Espace Mada Motor Boat on Tsiribihina
The Big Boucle of Madagascar
Unusual tour in Madagascar
3-week trip to Madagascar: An Unusual Big “Boucle”.
The Menabe with The Tsiribihina River, the Tsingy of Bemaraha and the Alley of the Baobabs / The Morondava Coastal Trail – Tulear / The ascent of the National 7 – Trip independent of any domestic flight.
The spots offered by our agency
Suspended bridge, panoramas in Tsingy of the Bemaraha
Tasting local produce at Mad Zébu restaurant in Belo on Tsiribhina
The Baobabs’ alley at sunset
The coastal track from Morondava to Tulear with detour to Andavadoka
Isalo National Park, a unique site in Madagascar
Your most frequent questions about this unusual trip
. Period: from June to early November, depending on the rains the tour could be advanced to early May
. Tsingy: physical level? This is not a hike, children, elderly have already done the Great Tsingy. Constraints: do not be claustrophobic and do not feel dizzy.
. Track condition: some portions are difficult; britter portions with an average of 10 km/h; but it allows you to discover Madagascar, off the beaten track; If some road times seem long, we can establish a new cut
. Extra days: yes if you have more than 3 weeks, we can add for example Ranomafana Park or a train getaway to Manakara, or the Perinet reserve at the end of the tour
. Change some of the hotels on offer: yes, we adapt and advise you on the types of hotels in each site.
. The tour can shorten it: yes!; you have 2 weeks no problems, you will be offered the West, the morondava Tulear runway, and an indoor flight from Tulear to Tananarive.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Accessible à tous
Group Size Large Group
Big Boucle Description : An insolite trip independant of any domestic flights. composed with 3 parts :
– The Menabe : Tsiribihina River Descent, Tsingy of Bemaraha, Baobabs Alley
More details for river cruise : Tsiribihina Practice Details
– Trail Morondava – Tulear via Belo sur Mer Andavadoka and Salary; the 2e part goes along thje coast
– Last Part : noational road 7, south and highlands with madagascar national parks
Period : From half may to start november,
Accomodation : 2** , Camp on Tsiribihina, basic hotel in Manja
Vehicules : 4WD with english speaking driver.
Availinility : This is a private ride, we arrange the circuit in relation to your arrival date on the country. This circuit can also be done in the opposite direction, each site.
Assistance at the Ivato international airport and transfer to your hotel. Chalet Des Roses
Antananarivo - Miandrivazo
Departure at 8:00 am, head to the ”thermal town” of Antsirabe, down the road we stop at the village of Behenjy which is famous for its ”foie gras”, Ambatolampy weel known for its artisanal factories of aluminum objects like canner. Arrival in Antsirabe around noon, free lunch; 2:00 pm we hit the road direction West to arrive in the late afternoon / early evening in the village of Miandrivazo; there at the royal time, the king Radama awaited his first wife, who was a daughter of Sakalava King’s.Miandrivazo is located at sea level, and considered one of the hottest cities in Madagascar. Installation at the hotel Princesse Tsiribhina. ( briefing with your guide for the river descent around 7:00 pm ) (Step 390 kms, 7h00)
Miandrivazo - Tsiribihina
Departure around 9am from Miandrivazo, Transfer to the heart of the savannah, for the Pier near the village of Masiakampy. (count 1 hour, 20 minutes of tar, 40 minutes of track). The crew welcomes us on the barge. Barges are motor barges formerly used for the transportation of tobacco. They were then arranged for the transport of tourists. At the back of the barge is the cockpit and the kitchen. Passengers have benches on the lower deck where meals will be served. A staircase leads to the Solarium equipped with deckchairs.
The cruise will begin in the middle of the morning, you will cross vast cultivated plains, will sail along the banks and gorges of Tsiribihina and will cross the villagers of the river; they are part of the ”Sakalava” ethnic group, their huts are built mainly of reeds, and roofs made of rice straw or palm leaves. In the late afternoon, refreshing stop and swim at the waterfall of Nosy Ampela (women’s island), a small corner of paradise that houses families of lemurs. The Camp will be set up nearby on a large sandbar.
The barge continues its navigation in the heart of the meanders of the Tsiribihina river. We will meet piroguiers, motor barges for the freight of local products and by means of transport and exchange for the villagers. In the day, stop at the village of Begidro famous for its old tobacco concessions. The peasants still cultivate it in a traditional way; you can visit the warehouse. You resume the cruise, landscapes follow one another: cliff bats (Kina Kina), the giant capoquin, rice fields, the village of Berevo, more modern, with a Catholic school, a gendarmerie and a a dispensary. At the end of the day, stop for 30 minutes to the village of Ambatomisay to see our first Baobabs named ”Andasonia Za”. The crew will put up the Camp on a beach that can change from one year to another, depending on the rains. After dinner, we will participate, around a campfire, in a traditional dance show. 2nd Camp.
