Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands

Helinirina Raharomanana – Madagascar Tours Guide

Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands

Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands - Itinerary

Circuit : Antananarivo – Ampefy – Faratsiho – Betafo – Ambatonikolahy – Antsirabe – Ibity – Manandonandona – Ambositra – Antoetra – Faliarivo – Sakaivo – Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao – National Park of the Massif of Andringitra – Tsaranoro Valley – Ranohira – Isalo – Toliara.

  • Day 1 – Antananarivo – Ampefy
  • Day 2 – Ampefy
  • Day 3 – Ampefy – Faratsiho – Betafo
  • Day 4 – Betafo – Ambatonikolahy
  • Day 5 – Ambatonikolahy – Antsirabe – Ibity
  • Day 6 – Ibity – Manandona
  • Day 7 – Manandona – Ambositra – Antoetra
  • Day 8 & Day 9 – Faliarivo – Sakaivo
  • Day 10 – Sakaivo – Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao
  • Day 11 to Day 13 – National Park of the Massif of Andringitra
  • Day 14 – Tsaranoro Valley
  • Day 15 – Tsaranoro – Ranohira
  • Day 16 – Isalo
  • Day 17 – Ranohira – Tuléar – Antananarivo

Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands - Details of the itinerary

The Big Island is not only sumptuous beaches, natural reserves rich in endemic fauna and flora… it is also made up of the central highlands with breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures and customs to discover along the various tourist circuits that we propose. Once you land in the capital city of Antananarivo or “The city of thousands”, start to crisscross the central highlands of Madagascar from your hotel to the famous tourist sites and villages along the RN1, RN43 and RN7.

Day 1 – Antananarivo – Ampefy

Lemur’s Park

Located 25 km west of the capital, towards Imerintsiatosika and Arivonimamo, Madagascar Circuits Tours takes you to visit the private zoological park of Lemur’s Park. You will discover 9 species of primates in freedom as well as turtles and chameleons. The site is installed at the level of Katsaoka on a surface of 5 hectares covered with some thousands of trees. This park was created to facilitate the discovery of this species, their reintegration into a natural environment and especially their protection against poaching and degradation of their natural habitat.

beautiful plant
the chameleon's repose

Imerintsiatosika

Your accompanying driver plans a small stop in the urban commune of Imerintsiatosika. It is an obligatory passage to go to the end of the RN 1. The idea is to make you see the poultry market of Imerintsiatosika, a weekly meeting place with the big breeders of the surrounding regions. Imerintsiatosika also reserves you the possibility of appreciating its famous pancakes of Imerina to the different tastes: salted or sweetened. Then go to meet the craftsmen who shape the horns of zebus to make objects of decoration.

Sweet potato and corn of your choice for a snack break during the trip
Sweet potato and corn sellers always at the rendezvous on the RN1

Rovan’Antongona

Continuing towards the west, your guide will inform you about the history of Antongona at the level of the two rocks of 1406 and 1512 m of altitude. The occupation of these two rocks goes back to a very old time and vestiges of fortification testify the presence of a defense system of the village built on the higher platform. Antongona was built by King Ralambo in the 16th century, hence the presence of the Rova (King’s Palace).

Maki is not afraid

Manufacture of miniature cars in Kapoaka

For your next stop, your guide will lead you to the workshops of artisanal manufacture of cars, bicycles or motorcycles miniaturized in kapoaka with materials of recovery (cans or cans of condensed milk emptied and thrown after consumption). This activity constitutes a source of complementary income for the household. In Madagascar, nothing is lost, everything is transformed!

