The Lost Continent

15 Day Small Group Adventure from Antananarivo to Antananarivo with Explore

Read 2 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on Explore's 15 Day The Lost Continent. Travel to The Lost Continent in search of exotic wildlife, contrasting cultures and spectacular scenery. Africa meets Asia, and old meets new in the bustling Malagasy capital of Tana, while...read more

Our Price From:
$ 4,214
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 190
Per Person ($AU)
Small Group Adventure Starts In
Starts In
Antananarivo
Small Group Adventure Ends In
Ends In
Antananarivo
Accomodation
Accomodation
Comfortable
16
Max Group Size
16
Wildlife
Trip Style
Wildlife
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Full On
Trip Pace
Full On
Countries Explored:
Madagascar
Trip Operated By:
Explore
Explore
140 Reviews
Trip Reviews:
5.0 out of 5
2 Reviews
Trip Code:
MD

Itinerary

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1 Join tour Antananarivo
Arrive in Antananarivo and meet your Explore leader. Depending on your arrival time, you may have a chance to explore this once medieval capital, which is affectionately known as 'Tana', where the houses appear stacked one upon the other down the sloping hills of the highlands. Stay: Hotel (Standard)
2 Drive to Andasibe Reserve, view wildlife
It's an early start to kick off the trip, leaving the city at around 6am, we will drive to Andasibe village which is also still sometimes referred to by it's French colonial name; Perinet. Although only eight square kilometres, Analamazoatra Reserve in Andasibe boasts nine species of Lemur, including the Indri Indri. The Indri's morning calls can be heard piercing through the forest and on arrival we will begin the day with a trek in search for the Indri families in the area. Although the paths are often easy to follow, sometimes pushing further into the bush is required to spot these exquisite creatures in the trees. An adventurous walk to kick off these two weeks searching for lemurs! This afternoon, depending on numbers, optional walks can be arranged including one focusing on the birdlife of the region. This evening, after dinner, we will head out once again with a local national park guide in search of the smallest of the lemur species; the mouse lemurs. Although nocturnal, these creatures can often easily be spotted along the 1km roadside route followed this evening. As well as spotting tiny lemurs, it's often common to see colourful chameleons, frogs and exotic insects. Stay: Lodge (Standard) (B)
3 Visit to National Park or Lemur Island, looking for Black and White Ruffed Lemur
Listen out this morning, as often the Indri's calls can be heard throughout the forest and surrounding village areas, including our accommodation! We'll be up early to drive to the nearby Mantadia National Park. Mantadia and Analamazoatra reserve are parts of the same precious forest ecosystem but due to continuous deforestation in the area they are now separate parks. Mantadia is slightly further away from the village and is often less busy with visitors and therefore the trails can be a little tougher. We'll spend around 4 hours searching for the black and white ruffed and Diademed Sifaka lemurs, as well as opportunity to spot some birdlife. After a busy morning searching for wildlife, we'll return Andasibe for lunch. Then this afternoon there will be optional visit to a private reserve with more opportunities to spot lemurs at close quarters or instead a visit to the village of Andasibe itself. Stay: Lodge (Standard) (B)
4 Drive to Antsirabe, explore the colonial architecture and churches
An early departure this morning, heading south to reach the spa town of Antsirabe, today will be a long travel day with plenty of comfort breaks and a stop for lunch. Antsirabe's cool climate made it a favourite spot with European missionaries and French colonialists, and their influence can still be seen everywhere in the colonial architecture and churches. Set in the Central Highlands, the town is a clash of cultures with fading, ornate colonial architecture, colourful rickshaws wandering up and down the streets and souk-like stalls selling all different goods to both local residents and visitors. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
5 Lake Tritiva
This morning we drive to the volcanic Lake of Tritriva. Local myths and taboos surround this mysterious lake which seems to have many guises, changing colour from one day to the next. We'll take a short walk to the crater's edge, where we can relax and take in the view. There will be a short amount of free time to walk further if you wish. From here we'll continue our journey to Ambositra in the afternoon, where we'll visit some of the local wood-carver's, who produce woodwork pieces depicting Malagasy life and detailed marquetry work which are both well known across the country for the fine standard of craftsmanship. Tonight, we shall stay at a local development guest house, enjoy a traditional Malagasy meal and see a folk dance. Although the accommodation we use on this night stop is modest and of a lower standard than what is provided throughout the rest of the trip, by staying here we directly support an important base for the development of health projects, agriculture, water supply and the empowerment of women within the local community. Any school supplies you may like to donate such as notebooks and pencils would be very gratefully received and passed on to the local children. The accommodation is dormitory style, simple but clean, with shared facilities. Hot water is not available. Stay: Community House (Simple) (B/L/D)
6 Scenic drive to Ranomafana National Park
The drive to Ranomafana will take up most of the day, however the winding roads passes through rugged landscapes, rural villages and endless rice paddies, and along the way there will be comfort breaks, plus a lunch stop in Ialatsara. The end of the drive takes us down from the highlands where we'll head into the rainforest. In 1987, a new species of lemur named the Golden Bamboo was found in Ranomafana National Park. This lush forest area is also known for it's hidden waterfalls and the Namorona river which flows through impressive gorges, flanked on either side by tropical rainforest. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/L/D)
