Ring tailed Lemurs in Isalo National Park, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-498552680
4.9
| 7 reviews

Trek the Remote Trails of Madagascar

11 nights
Challenging

Get off-grid on this truly remote ramble, hiking through two of the wildest national parks on the extraordinary 'Great Red Island'

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with expert, English-speaking trekking guides

All accommodation

5 nights camping, 6 nights in hotels

Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners

Transfers

All airport and local transfers, with cooks and porters for the treks through Isalo and Andringitra

Equipment & Permits

Twin-share expedition tents, plus entrance fees for the National Parks and the private reserves

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 12 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 7 reviews
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
May 2024
Garth A.
I really enjoyed this trip
May 2024
Jessica H.
I really enjoyed this trip
May 2024
Jessica H.
I really enjoyed this trip
May 2024
Jessica H.
I really enjoyed this trip
May 2024
Jessica H.
Ring tailed Lemurs in Isalo National Park, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-498552680
Andringitra National Park, Madagascar. Photo: Shutterstock-1761255830
Pic Boby campsite by night, Madagascar. Photo: Host/Tamana Adventure
Hiker in Andringitra National Park, Madagascar. Photo: Shutterstock-2245599281
Jumping sifaka lemur in Madagascar. Photo: Canva - https://www.canva.com/photos/MADFn64hQMk-dancing-sifaka-is-jumping-/
Isalo natural pool, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-1282996580
Camping at Pic Boby, Madagascar. Photo: Host/Tamana Adventure

Trek and wild camp through the otherworldly canyons, plains, forests and peaks of the Isalo and Andringitra National Parks

Hike and scramble to the summit of Madagascar's second-highest mountain, the imposing Pic Boby (2658m)

Eyes peeled for lemurs, the island’s most famous residents – from ring-tailed and red-fronted browns, to tiny mouse lemurs

Key Information

Day 1

Welcome to Antananarivo

Antanarivo, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-1148554615

Touch down in Madagascar's capital, affectionately known as Tana, meet your host at the airport and transfer across the city to your hotel. Meet up with your fellow adventurers for dinner and a chat through the adventure to come.

Day 2

To the South

Chameleon at night, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-1188636178

Hiking

2hrs

The sheer size of Madagascar means that taking a domestic flight is common on many trips here, so you'll be hopping on a flight today to reach Tulear (Toliara), 1000km south on the western coast, and your gateway to reach the two national parks that you'll be trekking through. Warm up for your trek with a night walk tonight at Antsokay Arboretum, getting your first glimpse of Madagascar's native plant and wildlife, including the tiny nocturnal mouse lemur and the enigmatic chameleon.

Day 3

The trekking begins

Girl hiking on a traiI in Isalo National Park, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-520167199

Hiking

2-3hrs · 7km · 120m up · 120m down

Driving

7hrs · 215km

Wake up early and hop in the van for the drive from Tulear (Toliara) to Ranohira, the gateway to Isalo National Park and the starting point for your two-day trek through this remote region. The trail winds through a stunning landscape of towering sandstone formations, deep canyons, and lush greenery. You will stop for a picnic lunch in a scenic spot surrounded by endemic plants and trees – with plenty of chances to spot your first wild lemurs of the trip. Camp out beneath mango trees for your first night beneath the stars in Madagascar.

Day 4

Trek to Isalo's natural swimming pools

Isalo natural pool, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-1282996580

Hiking

6-7hrs · 18km · 645m up · 140m down

Roll out of the tent at sunrise to see the morning sun illuminating the Isalo massif before hitting the trail, reaching a forest at the foot of the cliffs that is home to unmistakable ring-tailed lemurs and the agile white sifakas. Trek deeper into the canyon between the towering walls, winding to reach the summit of the Isalo ridges giving a clear panorama to the north. After six hours of trekking through an evolving landscape of colours and textures through the heat of the day, you're rewarded with the most beautiful of Isalo's natural swimming pools. Take a well-deserved swim and enjoy sunset, before dinner at the next camp spot.