Tsiribihina - Belo sur Tsiribihina - Bekopaka Bemaraha
The landscapes are confused with tamarinds, mango trees, jujube trees, ricins, sensory mimosas, balsas, and date palms. Last day of our cruise to greet once again herons, fishermen, drongos, green bee-eaters, teals, humpback ducks. Arrival at the end of the morning at Bereketa pier in Belo sur Tsiribihina; lunch on board the barge. You join your 4WD which has left Morondava in the morning. It will take more or less 4 hours of track to reach Bekopaka, starting point for excursions in Tsingy og Bemaraha. (120 kms stage, track – 4 hours) Hôtel Orchidées du Bemaraha
After breakfast, we will go for an excursion on a traditional pirogue all along the Manambolo river; it lasts around 1 hour and a half. You will see caves, Vazimba Tombs ( Vazimba were the first ethny leaving in Madagascar) , birds. Then we will visit the ”small Tsingy”, walk through the famous world unique limestone. This ballad is a very easy level, lasts around 2 hours. After the visit, we come back to the hotel.
IIn the morning departure with the 4WD from Bekopaka to join the starting point of ”Grands Tsingy” ( 17 kms of very a bumpy road ), it will take from 1 to 2 hours driving according the season ). The trip is called ”Andamozavakay”, it takes around 4 hours It is not a trek but a slow and observation walk. This doesn’t requiere a particular physical condition, but it is not good for those subject to vertigo or claustrophobia. During the hike we will discover: secondary forest, caves (bring a headlamp) of the diaclases, panoramic views of this unique massif in the world. You cross a suspension bridge. The set is perfectly safe and very well laid out by the National Park that provides safety harnesses. Back to the hotel after the visit.
Bekopaka Bemaraha - Morondava
Departure at 7:30 am, we return on track to join Belo Tsiribihina. Lunch advised at the restaurant ”Mad Zebu,” one of the best in Madagascar. We will take a ferry boat and cross again the Tsiribihina (45 minutes crossing). It will remain 2h30 to 3 hours to reach Morondava. On the way, we will stop at the Sacred Baobab, a tree with a thousand years of notoriety. End afternoond we will stop at the baobabs alley to enjoy the sunset and take pictures. Arrival at the hotel early in the evening. Sun Beach Hotel (Step 220 kms – 7-8 hours of track)
Morondava - Belo sur Mer
In the morning, transfer by 4WD to reach Belo sur Mer known for its traditional dhows. The landscape consists of ’bush’ and skeletal vegetation that are resistant to prolonged drought. You will cross the first stepping Kabatomena, about 150m wide then that of Maharivo. Installation at the hotel Entremer. ( 117 kms – 4 to 5 hours)
Belo sur Mer
Free activities at Belo sur Mer .The hotel can organize or advise excursions like ”construction sites of the dhow and fishermen town” , Excursions by foot (Menaky – snorkeling, salt port) by sailing canoes (Menaky, coral islands – snorkeling, whale) or by motorboat (Islands, Park Moth – flamingos, baobabs), and by car (Salines, Ankoasifaka -. sifaka, grave) Your Hotel : Entremer
Belo sur Mer - Morombe
Departure early around 5am for a very long day on track (approximately 11 hours) to reach the town of Morombe. Halfway we cross the river Mangoky. You can split the day into 2 with intermediate night in Manja, only one choice of hotel on-site very simple. (Step 260 kms – 11 pm). Accomodation Chez Katia.
Morombe - Salary
We will begin a very nice track for the coming days, probably the most beautiful coast of Madagascar. In the mid-morning for a little break after the exhausted track, we can stop at Andavadoaka (very beautiful coves) . Majestic baobabs and casuarina forests will line the track. Then continuation to Salary quiet and beautiful site. Installation at the hotel Salary Bay. (Step 130 kms – 3h30).
Free activities in Salary. The hotel offers different land and seaside activities: scuba diving historical theme with vestiges of British Portuguaises and wrecks, whales outing in July / August, excursion on pirogue (meetings with Vezo, nomads of the sea), the forest Mikeas of isolated tribe refusing all contact with civilization. Your Accomadation : Salary Bay
Salary - Tuléar (Toliary)
We take again the track which portions along the coast and offer magnificent views of the Mozambique Channel. We pass by Ankasy and Ifaty to reach Tulear. Installation at the hotel La Batisse. (Step 120 kms – 4 hours)
Tuléar (Toliary) - Ranohira (Isalo)
Head to Ranohira in the morning , desert landscape where thorny plants emerge. You visit the Antsokay Arboretum at the entrance to the South Tulear grouping typical flora and many endemic medicinal plants in Madagascar. Passage of the country Mahafaly, overlooking the famous tombs of the same name, topped by large carved posts called ”Aloalo”. Crossing villages gems of researchers which the best known is Ilakaka, the city sapphire. Installation at the hotel Isalo Ranch. in the one site Isalo Western décor which presents a variety of majestic landscapes, impressive canyons, rock formations carved by erosion. (Step 215 Kms – 4h).
