better travel photography•COM

tours home
MaBensD0142

Start: 4 June 2020
End:
19 June 2020

Code: IOMO20

Price: From £3795 pp
excl. flights, based on twinshare

Min 8, max 12 people

Places left: 8


Trip is to be confirmed.

Single supplement: £765

Estimated current
flight cost £650

impressions of madagascar

responsible travel policy

press coverage

testimonials for these tours

privacy policy & contact us

about steve davey

about jamie marshall

about our tours

footprint travel photography

photo tours with steve davey

Impressions of Madagascar Itinerary

Day 1: Antananarivo
Day 2: Morondava
Day 3: Bemaraha
Day 4: Bemaraha
Day 5: Bemaraha
Day 6: Marofandilia
Day 7: Morondava
Day 8: Antananarivo
Day 9: Antsirabe

Day 10: Fianarantsoa
Day 11: Fianarantsoa
Day 12: Ranohira (Isalo)
Day 13: Ranohira (Isalo)
Day 14: Ifaty
Day 15: Ifaty
Day 16: Tour ends

Website, Images and text © Steve Davey/stevedavey.com 1990 - 2019

Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.

Bookings are made through the Intrepid Tailor Made Dept. in London not the Intrepid website or Stores. Contact Steve Davey for information

IntrepidlogoBlue15a1a1
about steve davey
about jamie marshall
footprint travel photography
responsible travel policy
press coverage for these tours
Contact us &

unforgetPlaces4PCThis tour is led by Steve Davey - a professional photographer, whose work appears in publications all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling Unforgettable Places To See Before You Die (BBC Books). Steve recently published Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books), which covers everything that you would ever want to know about travelling with a camera. Click for more.

Photo Tours Booking Now

assignment: holi

impressions of madagascar

impressions of namibia

assignment: holi
impressions of namibia
impressions of madagascar

Highlights of this trip

Avenue des Baobabs

Dancing Sifaka Lemurs

Soantanana village

• Tsingy de Bemaraha

Isalo National Park

• Historic Antananarivo

• Photography tuition

tour summary

tour itinerary

what is covered?

who is this tour suited to?

land arrangements for this tour

booking conditions

book my place on this tour

Included in the trip price

• 14 nights Hotel accommodation

1 night camp accommodation

All transport as per itinerary

• 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches & 15 dinners

• Tulear to Tana domestic flight

• Tana to Morondava return flight

• Soantana village visit

• Manambolo river dugout

• Tsingy of Bemaraha explorations

Anjà community reserve visit

Zombitse-Vohibasia Park visit

Reniala Reserve walk

Honko conservation site visit

Isalo National Park visit

Malagasy sundowner

• English Speaking leader

• Entrance fees as per itinerary

• Pre-trip Facebook group

Expert photographic tuition

Impressions of Madagascar itinerary

 

Day 1: Antananarivo
Depending on your flight arrival, we will proceed to the centre of this lively city for a brief tour, culminating in photography of the sunset over the beautiful Lake Anosy.
 

Included activities:
• Antananarivo city tour

Accommodation: Relais des Plateaux or similar

Meals included: Dinner

 

Day 2: Morondava
After a night in the capital, we transfer back to the airport for a flight to Morondava. Depending on our arrival time, we will have the chance to look around Morondava, and possibly even head out to the famous Avenue of the Baobabs for sunset. This grove of Adansonia grandidieri baobabs grows atmospherically on either side of the road, and is most spectacular on sunrise and sunset. If we don't get to photograph the Avenue today, we have plenty of time on day 2.

We will spend the night at our very comfortable hotel on the coast to ready ourselves for the adventurous expedition to come over the next few days!


Included activities:

• Tana to Morondava flight

Accommodation: Palissandre Cote Ouest Resort & Spa or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 3: Bekopaka Bemaraha
This morning will be a very early start so that we can drive to the Avenue of the Baobabs for sunrise. This can be even more atmospheric than the sunset, as there will be fewer tourists around. As the sun comes up, local people will head out to the fields to work, and we might even see a Zebu-cart heading through the avenue. These are simple carts, pulled by the lumbering oxen, known locally as zebu.

Today is a long day of driving, but through atmospheric scenery, with time to stop for photographs. On the first leg of the journey, we will be passing a number of baobab trees.

Part of the way through the journey we will board a local ferry at Tsimafana at the Tsiribihina River for an atmospheric voyage to the small town of Belo sur Tsiribihina. This is a dusty town, with a lively local market. Bizarrely, by the side of the road, is one of the best restaurants that I have encountered in Madagascar: the Mad Zebu! We will stop here for a a fantastic lunch before continuing on to the village of Bekopaka, and our home for the next three nights.