7 In Ranomafana National Park, searching for Lemurs and birdlife
After an early wake up call this morning, we will enter the park for a morning walk in the hope of spotting the Golden Bamboo Lemur, which are endemic to the forests in South-Eastern Madagascar. Depending on how lucky we are finding lemurs, we'll spend around three to four hours trekking along the forest trails in search of wildlife. As well as the Golden Bamboo Lemur, we may have the chance to see Red-Fronted Brown Lemur, Red-Bellied Lemur and Milne-Edwards Sifaka. Most lemur species are sadly now endangered, the last survivors of a once abundant family of primates, now confined to pockets of forest and bush throughout Madagascar. Deforestation has taken a heavy toll on these arboreal creatures - it's estimated only 80 species remain. With luck we may also spot the Malagasy boa constrictor, chameleons, the black parrot, cuckoo roller and many other birds. The afternoon will be free to relax, or to go on an additional optional walk within the park with a chance to spot the species not already seen during the morning. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/D)
8 Drive to Isalo National Park (Ranohira)
Returning to the main road this morning, we continue south via the regional capital of Fianarantsoa, the academic centre of Madagascar. Leaving the highland plateau and descending through superb mountain scenery to the plains we pause at Ambalavao paper workshop before arriving at Anja Community Reserve. Here we have the chance to watch troupes of ring-tailed lemur among the granite boulders. Continuing south the pine trees thin out and the fertile soil of the highlands gives way to drier savannah, cactus, termite mounds, and the dust of the midsouth. We finally reach our destination late in the afternoon; Ranohira, situated on the edge of the Isalo National Park. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/D)
9 Isalo National Park, admire Madagascar's Grand Canyon
One of the highlights of our trip is Madagascar's Grand Canyon in Isalo National Park. Dervla Murphy, in her book Muddling through Madagascar describes it as follows - Landscapes that are literally incredible. You don't believe it. You think you're hallucinating. How can wind and water have done all this? The natural erosion that has occurred here has produced fantastic canyons and bizarre outcrops of wind-blasted sandstone. We will take an approximately 90 minute walk along dry, dusty paths across slightly ascending terrain to a natural oasis pool known as Piscine Naturelle for a picnic lunch. After eating we'll continue exploring to see tombs of the Bara people and the sparse, dry forest species of dwarf-like baobab. This afternoon you have the opportunity to take an optional walk within the park with a local guide to Namaza to see the Cascade des Nymphes, before all meeting again to enjoy sunset at La Fenetre where the perfectly natural rock window frames the setting sun. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/L/D)
10 Drive to Toliara, through the Spiny Desert, stopping at Mahafaly Tombs
This morning we continue our journey south for about four hours. The temperature rises as we lose height and head for the coast, crossing the savannah plain that are dotted with herds of Zebu cattle. The south of Madagascar is largely desert and weird cactus-like plants unique to the island smother the land, hence the name the 'Spiny Forest'. We'll stop at Zombitse National Park, where we'll stretch our legs on a two hour walk through the remarkable dry forest which is home to many birds, including black parrots, the Madagascar buzzard and the cuckoo roller. There's also opportunity to spot the shy ring-tailed lemur here! As we continue our drive, we'll pass by a number of fascinating Mahafaly Tombs before reaching the town of Toliara once an important port of call for Dutch and English ships plying the trade routes during the 16th and 17th centuries. Stay: Hotel (Simple) (B)
11 Morning boat journey to fishing village of Anakao, afternoon free
After breakfast this morning we transfer by boat from Toliara to the small fishing village of Anakao, located to the south, just past the Onilahy river estuary. The rich turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean beckon from our beach hideaway. Please Note: due to limited space on the boat we kindly request that you take a smaller overnight bag to Anakao. Your main luggage will be stored in Toliara. Stay: Hotel (Simple) (B/D)
12 In Anakao
Today has again been left free to enjoy Anakao. Options include relaxing on the paradise beach, snorkelling in the azure waters or taking a trip out to the scared island of Nosy Ve, located just off Anakao's western shore. Nosy Ve's reefs and colonies of Red-tailed tropicbirds, make it the ideal place to soak up the tropical atmosphere. Stay: Hotel (Simple) (B/D)
13 Transfer to Toliara and fly to Tana.
This morning we depart Anakao, returning to Toliara by boat before flying north back to Tana, where we will spend the night. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
14 Visit Ambohimanga, oldest palace in country
Today is a chance to absorb the atmosphere of the capital city but before getting amidst the chaos of the bustling streets, we'll drive out of the city to explore the oldest palace in Madagascar situated on Ambohimanga, a forested hill, north of Antananarivo. It was from this fortress that the Merina, a highland tribe, first established an effective administration and military command under the King Andrianampoinamerina. The fort still includes the original king's hut and later European buildings, and from this high point you can take in magnificent views over the fertile rice fields below, the surrounding hills and the city in the distance. We'll stop somewhere for a lunchbreak, before returning to the city later this afternoon, where our leader will lead an orientation walk and there will be time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping in Tana before our final dinner of the trip. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/L)
15 Tour ends Antananarivo
This morning our tour ends in Antananarivo after breakfast. (B)

