Start the tour from Antananarivo to Antsirabe with your personal driver. The ride takes about 4 hours on a good road and twisting. On route, you will meet the beautiful landscape of the rice field and merina typical tombs, villages. Stop at Ambatolampy to visit local forging making cooking pot by aluminium (metalwork). This is the largest town between Antananarivo and Antsirabe and the good place to have lunch. When you arrive in Antsirabe, you have an option to relax or taking a walk by yourself since here is safe town. Horse riding is quite popular here too.
After the morning breakfast, your driver will pick you up from the hotel to visit the highlights around Antsirabe town including precious stone factory where you can learn how they polish the stones. We then visit the natural source of the spring water at the thermal bath and then onto Andrakiba lake. You can have horse ride around Andrakiba Lake (fees is not included) and this is an optional. We then make our way to Ranoamfana National Park. After 89 km south of Antsirabe, you will pass by the centre of Malagasy hand sculptured wooden craft work called Ambositra town. There are many shops here where you can browse for souvenirs and find very good marquetery artisan with retailer price. Then continue up to the rain forest at Ranoamfana National Park. In total, the ride from Antsirabe to Ranoamfana will take about 5 hours. When you arrive at Ranoamfana national park, you can have a rest by your own or take a short walk to see around the parks and village. Night walk (nocturnal visits) can be organised here with your personal guide.
After breakfast, your driver will take you to the park office, where you will meet your National Park guide. Depending on your choice, the average circuit will take a minimum of two hours. Longer walks are available. Ranoamfana (which means “hot water” in Malagasy) is doubtless one the most spectacular National Parks of Madagascar. The park contains twelve lemur species. Aside from the golden bamboo lemur, visitors can spot eastern woolly lemur, red bellied lemur, eastern grey bamboo lemur, greater bamboo lemur, red-fronted brown lemur, black-and-white ruffed lemur and brown mouse lemur. Other mammals include 7 species of tenrecs, 8 bats and 6 carnivorous. Several of magascar’s birds can be found here which is recommended to the bird watcher.
Leave Ranomafana Park to ranohira or known at isalo national park. On route, Stopping at the Soavita vineyard where we learn how they produce wine from grape to glass and of course taste the finished product. An entrance fee is in your charge. You can also purchase bottled wine here, at factory prices. Then continue on to Ambalavao where you can visit the Antaimoro paper factory, which is bark Arabian Paper by Avoha tree. Women will demonstrate to you how they make this famous Antaimoro paper using colourful flowers by their hand. There is also a shop where you can buy the finished products. This town is the centre for Zebu (Malagasy horned cattle) trading for all the surrounding countryside. Many tribes bring their herds of cattle here to the weekly Zebu market (every Wednesday).
After breakfast, your driver will introduce you the best local guide who will explain to you your circuit options. You choose the circuit that is best for you. The price for the local guide will depend on your circuit’s option. Though wildlife is here not as prominent as in other parks since there are few of lemurs here including sifaka and brown lemurs. A natural stone cave overlooks a crystal-clear waterfall, which tumbles into a deep green pool surrounded by overhanging pandanus trees. The piscine is a true oasis in the heat of the canyons. Museum of isalo can be visited in the afternoon after your treks from the park or the next day on your route to tulear.
On the way, you can see some traditional tombs of the Mahafaly and Antandroy tribes. Each grave is decorated to tell the story of the person’s life with drawings and often animal heads. Ask your driver or assistance guide about the fady or known as taboo in English. On route, you will see very poor village and few of baobab trees. Then 14 km before entering to tulear, stop at Arboretum Park known as Antsokay. It is a botanical garden specialized in the flora and fauna of Southwest of Madagascar that should not be missed by anyone. There are almost 900 species of plants, 90% endemic to the region.
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