Typically one associates Madagascar with lemurs, the famous Avenue of the Baobabs and Grand Tsingy de Bemeraha, commonly referred to as the stone forest. Lemurs are everywhere throughout the country, while the famous street lined with Boababs and Grand Tsingy are found on the west coast. A great way to see these sights is to join a 7-8 day tour. The tour includes a 2.5 day river cruise on traditional wooden pirogue and a visit to Tsingy and the Avenue of Boababs. Whether going on your own or by tour, this is one of the most visited places in Madagascar and should sit high on your list of places to see.
Wild West Tour
The tour typically starts in Antananarivo. Tour costs can range drastically, especially if it is booked before arriving to Madagascar. If traveling on a budget or trying to save money, wait to book the tour from Antsirabe.
Booking this tour before arriving to Madagascar may cost more than 1,000 Euros. A better option is to connect with Madagascar Underground in Antananarivo or Chez Billy in Antsirabe for a more reasonable price. Reach out before arriving to know when the tour will be leaving. Normally, they will quote a price of 450 Euro for an 8 day tour from Antananarivo or 350 Euro for a 7 day tour from Antsirabe. We recommend going to Antsirabe on your own by taxi brousse and getting hotel room for a fraction of the price. From Antsirabe, negotiate down the price to between 250 Euro and 300 Euro per person.
The tour includes all transportation, guides, hotel stays, campsites, and equipment. Food is included only when camping.
Day 1: Private car from Antsirabe to Miandrivazo, stay the night in a hotel. Make sure to stop at the ATM/bank and get cash needed for the entire trip. The next ATM will be available at the end of the tour in Morondava.
Day 2: Short car ride to the Tsiribihina River to begin 2.5 day pirogue tour. The first night is at a great campsite along the river with a short walk to an amazing natural pool and beautiful waterfall.
Day 3: Full day on the pirogue with a stop for lunch at a local village. Set up camp along the bank of the river for the night.
Day 4: Finish up the pirogue tour and get picked up by 4×4 vehicle. After a 2-3 hour drive, the truck will cross the river by ferry. This is a very interesting cultural experience which can take 30 minutes or 3 hours. The night is spent in Belo Tsiribihina in a hotel.
Day 5: Drive from Belo Tsiribihina to a campsite near Tsingy de Bemeraha, where the afternoon is free.
Day 6: The day starts early with the drive to Grand Tsingy. Then a four hour hike with a local guide through the impressive formations of Grand Tsingy. Drive back to the campsite for lunch, followed by a two hour walk in Small Tsingy.
Day 7: Seven hour drive to Morondava with a stop at the Avenue of the Baobabs for sunset. The tour ends in Morondava.
After Completing the Tour
Upon completion of the tour, there are a few activities in the area. Kirindy National Park can be visited on a day trip. A 3-4 day tour of Belo Sur Mer can be organized for 400k Ar with a 4×4 or 200k with a pirogue. However, with the pirogue there is a northern wind current along the coastline, so be sure to check the wind conditions first. A taxi brousse back to Antsirabe costs 30k Ar, and is a 11-12 hour ride.
Where to Stay
Antsirabe – Chez Bobby costs 28k for a private room with shared bath, hot water, wifi, restaurant and bar. Tours can be arranged from here with Laza. Laza can be reached on his facebook page.
Morondava – L’Oasis, a popular Rasta hangout and restaurant, costs 30k for a bungalow. Live Music plays until 10 or 11pm. Basic bungalows can be found along the beach for 30K tucked in beside more expensive hotels.
Visiting Avenue of Baobabs and Tsingy de Bemeraha from Morondava
It is possible to these amazing sights from Morondava. This option will not include the pirogue river ride and will save you about 3-4 days total. However, it will not save a significant amount of money compared to the 7 day tour. 4×4 tours from Morondava will charge around 150 Euro per person for a 3 day tour.
Day 1: Hire a pre-arranged 4×4, departing in the morning, with a quick stop at Avenue of the Boababs en route to the National Park of Tsingy de Bemeraha, a 7-8 hour drive.
Day 2: In the morning drive to Grand Tsingy. Hire a local guide and take the 3-4 hour walking tour. Drive to Small Tsingy, for a 2 hour walking tour.
Day 3: Drive back to Morondava, with a stop at the Avenue of the Baobabs for sunset.
Check out the Full Guide on Madagascar
Visited from 06/07/2016 to 07/14/2016.