Discovery of Pangalanes – 10 days

From 4 to 12 people. See details below.


© Malagasy Tours | Carte The Pangalanes channel of 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 (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.


  • 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 (from Tana to Tana)
  • Participant: In group – minimum 4 people
  • Accompaniment: English speaking Malagasy Guide
  • Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights) camping (2 nights)
  • Travel: 4×4 vehicle or bus, train, bush taxi, boat
  • Service: In (almost) full board
  • 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.

D 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
  • Meals : Lunch include at the restaurant / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : Antsirabe. Le Voyageur.

    Le VoyageurLe VoyageurBuilt in a special setting in the middle of a large garden, “Le Voyageur” guestrooms and bungalows are based on a typical architecture style, which express Malagasy soul, highlanders’ mind and the local known-how resources. Bungalows and guestrooms have bathroom with hot water each. The restaurant offers Malagasy and European specialties .

    View site on :

D 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 : 6 à 7h de marche
  • Meals : Picnic lunch included / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : The same as the day before

D 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 heures
  • Distance : 230 km
  • Meals : Lunch include at the restaurant / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : Fianarantsoa. Le Lac Hôtel.

    Le Lac HôtelLe Lac HôtelLake Hotel is located in the village of Sahambavy, at about twenty kilometers from the city of Fianarantsoa,  in the area of the unique tea plantation in Madagascar. It is also close to Sahambavy train station, a train going to the east coast, the Canal des Pangalanes and Manakara town. The hotel has 33 bungalows as family, double and triple rooms, there is also a restaurant with a bar.
    The hotel is facing  Sahambavy lake where you can hire a pedalo.
    The garden is an ideal place to rest.

    View site on :

D 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 heures
  • Distance : 163 km
  • Meals : Picnic lunch included / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : Manakara. Le Parthenay.

    Le ParthenayLe ParthenayLocated between Canal des Pangalanes and the Indian Ocean, a little further from the centre, Parthenay hotel is one of those hotels set up in old colonial spots.bungalows are planted on a large garden with green grass. It is possible to enjoy a nice walk along the beach towards the lagoon boarded with filao, coming and going of dugouts is just incessant there.

D 5 : Manakara > Mananjary

We ride a local “taxi brousse” (bush taxi) today to be closer to locals ! 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
  • Meals : Picnic lunch included / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : Mananjary. Le Jardin de la Mer.

    Le Jardin de la MerLe Jardin de la MerLe Jardin de la Mer is located in the east coast of Madagascar by the Canal des Pangalanes boarding the Indian Ocean.The hotel will welcome you fittingly in its comfortable bungalows and 3 stars restaurant in the calmness and quietness, disturbed only by the wave’s noise.It is an ideal spot for resting after long journeys in the wild and amazing nature of the east coast.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            View site on :

D 6 to 8 : Le Canal des Pangalanes 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 jours et 2 nuits
  • Distance : 300 km
  • Meals : Picnic lunch included / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : Mahanoro. Pangalanes Forest Lodge .

    Pangalanes Forest Lodge Pangalanes Forest Lodge These sites are accessible only by the canal or on foot, for the first night, it is either in safari tents with a shelter equipped with comfortable twin beds, or falafa house (local huts) made of local materials with a terrace and equipped with twin beds. These are basic bush accommodation; water for shower is served in a bucket.The environment is exceptional : wild and preserved nature management for a sustainable tourism.

D 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 de route
  • Distance : 215 km
  • Meals : Lunch include at the restaurant / Dinner included
  • Your hotel : Andasibe. Feon’Ny Ala.

    Feon'Ny AlaFeon'Ny AlaLocated on the edge of the forest near the park gate. The hotel’s name means literally “sound of the forest”, it reflects perfectly the surroundings where it is every morning, Indri-Indri’s call rocks you harmoniously. The hotel Feony Ala has a restaurant, 30 bungalows built with local materials and has private or common bathrooms with hot water.

D 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.

End of Malagasy Tours services.

  • Duration : +/- 3 heures
  • Distance : 150 km
  • Meals : Lunch include at the restaurant / Dinner not included
Number of person 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Supp single
Price per person 1 172 € 1 093 € 983 € 914 € 911 € 890 € 873 € 774 € 769 € 108 €

Price includes:

  • A driver / guide and its vehicle from Tana to Mananjary and from Mahanoro to Tana,
  • The accommodation in simple hotels with breakfast (double or twin),
  • The train from Fianarantsoa to Manakara,
  • The bush taxi from Manakara to Mananjary,
  • The boat and its crew on the Pangalanes channel,
  • Camping equipment and food (bring a sleeping bag),
  • Meals on J2 and meals aboard the boat J6, J7 and J8,
  • The entrance fees in the national parks and sites listed,
  • Local guides in parks,
  • All transfers.

Price does not include:

  • International and domestic flights,
  • Meals not indicated in the program,
  • Tips and drinks,
  • The cancellation and / or repatriation insurance.



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We invite you to (re) visit our :

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 ” Additional Information ” as well as specific on this trip.