This fabulous tour taking in the north of Madagascar gives you the opportunity to experience some of the pristine white sand beaches in the area, for relaxation and exploration. In addition there are plenty of natural wonders to experience, incuding both Red & Grey Tsingy and Amber Mountain National Park
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You will be met at the airport and transferred to your chosen hotel. From the Airport to Antananarivo city center (12km), it can take sometimes over an hour! Antananarivo is a crowded city full of life! On your way you will see rice paddies, houses that are all different from each other, and the daily life in this city of about 2 million inhabitants. Tananarivians mostly live from day to day jobs, called “Ady Gasy”: repairing tyres, selling Chinese-made products in the streets, selling scrap... Antananarivo is full of life and color! Once you get to your hotel, the rest of the day will be free.
Fly from Antananarivo to Diego Suarez, at the northern tip of Madagascar. Depending on your arrival time, you will be able to explore the beautiful 3 bays of Diego. A dozen kilometers away from Diego, you will drive on a sandy track for 5km to reach the 3 bays. Sakalava Bay, the Bay of Pigeons and the Dune Bay will blow your mind. Their long white-sand beaches are wild and almost empty. The calm sea varies in color from green to turquoise. You will have a picnic lunch on site before ending your loop in Ramena fishing village. On your way back to Diego Suarez, you will enjoy the colors of the sunset on the Sugarloaf Mountain. Diego’s bay is listed among the 10 most beautiful bays in the world.
Short drive heading south, passing through Joffreville (historical town with former colonial architecture) to visit Amber Mountain National Park (25 Km). The NP is a hotspot of endemic wildlife with 77 species of birds, 7 species of lemurs and 24 species of amphibians. More than a 1000 plant species are seen here. It is also here that, if you are lucky, you can see the cutest & smallest chameleon in the world! You will have a picnic lunch on site.
4h drive to reach Ankarana special reserve, located about 100 km from Diego Suarez. On your way, you will visit the famous Red Tsingy (“Tsingy” means sharp, the word remains singular in Malagasy). These sandstone pinnacles are built from red laterite by wind and rain erosion. It looks like a spectacular Mars-like landscape! After the visit, you will keep on national road 6 to reach Ankarana. The Ankarana National park is the home of the other Tsingy: the grey ones. These are limestone pinnacles and are smaller than the ones in Western Madagascar, but no less impressive!
Walk through the limestone pinnacles populated by dry deciduous trees such as Baobabs and the Elephant foot plant, visit caves, spot crowned lemurs, ring-tailed mongoose and the northern sportive lemurs. Inside the National park you will also see the sacred lake, canyons, bats and crocodiles. Indeed, under the Tsingy lies the largest cave network in Africa!
Ankify is a small village where you board on the boat to Nosy Be. The road to Ankify is magnificent, lush and green. On your way, you will pass coffee, cocoa, ylang-ylang, sugar cane and cloves plantations. Malagasy chocolate is one of the best in the world. From Ankify, you will travel 45mn boat to reach Hell Ville, main city of Nosy Be Island. Nosy Be is a mecca for snorkeling & diving, with for example the Nosy Tanikely marine protected area. This paradise tropical island also has inland activities such as Mount Passot viewpoint. There is a 360° view from the highest peak on this former volcanic Island.
Nosy be has white sandy beaches but they are not the best place if you want to swim, dive or snorkel. Better to take a boat to discover the islands around Nosy Be archipelago. You can schedule a boat trip to Nosy Komba (the island of lemurs), Nosy Tanikely (the protected marine reserve), or Nosy Sakatia (the Orchid island). One of the highlights in Nosy Be: Nosy Iranja, two small islands linked by a narrow stretch of sand bank at low tide... amazing! If you stay longer, you can book a boat trip further to Mitsio or Radama archipelagos. Both are wild and beautiful.
Time to leave the paradise island: transfer to Nosy Be airport and flight back to Tana. Your car in Antananarivo remains at your disposal the whole day for a city tour.
Depending on your flight schedule, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back. If time allows, you can do some last minute shopping for Malagasy handicrafts.