[SOLD OUT] Group Adventure to MADAGASCAR! Aug. 26 - Sep. 6 2023

Bringing you the best of Madagascar on our new Destination Chaser Group Adventure! Our focus is cultural immersion, raw experiences, and creating connections with your adventure group, and the locals that call this country their home. 

Meet your Team: 

🗺 What will we explore?

 

We believe that good travel is about taking you on a ride, and every good trip brings the unexpected - that's wha makes it an adventure! To make sure this trip suits you, we're sharing a summarised itinerary with you here, but always expect the unexpected!

Day 1: Saturday, August 26. Arrival in the capital Antananarivo, and first hurray meeting your new adventure family! First dinner at a local Malagasy place to get your first taste of the fusion of African and Asian culture that this island nation is made up of, and create your first connection with the group and our guide, Theo, over local wine, now that you all finally meet in person!

🏨 Overnight in AirBnb run by local lady who's a fellow world traveler.

Day 2: August 27. You're catching a propeller flight for an hour long flight over the country, and land on the West coast in Morondava in the early afternoon. You check into your bungalows next to the beach, and then go to the one, the only, Baobab Avenue to experience the sun setting behind these thousand-year old mighty trees. For dinner, you'll go to a local place selling freshly caught fish - the fresh lobster's on us! Veggie options available too. 

🛖 Overnight in beach bungalow.

Day 3: August 28. Rise and shine - adventure awaits. Today you'll pass by the Baobab Avenue one more time on our way to Tsingy National Park, but today, it's about the journey. Passing by small villages and more baobabs than one can count, perhaps picking up one of its fruits or two, we'll get to pass over not one, but two rivers over an... let's say, rather improvised ferry that will take our 4x4 to the next shore as we make our way north. The road is unpaved, a sign that we're making our way into deep, off-beat adventure territory. Now we're in the African bush.

🏨 Overnight in lodge.

Day 4: August 29. Harnesses on, and on we take new heights. You're exploring Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park today (the one featured in "Our Great National Parks" Netflix show narrated by Barack Obama - definitely worth watching). Seeing lemurs is, basically guaranteed - we got lucky to see multiple species of them too, including the typical white-tailed King Julian. And yes, they like to move it move it. 

The best way to see this place is from above - so, together with your guide, you will take stairs and rocks to the highest viewpoint to see the incredible formations that make up this wonder of nature - a view that has been in the making for millions of years. You'll explore all that this terrain offers, from expansive caves, to hanging bridges. No climbing experience is needed, only a sense for adventure. We finish the day by camping by the river and seeing the sun set over the forest.

⛺️ Camping next to river.

Day 5: August 30. We make our way back over the rivers and, this time at a slower pace, we get to appreciate the resilience of locals and how they make things work in such a remote area with few resources. For example: for lunch, we get to experience Malagasy culinary masterpieces in a village you would never expect, where the chef followed his dream and opened a fine dining restaurant with local ingredients. Besides, we will get to see the Sacred Baobab, and how locals do fast food on the side of the road as we journey back south. We will pass by the Baobab Avenue one last time before arriving back at the beach for sunset. Time to rest and reflect on the first days of the trip - it's only been 5 days.

🛖 Overnight in beach bungalow.

Day 6: August 31. This morning will be your free time - you can sleep in, relax by the beach, or we can help you arrange a ride on a traditional pirogue (a wooden boat made out of a tree log), and if you get really lucky, you might see humpback whales! Now is the season after all. After a local lunch of freshly caught fish we'll hop on another propeller flight, back to the capital. To get an advantage over tomorrow and brake up the driving distances, we hit the road for about 3,5h to spend the night in a town south of Antananarivo in Antsirabe, luckily, on paved roads.

🏨 Overnight in lodge.

 

Day 7: September 1. Leisurely enjoy your breakfast (it's a good one at the lodge we're staying at!) and then set off to Ramonafana to experience a complete contrast to the nature we've seen on the opposite side Madagascar so far. We have officially made it to the East side of the country, the part that's lush and filled with greenery - that also means that the abundance of wildlife is on a whole other game here: rainforests with countless of species of plant -and animal life that can only be found on this island. At Ranomafana, you can even see species that exist only in this national park, and nowhere else in the world: like the golden bamboo lemur (picture below, they're adorable!), and heaps more. This day is dedicated to a late afternoon 'till early evening walk to see the wildlife as they wake up and become active.

🏨 Overnight in jungle lodge.

