MADAGASCAR'S BIG SOUTH LOOP - 16 days
Day 1: Fort Dauphin - Evatra fishing village and Lokaro
It’s the idyllic site; ideal for swimming and scuba diving; many islets including that of Saint Claire nearby. Discovery of carnivorous plants: The Nepenthes. Access: by motorboat or rowing pirogue from Lake Lanirano through the river arms which penetrate the heart of aquatic vegetation made of pandanus, Ravinala and other arums. There are numerous species of birds and fishermen on their pirogue. The river branches lead to Lake Ambavarano and you can land near the fishing village Evatra, then a trip by foot by a path full of coves, along the coast, allows reaching the bay of Lokaro.
Day 2: Evatra fishing village –Manantenina - Sandravinany
This is the first step for us to start the real adventure of discovery in wet places with our driver. It is ideal with beautiful scenery lined with fruit plants like litchis, mangoes, sheltered by the mountain range. This circuit is always close to the sea but it is not far from the mountain. It is a true discovery adventure of Madagascar
Day 3: Sandravinany -Manambondro-Vangaindrano-Farafangana
Today we will end at a place full of clove forests and rice fields. From Lokaro and Fort dauphin we head to Vangaindrano. Most houses here are made with traveler palm trees. The people of the village live in authenticity with their ancestral culture.
Day 4: Farafangana - Vohipeno - Manakara
We take a scenic road from where can gaze across rice fields. The inhabitants are very welcoming. Do not forget the beach.
Day 5: Manakara-Visit Ranomafana National Park - Ranomafana Hôtel
Ranomafana national park is located in southeastern Madagascar and is one of the premier lemur-watching sites in the country. Ranomafana is particularly important for bamboo lemurs. Three species can be seen in Ranomafana, and the golden bamboo lemur was first discovered there in 1986. The eastern lesser bamboo lemur is most likely to be observed at dusk from common bamboo stands. The golden bamboo lemur can be seen around the research station at Talatakely, but a visit of at least two or three days is recommended and the use of local guides to find this elusive animal is essential. The same holds true for finding the greater bamboo lemur. Finding all three species is possible, but requires perseverance. Groups of red-bellied lemurs have been habituated along the main trail network, and they are usually easy to find, especially when Chinese guava is in fruit (April-June). At that time, they are usually easy to find around Belle Vue along with the red-fronted brown lemur, which is also a common species. Ranomafana is also one of the best places to find Milne-Edwards’s ifaka, which can be seen at several locations within the park, including the Vohiparara region. The southern black-and-white-ruffed lemur also lives in Ranomafana, but finding it usually requires a few hours of hiking from the research station at Talatakely to reach the forests in which it stays.
Night walks at Ranomafana offer good opportunities to view several nocturnal lemurs, including the rufous mouse lemur, the greater dwarf lemur, and the small-toothed sportive lemur, which is most likely to be observed in the park’s Vohiparara region.
Day 6: Ranomafana-Fianarantsoa-Ambalavao-Ranohira
We leave Ranomafana with our 4x4 car to reach the town of Ranohira. We take the national road 7 passing through Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao ... full of beautiful landscapes and the village at the top of the Montaigne decorated by the rice fields. The road is good. The scenery is unforgettable. And the people are very welcoming.
Day 7: Visit Isalo National Park (Ranohira)
Isalo‘s sandstone cliffs and canyons are home to troops of ring-tailed lemurs, red-fronted brown lemurs, and Verreaux’s sifakas, all of which can be observed in the canyon near Ranohira.
Isalo is one of the most heavily visited sites in the country. Although the scenery is very attractive and worth seeing, this park is not a high priority for lemurs.
Day 8: Ranohira-Tuléar
We leave Ranohira and we take our road about 243 km to reach Tuléar. The city of Tuléar and its immediate vicinity represent enough atrractions to be considered as a must-see tourist destination. "The white city" or "city of the sun", Tulear is a veritable mosaic of ethnic groups and cultures under the sign of the smile and the permanent sun.
Day 9: Tuléar-Anakao
We take our 4x4 car back to join Anakao. Optionally you can reach Anakao by motorboat or pirogue with pendulum, at an extra cost.
Day 10: Anakao - Visit Tsimanampesotse National Park - Ambola beach
Tsimanampetsotsa National Park is located in southwestern Madagascar, about a two-hour drive from Anakao. Although mainly a site for flamingos and rare carnivore, Grandidier’s mongoose, it also has several nocturnal lemurs, including the reddish-gray mouse lemur and the southern fat-tailed dwarf lemur.
Day 11: Ambola – Itampolo
The bay of Itampolo has largely opened to the south winds. On the surrounding plateau, the flora is particularly exuberant. The beach is on one of the most beautiful shores in the world, in front of an almost pure emerald sea with its majestic dunes to climb to a shark hunting village, between cactus and palace hedges Plants (cactus with spiny pears).
Day 12: Itampolo-Lavanono
Our adventure with our 4WD car continues. We take the road of adventure through a rocky terrain, before crossing the virgin forest of Bevoalavo. The surroundings are amazing with beautiful scenery and baobab andasonia za. We come across many times the carts of the zebus coming to look for water very far from their village with their kegs.
Day 13: Lavanono-Visit of Cap Sainte Marie Special Reserve –Faux Cap
We are on the southern tip of Madagascar. We ride less with our vehicle here because it is turtle territory in the heart of the virgin forest about 1 metre high. Everyone in his territory! We respect the territory of others, so that they respect ours!
You can see the end of the Indian Ocean and the beginning of the Mozambique Channel in this Special Reserve Cap Sainte Marie. It is the only place you can see the egg piece of aepyornis (great birds missing since the 10th century). Discover this semi-arid place full of dry forest, culture and animals of Madagascar with this baobab and our ancestral culture.
Day 14: Faux Cap – Berenty reserve
Berenty is located approximately 90 km west of Fort Dauphin and just north of Amboasary. The reserve has large populations of ring-tailed lemurs and varreaux’s sifaka, which are very evident and usually near the parking place greeting visitors upon arrival. There is also an introduced population of brown lemurs, which are hybrids between the rufous brown lemur and the collared brown lemur, the offspring of small groups of these two species having been introduced in the 1980s.
The introduced lemurs compete with native species, but they are there to stay. Four species of nocturnal species are also present. The white-footed sportive lemur is common and recent research has also indicated that there are two mouse lemurs at Berenty, the gray in the gallery forests and the reddish-gray in spiny desert patches. Both are commonly seen in the warmer months. The fat-tailed dwarf lemur is also present, but more difficult to find.
The reserve is situated along the Mandrare River and covers approximately 265ha of gallery forest and adjoining spiny desert, dominated by allaudia procera and allaudia ascendens and located in the middle of the sisal plantation that was established in the 1930s.
Day 15: Berenty reserve - Andohahela National Park (Transitional forest of Tsimelahy) - Fort Dauphin
The 76,220 ha of this former reserve of the WWF become Andohahela National Park in 1997, include the Trafonomby Mountains (1858m), Andohahela (1935m) and Vohidagoro (1005m). It is divided into three parcels spanning distances of several tens of kilometers.
Tsimelahy Transition Forest: Site best known for its magnificent scenery, pacchypodium flowers, baobab, the origin of palm tree tried and the opportunity to bathe in natural pools