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Madagascar Trek

Madagascar Trek TOUGH
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About the Challenge

This exciting trek takes us to remote Madagascar, where spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife awaits! From canyons and gorges to bush-covered plains and dense forests, rocky ridges and the summit of the island’s highest accessible mountain peak, this is a unique and highly varied trek steeped in natural beauty.

Our route takes us to the valleys and ridges of Andringitra National Park, where our goal is Pic Boby (2658m), Madagascar’s second-highest mountain. Madagascar is an adventurous destination, with rough roads making travelling distances long. The rewards more than make up for the efforts of seeing the country – this is a truly unforgettable trek.


Madagascar Trek

11 DAYS
  • We arrive at the island’s capital and transfer to our hotel. Time permitting, we’ll be able to explore the city’s old town and get our first taste of Madagascar culture. We meet again in the evening for dinner and a trip briefing. Night hotel.

  • We drive south through the highlands of Madagascar, a beautiful introduction to the island. It’s a long drive, but there’s plenty to see as we pass small towns and villages, cultivated fields and beautiful hills and forests. We arrive at Ranomafana, an area of tropical rainforest which is home to many species of lemurs and other endemic wildlife. Once we’ve checked in and freshened up, we embark on a fascinating night walk. Look out for tree-frogs, nocturnal lemurs and, if we’re very lucky, fossas – the only endemic carnivorous species on Madagascar. Night hotel.

    Drive approx. 9 hours

  • Early morning is the best time to see wildlife, so we set off on another rainforest walk and keep our eyes peeled; it’s also a great warm-up for the days to come. The vegetation itself is wonderful and a great contrast to the rocky mountain landscapes awaiting us. After lunch we drive to Fianarantsoa, a university town and centre of wine industry, set in picturesque rolling green hills. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 3-4 hours

  • A morning drive takes us to Ambalavao, where we load into 4WD vehicles for the beautiful but bumpy ride over red-earth track to Andringitra National Park, with its remarkable domed granite peaks and sheer cliffs, many eroded into fluted towers by wind and water. We start our trek at Namoly, the northern gateway to the Park, with great views of the mountains ahead. We walk past Betsileo villages and photogenic rice-terraces carved into the mountain slopes, heading up into the forests of Imaitso. Many of the plants have medicinal qualities. We camp on the edge of the forest. Night camp.

    Drive approx. 4-5 hours; trek approx. 2-3 hours (8km)

  • Our trek continues through the forests of Imaitso, the beginning of a vast forest corridor that connects to Ranomafana National Park. The diversity of flora and fauna is impressive at these lower elevations, and this area of lush primary rainforest is a wonderful place to trek. Several different types of lemur live here – Andringitra provides a habitat for 15 species in total – so keep your eyes and ears open! The forest is also home to many colourful birds and plants. After a fairly easy start, we climb up onto a high mountain plateau, an open prairie where many wildflowers and orchids grow; the views over the mountains and back down over Namoly Valley are wonderful. Our trail criss-crosses over the plateau, still ascending; we gain over 1000m in elevation today. Our camp lies at the foot of Pic Boby; we can relax and enjoy a well-earned river swim at the end of the day. Night camp. (2050m)

    Trek approx. 6-7 hours (11km)

  • Today is a long day and the focus of our challenge! Pic Boby, or Imarivolanitra as it is known in Malagasy (meaning ‘close to the sky’), is the second-highest peak on the island; its French name originated in the 1920s, when an explorer apparently discovered the path to the summit when looking for his dog (Boby). We set off very early, planning to reach the summit before cloud and mist cover it, as often happens during the day. Our trail to the summit is steep and rocky, much of it made up of large flat slabs of granite, with some boulders to clamber over. After 2-3 hours we reach the summit of Pic Boby (2658m). From the top there are far-reaching and impressive views over the Andringitra Mountains, and for miles around if it’s clear. After some time to soak up the vistas, we start our descent to the foot of the mountain, and continue down through a rocky, barren landscape strewn with boulders. This is the so-called ‘alien track’, a surreal moon-scape surrounded by mountain panoramas. As we drop lower we come into a forest of endemic palms, passing granite outcrops on a well-made path of steps that takes us steeply downhill. We camp by a river, another great spot for a refreshing dip. Night camp (1510m)

    Trek approx. 8-11 hours (21km)

  • The hardest part of our challenge is behind us, and we continue downhill through the foothills into the beautiful Tsaranoro Valley. We pass several Barabory villages, which provide a great insight into the way of life here. There is more vegetation now we are lower, including the small baobab-like pachypodium, and the views are incredible! Our wonderful camp lies between Tsaranoro Mountain and the giant mountain chains of Andringitra National Park on the other – the views are incredible, as is our sense of achievement! Night camp (900m).

    Trek approx. 5-6 hours (13km)

  • We load into 4WD vehicles for the first 10km over red dirt roads through forest, then drive north, bidding farewell to the mountains and returning to the beautiful central highlands. We break our journey in Ambositra, a small town known for its woodcarvings and fine wooden houses. We continue on to Antsirabe, a beautiful city with many buildings reflecting French colonial rule, as well as its wide tree-lined boulevards. It is known for its rickshaws, known as ‘pousse pousse’. We check into our hotel and have some time to explore the city until we meet again for an evening of celebrations to mark our achievements over the past week. Night hotel.

    (Dinner not included)

    Drive approx. 6 hours

  • We drive back to Tana and the airport, where we take our international flight home. (Lunch not included)

    Drive approx. 4 hours


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target £4,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target £3,200 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,850 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target £3,300 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target £4,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target £3,200 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,850 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target £4,200 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target £3,200 Tour Cost £500.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £399 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £1,850 Airline Taxes £250.00 Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • All food is included except for a few meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, freshly-cooked and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we have packed lunches, sometimes meals are buffet-style, other times we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at our hotel, depending on accommodation.

  • Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we are often in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size), who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. The number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but an average-sized overseas group would be led by two leaders and a doctor. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. In some destinations we work together as a team with local guides to help set up or break camp, or prepare meals.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is carried by vehicles, porters, mules, etc (depending on terrain and accessibility) from one night-stop to the next. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with mobile phones, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!


Testimonials

Tracey


The trip to Madagascar was an Adventure and I felt safe with the DA Leader and local crew - an amazing experience as always I can't wait till the next trip!

Jackie


To be a pioneer is to step into the unknown, to overcome extreme challenges, working together as a team and laying the stepping stones for future treks to wonderful countries in the world.

Trek Training Weekend

Snowdon_Training_Trekking

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Trek Training Weekends take place in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. This training weekend is designed to put you through your paces to enable you to gauige fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

This trip involves more rigorous days; weather, altitude or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the challenge less enjoyable - and we want you to have the time of your life!
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