Explore Madagascar

A superb trekking holiday visiting the highlights of Madagascar





From $2,900 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Trekking in Isalo and Adringitra National Parks
  • Dawn views from Peak Boby, 2nd highest peak in Madagascar
  • Unique wildlife spotting, including lemurs and the Indri Indri
  • Trek through the stunning rainforest of Ranomafana

This amazing adventure holiday combines the best of Madagascar's trekking with a chance to experience its great cultural and natural variety. Travelling from Tulear on the south-west coast to the capital city of Antananarivo, our first walk is within the Isalo National Park, walking amongst dramatic rock formations, open grassland and forest. A transfer then brings us to the Andringitra Mountains, for a 3-day trek and the opportunity to summit the huge granite dome of Peak Boby (2658m), Madagascar's second highest mountain. We aim to get to the summit as the sun rises - an unforgettable experience. Continuing our journey north, we enjoy the contrast of a day-walk in the decidedly lush rainforest of Ranomafana, home to medicinal plants and several species of lemurs. Our last stop is in Perinet National Park to see the amazing Indri indri lemur with their distinctive call. Craft workshop visits, colourful produce markets and village walks allow plenty of opportunity to meet the friendly people of this engaging and little-known land. Providing an unbeatable mix of trekking and sightseeing, this is a dream holiday for nature lovers.

Is this holiday for you?

This is principally a trekking and walking holiday in Madagascar. However, in order to see as much of this diverse African country as possible, it is necessary to cover quite a bit of ground. The holiday includes 3 full days of driving and 2 shorter days. On these days the driving will not be continuous and the journey will be broken with visits to interesting sites along the way. Some of the roads used to access the remote areas where we trek will be rough in parts. The walking element of this holiday is not continuous or sustained. However the walking days do provide reasonably challenging walking through a wide variety of landscape. During these treks we will encounter rain forest, open grassland and rocky canyon-lands. You should be comfortable with walking for around 6-8 hours each day over several days, mostly on good trails but occasionally over rough and sometimes steep ground. The temperatures can be hot and humid. There are four nights on the holiday that are spent camping and two in a basic dormitory style mountain gite. Otherwise the accommodation for this adventure is in comfortable hotels and lodges and this is also reflected in the overall grade of the holiday.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Antananarivo. A single transfer from Antananarivo Airport is provided.
  • Fly to Tulear. Afternoon free.
  • Drive to Ranohira through avenues of baobab trees.
  • Trekking in Isalo National Park through the canyons and natural pools.
  • Trek to the Piscine Natural, chance to see ring-tailed lemurs.
  • Drive to Andringitra. Short walk to campsite.
  • Trek to 'base camp' for Peak Boby.
  • Summit ascent for sunrise on Peak Boby (2658m)
  • Return trek to Ambalamanandray.
  • Drive via Fianarantsao to Ranomafana.
  • Day walking in Ranomafana National Park wildlife watching.
  • Drive via Ambosita to Antsirabe.
  • Visit the butterfly and chameleon centre en route to Andasibe.
  • Early morning visit to see the Indri indri lemur. Transfer to Tana.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Antananarivo Airport is provided.
Sun 08 Nov - Sun 22 Nov Code MAD /05/15/ Adult$2,900 Status Limited Availability Book now
Sun 27 Mar - Sun 10 Apr Code MAD /01/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
Sun 31 Jul - Sun 14 Aug Code MAD /02/16/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
Sun 18 Sep - Sun 02 Oct Code MAD /03/16/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
Sun 06 Nov - Sun 20 Nov Code MAD /04/16/ Adult$2,900 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 02 Apr - Sun 16 Apr Code MAD /01/17/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Antananarivo, Madagascar. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Antananarivo International airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers', and 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek
  • internal flight

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Antananarivo. A single transfer from Antananarivo Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Antananarivo (‘Tana’). A single, timed group transfer early afternoon from the airport is provided. KE Land Only services begin with the evening meal that is followed by a briefing from our guide on the week ahead. Overnight Tana.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Fly to Tulear. Afternoon free.

    An early transfer takes us back to the airport for the internal flight south to Tulear. On arrival we have an extended visit to the excellent Arboretum d'Antsokay, a botanic garden devoted to the conservation of the plants from the south west of Madagascar, that was established 25 years ago by a Swiss amateur botanist. We take lunch at the restaurant in the arboretum before spending a relaxing afternoon beside the pool at our hotel in the coastal town of Tulear.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Ranohira through avenues of baobab trees.

