North of Madagascar tour

Helinirina Raharomanana – Madagascar Tours Guide

North of Madagascar tour

North of Madagascar tour - Itinerary

Circuit : Tana – Ankarafantsika – Antsohihy – Mahamasina – Ankarana – Ramena – Diego – Ambanja – Nosy Be

  • Day 1 – Antananarivo
  • Day 2 – Antananarivo – Ankarafantsika
  • Day 3 – Ankarafantsika National Park – Antsohihy
  • Day 4 – Antsohihy – Mahamasina
  • Day 5 – Ankarana National Park
  • Day 6 – Mahamasina – Ramena
  • Day 7 – The Emerald Sea
  • Day 8 – Ramena – The red Tsingy – Diego
  • Day 9 – Diego Suarez – Amber Mountain – Diego Suarez
  • Day 10 – Diego Suarez – Ambanja
  • Day 11 – Ambanja – Ankify – Nosy Be
  • Day 12 to Day 14 – Nosy Be
  • Day 15 – Nosy Be – Antananarivo (By plane)
  • Day 16 – Antananarivo – Country of origin

North of Madagascar tour - Details of the itinerary

Day 1 – Antananarivo

At your arrival at Ivato international airport, our driver will tell you Tongasoa in Madagascar, that is to say welcome to Madagascar. From now on, we will make your dream come true, your stay in the Big Island an unforgettable moment. From the moment you are picked up at the airport, our goal is to make you discover the true beauty of Madagascar. Through a personalized circuit, you will go from discovery to discovery rich in colors, images, emotions and sensations.


In addition to the North of Madagascar tour that you have chosen, another customized tour that meets your expectations can also be offered.


After your transfer and installation in a hotel, our guide will make you visit the capital Antananarivo which means the City of Thousands. An opportunity for you to know its history, its culture but especially to get to know its population, the Tananarivians.


This small tour allows you to see some famous places like:

    • The Palace (Rova) of Manjakamiadana, a remarkable site implanted on the hill of Analamanga where the different kings of Madagascar succeeded each other. This site was recently renovated after being burned in 1995.
    • Your guide will then lead you to the Anosy lake, a place jealously guarded by a statue of “Golden Angel” in the middle of numerous jacarandas;
    • From lake Anosy, you will take a short walk along the independence avenue in Analakely, in downtown Antananarivo. This square is marked by the presence of modern architecture next to old houses from the colonial period or even from the time of the kingdom. A large weekly market was held there several years ago.
at the entrance of the Rova of Manjakamiadana
Lake Anosy in downtown Antananarivo

Day 2 – Antananarivo – Ankarafantsika

Very early in the morning, departure for Ankarafantsika in company of your accompanying driver for the village of the National Park of Ankarafantsika. Direction then the west exit of Antananarivo, to emerge on the national road 4 where you will contemplate a scroll of typical landscapes to this island of dream that is Madagascar throughout this journey of 8 hours.


These 8 hours of travel will transport you in the immensity of Madagascar, an immensity without any other similar which will arouse in you various emotions. Vast expanses of savannah of the Tampoketsa plateau, infinite expanses that flirt with the sky, arid landscapes, empty spaces as far as the eye can see, mountain landscapes, sub-desert landscapes… But not only… Small villages along the road, mango, jujube and tamarind merchants depending on the season… Sometimes, you will come across zebus, pulling their carts or a line of bush cabs coming in the opposite direction, loaded with their luggage, in a hurry to reach the capital.


After about 5 hours, you will gradually feel the heat rising, meaning that you are approaching the hottest region of Madagascar, Maevatanana. Maevatanana, the stage town. It will also be a stage of this North of Madagascar tour, for you and your driver who will guide you towards a restaurant for the lunch break.


Soon, you will see the impressive Betsiboka river which carries its red waters and will meet the goldpanners who on its banks try to make a fortune… You could possibly discuss with them their way of life, and ask them if the gold here feeds its man…


Once you pass the Kamoro bridge, built during the french colonization, you are closer to Ankarafantsika National Park, your final destination of your second day of travel in Madagascar. Once you arrive, under the heat of this tropical night of this dream island, we will set up our tents for a night in the wilderness, for a night where you will breathe the pure air of the beautiful forest of Ankarafantsika.

Ankarafantsika Lemurian

Day 3 – Ankarafantsika National Park – Antsohihy

On the way to visit the Ankarafantsika national park, for the circuit Coquerelle of 1H30 mn. The forest of Ankarafantsika counts nearly 800 varieties of trees. You will meet several species of lemurs including the famous microcèbe, the smallest lemur in the world, different species of chameleons and birds. More than 130 species of birds have been listed in this national park and you can do birdwatching.