Included activities:
• Tsiribihina ferry

Accommodation: Le Soleil des Tsingy or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 4: Bekopaka Bemaraha
The Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which consists of fantastically eroded eroded karst limestone rock formations. Many of these are exceedingly sharp, and the word "Tsingy" is derived from a local word meaning "the place where one cannot walk barefoot".

In the 18th century, the Tsingy were the home of the Vazimba, the first inhabitants of Madagascar, who lived in caves surrounding limestone formations. Today, they are a place of worship and ceremony for the local population.

There is a good chance of seeing wildlife, especially chameleon and various species of lemurs in the forests surrounding the Tsingy.

In the morning, we will head out on a dugout exploration of the Manambolo River, and in the afternoon we will explore the Small Tsingy, a part of the reserve. Walking through the small Tsingy involves walking through deep chasms, and in places, climbing on to viewpoints which allow fantastic panoramas across the rock formations.


Included activities:

• Manambolo River dugout
• Small Tsingy exploration

Accommodation: Le Soleil des Tsingy or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 5: Bekopaka Bemaraha
Today we will be exploring the Great Tsingy area of the National Park. There are a couple of choices, depending on your level of fitness and adventurousness!

If you have a head for heights, and are relatively fit, then you can try the Andamozavaky Circuit of the Grand Tsingy. This is a full day excursion, which will take 4-6 hours depending on fitness. Your guide will have safety harnesses as there is a level of climbing involved. The Tsingy here are amazing, with pinnacles 50m high, but it is for the more adventurous!

As an alternative, there is an easy circular walk through thick forest with a very good chance of seeing various species of lemur en route. Last year, we had great sightings, including the Decken's sifaka, which is pictured on the banner of this page. The walk brings you out onto a couple of different viewpoints, were you can look out onto a vast sea of tsingy stretching out to the horizon.

Depending on our finishing town, it is worth walking around the village of Bekopaka to see the rural life of the (friendly) people of the region.


Included activities:

• Great Tsingy exploration
• Andamozavaky circuit (for the fit and adventurous)

Accommodation: Le Soleil des Tsingy or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 6: Marofandilia
We leave Bekopka, and retrace our route back towards Morondava. This includes the Tsiribihina River ferry and a lunch at the Mad Zebu! We then continue on to the Kirindy Forest for a diurnal visit of the reserve.

We will stop at the Marofandilia Forest, some 44km from Morondava, where we will stay at Camp Amoureux in order to enjoy diurnal and nocturnal walks in the forest. Camp Amoureux is an eco-lodge, managed with and for the benefit of the local community of Marofandilia, and is named after the presence of a big baobab at the camp site. Two circuits are possible from the camp so that you can discover the biodiversity of the protected area:

Marofandilia night circuit: good chance of seeing the famous Berthe's mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), which is endemic to the region and various reptiles.

Marofandilia diurnal circuit: discovery of baobabs, dense dry forests, and a good chance to see the Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) and the brown lemur.


Included activities:
• Tsiribihina ferry
• Kirindy Forest reserve
• Marofandilia nocturnal circuit

Accommodation: Camp Amoureux or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 7: Morondava
Morning diurnal visit of the Marofandilia forest, where we also have a chance to see the iconic fossa, a cat-like, carnivorous mammal endemic to Madagascar, followed by a drive back to our hotel on the coast, in time to photograph the sunset at the Baobab alley, if we didn't manage to make it on day 2. Our hotel for tonight is remarkably comfortable and atmospheric, and will be a great place to recover from the hard travelling of the previous few days.

As well as relaxing, this is a perfect opportunity for editing and reviewing our pictures from the first week of the trip, and preparing for the rest of our adventure.


Included activities:

• Marofandilia diurnal circuit

Accommodation: Palissandre Cote Ouest Resort & Spa or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 8: Antananarivo
Transfer to the airport of Morondava to be on time for our flight back to Tana with TZ703 (13h50 / 14h50). Transfer to our hotel in Tana (with possibility of a brief city tour with an early flight).
 

Included activities:
• Possible Antananarivo city tour

Accommodation: Relais des Plateaux or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 9: Antsirabe
In the morning, we will visit the Lemur Park on the outskirts of Tana. This is a reserve with a number of lemur species from all around the country. These are relatively tame, which makes photography much easier. We will then proceed to the city of Antsirabe to the South. The journey is around 182 kilometres, and should take around four hours.

We will stop at a metal recycling and casting factory en route, where scrap metal is melted down and cast into a range of local hardware and tourist souvenirs in very basic conditions with little health and safety at all!

The city of Antsirabe is the third largest in the country, and due to its location in the Highlands, benefits from a relatively cool climate. It is a pleasant and photogenic city, with faded colonial architecture, and a very high concentration of hand-pulled rickshaws known locally as pousse-pousse.

Antsirabe also has a lively and photogenic local market, where you will be able to buy vanilla pods, which the country is famous for. This will also be a good opportunity to sample a local delicacy: vanilla pods steeped in local rum!

