Expedition to the kingdom of endemics, "singing" whales, ceremony of the dead "resurrection" and to Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park


July 4 - 17, 2024
tour to Madagascar

Madagascar tour, island tour, whale watching, Cingis, lemurs, St. Mary's Island, baobab alley

Welcome to the enchanting realm of Madagascar, where each day unfolds as a distinct chapter of thrilling adventures. Embark on a journey with us as we trace pirate trails leading to the heart of Libertalia, witness the captivating ceremony of "raising the dead" known as Famadihana, encounter endemic chameleons and lemurs, and set on a breathtaking trek through the Great Tsingy.

As members of the research group, we will delve into the lives of humpback whales, immersing ourselves in the mesmerizing symphony of their underwater songs and even having the unique opportunity to adopt one of these magnificent creatures.

Moreover, we will witness the sunrise along the iconic avenue of baobabs, where time appears to come to a standstill beneath the majestic trunks of these ancient giants. Madagascar is truly a fulfillment of a childhood dream!

Pilot & director: Konstantin Zubkov
Photo by: Denis Korolev, Zubkova Aleksandra, Gromova Genrietta
Dates: July 4 - 17, 2024

Duration: 14 days/13 nights

Number of Participants: 6 – 12

Cost per person:

  • €2 890 for 10 - 12 participants
  • €2 990 for 8 – 9 participants
  • €3 150 for 6 – 7 participants, based on TWIN accommodation

Early Booking Discount 10% (in case you book before March 4, 2024)

Everything is included, except for:
  • International flights to and from Antananarivo,
  • 4 local flights: Antananarivo – Sainte-Marie – Antananarivo and Antananarivo – Morondava – Antananarivo,
  • International medical insurance,
  • Madagascar visas (available upon arrival for €10),
  • Meals not specified in the program.

Estimated Flight Costs:
Approximate cost of round-trip flight Moscow – Antananarivo – Moscow: €1,100 (participants purchase tickets independently, consultation provided).
Approximate cost of round-trip flight Antananarivo – Sainte-Marie – Antananarivo: €280 (participants purchase tickets independently, consultation provided).
Approximate cost of round-trip flight Antananarivo – Morondava – Antananarivo: €280 (participants purchase tickets independently, consultation provided).

Single supplement: €900 (single room accommodation throughout the entire itinerary)

TRAVEL PROGRAM: tour to Madagascar

Day 1. July 4, 2024, Thursday. ANTANANARIVO

Arrival in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Transfer to the hotel, check-in and rest.
At the sunset we will go up to the royal palace, which was burned down in 1995 and still under reconstruction. It offers a magnificent view of the capital. Dinner.

Accommodation: Le Centell hotel
Meals: no

* Recommended flights to Antananarivo:
- Turkish Airlines from Moscow, Flight TK‑418, departure from Moscow on July 3 at 15:20, transfer in Istanbul, arrival in Antananarivo on July 4 at 14:40, or
- Ethiopian Airlines from Moscow via Addis Ababa, departure from Moscow on July 2 at 22:05, arrival in Antananarivo on July 3 at 13:40 (you will need an additional night before the program), or
- any convenient flight arriving in Antananarivo at any time on July 4.


After an early breakfast, proceed to the airport. Depart from Antananarivo at 06:00 on flight TZ530 by Tsaradia Airlines*. Head to the Island of Sainte-Marie, also known as Nusi-Baha in Malagasy toponymy. This region is famous for its unique history, despite the fact that in the 18th century, when the island was supposedly the center of Libertalia, its existence wasn't marked on maps.
In 1731, the coordinates of the island first appeared on nautical charts under the alarming label "Pirate Island." This piece of land near the sea trade route to the West Indies was a popular retreat for numerous pirates. It served as a place for dividing the loot, hosting lively celebrations, and burying comrades, becoming part of the dark legend of the island. Among these pirates were historical figures such as William Kidd, Edward Teach, and Olivier Levasseur. The island's bays still bear mystical traces of the wrecked ships of these famous seafarers.
Arrival on the island is at 07:05. After transfer, check in at a cozy hotel.
Then, we embark on a water adventure by canoe to the "Island of Sand." Here, away from civilization, lies a sandy paradise dominated only by feathered inhabitants. Sea birds lay eggs here in summer and sometimes even in winter, creating a unique natural balance. After a swim, we return to the beach to enjoy a Malagasy-style picnic.
Following lunch, we go on an excursion to the "Iles aux Nattes" islands. Here, we will witness a magical sunset over the vast Indian Ocean. For those seeking harmony with nature, there's a walk to a mountain where a snow-white mansion is located, which serves not only as a hotel but also as a place to relax. This unique combination of natural beauty and human comfort will create an unforgettable experience for this day.
In the evening, there will be a lecture about whales and other inhabitants of the deep sea from a representative of the association for the conservation of marine mammals and control of their habitats in Madagascar.