A miniature car exhibition
miniature cars in Kapoaka

Manufacturing Zebu cart

Still along the RN 1, discover with your guide how the zebu cart was made, a very popular means of transportation in the rural communities of the Malagasy highlands. You will have the opportunity to witness all the stages of manufacture from the wheels composed of spokes, wooden rims, hub frets and hub, hangers or tires through the assembly of the tray. You will meet people with multiple talents at the same time a blacksmith, carpenter and joiner…

Cart in Zebu Madagascar
The cart as a means of transport in the rural communes of the Malagasy highlands

Ampasamanatongotra Tomb

Your guide then stops 13 kilometers from Miarinarivo, north of Lake Ampefy. There, you realize a loop of about twenty kilometers to arrive in the village of Ampasamanantongotra (the tomb which has feet) on the RN1. This village is particularly recognized for the presence of the tomb on feet. At the end of the day, your driver will drive you to your nearest hotel.

Excellent trip experience
Precious stones to see at all costs

Day 2 – Ampefy

The next day, that is to say on day 2 of this tour to discover the Malagasy highlands, you take the road with your guide who will lead you to Ampefy.

Tour of the Lake & Rova Andriambahoaka Afovoantany

Accompanied by your guide the next day, you will make the tour of the lake of Itasy by dugout, on foot or by bike. You can also follow the tour through walks and hikes in the direction of the Lily waterfall. With its 20 m height, the waterfall is one of the main attractions of Ampefy. During this hike, don’t miss the visit of the Rova (King’s Palace) Amboniazy of Andriambahoaka, the king of Itasy at the time of the kingdom of Madagascar.

Rova Andriambahoaka Afovoantany Ampefy
Tour of Lake Ampefy

Hike to the Crater Lake Andranotoraha

During your visit around the Itasy lake passing by the Lily waterfall, you will not miss a small detour on the crater lake Andranotoraha to appreciate the natural beauty of the site.

short detour on the Andranotoraha crater lake in Ampefy
Andranotoraha Ampefy Crater Lake

Bike ride to the Gasige Crater

With your guide, visit the crater of Gasige 8 km on the road to Soavinandriana in the village of Ampary-Fihaonana 4 km from the junction to Amontana. A bike ride remains the most suitable option for this route. Between the starting point and the crater of Gasige at 1671 m, you must travel 15 km. This site is suitable for a 20 minute paragliding flight with an excellent landing. Your guide will find you the best service provider for this purpose.

Bike ride to the Crater of Gasige Ampefy

Îlot de la Vierge & Ampefy Beach

With your guide, you go to the Îlot de la Vierge. This site is distinguished by the presence of green hills and flowery meadows overhung by the statue of the Virgin. It is also a place of pilgrimage where believers from all over the world have come to visit.

On the way to the Island of the Virgin, the famous Beach of the Malagasy highlands at the level of Ampefy does not leave anyone indifferent. Although far from the sea, the Itasy lake has a white sand beach allowing us to relax and enjoy the sun.

Lily’s waterfall

The unavoidable 26 m high Lily waterfall is a considerable tourist asset for the Itasy region. If you plan a visit to Ampefy, a small adventure in the Lily Falls, one of the most visited sites of the Grande-Ile is to be included imperatively. This locality was formerly called Antafofo that the inhabitants later named it Lily, the name of a young girl of a settler who disappeared there.

The inescapable Fall of the Lily in Ampefy

Geyser

After the Ilot de la Vierge, the driver guide of Madagascar tours guide will take you to the Geyser of Amparaky. It is one of the unavoidable sites of the Itasy region. The relatively powerful gush of water from holes on a clay soil is not of volcanic origin, it is rather a phenomenon of artesian wells that expel cold water. The water of the Geyser is known for its therapeutic virtues.

Geyser of Amparaky one of the essential sites of the Itasy region

Paragliding

After the Geyser, you will be accompanied by your guide to discover Ampefy by paragliding. It is a must if you like strong sensations while appreciating the beauty of the landscape seen from above. For this magnificent flight, you will be accompanied by an experienced instructor for a solo or tandem flight. Your guide will also suggest other activities in case the aerial activity seems inappropriate to you. For example, a horseback ride.

discovery of Ampefy by paragliding
experienced paragliding instructor Ampefy

Horseback riding

Discover Ampefy in a different way, it’s possible! You can live an unusual moment in the skin of the actors of the Western by walking on horseback in the surroundings of Ampefy. During this walk, you will learn to know the horse, to prepare it for your equestrian excursion. A learning program will be given to you according to your level. After these numerous visits to Ampefy, you will spend the night in one of the hotels of the site before continuing early the next day.

