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Perinet Forest & Pangalanes Canal
Madagascar Travel Guide

The Island of Madagascar is a new Tourist Frontier just waiting to be explored by you. Those who embark on this unique exploratory tour of this Mystical Island will gain a life time full of experiences - meet & interact with the local colourful people known for their legendary warmth, learn about their customs and taboos. Explore the unusual vegetation, strange wildlife and fascinating scenery.

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Travel to the Island of Madagascar and be one of the few to explore this new & exciting mystical island.

Northern Madagascar Map

Many of us have done the 7 day beach holiday package, possibly ate too much and got sun burnt. Are you planning to do the same again or are you looking for something very different and more exciting this holiday? Something most of your friends will not have experienced?

How about a holiday adventure on a mystical island covering approximately 600km by air, road, canal and sea.

Explore unusual landscapes, strange plants and animals that you have never seen before? Interact with new cultures and their music. Enjoy a relaxing cruise down the Pangalanes Canal as the village children wave you by. Finally, relax on the beach of the Pirate haven of yesteryear - Sainte Marie Island - visit the little zoo and real pirate cemetery.

Enjoy a two hour trek through the Perinet Rain Forest and the Palmarium Forest in search of the largest Indri Lemurs and many other fascinating forest inhabitants.

The Parsons chameleon - the largest Sifaka Lemur (dancing lemur) Cultural danceing to which you are encouraged to join in Selftours staff interact with Indri Lemurs in the Palmarium Reserve

The following itinerary is an example of an exciting Madagascar Holiday
and will vary according to airline flights and accommodation availability.
Day 1
Departing Johannesburg International and arrive at Antananarivo airport late afternoon. Meet and greet and transfer to your boutique hotel. The hotel is conveniently situated just 2 km from the airport thereby avoiding any city traffic jams.

Overnight IC Hotel Antananarivo, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

IC Hotel only 2km from the main airport

Day 2
After breakfast you are collected from your hotel - time permitting - we do a brief tour of the capital of Antananarivo a little sightseeing before setting off eastwards for the famous Perinet (Andasibe) Rain Forest

PERINET FOREST (Andasibe Reserve)
From Antananarivo we travel approximately 150 km from Antananarivo through the highlands. You arrive at Perinet in time to freshen up before deciding with your driver if you wish to do a guided evening walk in the rain forest in search of the many species of nocturnal animals.

Dinner is served in the restaurant around a welcoming log fire, during the winter months, before settling in for the night in your cosy chalet.

Overnight Vakona Lodge, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

The Capital of Madagascar Antananarivo

Ruffed Lemur - Selftours Madagascar vacations

Day 3
A relaxing breakfast can be enjoyed as you have the full day at your disposal. Your driver collects you and transfers you to the park office entrance where you meet your guide. For trekking in the forest a minimum of 2 hours is suggested, in search of the largest of all lemurs - the baboon-sized Indri.

The forest echoes with the eerie call of these elusive animals. There are several other species of lemur living in the forest as well as many other small animals and fascinating insects. Perinet rainforest covers an area of 12 810 hectares of dense primary rainforest. If staying at Vakona Lodge we suggest that you ask your driver to also take you to the "Lemur Island" where you can interact with the very friendly lemurs and catch some excellent photographs.

Overnight Vakona Lodge, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Indri Indri the largest Lemur in Perinet Forest

Day 4
After a leisurely breakfast you leave the rain forest of Andasibe and continue east for about 2 hours to the small village of Manambato - the point at which you join the Pangalanes Canal. You meet your boatman and your driver will ensure that you and all your baggage is safely loaded on board before bidding you a fond farewell.

After about a 1hr cruise along this intriguing canal with its many little villages and masses of different water plants, you arrive at Akanin'ny Nofy (The nest of dreams) and the Palmarium Hotel. After light refreshments and some entertainment from the resident Lemur family you have the balance of the day free for you to enjoy at your leisure either exploring the area or just relaxing on the white sand of the fresh-water beach.

Overnight Palmarium Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Covered ferry boats of the Pangalanes Canal

White beaches on the lakes of the Pangalanes Canal

Day 5
Palmarium Hotel has its own private nature reserve so an early start at 6.30 am is called for, either breakfast first or a 2 hour walk seeing and interacting with various lemurs, including the largest Indri Lemur, plus various exotic birds and rare plants in the forest, and breakfast on your return.