Explore! Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • Andasibe Reserve - Track the Indri lemur and other remarkable wildlife
  • Antsirabe - Walk along a stunning crater lake in Tritriva
  • Highland Scenery - Rice paddies, villages and colourful markets
  • Ranomafana - Walk in the rainforest and observe various species of lemurs, chameleons and amphibians
  • Isalo National Park - Explore the 'Grand Canyon' of Madagascar and meet troops of Ring-tailed lemurs
Trip Pace: Full On
  • Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a - block full of new experiences as possible
Read Trip Notes
  • Trip Notes outline what's included, visa information, important notes, how to get to your accommodation, packing checklist, optional activities, travel insurance requirements - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more. Please take time to have a read through, and contact us if you have any questions. View Trip Notes
About Explore!
About Explore!
Launching in 1981, Explore offer trips from over 130 countries - from classic small group tours. Read more
Explore Leaders
Explore Leaders
Explore's leaders are more than just your typical guide. They're your local expert are are passionate about sharing their expertise with you. Read more
Where do we Stay?
Where do we Stay?
The places Explore stay are every bit as important as the sights they visit and the things you do. Read more

Reviews (2)

15 Day The Lost Continent reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

Rating 5.0 out of 5
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“It was an amazing trip.”
- Australia Apr 2019

It was an amazing trip. The experience of the wild life and the rain forest was magical and the work going on to stop deforestation and educate young people was good to see. We saw and became a part of life in Madagascar as it really is. The visit to the missionary centre was challenging but was a really thought provoking experience - as was the visit to the school. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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“Great trip all round.”
- Australia Feb 2019

Great trip all round, the beginning 80% was absolutely brilliant but the travel/traffic and general hanging around at the end put a bit of a dampener on the trip. (Review provided by Explore Worldwide.)

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Saturday 31 Jul 2021 Saturday 14 Aug 2021 176per person 4,214per person Not Avail
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Saturday 26 Nov 2022 Saturday 10 Dec 2022 210solo traveller 5,040solo traveller Enquire
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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Explore. Full terms & conditions are available here.