Horseback riding

Day 3 – Ampefy – Faratsiho – Betafo

Faratsiho waterfall

After the day of Ampefy, your driver accompanies you along the national 43 in direction of Faratsiho by passing the high cities of Soavinandriana and the magnificent valley of Kitsamby. You take advantage of its beautiful waterfalls of about thirty meters of height. The waterfall of Kitsamby is located at 3 km of the commune of Ramainandro.

magnificent landscapes in the circuit to discover the Malagasy highlands

Village of Faratsiho

Accompanied by your guide, discover Faratsiho, the highest city of Madagascar. This city is located at 1724 meters of altitude and is recognized by the presence of majestic churches at the entrance of the city. Faratsiho is a very animated city thanks to a strong circulation of agricultural products coming from the producers of the surrounding regions.

the daily life of farmers
typical house

Cheese factory

Beside the culture and the craft industry, Faratsiho also shelters numerous breeders of dairy cows. This explains the presence of many small producers of cheese whose products flood in particular the market of the capital. Led by the driver guide of Madagascar tours guide, take advantage of your passage in Faratsiho to visit the few cheese workshops and taste for the first time the local product.

Magnificent landscape in the Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands

Village of Sambaina

Before reaching Antsirabe and Betafo, you can tell your driver-guide to stop for a few minutes in Sambaina, a village located 48 km from Faratsiho on the edge of the RN7. It is in Sambaina that the National 43 and the National 7 are connected. This commune is often attached to that of Ambohibary to say Ambohibary-Sambaina, known essentially for its larger rice plains. Before resuming the road, your guide informs you about the next stage of this discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands: the waterfall of Antalavena.

Rice field in the circuit to discover the Malagasy highlands
vegetables in the Vakinankaratra region

Waterfall of Antalavena

After Sambaina, you will be directed towards Antalavena through a hike to contemplate the typical landscapes of the highlands of Madagascar and to discover its flora. This site reserves you something to refresh you and relax you thanks to the bathing at the foot of the fall. Your guide will install you in a hotel closer to the waterfall before starting the 4th day of this tour to discover the Malagasy highlands including Betafo and Ambatonikolahy.

Day 4 – Betafo – Ambatonikolahy

Waterfall & Lake Tatamarina

After the visit of the city of Betafo, the city of the vegetables that make it famous, you will be led by your guide to the falls of Antafofo and its beautiful waterfall of about 30 meters after several minutes of walking. At 5 km from there is the Tatamarina lake, a lake inside the city on which rainwater from the surrounding mountains flows. A canoe ride is one of the activities practiced in this lake. After the lake, direction on the market with the guide.

Friendly people everywhere
a small waterfall Madagascar

The market

Always under the direction of your guide, go to discover the big market of Betafo where you will find almost everything. Around June, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots… flock to the market to give a magnificent multicolored landscape. In August, the kilo of potato drops to 0,008 €. After a tour in the market, you leave with your guide for a bike ride around Betafo.

the discovery of the big market of Betafo
tomatoes potatoes carrots in the market

Bicycle ride

A bike ride is one of the best ways to visit the city of Betafo. Your guide will first take you to visit the tomb of Andrianonitomponintany, the last king at the time of the kingdom of Andratsay. You can then join the thermal center of Andranomafana at 2 km from the city the hill of Ambohimalaza, Ampongavato, Cathedral St Louis, Lake Tatamarina, the King’s tomb, Antafofo waterfall, the forbidden village of Andriamanitrakely, Anjazafotsy and back to Andranomafana. After Betafo by bike, heading to the village of Ambatonikolahy.

