TZ8 TANZANIA & MADAGASCAR TOUR

SEARCH TOUR
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Ngorongoro Crater: natural wonder; Endless Serengeti plain; Leapin lemurs!; Guided forest walks; Unique flora and fauna; Meeting the friendly locals; Fascinating pre- and post-colonial history; stunning lodges

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (see note below, if applicable) - All pricing reflects twin-sharing, per-person pricing for the TOUR AND INTERNAL FLIGHTS ONLY; however, we can book flights from your home airport to join the tour for an added cost. Contact us for a no obligation quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Tue 09 Oct 2018Wed 24 Oct 2018 $7750 USD
Tue 08 Oct 2019Wed 23 Oct 2019 $7750 USD

The above prices are subject to an additional $120 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included, but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.


Optional Single Supplement: $1333 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $667, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.


Tour Overview


This is a terrific combination of two fascinating, naturally and culturally rich countries in one nice, neat and affordable package. This trip appeals to those travellers who want the quintessential East Africa safari and to experience the delights of Madagascar (lemurs!) but don't necessarily have the time and resources to dedicate to our longer 30+ day combo trips. Our October timing coincides with optimal times to visit all locations.

Regions visited: East Africa
Countries visited: Tanzania; Kenya and Madagascar


Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Arusha, Tanzania
Arrival in Arusha in northern Tanzania

Arusha is the starting point for the northern safari routes of Tanzania, and is one of the country's most attractive towns. You may catch a glimpse of Mount Meru that looms over the town, or even Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.

Overnight in/near Arusha.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Arusha - Tarangire National Park
This morning, after breakfast and a pre-safari briefing, we travel by road to Tarangire National Park.

Tarangire National Park is the most Southern of the accessible parks of northern Tanzania. Named after River Tarangire, the park covers an area of 2600 km². Much of the park is open grassy savannah, dotted with splendid specimens of Baobab trees, but there are also areas of swamp in the south. Is known for its river valley, wetlands, gently rolling hills, rocky out crops, acacia woodlands, and numerous baobab trees.

This afternoon we have a game drive through the park. This is the only park in Tanzania's northern circuit where one can easily view a large concentration of elephant all year round.

Overnight in Tarangire National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Tarangire National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives in the park.

The park is located south of the large, open grass plains that make up southern Maasailand and contains large stretches of acacia woodland, and grassy savannah, accompanied by large baobab trees that shelter the wildlife and characterize the park. Animals that can be spotted in the park include the eland, lesser kudu, Kongoni, impala, zebra, gazelle, buffalo, wildebeest, leopard, elephant, rhino, fringe eared oryx and the lion. The park is an ornithologist's paradise at the best time of year--over 300 recorded species.

Overnight in Tarangire National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Tarangire - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Early this morning, with picnic lunches with us, we travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a beautiful rolling landscape with periodic views over the Ngorongoro Crater.

Called the 'eighth wonder of the world' and stretching across some 8300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles and its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors.

Upon arrival at the crater we immediately descend for a full day of exploration and wildlife viewing with lunch on the crater floor in this incredible setting, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We explore the crater, 20 km (13 miles) wide and 700 m (2,300 feet) high, where we may see the "Big Five" as well as many herbivores like wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and hippopotamus, as well as thousands of flamingos on Lake Magadi.

We then ascend ther crater wall to our overnight lodge on the crater rim.

Overnight in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Ngorongoro - Serengeti National Park
Today we depart by road for the Serengeti; before descending onto the Serengeti Plain, we'll stop at a viewpoint overlooking the crater. The name "Serengeti" derives from a Maasai word meaning "Land-without-end." This is a land of superlatives, both in the vast landscape that surrounds you and the incredible biodiversity it supports. It is here that you have a chance to
witness one of the most compelling natural dramas on earth -- the annual migration, a sight unparalleled anywhere in the natural world. Our afternoon game drive provides an excellent introduction to this fantastic landscape and the biodiversity it supports.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Serengeti National Park
Today we have a full day of game viewing on the Serengeti. We will visit the "kopjes," a series of low, incongruous hills dotting the open landscape that often provide a vantage point for hungry predators contemplating the endless stream of hoofed animals parading past them. Depending on the season and the timing of the rains, up to 1.5 million wildebeest and a half a million zebra embark on a single-minded and perilous quest for water and grazing land. Following this spectacle, of course, are the meat-eating opportunists, hoping to capitalize on the physical toll this journey exacts on the desperate grazers. Even outside of "migration" time, large herds are still seen as they bear their young and feed, gaining strength for their annual return to the park's northern reaches. Resident species that do not migrate make for rewarding animal viewing in any season.

