Isalo is also home to rare plants endemic to Madagascar. We travelled in 4WD with a skilled driver and an English-speaking guide with a huge knowledge of the Malagasy nature, culture and history. We plan to go to Madagascar in July to August 2017. From Antsirabe it took us around 40 minutes to get there by car. Lac Hotel is a wonderful and charming hotel at Lake Sahambavy and next to the Sahambavy tea plantation. SETAM Lodge Madagascar is located on a slope of the rainforest, conveniently close to the park entrance of Ranomafana National Park. It’s mostly known for its incredibly rugged Jurassic terrain that has been formed into beautiful canyons and gorges by eroding winds and rain. Madagascar showcases the very best of our wild, weird but oh so wonderful world. A handy Madagascar travel tip is that on Sunday all the shops are closed. They were all well dressed: men wear a traditional cover over the shoulder and women braid their hair. It’s not possible to do an overnight trip on your own! We also discovered cliffs, eroded massifs and savannah and desert landscapes. The Wifi is free and worked very well; also inside the rooms! The most prominent buildings in town are the Cathedral Church and the charming Hotel de Thermes, in front of the baths. Thank you for sharing! Swim with turtles on Nosy Sakatia. A hike to the Piscine Naturelle and the Namaza circuit are definitely a must-see in Isalo National Park. We drove about 985km, excluding the drives inside national parks and detours to hotels. As an avid photographer, I couldn’t leave Fianarantsoa before visiting the photo laboratory of Pierrot Men. Pic Boby is also the main attraction of Andringitra National Park and another place to visit in Madagascar on a road trip south. We had a great experience and I would highly recommend contacting Remote River Expeditions if you’re planning to travel to Madagascar. Lemur comes from the Latin word ‘lemures’, which means ‘ghosts of the forest’. Le Relais de la Reine also offers a number of sport and leisure activities in a serene area. This experienced local Ranohira operator offers Isalo treks from a 2-hours hiking circuit to a 15-days all-inclusive hiking package including different campsites and expeditions to the remote Makay Massif. If you love Yosemite National Park then you should definitely visit Andringitra National Park. A lot of people choose to do a one-day hike and visit the touristic ‘Window of Isalo’ afterwards. Even inside the rainforest (where trees and plants provide some shelter) it was almost impossible to take pictures. This is a great time for whale watching, but many reptiles are hibernating. I’m still a bit disappointed we didn’t make it there on time. If you have a chance I recommend visiting the nearby Sahambava tea plantation on your Madagascar trip, which covers nearly 400 ha. Visit their website if you want to know more about this foundation and all of their projects and achievements. We understand that our money is very valuable for the local community, but situations like this are not pleasant. We explored this beautiful island in 23 days. I highly recommend contacting them if you’re searching for a local and reliable agency for multiple hiking-days inside Isalo National Park. Another thing to do in Tulear is visiting the Arboretum d’Antsokay, a botanical garden. On this part of your Madagascar road trip, you will enjoy Madagascar’s vineyards with steep-terraced slopes and typical Betsileo mud brick houses with local people working on the land. In my North Madagascar Travel Blog I wrote about my short stay in Antananarivo and the Tsarasaotra Bird Park I’ve visited that is very close to Ivato Airport. During a photo-stop along the streets of Ambalavao we met friendly Malagasy from the Betsileo tribe who were celebrating their new house. Madagascar Travel Blog. For the budget travellers: It is possible to get a taxi-brousse (shared taxi bus) directly from Antananarivo or Fianarantsoa, but there is no transportation between the park and the village of Ranomafana. When you’re heading to Ranohira, you will pass the huge impressive rocky hill called ‘Bisshops Hats’ and cross the Ihorombe plateau. They also have some water bikes you can use to explore the lake, which was great fun! Unfortunately we got the impression they wanted to take advantage of the ‘rich’ tourists by charging more money. The Tsena Sabotsy (Saturday market) is the central open-air market of Antsirabe, a good place to discover what the local Malagasy are buying from clothes and vegetables to pots and pans. Lac Hotel, which lies directly at the lake, offers different activities around the lake. Apr 17, 2019 - Oh Madagascar! Madagascar, a very well-known country occupying a large island of the same name, is located in the Indian Ocean, just right off the eastern coast of Africa. The hot springs of Ranomafana are located across the Namorona River and are very popular among locals. It’s definitely worth to stay in Residence Madalief on your Madagascar trip and it’s good to know that your money is spent well. Apart from hiking in Isalo National Park, there are plenty of other things to do in Isalo, like mountain biking, horse riding and