The wonders of the Big Island tour

Helinirina Raharomanana – Madagascar Tours Guide

The wonders of the Big Island tour

The wonders of the Big Island tour - Itinerary

Circuit : Antananarivo – Antsirabe – Miandrivazo – Tsiribihina – Bemaraha – Bekopaka – Morondava – Belo – Manja – Andavadoaka – Salary – Toliara – Ranohira – Isalo – Fianarantsoa – Manakara – Ranomafana – Ambositra – Antsirabe – Andasibe – Tamatave – Sainte Marie – Ile aux Nattes

  • Day 1- Antananarivo
  • Day 2 – Antananarivo – Antsirabe
  • Day 3 – Antsirabe – Miandrivazo
  • Day 4 to Day 6 – Descent on Tsiribihina (137km long)
  • Day 7 – Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
  • Day 8 – Bekopaka – Morondava
  • Day 9 – Morondava – Belo sur mer
  • Day 10 – Belo sur mer – Manja
  • Day 11 – Manja – Andavadoaka
  • Day 12 – Andavadoaka – Salary
  • Day 13 to Day 14 – Salary
  • Day 15 – Salary – Toliara – Ranohira
  • Day 16 – Isalo National Park
  • Day 17 – Ranohira – Fianarantsoa
  • Day 18 – Fianarantsoa – Manakara (by rail)
  • Day 19 – Manakara ( The Pangalanes Canal)
  • Day 20 – Manakara – Ranomafana
  • Day 21 – Ranomafana – Ambositra
  • Day 22 – Ambositra – Antoetra – Antsirabe
  • Day 23 – Antsirabe – Andasibe
  • Day 24 – Andasibe
  • Day 25 – Andasibe – Tamatave
  • Day 26 – Tamatave – Sainte Marie – Ile aux Nattes
  • Day 27, Day 28 – Ile aux Nattes
  • Day 29 – Ile aux Nattes – Sainte Marie – Antananarivo
  • Day 30– Antananarivo – Country of origin

The wonders of the Big Island tour - Details of the itinerary

Day 1- Antananarivo

To make you live a real dream trip is the reason of being of Madagascar tours guide. This starts from your arrival on the Malagasy land. Our tour guide will meet you at the airport and welcome you. He will take care of your transfer and your installation at the hotel. By opting for the Wonders of the Big Island Tour, your trip will undoubtedly be filled with discoveries, images, emotions and sensations… in short, the most beautiful memories of the dream island. In addition to many proposed tours, including the one you have chosen, we remain open to all new ideas of tours that you want to realize.


After your reception at Ivato airport and your installation at the hotel, our guide will lead you on a small tour of some of the most famous places in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, among others:

    • The royal palace of Manjakamiadana, a true vestige of the time of the kingdom of Madagascar where king and queen succeeded one another before the arrival of the colonists. This palace was renovated after the fire of 1995;
    • It is the seat of several ministries, the central bank of Madagascar as well as several large hotels. A little further south is an old municipal palace which was later used as a presidential palace. Going down south, you will see the famous Anosy lake and its angel statue standing in the middle;
    • Before going back to your hotel, your guide will take you to Analakely to visit the pavilions market, the Independence Avenue where the old weekly market of Friday was held. You will take the independence avenue which separates two columns of buildings with arcades dating from the colonial era to arrive at the town hall which was reborn from its ashes a few years ago. At the end of this avenue is the railway station of Soarano.
at the entrance of the Rova of Manjakamiadana
Lake Anosy in downtown Antananarivo

Day 2 – Antananarivo – Antsirabe

For this second day of your tour, your guide will take you to Antsirabe, a big city located at 170 km from the capital. During the 3 and 4 hours drive on the national road 7, you will cross breathtaking landscapes characteristic of the Malagasy highlands. In general, the landscape is marked by the succession of plains, rice fields and rocky mountains.


