> South Buckle off the beaten track
SOUTH BUCKLE OFF THE BEATEN TRACK 1st day: ANTANANARIVO On your getting off the plane at the air terminal, you'll be met by Holydays Madagascar's representatives then you'll be presented your stay program and given your travel document. Transfer to your hotel where you'll deposit your luggage, then you'll go for a drive around the town. Independent lunch around midday and in the afternoon continuation of the tour of Antananarivo, « The City with one thousand warriors » Overnight stay at the hotel. 2nd day : ANTANANARIVO – MORONDAVA Transfer to Ivato National Airport for flying to Morondava, Capital of the Sakalava of Menabe. The town is located on the border of the Mozambique Channel. Welcoming and transfer to your hotel at Morondava. The afternoon will be spent visiting the town of Morondava. Going for a walk round the market and casting your eye over the stalls, you'll be able to discover the rich crafts of the region = baskets and hats made of raffia coloured pareos, models of pirogues and schooners, bird figurines, erotic statuettes shells. Along the beach in the shade of the forest of coconut trees, you'll throw yourself into the discovery of fishermen's village famous for their inhabitants' gentleness. Overnight stay at hotel. 3rd day : MORONDAVA – BELO SUR MER (120km of Track ) Go to Belo sur Mer that you'll reach after four of five hours on tracks. The scenery is constituted by « Bush » and scrawny vegetations that can resist prolonged drought. You'll cross the first ford of Kabatomena around 150 m wide. Belo-sur-Mer, a town where the dhows navigating along the Western coast are built, is a heavenly site where you let yourself be lulled wherever the tide carries you. You'll visit the fishermen's village where the dhows are being built. Full board BIVOUAC. 4th day : BELO SUR MER – BEVOAY (about 200km of Track ) The track is still on. A little halt to visit Kirindy forest, a primary dry Western Malagasy forest. About a hundred vegetal species are numbered; among them a great majority of medicinal plants, precious wood ( ebony, mahogany ), baobabs, orchids, etc ... The fauna is rich and characterized by a high density of primates ( Lemurs ), reptiles (Tortoise, crocodiles, lizard ... ), birds such as the Giant Coua, the Vanga with a reddish-brown tail, the iron-masked dove. You'll leave the park to go to Bevoay for a 109 Km journey on tracks. You'll arrive at Bevoay, a little exotic village on the bank of the River Mangoky (The longest river of Madagascar) in the late afternoon. Full board BIVOUAC. 5th day : BEVOAY – ANDAVADAOKA (about 200km of Track ) On the following day, you'll go on along the coast by the sandy track up to Andavadoaka creek. The track winds its way among mangrove swamps, mangrove, baobabs like the famous « Andasonia Za » and « didiéracéées ». Andavadoaka with its creek on the border of the Mozambique Channel is protected by the coral reef. The village is situated on a lagoon. Off-shore there are several sacred islets which are most of them,territories reserved for the dead according to the local belief. Full board BIVOUAC 6th day : ANDAVADAOKA – SALARY (100km of Track) Driving to Salary. At the end of the tour, another different scenery will be seen with huge sand dunes and beaches of fine white sand. Salary is a little village in one of the nicest bay of Madagascar on the border of the Mozambique Channel. It is a silent and restful place, a haven of peace. Desert snow white beaches, a clear esmerald sea. Three sequential and preserved coral barriers. Salary lives in the rhythm of the outrigger pirogues of the Vezo fishermen. Settling down at the hotel 7th day : SALARY – IFATY (85km of Track) Going back on the track for the 90 Km that are left before reaching Ifaty village. The track goes across a scrawny and thorny vegetation, characterised by the existence of « didieracées » and « euphorbia plants » Ifaty is protected by a coral reef off shore, the place is a privileged place for diving, it is also a mini-sea resort much appreciated by the tourists passing in the South. You'll be in a heavenly spot far from any civilisation, between the turquoise water of the lagoon and the sub-desert vegetation inland. Arrival in the afternoon; settling down at the hotel. 8th day : IFATY – TULEAR (40km of Track) - ANAKAO Transfer to Tulear, the capital of the Southern part of Madagascar. From Tulear you'll get to Anakao by the Mozambique Channel, departure from Mahavatse port. At low tide, you'll be taken in a zebu cart up to your boat anchored a few hundreds of metres from the shore where the water is deep enough. You'll sail up to Anakao, a Vezo fishermen's village at the seaside. The place is ideal for water based recreational activities. At high tide, you can see the fishermen's return on their outrigger sailing pirogues, an unforgettable spectacular scene. Settling down at the hotel. 