    Today we leave the coast and drive inland towards the Isalo National Park. We cross-arid broad plains, pass baobab trees and visit the tombs of the Mahafaly. The Malagasy believe that after death, they will continue to be involved in the affairs of their family. Thus, dead family members are honoured for their continuing influence on family decisions. Malagasy tombs are usually far more elaborate than the homes of the living and are topped with carved wooden memorial posts called aloalo and often decorated with horns from a sacrificed zebu (a relative of the buffalo). We pass the ‘col de tapia’, an area of fire resistant trees, which have evolved to ‘use’ wild bush fires as a way to compete with other plants. In the late afternoon we arrive at our picturesque campsite at the foot of the Maki Canyon on the edge of the Isalo National Park. Approx drive time: 6 hours.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trekking in Isalo National Park through the canyons and natural pools.

    This morning we will meet our local guides who will be experts in all the local fauna and wildlife and will point out things that we would never normally spot. We begin the first of our two ‘day walks’ from our fixed camp at Maki Canyon, by spending the morning climbing up onto the deserted plateau above the Canyon des Rats. Our camp is situated at 704 metres and the top of the plateau is at 1065 metres. From the top there are fantastic views across the plains towards the distant town of Ranohira. Descending for lunch we then go on to explore the Canyon des Rats and Canyon des Mikis. The bottom of these canyons are heavily forested and fed by beautiful clear streams, with natural pools and waterfalls, while high above the sheer rock walls are bare except for scrub and lichens. This is also a good opportunity for us to spot our first lemurs, which inhabit the deep canyon forests. Return to camp at Maki Canyon.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7

  • Trek to the Piscine Natural, chance to see ring-tailed lemurs.

    For our second trek in the Isalo National Park we head towards the far end of the park to be picked up late afternoon by our support vehicle. We walk across a unique wonderland of extraordinary plants and jagged rocks. In the morning we head towards the leafy canyon that hides the Cascade des Nymphes, a popular campsite within the park, which is the home to a several families of very tame brown and ring-tailed lemurs. It is a fantastic place for lunch and the perfect spot to capture lemurs on camera! Climbing back onto the plateau we then reach the palm fringed Piscine Natural by early afternoon with time to swim in this beautiful mountain pool. It is then a short walk to meet our support vehicle and transfer to the delightful bungalows.

    • Accommodation Bungalow

    • Distance 17km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6

  • Drive to Andringitra. Short walk to campsite.

    We leave the Isalo today and drive across the rocky Horombe plateau to Ihosy in Bara country where we stop for a walk around this highland market town. We drop down to Ambalavao to visit the paper ‘factory’. The paper known as ‘Antaimoro’ is made from the bark of the Avoha tree. The paper is covered with dried flowers and leaves, which are glued in place by liquidised bark and then dried in the sun. Antaimoro paper is highly prized and sold all over the region. After lunch in a local restaurant, we transfer to 4x4 vehicles for the off road journey towards the spectacular mountains of the Andringitra National Park. The road becomes ever more rutted and bumpy as we near our final destination at around 1424m. Depending on conditions we may have to walk the last 2 to 3 km to our campsite in Ambalamanandray. We camp next to the gite and we can use the toilet and shower facilities.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 2km

    • Meals bld

  • Trek to 'base camp' for Peak Boby.

    The area of the Andringitra is one of the most biologically diverse in Madagascar, with over 100 species of birds, and over 50 species of mammals, many of which are endemic. The area was made a National Park in 1999 and is and is managed by the WWF in cooperation with Madagascar National Parks Association. With a local guide and using porters to carry our baggage and equipment we set off trekking, gradually ascending through a region of highland grass and shrub and on to the granite stunning towers and spires of the Andringitra ridge. Finally after 7 or 8 hours, 8 km and ascending 800 metres, we reach our base camp at the foot of Peak Boby also known as Mount Imarivolanitra. The altitude of this camp is 2100 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 8km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7

  • Summit ascent for sunrise on Peak Boby (2658m)

    The Andringitra Mountains are composed of ancient granite overlain with sediment which gives rise to spectacular outcropping of the granite. Our peak stands isolated, a granite dome just asking to be climbed! We set off in the cool of the pre-dawn morning and following the lights of our guides we make our way towards the start of the climb. The trail is relatively straightforward following natural steps and takes between 2 and 3 hours to the summit. We aim to reach the summit (2658m) in time to watch the sunrise paint in the magnificent landscape of the Andringitra National Park - an unforgettable experience. We return to camp for a late breakfast and spend the rest of the day chilling in magnificent scenery and we have an optional 2 hour walk in the afternoon.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5

  • Return trek to Ambalamanandray.

    We trek back to Ambalamanandray by a different route across the east flank of the mountain. Descending through a number of climatic zones each with their own ecosystem and plant and animal life, we enter the rain forest once again where we may be lucky enough to see brown lemur. Back at the campsite we have time to relax (and use the gite for a shower) and in the evening we will have a farewell party with our porters and trekking team.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Distance 16km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7

  • Drive via Fianarantsao to Ranomafana.