At about twenty kilometers from Antananarivo, do not hesitate to tell your driver guide to stop a little at Behenjy to taste the traditional Malagasy foie gras prepared according to the local culinary know-how. Also take advantage of this short break to admire the beauty of the green landscape dominated by the omnipresence of rice fields.


After Behenjy, you arrive at Ambatolampy at 70 km from the capital. The village is built at the foot of the Ankaratra massif which is 2500 meters high. This city is endowed with an exceptional landscape marked by the development of agriculture. The presence of numerous water points is a major asset for the primary sector of the region. Although the majority of the population lives from agriculture, this city is also known for its foundry work. During your stay, visit some workshops where aluminum pots and other kitchen equipment are made.


After Ambatolampy, you will join the city of Antsirabe where you will spend the night before resuming the journey the next day to Antsirabe.

The city of Vakinankaratra Madagascar

Day 3 – Antsirabe – Miandrivazo

For this third day of your tour ” the wonders of the big Island “, our guide will make you discover the third biggest city of Madagascar. Also called the city of water, the city of Antsirabe is located at more than 1400 meters of altitude where its climate is colder during the month of May to July. To move from one place to another or to make a small stroll in the city, opt for the rickshaw, an unusual means of transportation still very popular in this city. Don’t forget to ask your guide the meaning of the names or small humorous messages written on the side or behind the cab.


Guided by your guide, you will then discover what is the very animated market of Sabotsy. You will be surprised by what you will see and hear. Agricultural products and goods of all kinds are spread out here and there, the voice of the salesmen who call the customers resounds everywhere. In short, the market of Sabotsy is another opportunity to know the way of life and the daily rhythm of the populations of the region. But among what attracts the curiosity of the visitors in this big market of Sabotsy is the talent of the craftsmen who recycle cans to make beautiful objects of decoration or miniature cars. Others use zebu horns to make miniature boats or other animal forms. During your visit, admire the agility of the craftsmen to create, with the help of simple tools, all kinds of objects that reflect the cultural and touristic richness of the Grande-île. The visit of a traditional confectionery workshop will allow you to taste the local products and also to close this discovery in softness. Before taking the road towards other localities, you can have lunch at the market or buy something to eat or drink for the road.


After the city of Antsirabe and the market of Sabotsy, you will go to Tritriva, a crater lake located at about ten kilometers from Antsirabe. It is an essential detour for a stay in the water city because of its picturesque character and its history. According to the legend, it was in this lake of 200 meters of depth that two lovers decided to end their days following a forbidden love. According to the beliefs of some local people, after their disappearance, this couple would be metamorphosed into two intertwined trees visible at the edge of the lake. In addition to its mythical character, which is a great attraction, the area around the lake is also an excellent place for hiking. Because of its elevated position, it offers a magnificent view of the surrounding localities.


Leaving the lake Tritriva at the beginning of the afternoon, you will join Miandrivazo where you will spend the night in a hotel before the next stage of your journey.

Women carrying rice while balancing on their heads
City of Antsirabe Madagascar

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

From the 4th to the 6th day of your tour ” the wonders of the big Island “, you will be accompanied by our guide for the descent on the Tsiribihina river by pirogue, a long river a little less than 140 km and whose width can reach up to 1 km.


The first stage is done by all-terrain vehicle until the departure at Makiasampy. The descent on the Tsiribihina will make you discover the richness of the ecosystem of the west coast of Madagascar with endemic fauna, sifaka, a species of lemurs, or various species of avifauna such as egrets, crows … as well as lush flora dominated by primary forests on both banks.


During this descent of the Tsiribihina, you will have lunch at the waterfall of Anosy Ampela and enjoy the natural pool downstream from the waterfall. All along this route, admire the picturesque landscape on the first gorge of Triribihina dominated by steep escarpments on both sides of the river. During the breaks in the villages, you will be welcomed in a folkloric atmosphere with traditional instruments especially during the camping and bivouac meals around a wood fire.