Day 5

Namaza River and the Nymphs Waterfall

Ring tailed lemurs in Anja community reserve, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-1454340022

Hiking

4-5hrs · 14km · 150m up · 350m down

Driving

6hrs · 215km

Tuck into breakfast at your final camp spot in Isalo, pack down camp and trek out of the park, traversing a plateau resembling a classic African savannah. Descend a steep valley on a well-maintained trail to reach the forest-flanked Namaza River, hiking along the river with yet more lemurs in the canopies for company, until you reach the Nymphs Waterfall. The trek winds down as you arrive back at Ranohira, where you'll hop back in the van for the onward drive to the village of Ambalavao. Spend the night in bungalows in a beautiful spot, enjoying a comfy bed and shower conveniently wedged in between the two trekking and camping sections of your trip.

Day 6

The Andringitra trek begins

Tsaranoro Cliff Madagascar
Canva - https://www.canva.com/photos/MAC9Pu2XaTU-malagasy-porters-under-the-tsaranoro-cliff-face-/

Hiking

8hrs · 17km · 1421m up · 504m down

From one trek straight to another, you'll drive into the Tsaranoro Valley through some stunning highland landscapes, to reach the trailhead for the hike into the Andringitra National Park. Start the climb to the Andringitra Massif with the majestic Tsaranoro cliff towering in the background, and after a few tough hours you'll have lunch and cool down with a swim in the river. Continue through a lunar landscape nicknamed 'Diavolana' ('moonlight' in Malagasy) until you reach the Andranolava campsite, beside a river at 1965m. Tonight's campout at this altitude will be colder, so wrap up and settle in ahead of summit day tomorrow.

Day 7

Summit Pic Boby (2658m)

Hikers ascending to Pic Bob in Madagascar
Shutterstock - 1753722053

Hiking

6hrs · 14km · 693m up · 693m down

Pic Boby is the star attraction of Andringitra National Park and Madagascar's second-highest mountain at 2658m, which you'll be summiting today. An early morning start with an hour of gentle hiking through the Andohariana plateau will lead you to the foot of huge granite cliffs, marking the start of the ascent to Pic Boby. After two and half hours of steady hiking and some rock scrambling, you'll be stood at the summit taking in a full panorama of the entire region. In very good weather, you can even see the Isalo massif, which you trekked through a few days ago. Descend from the peak via the same route, continuing along the foot of the cliffs back to the campsite to enjoy the rest of the afternoon by the river, where you can relax and recover from your summit exploits.

Day 8

The final stretch

Andringitra np Madagascar
Canva - https://www.canva.com/design/DAFlJ1E6By8/5QPdLBqvXEBUJ577fYPZAA/edit

Hiking

7hrs · 24km · 456m up · 1180m down

Roll out of the tent to the first rays of sunlight coming down the cliffs and the plateau, tuck into breakfast and set off toward the Namoly Valley, passing waterfalls and taking in the stunning landscape of the Andringitra Mountains. Your hike today passes through past crystal-clear streams with opportunities to swim before tackling some steep inclines. You will spend your final night camping in the Madagascan wilderness at a picturesque campsite surrounded by the natural beauty of this remote area.

Day 9

Visit a Community Reserve and Drive to Fianarantsoa

Dirt road, Madagascar. Photo: GettyImages-1456112074

Bush Walking

2hrs · 4 · 60 up · 20 down

Driving

6hrs · 120km

Leaving the campsite, a short walk takes you to the village of Sendrisoa which is is a Malagasy rural commune located in the south-eastern part of the Haute Matsiatra region. Here you bid farewell to this wonderful place as you begin the drive back to civilisation. Given the poor condition of the road the going is slow, but this confirms the sense of remoteness that comes with the trek you've just completed in this region. You'll make a short detour for a hike through Anja Park, a community-run reserve famous for its ring-tailed lemurs. Continuing on the journey, you will stop at villages en route for a glimpse into rural Malagasy life, before coming to Fianarantsoa where you will spend the night.