*Recommended flight from Antananarivo to Sainte-Marie:
- Tsaradia Airlines, Flight TZ530, departing July 5 at 06:00 AM from Antananarivo, arriving at Sainte-Marie at 07:05 AM.

Accommodation: Les Villas de Vohilava
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3. July 6, 2024, Saturday. WHALES — PIRATE CEMETERY

After breakfast at Les Villas de Vohilava, we begin an eventful day dedicated to humpback whales and the mysterious pirate cemetery.
As members of the research group, we will be observing humpback whales that choose these waters for reproduction from June to September. These majestic creatures are on the brink of extinction, and each participant in our group will play a key role in collecting data. Through the capture of photos and recordings of whale songs underwater, we will contribute to global research and the protection of this unique species. Additionally, you will have the incredible opportunity to "adopt a whale"! Details will be shared on the island.
Following lunch on the terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean at one of the best seafood restaurants on Sainte-Marie Island, we will visit the world's only pirate cemetery. Perched on a hill surrounded by the ocean, this place is infused with an atmosphere of adventure. Depending on the tide, we can choose a narrow stone path or paddle by pirogue past mangrove thickets.
We will conclude the day at Les Villas de Vohilava, exchanging impressions, discussing what we have seen, and preparing for new exciting discoveries.

Accommodation: Les Villas de Vohilava
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4. July 7, 2024, Sunday. SAINT-MARIE — ANTANANARIVO

After breakfast at the hotel, we have a final boat trip, where we may watch whales playing, hunting, or simply sunbathing at the surface of the water. Experts will share their knowledge, making this experience truly unique. After completing the expedition, transfer to the airport.
Evening check-in at Nosy Manga 4*, time to relax after a busy day.

* Recommended flight from Saint-Marie to Antananarivo:
- Tsaradia Airlines flight TZ 531, departing July 7 at 13:40 from Sainte-Marie, arriving in Antananarivo at 14:45.

Accommodation: Nosy Manga 4*
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5. July 8, Monday, 2024. ANTANANARIVO

Antananarivo or Tana, as the locals call their city, is the largest and most beautiful pearl in the necklace of cities in Madagascar, as well as the capital of the island state, founded in 1625. The city is located in the central part of the country, at an altitude of 1,435 meters above sea level. Translated from Malagasy, the name of Antananarivo sounds like "the city of a thousand warriors". The noise of the city of Antananarivo in the morning arouses curiosity to see what is going on there: some carry bags, baskets on their heads, some run, while others sit and sunbathe in the morning sun.
We will have a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant with delicious croissants, and by 8:00 AM we leave for a walk around the capital.
Visit the Zuma market, the name of which comes from the Arabic word meaning "Friday". Previously, the market day there was on Friday, but now every day. This is the most popular and colorful market in the heart of the city of Tana. Here you can get acquainted with local goods: vegetables, fruits, linen, handicrafts and much more.
Independence Avenue is the straightest and widest street in the city center. It is surrounded by old buildings called arcades, and previously, in colonial times, were used as offices of governors, shops and restaurants. We will see the city hall and the Gare Soarano railway station of the early 20th century. We will visit the "Low Quarter", located in a lowland among swamps and rice fields, where the lower social strata of the townspeople live, and then the "High Quarter" – the uppermost district of Antananarivo, where the royal palace is located.
In the evening, we will visit the observation deck, which offers a view of the whole city, and, if we are lucky, we will see the best sunset.

Accommodation: Le Centell hotel
Meals: breakfast

Day 6. July 9, 2024, Tuesday. ANTANANARIVO — MORONDAVA

After an early breakfast, we return to the capital and head to the airport.
This time we are heading west, to the delta of the Morondava River. This town impresses with its charm, as if it was created for wearing colorful dresses and being stylish.
Once we touch down, we head straight to Vezo Beach Hotel.
There are not only beaches and cocktails, relict and "Swiss" forests, here we will see it - the famous Avenue of Baobabs. These ancient giants have stood here for over a thousand years, like guardians of time, each tells a story of travels and mysteries.
We stand against the backdrop of the sunset, it feels like being in a movie. The enchanting baobabs pose for us like true models, and we, as nature photographers, capture this moment. Ladies, don't forget your colorful dresses – a mosaic addition to the Avenue. We become part of the photo story of this place.

