This itinerary allows us to discover the real lifestyle of the Betsileo ethnic group. Among the 18 ethnic groups existing in Madagascar, this group is unique because they maintain their traditional civilization. The only tea plantation and production in Madagascar is also in this region. Betsileo are excellent woodworkers, especially known for their large artistic sculptures. The Zafimaniry in particular, a subgroup of Betsileo, have kept alive this tradition of wood-based architecture and decorative arts. The knowledge of Betsileo Zafimaniry wood was classified by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2002.
- Discovery of the highland,
- Meeting and discovery of the village of Ambositra,
- Descent of Matsiatra river with the only tea plantation of Madagascar,
- Walking at the national park of Isalo.
Day 1 : Paris > Antananarivo
Arrival at Ivato Airport. Welcoming at the airport with our representative and transfer to your hotel situated in the center of Antananarivo. Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar and the largest city on this big island in the Indian Ocean. Antananarivo means "the city of a thousand", a reference to the 1000 soldiers that supposedly protected the newly founded city during the reign of the revered King Andrianjaka in 1610. Antananarivo is called shortly by local inhabitant Tana nowadays. And it will surprise you with its rice paddies, Asian looks, numerous stairs up steep hills, palaces, cobbled streets and churches. Antananarivo has a population of about 1.5 million people.
Overnight at the hotel on bed and breakfast
Day 2 : Antananarivo > Antsirabe > Ambositra
Breakfast. Drive till Antsirabe, the thermal city on the national road N°7. Along the way, you will travel across the typical landscape of the highland, rocky hill, savanna, terraced rice field, and large orchard. First stop in Ambatolampy to visit workshop of the pot foundry. Lunch at your charge along the road. Continuation till the city of Antsirabe, famous its ricksaw. We continue to the South till the village of Ambositra, the famous handcraft village. Ambositra is reputed of the marquetry and wood carving. Installation at the hotel on Bed and Breakfast.
Duration: +/- 6h of road
Distance: 260 kms
Day 3: Ambositra
After breakfast, we drive to the small village of Ifasina. Drive for about 2h to the to the village of Antoetra. We leave behind our car and we go on foot, to discover the Zafimaniry countries, for a short hike of 13 kms. This tour allows us to discover the Customs and Us of Zafimaniry. Through this group, we can discover their Zafimaniry know-how, especially houses assembled without the slightest nail, with finely carved doors and shutters. Pic nic lunch on the spot, return to Ambositra in the afternoon.
Installation at the hotel
Duration : 2h of road, +/- 4h of walk
Distance: 44 kms (G/B)
Day 4: Ambositra > Fianarantsoa
After Breakfast, possibility to visit the handcraft market before continuing to the South. After visit, we continue till Fianarantsoa. Installation at the hotel on Bed and Breakfast
Duration: +/- 5h of road
Distance: 150 kms
Day 5: Fianarantsoa > Mahatsiatra River > Fianarantsoa
After breakfast, departure from Fianarantsoa by car and arrival in Mahasoabe 1h later. Descent in traditional pirogue for 4 hours on the Mahatsiatra river to the village of Iseta admiring the beautiful landscapes of villages typically Betsileo, the daily life of Betsileo ethnic groups (the way to dress, the structure of their house ...). After the descent, we walk 45 minutes to reach the place where we take the picnic and then drive to Sahambavy where you will visit the only tea plantation in Madagascar.Return to Fianarantsoa taking the RN7 and seeing next to the railway.
Duration: +/- 2h of car, 45 of walking, 4h of pirogue
Day 6: Fianarantsoa > Ranohira
After breakfast, continuation till the village of Ambalavao where we visit the workshop of the mythic Anteimoro paper and Malagasy handmade embroideries. Ambavalao is also renowned for his big zebu market every Wednesday. After the visit, we continue till the village of Ranohira. Installation at the hotel on bed and Breakfast
Duration: +/- 5h of road
Distance: 270 kms
Day 7: Ranohira > Isalo > Ranohira
Breakfast. Day devoted to the discovery of Isalo National Park, an area of outstanding natural 81.540ha where wind and water have carved world alien forms. While following a well-marked path on earth and rock, you continue your trip to the natural pool situated into the deep canyons.A canyon with lush vegetation, which are lost in the tall grass savannah. Return at the hotel in the evening. Night at the same hotel. Installation at the hotel on Bed and breakfast.
Duration: +/- 4h of walk
Day 8: Ranohira > Fianarantsoa > Antsirabe
Early in the morning, upon we finish the breakfast, we take the road we return to the highland. Drive directly at Fianarantsoa, we stop there to take lunch (on your charge). Along the way, we can meet herds of zebu who will join the Ambalavao market.We continue till Antsirabe with fields landscape. Arrival at Antsirabe at the end of the afternoon.
Duration: +/-8h30 of road
Day 9: Antsirabe > Antananarivo
After a good night and breakfast, we do a short city tour of Antsirabe. After the visit, we drive till Antananarivo. Arrival at Antananarivo in the middle of the afternoon. Installation at the hotel. In the evening we are going to admire the sundowner and take dinner at restaurant.
Duration: +/-3h30 of road
Distance: 170 kms
Day 10: Antananarivo > Home
Breakfast, according your flight schedule, transfer at the airport at the end of the evening. Assistance flight home.
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