The population of the region lives in general from food crops, cash crops, transport… You will come across barges loaded with dried tobacco leaves for the market or other food products. Beside agriculture, the activity of tourism begins to interest the population living near the river.


As you go along, you will notice the change of the landscape with the presence of more and more forest and luxuriant flora including the kapok tree.

At the third of this Tsiribihina river tour, you will take a 4 hours track by 4×4 to go to Bekopaka, a village located at 110 km at the foot of the Tsingy of Bemaraha. The tsingy, classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO, is a geological formation in the form of limestone massifs born from the detachment of the Big Island from the African continent during a great tectonic movement dating back to a hundred million years.


On the evening of the 6th day of this tour of the Wonders of the Big Island, you will have the right to a well-deserved night’s rest in a lodge.

Descent on Tsiribihina in traditional Pirogue
Waterfall of Anosiampela

Day 7 – Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

On the 7th day of your Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park Tour, you start the day with the discovery of the Tsingy and their ecosystem. The Tsingy being numerous limestone blocks with impressive sizes that you can observe during the circuit of Andamozavaky. This circuit of average level is located at a few hours of walk and the track which leads to it was arranged to allow the visitors to see closely the Big Tsingy.


As you walk through the mysterious landscape of the Tsingy, you will go from discovery to discovery, making this tour an unforgettable experience. Despite a rather desert appearance, the Tsingy hide in the heart of many limestone towers an exceptional biodiversity. It is a peaceful home of rare fauna species such as lemurs. The Tsingy are places where we find the most species of lemurs in the world. It is the same for the species of birds of which the majority are endemic of the region.


At the level of the flora, the vegetation of Tsingy have particular forms adapted to rather arid conditions. One finds there especially spinescent or dwarf plant species. The presence of spines on the leaves conserves water and allows the plants to survive during a long period when rain is lacking. The endemism of plant species that make up the ecosystem of Tsingy reaches more than 70%.


Among the places to visit in the National Park Tsingy de Bemaraha is the caves, a path to travel to reach the top of the Tsingy. It is there that you will be able to have a panoramic view on the limestone forest. In the morning, a part of the caves is hardly accessible by the sun ray. For the major part, you will need a headlamp to illuminate the path. This place is also considered a sacred place, the first occupants of the island would put their graves there. The presence of the vestiges of Vazimba pottery on the site is the witness of it.


At the exit of the caves, you will pass by the 20 meters long suspension bridge, located at 70 meters height, an ideal place to appreciate a spectacular view of the limestone cathedrals.

After lunch, you will go to discover the small Tsingy through the circuit of Andadoany. Compared to the one of the big Tsingy, the circuit of the small Tsingy is easily accessible to be able to admire the beauty of the heights of Tsingy.


At the end of your visit of the national park Tsingy of Bemaraha, your guide will lead you to the lodge. In the evening, before going to bed, relive the good moments through the beautiful photos taken during the day.

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park
On the roof of the Tsingy

Day 8 – Bekopaka – Morondava

For this 8th day of your journey in the Menabe region, you will leave earlier in the morning for an 8 hour drive to Morondava. This journey includes 240 km of track as well as two ferry crossings on the Manambolo and Tsiribihina rivers. All along the Bekopaka-Morondava circuit, nature forms an exceptional landscape that no one could remain indifferent in front of this spectacular contrast of color of a tropical ecosystem dominated by a luxuriant vegetation that immerses a karstic panorama.


You will be surprised by the warm welcome of the local people who are happy to share the beauty of their country with visitors.

As you move forward, the change in the landscape begins to be felt with the presence of more and more baobabs, giant trees whose height can reach 40 meters. The baobab has an exceptionally atypical shape with a bottle-shaped trunk and branches that seem to take root in the air. Each variety of this magical tree has a different appearance.


