Day 1 Diego Suarez (Antsiranana)
The tour begins from the airport of Diego Suarez, where your plane should arrive from Antananarivo by noon. Free day by the hotel pool to admire the magnificent view the Bay of Antsiranana. We also suggest a short but enjoyable walk to the town center.
Day 2 Emerald Sea
After breakfast, a quick twenty minute drive to Ramena beach, to board a sailing boat and navigate to a deserted island. Depending on the winds, the crossing , will take about ¾ of an hour. The colors of the Emerald Sea are so clear that you will struggle to believe your eyes and the sand from far looks like snow. Relax, sunbathe and snorkel whilst the crew will prepare for you the most amazing lunch by the sea. In order to avoid rough seas and take advantage of the winds, we will leave by 3 pm to be in Ramena by 4 pm. The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy.
Day 3 Diego Suarez – Amber Mountain National Park – Diego Suarez
Day dedicated to the Amber Mountain National Park. The drive today is of 45 mins to Jophreville, a little quaint little colonial village where the time has stopped since the 60ies. The park, a rainforest that includes six volcano lakes and three waterfalls, is a paradise for many endemic animals and plants. The park is at over 1400mt above sea level and sometimes, on clear days, the view is spectacular to say the least. Dinner and overnight in Diego Suarez.
Day 4 Diego Suarez – The Three Bays – Diego Suarez
Another amazing day ahead, the magical Natural dry thorny reserve of Orangea awaits you, with its three fantastic bays. You will also enjoy the views of some baobabs and some endemic flora to this area. The Three Bays are really beautiful, warm shallow blue waters with very fine white sand. You can walk across these three heavenly looking bays, just don’t expect to see many people around. We will return to Diego Suarez after 5 pm.
Day 5 Diego Suarez – Red Tsingy – Ankarana National Park
Today we begin the journey south towards Nosy Be. First stop is the Red Tsingy (in Malagasy means “where one cannot walk barefoot”). Formations here are from laterite which gives them a strong red-orange color. Quickly after the Red Tsingy, we will arrive at the National Park of Ankarana. The Ankarana is a series of rocky – limestone sharp ridges, tropical jungle, deciduous forest, caves and canyons. In this reserve you will find the highest density of primates of any forest in the world. We will contemplate the picturesque landscape of the Tsingy, the duality between the calcareous rocks, the volcanic rocks and the endemic flora. Dinner Overnight in Ankarana.
Day 6 Ankarana National Park
Whole day dedicated to visit the National Park of Ankarana. On the day, we will choose the circuit based on energy level and interests. We suggest “the circuit of the cave of the Crocodiles and the Lake of Ampandriamborona (6 hours)” or “the Green Lake circuit (9hours) along the river Amposatelo” to discovers most of the flora and fauna this amazing park has to offer. Dinner and overnight in Ankarana.
Day 7 Ankarana National Park – Nosy Be
Today, we will drive southwards to Ankify, where a speedboat will take us to the island of Nosy Be. We should arrive in Nosy Be by midday. The rest of the day is free to laze by the beach or the hotel pool.
Day 8 Nosy Komba – Nosy Tanikely
Early in the morning we will take a boat to the “lemur island” of Nosy Komba and tiny island of Nosy Tanikely. From far, Nosy Komba look like a 600 meters high giant turtle. Covered by tropical forest, Nosy Komba is known as the home of a large colony of lemurs. Before noon we will then navigate to Nosy Tanikely. Reefs around Nosy Tanikely are superb and together with a huge variety of turtles, fish species, sea fans, sea slugs and large groupers, it can be said that this is one of the best snorkeling and diving spot of the area. We should be back in Nosy Be by 4 pm.
Day 9 Nosy Be
Today we will visit the Nosy Be, Mount Passot with its lake, the Reserve of Lokobe, the distillery of Ylang -Ylang, the zoo of exotic animals, the sacred tree and the old town of Hell-Ville (don’t be scared by the name), the main town of the island.
Day 10 Nosy Be
Entire day to relax by the hotel pool and by the beach.
Day 11 Nosy Sakatia
Today, one more brilliant excursion. Nosy Sakatia is refuge for many giant green turtles and sea turtles. You will be taken few yards off the coast of Nosy Sakatia, where with waters deep no more than 10 feet, marine life is abundant. The area around Nosy Be is paradise for marine mammals. We will venture further off the coast to observe some splendid specimens of whales and dolphins. Among the whales let’s mention the innocuous whale (non-mammalian) shark (from Oct. to Nov) and the slightly bigger humpback whales (from Aug to Oct). It will be an amazing day!
Day 12 Nosy Iranja
Almost two hours south-west of Nosy Be (30 miles), there is a paradisaical tiny island of white sand and turquoise water, Nosy Iranja. Nosy Iranja consists up of two little islands, the larger one called Iranja Be and the smaller one Iranja Kely. The islands are actually never separated, during low tide the sand strip is almost 100 yards wide but, during high the tide, the islands have only a tiny strip of sand wider than 2 feet. To admire this unique sight, we also suggest to head up to the small hill of Iranja (no more than 300 feet high) and enjoy the majestic views. Up the hill, there is also a school full of smiley children and an old lighthouse. Bring with you some pens or pencils, kids will love you forever.
Day 13 Nosy Be
Entire day to relax by the hotel pool and by the beach on a full board basis.
Day 14 Nosy Be
After breakfast, transfer to the local airport, where our tour will end.
- Car with local English speaking driver
- Hotels on a B&B basis
- National Park entrances with local guides
- All excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- Transfers from Ankify to Nosy Be
- Transfers from and to Airports
- All drinks
- Any extra activity or excursion not mentioned in the program
- All flights, International and Domestic
Air Madagascar operates flights from Antananarivo to Diego Suarez every day of the week departing at 10.30 am from Ivato (TNR). Price start from $200 o/w. Domestic flight Nosy Be – Antananarivo, with Air Madagascar, is available daily a different times depending on time of the week. The cost per o/w ticket is from $250 pp. Please note if you reserve the international flights (from Paris (CDG) for example) with Air Madagascar, you are eligible to a discount of up to 50% of the domestic fare. In order to get the reduced fare, all flights MUST be reserved and paid for at the same time with Air Madagascar. Please speak to us if you do need help with the flights, we do not charge for this service but will require full pre-payment for the flights. We can also provide, at a fraction of the flight costs, road transport. Please speak to us about this option.
Madagascar’s main problem for tourists is for sure the poor condition of the roads and the distances between the major sights. This tour includes an 150 miles of very poor road from Diego Suarez to Ankify (5/6 hours in total) but it will be done in two days. All other driving, is just matter of few miles.
You must love the sea to be on this tour. All transport on water is made using small boats. Should the sea be slightly agitated, it will not a comfortable crossing. To ease the discomfort, we suggest to seat as close as possible to the rear engine(s), very important after 3 pm.
We all know, the unexpected can happen anywhere, a domestic flight cancellation, impassable road due to flooding, the car breaking down etc. We suggest you to spend an extra day in the capital before the international flight, to avoid unpleasant situations. The capital has many interesting sights to offer: the Lemurs’ Park; the Blue Hill of Ambohimanga (UNESCO site); the Rova princess on top of the city and the many markets spread across the city. Contact us for the extra day in the capital.