Hiking in the valley of Ambatonikolahy not far from Betafo
perfect trip in the circuit to discover the Malagasy highlands

Village of Ambatonikolahy

The visit of the village of Ambatonikolahy, 14,5 km further north will end the 4th day of this discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands. Your guide will show you a typical village of the Malagasy countryside where the culture of rice, potatoes, fruits and vegetables constitute the major part of the landscape. It is also an economic and social place of the commune thanks to its market which attracts merchants from the surrounding regions like those of Betafo and Antsirabe. Ambatonikolahy is also the home of small secondary activities such as small trade, brick making, handicrafts… Before starting the 5th day of your visit to the Central Highlands of Madagascar, you will be driven to the nearest hotel.

landscape in the small village in the Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands
by crossing the Malagasy highlands

Day 5 – Ambatonikolahy – Antsirabe – Ibity

From Ambatonikolahy, you take the road with your driver-guide to Antsirabe before reaching Ibity, 25 km south of Antsirabe.

Antsirabe

Avenue de la Gare

When you arrive in Antsirabe, the driver-guide of Madagascar tours guide will take you for a walk in the Avenue de la Gare. Antsirabe is the 3rd largest city of Madagascar located in the Malagasy highlands. As the capital of the Vakinankaratra region, Antsirabe has irresistible tourist assets and historical places to visit such as the Avenue de l’Indépendance, the train station, the Hotel des Thermes, the Stèle de Rossas, the Cathedral, the market and the first district of Antsirabe. After the walk in the Avenue of the station, the guide-driver accompanies you during your stroll in rickshaw.

Avenue of the Independence of Antsirabe

Stroll in rickshaw

This means of transport is part of the charming assets of the city of Antsirabe. Ask your guide to accompany you in this small cart pulled by a man even if it is only for a small tour in the city. Don’t hesitate to use it during your stay in Antsirabe because by riding in a rickshaw, you contribute to the improvement of the income of the pullers.

Children who go to school with the rickshaw

Hotel de Thermes

Being guided by your accompanying driver, you will visit the Hotel des Thermes, one of the most prestigious hotels of the city installed near the railway station and the spa at the beginning of the colonial era. The hotel served as the place where King Mohammed V stayed in exile in the 1950s and this is what makes its reputation. After the Hotel des Thermes, you will be redirected to the Thermal Center.

Stroll in the city of Vakinakaratra
An assortment of cocktails to refresh yourself

Thermal Center

While passing through Antsirabe, your guide knows very well the way to the Thermal Center of Antsirabe. Enjoy a relaxing bath or a fitness treatment in this site before attacking the road that leads to Tritriva, your next visit. The thermal center was discovered in 1870 by Rosaas, a Norwegian missionary. The spa treatment with hot water from the center can cure many diseases such as rheumatism, metabolic disorders, bone diseases, respiratory diseases, neurological diseases…

capital of the Vakinankaratra region

Lake Tritriva

Led by your driver-guide, you will then go to the Tritriva Lake which, in reality, is an ancient volcano crater occupied by water to become a sacred and mysterious lake according to the beliefs of part of the local population. The story of a forbidden love of two Rabeniomby and Ravolahanta who killed themself there remains the one that makes the reputation of this lake. After Tritriva, your guide will take you to Andraikiba, a lake to visit absolutely!

Lake Andraikiba

Located at 7km from Antsirabe and 10km from the Tritriva lake, under the direction of your guide, you join Andraikiba for a magnificent walk on the banks. It is besides a place of relaxation during the colonial period. Take advantage of your passage to buy small objects of memories in numerous stores.

Andraikiba Lake of Antsirabe
vestiges of colonialism lake Andraikiba

Mount Ibity

A little further south, 30km from Antsirabe is Mount Ibity, an imposing mountain of 2254m. It is a real opportunity for a discovery hike with your Madagascar tours guide driver guide. Back down, you will have the right to relax in the natural waterfalls at the foot of Mount Ibity. While walking through this site, you will discover caves, waterfalls, natural pools. You will spend the night in one of the nearby hotels before going to Manandona the next day.