* Recommended flight from Antananarivo to Morondava:
- Tsaradia Airlines flight TZ702, departing July 9 at 10:10 from Antananarivo, arriving in Murundava at 11:25.

Accommodation: Vezo Beach
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7. July 10, 2024, Wednesday. MORONDAVA — AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS — BEKOPAKA (200 km, 9 hours on the road)

Before sunrise, we will go out to enjoy the deserted Avenue of the Baobabs. It will be an early start at 4:30 – a must to catch the main show. We'll take a couple of pictures there, enjoy the beauty, and by 6:30 we'll have breakfast – coffee, a croissant, and all this under the rays of the morning sun.
Next, off to adventures on the bumpy road to Belo sur Tsiribihina. Upon reaching the commune, we'll take a break to relax and taste local delicacies. Then, we'll head to the village of Bekopaka – the gateway to the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, which, by the way, is on the UNESCO list.
Tsingy is not just a plateau; it's an open-air cinema. Ancient "stone forests" protrude from the ground for hundreds of meters, resembling stars on a stage. It's a place where films about wildlife and plants are shot. The park is divided into two parts: the Great Tsingy and the Little Tsingy. Dinner and overnight stay at the Olympe de Bemaraha.

Accommodation: Olympe de Bemaraha
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8. July 11, 2024, Thursday. THE LITTLE TSINGY DE BEMARAHA

We start with breakfast. On rafts, we'll glide through mangrove thickets along the Manambolo River, reaching the gorge where stalactites and stalagmites create a unique atmosphere. In the distance we will see the cemetery of the Vazimba tribe - the ancient ancestors of the Malagasy people. We don't recommend dipping fingers into the river, as crocodiles inhabit these waters. However, according to locals, they are not dangerous in this river :)
Afterward, we'll take a walk through the Little Tsingy, exploring the labyrinth of limestone formations. As we climb higher and stunning views of the surrounding landscape await us.
Closer to the evening, we'll meet the local residents, immerse ourselves in the rhythm of their lives, and capture sunset shots.

Accommodation: Olympe de Bemaraha
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9. July 12, 2024, Friday. THE GREAT TSINGY DE BEMARAHA

After breakfast, we will have an adventure in Big Tsingy. The reserve is 17 km away; we drive our SUVs along a bumpy road.
We've arrived! Tsingy is recognized as one of the Natural Wonders of the World!
We put on harnesses for safety. Locals have created accessible routes for tourists with pathways, suspension bridges, and stairs. Then we climb the limestone pinnacles, as if they are giant steps. Reaching the "heart" of the reserve, the Tsingy de Bemaraha unfolds its beauty before us.
How did the marvelous labyrinths of Tsingy de Bemaraha form? Due to erosion, rain, and water dissolving limestone layers over centuries, these beautiful karst landscapes emerged. The magnificent needles rise above the Tsingy de Bemaraha reserve, covering an area of approximately 152 square kilometers. Some of them are remarkably pierced with gorges and canyons, giving this unique place an unparalleled character.
Numerous lemurs inhabit this area, including sifakas, along with various exotic birds.

We'll have lunch on the peaks—a cozy picnic (lunchboxes) along the route. Then, we return to the Olympe de Bemaraha hotel.

Accommodation: Olympe de Bemaraha
Meals: Breakfast and lunch (lunchboxes)

Day 10. July 13, 2024, Saturday. BEKOPAKA — BELO SUR TSIRIBIHINA — AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS — MORONDAVA (about 200 km, 9 hours on the road)

Today's route takes us from Bekopaka back to Morondava, covering approximately 200 km with a lengthy 9-hour journey. There will be 2 river crossings along the way. We plan to have lunch in Belo sur Tsiribihina, and closer to the evening, a stunning view of the Avenue of the Baobabs awaits us, illuminated by the last rays of the sun.

Accommodation: Vezo Beach Hotel
Meals: Breakfast


Today, we recommend going to the beach of our hotel before sunrise. Dozens of fishing boats will soon come into view, providing aesthetic pleasure. After enjoying the vibrant colors of the sunrise and having breakfast, we set out to explore the fishing village, passing through mangrove forests on traditional Malagasy pirogues. We'll get to know the villagers.