Do not forget to immortalize your passage on the famous Baobab Alley, an unforgettable moment of your visit to Morondava. While walking in the middle of a landscape quite unique on earth, you feel you are in a real dreamland. The meeting with local people, the presence of carts pulled by zebus, the joy of children running along the path are part of the charm of this impressive site.


For those who live in this region, the sacred character attributed to the Baobabs make these trees places of offerings for the Ancestors. The presence of intertwined baobabs or baobabs in love constitutes a legend according to which the lovers who come there will be particularly blessed. Before going to your hotel, experience the magical moment of the sunset on the Baobab avenue, a true spectacle offered by the sky and the earth.

Bekopaka morondava road
The sunset on the avenue of the baobabs

Day 9 – Morondava – Belo sur mer

Day 9 of the circuit the wonders of the Big Island. Departure very early in the morning for the small fishing village, Belo-sur-Mer, in the southwest. 4 to 5 hours of track in 4×4 await us.


The crossed area is rather dry in spite of some green spots and the rivers around.


We can sometimes cross herds of guided zebus. Once again, the diversity of the landscapes is striking, but the vegetation is here especially victim of the drought to which it tries to resist. Last stage: the crossing of the salt pans to reach Belo-sur-Mer. The salt pans are a significant source of income for many families. The visitor will be pleased to see the way they work as well as the spectacle offered by the expanse of the salt pans and the mounds of salt.


After settling in at the hotel, we will visit the village of Belo, famous for its dhow and schooner building yards.

Not far from the sea, the inhabitants are busy working, under the eyes of their children who will probably take over one day. The sound of saws and hammers mingles with the ambient quietude and the murmur of the waves. The sea, of an immaculate blue, of a rare purity, reminds us that we are indeed on a paradise island, the Big Island, the island of dreams.

chameleon of madagascar
Baobab on the road Belou sur mer

Day 10 – Belo sur mer – Manja

For this 10th day of your tour ” the wonders of the big Island “, after a night spent in a hotel in Belo sur Mer, your transfer towards Manja, a locality which is at 110km, will be done in 4×4 vehicle. The journey lasts a whole day because of the bad quality of the track. During this journey, you will cross a landscape of tree savant which develops all its colors. You will arrive at Manja towards the beginning of the evening or you will rest in a lodge.

Crossing by 4×4 to Manja
Andavadoaka baobab forest

Day 11 – Manja – Andavadoaka

On the 11th day of your tour The Wonders of the Big Island, you will leave Manja to join Andavadoaka. The journey is done in two stages: a 15 minutes crossing by ferry followed by 10 hours of track in 4×4. You will cross a semi-arid landscape with more and more dry vegetation and a savanna where trees are rarer. These increase as you go along, the color of the landscape also starts to become more green. As you approach the village, you will come across more and more people.


The more you approach Morombe, the more the landscape will be marked by the presence of baobabs. It is in this district that you will meet the famous giant baobab with a circumference of about 20 meters. These giant trees form a forest, in the middle of which passes the road to Andavadaoka. It is in this landscape that you will have the impression to be the witness of the communion of the earth with the sky through the majestic trees of baobab. It is in Andavadaoka that you will spend the night before the next stage of your journey.

Crossing the Manja ferry
Crossing by 4×4 Andavadoaka

Day 12 – Andavadoaka – Salary

Day 12. With your accompanying driver, you continue your crossing in 4×4. Direction: Salary, small village of the Vezo fishermen. We take a sandy track for a two hours trip.


Leaving the village of Andavadoaka, the track that we have to cross is relatively in good condition, with around, a landscape essentially constituted of dry vegetation. In some places, we meet some houses, traditional huts, made essentially of wood.


We are always in the universe of baobabs and can discover different types, in particular the tattooed baobab, on which nature has drawn curves, forms and lines.


On your arrival in Salary, a small village of white sand and wooden houses, your guide will install you at the hotel.


The afternoon will be free: you will be able to rest, after these several days of car…or to visit the surroundings.

