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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 a very adventurous destination, with rough roads making travelling distances long and arduous. The rewards more than make up for the efforts of seeing the country – this is a truly unforgettable trek.


Madagascar Trek for Teens Unite

12 DAYS
  • We arrive into Madagascar’s capital, Tana, early afternoon and meet our local team. After loading up we start our Madagascan adventure proper as we transfer south through the highlands - a beautiful introduction to the island. Antsirabe is a beautiful city with many buildings and its wide tree-lined boulevards reflecting its French colonial past. It is known for its rickshaws, known as ‘pousse pousse’. Night hotel.

    Drive approx 4-5 hours

  • We continue our long drive south. Despite travelling on the country’s main transit road we’re quickly reminded that this is Africa; the lack of road infrastructure makes the driving long and tough. There’s great scenery to soak up, and we make short stops to break the journey. 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 we have the opportunity for a gentle night walk – a great way to stretch our legs after the drive. Look out for tree-frogs, chameleons and nocturnal lemurs among the varied fauna. Night hotel.

    Drive approx. 8-10 hours; walk approx 1 hour

  • Early morning is the best time to see wildlife, so we keep our eyes peeled as we set off through the rainforest, hoping to see a range of lemurs including the athletic sifaka, as well as geckos and chameleons. While our trail is quite well-used, it is steep in places and quite challenging, especially after recent rain (a frequent occurrence!) How far we trek depends on local conditions, but it provides a great warm-up for the days to come – and a notable contrast to the rocky mountain landscapes awaiting us. After lunch we drive via Fianarantsoa, a university town set in picturesque rolling green hills, to Ambalavao, the end of our road. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 2-4 hours; drive 4-5 hours

  • We load into 4x4 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, up into the forests of Imaitso. Many of the plants have medicinal qualities. We camp on the edge of the forest. Night camp (1200m).

    Drive approx. 3-4 hours; trek approx. 2-3 hours (8km); ascend 300m

  • 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. 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); ascend 850m
  • 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 (1600m)

    Trek approx. 8-11 hours (21km); ascend 608m, descend 1058m
  • 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); descend 700m
  • Before we leave this beautiful area we explore Tsaranoro in the hope of seeing some of the wildlife that inhabits the forest here, including ring-tailed lemurs. We then hit those rough red dirt roads in our 4WD vehicles, before picking up the main road and heading north to Ambositra, a beautiful town in the central highlands known for its woodcarvings and fine wooden houses.

    Drive approx. 7-9 hours

  • Another day of driving takes us back through Madagascar to Tana, breaking the journey in Antsirabe. Night hotel.
    Drive approx. 6-8 hours
  • After enjoying a lie in and some free time at the hotel, we drive back to Tana. We share in a final celebration meal to mark our achievements over the past week at a restaurant and then freshen up at a hotel near the airport, before we take our international flight home.

    (Lunch and Dinner not included)

Madagascar Trek

12 DAYS
  • We arrive into Madagascar’s capital, Tana, early afternoon and meet our local team. After loading up we start our Madagascan adventure proper as we transfer south through the highlands - a beautiful introduction to the island. Antsirabe is a beautiful city with many buildings and its wide tree-lined boulevards reflecting its French colonial past. It is known for its rickshaws, known as ‘pousse pousse’. Night hotel.

    Drive approx 4-5 hours

  • We continue our long drive south. Despite travelling on the country’s main transit road we’re quickly reminded that this is Africa; the lack of road infrastructure makes the driving long and tough. There’s great scenery to soak up, and we make short stops to break the journey. 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 we have the opportunity for a gentle night walk – a great way to stretch our legs after the drive. Look out for tree-frogs, chameleons and nocturnal lemurs among the varied fauna. Night hotel.

    Drive approx. 8-10 hours; walk approx 1 hour

  • Early morning is the best time to see wildlife, so we keep our eyes peeled as we set off through the rainforest, hoping to see a range of lemurs including the athletic sifaka, as well as geckos and chameleons. While our trail is quite well-used, it is steep in places and quite challenging, especially after recent rain (a frequent occurrence!) How far we trek depends on local conditions, but it provides a great warm-up for the days to come – and a notable contrast to the rocky mountain landscapes awaiting us. After lunch we drive via Fianarantsoa, a university town set in picturesque rolling green hills, to Ambalavao, the end of our road. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 2-4 hours; drive 4-5 hours

  • We load into 4x4 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, up into the forests of Imaitso. Many of the plants have medicinal qualities. We camp on the edge of the forest. Night camp (1200m).

    Drive approx. 3-4 hours; trek approx. 2-3 hours (8km); ascend 300m

  • 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. 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); ascend 850m
  • 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 (1600m)

    Trek approx. 8-11 hours (21km); ascend 608m, descend 1058m
  • 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); descend 700m
  • Before we leave this beautiful area we explore Tsaranoro in the hope of seeing some of the wildlife that inhabits the forest here, including ring-tailed lemurs. We then hit those rough red dirt roads in our 4WD vehicles, before picking up the main road and heading north to Ambositra, a beautiful town in the central highlands known for its woodcarvings and fine wooden houses.

    Drive approx. 7-9 hours

  • Another day of driving takes us back through Madagascar to Tana, breaking the journey in Antsirabe. Night hotel.
    Drive approx. 6-8 hours
  • After enjoying a lie in and some free time at the hotel, we drive back to Tana. We share in a final celebration meal to mark our achievements over the past week at a restaurant and then freshen up at a hotel near the airport, before we take our international flight home.

    (Lunch and Dinner not included)


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 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All flights and transport from London to Tana return
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment (including sleeping mat)
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, porters and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to National Parks and sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local support crew
    • Entry visa
    • International airport security tax
    • Sleeping bag
    • Optional sight-seeing / activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    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 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    the tour cost includes:

    • Scheduled flights and all transport
    • All accommodation
    • All meals (exceptions detailed in itinerary)
    • Celebration meal
    • Discover Adventure leaders and *doctor
    • Support vehicles and local guides, porters, cooks, drivers, etc.

     

    the tour cost does not include:

     

    • 2 meals as detailed in itinerary
    • Sleeping bag
    • Personal travel insurance (to cover personal injury, cancellation/curtailment, lost items etc)

    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 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All flights and transport from London to Tana return
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment (including sleeping mat)
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, porters and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to National Parks and sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local support crew
    • Entry visa
    • International airport security tax
    • Sleeping bag
    • Optional sight-seeing / activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £250 Fundraising target £4,500 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 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 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All flights and transport from London to Tana return
    • All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment (including sleeping mat)
    • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of 15 or more participants; local guides, porters and cooks
    • Local support and back-up equipment
    • Entrance to National Parks and sites visited as part of the itinerary

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal spending, souvenirs and drinks
    • Tips for local support crew
    • Entry visa
    • International airport security tax
    • Sleeping bag
    • Optional sight-seeing / activities
    • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions
    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.

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels or camp. Occasionally we may use hostel-style accommodation. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller.

  • We camp during the trek in two-man tents. Most campsites are quite simple but stunningly positioned; at the end we stay in a permanent tented camp with wooden or thatched shelters – a wonderful end to our trek. Hotels vary from international to guesthouse-style; expect some variation in standards but they are generally friendly, characterful places to stay.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    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 may be 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.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is 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 total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but 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 customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    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 communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They 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 medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are 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.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. 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 may 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 participants 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 gauge fitness levels and gain advice from our experienced leaders.

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

TOUGH trips involve tough terrain, with some very rigorous days; weather, altitude and/or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. They demand good stamina, fitness and a determined attitude.

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