The Isalo National Park is an ecological representation within the National Parks network of Madagascar: a ruiniform massif of continental sandstone that dates from the Jurassic with its typical geomorphology and endemic vegetation (Euphorbes, Aloes Pachypods…) and the specific fauna of this unique habitat (a haven for lemurs).
There are several walking tours offered by the park. You can take a walk in the morning and a second in the afternoon, or if not a complete loop during the day, we include two circuits with the possibility to combine them:
– The natural swimming pool: easy level, over half a day, This is the most visited circuit for its green pool, a veritable oasis, which a cascade of warm water feeds.
– The Nymphs waterfall: easy walking access to the waterfall, it can be extended via paths rugged enough to reach the black and blue pools around which nest rare birds, lizards and butterflies.
Information Madagascar National Parks : Reserve of Isalo
Ranohira (Isalo) - Andringitra
You continue the descent to the National 7 about 5 hours. We pass through countries ethnicity ”Bara”, zebu breeders. Crossing the tray of Horombe. Before the arrival of Ambalavao, bifurcation towards the Tsaranoro Valley. (Step 210 kms, 5 hours) Tsara Camp.
Andringitra - Fianarantsoa
A guided tour in the Valley of Tsaranoro. The walks are not lacking on the site and you can choose on the spot according to your physical condition. Among these, the chameleon circuit is more complete (duration maximum 6 hours) you will cross the Sacred Forest Tsaranoro cemetery of the inhabitants of the valley. The morning, you will have a good chance to see lemurs Catta reheating the sun. After climb towards Tsaranoro , we turn to go cross the stream that comes from the top. A short break for refreshing and we go back along the stream up lead on the board. Then you branch off on left towards the top of Langera called “The Chameleon”. A last slope steep , we must be carefull , reaching the edge where you can enjoy the scenery while at leisure. Picnic, or just a snack in depending on the time, then you descend towards the village of Morarano, the car gets you. If step falls on a Wednesday or Thursday morning you can attend one of the largest markets of the Zebu: thousands of heads are delivered twice a week. Special entertainment prevails. Drive to Ambalavao, the capital of zebu is also known for its factory Antaimoro Paper and beautiful silk weaving shop. Continuation to Fianarantsoa we cross the vineyards (possibility of wine tasting ”Lazan’ ny Betsileo”). Installation at the hotel Cotsoyannis in downtown (Step 130kms – 1h30)
Fianarantsoa - Antoetra
Visit of the Upper Town of Fianarantsoa: the original site of the city with its traditional houses and many churches. Highland road in the heart of Betsileo. Landscape of rice field terraces. Before arrival at Ambositra we take a bifurcation to Antoetra which is the birthplace of Zafimaniry country. Installation in a very nice Ecologe Sous le Soleil de Mada. (Step 180 kms, 3h30)
Antoetra - Antsirabe
Guided walk around the village of Antoetra; Immersion in Zafimaniry country. Then we reach Ambositra artisanal capital. It will remain 1h30 of road before arrival at Antsirabe. Installation at the hotel Chambre du Voyageur (Step 132 kms – 2 h)
Antsirabe - Antananarivo
City tour of Antsirabe after the breakfast: you will visit a particular miniatures shops (rickshaws, bicycle, and trucks). The gem (amethyst, tourmaline, garnet …) are one of the main attractions of Antsirabe. The craftsman ”Chez Joseph” may make cutting demonstrations gems. Continuation of the road through the highlands to Ambatolampy known for its handicraft factories objects whose aluminum pots to the capital. Installation at the hotel. Chalet des Rose (Step 170 kms, 3h30)
Pick up at your hotel and transfer to the airport. End of Espace Mada services.
View Point from Tsingy of Bemaraha
Baobab Alley closed to Tsingy of Bemarha
On the way Morombe to Ifaty, the wonderful site of Salary
Lemur we can meet in Madagascar National Parks
Rice Terraces closed to Antsirabe
Public rates 2020 of the Tour “Big Boucle”
|Nb Persons||Nb 4WD||Euros / person|
|2||1||2 551 €|
|3||1||2 045 €|
|4||1||1 802 €|
|Single Room Supplement : 432 Euros|
Confirmation by email of the present tour.
After Espace Mada confirmation for hotels and transport : Deposit of 30% by bank transfer or One Line Payment Balance before departure inTana :
- CB Visa or Master Card.
- Cash Euros.
- Night on base double room
- Touristic Stamp
- Half Board except in Tananarive ( B and B )
- 4×4 with english speaking driver from day 2 to day 21
- Driver allowancies, Gasoline
- Local Ferry crossing ( Tsiribihina, Manambolo, Mangoky )
- Tsiribihina River descent base full board
- Barge, gasoline, Staff
- Guide ( English speaking ) for the 3 days descent
- Camp Equipment
- Guiding and entrance fees in parks and reserves : Tsingy of Bemaraha, l’Isalo, l’Andringitra
- All transfers airport – hotel – airport
- Tips, extras and drinks
- International flights
- Lunch except on Tsiribihina River included, diners in Tananarive