Day by Day

20 days Whale migration tour

The best of Madagascar


This tour is complete tour of all the highlights of Madagascar and more. Combine the flora and fauna of Madagascar with the seasonal migration of Humpbackwhales on the pirate island of Ile St. Marie!

Travel time: July - August - September


  • Humpback whales on St Marie Island
  • Ranomafana and Andasibe N.P.
  • Canal de Pangalanes
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Day by Day: 20 days Whale watching Madagascar

Day 1: Welcome to Madagascar!

On arrival at the airport of Antananarivo your driver/guide will pick you up from the airport and take you to a cozy guesthouse on the outskirts of town. Susie’s Place recently opened and in a quiet neighborhood nearby the airport. 

Journey Time 15 minutes from airport
Accommodation        Susie's place
Meal Plan No meals inclusive today

Day 2: Domestic flight to Tulear

An early flight will take you to the southwest coast to Tulear. You are now at the coast of Canal de Mozambique. You driver/guide will take you to Caliente Beach lodge where you will be able to rest after your long journey and enjoy the sea breeze. Your bungalow has an amazing sea view!

Journey Time 4 hours
Accommodation        Famata Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast                

Day 3 & 4: Isalo N.P.

A half day drive will take you to the Grand Canyon of Madagascar, Isalo National Park. This landscape is an amazing mix of deep canyons, green oases, sandstone formations and plains. Here the history of earth is close to you.

The next two days are there to enjoy this beautiful area. On day 4 you will be in the park all day. With a professional local guide you will cross Isalo by foot. Don’t forget to bring your swimming costume to be able to dive in one of the natural pools. Lunch will be inclusive in the walk.

Journey Time 4 hours (on day 3)
Accommodation Ranche 'd Isalo
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 5 & 6: Tsaranoro hiking

Today you will drive further North on the RN7. You will enjoy many short stops on the way to see a glips of Malagasy culture. Soon you will reach a beautifully located lodge on the slope of the mountain “Le Capitain”. From here you will explore this mountainous area with vinyards, rice paddies, surrounded by high peaks. And also the locally run Parc Anja, where you can meet a huge family of ringtailed lemurs.


Journey Time 4 hours (on day 5)
Accommodation Betsileo Country Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 7: To Ranomafana N.P.

After breakfast you will travel to Ranomafana National Park. This park is without doubt the most popular national park of Madagascar. This park is famous for its 12 different species of Lemures. 

In the afternoon you can enjoy the pool filled with hot water from the nearby hot springs or go to the spa. You will sleep in the comfortable thatched en-suite rooms of Centrest Hotel. The hotel is located 30 minutes from the starting point for tomorrow’s activities.

Journey Time 4 hours
Accommodation Centrest Hotel
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 8: Ranomafana N.P.

Ranomafana national park became a national park after the discovery of a new Lemur species called the Golden Bamboo Lemur which is critically endangered. The rainforest has unique flora and fauna with 12 species of Lemurs, 118 bird species of which 30 only exist in Ranomafana national park.

The name literally translates in the local Malagasy language to “warm water“, there are several hot water springs in the national park! You will also be able to see the ruffed Sifaka and many different chameleons and geckos.


Today you will have all the time to spot different species of lemurs. There are 5 different tracks that you can explore with a professional guide. The walks start early morning and depending on your fitness you can choose the track which is right for you.

Don’t miss the evening night walk in along the park to see the nocturnal animals, like the mouse lemur, chameleon, gecko and the Treefrog.

Journey Time depending on the activity
Accommodation Centrest Hotel
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 9 & 10: To Antsirabe

A long but scenic drive will take you to the colorful town of Antsirabe. On the way you will see the scenery changing to farm lands where primarily rice is grown by the local people. You will have the possibility to pay a short visit to one of the best duck liver producers in the country, and taste this delicacy.

In Antsirabe you will see more of the Malagasy way of life. You can enjoy a ride through the town on a pousse-pousse. The pousse-pousse (translated literally “push push”) are the local bikes for Antsirabe. You can also enjoy a drink on one of the local terraces. You will spend the night in Antsirabe town. There are plenty of good restaurants in town to enjoy the local cuisine.

On day 10 you will visit a beautiful crater lake with and have the possibility to walk on the country side of Madagascar and see the local way of life.    

Journey Time 5 hours
Accommodation Coulour Cafe
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 11: To Andasibe N.P.

After a good night sleep and a good breakfast you will start your journey eastwards. The drive will take about 8 hours. On the way you will have the possibility to have a pick-nick stop and pay a visit to Peyrieras Reptile Reserve. This reptile farm as a large collection of Chameleons, geckos and frogs. Here you will be able to see most of the reptiles that you will look for in the forests during the rest of your tour and take good pictures of them. 

