Cactus Tours Madagascar

Gentle Trek on the Zebu Trails
16 days

From the Highlands to the ocean

This adventure tour will make you experience Madagascar in-depth but also to enjoy the Malagasy wildlife, lifestyle, landscapes, and beaches.

You will start from the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo. You will head eastwards to the famous Andasibe National Park, a primary rainforest and home to several endemic species of animals and plants. You will then continue up north on a red lateritic road to Ambatondrazaka, – the first rice producer of Madagascar with its thousands of hectares of rice fields. This region is quite fertile due to the water source of Lake Alaotra.

This lake is classified as a RAMSAR site,- and it is the largest lake in Madagascar – shelters the very endemic lemur called “the Gentle Lemur”. Several species of aquatic birds also nest around this area.

From Ankosy, a small village which is approximately 70 kms from Ambatondrazaka, it will be a challenging 6-day trek with ascending and descending trails through mountains to reach the Indian Ocean. The accommodation here is based on home-stay amongst the villagers ; the locals are from the Merina, Sihanaka and Betsimisaraka tribes.

Your journey takes you to the beach of Sainte-Marie ; where you will enjoy 3 days of pure relaxation or enjoy the diverse activities such as snorkeling, whales-watching, bike ride and kite surfing.

What is a Zebu ?
Zebu is like an ox, a symbol of the Malagasy culture. The Zebu takes an important place in the Malagasy community from the the daily life on the rice fields to the most important celebrations and ceremonies.

  • Wildlife safari
  • Trekking
  • Cultural encountering
  • Beach activities
  • Lemurs and other wildlife of the rainforest at Andasib/ Mantadia  and Zahamena National Park
  • The most rare Gentle Bamboo lemurs at Lake Alaotra
  • Birdlife 
  • Local lifestyle and experiences
  • Beaches of Sainte Marie Island
  • Humpback Whale-watching in Sainte Marie from July to October.
Itinerary outline
  • Antananarivo
  • Andasibe National Park
  • Ambatondrazaka
  • Lake Alaotra
  • Ankosy
  • Zahamena National ParK
  • Vavatenina
  • Mahambo
  • Sainte Marie
  • Antananarivo

Detailed itinerary

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

Drive eastwards to Andasibe throughout the eastern slopes. En route, visit the reserve of Peyrieras at Mandraka. In Andasibe, visit of VOIMMA nature reserve managed by the local community. Night walk.


Hike at Mantadia Reserve – a primary rainforest.


Drive to Ambatondrazaka, the last big city before the trek.

Spot the Bamboo lemurs on the Lake Alaotra.
Continue to the base camp at Zahamena National Park.


Leisurely and exciting trek – while enjoying the landscapes and meeting the locals.


Drive to Mahambo.
Evening by the beach.

Boat transfer to Sainte Marie Island.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Possibility of snorkeling and diving.


Day at leisure by the beach.

Fly back to Antananarivo.

City tour in Antananarivo.
Fly homewards.

Trip notes

Plan trip to Madagascar


Any day
>> How to book a tour

Trip planning


April to November
* Humpback whales arrive in Sainte Marie around June and leave around September

Madagascar best transportations


4WD-Motorboats - Dugout canoe - Train if the day matches - Domestic flights
>> Transportation standard

Accommodation in Madagascar


Hotels, Lodges, tents and huts
>> Lodging types & standards

Madagascar plan

City of departure

Antananarivo, the Capital city.

Leisurely hike in Madagascar

Ease of access



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