DAY 1, July 31, 2021 | Johannesburg
Upon arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport, please clear customs and immigrations and collect your luggage. Proceed to the Arrivals Hall where you are met by an Akorn representative, who will hand over documentation and accompany you on a short walk to your hotel.
South Africa's only luxury hotel at an airport, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport is perfectly and safely located just a short walk from the arrival’s hall of Johannesburg's largest international airport.
The hotel's rooms are impeccably appointed and include added features such as spacious showers, blackout curtains, soundproofed rooms and king beds. Other amenities include the Camelot Spa, which provides a host of pampering and rejuvenating treatments, gym, indoor heated swimming pool, and a uniquely African dining experience at the hotel's Quills Restaurant.
The remainder of your day is at leisure. Lunch and dinner are under own arrangements.
DAY 2, August 01, 2021 | Antananarivo
The Akorn representative will meet you in the reception area of your hotel and accompany you to your check-in counter at the airport for your onward flight.
Depart Johannesburg on a scheduled flight to Madagascar.
Upon arrival into Ivato Airport you will be greeted by an English-speaking guide representing Akorn who will accompany you to your hotel in the upper town of Antananarivo. ‘Tana’ – as the locals call it has fascinating traditional architecture and a more Indonesian influence than the rest of Madagascar.
Dinner is served in the hotel restaurant.
DAY 3, August 02, 2021 | Antananarivo – Andasibe
After an early breakfast, your guide will take you east to Andasibe a stunning rainforest park, about 4 hours’ drive from the city. The park consists of two protected areas, the Perinet Special Reserve and Mantadia National Park. Perinet is world famous for its population of Indri lemurs, which are the largest living lemur species.
The journey to Andasibe offers first time visitors to Madagascar a gentle introduction to rural life with rice fields, redbrick houses and roadside stalls selling seasonal fruits and vegetables lining the route. Check into hotel for lunch. A night walk will be organised in late evening in the forest surrounding the reserve with a local guide. You will see a variety of nocturnal lemurs: mouse lemurs, white footed sportive lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, as well as the wooly lemur.
DAY 4, August 03, 2021 | Andasibe
After breakfast you will head to Mantadia National Park (1.5 hour drive) with a picnic lunch. Look for some of the lemur species in this stunning park including the Indri indri, diademed sifaka, grey bamboo lemur, red-bellied lemur and white ruffed lemur.
While the trails are slightly more difficult, the rewards are great as the forest is taller, wilder and less crowded than Perinet. There are an abundance of birds including the scaly ground roller, the pitta-like ground roller and the red-breasted coua. This is a naturalist’s goldmine with many seldom seen species of mammals, reptiles and birds. Enjoy a picnic by the Rianasoa Waterfall before hiking back to the vehicle and return to the lodge.
DAY 5, August 04, 2021 | Andasibe
After an early breakfast, enjoy a visit to the 810 ha Perinet Reserve with a local guide in search of the Indri indri. With a barely visible tail, black and white markings and a surprised teddy–bear face, this lemur is one of the few animals in the world that cannot survive in captivity. There are another 11 species of lemur to spot as you walk through the rainforest. You may find a troop of grey bamboo lemurs, common brown lemur, diademed sifaka and the black and white ruffed lemur.
Birdwatchers should look out for the velvet asity, the blue coua and the Nuthatch vanga and many more endemic species. Perinet is home to many reptiles, invertebrates, and some of Madagascar’s over a thousand orchid species. In the evening you may choose to go on another night walk with your local guide.
DAY 6, August 05, 2021 | Andasibe – Tana
After breakfast, enjoy a visit to Lemur Island, Vakona Lodge’s private reserve that protects a number of habituated lemurs. There are four species to see, the bamboo lemur, the black & white ruffed lemur, brown lemur and one diademed sifaka.
After lunch, transfer back to Tana then continue to your hotel near the airport.
DAY 7, August 06, 2021 | Ft. Dauphin – Mandrare River Camp
After breakfast, transfer to Ivato Airport for a morning flight to Fort Dauphin with Tsaradia (2 hours).
In Fort Dauphin you will be met by a guide and vehicle from Mandrare River Camp who will escort you to a local restaurant in Fort Dauphin. After an early lunch, drive to Mandrare River Camp (4 hours).
Upon arrival at the camp settle into your tent and enjoy the majestic views over the Mandrare River. Around 5pm depart for a night walk in the Forest of Zenavo. This is a fantastic way to see diurnal lemurs bedding down, and the nocturnal lemurs begin to wake in the eerie and prehistoric Spiny Forest. You will spot sifakas and sleeping white-foot sportive lemurs, then once the sun has set, two mouse lemur species, sleeping birds, chameleons, owls and now active sportive lemurs.
DAY 8, August 07, 2021 | Mandare River Camp
This morning You will be privately transfer to the airport your departure flight. Fast track exit After breakfast you will head out to the stunning sacred gallery forest to the south of the camp.
Depending on the river depth, you will walk or take a boat across the Mandrare River to reach this largely deciduous forest. Inquisitive groups of ring-tailed lemurs and the always entertaining Verreaux sifaka are the highlight of this excursion.
Return to camp for lunch and a relaxed afternoon by the pool. In late afternoon, head for a walk through the sacred spiny forest filled with the ancestral tombs of the local Antandroy tribe, as well as an extraordinary array of flora and fauna, unique to the spiny forest. Your English-speaking guide and a tracker from the local community will give you an introduction to Antandroy culture and customs.
Your visit is followed by sundowners on the Mandrare Riverbanks.
DAY 9, August 08, 2021 | Morondava
After a cup of tea or coffee head to the spiny forest for an early morning walk. Witness the sunlight break through the octopus trees while looking out for the many endemic birds such as crested coua, a variety of vangas and the running coua.
Head back to camp for a sumptuous breakfast followed by a visit to the local market or the local village to meet the fascinating Antandroy tribe.
Lunch will be served at the camp followed by a relaxed afternoon watching life along the river from your tent terrace.
At 5pm, depart for a sundowner amidst the baobabs. Watching the sun set and moon rise with a view across the baobabs to the mountains beyond is a magical experience. In the evening the local village may come to perform beautiful traditional dances, accompanied by singing and music. Song and dance is at the heart of Antandroy culture and is used to accompany the major rituals and events of everyday life.
DAY 10, August 09, 2021 | Mandrare River Camp – Ft. Dauphin – Antananarivo
After breakfast, drive to Fort Dauphin (4hours) in time for your Tsaradia flight back to Tana. On arrival your guide and driver will accompany you to your hotel in town.
Dinner is served in the hotel restaurant.
DAY 11, August 10, 2021 | Antananarivo
Today, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and accompany you to Ivato airport for your flight to Johannesburg.