It may be possible to take an optional hot-air balloon safari over the plains at daybreak; today is the best day to participate in this activity - details will be sent sent upon booking.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 Serengeti - Olduvai Gorge - Gibb's Farm - Lake Manyara
Today we retrace our with a stop at Olduvai Gorge, site of the Leakey excavations in the 1960s and 70s that established this region as the prehistoric habitat of some of the earliest species of hominids with some finds dating back 1.8 million years. Experts in the life sciences have argued that the Olduvai contribution to the story of human origins remains unsurpasse by any other prehistoric site in the world. A small museum on site outlines the unique geological and human history of the area.

Our lunch stop is Gibb's Farm. Founded during German colonial times and still privately owned, Gibb's Farm is now a small hotel perched on the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Highlands, surrounded by coffee plantations with long views over lush and beautiful agricultural country.

We continue to our lodge on a ridge overlooking Lake Manyara, the smallest of the northern parks in Tanzania (330 sq km, of which two thirds is the actual lake). The park hosts a wide variety of vegetation, ranging from savannah to ground water forest to riparian habitats. The park is host to thousands of pelicans, ibis and flamingo that can be heard from afar. Other common visitors to this beautiful lake are hippos and the majestic African fish eagle, which can be seen swooping down from its perch to snatch a fish from the still waters of the lake.

Overnight at Lake Manyara.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Lake Manyara - Arusha, Tanzania - Nairobi, Kenya
This morning we descend back down the escarpment and into Lake Manyara, the smallest of the northern parks in Tanzania (330 sq km, of which two thirds is the actual lake) hosting a wide variety of vegetation, ranging from savannah to ground water forest to riparian habitats. The park is host to thousands of pelicans, ibis, and flamingo that can be heard from afar. Other common visitors to this beautiful lake are hippos and the majestic African fish eagle, which can be seen swooping down from its perch to snatch a fish from the still waters of the lake. Wildlife interest at Lake Manyara is not confined to bird life only; animals such as buffalo, elephant, giraffe, impala, hippo and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.

Leaving the park, we make a stop at the village of Mto Wa Mbu ('Mosquito Creek'), famous for its lively cosmopolitan atmosphere and red bananas, which taste the same as regular bananas but their skins are a startling bright red.

Our destination today in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya (entry visa fees apply), and major regional air hub on which we rely for our connection to Madagascar (if flight connectivity improves in future, we may elect to fly from Arusha instead). Have your passports ready and prepare to say farewell to our Tanzanian drivers, as we will transfer to Kenya vehicles for the last dash to our Nairobi Airport area hotel.

Overnight in Nairobi (airport area hotel).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Nairobi, Kenya - Antananarivo, Madagascar
Mid-morning we fly to Madagascar.

Unlike most capital cities in southern Africa, Antananarivo was already a major city before the colonial era. The city was founded circa 1625 by King Andrianjaka and takes its name ('the City of the Thousand') from the number of soldiers assigned to guard it.

After out hotel arrival, we should have time to accomplish some sightseeing in the capital today.

Overnight in Antananarivo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Antananarivo - Andasibe
Today we travel by road to the popular rainforest reserve of Andasibe-Mantadia. The drive over the highlands and escarpment is pleasant and the scenery is stunning. Since this is in the eastern escarpment, the climate is cooler and the rain falls mostly at night. The mist-enshrouded rainforest creates an awesome spectacle in the early morning.

At some point during our visit, we will likely be able to go for a walk in the vicinity of the reserve. There are at least nine species of lemur here (including the recent discovery of the aye-aye). Our most likely encounter will be with a troop of grey bamboo lemurs, which are diurnal and sometimes feed on the bamboo near the warden's house. On a nocturnal lemur hunt one should also look for mouse lemurs and the greater dwarf lemur, which hibernates during the cold season.

Overnight in Andasibe.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Andasibe: Mantadia/Analamzaotra
Today we visit Analamazaotra Special Reserve (walks/hikes in the reserve).* This reserve protects the largest of the lemur family, the indri. It stands about three feet high, with a barely visible tail, and black and white markings. You will be an observer: most people see indris in Analamazaotra Special Reserve, and if they don't see them they hear them. It is their voice that makes this lemur extra special: while other lemurs grunt, the indri "sings." It is an eerie, wailing sound somewhere between the song of a whale and a police-siren, and it carries for up to two miles as they call to each other across the forest.

