Madagascar Baobabs & Beyond

Trip Code: YBSO

Why we love it

Witness a spectacular pink and yellow sunset behind towering, 800-year-old trees along the Avenue of the Baobabs in the laid-back seaside town of Morondava., Travel along the Tsiribihina River in a traditional barge, stopping to hike to hidden waterfalls, explore remote villages and camp among nature on the banks., Trek through a forest of limestone karsts and cross a sheer drop on a suspended bridge at the Great Tsingy, keeping an eye out for native wildlife including 11 species of lemur., Float down the meandering Manambolo River in a traditional dugout canoe, wind through a deep gorge and past rocky cliffs, soaking up the tranquil atmosphere., Discover the emerald-green waters of Tritiva, an extinct crater surrounded by verdant forest, on a hike through the stunning Antsirabe district.

Is this trip right for me?

The visible vertical drop at the Great Tsingy is an incredible sight, however it can be quite intimidating especially for those with vertigo. If you have concerns, please discuss these with your leader once the trip commences.

Some of the best scenery in Madagascar is found on hikes. So, while this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities.

This trip includes river cruising on the Tsiribihina River. Camping conditions are basic along the way and there will be no access to bathroom facilities, however this means you have access to more remote parts of the region and the joy of experiencing the elements.

As this is a remote part of Madagascar there will be some long travel days, but we think the unique and rewarding experiences are worth the distances travelled. Due to the conditions of the roads travel can be slow so a little patience can go a long way.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 3,4 (Camping) 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 headlamp for camping.

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.

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.
As this trip has several overnight trekking components, we highly recommend bringing a smaller overnight backpack with room for plenty of water, your camera and other supplies you will need during the day. Porters are included on all trekking activities; however, they have a strict weight limit of 15kg per porter.

ACTIVE MADAGASCAR PACKING LIST:

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

SLEEPING BAG:
You will be required to bring your own sleeping bag on this trip.
Summer time : bring a sleeping bag for temperature down to 10°C Winter time : bring a sleeping bag for temperatures down to 0°C

ESSENTIALS:
- Trekking shoes. As this trip involves plenty of physical activities and trekking, we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking or trekking shoes.Trekking 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.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses.
- Water bottle and/or hydration bladder. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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.

RECOMMENDED:
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsites, lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited to no lighting at all or are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities.
- Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at your accommodation 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.
- Camera with spare batteries. Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days but we recommend you take a spare battery. You’ll take more photos than you think.

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate
- A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

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:
Most of 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 for your camera just in case. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and lodges have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
Please note: there is no access to electricity during the trekking components of this itinerary. Please ensure you have extra batteries on hand.

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: 10

Lunches included: 3

Dinners included: 3

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.

TYPICAL MEALS DURING TREKKINGS
Breakfasts: Hot drinks (coffee or tea) - bread, jam, honey, season fruits, cereals.
Lunches: Salads (pasta or rice salads with chicken meat) or sandwich with fruit of the season
Dinners: veg soup, rice or pasta with meat in sauce and desert such as pancakes
Packed Lunches: Meat or veg sandwich with fruits of the season
Please Note: Vegetarian food available on request upon booking

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 case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +261 32 11 061 79

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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