    We say goodbye to our local guides and porters who were our companions on the trek into the Andringitra Mountains. We board our vehicles and return to Ambalavao. From Ambalavao we travel to the regional capital of Fianarantsoa where we take lunch in a small local restaurant. After lunch we continue through the terraced hillsides of the southern highlands to reach Ranomafana National Park where we check into our hotel. A total driving time today of 5 to 6 hours. Overnight Ranomafana.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Day walking in Ranomafana National Park wildlife watching.

    We have a day of hiking in the Ranomafana National Park. Designated as a protected area in 1991 the area became the country’s fourth National Park. The Park is on the edge of Madagascar's High Plateau and contains mountain ranges varying in height from 600m to 1400m. This range of altitudes has produced different forest types, from the lowland rainforest to cloud forest and high plateau forest. The lush green of the area is in stark contrast to the granite and grasslands of our previous trek. Accompanied by local guides we will be able to learn about the flora and fauna of the rainforest and also have the best chance of locating the elusive lemurs. The park is home to several species of lemur, 100+ species of birds, plus various reptiles and endemic insects. Today’s trek will take approximately 5-6 hours, starting from the park entrance and following trails down through the jungle to the valley and back to our hotel in Ranomafana. We will only cover small distance today, but will spend lots of time observing the fantastic wildlife. Overnight Ranomafana.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Distance 9km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5

  • Drive via Ambosita to Antsirabe.

    Heading on the route ‘Nationale 7’ we drive to Ambositra which is famous for being the capital of the craft industry especially for wood sculpture, furniture and marquetry. This is reflected in some of the houses of the village decorated with fine carvings. Traditionally the Zafimaniry, meaning “people of the forest” who live in the surrounding area, makes much of the furniture and carvings here. We will take our lunch in Ambositra and we have time to visit the shops here before continuing our journey along ‘Nationale 7’ to the elegant area capital of Antsirabe and our quiet hotel. A total journey today of 225km and approximately 6 hours driving.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Visit the butterfly and chameleon centre en route to Andasibe.

    We continue our journey eastwards through Madagascar. We stop today at the excellent butterfly and Chameleon centre in Mandraka, which is in the hot and humid ecosystem of the dense tropical forests here. After lunch we drive through to Perinet National Park and overnight in our comfortable bungalows just outside the park. With the park so close you can here the sounds of the jungle and very probably the giant Indri indri lemurs call to each other through the evening and early morning. Overnight Perinet/Andasibe.

    • Accommodation Bungalow

    • Meals bld

  • Early morning visit to see the Indri indri lemur. Transfer to Tana.

    An early start will take us into the forest to see the Indri indri, the largest of all lemur species. These amazing creatures have one of the most remarkable call of any species on the planet. They are most active in the mornings so this is when we’ll visit them. After the visit we make the 160km return drive to Tana (approx 3hrs). Time dependent, we have a guided walking tour of the city and we will visit the artisan market - a great place for souvenir shopping for all manner of local craft products. In the evening, we have a final celebratory meal at the group hotel in Tana.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Antananarivo Airport is provided.

    After breakfast there is a single group transfer to the airport where KE Land Only services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An English-speaking local leader
  • Internal flights and associated transfers
  • Single timed group airport transfers
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All park entrance and camping fees
  • During the trekking a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel Insurance
  • Madagascar Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Departure tax or airport fees on leaving Antananarivo
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The group will rendezvous at the group hotel in Antananarivo ('Tana'). A single, timed group transfer from the airport is provided. This transfer will be timed to the arrival of the Kenyan Airways flight from Nairobi and will normally be in the late afternoon. At the end of the holiday a single, group transfer will be provided. This transfer will be timed to the departure of the Kenyan Airways flight to Nairobi and will normally reach the airport in the mid afternoon.

If your flight schedules do not permit you to take advantage of these transfers we can arrange a private transfer for you at an additional cost.

Clients booking a Land Only Package must provide the KE office with details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be sent with your booking confirmation.

During this holiday the group will spend a total of 8 nights in comfortable tourist-class hotels and lodges/bungalows. Our hotel in Tana (for 2 nights) is central and of a good tourist standard. The hotel for 1night in Tulear has pleasant gardens and a swimming pool. The bungalows that we stay at in Isalo and very cosy and there is also a small swimming pool in the grounds. There are 6 nights spent camping. Campsites have set facility areas with drop toilets and running cold water for washing. The campsites also have thatched structures which provide shade for the picnic tables for eating as well as for the tents. In Ranomafana we have 2 nights at a simple hotel which is close to the park entrance and has good views of the forest and mountains. Our 1 night in Antsirabe we stay in a recently built hotel with individual buildings 'pavillions' for rooms. At Andasibe we stay in a forest lodge in individual cabins surrounded by pleasant grounds.