This circuit North of Madagascar will lead you then right to the Malagasy canyon, the “big lavaka” after 3 hours of walk. If the course is rather sporting, the walk is not less pleasant. The less sporty will be able to reach it by road.


After lunch, by the National Road 6, heading to Antsohihy, city of stage before the Ankarana national park.


Once in Antsohihy, you will find all your energy to continue this circuit North of Madagascar after a night at the hotel.

Microcebus rufus ankarafantsika park
Sifaka Ankarafantsika park

Day 4 – Antsohihy – Mahamasina

Direction: the village of Mahamasina, nestled at the entrance of the Ankarana National Park. The journey continues on the RN6, the road that leads to the north tip of the Big Island. The journey of 315 km by car takes 7 hours. The trip is quiet through tropical landscapes.


Your tour guide will install you at the lodge where you will spend the night.

Ankarana landscape

Day 5 – Ankarana National Park

The 5th day of this north of Madagascar tour, you will spend it contemplating the grandiose panorama of the Ankarana. The hike is rather sportive because it requires 8 hours of walking. Its exceptional flora and fauna make Ankarana one of the protected areas of Madagascar.

Several circuits can be made there. From the discovery of the tsingy, vast expanses of limestone rocks sculpted by erosion to the caves of the bats and the immense walls strewn with nests of bats through the wonderful green lake.

The Tsingy Rary circuit gives, from the top of the suspended and secured wooden footbridges that you will take, an impressive panorama of the plain of tsingy pigmented with fatty plants such as pachypodiums. This circuit also allows to pass by the “loss of the rivers”, enormous karstic cavity in half-circle and to reach later the “tsingy of the turrets”. On the whole circuit, the show is simply fabulous and grandiose, the emotions are strong! Madagascar, island of dreams, finds here all its meaning.

The discovery of the Ankarana National Park requires physical endurance. In the evening, the return to the lodge will be even more appreciated.

Tsingy of Ankarana
Tsingy Rary Ankarana tour from the top of the suspended wooden walkways

Day 6 – Mahamasina – Ramena

Destination the second largest bay in the world where the picturesque fishing village of Ramena is located at 20km from Diego Suarez. The transfer is done by 4X4 vehicle. Once again, you will take the national road 6 (RN6) for a 6 hour drive to pass by Nosy Lonjo, “the Sugar Loaf”.


Your tourist guide will tell you the story of the famous “Pain de Sucre” or “Nosy Lonjo”, symbol of the city of Diégo Suarez, as soon as you see it. This island has surely many stories to tell, if only those of the sailors who would have stranded there… It remains the theater of several traditional ceremonies although its access is simply difficult.


Once in Ramena, your tour guide will see to your installation at the hotel for the night.

Nosy Lonjo at sunset
Sugar Loaf Diego Suarez

Day 7 – The Emerald Sea

Day 7 of this North of Madagascar tour: the day is placed under the sign of relaxation and idleness. It begins with the presentation of the crew for a pirogue excursion on the Emerald Sea, an immense lagoon with turquoise blue and emerald green colors and heavenly beaches.


The flavors of the sea are on the menu of the day. You may have the chance to taste fresh fish that you have caught yourself. If not, you will appreciate the picnic lunch prepared by the piroguers. Other relaxing activities are on the program: it is indeed possible on the emerald sea to make kite surfing.


When the day will fall on the beach, it will be then time to find Ramena. You will spend the night in the same hotel.

Emerald Sea Diego-Suarez
Emerald Sea canoe

Day 8 – Ramena – The red Tsingy – Diego

It is another variety of tsingy that we propose you to discover in this 8th day of your trip to Madagascar, island of dreams. During your transfer to the private park of red Tsingy, you will already have a foretaste of the beautiful adventure that you are about to live.


The red tsingy differ from the tsingy of Bemaraha by their more rounded shape. Born from the meeting of rainwater and a compact rock, the red tsingy is the result of the erosion of this sandstone-marl massif. The red sand that was on the surface mixed with the sandstone-marl to impregnate the tsingy with the different shades of red that gave it its name. These tsingy are fragile but you will have the leisure to contemplate them in particular the big and the small red tsingy, as well as the Canyon. Their ochre silhouettes standing in front of you majestic and austere, give the red tsingy the vision of a landscape of exception, of an unreal world.


Then we go to Anivorano where the main attraction is the sacred lake populated by crocodiles. The legend tells that a traveler who passed by there asked for water to the inhabitants of the village who refused to give him any. He then cursed the village which turned into a lake while the inhabitants were reincarnated into crocodiles.


Return then on the city of Diego Suarez for a night at the hotel.

