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Essential data

Group size:

Minimum of 4 people. Surcharge for smaller groups. Age >12yrs (younger by prior arrangement)


[3] - Anyone of reasonable fitness and health.


10 days.

Depart dates:

Jun 13 - Jun 22, 2005
Available throughout the year for 4+ travellers

Departure point:

Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Finish point:

Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Trails for Africa A Taste of Madagascar & the Tsiribihina River
  Take me now!

Madgascar: yes, it’s as romantic as its name, and fascinating for the natural world enthusiast, with lemurs, tenrecs, chameleons and boas, and many endemic birds. In the floral domain there is dense rainforest, bizarre spiny desert, dry deciduous western forest, fabulous orchids, and seven species of baobab trees. The Magalasy are a gentle, sensitive people with a fascinating Afro-Indonesian culture. Making contact with them in markets, small villages or on the bank of the river is a pleasure.

Antananarivo is a vibrant, colorful city. If time allows we recommend you arrive a day or two early to recover from international flights and have a chance to really enjoy the culture and attractions of the capital city.

The Mahajilo and Mania Rivers join near the town of Miandrivazo to form the Tsiribihina River, western Madagacar’s biggest river. We spend five days on the tranquil Tsiribihina River. Our inflatable rafts are propelled downstream by a small outboard motor on the 140 km journey from Masiakampy to Tsimafana. We make stops for forest walks, birdwatching, and exploring the streams coming off the Bermaraha with their waterfalls, blue-water grottos and travertine chutes.

The Tsirbihina River has some incredibly beautiful pools and waterfalls on its numerous tributaries. An excellent calm water rafting experience, our five day float on the Tsiribihina River exposes us to Malagasy life on the river. A truly comfortable camping experience, we enjoy sandy, barefoot campsites, and gorgeous weather.

Lemurs found along the river include the red-fronted lemure and Verreaux’s safaka, with mouse lemurs and lepilemurs spottable by night. We pass fruit-bat roosts and sandstone cliff whose ledges and caves attract peregrine falcons and barn owls. We enjoy a wide variety of endemic Malagasy bird life throughout our journey.

The 25,000 acre Kirindy Forest has the greatest density and diversity of primates in the world and probably the best western Reserve for seeing Madagascar’s endemic dry forest species such as the giant jumping rat. The forest is dominated by majestic baobab trees. It is home to the world’s smallest primate as well as dozens of species of amphibians and reptiles (and no poisonous snakes). As well, the Kirindy Forest boasts more than 60 species of birds and eight lemur species.

Situated on the Mozambique Channel, Morondava, is a gem, with a long sandy beach (safe swimming at any tide) offering opportunities for good body surfing sets. You can go sailing in an outrigger canoe or paddle in the mangroves, stroll in town, and stay late at the beachside clubs. It’s an indescribable delight to be on the coast, facing west to the sunset, breathing that crisp dry air that makes you feel so good. Excellent seafood may be washed down with a cold Three Horses beer or Lazan ‘l Betsileo vin gris. The peaceful beach front hotel, the Chez Maggie, is our home for two nights

Price includes: Expert leadership and excellent naturalist guides, airport transfers, all hotels and meals (except as noted), park fees, river trip, camp and cook staff, camping and commissary equipment, National Park entrance fees, room occupancy taxes, all ground transportation and domestic flight Morondava / Tana.

Price excludes: International flights, visas, airport taxes, insurance of any kind, tips, excess baggage, cost of immunizations, and items of a personal nature (laundry, sodas, alcohol drinks, etc).

Detailed intinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Antananarivo from Nairobi or Paris. Lunch at the Grill du Rova overlooking the capital. Afternoon depart south through the highlands to Antsirabe. Overnight at the Hotel Diamant. (L,D)

Day 2 : Morning drive to Miandrivazo through Menabe land, western volcanic region, rocky hills and grassland of zebu herds, and kasana plantations. Overnight at the Hotel Chez La Reine Rasalimo. (B,L,D)

Day 3 : Following breakfast we enjoy a brief tour of the village of Miandrivazo we board our awaiting rafts to begin our journey on the Tsiribihina River trip. (B,L,D) Camping.

Days 4-6 : On the Tsiribihina River. (B,L,D) Camping.

Day 7 : Finish river trip at Tsimafana. Overland south through the western deciduous forest, a natural history trip with its endemic fauna and flora to the Kirindy Forest. Evening walking tour. Overnight camping or in the rustic bungalows in the forest. (B,L,D)

Day 8 : Morning and afternoon walks in the Kirindy Forest. We continue south, with a sunset stop at the Avenue of the Baobabs, to Morondava on the Mozambique Channel. With it’s lovely gardens, the beachside the bungalows of the Hotel Chez Maggie becomes our home for the next two nights. (B,L,D)

Day 9 : Full day to enjoy the mellow coastal town of Morondava with a variety of available activities including: relaxing in the sun, exploring town, bodysurfing, paddling through the mangrove forest, or sailing off shore in a local outrigger boat. Farewell dinner and overnight at the Hotel Chez Maggie. (B,L,D)

Day 10 : After breakfast we transfer to airport for our flight to Antananarivo and connecting flight to Nairobi or Paris. Those with later flight connections will have time for shopping and optional tour to Ambohinmanga. (B)

Please Note:Terms and conditions apply. We reserve the right to change prices if necessary.

File images
Avenue of the Baobabs near Morondava, Madagascar
Avenue of the Baobabs near Morondava, Madagascar

Brown lemur in the Kirindy Forest
Brown lemur in the Kirindy Forest

Baobabs from the boat
Baobabs from the boat

Beautiful side stream waterfall
Beautiful side stream waterfall

On the Tsiribihina River
On the Tsiribihina River

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