In Malagasy the indri is called Babakoto. There are various legends connected with the indri, which reveals the esteem in which the local people hold them. A popular legend tells of a man who climbed a forest tree to gather wild honey and was severely stung by the bees. Losing his hold, he fell, but was caught by a huge indri which carried him on its back to safety.

This is also a good place for bird watching. There are flowering trees of a species much favoured by the Madagascar green sunbird, which has an iridescent green head and throat. There are also plenty of the cuckoo-like blue couas, blue pigeons, paradise flycatchers, two species of falcon (Newton falcon and Madagascar falcon), two species of black vasa parrot, and many others.

* NOTE: There are some moderately strenuous walks on this tour that, though optional, are an integral part of experiencing the highlights of the country. Reasonable level of physical fitness and steadiness on one's feet is important for the participant to fully and comfortably enjoy such tour activities.

Overnight in Andasibe-Mantadia.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 Réserve de Maromizaha - Antananarivo
We have a second full day in the area, this time at the nearby Réserve de Maromizaha, a 100-sq-km reserve, about 8km southeast of the Parc National Andasibe Mantadia. The area is home to 11 somewhat elusive lemur species, including diademed sifakas and black-and-white ruffed lemurs. The landscape is very attractive and our route today will be somewhat free-form depending opn what we see and local conditions.

Later this afternoon we'll make the drive back to the capital.

Overnight in Antananarivo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Antananarivo - Berenty
Today we fly to Fort Dauphin (Taolagnaro). On arrival we drive (on a rather poor road) to Berenty through beautiful landscape (mountains, endemic plants, baobab, cactus, sisal). The reserve lies some 80 km to the west of Tolagnaro, amid a vast sisal plantation, and the drive there is part of the experience. For the first half of the journey the skyline is composed of rugged green mountains, and "travellers' trees" (ravenala) dot the landscape. Near Ranopiso is a grove of the very rare three-cornered palm, Neodypsis decary.

Before reaching the spiny forest we will stop at an Antanosy 'tomb' (actually the dead are buried elsewhere) known as the tomb of Ranonda. It was carved by the renowned sculptor Fiasia. The artistry of this unpainted wooden memorial is of a very high standard although the carvings are deteriorating in the frequently wet weather.

The following species of lemur are often seen: brown lemur, ring-tailed lemur and sifaka. The lemurs here are well-used to people. There are approximately 350 ring-tailed lemurs in Berenty, and the population has stayed remarkably stable considering that only about a quarter of the babies survive to adulthood. The young are born in September and at first cling to their mother's belly, later climbing on to her back and riding jockey-style.

Overnight at Berenty Private Reserve.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Berenty Private Reserve
We have a full day to experience Berenty.

Berenty is famous for its population of ring-tailed lemurs and sifakas. Henri de Heaulme, and now his son Jean, have made this one of the best-studied 260 hectares of forest in Madagascar. Although in the arid south, its location along the river Mandrare ensures a well-watered habitat for the large variety of animals that live there. In previous years the forest itself was threatened by the rampant spread of the cactus-like 'rubber vine', Cissus quadrangularis, but this is being vigorously tackled.

Overnight at Berenty Private Reserve.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15 Berenty - Antananarivo
Today we drive back to Taolagnaro (Fort Dauphin) to connect with our flight back to Antananarivo.

Flight schedules usually permit some time today to take a panoramic look at Antananarivo. If we are unable to, we will attempt to see some of the city earlier in our program.

Tana will surprise you with its rice paddies, pollution, Asian looks, numerous stairs up steep hills, palaces, cobbled streets and churches. This is not Africa or Asia, Madagascar is totally unique. This is a bustling place with lots of churches, a mosque, a zoo and plenty of markets. The capital is basically built on 12 hills and steep steps lead to the main Independence Square in the town center. The architecture is a mixture of old wooden houses, modern offices and French colonial style buildings.

Tana does not have much in the way of "tourist attractions" per se, but we will take in the highlights, including the Rova, the shell of the Royal Palace built in 1864 for Queen Ranavalona II by the Scotsman, James Cameron. Everything that was wooden burned in 1996, but the imposing stone fortress of a shell still stands.

Overnight in Antananarivo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Departure from Antananarivo
Departure from Antananarivo.

BON VOYAGE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Tarangire Treetops

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Tarangire National Park
Country: Tanzania

Tarangire Treetops sits alone in a private conservation area that covers an area of 260 sq km, and the Masai
... amid rolling baobab studded hills with views to Lake Manyara and the Rift Valley wall. Tarangire Treetops offers 20 luxury tents, built atop tree-attached platforms, overlooking the Tarangire Sand River. Each en-suite unit has a private veranda and lounge area, with sweeping views over the conservation area.