After this visit you will continue to Andasibe National park. The coming two nights you will spend in the mid-range Andasibe Hotel. 

Journey Time 8 hours
Accommodation Andasibe Hotel
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 12: Andasibe N.P.

Andasibe national park is the habitat of the biggest lemur in the world, the Indri-Indri. You will take an exciting walk in the national park with a professional guide looking for these very special creatures. You will be amazed by the impressive sound the Indri Indri make to communicate with each other. You will probably also see the Bamboo Lemur, Brown lemur and the largest chameleon, the Parsons Chameleon.

In the evening you can go for an nocturnal walk around the forest to spot the nocturnal animals, like the Mouse lemur and the Sportive lemur and different species of Chameleons and Frogs.

Journey Time Depending on the walk
Accommodation Andasibe Hotel
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 13: Canal de Pangalanes

After a good breakfast your driver/guide will take you to the starting point of an amazing boat ride on Canal de Pangalanes! Here you will say goodbye to your guide and board the comfortable boat.

The 600 kilometres Pangalanes canal is a labyrinth of hundreds of kilometers of lakes, lagoons and small creeks connected through man-dug canals. The Canal was constructed for transportation and is still being used for this purpose today.   During the Colonial rule of France the canal was used to transporting crops and goods from the southern farm lands to the harbor of Tamatave. Discover lush vegetation like palm trees, pandanus, the "elephant ears" of the mangroves, and the Ravinala tree also known as travelers tree. It makes an interesting boat ride to see authentic fishing villages on the way and discover the real Madagascar from the comfort of the boat.


You will spend the coming two nights in a bungalow camp called Palmarium Hotel. The camp overlooks the lake and the comfortable thatched bungalows will make you feel right at home. At the restaurant they serve both international and traditional Malagasy dishes.

Journey Time 3 hours drive, 1 hour by boat
Accommodation Palmarium
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 14: Aye Aye tracking

Today you will visit the special private reserve where you will do the Aye Aye tracking. The Palmarium Ankanin'ny Nofy reserve is located on 50 hectares island on Lake Ampitabe and connecting with the Indian Ocean. Accompanied by a guide you will discover the species of the island. A dozen species of Lemurs playing in full freedom in the reserve like Indri, Sifaka, Coronatus, Varecia, variegata, Propithecus. The rare Aye Aye is found in this reserve! This must be the strangest looking animal on Madagascar. 

Journey Time 30 minutes
Accommodation Palmarium
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 15: To Tamatave

In the morning you will board the boat again to complete the final stretch of 4 hours on Canals de Pangalanes. The end point is the largest harbor of Madagascar, Tamatave also known as Taomasina!

You will stay in Palm resort in one of the standard rooms with en-suite bathroom. This resort has a swimming pool as well. From here you will depart tomorrow for your flight to Il Saint Marie!

Journey Time 3 hours
Accommodation Palm Resort                      
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 16: To St Marie Island

A domestic flight will take you to Ile saint Marie island or Nosy Boraha. Traditionally known as “Island of the pirates”. It is separated from mainland Madagascar by a narrow channel and remains a small green paradise preserved from mass tourism. This island was used as a hide-out for pirates in the 18th century. You will still be able to see some remains of that time through a small museum and the pirate cemetery. Now it is a tropical hide-out and the perfect beach location.



The coming 3 nights you will spend in the comfortable Libertalia Hotel. This is the best hotel to spot the whale migration in July, August & September.

Journey Time 3 hours
Accommodation Libertalia Hotel    
Meal Plan Breakfast & Dinner

Day 17 & 18: Whale watching!

The real reason for coming to St Marie Island is to spot the Hunchback whales!  Big groups of whales migrate from the Southpole to this place to give birth and raise their young ones. St Marie has ideal circumstances for the whales and it is a great spot to see them from up close. You will go on a half a day whale watching excursion on day 17 or day 18 which is inclusive of your tour! This will be an unforgettable experience.  

Journey Time depending on activity
Accommodation Libertalia Hotel    
Meal Plan Breakfast & Dinner

Day 19: Domestic flight to Antananarivo

Today you will fly back to Antananarivo with a domestic flight of Air Madagacar.

A short airport transfer will take you to Susie's Place.

In the evening you will have the possibility to try one of the good restaurants in the neighborhood. 

Journey Time 3 hours
Accommodation Susie's Place
Meal Plan Breakfast

Day 20: Departure

Today is unfortunately your last day with Matoke tours in Madagacar. Depending on your time of departure, you will have a day room at Sakamanga Hotel to freshen up and store your luggage.

If time allows you will have the possibility of visiting some of the interesting sites in the capital and do some souvenir shopping. Your driver/guide will take you back to the airport for your international flight home.

This is the end of a wonderful tour in Madagascar with Matoke tours!

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20 days Whale watching Madagascar