Baobab forest Andavadoaka
baobab tattooed

Day 13 to Day 14 – Salary

In order to allow you to take advantage of this haven of peace of the bay of Salary, we will stay there during the 13th and 14th day of this Circuit the wonders of the big Island. This site is distinguished by the beauty of its landscapes, the sea and its beaches with very fine sands.


During these two days, live a beautiful experience of sea outing with the Vezo fishermen and meet the Mikéa, the last hunter-gatherer tribe of the Grande-île. If your trip falls between June and September, you will have access to the whale safari, a motorboat ride to see the passage of the whales on the bay or a ride in an outrigger canoe on the lagoon. The bay of Salary is a real paradise for lovers of beach activities, relaxation on beautiful beaches facing an emerald blue sea of great clarity. After a well-deserved relaxation, you will rest in a nearby hotel.

whale safari

Day 15 – Salary – Toliara – Ranohira

Day 15. Let’s go for a 5 hours drive from Salary to Toliara, along the west coast! We take a sandy track, along the sea.


On the way, we cross some small villages whose houses are often made of wood. The vegetation is very present, green in some places, dry in others.


The view on the sea is sometimes surprising and offers us an extraordinary spectacle.


We then reach the city of Toliara, known for its hot climate. It is the most important city of the South (also available in this special Great South tour here), bordered by a coral reef. In the architecture of the city persists the colonial heritage.


After Toliara, we take the RN7 in direction of Ranohira. We leave the coasts, to go to the foot of the Isalo massif. End of sandy roads and tracks of all kinds, we are back on asphalt for a long time. We find ourselves in a semi-urban environment at the exit of Toliara, where taxi-brousses and bicycles constitute our main meetings. Then, the nature again dominates, bathing us in the dry and arid atmosphere of this zone. As we advance, the earth color of the Big Island becomes stronger and stronger and adds to the straw color of the savannah. We are again in the heart of the Red Island, on a straight road, with a view on the reliefs in the background.


We cross Ilakaka, the city of sapphire mines. In this town, gemstone miners work all day in these mines that look like deep crevices in the earth, around which stairs have been built and form a kind of inverted pyramid. The extracted stones are worked by craftsmen to make jewelry but often exported too.


A few kilometers further, we are in Ranohira, a village located at the foot of the Massif of Isalo, and near a river.


After your installation at the hotel, direction: the window of Isalo. Looking like a huge stone construction probably abandoned, it is however a natural sculpture, located at about twenty kilometers south of Ranohira.


At sunset, the last rays pass through the “window”, creating a magical atmosphere. We take advantage of this moment when the star bows in all its majesty, before returning to the hotel for the night.

Direction of Tulear
Going along the coast towards Tulear

Day 16 – Isalo National Park

During the visit of the park of Isalo, we cross these sandstone statues decimated by water, sand and wind, with forms so varied that they were baptized by the tourist guides of various more or less original names. These high walls which project towards the sky shelter a flora of hot tropical climate such as pachypodiums, euphorbias, aloes, kalanchoes, tapia… among others but also a fauna endemic to Madagascar: reptiles of rocks, chameleons, lemurs such as the fulvus lemur, the sifaka and the catta lemur.


The visit of the wonders of the park of Isalo is declined in several circuits to measure: natural swimming pool, crest, Namaza canyon, blue and black swimming pool while passing by the waterfall of the nymphs.


Real oasis in the middle of the desert, the natural pool where a waterfall of warm water, is very popular with visitors who do not hesitate to dive. Relaxation guaranteed!


The canyon circuit of Namaza through rather sporting paths leads to a broad plan where forest, blue and black swimming pool, waterfall of the nymphs… appear in background. It is also possible to swim there.


The picnic lunch in the heart of the park itself, at the foot of the Isalo massifs, offers the guarantee of a total change of scenery that can only be experienced in Madagascar.


Night at the same hotel.