Day 10

Colours and cultures of Madagascar

Malagasy women, Madagascar. Photo: Host/Tamana Adventure

Driving

10hrs · 255km

After a week in the wilderness, its time to see the other side of life in Madagascar as you eat into the multi-day journey from your trekking spot to the capital. Road travel is slow in Madagascar due to the fluctuating quality of the roads, but this provides a great opportunity for an insight into life here. On your road trip today, you'll pass through charming villages showcasing local life and traditional architecture, including Ambositra – renowned for its woodcarvers and vibrant handicrafts, as well as the stunning highland landscapes with grasslands and volcanic formations. Eventually, you'll reach Antsirabe: the third-largest city in Madagascar is known for its colonial charm, thermal springs, and colourful pousse-pousse (a type of rickshaw). Enjoy some free time here to explore in the late afternoon and evening before bunking down in a cosy hotel.

Day 11

Explore Antsirabe on two wheels

Cycling Antsirabe, Madagascar. Photo: Host/Tamana Adventure

Cycling

3hrs · 20km · 120 up · 50 down

Driving

4hrs · 179km

You'll have a chance to stretch your legs again this morning before the final stretch of driving to the capital later. Hop on a mountain bike to explore Antsirabe and its rural surroundings as you pedal through the town's charming streets, past colonial architecture and out into the countryside. Pedalling mostly off road on rough tracks, you will roll through lush, green hills and past traditional Malagasy villages, stopping to buy local foods and learn insights into the unique local culture and way of life here from your guide. Tuck into lunch at a local restaurant before it's time for the drive back to the capital, Tana.

Day 12

Cocoa workshop in Tana & farewell Madagascar

Cocoa workshop, Madagascar. Photo: Host/Tamana Adventure

No need to rush to the airport on your final day today, as all flights depart in the afternoon and evening. So, enjoy a morning getting hands-on with one of Madagascar's most famous exports: Malagasy cocoa. Your host has their own kitchen in Tana, which you'll head to for a workshop with a chef where you'll make your own chocolate bars using the revered cocoa and unique Malagasy spices. Grab one last lunch in Tana before your host transfers you to the airport for your onward flight.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Bungalow · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6 – Day 8

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 11

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 12

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Malagasy cuisine is a result of the island's diverse cultural heritage, which includes African, Arab, Indian, and French influences. The traditional Malagasy diet primarily revolves around rice, meat, fish, vegetables, green leaves, and tropical fruits – including mangoes, lychees, pineapples, papayas, and bananas, to name a few. Rice is the staple food of Madagascar and forms the basis of most meals. It is typically served with various accompaniments such as chicken, zebu (a type of cattle), pork and river or sea fish. In urban areas, you can find a variety of street food options. These include samosas, masikita (grilled skewers of zebu), and various fried snacks and soups. On the treks, breakfasts are substantial and include hot drinks (tea, coffee and hot chocolate), fruit juice, bread, jam, honey, cheese and eggs. Lunches are cold picnics with sandwiches and seasonal fruit. Dinner is a hot cooked meal with a starter, main course and dessert.

Vegetarians can be catered for on this trip, however vegetarianism is not part of the Malagasy culture and as such, the options can be of a limited nature compared to what vegetarians are used to in the Western world. Please advise of any dietary requirements in advance using your passenger info form. Please note that unfortunately, Halal and gluten-free diets cannot be accommodated on this trip.

What is the accommodation like?

Antananarivo

Your arrival night is spent in Madagascar's capital at the San Cristobal Hotel, a 3-star boutique property conveniently situated near the airport – ideal for your domestic flight on Day 2. There is a terrace, a garden and a bar and you'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Camping at Pic Boby, Madagascar. Photo: Host/Tamana Adventure
Camping

You'll spend five nights camping in Isalo and Andringitra National Parks as you tackle the treks through both parks. You'll be sleeping in twin-share dome tents with sleeping mats. The treks are fully supported by a team of porters, so your camping gear, the group cooking equipment and other facilities will be transported and organised by the porters. There will be 'bush showers' available for al fresco washing each morning.