Mount Ibity in the Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands

Day 6 – Ibity – Manandona

Manandona

After having explored the beauty of Ibity with your guide, this tour to the discovery of the Malagasy highlands continues towards the rural commune of Manandona, located at about twenty kilometers south of Antsirabe. This commune is recognized by the typical village of the region of Vakinankaratra. Its landscape is composed of a succession of mountains, green rice fields and vegetable fields. The population of Manandona lives of the agriculture and the craft industry where the presence of the workshops of spinning and weaving of silk. After Manandona, it’s time to go hiking again.

Beautiful rice terraces in the highlands of Madagascar

Hiking

Led by your guide, you will go for a hike on the middle mountain to appreciate through a panoramic view the beauty of the typical landscape of the highlands. You will pass through agricultural villages, rice fields, vegetable fields and mountains. At the end of the hike, admire the beauty of the waterfalls and refresh yourself in a natural pool before spending the night in a hotel.

Day 7 – Manandona – Ambositra – Antoetra

Ambositra

After Manandona, your journey resumes the next day with your driver to go to Ambositra in the region of Amoron’i Mania. If you like cultural tourism, you will find your place there. During your stay in Ambositra, you will have the opportunity to attend the ceremony of Savika, a traditional sport intended to master the unleashed zebu (bullfighting), it is also a traditional sport allowing young men to show their strength and virility. From Ambositra, Antoetra is an unavoidable passage where you will be accompanied by your guide.

Beautiful landscape in the region of Amoron'i Mania
a beautiful village in the Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands

Antoetra

At 40km from Ambositra, while being guided by your driver-guide, go to discover Antoetra, the capital of Zafimaniry or also the city of roses. The Zafimaniry villages are distinguished by their atypical architectural style, their craft know-how: marquetry, wood carving… testify their creativity and their mastery of art. According to the schedule in the hands of the guide, you must go to the village of Ifasina where you will spend the night.

The Antoetra Town Hall
A small Zafimaniry village in the heart of a green valley

Village of Ifasina

At 4 km from Antoetra, Ifasina, another Zafimaniry village is reachable through a short guided walk on the path that leads to the village located at 1583 m of altitude. The path crisscrosses the mountains and landscape of exceptional beauty. You will spend the night in this village before the next step.

A spendid village in Zafimaniry country
one of the villages in the country of Zafimaniry

Day 8 & Day 9 – Faliarivo – Sakaivo

Zafimaniry Country

Day 8 of this tour to discover the Malagasy highlands: with your guide, you will explore more during two days the Zafimaniry Country and its cultural wealth. The Zafimaniry country designates the set of villages and hamlets that are located at 40 km from Ambositra whose capital is Antoetra. The Zafimaniry are the heirs of the know-how in woodworking. Their talent is reflected in the architectural style of their wooden and bamboo habitat. The Zafimaniry do not use iron in their construction technique. The Zafimaniry’s woodworking skills were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008. During this exploration with your guide, enrich your knowledge by visiting the two villages of Faliarivo and Sakaivo.

An exceptional hike in the Zafimaniry country
The joy of living in the Zafimaniry country

Village of Faliarivo

During the two days, your guide will lead you to the villages of Faliarivo and Sakaivo, in the heart of the Zafimaniry country. Located north of Antetezandroto and northeast of Sakaivo, Faliarivo is a locality situated at 1499 m of altitude. You will meet landscapes dominated by rice cultivation in height, arranged in terrace and which testifies the know-how of this tribe in the control of the water.

Wooden house in the Zafimaniry Country

Village of Sakaivo

Located at about 1350 m of altitude, Sakaivo is an isolated village on the high plateaus covered with forests of Madagascar is recognized by the presence of mist that covers its surrounding hills. The guided tour in the village of Sakaivo is particularly suitable for those who like to hike for discovery as it takes 4 hours to walk from Sakaivo to the nearest village. After two days of rewarding adventure, we head to Fianarantsoa and Ambalavao.

