NORTH COAST ADVENTURE
Day 1: Arrival to Tana
After arriving in Antananarivo (or Tana, as it is known by the locals) late pm, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel
Day 2: Gondwana Island (B,L,D)
After breakfast you will meet your guide and we will set out by car and head towards Gondwana island on the Ikopa river (approx. 5hrs). Upon reaching the river we will transfer to our rafts and spend the next hour paddling to the island – the river is quite wide, and the rapids are easy. Gondwana is a relatively new camp on this 50 ha island and is a great place for bird and crocodile watching.
Day 3: Ambanja (B,L,D)
After exploring the island further we will get back in our rafts for our return journey back to shore. Our car will be waiting for us and we will set out on our relatively long journey to Ambanja (between 7 & 10 hrs, depending on road conditions)Ambanja is a pleasant little town set amongst a green backdrop. Tonight we will sleep in lovely bungalows on the beach at the Baobab hotel.
Overnight – bungalows.
Day 4: Sambirano River (B,L,D)
This morning we will pick up our mountain bikes and then spend the next 6 hrs cycling along the Sambirano river (or you have the choice to cycle for 2 hrs). Our tracks are fairly flat and wide and mostly on the river line. We will cycle through the vestiges of ancient plantations, alongside towering trees and heavy undergrowth. This will be a thoroughly enjoyable and slow paced trip to allow us to experience the scenery and wildlife en-route. We will be biking for around 5-6 hrs with a lunch stop before we meet our canoe team and reach our overnight camp.
Overnight – camp
Day 5: Sambirano River (B,L,D)
We will pack up our bikes and set off by canoe along the Sambirano river. The river is mainly flat with a small rapid midway and we will spend the next two days making our way back to Ambanja. There is great bird watching along this river and we will also be able to see a lot of agricultural activity along the banks as well as some traditional fisherman.
Overnight – camp.
Day 6: Sambirano River – Ambanja (B,L,D)
We continue our descent down the Sambirano river until we arrive back at Ambanja.
Day 7: To Ankarana (B,L,D)
We have a short hop this morning (2-3hrs) to Ankarana – Upon arrival we will set up our camp at Tonton Robert.Ankarana Special Reserve covers 18,220ha and is known for its limestone karst pinnacles called Tsingy along with its extensive cave system and network of underground rivers – some of which contain crocodiles. Ankarana possibly has the highest density of primates of any forest in the world and here we may see the crowned lemur, Sanford’s brown lemur, Perrieri’s (black sifaka) lemur, the northern sportive lemur and dwarf lemurs as well as a variety of chameleons and leaf-tailed Uroplatus gecko and great flora. The next three days will be spent trekking through the caves and dense forest in Ankarana.
Day 8: Ankarana (B,L,D)
Today will be spent exploring this amazing park along with the Tsingy and the canyons. The trails are not easy but are feasible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness and we recommend visiting this park in the dry season (May-Nov)
Day 9: Ankarana (B,L,D)
With over 136km of mapped caves, we will enjoy some spectacular cave treks. It is sometime possible to see the elusive fossa whilst camping at night.
Day 10: Montagne d’Ambre (B,L,D)
After another morning in Ankara we will head back to the car and drive to Jofreville (approx. 4-5 hrs on a slightly bumpy road) and the Montagne d’Ambre – the Amber Mountain. This is a stunning National Park and is comprised of a huge tropical forest with waterfalls and volcanic lakes. There are numerous animals that inhabit this national park including the ring-tailed mongoose, the fossa and 8 lemurs. It is also home to 75 bird species – 35 of them are endemic, 60 reptiles, 35 frogs and 40 butterflies.Due to its relative proximity to Diego, this park can get quite busy (by Madagascan standards) in the high season, however it is really worth visiting. After spending the last few nights camping, our accommodation whilst here will be a charming boutique hotel The Litchi Tree http://www.thelitchitree.com/
Day 11: Montagne d’Ambre (B,L,D)
We can spend the day trekking in this national park before heading back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 12: Montagne de Francais (B,L,D)
Today we head to Montagne de Francais, just a short 1 ½ hour by road, but a very different environment – a tropical dry forest with baobabs, caves and fish eagles and different species of lemurs. This reserve protects deciduous dry forest characteristic of the north of Madagascar. Much of the forest is on a calcareous massif that has been eroded into Tsingy. The forested area ranges from 100-450 metres above sea level. This is one of the best places to see one of the most beautiful baobabs, Adansonia suarezensis.We will have a unique experience here as we will overnight in the tree bungalows – literally huts built in trees!
Overnight – Tree bungalow
Day 13: Sakalava (B,L,D)
Today we will hike the 3 hours to Sakalava. With beautiful white sand and a shallow lagoon with pristine waters this is the perfect place to relax and unwind after all the activity of the past 12 days.. It is a ” bush ” hotel, for guests who want to stay off the beaten path , in a quiet and magical environment. The hotels incorporates 7 acres which are inhabited by wild lemurs and thousands of birds. Sakalava bay, with a 3 mile stretch of beach enclosed by barrier reef is a perfect place for wind or kite surfing (it’s a safe place to learn as the wind blows you back into shore).
Overnight Sakalava Bungalow
Day 14: Back to Tana for flight (B)
We will leave Sakalava and head to Diego, where we will take an Air Madagascar flight back to Tana. Depending on your time of arrival in Tana you can visit the handicraft market and spend the afternoon at your leisure. Or you may prefer to stay an additional night in Tana. Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home
Price per person sharing: 2700 GBP (subject to change and availability)
All meals as described (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Meals other than mentioned
Alcoholic and soft drinks (water included)