Queen of Isalo
Window of Isalo

Day 17 – Ranohira – Fianarantsoa

Day 17 of the circuit the wonders of the Big Island. We continue on the RN7, this time in direction of Fianarantsoa for about five hours of road. Herds of zebus, return of the earthen houses in this region which change us from the wooden architecture of the coastal zones.


Heading north, we find ourselves in an atmosphere where the dryness gradually gives way to red earth and rice fields on both sides of the road.


In the shelter of the rocky masses, we discover the village Anja, south of Ambalavao. A typical example of the emergence of ecotourism, Anja is known for its lemurs with striped tails, its very particular flora due to the drought, but especially for its group of rocks which has sheltered for two centuries caves that were used as hiding places for the Betsileo during the war, or as tombs for the chiefs of the Betsileo tribes.


The village park of Anja is a success in terms of local management. The nature is welcoming, the landscapes are spectacular.


We continue our journey to the Antemoro paper making workshop in Ambalavao. The women work hard, making the paper from the pulp and carefully decorating it with petals, leaves and stems, already meticulously chosen and sorted. Then they let each leaf dry.


After the handicraft part of the day’s walk, we go to the wine cellar of Lazan’i Betsileo. It is in the Betsileo country that we find the essential of the Malagasy vineyards. With a production destined for national consumption, the wine company uses the means at its disposal, notably through the recovery of bottles – the island does not have a glass factory -, and produces a wine intended to be consumed quickly. The next objectives of the Malagasy wine cellars are to improve the quality of the wine and to open up the possibility of exporting it.


Fianarantsoa. Here we are in the old town and the high town, heart of Fianarantsoa, but above all, parts constituting the origin of its construction at the time of Queen Ranavalona I in the 19th century.


Your guide will install you at the hotel. We leave the next day by train.

The National Road 7 Madagascar

Day 18 – Fianarantsoa – Manakara (by rail)

Day 18 of this circuit the wonders of the Big Island: Fianarantsoa station. Rare trains but an imposing station.


Before all, we prepare some provisions for the road.


The railway network is almost inexistent in the Big Island, the traffic is less. We are far from the means of transport of the Western world. The slowness of the old train allows us to appreciate the journey and to admire the green and luxuriant landscape, in a good child atmosphere. Ravinala, traveler’s trees, and rice fields at will, hills in the distance, waterfalls… villagers, merchants -of fruits in particular- at each of the seventeen stations we pass by… you are here in the heart of the dream island and will meet the local population of this region.


163 kilometers later, we are in Manakara, where we will spend two nights and one day.

Day 19 – Manakara ( The Pangalanes Canal)

Let’s go to the discovery of the Canal des Pangalanes!


The day begins with a quiet walk to the old bridge, the pier for the pirogue ride on the Pangalanes Canal.


The crew for the day welcomes us.


We start by buying freshly caught fish and lobsters, for the lunch picnic.


Let’s go for the crossing! Here we are in a dugout canoe on the longest artificial canal of the Big Island, with a length of 700 kilometers, connecting Farafangana to the city of Tamatave. Around the canal, the landscape is green. We meet villagers from time to time. The pirogues go back and forth along the Canal, sometimes making their way through the reeds. Sometimes, the water is not deep enough. Then, the pirogues stop rowing and start pushing the boat. The majesty of the ravinala, the traveler’s tree, is the main landscape in the distance. When we get closer, we can discover all the benefits that this tree can bring to the local population.


We stop at the “Hole of the Commissioner”, our picnic place. A few kilometers from Manakara, this place is also a haven of peace. Sea protected by the coral barrier, fine sand, everything is there for a calm picnic. Grilled fishes and lobsters…all that very fresh…what happiness!


Moreover, we also visit the small fishing villages around and have the possibility to cross very often carefree children, amused by the presence of tourists.


Swimming and relaxing in the Indian Ocean… you will enjoy the peace and quiet of the sea.