Traditional tomb of the Zafimaniry country
Zafimaniry country privileged by its surrounding hills

Day 10 – Sakaivo – Fianarantsoa – Ambalavao

Fianarantsoa

After Sakaivo, we take you to the city of Fianarantsoa which means “we learn the good”, a city of all cultures, especially Christian for a long time. The presence of buildings and establishments is the witness of it. Among the famous places to visit are the wine estates and the know-how as well as the tea plantation fields. Among the historical places to visit imperatively in Fianarantsoa, there is for example Anatirova or the center of the city, the place of the Rova Betsileo, also called Ivœnava which means “the place where the dead are hidden”. From there, you will have a beautiful view on the city of Fianarantsoa and its surroundings. During the visits of the historical places, you will always be guided by a guide who knows very well the region.

Capital of Betsileo Fianarantsoa
place of Rova Betsileo also called Ivoenava Fianarantsoa

Old town

Your guide will make you visit the Old City also called “Antanàna ambony” or “the high village”. Today it has become the Old Fianar and holds the record for the number of religious buildings in all of Madagascar. It is there that Queen Ranavalona I decided to build a relay city between Antananarivo and the Grand-Sud.

With its 500 roofs, Antanàna ambony is the city with the best structure that shows the social status of the inhabitants. After the Old City, your guide will lead you to another historical place: the Statue of the Virgin.

the high village of Fianarantsoa
House for the safeguarding program of the old town of Fianarantsoa

Statue of the Virgin

The statue of the Virgin is sacred according to the belief of the natives of Fianarantsoa. It was erected in 1960 by the architect Brother Ruyant in memory of Msg Xavier Troyet to watch over all Christians against evil. It has become a place of pilgrimage for many Catholic faithful of the diocese of Fianarantsoa. After many visits in the city of Fianarantsoa, you will rest in a hotel of the city before going to the massif of Andringitra.

The statue of the sacred Virgin according to the belief of the natives of Fianarantsoa

Day 11 to Day 13 – National Park of the Massif of Andringitra

Andringitra National Park

The amateurs of adventure will find their account in the circuit towards the National Park of Andringitra. Sheltering the Boby peak, this 2nd highest summit of the Island remains accessible in spite of its 2658 m of heightthe National Park of Andringitra is a place of appointment of a hike in mountain and a panoramic sight. You will be accompanied by your guide all along this route.

the track that leads to the Andringitra massif
the swimming pool of the camp catta Andrigitra

Ascent of the Boby Peak (Imarivolanitra)

Despite the presence of a tropical rainforest, the Boby Peak or Imarivolanitra remains accessible. The landscape of the park is varied going from the meadows to the thickets and large areas passing by islands of forest. To get to the top, you will need the orientation and help of your experienced guide. After a long ascent, you can refresh yourself in the Riambavy & Riandahy waterfalls.

lemur in the Andringitra National Park
vacancy on RN7

The Waterfalls of Riambavy & Riandahy

The presence of the twin waterfalls of Riambavy & Riandahy gives the park a paradisiacal aspect. According to the legend, the waters of these cascades would be endowed with a magic power on fertility and fecundity. After a moment of pause in the waterfalls, your guide will take you to make a loop until Morarano.

unforgettable vacation Madagascar

Loop to Morarano

With the help of the driver Guide of Madagascar tours guide, several circuits remain possible in the national park of Andringitra. From the entrance to Namoly for example to arrive in the valley of Morarano. Following the track of Tsaranoro, you descend from Andringitra by an aerial path to the bottom of the valley of Morarano before climbing the slopes of Langela. In the evening, you will be able to rest in the nearest hotel.

the track of Tsaranoro in the circuit to discover the Malagasy highlands
A small village somewhere in the highlands

Day 14 – Tsaranoro Valley

The Tsaranoro valley is distinguished by its remarkable mountainous landscapes including a cliff of 800 m of altitude. An opportunity for you to discover with your guide the small villages typical of the surrounding regions before climbing the Chameleon Peak.

