From 4 to 12 people
There is camping in this itinerary
This journey allows us to immerse ourselves in the heart of the highlands, interacting with locals. We will meet them in their villages after crossing rice fields and hills.
We go hiking by incredible paths between the valleys. We begin our discovery of the region of Antsirabe, with the rich agriculture and a very developed art and crafts business.
In Zafimaniry, we will be welcomed by the locals who reside in tiny wooden houses with shutters and doors carved in the arabesques style; they are so aesthetic and mysterious.
On the foothills of the massif of Andringitra, we will meet with local cattlemen, with their zebus and carts. We will get to know them as we hike in their company for a few days.
Availability: March – November
- The crossing of the Malagasy attic, the highlands
- The hike and the meetings in the country Zafimaniry
- The ride assisted by cart zebu in the region of Anja and Ambalavao
- The discovery of the capital, Antananarivo, by its paths and its staircases
Antananarivo / Antsirabe / Manandona (B/L/D)
Meet your guide and start heading to the south. Once we leave the capital, typical villages of the highlands and rice fields draw well the landscape of the countryside. We stop in Ambatolampy to discover the impressive work of aluminum cooking pot artisans; pots people use all over the country.
We drive south to Antsirabe, which is 105 miles away from Antananarivo. Then a little bit further down the road, we reach the village of Manandona at Mont Ibity foothill; it is a massive rocky mount. We will stay in a simple rural cottage.
Climb Mount Ibity (B/L/D)
Mount Ibity is at the heart of the Highlands of Madagascar. From the small cottage of Bako Bako in the village of Manandona, we start a six to seven-hour ascension of this big granite block. The walking is easy and does not present a significant difficulty. Along the way, we encounter the endemic Pachypodiums from this zone. On the summit, we contemplate a landscape that looks like no other, with hills and ridgelines, villages clinging to the slopes, tall brick houses with thatched roofs, rice fields in the valleys, showcasing colors: red, ocher, beige.
Manandona / Zafimaniry country (B/L/D)
We say goodbye to our host and drive towards Zafimaniry country. We pass through Ambositra and go on until we reach Antoetra. We meet up with a local guide and hike to the Zafimaniry villages. The attraction here is the traditional wooden houses with doors and windows artfully carved that have specific meanings in their culture. The guide will inform us about them. You will spend the night in a tent.
Day 4 & 5
Trekking in Zafimaniry country (B/L/D)
We continue for two days of hiking in the Zafimaniry region. We will be walking six to seven hours each day. The porters will help carry our luggage, food and will set up our mobile camp.
We will go from village to village, traveling through green rice fields and crops; we will meet villagers, farmers, and zebus along the way. The Zafimaniry are renowned for their work of rosewood.
When we leave the villages, children often accompany us for a few joyful exchanges. We set up camp the first night near a small town. The next night is at the hotel near Antoetra.
Antoetra / Anja Reserve (B/L/D)
We are back on the road, driving for 155 miles today for a total of roughly 5-hours; we will pass through Fianarantsoa town. We stop in Ambalavao for lunch, a charming, lovely little town. We will continue to Anja reserve and set up our camp on this granite mass foothill. By late afternoon, we make an incursion into the forest where some playful families of ring-tailed lemurs found a home. We also can meet them the following day before we start hiking.
The Anja reserve is managed directly by the villagers. Profits allow the improvement of the living conditions of the surrounding villages. You will spend the night in a tent.
Day 7 to 9
Walking with Zebu Carts (B/L/D)
We will hike for five to six hours daily for the next three days, and we will be accompanied by the villagers driving their zebu carts. The atmosphere is unique and very friendly.
These carts, multicolored or in natural wood, paved the roads for Madagascar since the dawn of time. We will cross the small villages in the region to meet everyday people.
First and second nights in tents, and the third night at the hotel.
Ambalavao / Ambositra (B)
At Ambalavao, we discover how the locals have been making paper using a natural process from the bark of the mulberry tree Avoha (Bosqueia danguyana). In Madagascar in the XVth century, this process was introduced by the first Arabic migrants to transcribe the Koran. It is always made to Ambalavao according to the same methods.
We head back via road in the direction of Fianarantsoa. We lunch on the way and continue until Ambositra. Walk in the village and have an evening in the hotel. Total driving time today is roughly 4 hours covering 124 miles.
Ambositra / Antananarivo (B)
Ambositra is the town of the woodcarvers. Visit the workshops of artisans Zafimaniry. Take a look around searching for the sculptured piece of wood or the finely decorated square of marquetry.
Arrive at the end of the morning at Antsirabe for lunch.
Continuing on in the afternoon to Antananarivo.
- Meet and greet on arrival at Airport.
- Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).
- Entrance fees where applicable.
- Tours as indicated in the itinerary.
- Professional English-speaking guide/driver guide.
- Travel Protection is offered on all packages at an additional cost.