Continuation of the program: visit of an artisanal distillery of essential oils, where we discover the methods and efforts necessary to obtain the purest oil possible.


In the afternoon, return to Manakara by the Canal des Pangalanes, to the rhythm of the songs of the pirogues. These voices rising in the nature engrave in general this precious moment in the memories of the visitors.


We find the hotel of the day before.

The Manakara Pangalanes Canal

Day 20 – Manakara – Ranomafana

From Manakara, we go up to Ranomafana, village at the foot of the National Park of Ranomafana. Here we go for 180 kilometers of road, that is 4 hours of car!


Green nature hiding an exceptional fauna, road strewn with Ravinala… our eyes have enough to marvel throughout the journey.


After your installation at the hotel, we will head towards the thermal pool. In the middle of this rainforest home to a dozen species of lemurs, almost a hundred species of butterflies, mammals, reptiles, fish, etc. … The thermal waters of Ranomafana are known for the benefits they provide, thanks to their natural heat that is maintained at 38 degrees. A moment of well-being and relaxation without equal.


We then return to the hotel for the night.

The thermal pool of Ranomafana National Park

Day 21 – Ranomafana – Ambositra

Very early in the morning, heading for Ambositra, capital of Malagasy crafts.


After your installation at the hotel, you will have the afternoon free to discover the city at your leisure!


Ambositra is famous for its wood carvings, which have the particularity of being inspired by the Zafimaniry art.


Ambiance rickshaw, architecture mixing old traditional Malagasy houses, with more modern elements, and around, rice fields in stairs…Ambositra is the image of the semi-urban life of the Big Island.

National park of Ranomafana in the wonders of the big island tour

Day 22 – Ambositra – Antoetra – Antsirabe

Day 22. Early in the morning, we leave for Antoetra, the capital of Zafimaniry country, for a round trip of about five hours. We visit a nearby village, Ifasina, renowned for the quality of its wooden works inspired by Zafimaniry art. If we go to the Zafimaniry country, it is mainly because of the art whose fame has exceeded the confines of its territory. The houses of the Zafimaniry villages are typical and original. No nail, no screw holds the boards together. Doors, windows are carved as well as the furniture.


In the afternoon, we quietly continue our road to Antsirabe.


Antsirabe, the third largest city of the country located at more than 1400 meters of altitude and where the mornings of southern winter are undoubtedly the coldest of the country but also the warmest. City of rickshaws with bright colors, decorations and names full of humor, city of well-preserved colonial architecture, city of tranquility, city of walks and city of traditions, Antsirabe can only seduce you.


To end the day, we leave for a small rickshaw ride to visit the city.


You will be installed at the hotel for the night.

The vegetable sellers in the wonders of the big island tour

Day 23 – Antsirabe – Andasibe

Day 23. We leave in the morning for Andasibe by way of the capital. Then, National road N°2. Heading for Andasibe.


If the journey lasts several hours, you will not see the time passing so much the diversity of the landscapes and the vegetation will captivate you. Here, the nature took back all its rights. The vast expanses of greenery and forests contrast with the city. Once again, the ravinala trees, the traveler’s trees, stand in the heart of the vegetation and gently wave their leaves arranged in a fan, as if to greet you.


Settling in at the hotel for the night. The visit of the park is planned for the next day.

Rice field on the national road 2
Chameleon Andasibe Madagascar

Day 24 – Andasibe

Heading to Andasibe for this 24th day of your tour ” the wonders of the Big Island “, you will go through the village park managed by the base community near the National Park of Andasibe Mantadia. This is the home of the Indri-indri, the largest of the lemur species. The Indri-indri is a monogamous animal and attaches great importance to the family. This place is rich in endemic fauna such as the brookesia, a species of chameleon the size of a small insect that lives mainly from the ground. This reptile has the ability to imitate to perfection the color of its environment. You will also meet another endemic arboreal species like the giraffe beetle. At the exit of the forest, you will make a tour of the village to know the way of life of the locals.


