Because there is only one airline company in Madagascar and it flies to each destination only once every day at the most, it is sometimes difficult to make the perfect itinerary. For people who have longer time to spend in Madagascar, we suggest road trips as a great way to experience the Red island. You drive along, passing village after village, and stop in forests and national parks on the way. You can stop in local open markets – a real social immersion, and a delight for photographers. You might stop and take photos of the zebu carts you meet on some roads where there are more zebu than cars! You can send us a request for a road trip itinerary sample, but below are a few ideas which will help you getting started:
Tana to Diego OR Diego to Tana via Ankarafantsika NP
We go from Tana to Diego, or the other way round, by car. You wind your way out of the hauntingly beautiful highlands into the mango-dotted coastal lowlands. Our stops on the way include Ankarafantsika NP, Ambanja to visit plantations, and Ankarana National Park to see the tsingy. This road trip follows the same route that the Merina kings took to conquer the Sakalava kingdom!
Tana – Morondava – Tulear by the coast
Adventurous and remote! For this road trip, prepare for mostly bumpy roads, and empty arid stretches that seem like ‘no man’s land’. But there are also beautiful landscapes empty of other cars or electric poles, perfect coastal lagoons, and thousands of grand baobabs. On the way, you see Morondava, Belo sur Mer, Andavadaoka, and Salary.
Tana – Fort Dauphin – Tulear by the coast
Adventurous and remote! You can make a huge loop from Tana down the east coast to Fort Dauphin, then west to Tulear, and back north to Tana on the RN7 highway. Some people call this trip the “10 ferries”, because you cross at least 10 rivers and canals by ferry along the way. If you like adventure and discovery, and have time for a longer trip, this is a great option.
Tana – Maroantsetra by road
Adventurous and remote again! This trip is one of the most difficult 4×4 routes in Madagascar. We drive the RN2 to Tamatave, then we start the adventurous part on the RN5. It takes really good drivers who know the road well to find the road under the mud and the water, and to drive across bridges made of 2 beams – one for each tire! The lush eastern landscapes are beautiful, and after arriving in Maroantsetra you can go to Masoala NP.