Manambolo River & The Tsingy de Bemaraha
€1150 per person
The trip will begin from the capital Antananarivo, by car we reach the Bongolava Massif that we will cross on foot. Through a wild country, far from any civilization, on a dugout canoe, we will descent Manambolo river which offers a palette of little-known landscapes far from tourist routes. We will be meeting with the Sakalava people and their centuries-old traditions. Our river cruise ends in Bekopaka, the door to the National Park of the Tsingy de Bemaraha, one of the most spectacular sites of Madagascar.
Ampefy, Manambolo River, Tsingy de Bemaraha National park, Baobabs Avenue and Morondava.
When to Go
June - Octobre
Private Car with accompanying Guide for the whole Tour | Camping equipment | Entry Fee of Park including the local guide | Hotels mentioned or similar | All meals from day 1 to day 10 | Breakfast on day 1 | 1 Bottle of water (1 L) per day per person
Domestic Flight Morondava - Antananarivo | Lunch and dinner on day 11 | Drinks apart from 1 L of water per day | Personal Expenses | Anything not Mentioned in Included
What to Bring
Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, sleeping bag, hat and warm jacket and light trench coat. Please note from June to August at night it gets very cold at night.
Add 2 nights in Belo sur Mer for an authentic beach place. Cost pp, €250, based on 2 travelers, on half board basis, Hotel Entremer or similar. Transfert to Belo sur Mer return by car included.
Prices per person
- 1 Traveler €2180, 1 single
- 2 Travelers €1650, 1 tw/dbl
- 3 Travelers €1450, 1 tpl
- 4 Travelers €1300, 2 tw/dbl
- 5 Travelers €1200, 1 tw/dbl + 1 tpl
- 6 Travelers €1150, 3 tw/dbl
For more options, please contact us
Day 1 Antananarivo - Ampefy 120 km, 3 hours' drive
Meet & Greet before we begin our trip westwards on the RN1. We cross the typical villages of the Highlands and, gradually, large volcanic cones appear. On the shores of Lake Itasy, we settle in the small village of Ampefy. After lunch, we take the time to discover and soak up the peaceful atmospheres of this rarely visited region.
Day 2 Ampefy - Tsiroanomandidy 130 km, 3 hours' drive
In the morning we are back on the road to reach the village of Tsiroanomandidy, the last large town before the immense desert areas of the west. Hôtel Relais du Bongolava or similar.
Day 3 Tsiroanomandidy - Tsiafapapango 120 km, 7 hours' drive
From Tsiroanomandidy, we take the road to reach the Bongolava massif, further west, a semi-desert region where we find one of the largest zebus markets in Madagascar. We set up our camping near a magnificent point of view, near the Ambatomalamba waterfall.
Day 4 Tsiafapapango - Ankavandra 15 km, 4 hours' hike
After breakfast, early departure for a 4 to 5 hour trek in Bongolava, where the arid hills stretch as far as the eye can see. Picnic lunch on the go, we continue to the village of Ankavandra, which we reach in the early afternoon. Visit of the village and meeting with the inhabitants. We spend the night in a small family lodge, Chez Nouredine.
Day 5 Ankavandra - Manambolo River Descent
Early after breakfast we embark on a traditional dugout canoe on the Manambolo River all the way to Bekopaka, the door of the National Park of Tsingy de Bemaraha. Before we begin the 200 km cruise, 4 days and 3 nights, with the crew that will accompany us all along this adventure, we make a ritual which asks the ancestors' permission to cruise on the river. Overnight camping by the river.
Day 6/7 Manambolo River
Throughout this journey, we cross a great diversity of landscapes, from arid hills, forests and gorges. The canoe also allows us to meet an isolated population, whose only means of communication and movement is the Manambolo. As we enter the forest, we'll have the chance to see several lemurs (sifakas). Overnight camping by the river.
Day 8 Manambolo River - Bekopaka
As we approach the Massif of the Bemaraha, villages becomes rarer and give way to impressive gorges. The Manambolo Gorges conceal ancient Vazimba tombs, the first people to hide and live in Tsingy. This long parade of cliffs with vertical walls carved by the river isolates us from the rest of the world. At the beginning of the afternoon, we leave the gorges to reach the village of Bekopaka. Hotel Olympe de Bemaraha or similar.
Day 9 Bekopka - Grand Tsingy - Bekopaka 40 km, 3 hours drive
Today discover the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, one of the most photographed natural beauties in Madagascar. The Tsingys are pointed karst formations found only on Red Island. They are the result of sedimentations of corals and sea animal shells from a plate submerged in the sea when Madagascar separated from Africa about 165 million years ago. Subsequently, a tectonic slide lifted this immense limestone plate above sea level. The tsingys were eventually sculpted by the combined effects of erosion and the acidity of the rains. In the shelter of these large rocky peaks that can reach up to 50 m in height, a specific and unusual flora has adapted which fascinates botanists. There are also about 90 species of birds, 8 species of reptiles, and a dozen different lemurs, including a very rare species. In this real rocky forest, quite unique in the world, we take a beautiful hike to discover the Great Tsingy. Our day begins in the heart of a real limestone labyrinth (equipped in places with metal ladders and handrails). We continue through a network small caves requiring to crawl. A few high passages on equipped walkways allow you to discover these unique geological formations seen from the top! The hike will be of about 5 hours. By early afternoon we are back in Bekopaka. Hotel Olympe de Bemaraha or similar.
Day 10 Bekopaka - Morondava 220 km, 8 hours' drive
By 8AM we leave Bekopaka by car, crossing the Manambolo River on a barge. The next town on our voyage is Belo sur Tsiribihina where we will stop for lunch. The track is bad but the landscapes that we cross deserve a little discomfort. From BST we board another barge to cross the Tsiribihina River, a 45 mins transfert to reach the southern banks on the RN8. After the crossing, we drive through a fantastic landscape of huge sacred baobabs and dry forests. By early afternoon we arrive at the iconic Baobabs' Avenue to enjoy the site at sunset. Another 30 mins to arrive in Morondava. Hotel Chez Maggie or similar.
Day 11/12 Morondava - Antananarivo, 750 km, 12 hours' drive
In the morning we head back to the capital. a 12 hours' drive passing via Miandrivazo and Antsirabe. Overnight stay in Antsirabe before continuing to Antananarivo. Our services end with the transfer to the airport.