At around 9 am you board your speed boat again to continue northwards along the Pangalanes Canal to Toamasina approx 2.5hrs. Along the route your boatman will give you the opportunity to visit a fishing village and interact with the fishing folk. Further along as you get closer to Toamasina you will see more and more fishermen tendering their fish traps in their dugout canoes as the village children wave you by. Bamboo rafts are used to transport various small goods up and down the canal as well as large canoes and some motor vessels. On arriving at Toamasina, the main port of Madagascar, you transfer to your mini bus for onward transfer to Mahambo and the La Pirogue hotel approx 2hrs.

Overnight La Pirogue Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Pangalanes Canal - Local transport by bamboo raft

Local transport on the Pangalanes Canal

Day 6
MAHAMBO - La Pirogue Hotel
Today you have at leisure to relax on the lovely beach or enjoy some of the activities the hotel can offer - from billiards, kayaking to quad biking.

Overnight La Pirogue Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

La Pirogue thatched chalets on the beach front

Day 7
SAINTE MARIE ISLAND, 3*+ Soanambo Hotel
This morning you continue north by road to the village of Sornierana Ivongo to meet with the ferry to Sainte Marie Island. The crossing to St Marie Island is approx 27 km and takes 1hr. Normally it is a reasonably smooth crossing being sheltered between the mainland and the island of St Marie.

During the whale season (July/Sept) you are almost guaranteed to see Hump Back Whales leaping from the water. You are met at the little harbour and transferred to the new & modern Soanambo Hotel, built in 2010. Offering you all the comforts of a large spacious colourful room with air-conditioning, TV, coffee & tea facilities, patio or balcony overlooking the sea etc.

Overnight Soanambo Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

3*+ Soanambo Hotel, Sainte Marie Island

Hotel Soanambo completely rebuilt in 2009

Day 8
Soanambo Hotel St Marie Island is a charming French-owned 3*+ hotel right on the beach. Your professional French manageress / hostess, Christine, will happily advise you on various attractions on the island: Scuba, snorkelling, motor bike hire, visit to the pirates cemetery & zoo to name but a few. During the whale season - July / September - boat trips can be arranged to view these gentle giants of the seas.

Overnight Soanambo Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Modern and colourful rooms with everything from coffee to TVs in the room

Day 9
You can hire a small motor bike and set off with a picnic lunch in search of your own little paradise beach or explore the town and harbour where you can relax at a street-side cafe and watch islanders going about their daily tasks.

There is a boat trip to the nearby picturesque island of Ile Aux Nattes off the southern tip of Sainte Marie with excellent beaches and coral to snorkel. Lemur spotting and a fine lunch can be enjoyed. This is an exclusive excursion to Soanambo Hotel, who have their own restaurant on Ile Aux Nattes - enquire at Soanambo Hotel reception.

Overnight Soanambo Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Freedom of a motor bike on Sainte Marie Island

Day 10
Your day is at your leisure - maybe visit the Pirates cemetery and the Lemur Zoo - afternoon perhaps a visit to the smaller island of Ile Aux Nattes 100meters across the channel in a dugout canoe - see island photo on right - ideal for some swimming and snorkelling.

Overnight Soanambo Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Coral reef south of Sainte Marie Island

Day 11
Transfer to Sainte Marie Airport for your internal flight back to Antananarivo Subject to flight times there may be time before or after the flight for further activities Optional excursions could include a city tour, the Artisans Craft Market - or the Lemur Park just south of Tana.

Overnight IC Hotel, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Sunset over Sainte Marie Island

Day 12
Transfer to Antananarivo Ivato airport for your flight back home.

Below are a few tips to make your holiday that much more enjoyable

Suggested items to bring:
Please bring light walking shoes, a Back-Pack is ideal to carry all your personal bits - a bottle of water, sunglasses, suntan lotion, mosquito repellent, Malaria Pills, hat, T-shirt for snorkelling, camera, local money for drinks and souvenirs. It is forbidden to purchase any coral and shells from the vendors! Please spray yourselves with insect repellent before entering any of the forests, for your own comfort.

Ladies please carry some tissues in you pocket while travelling - you will find them very useful. No refreshments are served in the 4x4s nor on the boats - please carry water bottles - and if you have to buy something to eat on the road, buy sealed items such as biscuits, fruit, and sealed cool drinks such as coke - remember your stomach is not adapted to some of the indigenous food items sold out in the country side.


What is Included:
- International & Domestic flights ex Johannesburg where required
- Road Transfers
- Boat Transfers
- All Accommodation
- H/B (Dinner, Bed & Breakfast)
- Drivers where required


What is NOT included:
- Visas - available on arrival
- Airport Taxes.
- Luncheons, Snacks & Alcoholic beverages
- Optional excursions
- Items of a personal nature. Tips, gratuities & porterage


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