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms and single tents are available at an additional cost.

Additional hotel nights in Antananarivo are also available.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Traditional Malagasy cooking is based on a large serving of rice with a dressing of sauces, meat, vegetables and seasoning. The Malagasy palette leans towards hot and spicy and dishes often include chillies. In Antananarivo you will find a wide variety of restaurants including Chinese and Vietnamese, and restaurants in the majority of towns in Madagascar will usually offer a variety of dishes, including more international cuisines.

All meals are included in the trip price from Dinner on Day 1 to Breakfast on Day 15.

Approximately 200 Euros should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including approximately 50 Euros for tips to porter and trek crew tips. It is not necessary to obtain local currency (Malagasy Ariary) prior to departure. The easiest way to access your spending money is to use ATMs which can be found in Antananarivo and most of the larger towns visited on the trip. If you prefer to bring your spending money with you, Euros are most widely accepted for exchange in Madagascar. If you intend to bring your travel money with you, we recommend that bring this in the form of cash.

All National Park fees and permits are included in the holiday price.

The group will be accompanied throughout the holiday by an experienced English-speaking Malagasy leader. Whilst trekking, there will also be local guides. We will use porters to carry the group's equipment and personal baggage on those days involving overnight camps.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of Euro 50 for tipping your crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 10kg (22 pounds). It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel or with the support vehicle.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

You will require a valid passport and a visa to enter Madagascar. Please note that your passport must have a minimum of 6 months remaining validity at the time of your trip.

UK, USA, Australian, Canada and other EU passport holders do require a visa for Madagascar. The easiest way to obtain this is on arrival at Antananarivo Airport in Madagascar. There is no charge if obtaining the visa on arrival. This visa is valid for 30 days.

The Embassy in London, UK has now closed and no visas can be obtained here. Embassy’s in countries other than the UK, may still be able to issue visas prior to departure, please contact your countries Madagascar Embassy if you wish to do this.

For passport holders of countries not mentioned above, please contact the embassy/consulate in your own country.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant embassy/consulate in the case of recent changes.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (waterproof)
  • Gaiters
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers/pants
  • Shorts
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Long johns (thermal underwear). August departure.
  • Thermal baselayer shirts. August departure.
  • Thermal gloves or mittens. August departure.
  • Warm hat. August departure.
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Daypack c. 25 litres
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2). (or camelback / platypus type systems)

    3 season sleeping bag (camping mats are provided)

  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small trek towel
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Basic First Aid Kit including the following A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.
  • Sun protection (including for lips)

The following items are optional:

  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Trainers / sneakers for camp
  • Trekking poles
  • Insect repellant (DEET)
  • Mosquito Net (although nets are provided in your accommodation, it may be prudent to bring your own)
  • Pen-knife (remember to put all sharp objects in hold baggage)

    Travel clothes

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Swimwear

Please note:

  • During the August departure, mornings and evening can be cool and nights can be very cold in the highland areas of the Andringitra. You must ensure that you have sufficient warm clothes and a good sleeping bag for the nights spent camping.
  • It is possible that in April and November you might be too warm in a 3-season sleeping bag and a lighter may be taken.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:


It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this holiday you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 6 hours in a day. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Madagascar's climate is tropical, with two seasons. During the rainy season (December-March), the island receives between 12 and 340 inches (30-355 cm) of rainfall annually. During the dry season, Antananarivo and the west coast generally have a pleasant, temperate climate with a temperature range of 18°C to 22°C. However, it can get very hot in coastal areas in November with maximum temperatures in the high thirties. The highland areas are cooler and wetter than the coast and some rainfall can be expected here even in the dry season. At night in the highlands in August, it can be quite cold with temperatures dropping down to near freezing levels overnight.

Madagascar: Hilary Bradt (Bradt Guides) Madagascar & Comoros. Lonely Planet Birds of Madagascar: Peter Morris Madagascar Wildlife : Nick Garbutt & Hilary Bradt (Bradt Wildlife Guides) The BBC Earth Wildlife DVD "Madagascar" narrated by David Attenborough is essential viewing (available though Amazon)

Reise Know-How Verlag. 1: 1,200,000

Double-sided map with topographic and tourist information. Topography is indicated by relief shading and spot heights. The map shows mountain passes, names of mountain ranges and plateaux, seasonal rivers and lakes, mangroves and coral reefs. Road information includes seasonal tracks and indicates intermediate driving distances on main and secondary roads. National parks and protected areas are marked and symbols highlight various places of interest: The map legend includes English.

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