Camp Catta

Camp Catta is in a stunning location at the foot of the iconic cliff of Tsaranoro within Andringitra National Park. There is a beautiful eco-pool with incredible views over the National Park to cool off in. You'll stay in simple but clean twin-share bungalows with private toilet facilities.

Fianarantsoa

During your journey from Andringitra all the way back to Antananarivo you'll overnight at Hotel Ambalakely near Fianarantsoa. The hotel has Scandinavian roots, reflected in the fresh decor. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Antsirabe

In Madagascar's third-biggest city – Antsirabe – you'll overnight at Hotel H1 Antsirabe, a quaint hotel with a garden, a terrace and a restaurant. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Antananarivo City

The 4-star Grand Hotel Urban is set in Antananarivo, a short walk from Ambohijatovo Garden and 750 yards from Mahamasina Municipal Stadium. The elegant rooms have city views and feature air conditioning, satellite TV and a safety deposit box. Hairdryers are available. An a la carte breakfast is offered daily. The hotel has a wellness area for massages and beauty treatments, and it also offers laundry services, currency exchange and a concierge.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked throughout the trip for an extra charge, see Optional Extras. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

This trip has been rated as Challenging

This is a challenging trek for many reasons – the distances are plentiful, and cross areas which don't always have a marked trail. The National Parks are very remote and the sense of being out in the wilderness is wonderful, but you'll need to possess a love for being in remote places with limited comforts. The heat can play a factor in this part of the world, though there are fantastic swimming spots to cool down at various points in the trip. In Andringitra, the elevation gain required to get to Pic Boby is significant, however most people with average fitness and some trekking/hiking experience can reach the summit and at 2600m there shouldn't be any issues with the altitude.

What will I need to carry?

You'll need to have a mid-size trekking pack to carry various items during the trek, namely water, camera/phone, water purification, suncream and additional layers for sun protection, swimwear and travel towel for the wild swim spots. Your main pack will be transported during the treks by the team of porters.

Isalo National Park is located in the southwestern part of Madagascar where from April to December is the dry season, so expect minimal rainfall or none at all. Temperatures will range from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F) during the day; nights can be colder, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C (50°F).

November to December is the transition period between the dry season and the wet season. Temperatures can rise slightly, reaching up to 30°C (86°F) during the day. Showers and thunderstorms become more frequent, and the landscape starts to become greener.

Andringitra National Park is located in the southeastern part of Madagascar, and its climate is influenced by the nearby Indian Ocean which makes the temperatures slightly cooler on average than those listed above for Isalo. Before the summit of Pic Boby, you'll be sleeping at close to 2000m above sea level, so the night there can be significantly colder than all other nights on the trip.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Ivato International Airport, Antananarivo

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Ivato International Airport, Antananarivo

13:00 on Day 12

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Ivato International Airport, Antananarivo, on day 1 and transfer you to your hotel in Madagascar's capital city. On Day 12, your host will transfer you back to the airport in the afternoon, in time for any onward flights in the evening.

If you are arriving before day 1 or departing later than the times described above on the final day of your trip, your host can arrange private transfers for you upon request (please see the optional extras section for prices).

Travel options

There are direct flights to Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo from Paris, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg and Mauritius. For travellers from the UK, US and other major hubs in Europe, you can take a direct flight to any of the aforementioned hubs and transit there for the flight to Madagascar.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Twin-share expedition dome tents
  • Sleeping mats

What's available to hire?

  • Trekking bag
  • Sleeping bag

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Trekking pack (25-35 litres)

CLOTHES

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or similar, for colder evenings
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • Long sleeved thin shirts for sun protection
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Sleepwear
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals or trainers for around camp

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping bag (3 or 4 season as it gets cool at night whilst camping)
  • Travel pillow or pillowcase
  • Thermarest or sleeping mat if you wish to use your own, if not then a sleeping mat will be provided

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Anti-malarial medication
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle - aim to carry a minimum of 2 litres, in 2 bottles or 1 bottle and a bladder
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system - read our article on the Best Water Filters for Adventurers This is optional as filtered water will be provided.
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Single room at Urban Grand Hotel (post trip)

