BB

Day 11 Manombo – Antananarivo

Transfer back to Tuléar then to the airport for the flight back to Tana, on arrival transfer and overnight in hotel

San Cristobal BB

Day 12 Antananarivo

Transfer to the airport for the international flight back home

                                                           Price from 1917 Euro per person 


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