The Tsiribihina river tour

Helinirina Raharomanana – Madagascar Tours Guide

The Tsiribihina river tour

The Tsiribihina river tour - Itinerary

Circuit : Antananarivo – Antsirabe – Miandrivazo – Tsiribihina – Antsiraraka – Morondava

  • Day 1 – Antananarivo
  • Day 2 – Antananarivo – Antsirabe
  • Day 3 – Antsirabe – Miandrivazo
  • Day 4 to Day 6 – Descent on Tsiribihina (137km long)
  • Day 7 – Antsiraraka – Morondava

The Tsiribihina river tour - Details of the itinerary

Day 1 – Antananarivo

Apart from the Tsiribihina river tour, we are also able to offer you other customized tours according to your wishes. After your arrival, the driver guide of Madagascar Tours Guide will take care of your transfer and installation at the hotel. Depending on your availability, you will start your trip in Madagascar by visiting Antananarivo (the city of thousands). This will be a short tour to get a brief overview of what the capital of Madagascar is all about. Among the places not to be missed are :


    • The district of Analakely including the famous avenue of independence, located in the city center. This place is marked by the cohabitation of modern architectures and old houses. It is also an old place of the famous market of Zoma;
    • The Rova of Manjakamiadana on the hill of Analamanga. It is the royal palace where the kings of Madagascar succeeded one another. Freshly renovated, this palace was burned in 1995;
    • The Anosy lake, surrounded by jacarandas, and is jealously protected by the statue of Golden Angel erected in the middle. The district of Anosy is currently the seat of the various ministries as well as the palace of the Senate.
at the entrance of the Rova of Manjakamiadana
Lake Anosy in downtown Antananarivo

Day 2 – Antananarivo – Antsirabe

For the second day of your Tsiribihina river tour, your guide will make you discover the highlands of Madagascar by leaving the capital to Antsirabe, capital of the Vakinankaratra region. The 170 km trip will take 3 or 4 hours by car, an opportunity to admire the beautiful landscapes of the Malagasy highlands along the National 7. This part of the island is marked by a predominant rice cultivation almost everywhere, zebu breeding, markets in the villages bordering the national roads, rustic villages often around the rocky mountains…

After leaving the capital, first stop at Behenjy in a green landscape dominated by rice fields. This city is famous for the quality and taste of its foie gras. Take advantage of this stop to savor this product, both sweet and mellow, prepared according to a local know-how. After this small tasting session of Behenjy’s foie gras, you take back the national road 7 to stop at Ambatolampy. Located not far from the Ankaratra massif, the third highest peak of Madagascar with its 2500 m, the city of Ambatolampy is endowed with an exceptional landscape characterized by an important agriculture which benefits from the presence of several water sources. When one evokes the name of the city, one returns to the spirit its speciality in the trade of the foundry and the manufacture of aluminium pots. A visit to one of these workshops will allow you to get to know the inhabitants of this city better. Your driver guide will then drive you to Antsirabe, the city of water, where you will spend the night before the next stage of your trip.

Behenjy Madagascar
Roasted chicken of Behenjy

Day 3 – Antsirabe – Miandrivazo

On the 3rd day of this Tsiribihina river tour, you will find yourself in Antsirabe, the 3rd largest city in Madagascar. Located at more than 1400 m of altitude, the water city has an altitude climate that is both cold and warm in the winter morning. While walking in the streets, you will meet rickshaws with splendid colors on which are written small words of humor.

The city of Antsirabe has kept the traces of the colonial architecture, its traditions as well as its irresistible tourist assets.

Among the places not to be missed is the market of Sabotsy. Accompanied by your driver guide, you will experience a particular atmosphere typical of the Malagasy markets where the voices of the sellers and the colors of the products are part of the identity of the market. You will find decorative objects or miniature cars made by talented craftsmen from recycled materials. Take advantage of your visit to the market to buy something to eat on your next trip.

After a stroll through the market, you will then visit a zebu horn workshop to witness the fascinating work of the artisans. Their goal is to work meticulously to produce original works. For that, they are inspired by their daily life as well as the identity of their country, among others, Madagascar as an island of dreams, its richness in flora and fauna… Before joining other interesting localities, you will be received by a confectioner who will make you taste his traditional confectionery products of the country.

After a tour of the city and the market, you will head for Lake Tritriva, a crater lake located about ten kilometers from Antsirabe. This lake is 160 m deep and is located on Mount Tritriva which culminates at 1651 m. According to the legend, the waters of the lake change color every time a major event is about to happen in the country. It is also the place where the famous couple Rabeniomby and Ravolahanta killed themself following the prohibition of their union. After their deaths, their souls would have occupied two trees which grow between the rocks at the edge of the lake and whose trunks are interlaced. These trees would bleed every time they were cut. All these beliefs inspired fear and respect among the inhabitants for what was considered “fady” or taboo. It would be forbidden to swim there after eating pork.

After lunch, you will drive back to Miandrivazo, where you will spend the night in a hotel. The next day, you will start your downstream tour on the Tsiribihina from the fourth day.

Big Lizard Miandrivazo

Day 4 to Day 6 – Descent on Tsiribihina (137km long)

During 3 days, you will live a real adventure during the descent on the Tsiribihina, a very long river of the west coast of Madagascar. You take the departure in Masiakampy after having been transferred in an all-terrain car of 4×4 type. Throughout this descent, appreciate the richness of flora and fauna of Madagascar. You will immerse yourself in the daily life of the local population, admire the various spectacles offered along the river: the cries of joy of the children of the village bordering the river, the meeting with the other travelers, the magic of the nature through impressive landscapes of cliffs, the lemurs which live on the banks…


The descent by traditional dugout begins after a brief presentation with the crew. During this adventure, the cliffs will dominate most of the landscape. The way of life of the populations of the banks of the Tsiribihina is reflected through their habitat, their history and their behavior. The landscape changes as the descent progresses with a gradual appearance of the forest.


During the descent, you will notice that the surrounding area is a granary of food and cash crops such as tobacco. If many prefer to carry out the activity of transport of these products via the river of Tsiribihina, others opted for the tourism. Discover the very rich and varied fauna including species of lemurs, bats or chameleons. The region of Tsiribihina is also rich in luxuriant flora and one of the most interesting is the kapok tree.


Your tour guide plans a short stop at the Anosiampela waterfall where you can bathe in exceptionally colorful waters. Experience a campfire atmosphere during the meeting with the friendly villagers and a night in a bivouac on white sands. You will live an exceptional evening animated by the songs of the pirogues.


Towards the end of this tour, you will live a unique experience of your life by joining Antsiraraka in your hotel aboard the zebu cart, an ordinary means of transport but very common in Madagascar.

Descent on Tsiribihina in traditional Pirogue

Day 7 – Antsiraraka – Morondava

After breakfast, your transfer to Morondava will be done by 4X4 vehicle. On the track for 5 hours of travel. Passage obliged of course: the big sacred baobab, the baobabs in love and the avenue of the baobabs. 800 years old, these baobabs of almost 30 meters high, are in a protected area since 2007 and are about to become a “national monument”. They were part of a thick forest, disappeared over time.


Our tour guide will take you to the hotel where you will spend the night.

The sunset on the avenue of the baobabs
chameleon of madagascar

The Tsiribihina river tour - Map

The Tsiribihina river tour - Video