9th day : ANAKAO – ITAMPOLO (150km of Track) After your stay at Anakao, you go on a tour to Itampolo passing by Beheloka and Ambola village. You'll also go across the National Park of Tsimanampetsotsa. The park is a site which is particularly and biologically important for its landscapes. It is one of the first ten reserves of Madagascar. This reserve is in a region composed of a calcareus plateau covered with thorny bush, the Mahafaly Plateau and Tsimanampetsotsa Lake localised in the sandy coastal Mahafaly plain. You'll discover numerous grottos, easily accessible; among them Andranolovy Grotto called Mitoho Grotto which shelters blind fish. The park is constituted by some vegetation with different forms of adaptation to drought : leafless or thorny, or with a bulging trunk, or with small leaves. Arrival at Itampolo in the early evening, setting up of the BIVOUAC, full board overnight stay. 10th day : ITAMPOLO – LAVANONO (250km of Track) Then you'll leave for the small fishermen's village of Lavanono passing by Ampanihy. In this village, you'll discover tapestry making workhouses and the famous mohair. These carpets are made with the angora goats mohair wool, associated with vegetal dye decorated with ethnic patterns. Weaving looms are an integral park of the scenery and of the daily activities of the women in this area. It is in the purest tradition that from generation to generation, women have wanted to share their culture. All the soul of the Malagasy South is expressed in their pattern. After this little halt at Ampanihy, continuation toward Lavanono. It is a small village of 200 inhabitants located in the Mahafaly desert. Before getting there, you'll go across a scenery of tombs topped by carved big posts called « alolalo ». Settling in full board BIVOUAC. 11th day : LAVANONO – CAP SAINTE MARIE (130km of Track) Departure for Cap Sainte Marie. The track goes across sea cliffs which border the coast. After getting to Tsihombe village, you go on your tour until you reach Cap Sainte Marie. A visit of Sainte Marie natural reserve would be scheduled. With its 1750 ha of forest, the reserve shelters 14 birds species and 2 species of tortoise, Cap Sainte Marie is the farthest part in the South of the Island. Tou can stroll along the beach where you'll find numerous pieces of Aepyornis egg shells Setting up to the BIVOUAC, full board overnight stay. 12th day : CAP SAINTE MARIE – FORT DAUPHIN (210km of Track) Driving to Fort Dauphin, taking up again little by little with « civilisation », after this parenthesis off the beaten track. Going across numerous villages with lively markets, sisal plantations. You'll come to a town located in the middle of a desert territory and bush vegetation, a real haven of freshness. From Fort Dauphin you can have a view on « la chaine de l'Anosy » and St Louis Peak which dominates the town bordered by the Indian Ocean In this town with great tourist attraction, the colonial past is still present with the architecture of the white houses with colonnades. You'll be lodged within the private estate of Nahampoana sheltering a reserve for the lovers of Nature. Overnight stay at the hotel. 13rd day : FORT DAUPHIN - ANTANANARIVO Visit to Nahampoana reserve in the morning. The discovering of the town of Fort Dauphin in the afternoon. Overnight stay at the hotel. 14th day: FORT DAUPHIN - ANTANANARIVO Continental breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to Fort Dauphin Airport. Flight back to Antananarivo. End of our services Possibility of extension if you want to continue to Manakara, continuation of the programme from the 13rd day on: below 13th day: FORT DAUPHIN - MANANTENINA (110km of track ) The journey continues toward Manantenina 110 Km from North Fort Dauphin. The town is on the right bank of the River Manampanihy, at its mouth, very important deposit of bauxite. On your tour, you can watch carnivorous plants also known as « nepenthes », a huge sisal plantation as well as an area with some « Neodipsis Decary », an endemic palm-tree of the Anosy region that is triangle-shaped also called « Ravinala telozoro ». Arrival at Manantenina, setting up of the BIVOUAC, full board overnight stay. 14th day: MANANTENINA – VANGAINDRANO (107km of track) Departure for Vangaindrano « the place where you buy water ». The name comes from the fact that the village being far away from the Mananara River, people had to pay for the water carriers. You'll pass from the Antanosy region ( = those who live in the island) to the Antesaka territory ( Sakalava origin ). The ritual of the passing of the ferry will be the strong points of the day. You'll step over the doorway of Vangaindrano in the afternoon. Setting of the BIVOUAC,full board overnight stay. 15th day: VANGAINDRANO – MANAKARA (210km) Departure for Manakara by the National 12 Road. Manakara means « The one that is cruel ». The town in the heart of the Antemoro area, is in a peninsula between the Pangalanes Canal and the Indian Ocean. It's served by the railway (FCE) open in the beginning of the thirties. Arrival at Manakara, settling down at the hotel. 16th day: MANAKARA - RANOMAFANA Continuation toward the National Park of Ranomafana with its 41,000 ha of forests. The fauna and flora of the park are of a great diversity; it's one of the most visited and most important of the Island. Created in 1991 after the discovery of the golden hapalémur (1986). You can find 114 birds species and 12 kinds of lemurs as well as many orchids there. Ranomafana « the place where there is hot water » as it is indicated by its name shelters a spa. Settling down at the hotel. 17th day: RANOMAFANA - ANTANANARIVO Going up to Antananarivo by the National 7. Arrival in Antananarivo in the late afternoon. Overnight at the hotel. 18th day: ANTANANARIVO Continental breakfast at your hotel. Free day. A car is at your disposal. Possibility of buying souvenirs at the craft market. Independent lunch. In the early evening, transfer to the airport and return flight.
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