North Coast Madagascar Safari
This North Coast Madagascar safari starts from the red highlands. You will move on through the wide open spaces. This African safari to Madagascar moves to the green valley of Sambirano. Your North Coast Madagascar safari then get to the white sands of Diego Suarez. You’ll go rafting, canoeing, biking and hiking the Tsingy. You will be sleeping in tree huts while exploring the Ankarana caves. You’ll get plenty of excitement in this 2 week adventure.
Day 1: Antananarivo
You will be met by our Madagascar safari rep upon arrival. This will be followed by a transfer to your hotel in Antananarivo. You’ll have a detailed brief on this North Coast Madagascar safari. Overnight will be on bed and breakfast in Antananarivo.
Day 2: Antananarivo – Gondwana Island
You will begin your North Coast Madagascar safari with breakfast. This will be followed by departure towards Gondwana Island. This is on the Ikopa River and the drive is approximately 5hrs. You will transfer to the rafts upon arriving at the river. Spend the next hour paddling to the island. The river is quite wide and the rapids are easy. Gondwana Camp is a relatively new camp on this 50 ha island. This is a great place for bird and crocodile watching. The afternoon will be spent in search of crocs and hippos. Explore the Island further with dinner and overnight at Gondwana Camp.
Day 3: Gondwana Island – Ambanja
Your North Coast Madagascar safari will begin quite early today. This is because you have a long drive. You will get back to the shore on rafts. Your North Coast Madagascar safari will then set off to Ambaja. This drive is going to take between 7 to 10 hours. It is dependent on the road condition. Ambanja is a pleasant little town set amongst a green backdrop. Tonight we will sleep in lovely beach bungalows at the Baobab hotel.
Day 4: Ambanja – Sambirano River
You will begin the day on North Coast Madagascar safari with breakfast. This will be followed by 6 hrs cycling along the Sambirano river. You can have the choice to cycle for 2 hrs. The tracks are fairly flat and wide and mostly on the river line. You’ll cycle through the vestiges of ancient plantations. This is alongside towering trees and heavy undergrowth. This will be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. You’ll be on a slow paced trip to allow one enjoy the scenery and wildlife en-route. There will be a stop for lunch stop before you meet the canoe team. You’ll be transferred to the overnight camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Sambirano River
You’ll pack up our bikes and set off by canoe along the Sambirano river. The river is mainly flat with a small rapid midway. You’ll spend the next two days making our way back to Ambanja. There is great bird watching along this river. You’ll also be able to see a lot of agricultural activity. This is along the banks as well as some traditional fisherman. Spend the night on North Coast Madagascar safari camping.
Day 6: Sambirano River – Ambaja
This North Coast Madagascar safari continues the descent down the river. This is until you arrive back at Ambanja. Tonight we will sleep in lovely beach bungalows at the Baobab hotel.
Day 7: Ambaja – Ankarana Special Reserve
Your North Coast Madagascar safari will depart for Ankarana. This will be a short hop between 2 – 3 hours. You’ll set camp upon arrival at Tonton Robert. Ankarana Special Reserve covers 18,220ha. It is known for its limestone karst pinnacles called Tsingy. There are also extensive cave system and network of underground rivers. Some of the rivers contain crocodiles. Ankarana possibly has the highest density of primates in the world. They include crowned lemur, Sanford’s brown lemur and Perrieri’s (black sifaka) lemur. There is also the northern sportive lemur and dwarf lemurs. There are a variety of chameleons and leaf-tailed Uroplatus gecko. Overnight will be in camp at Tonton Robert.
Day 8: Ankarana Special Reserve
Start your day on North Coast Madagascar safari with breakfast. This is before you embark on exploring this amazing park. You’ll also visit the Tsingy and the canyons. The trails are not easy to tackle. However, they are feasible for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. It is recommended to visit this park in the dry season. This is between the months of May-Nov.
Day 9: Ankarana Special Reserve
Another day on North Coast Madagascar safari exploring Ankarana. The park has over 136km of mapped caves. You’ll enjoy some spectacular cave treks. It is sometime possible to see the elusive fossa whilst camping at night.
Day 10: Ankarana – Montagne d’Ambre
Your North Coast Madagascar safari departs from Ankarana. You’ll be headed to Jofreville. This is approximately 4-5 hrs on a slightly bumpy road. Your drive will proceed to the Montagne d’Ambre (the Amber Mountain). Montagne d’Ambre is a stunning National Park. It is comprised of a huge tropical forest with waterfalls and volcanic lakes. There are numerous animals that inhabit this national park. They include the ring-tailed mongoose, the fossa and 8 lemurs. It is also home to 75 bird species, 35 of which are endemic. There are 60 reptiles, 35 frogs and 40 butterflies’ species here. It is relative close to Diego and this makes this park can get quite busy. This is mainly in the high season. It is a place that is however really worth visiting. Accommodation will be in the charming The Litchi Tree.
Day 11: Montagne d’Ambre
You will have full day of North Coast Madagascar safari in Montagne d’Ambre. You can spend the day trekking in this national park. This is before heading back to The Litchi Tree in the late afternoon. This is in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Montagne d’Ambre – Montagne de Francais
Today your North Coast Madagascar safari heads to Montagne de Francais. This is just a short 1 ½ hour by road. However, the environment here is very different. This is a tropical dry forest with baobabs. There are caves, fish eagles and different species of lemurs. This reserve protects deciduous dry forest. It is characteristic of the north of Madagascar. Much of the forest is on a calcareous massif. It has been eroded into Tsingy. The forested area ranges from 100 – 450 metres above sea level. It’s one of the best places to see the most beautiful baobabs, Adansonia suarezensis. You’ll have a unique experience here as as you sleep in the tree bungalows. These are literally huts built in trees!
Day 13: Montagne de Francais – Sakalava
Today the North Coast Madagascar safari will hike the 3 hours to Sakalava. Sakalava has beautiful white sand and a shallow lagoon. There is pristine water that makes it the perfect place to relax. You can unwind here after all the activity of the past 12 days. It is a ‘bush’ hotel, for guests who want to stay off the beaten path. It is in a quiet and magical environment. The hotel is 7 acres of land. The place is inhabited by wild lemurs and thousands of birds. Sakalava bay is a 3 mile stretch of beach enclosed by barrier reef. It is a perfect place for wind or kite surfing.
Day 14: Sakalava – Diego – Antananarivo
Your North Coast Madagascar safari will depart for Diego. Here you will board an Air Madagascar flight back to Antananarivo. If time allows, you can visit the handicraft market. You’ll end your North Coast Madagascar safari with your departure flight.