Red Tsingy of Diego-Suarez
Crocodiles of the sacred lake of Anivorano

Day 9 – Diego Suarez – Amber Mountain – Diego Suarez

Day 9 of this circuit North of Madagascar: in the program: the national park of the Amber Mountain. To reach it, the journey is done in 4X4 vehicle. The park is located at about forty kilometers from Diego Suarez.

Following the Thousand Trees path, you will enter a unique tropical garden, a primary rainforest, which several streams and sacred waterfalls water at various places. The fauna is also tropical. Seven species of lemurs out of the 70 species that Madagascar has, live together. Five species like the day and are thus diurnal and two species prefer the night. During the walk, you will meet birds – there are more than 75 species – and reptiles including the smallest chameleon in the world, the Brookesia tuberculate. The flora is typical of the tropical rainforests of Madagascar. Botany buffs or not, you will be pleasantly surprised by this green universe of orchids, palms, ficus…

Then visit of the city of Joffreville. Joffreville takes its name from Joseph Joffre, a french military officer in charge of this north region of Madagascar during colonization. Created in 1903, the architecture of some of its houses has kept the vestiges of its colonial past. It was a holiday resort at the time, and it also allows access to the Amber Mountain.

At the end of the afternoon, you will return to Diego Suarez and you will spend the night in the same hotel.

The Mountain of Amber national park
the smallest chameleon in the world the Brookesia tuber

Day 10 – Diego Suarez – Ambanja

Before reaching Ambanja, next city of stage distant from Diègo Suarez of 230 km, a small tour of the city of Diègo Suarez is nevertheless necessary. The make-up of the young women in Diègo Suarez will not fail to surprise you: their face is finely drawn with masonjoany, natural sun cream resulting from the sandalwood. Diego Suarez has a particular cachet. The architecture of certain houses often still reflects the colonial past.


Then head for Ambanja, the cocoa capital that you will reach after about 6 hours of travel on the National Road 6. It is in Ambanja that the best cocoa of Madagascar is produced, which makes the world fame of the Big Island.


Your tour guide will take care, as usual, of your installation at the hotel where you will spend the night.

Around Diego Suarez
Cocoa of ambanja best cocoa of Madagascar

Day 11 – Ambanja – Ankify – Nosy Be

There is a pier called Ankify where the crossing to Nosy Be takes place. It is to this pier of Ankify that your tourist guide will lead you. Apart from its paradisiacal beaches, Ankify is only a necessary passage for the crossing to Nosy Be. The crossing takes about 45 minutes. Your tour guide will take care of your transfer and your installation at the hotel.


You can take advantage of your free afternoon either to rest at the hotel or to go for a walk.

Paradise beach madagascar

Day 12 to Day 14 – Nosy Be

These days of freedom that you will spend in the island of Nosy Be will lead you to a conclusion: no need to travel the world to find the earthly paradise. It is here in Nosy Be where, the trees of the traveler, the ravinala, mango trees, pepper trees, coffee trees, vetiver and others…mingle and intermingle in the landscape under the bewitching perfume of the ylang-ylang to give to this island of dream, its appellation, of “island of the perfumes”. From Mount Passot, you could admire the chain of crater lakes and the surrounding islands bathed by the sunset. Nosy Komba, Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Iranja or the Island of the turtles are as many small islands which invite you to the discovery.


You can also visit the reserve of Lokobe which contains an endemic flora and fauna: palms and coconut trees, rare plants and orchids… The lemurs of which the eulemur macaco, the chameleons, the amphibians, the birds… constitute the flora of this paradisiacal garden which opens on the sea You can also see the Lemuria Land. Getting to know the sacred tree, the port and the markets in order to better understand the culture, the inhabitants, the behaviors will allow you to better understand the people and their living environment in this dream island of Nosy Be.


But you can also lean for the farniente side that offer the paradisiacal beaches of Nosy Be. You can therefore take advantage of it to relax and unwind in order to get back on track. You can also undertake a mini-cruise of 3 to 7 days to the surrounding islands.


This stay in Nosy Be, you will spend it, in the same hotel which will offer you several conveniences.

Sunset Mount Passot
Nosy Iranja Madagascar

Day 15 – Nosy Be – Antananarivo (By plane)

15th day of this Northern Madagascar Tour: On the program of this day, your transfer to the airport of Nosy Be where you will take the plane for Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, main point of departure of the international flights.


Our driver will welcome you at the international airport of Ivato, and will accompany you to the hotel where you will be installed.

Airport of Nosy be

Day 16 – Antananarivo – Country of origin

Our driver will take care of your transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule to your country of origin. He will make a stop at the artisanal market on the way to the airport to allow you to buy beautiful souvenirs of your trip to the Big Island through small artisanal objects that represent the country.

Malagasy handicraft products
Lake Anosy in downtown Antananarivo

North of Madagascar tour - Map

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