Travel to the Island of Madagascar and be one of the few
to explore this new & exciting mystical island.
island, the world's 4th largest island, measuring
approximately 1571 km in length and 571 km across.
Because of its isolation most of its wildlife, half
its birds, and most of its plants exist nowhere
else in the world.
everything is strangely different, on the Madagascar
island, wildlife, the famous Madagascar hissing
Cockroach, the trees, the fauna, the rock formations,
everything you'll see and touch on your Madagascar
holiday is seldom found anywhere else. The only
place in the world where you can see lemurs dancing
with their babies in the wild. The Madagascar
island also has its share of beautiful beaches
and magnificent untouched coral reefs enticing
scuba divers and snorkellers into the warm tropical
Indian Ocean waters. Madagascar island is a big
country where you can return again & again
and never see the same place twice. As soon as
the road network is restored we intend to start
self drive tours of Madagascar.
makes Madagascar holidays unique and a compellingly
destination to explore. For holiday makers looking
for something new and different in a holiday, a
Madagascar holiday is for you. From exploring the
unusual features, forests, wildlife, cultures and
customs to a relaxing beach holiday in the tropical
sunshine. Madagascar has a great deal more to offer
than just staying on a beach for a couple of weeks.
8 day package, with selection of hotels
8 day package, with selection of hotels
day Madagascar Adventure Package
Antananarivo - Perinet Forest - Pangalanes
Canal - Sainte Marie Island (Eastern Madagascar
day Madagascar Adventure Package
Diego Suarez - Amber Mountains -
Ankarana - Nosy Be Island (Northern Madagascar)
day Scuba Diving Nosy Be Madagascar
off Nosy Sakatia Island
See some suggested destinations below
as it is affectionately know, is the capitol of
Madagascar with a population of 3 million people.
Tana is situated in the centre of the island in
the highlands 4060 feet above sea level. It is Madagascar's
largest city and is the administrative, communications,
and economic centre of Madagascar.
on the hillsides and ridges of 12 sacred hills
and surrounded with rice paddy fields, Tana is
an interesting place to spend a few days either
at the beginning or end of your holiday. Since
it is also the location of the country's major
international airport, most visitors will find
themselves at least passing through the city.
There is a Lemur Park with a
shop & restaurant just 30 minutes outside
Tana which is an ideal park to visit if you are
laid over for several hours awaiting your connecting
flight. The Artisans Market is
also worth a visit where you can 'Haggle' for
bargains amongst the colourful local traders.
Silk and leather goods abound but do beware of
the coloured gems which are usually just coloured
glass, or a afternoon City Tour
covering the palace and other historical land
off the north eastern coast of the main island of
Madagascar. Sainte Marie Island is just 7 kilometres
off the coast at its nearest point, and 1 hours
flying time from Tana. It is a long thin tropical
island approximately 60 km in length and less than
7 km wide with the small island of Ile aux Nattes
just off the southern tip.
island has a colourful past as a Pirate's
Haven (1680 to 1720) with secluded beaches,
soft white sand, warm weather, swaying palms and
lush vegetation. Sainte Marie has for three centuries
remained the perfect example of a pristine lush
green tropical island. The islands can be visited
all year round except during February as this
is Sainte Marie's cyclones season.
Diving: Safe from sharks, the lagoon
of Sainte Marie island is endowed with significant
coralline growth. Its underwater fauna is preserved
as a natural heritage and first-class diving site
in the Indian ocean. These and the many corals
can be explored by both scuba divers and amateurs
with little more than a mask, snorkel and a set
The channel between Sainte-Marie and
Madagascar is a hot spot for whale watching. Between
July through to September substantial groups of
humpback whales migrate from the Antarctic to
this idyllic breeding place. These quiet giants
find conditions here that are favourable for the
growth of their young and well suited to their
courtship and acrobatic games before the big return
south towards the colder seas of Antarctica.
the "Big Island" in the Nosy Be Archipelago.
Also know as the perfume island due to the large
cultivations and processing of Ylang Ylang. Situated
off the North West coast of Madagascar, with a surface
area of approx 280 sq km. including numerous smaller
surrounding islands. It is a volcanic island with
eleven extinct volcanoes which now act as natural
water reservoirs for both cultivation and human
consumption. Some are also home to crocodiles. The
highest peak, Mount Passot rises to 450m. It’s tropical
climate and classical ‘Indian Ocean holiday island’
appeal makes it a leading sea, sun & sand destination.
