Kayak and Cultural Experience in Madagascar

from US $$ 4525 Low Season / $ 5175 High Season (PP Sharing)

A 14 day culture & kayaking adventure to the South East of Madagascar, camping with a lot of style.

Spend 3 days in seclusion at Mandrare River Camp, in luxury tented chalets surrounded by an abundance of wildlife and the fascinating Antandroy tribe, before joining a Luxury Kayak Adventure in Fort Dauphin.

Highlights: Mandrare River, wildlife viewing, bird watching, Spiny forest, Sacred Forests and tombs of Ifotaka, day and night guided walks, baobab forests, authentic tribal displays, local village and market. Camping in absolute style with French-trained chefs catering all meals in Mandrare, St Luce and at Manafiafy, kayaking on the pristine river through the St Luce Reserve, wildlife viewing, bird watching, enjoying the beach at Manafiafy, walks in the rainforest, exploring deserted beaches, whale viewing (June - December) and snorkelling. 

The Operator

 Providing small group, scheduled and tailor-made private tours and safaris throughout Southern Africa, East Africa and Madagascar, as an operator that specialises in small groups, we seek to differentiate ourselves as a premier small group mobile safari operator in these areas. An established tour operator that has been in existence since 1993, we have a dedicated and experienced staff compliment, excellent supplier networking, as well as effective "hands on" style management and marketing. Our operational offices are situated throughout the areas in which we operate, to ensure excellent service to the safaris that are under way and to be able to employ the people local to the areas that we operate in:- the safaris are of high quality, make use of comfortable and safety-orientated vehicles, informative, qualified guides and itineraries that are tailored to the clients' needs, to ensure that the safari meets with their expectations.

Giving back

We are fully committed to supporting growth and development in the tourism and overall economy of Southern Africa, East Africa and Madagascar in order to do this, we contribute positively to our communities and our environment through our Responsible Tourism Project GROW AFRICA.This initiative has undertaken the support of Rosemead Primary School in Cape Town, where children from impoverished homes attend a struggling government primary school. GROW AFRICA actively raises funds, and also is registered with Pack For A Purpose to alert our clients to the needs of the school. 

Through GROW AFRICA, we have also undertaken the conservation education of the children and regularly take the children and our office staff on hikes in the beautiful surrounds of Cape Town, where our qualified guides teach the children about their natural surrounds and conservation. These children would otherwise never be able to access such areas, nor learn what the guides are able to teach them.







  1. Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrival in Antananarivo  

    Upon arrival in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo, you will be met and welcomed by an English speaking guide, before transferring to your hotel in the city centre. 

    Accommodation: Pavillion de l’Emyrne, or similar (double room with en-suite bathroom)
    Included: Dinner

    Day 2: Antananarivo – Mandrare River Camp 

    Important note: Tour departing 22nd November 2016 is accommodated at Mandrare River Camp at the end of the tour, not at the start

    ImageAfter breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred back to Ivato airport for your two hour scheduled flight to Fort Dauphin, on the south-eastern coast of Madagascar. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and will have lunch in Fort Dauphin, before driving west towards Antandroy Spiny Forest. The three hour journey offers a contrast of landscapes ranging from the rice paddies of the eastern seaboard, over the lush tropical plateau to the drier arid region of sisal plantations and “spiny forest”. You will arrive at your luxury tented camp in the late afternoon, allowing you to settle into your accommodation and enjoy the breath-taking views across the Mandrare River. 

    Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp (Private luxury tents with en-suite bathroom, hot water) 
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 3: Mandrare River Camp – morning and afternoon activities 

    Enjoy a relaxed breakfast on the banks of the river, before embarking on a trip to the sacred Antandroy forest, crossing the river on foot to observe lemurs and many bird species. We will also be able to see the tombs of the Antandroy ancestors, and the guide will explain in detail about the culture of ancestor worship. 

    Lunch will be served at camp, and there will be time to relax before we depart on an afternoon activity, unless you would prefer to rest at camp and enjoy the serenity of the river. 

    Some of the activity options include a trip to the giant sand dunes of Lake Anony, watching the sun set at the Baobabs, night walks (gallery and spiny forest), watching various species of lemurs and birds, watching traditional dancers, and a visit to the village or local school. 

    Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 4: Mandrare River Camp – morning and afternoon activities 

    Today will be spent enjoying the various activities located at and around our luxury tented accommodation. These will be on suggestion of your guide, tailored to your interests. 

    Activities from the camp take place in the early mornings and late afternoons and evenings to avoid the heat of the day. There are a number of designated forest areas in close proximity to the camp, where, with permission from and being accompanied by one of the local village chiefs, it is possible to explore this unique and fascinating natural paradise together with your guide. 