The next step of this excursion leads you to the reserve of Vakôna or the islet of lemurs. You will discover there some very sociable species like the vari, fulvus, bamboo lemur… They will treat you as their old acquaintances by jumping on your shoulders. The reptiles will also be at the rendezvous in the crocodile park. Next to it, the fosa, an endemic animal whose shape is between the dog and the lemur will not fail to cross your path during your stroll. This rich discovery of fauna and flora of Andasibe will end your day. Your guide will install you at the hotel Vakôna before the next stage of this Circuit the Wonders of the Big Island.

Crocodile Andasibe
Canoe in Andasibe

Day 25 – Andasibe – Tamatave

Day 25. Still on the RN2, direction Tamatave, port city at the very east of the Big Island, overlooking the Indian Ocean!


The journey takes about four hours. The hills of infinite green constitute the scenery of our trip.


With its many turns and its high traffic, this road is the one of the truckers, transporting various goods to the port.


Once again, the ravinala, the traveler’s tree, emerges from the vegetation. We are here in a wetland, where nature also offers us a unique show.


Arrived in Tamatave and once installed in the hotel, you can make a small jump to the market “Bazary Be” of Tamatave. The “Bazary Be” of Tamatave is a picturesque market that spreads out under a compartmentalized hangar where fruits and vegetables, handicrafts, and gargotes adjoin each other. By visiting this market, you will dive into the atmosphere of the noisy and crowded popular markets.

Port of Tamatave Madagascar
Avenue of Independence Tamatave

Day 26 – Tamatave – Sainte Marie – Ile aux Nattes

Madagascar tours guide will provide you with the 4×4 cars as well as the boat to transport you to Sainte Marie, a small dream island near the big dream island. The trip should last 2h30 mn depending on the road conditions.


Once in Mahambo, the passengers and their luggage are taken in charge to be put on the boat. After a crossing of 3 to 4 hours to Sainte Marie, the transfer of an average duration of 20 minutes to the southern tip of the island, where is located the Ile aux Nattes, is done either by cab, or by tuctuc new means of locomotion in vogue in many places of Madagascar. Then, to be in the tone of the local colors, by dugout during 25 minutes, until the hotel where you will settle down to spend the night.

El Condor Company
Bungalow of Sainte Marie Island

Day 27, Day 28 – Ile aux Nattes

Days of freedom at Ile aux nattes, where you can choose the activity or leisure that enchants you: sea outing, whale safari, depending on the season, however, because the whales’ ballet generally takes place from July to September, a small tour of Ile aux Nattes by pirogue or on foot, scuba diving, tour of Ile Sainte Marie by motorcycle…


The framework of this day – the sea and the paradisiacal beaches will fill your dreams of escape and your quest for beauty. The limpidity of the sea that sometimes comes to streak waves, the beaches lined with coconut trees, the fine sand, the unexpected meeting with some lemurs perched on the trees, the abundant vegetation that refreshes the atmosphere … remind you that here again you are in Madagascar, an island of dreams.

Ile aux Nattes
Sainte Marie tour

Day 29 – Ile aux Nattes – Sainte Marie – Antananarivo

You will leave the island of mats, your head full of enchanting but very real images to reach Sainte Marie.


On the program of this day, your transfer to the airport of Sainte Marie where you will take the plane for Antananarivo, the capital, main point of departure of 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.

Coconut tree on the beach of Sainte Marie
Sainte Marie Beach

Day 30– Antananarivo – Country of origin

You will leave the island of mats, your head full of enchanting but very real images to reach Sainte Marie.


On the program of this day, your transfer to the airport of Sainte Marie where you will take the plane for Antananarivo, the capital, main point of departure of 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.

Malagasy handicraft products
Lake Anosy in downtown Antananarivo

The wonders of the Big Island tour - Map

The wonders of the Big Island tour - Video