Trekking holiday in Southern Madagascar

An unforgettable trekking and canoeing expedition in remote southern Madagascar, taking in exceptional landscapes and beautiful towns, rounded off with down time at the beach.
Antananarivo Ambositra Ambalavao Anja Reserve Trekking the Zomandao valley and Sahanambo valley to Tsaranoro canoeing Benahy River Mozambique Channel and the coral reef of Ifaty Spiny Forest Tulear optional tree planting
£2695 excluding flights
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14 Days
Tailor made
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Description of Trekking holiday in Southern Madagascar

Explore Madagascar’s most beautiful mountainous areas on foot and by canoe, on this exciting 14-day adventure. Beginning in the vibrant capital of Antananarivo – or Tana – you’ll experience the towering cliffs of Andringitra and Tsaranoro and the deepest canyons of Isalo, meeting the locals who live in these isolated areas. At the end of the trip you’ll get a chance to relax on some of the finest beaches on the South West coast. You’ll also have time to explore picturesque Ambositra, high on a plateau surrounded by misty green peaks. Renowned as the arts-and-crafts capital of Madagascar, Ambositra has over 25 artisans’ shops. A visit to Ambalavao is also included, one of the most beautiful towns in the high plateaus, boasting brightly painted buildings and a lively cattle market.

Madagascar is unique and its landscapes, animals and plants simply fantastic! With its astonishing array of habitats, ranging from rainforests to deserts and from mountains to mangrove swamps, it is one of the most important countries for biodiversity on the planet. This trip is the ideal way to come close to it all. Trekking the Zomandao valley before crossing a rocky pass into the Sahanambo valley and on to the impressive cliffs of Tsaranoro. You may spot ringtail lemurs, and can explore the forests, cool valleys, pools and waterfalls in this area. The trek includes mountainous terrain, steep trails and narrow tracks but there are no special difficulties, as long as you are ready to move on mixed terrain, and sometimes exposed ledges.

Canoeing the Benahy River is another perfect way to get close to the Madagascan landscape. The river runs above an area of land rich in sapphires, so you may pass local miners sifting the sand. There is the chance to see lizards, birds, turtles, bats and possibly even lemurs, as well as some exotic and unique vegetation. Navigating is easy, and we use light canoes on this smooth river, with a typical day including a combination of paddle and drag areas (the later in the season you go, the more drag areas there are). Finally, spend two nights on the coast, at unspoiled Ifaty, relaxing on the beach, swimming and snorkelling, or visiting the nearby Spiny Forest.

On this trip, accommodation is in a mix of hotels, camping and simple bungalows. Small group and tailor made departures are available.


Price information

£2695 excluding flights
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Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

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Having parted ways with mainland Africa over 160 million years ago, most of Madagascar's flora and fauna is found nowhere else on earth, including se...


1 Reviews of Trekking holiday in Southern Madagascar

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Lemur and chameleon spotting, and amazing scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be flexible from the itinerary, as this is more of a guideline than fact. Prepare for more dragging than floating on the canoe trip (May 2017). Also, carry more local currency than you expect as Euro are rarely accepted and tipping is strongly encouraged.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

An amazing experience in a unique country with a few surprises.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


Together with our local agent and his team, we will give you a personal and knowledgeable insight of the region. We are very active in reforestation and since 2008 have raised funds for over 1/2 million trees to be planted. For every client booked on any Madagascar trips, we finance one tree per day per client. Our clients are helping to fund a reforestation project in Italavina.

By supporting the conservation of the rainforest, we can encourage the authorities to recognise the potential of wildlife tourism and photographic safaris, ensuring the protection of this unique environment. You will be issued with instructions as to how you can help to preserve the environment and we hope that you will follow our advice to help make a difference.

During this trip we will stay in different types of Accommodation, like camps and basic bungalow. Runs by locals.


Our local staff accompanying this expedition will give you a real sense of Madagascan culture. We only use Malagasy guides, pay all staff fair wages and treat everybody on the trip, including staff, with equal respect and we expect you to do the same. It is principally wildlife tourism that brings people to Madagascar and by using local businesses and services we can inject much needed capital into the local economy. On this expedition we are following a responsible camping procedure which leaves no negative evidence of our presence. We stay in small towns and villages interacting with the locals.

We have set up a tree nursery and orchard for a local school in Italavina. We are now in the process of planting (and nurturing) a well designed/equipped 100 tree orchard as well as 100 luguminous and 100 moringa Oleifera (nutrional plants) on a piece of land we have bought for the school. We plan for the first harvest of Ananambo nutritional leaves will be ready by 2014/2015 to supplement the daily diet of students. Once the trees start growing and with the first seeds (papayas, passiflores, moringa, etc.) a small poultry operation will be launched, providing eggs and occasional meat for special school events.
We employ one permanent gardener to maintain and direct student's works and are able to implement this with the support of our clients travelling to Madagascar with us (approximately 2% of the trip cost is donated to this project) and our local partner who is extremely active in reforestation of this area.

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