    Accommodation: Mandrare River Camp
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 5: Mandrare – Fort Dauphin  

    After an early breakfast, we will return to Fort Dauphin – the small and pretty major town in south-eastern Madagascar. Its attractive location with green hills, blue seas, fine beaches and a myriad of surrounding attractions – make it a popular destination, especially for surfers. At the bottom of Saint Louis Peak, the urban area between two bays is one of the most beautiful in Madagascar. The first people who settled in La Reunion in 1674 came from this area. It is also the capital of crayfish which is celebrated in an annual festival that has become a traditional event. Upon arrival in Fort Dauphin, we will lunch at a beach restaurant, then settle in at the hotel to spend the remaining day at leisure. 

    Accommodation: Kaleta Hotel or similar (room with en-suite bathroom, swimming pool, restaurant and bar)
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 6: Lokaro - St Luce Reserve

    Enjoy an early breakfast before we set of on an adventure! Sainte Luce Reserve offers us an experience of the spectacular beauty of south east Madagascar. Your first day of kayaking will be for 4 hours to Evatra, with lunch on the banks of the mangroves and a delightful walk to Lokaro (2,5 hours). Experience beautiful coastal scenery and a gorgeous natural swimming pool nestled in the mountainous coastline. 

    St Luce Reserve is situated on an island-like peninsula, cut off from the mainland by river mouths to the north and south. The reserve has been established to contribute to the conservation of this extraordinary habitat, as it is some of the very last true coastal forest left in the south east of Madagascar and one of the most critically endangered in the country. This conservation area is bounded to the east by the Indian Ocean and white sand beaches, to the west by winding fresh water rivers, and to the north & south by more protected forests. There is no village, there are no neighbours, and as the reserve has a fresh water habitat, marine habitat, littoral forest, mangrove, wetland and open grasslands, you will find lemurs, birds, reptiles, mammals, sea turtles, crocodiles.... it's all here. 

    Accommodation: Bush Camping at Lokaro (stunning palm-fringed beach with great swimming)
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 7: Belaveno - St Luce Reserve

    ImageAfter breakfast we head north through the mangroves and forest. The river is adjacent to the protected forest and wetland, which also incorporates many kilometres of stunning white beaches. At 9.30 am we head off for a 2 hour paddle, followed by a 20 minute walk to a secluded beach where we will enjoy lunch. Relax after lunch, enjoying this idyllic setting, before we set off at 3 pm for the 2 hours kayaking to Belaveno. 

    Accommodation: Bush Camping 
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 8: Ocean Camp - St Luce Reserve

    This morning sees us with a 2, 5 hour paddle and an 8.30 am start. Enjoy another idyllic day of paddling on the river, following the littoral forest through the wetlands and soaking up the sights and sounds of nature and letting the stress and cares of modern living, dissolve away… 

    In the afternoon after lunch, we have a 2 hour paddle to a large lake. Wander in the forest to see the fruit bats, before your night walk to spot Mouse, Dwarf and Woolly Lemurs in the forest. 

    Accommodation: Bush Camping 
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 9: Manafiafy Beach

    After our last day of paddling on the river (2, 5 hours), we end at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge at approximately 11 am. Situated on a beautiful, private, white sandy bay, fringed with forest covered mountains, your lodge offers barefoot luxury with wildlife and water on your doorstep. A welcome barbeque on the beach will await you and a most well deserved 30 minute complimentary back massage for those tired muscles… Enjoy the location of your lodge in the afternoon, as the sun sets over the bay. 

    Accommodation: Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge (private bungalow with en-suite bathroom, sundeck and separate access to the magnificent unspoilt beach) 
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Days 10, 11 & 12: Manafiafy – morning and afternoon activities 

    After breakfast you will embark on your choice of a wide range of wildlife and sporting activities which are included in your stay. 

    Some of the options include: 

    ImageKayaking in the mangroves, early morning boat trips for wetland birding, day and night walks in the rainforest to see five species of lemur, snorkelling in the bay and nearby cove, whale watching from the 15 ft. observation tower (June to December). Boat trips to the nearby islands for a secluded picnic lunch, walks along long empty beaches, visits to the local village and school. Optional activities, payable locally at the lodge include: massage treatments, whale watching boat trips (June to December), deep see fishing trips. 

    Forest walks are the main reason for visiting this part of the island and those accessible from Manafiafy are “Littoral” rain forests – shady dense vegetation with a high degree of humidity and home to several Lemurs (collared brown, woolly, brown mouse, dwarf and sportive) as well as reptiles, spiders, birds, insects and orchids. Walks can be done at any time of the day and early evening, and are always accompanied by a Manafiafy guide. 

    The rocks, islands and bays surrounding Manafiafy provide endless opportunities for exploring and within a short boat ride it is possible to find deserted beaches, scout for whales, or snorkel in the crystal clear water viewing corals and tropical ‘aquarium’ fish. There is always something to do at Manafiafy and each excursion provides its own reward of new experiences – most of them unique to the island of Madagascar. 