It boasts 12 months of sunshine, exuberant tropical
vegetation, with beautiful beaches washed by the
warm waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Diving: A popular attraction as there are
many coral reef to explore with several scuba
diving operation on the island. Nosy Sakatia
2km off the northwest coast of Nosy Be specialises
in Scuba Diving.
day excursion to Nosy Komba,
the Lemur island, where lemurs and villagers live
in harmony. Then on to nearby Nosy Tanikely
where you can relax on a beautiful beach, take
a small hike up to the light house or snorkel
right off the beach. A tasty picnic lunch is served
on the beach under the watchful eye of the friendly
but curious lemur colony. Nosy Tanikely's beautiful
coral has been declared a marine sanctuary. This
tour is a must.
also the Lokobe Reserve nature trail, on southeast
Nosy Be. The islands can be visited all year except
during February, as then the rains peak. Yacht
Charter packages are also available.
centrally on the west coast of Madagascar at the
mouth of the Morondava River and washed by the warm
waters of the Mozambique Channel, Morondava is accessed
by direct flights from Antananarivo and Fort Dauphin.
of a 'wild west' movie set, Morondava is the centre
of the Sakalava kingdom and their tombs. The Morondava
basin is baobab country and is the gateway to
many of the wonders of the western region including
the Kirindy Forest, the Avenue of the Baobabs,
the Tsingy de Bemaraha, Belo Sur Mer, and famous
for its river rafting expeditions.
offers sandy streets and vast seashores rocked
by the passage of schooners and pirogues with
their sails filled by the wind. Fishing is the
main activity of Morondava, pulsating with the
ancient rhythms of the Vezo fishermen. Shrimp
is called pink gold here, sustaining many families
since the opening of a processing factory.
action-packed river expeditions for the adventurous,
can range from one to several days to suit you.
Canoeing down the meandering rivers of the region
is the ideal avenue to reach natural unspoiled
places, and makes for wonderfully civilized camping.
How much closer can you get to nature?
one thinks of Fort Dauphin one things of Berenty
Private Lemur Reserve and its diverse Madagascar
wildlife. Fort Dauphin is situated in the south
east corner and enjoys direct flights from Johannesburg
due to the South African mining operation in the
area. Two main attraction are both Berenty and Lokora
Excursions to Lokora beach is by fast motor boat
travelling east through very scenic natural botanical
gardens in a semi swamp land running parallel,
but inland, to the coast line. A short hike over
the hill with breath taking views leads you down
to Lokora beach. En route view large elephant
ear plants, insect eating plants, village culture,
outstanding views. Lunch is served on a lovely
beach next to a local fishing village. A great
day of experiences.
The 2 hour drive up from Fort Dauphin introduces
you to the strange Spiny forest trees, and large
Baobabs. Almost all trees in this area are heavily
encrusted with spines & thorns to ensure their
survival in the dry climate. The reserve borders
the Mandare river and is the world’s largest Lemur
reserve, and home to six different species of
Lemurs. The famous dancing Lemurs, the Sifaka,
are common in the park. You can choose to drive
up from Fort Dauphin for the day, or, if you decide
to spend the night you can also enjoy spotting
the nocturnal Lemurs after dark. Binoculars and
a torch are a recommended accessory.
12 000 hectare rainforest of Perinet is situated
approximately 3 hours east of Antananarivo making
it one of the country’s most popular Madagascar
wildlife reserve. Be in the rainforest as close
to daybreak as possible as the animals are most
active in the early morning. The trails are not
difficult to manage and most of the forest guides
speak English. Perinet holds a large variety of
rare rainforest plants and animals including eleven
species of lemur (most notably the baboon-sized
Indri with its haunting call and elusive habits),
the large parsons chameleon, the blue boa constrictor,
a large variety of tropical birds, Orchids, and
other epiphytes festoon the trees.
Consider our Pangalanes Canal Tour
- by road down to Perinet then
boat trip up the canal (loads of culture, wildlife
& scenery along the canal), then crossing
to the Pirate island of Sainte Marie for that
relaxation in the sun.
northern tip of Madagascar which saw conflict in
both the world wars as can be witnessed from the
artillery emplacements to the entrance to the bay
and in the British, French and Malagasy war cemetery's.
Diego is situated on the second largest bay in the
world and a strategic safe deep harbour to shipping
with dry docks and other shipping services.
Tsingy, a more delicate and very unusual version
on the Grey limestone Tsingy, found uniquely in
several areas of Madagascar - the red Tsingy are
made of sandstone and present beautiful forms.
