Madagascar in Depth

Trip Code: YBSCC

Why we love it

Wander around 800-year-old trees along the Avenue of the Baobabs., Cross the Big Tsingy via suspended bridge., Float down the meandering Manambolo River on a morning canoe trip., Stay in a cottage deep within the Ranomafana National Park, surrounded by lush rainforest and countless species of flora and fauna., See how many species of lemur you can spot in Isalo, Andasibe and Ranomafana national parks (there are 33 different types!)., Chill out at laidback Anakao – this Malagasy seaside village will provide you with plenty of R&R after a massive Madagascar adventure.

Is this trip right for me?

A good level of fitness is required for this trip, there are treks and camping and long journey it is a long trip so we recommend being in good physical condition to get the most out of your trip.

There are two nights of river camping on this tour. There are no bathroom facilities and it will not be possible to shower for three days, though water is available for washing.

It takes a while to see all this trip has to offer, and some of the places we visit are remote, so you need to be able to manage long travel days and bumpy roads.

Some accommodation inside the national parks is basic and may not have the creature comforts of hotels in bigger towns and cities. Be prepared for no wifi or air conditioning, but also for charming, tucked away locations you won’t quite believe are real.

The visible vertical drop at the Big Tsingy can be quite intimidating especially for those with vertigo. 

This itinerary includes a canoe ride along the Manambolo River.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Day 3 (River Camping), Day 12,13 (Lodge) and Day 14 (Guesthouse) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. A sleeping bag or sleeping sheet is required on this trip please refer to our packing list, we also recommend a head lamp for camping.
3. There is an internal flight included on this trip. Baggage allowance is as follows: Checked-in: 1 Bag, max 20kg
Cabin Luggage: 1 bag, max 5kg. Internal flights in Madagascar are often delayed and or cancelled at short notice, for this reason we have included an additional day in Antananarivo to safeguard against possible changes to flights. For this reason, we do recommend booking any international departures until departure day.
4. Days 21 and 22 in Anakao has bungalow style accommodation. In true Eco fashion there is no running water in the bungalows and there is no hot water in the camp. Each bungalow is regularly supplied with a bucket of fresh water for washing and flushing the toilet.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED:
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable.
- Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Camera with spare battery or power bank.
- Binoculars

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate.
- A good book, a journal or smart phone with music player.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER:
Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery or powerbank just in case.

CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:
In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches.

Physical rating

3

Joining your group

Hotel Belvedere, Lot IF 27 bis Isoraka, Antananarivo, 101, MADAGASCAR, Phone: +261 347986638

Belvedere Hotel is centrally located in Antananarivo, perched on a hill with views of the city, and within walking distance to shops, restaurants and banks. Rooms are equipped with private ensuite, air-conditioning, TV, phone & mini-fridge. Hotel facilities include restaurant, bar, and WiFi access.

Joining instructions

If you have pre-booked a transfer, your driver will be waiting for you outside the arrivals hall. Please look for our driver who will be holding a card with your name on it. They will be waiting outside the arrival building. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time.
If you are unable to find your driver you can call our local operator on +261 33 15 812 12 or +261 33 37 061 79. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.
Taxis are also available. The cost to the hotel will be approximately AR 50,000 which is payable to the driver. The taxi rank is located just outside the arrivals area.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Belvedere, Lot IF 27 bis Isoraka, Antananarivo, 101, MADAGASCAR, Phone: +261 347986638

Belvedere Hotel is centrally located in Antananarivo, perched on a hill with views of the city, and within walking distance to shops, restaurants and banks. Rooms are equipped with private ensuite, air-conditioning, TV, phone & mini-fridge. Hotel facilities include restaurant, bar, and WiFi access.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 21

Lunches included: 5

Dinners included: 4

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local Antananarivo-based ground representative for Madagascar can be reached on the following numbers:

- Ando : +261 34 14 660 05
- Laurence: +261 34 25 660 20

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

Intrepid's Local Operator: +261 34 14 660 05

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation


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