ALONG THE PANGALANES CHANNEL – 10 DAYS

From 4 to 12 persons.

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The Pangalanes channel is 665 kms long from north to south, the train from Manakara to Fianarantsoa, the Highlands and lemurs in Périnet are featured in this wonderful trip to Madagascar. An original discovery of the country. After Fianarantsoa (an area famous for its tea and wine), we take local transport to get to and along the East Coast: train, bush taxi, boat. The pace is deliberately slow to allow us to go to meet people and create the exchange. Our accommodations are simple, sometimes in cottages, sometimes in tents.

Highlights

  • Hiking in the Highlands
  • The train from the East Coast
  • The Pangalanes channel in 3 days
  • The Indri indri lemur in the National Park of Perinet

Travel identity card

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Participant: From 4 persons
  • Guiding: English speaking Malagasy Guide
  • Accommodation: Hotel standard or superior
  • Transport: 4×4 or bus, train, boat
  • Period: April to November
  • Effort = 2

    “Easy to moderate”Physical activity and / or punctual hiking occasional, 3 to 5 hours per day on good trails.
    Little or no gradients. You only carry your bag for the day.
    Madagascar is vast, the stages in the vehicle can sometimes be a little long.

  • Confort = 3

    “Bush”A few nights in tents (camping), and in simple and comfortable hotels or hostels.
    In bivouac, meals are prepared by the Malagasy Tours team with fresh products, even in trek.
    Attentive service in bivouac. Frequent showers, but not daily.
    Travel by minibus or all-terrain vehicle on tarmac roads and / or tracks.

Day 1: Antananarivo > Antsirabe

Meeting with your guide.

We have breakfast in the hotel and start heading south passing through Antananarivo.

Rice fields and typical villages of the Highlands represent the landscape right after Antananarivo.

We stop in Ambatolampy to discover the rather amazing work of aluminum to make cooking pot for the whole country.

We take lunch in town. Continuation towards Antsirabe in the afternoon.

We take our time for a city tour and experience “pousse-pousse” (rick shaw) riding for those who want, it is the main transport for locals.

  • Duration: +/- 3 h
  • Distance: 170 km

Day 2: Walking in the Highlands

Why Highlands? Simply because it has the emblematic scenery of Madagascar, a unique landscape composed of different hills with crest lines, villages on the slope, houses made of bricks and thatch roof, colorful valley with rice fields: green, ochre, red, beige…

These magnificent hikes take us to the countryside world with authentic colors, meeting local people who enjoy discussing with visitors.

We can see women carrying bucket water on the head as in Africa, farmers working in their rice fields and sometimes we meet blacksmiths working on the same process for ages.

The walk is organised by a local association, a partnership with young guides from the area so then we contribute partly to the development of the region.

  • Duration: from 2 to 4 of walking
  • We organise your picnic lunch

Day 3: Antsirabe > Fianarantsoa

We keep going on the National Road 7 and progress towards the south.

We shop in Zafimaniry artisans boutiques in Ambositra village looking for a piece of carved wood, or fine work of marquetry box.

Take time to wander around in the village and get lunch in a loca restaurant where you have the opportunity to taste local specialties.

We continue to Fianarantsoa in Betsileo region, the main tribe on the south part of the Highlands of Madagascar. we have a winding road; we are close to the highest summit of the Great Island.

  • Duration: +/- 4 h
  • Distance: 230 km

Day 4: The train Fianarantsoa > East coast (F.C.E)

The railway Manakara-Fianarantsoa was built between 1926 to 1936, it passes through one of the most beautiful landscape in Madagascar between the Indian Ocean and the highlands. We start the ride from Sahambavy station for a picturesque and colorful trip. You have seats in the first class car of outmoded charm. The diesel locomotive makes its way with whistles through the rice fields and tea plantations. A major part of the journey happens in the heart of the primary forest in a splendid setting with deep cliffs, villages, waterfalls, including the Faraony  waterfall, which is one of the most attractive in Madagascar. The cultures are omnipresent and we evolve between banana, coffee, jack fruit, orange, litchi plantations.  In every station stop, itinerant sellers try to sell you their cooking specialties as samosa, banana fritters, crayfish, fruits.  Although you brought your picnic lunch, you can taste some of these savors. The itinerary in numbers: 163 km long, 1200 m difference in height with 48 tunnels, of which that of Andrambovato who extends over 1 kilometer, 68 bridges and 12 stations all ones more picturesque than the others. The average speed is between 20 to 30 km per hour. You will arrive at best, 10 hours later to the seaside town of Manakara. Manakara was just a fisherman village at the begining of 20th century but it has developed after the railway work achieved in 1936.