Payable Before Departure

Single room at Urban Grand Hotel (post trip)

Per Night

Single/Twin/Double room at San Cristobal Hotel (pre trip)

Payable Before Departure

Single/Twin/Double room at San Cristobal Hotel (pre trip)

Per Night

Twin/double room at Urban Grand Hotel (post trip)

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room at Urban Grand Hotel (post trip)

Per Night

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Private airport transfer - each way (1-4 people)

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer - each way (1-4 people)

Zoe A.(June 2024)
Rewarding adventure with great local knowledge

I think the MBA description is accurate (except ref 3 season sleeping bag, see below).

The countryside & views were diverse & beautiful. Despite this tour not being hugely focused on wildlife, we saw lots of chameleons, lizards, lemurs and even some snakes. I'm pleased I took my small binoculars (and they were fun for some of the kids we met). I loved all the opportunities for swimming, even when the water was properly chilly. The hiking was as described - some long days, sometimes steep and precarious, with really varied landscapes. All of it is on paths that already exist, but not overused and I think we only saw one other group in our time in both parks. It definitely met my expectations.

Barnabas was an excellent guide, very in tune with what us visitors might find interesting and very aware of individual needs. The National Park guides were also good - but not necessarily strong English - speaking French is helpful if you want to communicate more widely. We also really appreciated the excellent logistics team - Olivia, Fetra & Ranto - tents were clean & perfectly pitched, the food was tasty & plentiful AND they found the energy to have fun with us. Whenever we reached camp, they were already there and post hike tea & nibbles were provided.

The roads ARE bad and the drives ARE long. Camping in Andringitra IS cold, I agree with another reviewer who said take thermals & 4 season sleeping bag - it was so cold our swimming stuff froze solid overnight and had to be defrosted over the breakfast cooking fire. We really felt that night for the logistics team & porters who don't have access to clothes/kit that we might take for granted. I took a thermarest but didn't need it as the foam sleeping mattress was good.

Prepare your bag so that at the end of Isalo hiking you can quickly access you gear for Andringitra. We were not actually in a camp to execute this 'manoeuvre'. This is the evening that is spent in Camp Katta

At no point were we asked to use our chemicals or filters for water - it was portered even up to the Pic Boby camp.

I found all the accommodation very comfortable except the room in Antsirabe which was just a bit tired and cold and lacking in any atmosphere. I'm being fussy, but it just wasn't as good as the others.

I felt that my belonging and myself were safe - I found Malagasy people friendly & respectful, but particularly so in the countryside. (I spent a further 2 weeks doing solo travel). Many people are as interested in you as you are in them.

Ian C.(June 2024)
A very enjoyable trip of great diversity

Whatever you're expecting from this trip it'l probably provide something rather different. There is such a diversity in temperature, terrain, people, flora and fauna - it's best to leave your expectations behind and just enjoy it for what it is. Firstly a note on the travel - when they say Madagascar's roads are bad believe it. Road travel is slow due to the size and frequency of potholes, expect to travel no more than 100 miles a day even on the main roads (route national). Temperatures - it was early winter when we visited (late May) and we encountered temperatures between 27-28 degrees during the day down to 3 or 4 degrees at night in our high camp. Best to pack a set of thermals and take a 4 seasons sleeping bag (not 3 seasons as suggested) - we woke up to frost on the ground one morning. The people are lovely and so, so friendly - we didn't encounter any of the threat that is sometimes present when travelling in Africa. Our guide, Barnabas, was superb as were all the local guides, the porters and logistics crew and our longsuffering driver (see my comment on the roads above). We quickly reached the conclusion that the plants in Madagascar were more dangerous that the animals - no poisonous snakes and no predators bigger than a Fossa (google it). The landscapes range from the desert environment near Tulear to the sub alpine environments of Isalo and Andringitra and everything in between. The currency is crazy - I've never taken half a million of anything out of a cash machine before and spent it all and more in less than two weeks. About half the population live in Tana (the capital) so it's a real culture shock when the hustle and bustle of Tana hits you after days in the wilderness. If you want something that you know you've enjoyed tremendously but can't quite put your finger on why this is probably the trip for you.