Chameleon Peak

High of 1540 m with a difference in level of 600 m, the Chameleon Peak or Langela owes its name to its particular shape which resembles very much the feature of the chameleon. This site shelters species of lemurs which live in a luxuriant vegetation. A guided tour always allows you to see the interesting sites such as the forest and the natural swimming pool.

the Chameleon Peak or Langela Tsaranoro

Forest and natural swimming pool

After a climb on the Chameleon Peak and a hike in the sacred forest with the driver guide of Madagascar tours guide, you will have a pure relaxation in the natural pools of Vatomay before going to the village of Tsaranoro.

Natural swimming pool before going to the village of Tsaranoro
natural pool of Vatomay Tsaranoro

Village of Tsaranoro

Morarano is a magnificent village located at 850 m of altitude in the valley of Tsaranoro. Under the aegis of your guide, you will see the adobe houses painted in red of earth which constitute an original decoration of the village. The village of Tsaranoro is surrounded by magnificent landscape dominated by the high cliff of 800 m, favorable to the practice of the sport of climbing and paragliding.

beautiful landscape set in Tsaranoro
Farmers in the village of Tsaranoro

Night under tent

Before the departure for Ranohira the next day, you spend an unusual night under tent in the village of Tsaranoro.

Beautiful view on the landscape of Tsaranoro

Day 15 – Tsaranoro – Ranohira

Village of Vohitsaoka

At your departure for Ranohira on the 15th day of this discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands, your guide will lead you to the village of Vohitsaoka, a rural commune of the highlands in the south of the Haute-Matsiatra region. Vohitsaoka is remarkable thanks to its old balconies constituting magnificent decorations. It is one of the prides of the village.

A small town on the RN7 between Tsaranoro and Ranohira
A break on one of the small towns of the RN7

Ankaramena

While going down towards the south, your guide plans a stop in Ankaramena, a rural commune installed at 905 m of altitude in the south of the Haute-Matsiatra region. Ankaramena is particularly well known for its zebu market which supplies the capital as well as other large cities.

City in the region Haute Matsiatra
All-you-can-eat mangos sold in buckets

Ihosy

After Ankaramena, Madagascar Circuit’s driver guide will take you to discover the tourist assets of the Ihorombe region. A visit to the city of Ihosy located on the river of Ihosy and on the edges of the plateau of Horombe is essential. This capital of the Bara tribe shelters undeniable tourist potentials like the cave of Andranomilitsy and the National Park of Isalo.

discovery of the tourist assets of the region of Ihorombe
Somewhere on the RN7

Lunar landscape of the Ihorombe plateau

In company of your guide, get ready for an ascent to the plateaus known as the aliens in Andriampotsy at more than 2000 m of altitude. You will admire the immense and magnificent rocky plateau with a lunar landscape. Further west, you will see the great wall of Tsaranoro. At the end of the day, your guide will drive you to one of the hotels of the village.

Landscape of the Ihorombe plateau
Route Nationale 7 towards Ranohira

Day 16 – Isalo

Arriving at Isalo on the 16th day of this tour to discover the Malagasy highlands, you must get up early in the morning to tour the interesting sites of the park with your guide. Among the sites to visit are :

Namaza Canyon

Namaza is a very popular tour in Isalo where the presence of the local guide specialist of the park is mandatory. Located at 690 km in the south of Madagascar, at the edge of the national 7, Isalo is undoubtedly the most beautiful park of the Big Island but also the park the most visited by the tourists coming from the four corners of the world.

Isalo and its horizon as far as the eye can see
The Queen of Isalo and the window of Isalo on the RN7

Natural swimming pool

The presence of a guide is inevitable for an adventure in the canyons. Follow the canyon’s water course to reach the natural pool. Always accompanied by your tour guide, enjoy a pure relaxation in the cool water after a long canyon trip.

particularly fresh water natural pool
on the National Road 7 Isalo Park

Blue Pool

Following your guide, you will arrive in the turquoise water of the blue pool, which is ideal for a swim after a hike in the sun. The blue pool is located in the depths of the park of Isalo. The park has a whole series of natural pools of different colors.

turquoise water of the blue pool suitable for swimming activity
The Highlands of Isalo

Black pool

After the blue pool, your guide will direct you to the black pool a few meters from the blue pool. The water is both deep and cold because the light does not reach the bottom of the canyon.