  • Duration: Minimum 10 h
  • Distance: 163 km
  • We organise your picnic lunch

Day 5: Manakara > Mananjary

We are going to Mananjary in a bit north. We could have taken a boat from Manakara but it is difficult to navigate this part of the canal. This charming coastal town was the capital of coffee, pepper and clove. It has a lot of colonial buildings. Walk in the shade along Indian Ocean beach, a well fitted out and colorful market offers a large variety of products. Beaches are unfortunately for sun bathing only, because despite the fact they are attractive, swimming is very dangerous in this area.

Arrive in Mananjary in the afternoon.

  • Duration: +/-5h
  • Distance: 190 km
  • We organise your picnic lunch

Days 6 to 8: Pangalanes channel – From Mananjary to Mahanoro

Navigation alongside the Canal and Madagascar east coast during two days.

We work with a local team from Mananjary used to criss-cross the canal on the purpose to be in permanent contact with the population around.  They respect ancestor practice and various « Fady » (taboo) or « Fomba » (customs), the team shows the principle based on respect of the others and the knowledge of local culture.

Our team is contributing towards professional project development: workshop creation and support (mat weaving, hat and basket handy craft, forging tools…) and purchase with fixed and fair price to artisans.

You guessed that we take part to a responsible and durable tourism action here. The canal in a few words :

It was created at the end of 19th century, the canal runs along the east coast for more than 600 km from Farafangana to Tamatave, it links different lakes and rivers, but unfortunately, now it is not much used and very little navigable.

We navigate quietly. Follow along the water where local’s life flows gently. Filaos, pandanus and several exotic plants line along the canal. Kingfishers and heron with a few sea bird are our friends during trip. We might get some stops to visit villages along the canal.

  • Duration: 3 days et 2 nights
  • Distance: 300 km
  • We organise your meals .

Day 9: Mahanoro > Perinet National Park

A trip in Madagascar is not complete without seeing lemurs ! We join Andasibe Reserve today for that purpose. We find back our cars in Mahanoro and drive along the coast through Vatomandry small town. We have a lunch in a local retaurant in Antsampanana which use the numerous travelers borrowing this main road between Antananarivo and Toamasina. We arrive in Andasibe in the afternoon.

  • Duration: +/- 6h
  • Distance: 215 km

Day 10: Parc National de Perinet > Antananarivo

We walk into the forest to discover this protected area with a local guide. It is mainly covered with rain forest that peculiar to the east part of Madagascar. The park provides a habitat for rare and/or endemic species of rain forest, a remarkable biodiversity. Here we meet the largest lemur which is the Indri Indri with fascinating family group behaviour. The guide will inform you about their customs. Other species living in the forest are bamboo lemur (Hapalemur Griseus), woolly lemur (Avahi Laniger)…The flora is very interesting, there are many medicinal plants. We drive to Antananarivo in the afternoon.

  • Duration: +/- 3 h
  • Distance: 150 km

Include:

  • A driver/guide and his vehicle all along the trip,
  • Accommodation according your choice (Standard or Superior),
  • The train from Fianarantsoa to Manakara,
  • The boat on the Pangalanes channel,
  • National parks and indicated sites fees,
  • Local guides in Parks,
  • All transfers.

Not include:

  • International flights,
  • Tips and drinks,
  • Your personal insurances,
  • The visa: +/- 35€.

RESERVATION – CONFIRMATION

Reservation: Please use the form below to book your trip or change this itinerary. We will respond within 24 hours.

Confirmation: It will be effective upon receipt of the completed registration form that we will send you, as well as a deposit of 30% of the total amount of the price of the travel.

Confirm a trip with SENSE OF OCEANS MADAGASCAR involves having read and accepted the Terms and Conditions.

The general sales terms and conditions can be found here : Terms & conditions

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  You with us !  For each person, for each trip, we take 2€ from our margin for the sponsorship of one hectare of primary forest for one year near the Andasibe / Périnet park. More info here

Price for this trip: from 1 527 €

Price per person | For a group of 4 people

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