Tana > Tuléar direct
Tana > Tuléar direct
|Extremely varied route through the highlands of the Merina, the land of the Betsileo, passing by primary forests; then further on through the land of the Bara into the dry south, the sandstone ranges of Isalo, the dry forests of Zombitse, until finally reaching the Tuléar.
10 days, 1430 km (of that, 248 km on piste). Average distance covered per day: 143 km.
|Day||Route||km total||km Piste||Treking|
|1.||Tana > Ambatolampy > Antsirabe||180|
|After we have managed to find the way out of Tana through all that incredibly dense traffic, riding becomes a pleasure, while one curve follows another and will do so for hundreds of kilometers to come. We will visite today: Insect museum, displaying more than 5000 exhibits, local production of cooking vessels, both at Ambatolampy, were we will also have lunch. With timely arrival in Antsirabe, we will go and see precious stone processing in a lapidary. In the evening, we will go out to have dinner on one of those famous Pousse-Pousse, that one finds here more often than elsewhere in Madagascar.|
|2.||Antsirabe > Lac Trivitra > Antsirabe > Ambositra||130||30||1 km|
|In the morning, we will venture out on a small piste to visit Lake Tritriva, around 20 km away from Antsirabe. Even though the piste climbs, riding on it isn´t difficult at all, but fun instead. After we have reached the top, we are taking a short trek down to surround the lake, while listening to local tales about its history. On the way back to Antsirabe, we pass by Lake Andraikiba, suited as recreational resort.
After a late lunch in Antsirabe, the 90 km through hill country with lots of curves are plain fun. In Ambositra, we still find time to look at the works of local wood carvers and furniture manufacturers. We spent the night on the over 100 years old, newly renovated Grand Hotel.
|3.||Ambositra > Ranomafana||210||25|
|Passing by the remainder of primary forests, we see how people have lived (and still do so) from the forest and how this has changed the country. We have malgasy lunch in Ambohimahasoa, before we continue onward through magnificent rice fields, giving us the impression beeing closer to Est Asia than to Africa. Later today, we take the left turn to the east coast. This road is in bad shape, so it´s fun to do it, however it takes time. We leave two villages behind, slowly entering the national parc. After crossing a bridge, we have the river Namorona at our right, the road is better here, and we can watch the river descending by forming waterfalls, with primary forest right behind the opposite bank.
In Ranomafana, we have time for a stroll through the village, to take a hot bath in the natural spring, or to prepare for tomorrows visit to the parc by looking at the Centre d´Environement.
|4.||Parc National de Ranomafana||12||5 hrs|
|We do a trek through the parc on foot, watching animals (lemurs, chameleons) and looking at plant life, incredible just alike. 12 species of lemurs live here, and the golden bambus lemur was only discovered here in 1986. Of the plants, orchids, tree ferns, palms, mooses, a variety of flowering plants as well as stands of giant bamboo (on which three species of lemurs feed). In the late afternoon, possibility for a night tour into the parc.|
|5.||Ranomafana > Fianarantsoa||85||25|
|On to Fianarantsoa. We get there early enough for lunch and have time to explore this second largest town of Madagascar in the afternoon. Recommended visits: Upper town to see historical places and for a good overall view.|
|6.||Fianarantsoa > Ambalavao > Camp Catta||137||50|
|We head out of town to soon stop at one of those wine yards, that produce malagasy wine, only to be found in this region. Maybe, we can see the handwashing and handlabeling of the bottles, but surely there will be wine offered to sample, but talking some bottles along to have with our dinner tonight would be the safer option. In Ambalavao, we can see paper making according to the traditional Antaimoro method and buy their artworks as well. Lunch will be available here. A few kilometers away, a silk spinning facility produces silk lambas (blankets), traditionally used in Madagascar to wrap ones deaths. From here, a piste, subject to a toll, leads into the Andringitra National Parc, ideal for trekking. Who goes there, should bring along his food.
From here, a piste, leads to Tsara Camp in the Andringitra National Parc, ideal setting for trekking. More basic is Trano Gasy.
|7.||Camp Catta > Ihosy||163||50|
|This morning, we stay in Camp Catta. After lunch, we get going to our next destination Ihosy. While driving, it is slowly getting hotter.|
|8.||Ihosy - Ranohira||90||40|
|This morning, we are crossing the Plateau d´Horombé. We get into Ranohira for lunch, have time in the afternoon for some excursions in the vincinity, like Ilakaka, Madagascar´s wild-west, where precious stones are found these days and we watch the sunset at la Fenêtre. Just behind Ranohira, the german Martina Breitling manages her Isalo Ranch, a comfortable installation of traditional bungalows, even offering a pool. The whole installation is suplied by solar power.|
|9.||Canyon de Makis > Piscine naturelle||30||27||4 hrs|
|To visit the Canyon de Makis, we can use the bikes to enter the parc, provided there is place available to take our guide along. Just out of Ranohira, the piste turns off to the left and we have around 15 km to go untill we reach the parking ground. From here, we do a trek into the canyon, which will surprise us with its lush green flora and animal wild life. After lunch in town, we take another chance to enter the parc to see the Piscine naturelle, offering us to take a bath, after the walk in the hot sun.|
|10.||Ranohira > Zombitse > Tuléar||290||2 hrs|
|Driving from Ranohira to Tuléar is, dispite the distance, a matter of a half day. Thus we take the chance to enter into the new National Parc Zombitse, featuring dry forest with birds and lemurs. In the afternoon, after more kilometres through bush country with occcasional baobabs, we finally see the costline in the distance and are confronted with city traffic a short while later.|