wildlife watching. They have been offering tours of all levels, for over 20 years. After the river cruise, we were on our way to the place that brought me here: Tsingy National Park. The service and kindness of the staff is amazing, very friendly and helpful. What are “must see” places for Madagascar? Madalief also helped restoring the nearby school and built two classrooms. The fourth-largest island in the world offers … Lac hotel Fianarantsoa is also very innovative and eco-friendly. They also state that 80% of these Madagascar plants have medicinal value. You will pass this beautiful valley after a visit to Andringitra on your way to Ranohira. For my all my North Madagascar travel tips click on the link. We are group of 3 planning to travel in Madagascar from 3 – 18 Nov. Reading your blog post, we understand that having a driver is a necessity. Their relaxing pool surrounded by the Isalo rocks is amazing! Inform yourself and be inspired or start your own free travel blog. It’s a fun way of exploring the city and the owners of these rickshaws are happy to earn some extra money. It’s a unique souvenir to bring home when you travel to Madagascar. Travel blogs on Madagascar The third-largest island in the world hardly knows any tourists, you will notice that immediately after arrival. Isalo National Park is the most visited national park in Madagascar and one of the natural wonders of the country. On top of that you can spoil yourself with a facial or massage at their professional therapy centre for beauty and massage. Along the way you’re able to visit a winery or by Malagasy wines at local wine shops along the RN7 road. A cool Madagascar travel tip is that you can apparently walk up to the hill behind the hotel to enjoy an extraordinary panorama. Couleur Café Antsirabe is perfectly located near the city centre of Antsirabe, close to the RN7 road. It literally means ‘place at the beach’ and it’s the gateway to Avenue of the Baobabs. You will walk through rice fields, small villages and meet friendly locals. Near Ranomafana NP, there is a research station called Centre ValBio that is open to visitors. On top of these canyons you have breath-taking panoramic views. It’s also close to the FCE train station. Kaominina, the Malagasy name for Miandrivazo, is considered to be the warmest city of the island. Make sure to bring enough water during the hike(s), because it can get really hot in the fierce sun. We were invited to celebrate with them, but unfortunately we had to continue our journey because of our planned visit to Anja Reserve or Parc D’Anja, about 13 km south of Ambalavao. For Kirindy I would advise to either stay in Kirindy Lodge inside the reserve or at Relais du Kirindy. This is truly one of the exciting and unique things to do in Madagascarand you ought not to miss it. Of the now 101 countries I have been to, I will go so far as to say that Madagascar is one of the slowest and most uncomfortable countries to travel … Since I thought Remi’s story was quite impressive I planned a visit to Residence Madalief in Antsirabe, 4 miles south of Antsirabe, to add this to my Madagascar travel blog. Madagascar Travel Blogs, Photos from TravelBlog.org. On top of the Table Mountain you will have a 360 degrees overview of the beautiful coastline of Tulear. Madagascar Underground hostel. I got in touch by mail and we had quick and reliable communications until our arrival. From Miandrivazo to Antsirabe you will even see people working on the road to cover some holes. Anja Community Reserve is a forest, protected area and freshwater lake, situated at a rocky landscape at the feet of the ‘three sisters’ or ‘telo mirahavavy’. In this Ultimate Madagascar Travel Blog I tried to describe the best places to visit in Madagascar, but apart from these highlights of Madagascar there’s still so much to see and do on this Treasure Island that wants me to visit Madagascar again! We are off for an adventure in Madagascar. Wildlife lovers are able to spot different lemurs, including the dancing ring-tailed lemur, birds, chameleons and other reptiles. They restored about 10 houses and more than 40 women received small loans for starting up small trade to take better care of themselves and their children. The most outstanding and exclusive sport activities are Via Ferrata (rock climbing) and horse riding. To see the real Malagasy life, I would advise you to go to the local market. I had two domestic flights to Antananarivo during my Madagascar trip. Before we started with our national highway 7 Madagascar road trip we first explored the best things to do in Western Madagascar and more specific the laid-back town of Morondava. Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site, 23 Ways to Cut Your Expenses and Have More Money for Travel, Giving Back: Please Check Out These Social Impact Organizations, it’s a country ravaged by poverty, corruption, and natural disaster, Yet Madagascar is a raw and beautiful destination, A Journey Through Madagascar: Notes on the Privilege of Travel, 30 Epic Photos From My Trip to Madagascar, The Top Things to See and Do in Madagascar. For guests of Auberge de la Table, the entrance fee for the Arboretum is free. You can check the different Isalo hiking circuits on their website. Forget everything the film series taught you. The Sahambavy train station is close to Lac Hotel in Sahambavy, where you can also enjoy a night in a vintage train wagon! In some shops, it’s possible to see the artist working on its crafts. I highly recommend staying at Lac Hotel Sahambavy. The best time to visit Madagascar is from April to October. The city is situated at the Mahajilo River and the starting point for boat trips down the Tsiribihina River to Belo-sur-Tsiribihina. There is plenty of space in the room, with a TV and fireplace and the beds are really comfortable. You will feel a strong colonial influence through the architecture of the city buildings. There’s a parking space near Lake Tritriva and from there it will only take you a few meters to look down on the blue-opaque green Crater Lake. They have huge and really spacious rooms and cottages with a comfortable bed and a spacious bathroom. From Diego-Suarez in North Madagascar there are no direct flights to Morondava, so we had to bridge 1 night in the capital city of the country. Go out and explore the world. Apart from that they take care of the meals of 45 children. Since we visited the place on a public holiday the factory was closed and there were no Malagasy working in the field, but I liked walking around the plantation chatting with some locals. To go to Madagascar, you have to organize yourself to prepare for your trip. Antananarivo is the largest city in Madagascar and interesting for travellers who have enough time to visit Madagascar. For me, these workshops were too much focussed on tourism, but there are definitely some great artists around in Antsirabe. Check out my  155K Instagram account @traveltomtom. Apart from rock formations you will cross true oasis with crystal-clear water and natural swimming pools. It is highly recommended to pack water-resistant clothes that cover arms and legs when you visit Madagascar, as well as anti-mosquito gels that will keep mosquitoes and leeches away. There are numerous hiking circuits in Isalo National Park ranging from easy hikes of a few hours to average or heavy multiple-day circuits including camping. These beautiful tea plantations are among the best places to visit in Madagascar. We didn’t overnight in Fianarantsoa on our Madagascar itinerary, we decided to make a small detour to Sahambavy, which is located 23 km from the city of Fianarantsoa. He has been the most famous photographer of Madagascar for over 40 years. Venture into national parks to experience profound moments in nature, mellow out on idyllic islands, stroll through heritage … A Visa is required for all travelers visiting Madagascar, even if it’s only for a short period of … It’s the largest lake and the closest one to town. I’m sure a Madagascar road trip will blow your mind. So when you travel to Madagascar please include this in your itinerary. Especially in the morning and late afternoon you’ll have a high chance of seeing ring-tailed lemurs sunbathing. Therefore, the train stations are quite bustling with vendors selling food and other goods. Because of Stella, we learned a lot about this ‘red island’ and that definitely made our Madagascar trip complete. Madagascar Travel Tips. Travelling around Madagascar takes time and is very slow even by African standards. This large rainforest is home to 12 lemur species. For that reason, it offers stunning views from your private terrace. I recommend staying at this lodge when visiting Ranomafana National Park. Rano means ‘water’, and mafana means ‘hot’, referring to the many hot-water springs, in this area. How To Travel Around Madagascar. MADAGASCAR SETS GOAL TO REFOREST UP TO 80,000 HECTARES OF LAND EVERY YEAR Sep 17, 2019 | News, Travel Blog One of Madagascar’s most pressing environmental issues is … Our initial plan was to visit Window rock in Isalo on our arrival day in Ranohira, but didn’t make it for sunset because we spent too much time in Anja Reserve including several photo stops along the way. We took the shortest one and it sure wasn’t the worst road of my Africa travels. I hope this travel blog and all the above Madagascar travel tips and things to do in Madagascar were helpful to plan your own Madagascar trip. On the other hand I found it weird to be pulled by this friendly Malagasy man. We have 17 or possibly 18 days for the trip. They offer a WIFI connection in the room, something you don’t find often when traveling in Madagascar. You can choose between two different circuits, but a local guide must accompany you. Their office is located at Chez Maggie, a great property in Morondava that also belongs to the owner of Remote River Expeditions. According to experts, this botanical garden has 900 plant species of which 90% is endemic to Madagascar. We also enjoyed some beautiful polyphonic live sung Malagasy songs by the talented staff members. The team of Momo Trek is specialized in organizing hiking and camping tours in Isalo National Park. The entrance of Ranomafana are located across the Namorona River and are very popular among locals to,... 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