Tour to The South Sun Road
Day 01: Arrival in ANTANANARIVO
You meet the land Operator team for welcoming you at Ivato
Airport, transfer to the hotel.
Overnight on bed and breakfast at the hotel CHALET DES ROSES or similar. (B)
Day 02: ANTANANARIVO – ANTSIRABE (170 km)
After breakfast, road driving to Antsirabe, the “Vichy Malagasy” also called the “Water city”. Through the red landscapes and the rice fields of high land of the highlands with its vast rice paddy fields and its lateritic coloured traditional houses, you will be served by the easy contact of the local people, a smile of which is one of the best highlights of the island.
On the way, stopover in a small city known for its traditional aluminium furniture’s workshop. Upon arrival in Antsirabe, check in to your hotel.
Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel CHAMBRE DU VOYAGEUR or similar. (B–D)
Day 03: ANTSIRABE – AMBOSITRA – RANOMAFANA (240 Km)
After breakfast, a small city tour at Antsirabe. With its beautiful colonial architectures, this “old missionary town” still has foreign marking but the local life is totally Malagasy. With its cotton, beer, tobacco, vegetables, milk factories, this city is very important for the economy of the country.
Visit of a famous “gemstone workshop market” where you can find a lot of the country precious stones like sapphire, emerald … semi-precious stones and some industrial stones of Madagascar.
Then take the south road with an interesting stop in Ambositra, the capital of woodcarving and handcrafts making in Madagascar, you can discover how those local people work on this one of the oldest tradition of the Zafimaniry tribe.
We continue to Ranomafana, an exceptionally rich high-altitude rainforest reserve where the very rare golden bamboo lemur and eleven other lemur species exist.
Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel CENTREST or similar. (B–D)
Day 04: RANOMAFANA – FIANARANTSOA (125 Km)
Morning wildlife-viewing expeditions in the rainforest of Ranomafana National Park
(approximately 40,000ha), with its rain forested hills and abundant wildlife, has long been considered one of Madagascar’s highlights, and is one of the most heavily visited of the country’s national parks. Its entrance lies about 7km from Ranomafana village. Altitudes in the park range from 800m to 1200m. In addition to its densely forested hills, Ranomafana’s terrain is characterised by numerous small streams, which plummet down to the beautiful Namorona River. Although much of the region has been logged, the easternmost part of the park retains relatively large areas of primary forest.You will go for walks in the National Park for several hours spotting some of the lemurs, chameleons and other animals. The trails can be steep and tough but generally the going is moderate.
Afternoon, we leave Ranomafana and continue by car to Fianarantsoa (with a part of bad road) “the city where one learns good things”. This is the centre of the catholic religion and most of the best schools are found here.
Through the highlands landscape: rice paddies in terrace, everlasting hills, sisal ropes making…this will lead us to the capital of the Betsileo tribe, the first town in Madagascar where you can find as lot of as church in a kilometre square. Fianarantsoa is the intellectual
and spiritual centre of Madagascar and the second largest city south of Antananarivo. Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel LE LAC HOTEL or similar. (B–D)
Day 05: FIANARANTSOA – AMBALAVAO – RANOHIRA (250 Km)
After breakfast, continuation to Ambalavao after the visit of the old town and the surrounding cities of Fianarantsoa.
Visit of the Antemoro pressed paper workshop (this is a living proof of the Arabian influence
that came to Madagascar since the 10th century), and also the local silk workshop.
Ambalavao is known for its “silk work”, its tobacco, the local made wine “Lazan´ny Betsileo”, its future world patrimony betsileo veranda architecture.
A stopover in a tiny Ecotourism Reserve of ANJA, a very interesting contribution to the local initiative to preserve this small wildlife natural place where under the flight of a Kite, you can see easily ring-tailed lemur, chameleons from the large Furcifer sp to the small brookesia genus, lizards and skinks, many medicinal plants still used by those people to resolve any health problem, poisonous or not – just ask them how to use it!!!
As we continue, the terrain becomes more African vast savanna-like landscape, allowing the sky to fill with the radiant colours of the setting sun.
Crossing the Bara tribe villages, those people who are known by their special tradition that a boy to become a man must show his power by steeling cattle, that is why may be they are used to be very strong fighters!
This detail is important for them because their territory is largely huge-opened.
Arrival in Ranohira, the ISALO National Park, the end of the afternoon. Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel ISALO RANCH or similar. (B–D)
Day 06: RANOHIRA (ISALO National Park)
Breakfast, full day visit of the “Arizona Malagasy”, a sandstone ruin form massif of 81000ha that occurs three (3) species of lemurs ( the ring tailed, the white dancing lemur, and the common brown lemur), a lot of bird with the park endemic specie Benson rock trush…several types of reptiles from lizards to chameleon and snakes.
By fauna, we will be amazed by those succulents dominating the hills: pachypodium sp and kalanchoe, euphorbia trees are there only home. The walk will take you under the sun in the middle of this arid landscape then suddenly you jump over the natural swimming pools and waterfall. Back to the hotel after visit.
Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel ISALO RANCH or similar. (B–D)
Day 07: RANOHIRA – TULEAR – IFATY (260 Km)
After the breakfast, drive to TULEAR, a pleasant town designed by a French architect in 1895. Feel here the Sapphire rush as the gold was for the Americans, it is ILAKAKA, a sapphire mining town that was founded in 1998. The succession of the landscape will show you an everlasting difference between the local people way of life, never forget that the “South Road” is the most characteristic of the Malagasy Culture.
On the way, we can see typical Mahafaly and Antandroy’s tombs. Magnificent « aloalo »: grave poles made of carved wood with geometrical design on the top of which and naive daily life scenes are drawn around over the tombstones.
Upon arrival in TULEAR, the “sun city”, a small city tour and visit of the market in shells.
Then, continuation to Ifaty, where we drive in the middle of rare plants, the endemic bush forest of the south, and others including 100 species of euphorbia and 60 species of kalanchoe. We also find many bird species making this area their home.
Arrival at Ifaty, the world third coral barrier site and its exceptional aquatic fauna, installation over the hotel. Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel LE NAUTILUS or similar. (B–D)
Day 08: IFATY
Full day FREE activities. (Without car/Without guide)
Overnight on half-board basis at the hotel LE NAUTILUS or similar. (B–D)
Day 09: IFATY – TULEAR – ANTANANARIVO – DEPARTURE
Breakfast at the hotel.
Full day FREE activities (without car / without guide)
Drive back to TULEAR and transfer to the airport for the flight back to ANTANANARIVO.
Arrival at Ivato airport, Transit for the fight back home.