Tailor-Made Holiday

Madagascar Holiday - Mandrare and Manafiafy

Safari and Beach in the Wild South

11 days

from £4,595pp (excluding flights)

Southern Madagascar is full of magic. Glowing chameleons, ancient tombs and haunted forests in a region full of wildlife and superstition.  

  • Explore spiny forests, home to dancing lemurs and psychedelic chameleons
  • Head out on night walks to search for hidden tombs in sacred forests
  • Wander through colourful markets with proud locals in traditional dress
  • Relax on a private bay with whale watching, fishing and fresh lobster

 The famous spiny forests in the south are remote as they are bizarre. Ancient tombs are tucked away in forests full of ancestral spirits and the songs of lemurs, where bush walks are taken by the light of the moon and chameleons glow in the torchlight. In an area dominated by tribes and traditions, the days are no less mesmerising, as local Antandroy and Antanosy villagers, travel for days by zebu cart to weekly markets – an occasion that demands only the finest Malagasy outfits. A 4WD journey across Wild West scenery, finishes on a sweeping sandy bay, with whales breaching off shore, as yet more lemurs, chameleons and birds chatter in the forests behind you, where the only spirits you’ll find here come with mixers and ice.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4595 £ 800
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Nairobi overnight

Day 2

Fly Nairobi to Antananarivo

Antananarivo is literally translated as "City of a Thousand", in reference to the 1,000 Merina Tribe warriors, used by the king as protection of his city, but is also familiarly known as 'Tana'. Split into two regions (upper and lower towns), the city itself is a maze of bustling streets and alleyways, full of colourful markets, interspersed with ancient stone steps and historical sites.

You will be staying at Maison Gallieni, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Travel from Antananarivo to Ifotaka (Air Transfer Journey)

Home to the local Antandroy community, who make their living from either farming or raising livestock, this area offers one of the most authentic experiences in Madagascar. The town of Ifotaka is best known for the nearby Ifotaka Community Forest. This huge expanse of gallery and spiny forest is one of the most pioneering eco-tourism projects in the country.

Established in 2001, the forest is part of a government initiative that encourages communities to manage their own natural resources. The result is a rich cultural heartland, surrounded by forests full of sifakas and ring-tailed lemurs, away from the crowds found in Berenty.

In addition to the rich wildlife variety found here, the area is also dotted with Malagasy villages that have been here for generations, remarkable for their colourful weekly markets.

You will be staying at Mandrare River Camp, Full board

Day 4

You will be staying at Mandrare River Camp, Full board

Day 5

You will be staying at Mandrare River Camp, Full board

Day 6

You will be staying at Mandrare River Camp, Full board

Day 7

Travel from Ifotaka to Fort Dauphin (Air Transfer Journey)

Drive from Fort Dauphin to Manafiafy

Drive from Fort Dauphin to Saint Luce Bay

The drive from Fort Dauphin to Saint Luce Bay is a spectacular journey of around 2 hours, driving through an ever changing landscape of mountains, desert and coastal forests, arriving at camp around mid afternoon, w ith the remainder of day at leisure.

This spectacular stretch of wild coast combines dramatic mountains, lush rainforests and beautiful beaches in the remote south east. The French explorer Jacques Pronis first landed here in the 1600s, establishing a French trading post shortly afterwards.

The fishing village of Manafiafy sits on this idyllic bay, giving the stretch of coast its local Malagasy name. Whales frequent these remote waters during the summer, whilst further inland, the Saint Luce Forest Reserve is home to a wonderfully rich mix of reptiles and birds year round.

You will be staying at Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge, Full board

Day 8

Excursions at Manafiafy
The day-to-day activities at Manafiafy are not fixed, allowing you complete flexibility to relax and explore the diverse mix of mangroves, forests, lakes and, of course, the spectacular beach. If you can drag yourself away from the sandy shores, then there is the chance to try a spot of fishing, some easy kayaking, boat excursions through the mangroves (or a longer river safari over several days), whale watching safaris or simply to explore the lagoons and lakes, home to traditional fishing villages.

On drier land, you can head into the forests for some fascinating wildlife walks, following remote trails taking you past plenty of lemurs and chameleons, as well as colourful birds. There is also the chance to visit Manafiafy village itself, a quaint coastal settlement on a sheltered, forest-fringed bay, where the majority of the people make their living from the sea. This offers a fascinating glimpse into a remote community, who work closely with Manafiafy.

There is also a nearby bat colony, which you can visit at dusk, as the spectacular flying fox bats head out to hunt. You could of course, just relax on the beach with a good book and a cold drink.

You will be staying at Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge, Full board

Day 9

You will be staying at Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge, Full board

Day 10

You will be staying at Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge, Full board

Day 11

Drive from Saint Luce Bay to Fort Dauphin (Road Journey)

This morning after an early start of around 06:30, you leave Saint Luce Bay and drive back to Fort Dauphin in time to catch your flight back to Antananarivo, a drive of around 2 hours.

Travel from Fort Dauphin to Antananarivo (Air Transfer Journey)

Fly Antananarivo to Nairobi

Fly Nairobi to London overnight

Day 12

Arrive into London Heathrow


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Maison Gallieni

Maison Gallieni

Maison Gallieni is located within the Consulate of Monaco's building in a side street along the middle of town, with good views across the city of Antananarivo....

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Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

Offering the perfect antidote to the dusty and adventurous Mandrare (its sister camp), these enormous, open plan, luxury cottages are about exceptional service and being wined and dined....

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Mandrare River Camp

Mandrare River Camp

Located in near the southern tip of Madagascar, this is an adventurer's camp with a dash of style....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Madagascar

Chris Johnston, Travel Expert

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Illona Cross, Travel Expert

"Illona was quite simply brilliant. She listened and carefully noted what we thought we wanted, made suggestions and came up with an itinerary which suited us down to the ground."

"Excellent personal service; well-informed local knowledge; dependable outcome; quality of experience."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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