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May-2016

May – June 2016 – Undiscovered SOUTH MADAGASCAR AND THE TSINGY Expedition (15 days/ 14 nights)

UNDISCOVERED SOUTH MADAGASCAR AND THE TSINGY PHOTO EXPEDITION
(15 days/ 14 nights) TOUR PROGRAM

INTRODUCTION

This amazing country has 80 percent of the Madagascar’s plants and animals which only exist on this island! For most of you, this trip has been on your bucket list…At the beginning of our Photo Expedition we explore the South, with a trip to Ranomafana and Isalo National Parks. Then,  a flight to Morondava and  drive by 4wd car through the famous Baobab Alley and on to Belo and then to Bekopaka. You can see the sharp and up to 50 m high limestones called “Tsingy”, which is a UNESCO world nature site. We do workshops, wake up early for sunrise and cover some amazing sunsets, and of course wildlife and amazing species you have never encountered before your lens.  

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EXPERIENCE

Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers*
Travel by private a/c car or minibus
Moderate elevation changes and some walking
(*non-photographers also welcome)

GUIDE:

David Van Driessche

Photo Expedition’s  1st day: 22nD MAY 16 – YOUR HOME – ANTANANARIVO

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Meeting at Ivato international airport and transfer to the city. City-sightseeing including a visit of the Lemur’s park if your flight arrives early. Overnight at the hotel.

Photo Expedition’s  2nd day: 23rd MAY 16 -ANTANANARIVO – ANTSIRABE

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Breakfast and continuation to Antsirabe through a landscape composed mainly of mountains and rice fields. Tour of the “Town of Water” so called because of its numerous thermal springs and the existence of two crater lakes. Visit of a workshop where they make miniatures from recycled materials. Overnight at the hotel.

Photo Expedition’s  3rd day: 24TH MAY 16 ANTSIRABE – RANOMAFANA

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After breakfast, drive to Ranomafana – a national park of rainforest which is home to various species of lemurs such as the golden bamboo lemurs, brown lemurs, more than 100 species of birds, chameleons, and frogs. Stop in Ambositra for the visit of some Zafimaniry handicrafts centres: wood carving. Continuation to Ranomafana. After check-in at the hotel, night walk along the road to try to spot nocturnal species of animals. Overnight at the hotel.

Photo Expedition’s  4th day: 25TH MAY 16 RANOMAFANA – FIANARANTSOA

Breakfast. Morning visit of the Park with its lemurs, chameleons, spiders, frogs, varieties of orchids and medicinal plants. After lunch, off to Fianarantsoa – the capital of the Betsileo tribe. Overnight at the hotel.

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Photo Expedition’s  5th day: 26TH MAY 16 FIANARANTSOA – RANOHIRA

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Early departure to Ranohira. Stop in Ambalavao – the commercial centre of the southern Betsileo region, renowned for its folks, arts and crafts. Possibility to visit a wine producer for wine tasting and the “Antemoro Paper” factory . This paper is a delicate, handmade, flower-decorated paper made of the fibres of the tree called “Avoha”. Another stop 12km after Ambalavao for visiting a small reserve to observe  Ring-tailed Lemurs  ( Lemur catta ) in their natural surroundings. Continuation to Ranohira, overnight at the hotel.

Photo Expedition’s  6th day : 27TH MAY 16 RANOHIRA

A morning trek inside the Isalo National Park to discover the massif of Isalo, its ruin like sandstones, canyons, natural swimming pools and endemic fauna and flora (Lemurs and endemic plants such as Pachypodiums , aloes,..). Back to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel

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Photo Expedition’s  7th day : 28TH MAY 16 RANOHIRA – TULEAR

After breakfast, off  to Tuléar along a mostly straight road. The landscape is composed of dry forests, baobabs and some proudly decorated Mahafaly tombs. Visit of the Arboretum with many species of endemic plants, Overnight at the hotel

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 Photo Expedition’s  8th day: 29TH MAY 16 TULEAR – MORONDAVA

Breakfast and transfer to the airport for flight to Morondava. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the city. Overnight at the hotel

Photo Expedition’s  9th day: 30TH MAY 16 MORONDAVA – BELO

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Departure to Belo by four wheel drive cars with a stop to the Kirindy reserve for a few hours visit to see lemurs (dancing lemurs), tenrecs, reptiles and birds.

On the way to Kirindy visit the “Baobab in love” and stop at the Baobab avenue to  admire the beauty of the scenery. Before arrival at Belo, you’ll have to cross the Tsiribihina river on a local ferry. Continuation to Belo and overnight at the simple hotel.

Photo Expedition’s  10th day: 31TH may 16 BELO- BEKOPAKA

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Breakfast then departure to Bekopaka. Along the way, you’ll see some baobab trees, dry forest and savannah. Shortly before arrival in Bekopaka, you and the car will have to cross another river, the Manambolo, on a local ferry. In the afternoon, visit of the small Tsingy with its limestone pinnacles, the Tsingy have been millions of years under water, and so you can also see some fossils enclosed in the limestone. Overnight at the hotel

Photo Expedition’s  11th day: 1St of june 16 BEKOPAKA

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Visit of the large TSINGY, rare sharp limestone pinnacles, up to 50 m high, sheltering some species of lemurs, various species of birds and many endemic plants. This Tsingy of Bemaraha are on the UNESCO list of the world nature sites, and a large part of the park is not accessible for the public. Overnight at the hotel.