    Accommodation: Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge (private bungalow with en-suite bathroom, sundeck and separate access to the magnificent unspoilt beach) 
    Included, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 13: Return to Antananarivo (via Fort Dauphin)

    You will drive back to Fort Dauphin and continue to the airport for your scheduled flight to Antananarivo, for your last night in Madagascar. Upon arrival in Antananarivo, you will be met and welcomed by an English speaking guide, before transferring to your hotel in the city centre and a farewell dinner! 

    Accommodation: Pavillion de l’Emyrne, or similar (double room with en-suite bathroom) 
    Included: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 14: End of Tour 

    Our tour ends today. You will be transferred to the airport for your return flight.  

    Included: Breakfast


  • All accommodation, transport and transfers
  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Domestic flights from Fort Dauphin to Antananarivo, which we will purchase for you
  • Meals not mentioned in the Itinerary
  1. Important Information

    Children under the age of 12 years are not allowed on this tour. Please contact us for alternatives. 

    Children from 12 to 16 will pay 50% of the price. 


    When arriving in Antananarivo in the morning of day 1 of the tour you will be picked up from the airport and embark on your tour. Should you arrive prior to day 1, pre-tour accommodation can be arranged and you will be picked up from your hotel on the morning of day 1 (Pick up time will be confirmed on arrival). 


    In Antananarivo we use an air-conditioned vehicle, and for the rest of the tour, we use 4x4 vehicles. 

    Flight from 


    The city accommodation will be in up-market, boutique-style hotels, while the bush camping nights are spent in spacious 3 man tents that will include stretcher beds and mattresses with bedding. Bush style showers and toilets are provided, as well as all soft drinks and beers. Meals are a major highlight and prepared by French-trained chefs, both on the river and at Manafiafy, where the accommodation style has been selected for its barefoot luxury offering, quite unique to Madagascar. 

    The Pavillion de L’Emyrne has just twelve rooms and is situated in the heart of the old town of Antananarivo. It was originally built as a private residence in the 1930s and is a delightful city guest house with its own garden. Rooms are air-conditioned and have satellite television. 

    Mandrare River Camp has just six private tents situated on the riverbank, each enjoying spectacular views of the river and the surrounding landscape. The camp has many natural wonders nearby, allowing you to explore this unique part of the world. Each double or twin-bedded tent has en-suite facilities with solar water heating and solar power for night time lighting. 

    Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge contains only five private bungalows and offers an intriguing combination of rain forest lodge and barefoot luxury beach property all rolled into one. Each spacious en-suite bungalow is constructed out of local stone and mangrove poles under a palm thatched roof having its own sundeck and separate access to the magnificent unspoilt beach and ocean. 

    Kayaking equipment: 

    We provide Synergy Fluid Double Kayaks, which also have a centre seat and so can be paddled by one person if needed. They are stable and durable, being made from Polyethylene and they weigh only 33 kg. The kayaks are 3.8 m long and 0.86 m wide, with a carrying capacity of 190 kg. Each kayak has 2 hatches and contains one 15 L “Dry Bag”. There is also a tank well with bungee cord if needed. Each kayak comes standard with a backrest on each seat, which are removable if so desired. Your PDF (personal flotation device) or “life jacket” is a handy ‘one size fits all’ and is a quality make and design. Cobra paddles with aluminium shaft and hard, durable plastic blades, complete the outfit. 


    A visa is required to enter the territory of Madagascar and can easily be obtained upon arrival at the airport of Antananarivo with a validity of up to 90 days. Tourists staying for less than one month, can purchase a visa for 80’000 Ariary (around 30-35 USD). Paying with the exact amounts or small currency is advised. No photographs are required, however please ensure that passports are valid for at least 6 months after return date. In addition to the entry visa, the Malagasy government is proposing the introduction of a frontier levy of 15 USD in the near future, still to be confirmed and variable at short notice. 


    If you feel you have been looked after well by your crew or guides, and you wish to show your appreciation for their services, a monetary tip is very welcomed by those in Madagascar. 

    Some suggested guidelines: 

    - Around EUR 4 per person, per day (10,000 Ariary) for a guide or a guide/driver. 

    - Around EUR 2 (5,000 Ariary) for a park guide, depending on your satisfaction. 

    - Around 5 % of the bill at a restaurant. 

    - 200 Ariary per bag for a porter. 

    As Euro coins cannot be changed into local money in Madagascar, it is advisable to tip in Ariary. We would ask that you please reserve your generosity for tipping for services only, and not providing free hand-outs to children or adults, as this encourages begging. 

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Accommodation Options

    There are no extra accommodation options for this Experience. Please contact us for accommodation options before and after your trip

Optional Activities

    There are no optional activities features for this Experience. Please contact us if you would like us to enquire further

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