Read More.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Serengeti National Park
Country: Tanzania

Nestled in the acacia woodland on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the plains of the south-western Serengeti. 69 standard
... all with 2 queen size beds, carpeted, and tastefully furnished with local fabrics and pictures. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms and hairdryers.


Read More.

Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Lake Manyara
Country: Tanzania

Standing high on the bluff above Lake Manyara's gleaming alkaline waters, the Lodge commands panoramic views across the volcano-studded floor
... the Great Rift Valley. The circular, closely-thatched rooms echo the traditional Maasai 'Boma' style of construction. Each room has a private veranda and breathtaking views of the shimmering lake.


Read More.

Nairobi Serena Hotel

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Nairobi
Country: Kenya

Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena Hotel is a
... of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ and was selected as 'Kenya's Leading Business Hotel' and 'Africa's Leading Green Hotel' at the World Travel Awards 2016. The Nairobi Serena remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa's most vibrant capital cities.
Read More.

Hotel du Louvre

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Antananarivo
Country: Madagascar

The historic Louvre building was built in 1930, and the building has been nicely preserved in the style of the
... The corridors and rooms are decorated with old photographs and posters of Air France & Air Madagascar. The hotel has 60 air-conditioned rooms with all the luxuries of a 3-star hotel, A Wifi connection allows you to surf freely from your room.


Read More.

Vakona Forest Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Andasibe-Mantadia
Country: Madagascar

The design of the bungalows has been conceived in the respect of the local Malagasy architecture. Each of the double
... has its own terrace with an outside little living room, bathroom with warm water, individual toilets, a personal safety deposit box and mini-bar.


Read More.

Berenty Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Berenty
Country: Madagascar

Since 1937, this has been a private reserve in the ancient tamarind forest of the Mandradre River, now of world
... and also featuring an Atandroy museum. Since that day, lemurs living here have mostly lost their fear of man, and are easier to observe. Rooms and bungalows are equipped with a fan and mosquito nets.
Room amenities: Fan, private bathroom with shower, hot and cold water, mosquito nets.




Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner daily, also most lunches in Tanzania and as per your tour itinerary in Madagascar. All accommodation, transport (including internal flight), sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, local guides, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates and for early / late arrivals / departures for land & air participants who book their extra nights through us.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuities, some lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, visas, and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather

TANZANIA: June - October coincides with the coolest and driest period.

MADAGASCAR: Dry season: Apr-Oct. The south and west regions are hot and dry. Monsoons bring storms and cyclones to the east and north from Dec-Mar. The mountains, including Antananarivo, are warm and stormy from Nov-Apr and dry, cool and windy the rest of the year.

Transport and Travel Conditions

TANZANIA: Some road journeys are very long and very rough, possibly dusty. In Tanzania we travel via 4x4 Land Rover / Land Cruisers. The same vehicles, with roofs that pop up, will be used for our game drives in parks and reserves. Please note that air-conditioned safari vehicles are non-existent in East Africa but the humidity is low and an open window usually provide sufficient relief.

MADAGASCAR: The #3 difficulty rating on this tour refers specifically to the Madagascar section on which, in order to fully enjoy and experience what Madagascar has to offer, one must be prepared to hike over uneven terrain, perhaps with mud and rocks and roots and heat. The lodge properties we use are also very spread out and the distance from main building to guest rooms may be considerable. There are also plenty of stairs throughout. Of course we do not "force" anyone to participate in activities listed in our itinerary; however, if one chooses to skip walks, one will miss most of what the country has to offer the visitor.

Accommodation

TANZANIA: Hotels and lodges are 5-star properties with hot water, electricity, mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, swimming pools. Remote lodges are not air-conditioned though many are at higher elevations where heat is not a factor. Many lodges are quite spread out and you will need to be able to walk up to 10 minutes from public areas to your room. These are beautifully designed, located, and serviced properties with all the comforts and first-class service.

MADAGASCAR: Hotels and lodges are of a simpler standard, but all have hot water, electricity (maybe part-time), mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, sometimes swimming pools.

Hotel porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. Many lodges are quite spread out and you will need to be able to walk up to 10 minutes from public areas to your room.

For more details on our accommodation, please click on the Map & Hotel tab on this page.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, drivers, local guides.

Tanzania: Groups of six or fewer participants (one vehicle), will be led / guided by one of our local driver-guides. Only multi-vehicle groups will be assigned an Adventures Abroad Tour Leader.

Groups of 7 or less in Madagascar may be led / guided by one of our local Madagascar-based personnel.

Group Size

10-18 (plus Tour Leader)