Day 8: September 2. This area of Madagascar offers so much abundance of wildlife, that it's necessary to dedicate the day hours to exploration too. As the previous evening, you will have a guide with you to answer all your questions and educate you on the conservation efforts that are being done to preserve this precious and unique habitat. 

In the afternoon, you will walk through rice fields tucked in between the mountains to visit a village built scenically on top of a hill, and get to interact with the residents to learn about the way they live, how they prepare their food (spoiler: a lot of rice!), and maybe even get invited to have a drink with the town chief and others from the village in the "town hall" (it's a small shack made out of wood). Cheers!

🏨 Overnight in jungle lodge.

Day 9: September 3. We get back into our car and start our drive on one of the most scenic routes Madagascar has to offer: lush green mountains abundant with the travellers palm, another plant that only exists here, and gets its name from providing food and water to those traveling overland in the old days (fun fact: the plant is on their national passport and even airline too, a very neat detail). After about 3,5 hours, we will make it to the Indian ocean coast, and we will swap the rain forest for beaches lined with palm trees. Not too bad. 

That's where your canoe adventure begins: riding along the peaceful river, you will visit multiple cooperatives run by local entrepreneurs: harvesting vanilla (did you know Madagascar is responsible for almost 70% of the world's vanilla supply?), and other spices to create natural oils, and more. After our dinner on the beach, cooked over the fire, we will settle in our campsite for the night, a million star hotel, with a clear view on the night sky.

⛺️ Camping next to river.

 

Day 10: September 4. After a night in nature, we slowly make our way back on the river until we get back to Manakara town, get a chance to shower, and take a dip in the ocean if you wish. 

To split the journey back to the capital up and make the long trip more enjoyable, we drive back up north for about 4h in the afternoon until we make it back into the hilly jungle town of Ranomafana.

🏨 Overnight in lodge. 

  

Day 11: September 5. Let's hit the road! Today will be a looong day of driving from Ramonafana up until Tana (short for Antananarivo, you'll be familiar with a bit of Malagasy by then). On our way, we will make multiple stops to meet some of Madagascar's most talented artisans in hidden side of the road workshops and crafts markets. Wood, wool, silk, hand made paper ... you name it. The best part is that you get to meet the people behind the work and see how it's done, and hear their stories. We plan this in at the end of the trip so everyone gets a chance to bring some meaningful souvenirs back home, and carry them for the shortest possible distance.

Arrival in Antananarivo in the evening, just in time for a last group dinner to say goodbye to your newly made friends, that by the end of this trip will feel like family. Only tears of joy please!

🏨 Overnight in city hotel.

Day 12: September 6. Time to wrap up an unforgettable trip in this country that's grown close to your heart, and board your flight out. If you choose to fly out in the late afternoon or evening, we're happy to arrange transportation and activities for you throughout the day. Bon voyage!

This brings me to...

 

✈️ What flights should I look for? 

Flying in & out of Antananarivo intl. Airport (TNR airport code). Arrival August 26th anytime. Hotel will be ready for check in between 2-3pm.

Departure September 6th anytime, but best to leave some leeway and depart in the afternoon / evening.

 

What will I get?

What's included and what's not?

✔️ Personal airport pickup and drop-off

Intl. flight to & from Antananarivo intl. airport
✔️ Two domestic flights in propeller plane
Travel insurance

✔️ All transportation on ground in Madagascar

Personal expenses (souvenirs, tips)
✔️ Experienced, knowledgable and fun local guides

 Visa (we will send instructions)

✔️ All breakfasts Most lunches and dinners (these will be between 2-10$ a meal, but gives us more flexibility to choose where and what you want to indulge in that day)
✔️ All wildlife permits 
✔️ All national park fees
✔️ All accommodation on a shared basis - double (we believe this is an essential part for people to connect throughout the trip)
✔️All cost of activities mentioned above

Why fill out the form? We could make our job a whole lot easier and just accept direct bookings, but we pride ourselves on the groups of people we put together, making sure everyone's on the same fun, flexible, and travel-loving wavelength as everyone on the trips's travel family. So if that sounds like you, don't be shy - apply! 

 

Why this trip? I don't need to tell you what my travels are about - if you're here, you probably know, and you also know that it will attract exactly the kind of people that are interested in the same things: human connections, adventure, and a love for authentic travel. 

 

What are Madagascar's current covid requirements? :

  • Madagascar has lifted all Covid-19 requirements, in the unlikely event that this should change, we will inform you.

 

Any more questions?

Feel free to send an email to hello@destinationchaser.com anytime!

 

Looking forward to have you experience this adventure!
Andi