Mountain is a long-extinct volcano covered by
primary tropical rainforest, including craters
and waterfalls. A bewildering array of animals
and plants have specially adapted to thrive in
this moist 'island' of biological diversity. Lemurs,
birds, chameleons, geckos, and truly immense rain
forest trees, are among some of the natural wonders
you will encounter.
consider the best of both - our Diego
Suarez Tsingy Tour runs down through the Tsingy
& forests to Nosy Be for some final beach
HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS
Below are a few tips to make your holiday that much more
- Travel in Madagascar. In January 2011
Visas where with drawn until further notice. Visas can be
obtained on arrival at Antananarivo Airport. Madagascar
Visa cost as at Dec 2008 are, Euros 70 or US $ 100 per person.
Malagasy consulates in Johannesburg/South Africa or Durban
issue one month visas for any passport holder. A valid passport
- As soon as you have cleared through customs,
change some money into Ariary at the airport Bureau de Charge.
Any currency not used can be converted back into Euros prior
to leaving Madagascar at the airport Bureau de Charge. Do
not take South African Rand to Madagascar. Credit
Cards: MasterCard is rarely accepted, recommend
you take a Visa Card as most hotels happily accept Visa.
- be careful not to be persuaded or bullied
into over tipping. The average porter at the airport only
earns approximately 20000 Ariaries a week (about US $12)
They have been known to ask for 10000 Ariaries just to push
to go - This depends on your interest. Nature
enthusiasts should go from late August to January. Certain
parts of western Madagascar are not accessible in summer
(December - March) after rains. Avoid the northeast in February,
Cyclones may occur in January to March. July to September
is also good for whale watching on the east coast.
zone - GMT + 3 hours
supply - 220 Volt - European round two-prong
requirements - No immunizations are necessary.
Malaria prophylactics are essential. Drink only bottled
water or take water purification tablets.
insurance - is recommended as it covers
medical, injury, lost luggage, flights cancellation etc.
Ask Selftours for more info.
allowance - 500 cigarettes and 1 litre of
to pack - Comfortable, casual and light
clothing, a fleece track suit is an ideal all-round item,
warm, keeps any bugs away from you, does not get crumpled
in a suit case and is always presentable. Well-worn walking
shoes or sneakers/trainers are essential. Pack warm clothing
for winter nights. Take insect repellent and protective
wear for the tropical sun and rain. If visiting Perinet
Lemur forest a Dry Mac is recommended as the rainy season
is all year round and it can be chilly in the evenings.
If planning an evening walk in the forests, to spot nocturnal
animals, a head mounted torch is an excellent accessory.
A small back-pack is always ideal for carrying your small
personal items. A small basic medical kit is a wise idea,
especially if you are intending to travel through Forests,
canals and unpopulated areas far from major towns. Should
you need to purchase medicines from a chemist the packet
will most likely be printed in French, this can be frustrating
if you are non French speaking. Rather carry a supply of
headache pills etc with you. When travelling all medication
should be carried in the original packaging for identification
purposes if checked by customs. For chronic medication you
may be asked for a copy of your doctors prescription as
proof that you are authorised to carry such drugs.
allowance - 20 kg & 1 item of hand luggage.
- Malagasy is the first language; French
the business language and English is spoken by many people
in the tourism industry. An English to French phrase book
could be your best companion if you are not familiar with
speaking French. If not sold out, Exclusive Books, in Jhb
Airport duty free area stock them.
there - Air Madagascar currently operates
two flights per week between Antananarivo/ Madagascar and
Johannesburg/South Africa. (Tuesdays and Saturdays). The
Saturday flight directly to Nosy Be before terminating in
Tana. Flight duration is three hours. South African Airlink
operates daily flights.
around - The most comfortable method is
to fly to domestic destinations. Air Madagascar serves 60
domestic airports. There are overland routes run by a few
operators but due to the road conditions these can take
a few days rather than a few hours and would involve over
night stops. Airport transfers are arranged by Selftours
to and from your hotel. The Malagasy transport department
has put rebuilding roads on their priority list and Selftours
hopes to start self drive tours one day in the future.
customs and taboos - There are many taboos
and traditions in Madagascar and if your guide asks you
not to point your finger or photograph a tombs etc, please
respect there wishes. If in doubt always ask permission
before taking photographs.
- Travellers to Madagascar must understand
that Madagascar is fairly new to the international tourist
market, hence the Madagascar hotel accommodation standard,
though good, may not be up to the same international accommodation
standards that you would expect in South Africa or Europe.
We at Selftours believe that this only adds to the mystic
of the island of Madagascar.