Cactus Tours Madagascar

Trekking in the Makay Massif & the Great South
15 days

Expedition in the forgotten world

This is yet a real unusual destination.

Makay is situated about 250 kms off-the-beaten track from Isalo National Park, this region is yet an unknown site for many travelers and locals alike. Makay route is composed of limestone with about 150 kms long and 50 kms width. This region is unique, more so due to the fact that accessibility is close to none. It is also located between the Bara and Sakalava tribes – two major warrior tribes of the Island. The grottos sheltered people who have escaped the early tribal fights and their skeletons still remain there.

The Bara tribes, who live on the eastern part of the surrounding area, give a particular importance to their zebus and can identify their herd amongst thousands of cattle. Zebu theft is quite frequent and has become a normal practice in this part of Madagascar. It has even become a tradition. Those who are following the footprints of the lost cattle to the nearby villages find it normal and tries to solve the issues in a friendly manner.

The Makay has a exceptional biodiversity interests as some species are unkown to scientists, whereas other are considered as misplaced as they should be found in the wet rainforest not in such dry area. During the trek, each elevation during by every few meters make quite a big difference in temperature variations.

The challenging trek in the Makay will take you throughout several natural pools and springs – grottos and mysterious forest both humid and dry sheltering several species of lemurs and birds. You will also find baobab trees in their greatest dimension.

The challenge dwells in the facts that the Elements are fully present and challenged to be faced– but with the assistance of our experts, you are not left on your own but enjoy the expedition.

This tour is merged here with the reverse Overland great south tours.

Be amongst the first ones to discover this part of Madagascar.

  • Wildlife viewing  
  • Cultural immersion
  • Experiencing in rural life
  • Meeting artisans
  • Photography
  • Botanical exploration 
  • The wilderness and wildlife of the Makay Reserve
  • The lunar landscape of Makay Reserve
  • Cultural immersion inside de Bara tribes
  • Endemic wildlife and biodiversity of Andasibe and Ranomafana rainforest.
  • The great sceneries of the east, highlands and the southern Madagascar
  • The handicrafts and mineral workshops in Antsirabe and Ambositra
  • The rice fields in terrace of the Highlands
  • The breathtaking landscapes of Isalo National Park
  • The Baobabs of the south amongst other typical vegetations
  • The spiny forest of the southern regions
  • The typical villages of different tribes
  • The pristine beaches of Ifaty

Itinerary outline

  • Antananarivo
  • Ifaty – optional for beach
  • Tulear
  • Makay
  • Isalo
  • Ranomafana
  • Andasibe
  • Antananarivo

Trekking in the massif of Makay

Detailed itinerary

Arrival in Antananarivo. You will be met at the airport. Transfer to the airport and briefing.

Fly to Tulear.
Drive up-north to Isalo.


Drive off-road through the savannah to Beronono.


Trek into the Makay.


Trekking and exploration of the Makay – through its canyons, rivers, caves and savannah.


Head back to Beronono.


Head back to Isalo.


Full day hiking at Isalo.


Drive to Anja Reserve to spot more lemurs.
Continue to Ranomafana.


Hike in the rainforest trails of Ranomafana.


Drive back to Antsirabe.
On the way, visit of the handicraft workshops in Ambositra.


Head back to Antananarivo and the eastwards to Andasibe National Park.
Night walks around the Park.


Visit of Mantadia Reserve.
Head back to Antananarivo.


City tour in Antananarivo.
Fly homewards.

End of the tour.


Trip notes

Plan trip to Madagascar


Any day
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Trip planning


April to November

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4WD - Domestic flights
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Accommodation in Madagascar


Hotels - Lodges - Tents
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Madagascar plan

City of departure

Antananarivo, the Capital city.

Leisurely hike in Madagascar

Ease of access


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