Grace F.(June 2024)
Fantastic trip, amazing guides

Really loved this trip! Madagascar is such a beautiful country and Barnabas and all the local guides were fantastic. There are some long drives but they are still beautiful and they did take pretty much exactly the length of time it says in the description. I think it helped that our group was smaller than the previous group so if you can try to get a smaller group! Madagascar feels very undiscovered in areas so really worth the visit. Was really great to see lots of lemurs and iguanas too! Remember to take lots of warm layers and a 4 season sleeping bag - the nights get cold when you’re camping at 2k metres.

Garth A.(May 2024)
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes
Madagascar seems a country of contrast and extremes

Trekking through majestic rural landscapes and vibrant capital cities like Fianarantsoa, Antsirabe and Antananarivo, I witnessed firsthand the country's extraordinary beauty and deep-seated poverty. There exists a paradox of a land rich in natural wonders, beauty and resources yet challenged by economic hardship and missed opportunities. I admire the resilience of its people and hope sustainable development delivers them a brighter future. Our guide, Barnabas became so much more over our journey. I am grateful to call him a friend. Along with his support guides including Philibert, porters and logistics team, they delivered us not only safe passage but also an insight into the complexities of Malagasy life, the awesome natural beauty and its rich history. Our group of travelers became close as we shared this unique experience. I hope to stay in touch over the coming years. In closing, Madagascar is beautiful but it was also an opportunity for me to ground myself with a richer understanding and appreciation. Thank you Much Better Adventures for presenting this opportunity.

Jessica H.(May 2024)
I really enjoyed this trip
I really enjoyed this trip
I really enjoyed this trip
I really enjoyed this trip
I really enjoyed this trip

I really enjoyed this trip and thought it was an excellent way to explore the south of Madagascar.

Barnabus was one of the best guides I've had. He was incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of life in Madagascar and very open to sharing with our group. As such, we were able to learn a lot about the fascinating culture and traditions of Malagasy people as well as seeing the beautiful landscapes and wildlife.

The hiking is definitely made challenging by the heat if you are not used to it as there isn't a lot of tree cover for shade but the views are well worth the effort.

I can see that MBA have since amended some of the descriptions in the itinerary to better reflect the trip which is good. However, I still think the current itinerary downplays the amount of driving involved in the trip. Day 3 involved roughly 7 hours on the bus to get to the place where we started our hike. Day 10 involved 10 hours on the bus rather than the 6 indicated on the itinerary.

These rides are still a great way to see and learn about Madagascar as the views are great and Barnabus was always sharing information about the places we were passing through and answering any questions the group had but I think it's important to note just in case this is a deal breaker for anyone.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the trip to others.

Raza(May 2024)
Absolutely amazing

Had a wonderful time on this trip. It was a fantastic balance of adventure and hiking in astounding nature with an exploration of a different culture.

Madagascar is a very poor country and inevitably unexpected challenges arise. For example, one of our flights was cancelled. But the local guides took care of everything and organised alternatives so it was always stress free for us.

Our guides were incredibly knowledgable helpful and keen to share their country with us. I'd highly recommend this trip to anyone who's decently fit.

Ben F.(May 2024)
Fantastic adventure across Madagascar

Very pleased to have gone on this trip!! Our guide Barnabas was excellent who always offered up interesting insights into life in Madagascar and talked through the incredible landscapes, culture and wildlife that Madagascar has to offer. We were lucky enough to see a wide range of lemurs, which was amazing as well as spotting lots of chameleons.

I really enjoyed the hikes; views were amazing but worth noting that they were quite challenging due to the elevation and heat. The bike ride I felt I could have had more detail provided before taking part as it was more mountain biking than a road cycle as the itinerary originally indicated. Barnabas was excellent at tailoring to my ability though to which I was very thankful for and was fun to try.