Photo Expedition’s 12th day: 2ND OF JUNE 16 BEKOPAKA – BELO – MORONDAVA

After breakfast, you and the car will have to cross the Manambolo river on a small local ferry again. Drive to Belo, and after this small town, cross the Tsiribihina river on another local ferry boat, then continue to Morondava through the Baobab Alley again. You may want to experience the sunset there, a magic moment! Continuation to Morondava and overnight at the hotel.

Photo Expedition’s  13th day: 3rd OF JUNE 16 MORONDAVA – ANTANANARIVO

Early morning flight to Antananarivo. Leisure at the hotel. Evening meeting and workshop about our photos.

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Photo Expedition’s  14th day: 4th OF JUNE 16

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Full day photowalk of Antananarivo. Some passengers have a flight home.

Photo Expedition’s  15th day: 5TH OF JUNE 16  ANTANANARIVO – EUROPE

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Visit of the handcrafts market to buy some souvenirs. Then transfer to the airport for the flight back to Europe.


The tour is unsuitable for big people and people who are afraid of heights as there are passages in the Tsingys where you have to climb through narrow gaps.

2016 trip details coming soon!

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davidvandriessche2

SERVICE INCLUDES:

– Airport transfers
– Travel, landscape, architecture, people, nature and photography
– Professional photographer Guide
– Domestic air-ticket fees Tulear – Morondava
– Domestic air-ticket fees Morondavo – Antanarivo
– Photo walks & discussions
–  Midrange accommodation based on bed and breakfast
– Visit of Ranohira and Isalo National park
– Visit of the Kirindy reserve and the Tsingy of Bemaraha
– park and reserve fees and local parkguides
– Ferry transfers across the rivers
– Road transfers Morondava – Belo – Bekopaka – Morondava in 4 wheel drive cars,
– Driver’s indemnities and Fuel
– Visit of the handicraft market
– tourist levy and VAT

Are excluded in the Expedition Cost:

– International flights with their airport taxes
– Visa fee (will probably be free again in 2015 and you will be getting it upon arrival) – We are waiting for the official release
– All other drinks and meals
– Personal expenditures
– Personal insurance for eventualities like accidents, theft or damage to luggage, cancellation etc

Lunch and dinner not included, count about 20 Euro or 25 USD per day for this.

Remark: You should bring –
(1) Some extra clothes,
(2) Torch light for the night,
(3) Rain jacket,
(4) Hat or cap for the sun,
(5) Sun cream and
(6) Shoes.

Payment policy:

1. BY CREDIT CARD:

Click the VISA/MASTERCARD Thai Epay option and pay the 500 USD deposit to guarantee your booking (additional 4 percent will be charged for the payment gateway/visa charges. In case you wish to pay the second part by VISA we will prepare a payment link for you or you can transfer the amount by Bank Transfer.

2. INTERNATIONAL BANK TRANSFER ; PAYABLE TO:

Asia 4 You Co Ltd, based in Onnut 53 Yeek 1-7, Ket Praweth Bangkok 10250.
Bangkok Bank: Account Number: 232-481172-4
Branch:  Seacon Square
SWIFT code is BKKBTHBK
Full amount of 500 dollars needs to be paid to have a booking secured.
Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Emailpayment slip to: hotelfiles@gmail.com

TRAVEL INFORMATION

We meet at the capital city of Antananarivo.

Currency: The currency of Madagascar is the Ariary (MA). The actual exchange rate can be seen on www.banque-centrale.mg, for one USD you get 2610 at the moment, on the bank, you’ll get a bit less, around 2400 to 2500/USD. Please exchange your money in Tana, as in some rural areas there are no exchange offices and they only accept Ariary.

Health: We recommend that you consult your personal physician for medical advice, showing him or her the brochure that indicates the places you will be visiting. Your physician is most familiar with your personal medical history and is best qualified to determine your particular needs. It is always advisable to have physical and dental check-ups before you leave.

At the present time, no specific immunizations are required for this trip, although the CDC recommends the following:

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in Madagascar. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to East Africa.
  • Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June.
  • Rabies, pre-exposure vaccination, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
  • Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Please also note

  • A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries in East Africa. For detailed information, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center. The normal “childhood” vaccines should be up to date: Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR Vaccine), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Perturssia (DTP Vaccine) and Polio vaccine.

Time Difference: Madagascar is eight hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. During U.S. Daylight Savings Time (March through October), Madagascar is seven hours ahead of Eastern Time.

Weather:

The Madagascar climate is hot and sub-tropical, it is colder in the mountains, while the south and west regions are particularly dry.  The stunning island is ringed by golden beaches and palm trees, and has a diverse interior with plateaus, volcanoes, forests and natural reserves.

The wet season in Madagascar is also the hottest time of the year, with temperatures hitting a daily average maximum of 28º C (82º F) in December with a daily low of 17º C (63º F). July is the coolest month with daily average temperatures ranging between a 21º C (70º F) and 9º C (48º F). The daily temperature range averages around 8 º C (46º F) year-round. Indian Ocean trade winds dictate the Madagascar climate, bringing with them variations in precipitation throughout the region.

Please remember that the sun’s rays are more vertical than you may be used to, so you can sunburn more easily. Be careful of the midday sun.

 

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