The east of Madagascar is very rainy region… regularly struck by cyclones. Morondava was badly hit in January 2009.
Everything grows, everything is green, almost everything is destroyed by the violence of the elements every year, and almost everything is patiently put back together by men shortly after. I like to meet these people; I like to be busy with this quiet uncontrollable apprehension facing this lively vegetation. Some places remind me vividly of the movie « Romancing the Stone »…
(*) based on 4 passengers / not including flights, contact us for more information.
From one place to another on the eastern seafront, groups of canoes placed on the sand attract attention: they are separated from the forest by fences made out of bamboo while they face the tumult of the waves breaking on the rocks. All those canoes are placed to face the Northeast, the ancestors’ sacred cardinal angle.
If you look closer, you can see oars, and bowls, empty bottles, tissues: multiple offerings. It is a betsimisaraka cemetery. Caught between forest and ocean, the northern half of the east coast gathers many vestiges of the past: shipwrecks, deserted pirates dens and sea-wracks.
There, in front of the Indian Ocean, warrior groups and village chiefs resisted the incursions of the Sakalava troops crossing the country from West to East in search of slaves destined to be sold to the slave ships that docked in the Menabe and Boina ports. And that same eastern coast was also conducive to slave trade. The Antongily bay, the green island of Nosy Mangabe, the beautiful island of Nosy Boraha, saw Arab navigators, European merchants and slave ships. Here the spices, the zebus, the gold, the rice, and especially the slaves, were exchanged for forearms, money, alcohol, and trinkets.
It is a first: during this entire trip, you will enjoy a stay with the locals…
Recommendations: arriving at least 3 hours before the time of the check-in at the CDG or Orly airport according to the airline. Meal and breakfast will be served on board. In NTANANARIVO – once the formalities are completed (visa, authorities, health) – a Jacaranda representative will welcome you… and then say hello to Madagascar!
Your first host will welcome you.
In Madagascar, people rise and go to bed with the sun. Your driver and guide will be waiting with the all-terrain car at the hotel for your departure around 7.30 a.m.
MANDRAKA reptile reserve
Set on a peninsula that runs alongside the RN2, Mandraka Park was particularly spoiled by nature when it comes to biodiversity. The fauna and flora are abundant thanks to the perfect climat: batrachians, butterflies, chameleons, insects, orchids, lianas… Chameleons are the tokens of Malagasy endemism! There are about sixty species of them there, representing more than half the species found anywhere else on earth, from the largest – 50 cm – to the smallest that can fit in the palm of your hand. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
The Mantadia National Park is in the Alaotra Mangoro. It is known for the rare orchids that flourish in the forest, the Indri Indri that can be seen all year round, the beautiful waterfalls and the famous cultural rites of the population in this region. Mantadia meets with the Zahamena National Park by an impressive forest corridor.
A guide employed by the park will take you on the tour.
Towards the Indian Ocean.
Many versions tried to explain the name of the city of TOAMASINA. Here is an interpretation that supposedly originates from the time King Radama 1st reached the shores of the Indian Ocean for the first time in 1817 at the current great port of the East and, after bringing a little foam to his lips exclaimed « Toa masina! » (It’s salty!)
You can visit TOAMASINA riding a rickshaw, but make sure to agree on a price before the ride.
The Pangalanes canal runs along the East coast of Madagascar for over 700 km…
Excursion aboard traditional dugout on the Pangalanes Canal.
From extraordinary living places to permanent shows… unusual and unforgettable just like meeting those « bush taxi boats », the fishermen’s ballet with their pirogue, the rafts carrying bananas… In short, an invitation to travel to all those who are in love with authenticity and discovery!
Transfer to SOANIERANA IVONGO and transfer by boat to SAINTE MARIE
Arrival at the landing stage and transfer to the hotel.
The island of Sainte Marie or Nosy Boraha, a land of pirates, is a 60 km stretch along the east coast of Madagascar. More than just a stopover, Sainte-Marie is a destination that offers a exceptional setting. An authentic place still preserved from mass tourism, it will welcome you in an idyllic setting of deserted beaches and fishing villages.
Excursion : Île aux Nattes
Île aux Nattes or « Nosy Nato », with the fine sandy beaches and magnificent lagoon protected by a coral reef, has everything to make you fall in love. Its paddy fields, small sandy paths will introduce you to new habits and customs in a timeless way. The appeal of this island lies in the authenticity of its nature, its population and their lively traditions.
It will take you 2 to 4 hours to make your way around the island and enjoy a walk through the village and the Blévec lighthouse.
Your guest house is nestled in the middle of fruit trees and other endemic species, sometimes centenary… with a panoramic view on the bay of Sainte Marie.
Free time and total leisure, or if you prefer, unscheduled stroll.
You will make your way back to SOANIERANA IVONGO by boat and then take a car to MANAMBATO.
A night on the Rasoabe lake shore before heading to Tana.
Journey to ANTANANARIVO.
Excursion: guided tour of ANTANANARIVO and its markets
ANTANANARIVO has several hundreds staircases – from the most basic to the most imposing, according to the differences in altitude and the neighborhoods.
The Ranavalona staircases has 168 steps. It goes past the Regional Tourism Office of Analamanga and is the fastest shortcut from the lower city to the Independence Square. The longest staircase is the Razafindrazay with 480 steps; it connects the Mahamasina basin to the upper city.
ANTANANARIVO is the focal point of the island’s craftsmanship and the craft markets display these assets. The Malagasy artisans know how to make the best out every material: from wood to ore, from fabric to Zebu horn. Many districts shelter specialized shops and many of them highlight the work on zafimaniry wood and the raw silk that can only be found in Madagascar.
The « Pavilions » of Analakely are the last remnants of the Zoma, the former biggest open market in the world. Quaint with the maze-like paths where the bargains are whispered, everything can be found from cooked meats to wedding accessories, medicinal plants and trinkets.
Mass of the Chiffonniers and visit of Father Pedro Opeka’s villages.
Excursion: AMBOHIMANGA, the Sacred Hills
The former rulers always chose to reside on the hills, not only for defense but also to claim ownership of the sacrality of these high places.
The number and the list of the Sacred Hills changed from on ruler to the other, but every source agrees on the number 12. Andrianampoinimerina placed one of his brides on every
major hill of his kingdom, and their names, espacially Rambolamasoandro (« the one who is both the moon and the sun ») is still venerated by those who worship the ancestors.
Among the most famous of these Sacred Hills are Ambohimanga (listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site); Ambohidrabiby where the King Ralambo introduced the consumption of zebu meat for the first time and the tradition of the Royal Bathing; Antsahadinta with his royal trees « amontana » and « aviavy » and his beautiful crest line; Ambohimanambola at the East and that used to be the sanctuary of Ikelimalaza, the most feared of royal idols.
Diner and transfer to the airport.
Flight to PARIS.
It is time to go home because all good things must come to an end!
Your pictures, videos and stories have always been the material for our website and our brochures…if you agree? To be continued for another travel tale!
Reserves and national parks: Mantadia Andasibe.
Accommodation: charming little hotels and guest rooms.
|Number of participants||2 pers. min||4 pers.||Extra single room|
|Price per person
(flight not included)
|1194 €||907 €||256 €|