Mahajanga is a sprawling and somnolent port town with one of the prettier waterfronts of Madagascar’s seaside cities – a palm-lined seaside promenade, as well as shady arcades and walls draped with gorgeous bougainvillea. With its large Comoran and Indian populations, and historical connections with Africa, it is one of the most colourful and ethnically diverse places in Madagascar. It is also the gateway to one of western Madagascar’s most diverse regions, from stunning caves and rock formations to sacred lakes and bird-rich wetlands.
Ankarafantsika National Park
Protected since 1927 and officially declared a national park in 2002, Ankarafantsika National Park (130,000 hectares) protects one of the few remaining patches of the western Malagasy deciduous dry forest as well as humid forest and the crocodile-filled Ravelobe Lake. The name Ankarafantsika derived from the word Garafantsy which means « hills of spines ».
Just 114 kilometers south of Majunga (approximately two hours drive) along RN4, the park is easily accessible. The park office is located in the village of Ampijoroa. A
The drive season is from May to October. It ca get very hot during the day, especially in the open savannah grassland, which should be visited in the early morning hours to beat the heat.
There are eight species of lemurs here, including the common brown lemur and the cute and cuddly Coquerel’s Sifaka, which come out of the forest and can be easily viewed at the park’s entrance. The endangered golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus Ravelobenis), also known as the Lac Ravelobe mouse lemur, is commonly found here.
Ankarafantsika is also a great place for birdwatchers, as it is home to 126 bird species (66 of which are endemic to Madagascar). Birds are easy to spot and photograph in the deciduous forest. Birds are found here include Van Dam’s Vanga, the Sickled-billed Vanga and the Crested Drongo.
The largest carnivorous mammals called Fosa is also found here. Half of its diet consists of lemurs. Fosa also feed on tenrecs and other small mammals, lizards, and birds.
In addition, the park hosts a tortoise breeding program for several rare and endemic species, including the ploughshare (Geochelone yniphora), which is endemic to the Bay of Baly.
Lac Ravelobe is an amazing place for bird watching and is rich in wildlife and history.
About 40 minutes’ drive north of Majunga, along an isolated stretch of coast, Antsanitia (pronounced ‘An-tsan-tee’) is a fantastic resort. As well as lovely bungalows with wood and raffia furniture, a gorgeous pool, open-air bar, fabulous restaurant and a wonderful setting, guests enjoy numerous activities, from sailing to trekking, snorkelling, pirogue trips and cultural excursions.
The hotel has put sustainability at the heart of everything it does, so many of the activities on offer involve trips to local villages or outings with local fishers. The resort also employs and trains a number of people from the area, and it donates part of the fees from activities to the local communities’ fund. Antsanitia is also doing its bit for the environment: hot water comes courtesy of the sun, ‘air-con’ courtesy of the sea breeze.
Day 1: Antananarivo
Arrival in Antananarivo. We meet you. Transfer to La Villette Hotel 3* on a half board basis.
Day 2: Ankarafantsika park
Drive to Ankarafantsika to the western part of Madagascar.Accommodation at Ankarafantsika lodge 2* on a half board basis.
Day 3: Visit of the park.
The whole day: visit of the park. Accommodation at Ankarafantsika lodge 2* on a half board basis.
Day 4: Beach of Antsanitia
Drive to Mahajanga, then ,continuation to Antsanitia.Relaxation on the beach.Accommodation at Antsanitia Hotel 3* on a half board basis.
Days 5 -6-7 : Beach in Antsanitia
Free days: you can do the fishing, surfing, cruise on a catamaran etc in the Mozambican channel , or only relax on the beach.Accommodation at Antsanitia hotel 3* on a half board basis.
Day 8: Fly to Antananarivo, then to Johannesburg
Transfer to the airport ,fly to Antananarivo, then, check-in for the flight back to Johannesburg.
SA8252 G JNBTNR DK1 1000 1410
MD8823 MJN TNR 1040 1145
SA8253 G TNRJNB DK1 1500 1725
There are daily flights from JHB to Antananarivo with Airlink. If G Class is not available the price will change depending on what booking class we can get at the time of your enquiry / booking.
Air Madagascar schedules are subject to change so sometimes we may need to adjust the itinerary.
**We can also combine this trip with Reunion Island and we would then use Air Austral for the flights. **
Rates are subject to availability, currency and airport tax fluctuations. Peak & High season surcharges will apply.