The deep and cold water black pool of Isalo

Namaza Circus

Under the direction of your guide, you then join the forest and the Namaza cirque by following the ridge line on the eastern part of the massif. This sandstone massif eroded in the Jurassic era offers on a vast surface a breathtaking landscape where canyons, sandstone peaks, caves, granite masses shaped by erosion follow one another.

sandstone massif eroded in the Jurassic era Namaza cirque
Entry in the national park of Isalo on the National Road 7

Waterfall of the Nymphs

Your guide will then direct you to the Cascade des Nymphes which owes its name to the fact that it was once the shelter of nymphs (a species of frog). Today, it has become the home of lizards, butterflies and birds. You will have the right to bathe in a limpid and tepid water, which makes it one of the most visited circuit of Isalo.

Isalo window
Arrival in the park of Isalo

Canyon of the Rats

Among the sites not to be missed in which your guide leads you, it is the Canyon of the Rats. Although it is the easiest circuit of Isalo, get ready for 2 hours of hiking over a distance of 17 km always accompanied by your guide. There you will have a panoramic view of the ancient village, palm forests, cliffs and beautiful tropical vegetation. After the Canyon of the Rats, go to the Canyon of the Makis!

The Queen of Isalo in the national park of Isalo on the RN7

Canyon of the Makis

It is always with pleasure that your guide directs you to the most popular circuits of the national park of Isalo. The visitors are mainly attracted by the presence of numerous species of lemurs in the gorges. Among these species, lemurs with big eyes. The Canyon des Makis also has natural pools. After a beautiful adventure in the Isalo, the driver guide of Madagascar tours guide will drive you to Ranohira and Tulear after spending the last night in the south of Madagascar.

numerous species of lemurs in the gorges Isalo

On the 17th day of this tour to discover the Malagasy highlands, you will be in the company of your tour guide to go to Tulear, the city of the sun. Tulear is the biggest city in the south of Madagascar, always festive where fishermen and rickshaw pullers circulate.

Transfer to the airport

At the end of your trip in the Malagasy Highlands, your Madagascar Circuits Tours driver-guide will take care of your transfer to the airport for your return to Antananarivo before taking your flight back to your country.

The City Center of the Capital Madagascar

Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands - Extension

An extension of this discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands towards the interesting sites of the southern part of Madagascar from Toliara remains possible.

Ifaty

Discover the most beautiful facet of the south of the Big Island through a seaside destination of Ifaty, located at only 25 km from the city of Tulear.

Ifaty and its famous turquoise sea

Salary

The bay of Salary is located at 4 hours of road in 4 x 4 by traversing sandy tracks bordered by a characteristic vegetation of the Malagasy south like thorny shrubs, euphorbias… Salary is especially known for its turquoise blue lagoon.

Salary and its turquoise blue lagoon
Salary sandy tracks

Anakao

Salary is a village of the famous Vezo fishermen (name of the population of the region). Experience the atmosphere of the return of the Vezo fishermen, go on an excursion or practice diving by pirogue or snorkelling. Anakao is accessible only by pirogue or boat.

a village of the famous Vezo Anakao fishermen

Nosy Ve

Located at 3,5 km from the beach of Anakao, Nosy Ve is an islet with a magnificent beach almost deserted with an extraordinary bottom. You will find there endemic bird species of the country like the red-tailed phaetons or straw-tailed.

endemic bird species of the country
Nosy Ve an island with a beautiful beach

Nosy Satrana

About ten kilometers from Anakao, Nosy Satrana is a wonderful place to go for an excursion thanks to its breathtaking beauty. Follow the route along the coast through a transparent lagoon. This islet is very close to the coast and is connected to the land by a strip of shallow sand.

A small break is necessary on white sand
-
-

Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands - Map

Discovery tour of the Malagasy highlands - Video