This evening, we will enjoy a welcome meeting and dinner.


Included activities:

• Lemur Park entrance

Accommodation: Plumeria Hôtel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 10: Fianarantsoa
This morning we will have a chance to look around Antsirabe, and the local market, before heading off on a journey to the city of Fianarantsoa. The total journey will be around 240 kilometres, and will take around 6 hours.

We will drive south along the Route National n°7, through the beautiful landscapes of the Betsileo region and its terrace rice fields. Our first stop is Ambositra to visit the Zafimaniry woodcarving workshops where the sculptures are made by rosewood & ebony.

Depending on our arrival time, we will look around the atmospheric old town of Fianarantsoa, which is situated on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside.


Included activities:

• Zafimaniry woodcarving workshop
• Welcome meeting & dinner

Accommodation: Ecole Hôtelière La Rizière or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 11: Fianarantsoa
Today is dedicated to visiting the unique Soatanana village. In the heart of Betsileo, the village of Soatanana is the historic cradle of the community of Disciples of the Lord (Mpianatry ny Tompo) a fundamentalist Protestant movement that includes 80% of the population. Every Sunday, the followers dress in an immaculate white dress and process en masse towards the big church where the service takes place.

This really is an amazing experience. The people are warm and friendly, and we will be able to photograph the procession and will then be invited to lunch by the disciples. Not only is the an opportunity to take incredible photographs, it is a humbling experience to be allowed to take a small part in these devout people's lives.


Included activities:

• Soatanana village visit

Accommodation: Ecole Hôtelière La Rizière or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 12: Ranohira (Isalo)
Today we continue down Route National n°7 to Ranohira, which is known as the gateway to the Isalo National Park. The total distance is around 280 kilometres, but the road is good so it should take around 5 hours.

En route we will visit the Anjà community reserve in Ambalavao, where there is a good chance of being able to see and photograph the iconic Ring-Tailed Lemur, known locally as the Maki. The reserve is home to the highest concentration of maki in all of Madagascar.


Included activities:

• Anjà community reserve visit

Accommodation: Le Relais de la Reine or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 13: Ranohira (Isalo)
Starting early, we will enjoy a full day exploration of the Isalo National Park. This sandstone landscape that has been eroded by wind and water into rocky outcrops, plateaus, extensive plains and up to 200 m deep canyons. There are permanent rivers and streams as well as many seasonal watercourses.

The park is most noted for the Verreaux's sifaka, also known as the dancing lemurs, due to their habit of hopping on the ground between trees.

At the end of the day, we will enjoy a sundowner with Malagasy dancers and singers.


Included activities:

• Isalo National Park visit
• Malagasy sundowner

Accommodation: Le Relais de la Reine or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 14: Ifaty
From Ranohira we drive to Ifaty on the coast: a distance of 270km, taking around 5 hours.

We will break our journey at the Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park. There are 90 species of birds here, including 38 which are endemic. Eight species of lemur can also be found here.

We will also visit of the Honko conservation site: a Mangrove Conservation project run by reef doctor.

An arrival we will check into our accommodation overlooking the lagoon of Ifaty.


Included activities:

• Zombitse-Vohibasia National Park visit
• Honko conservation site visit

Accommodation: Le Paradisier or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 15: Ifaty
We start with an early morning birding walk to the Reniala Reserve, which is noted for the spiny forest of baobab trees and birdlife. We will then return to hotel for breakfast, and time at leisure.

In the afternoon, we will drive back to Reniala for a private dinner party in the edge of the biggest baobabs of the park, with traditional entertainment. Depending on the weather, this might be a good opportunity to also try to shoot some star trails.


Included activities:

• Reniala Reserve walk
• Al Fresco Dinner party

Accommodation: Le Paradisier or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

 

Day 16: Tour ends
Morning free at leisure. This should allow us to go for an optional whale-watching excursion, although the dates that the whales arrive will vary. In the afternoon, we transfer to the airport of Tulear to be on time for our flight back to Tana with TZ719 (17h25 / 18h30). All arrangements finish at the airport, ready for our homeward flight.
 

Included activities:
• Tulear to Tana flight

Accommodation: Relais des Plateaux or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

 

 

Please note: domestic flight schedules in Madagascar are subject to change and delay and certain routes (such as Tana to Morondava) don't fly every day. This explains why we have had to include an extra day in Morondava, but this does give us another chance to photograph the Avenue of Baobabs at sunset - if something goes wrong on day 2.

Because of the cost (and quality) of the accommodation on this trip, we will need to manage the bookings so that no one is left with a single room, without paying the single supplement. If you are a solo traveller then every effort will be made to ensure that there is someone for you to share with. This has usually always been possible, but if you are flexible about the choice of accommodation when filling out the booking form, then that will give you more chance to secure a place.

Printable version of itinerary

about  our tours