The drives on this trip were long due to the poor road conditions, but the scenery and people on the way made it enjoyable as well as commentary from Barnabas.

Overall I would highly recommend this trip though and for anyone to visit Madagascar. It really was an adventure I will never forget and would definitely go back to explore the Northern part of Madagascar!

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 323kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is a challenging trek for many reasons – the distances are plentiful, and cross areas which don't always have a marked trail. The National Parks are very remote and the sense of being out in the wilderness is wonderful, but you'll need to possess a love for being in remote places with limited comforts. At certain times of the year, the heat can play a factor in this part of the world, though there are fantastic swimming spots to cool down at various points in the trip. In Andringitra, the elevation gain required to get to Pic Boby is significant, however most people with average fitness and some trekking/hiking experience can reach the summit and at 2600m there shouldn't be any issues with the altitude.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

  • $5/£4 per day for the lead guide
  • $10/£8 per trekking day for the porter team

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality – a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

While this will depend on your appetite, a guideline is EUR10-16 for a 3 course dinner or lunch at a tourist restaurant. Lunch in a local restaurant is approximately EUR3-4 for a main course of rice with meat or fish.

The Malagasy Ariary is the local currency of Madagascar and cash is the most common form of payment. You are advised not to carry large amounts of cash with you at one time. There are ATMs in 6 locations visited on this trip if you need to withdraw extra cash as you go. While it is often easier to withdraw from an ATM than to change money, if you wish to do so then the Euro is the most widely accepted foreign currency but USD and GBP can also be changed.

It is never safe to drink the water in Madagascar, so all drinking water needs to be purified. Your host will travel with large containers of water throughout the trip, while the porters will ensure that water is carried through each day of the treks. However, please do bring water purification tablets or a filtration system. We recommend having a read of our Guide to the Best Water Filters for Adventurers.

The weather and temperature will vary depending on the areas you visit during the trip, and the season in which you visit.

Isalo National Park is located in the southwestern part of Madagascar where from April to December is the dry season, so expect minimal rainfall or none at all. Temperatures will range from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F) during the day; nights can be colder, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C (50°F).

November to December is the transition period between the dry season and the wet season. Temperatures can rise slightly, reaching up to 30°C (86°F) during the day. Showers and thunderstorms become more frequent, and the landscape starts to become greener.

Andringitra National Park is located in the southeastern part of Madagascar, and its climate is influenced by the nearby Indian Ocean which makes the temperatures slightly cooler on average than those listed above for Isalo. The massif is also at a higher altitude, so that can mean that temperatures are cooler as a result. Before the summit of Pic Boby, you'll be sleeping at close to 2000m above sea level, so the night there can be significantly colder than all other nights on the trip. April, May and September are shoulder seasons, with temperatures generally averaging around 10°C at night and 15-20°C during the day. In June, it's winter and temperatures at night can drop to 0°C and 10-15°C during the day. October is summer, and therefore the hottest month; nights are mild (10-15°C) and days quite hot (20-25°C).

Yes, you can store excess luggage at your host's base in Antananarivo to be collected when you return to the capital.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

As of 12th April 2024, your host has been informed that the Malagasy health authorities, faced with the growing threat of cholera in several East African countries, have decided to take measures at their borders to prevent the epidemic from spreading to their territory.

The health authorities have decided to require all passengers arriving from Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa to take Doxycycline 100mg tablets before departures on ET, KQ and SAA. The only exceptions are diabetics and pregnant women.

This measure will remain in place until further notice.

No. You'll need to have a mid-size trekking pack to carry various items during the trek, namely water, camera/phone, water purification, suncream and additional layers for sun protection, swimwear and travel towel for the wild swim spots. Your main pack will be transported during the treks by the team of porters.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

Private trip

Got questions? We've got answers

Our friendly and expert team is on hand to help you choose one of our adventures. So if you want answers to questions like "Who else is going?" or anything else about this trip – please get in touch.

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DEPARTURE DATES

September 2024

Sunday • 8th September 2024

to Thursday • 19th September 2024
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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