Transfer to the airport at 10:30 for further flight to Antananarivo. Arrival in capital at 13:40.
Lunch at a good restaurant in the capital, and we immediately go to the eastern part of Madagascar. A trip to Andasibe awaits us, revealing the richness of Madagascar's nature. Crossing the expanses of rice fields and dense forests, we will meet herds of zebu cows and picturesque waterfalls, which have become a kind of keepers of the secrets of this unique corner of the planet.
After 2.5 hours, stop at the Marozevo Reserve, an Exotic Park owned by the French entomologist and naturalist André Peyriéras, also known as Reserve Peyrieras.
The collection contains many reptiles (chameleons, iguanas, geckos, frogs), amphibians, crocodiles and papillons (butterflies).
We will spend an hour and a half here, touch the chameleons from the smallest to the largest sizes up to 60-70 cm, and move out to Andasibe.
Check into a hotel in Andasibe and relax before an evening walk through the night jungle with a lanterns. It's safe to walk there! We will look for lemurs, chameleons and endemic frogs.

* Recommended flight from Morondava to Antananarivo:
- Tsaradia Airlines flight TZ703, departing on July 14 at 12:30 from Morondava, arriving in Antananarivo at 13:40.

Accommodation: Lemurs Lodge
Meals: Breakfast


Morning in the humid tropical forests of Andasibe! After breakfast, Analamazoatra National Park awaits us – the largest territory of parks and the home of the largest Indri lemurs. We will go in search of this giant in the reserve. This lemur species is distinguished by its unique singing and the absence of long tails. Here, you will find other rare lemur species, as well as amazing insects, chameleons, and birds.
After a great hike in the park and singing Indri, we will return to the hotel to have lunch and relax a little.
Then we will visit a group of small islands to enjoy the sunset in the company of various lemur species. They are not afraid of humans here, so we can pet and feed them.

Accommodation: Lemurs Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13. July 16, 2024, Tuesday. ANDASIBE — BEHENJY — ANTSIRABE

After breakfast, transfer to Antsirabe (about 8 hours on the road) along a winding road past rice plantations and traditional villages.
Let's stop at Behenjy village, famous for its foie gras! They say that such a foie gras is not served even in France. While lunch is being prepared, let's take a walk around the village, see how the locals live.
In the city of Ambatolampy, a whole production of bricks and aluminum products has been built on the roadsides. You can also buy some souvenirs here.
In the evening we arrive in Antsirabe, the third largest city in Madagascar. The city is the terminus of the Antananarivo—Antsirabe railway, which currently carries only freight trains.
Check-in at the hotel, dinner and rest before another amazing day.

Accommodation: Hotel Plumeria
Meals: Breakfast, lunch


In Madagascar, the practice of ritual veneration of the deceased, known as Famadikhana, is widespread. Today, we will participate in this unique ceremony.
Malagasy people believe in the immortality of the human soul. Death, in their eyes, is not the end but a transition to another state of being. They claim that each departed soul will eventually return to the earth in the form of a new life, reconnecting with this world through the birth of offspring. This unique perspective on life and death brings joy to the Malagasy people, as each new generation brings renewal and rebirth.
During the festive ceremony, families open the family crypt and bring the ancestors' remains into the light. People dress them in new silk shrouds and rewrite their names on fabrics, repeating this ritual every 5-7 years. This act is not only a tribute to the departed but also a unique way of renewing the connection with ancestors, emphasizing the cyclical nature of life and death.
After the ceremony is over, we return to the capital (about 5 hours on the road).
Dinner in Tana upon arrival, and then go to the airport and check in for an international flight home.

* Those who travel further to Mauritius, will need an extra night at a hotel in Antananarivo for additional cost

Accommodation: no
Meals: Breakfast

* Recommended return flights from Antananarivo:
— to Nairobi by Kenya Airways, departure from Antananarivo at 2:40 a.m. on July 18, arrival in Nairobi at 6:00 a.m. on July 18,
— to Moscow by Ethiopian Airlines with a transfer in Addis Ababa 4 hours 20 minutes, departure from Antananarivo on July 18 at 14:50, arrival in Moscow at 7:40 a.m. on July 19 (you will need an additional night at the hotel in Antananarivo for a fee),
— to Moscow by Turkish Airlines with a transfer in Istanbul for 2 hours, departure from Antananarivo on July 18 at 16:00, arrival in Moscow at 11:00 a.m. on July 19 (you will need an additional night at the hotel in Antananarivo for a fee),
— or any other flight departing from Antananarivo no earlier than 22:00, July 17th.

* Recommended flight to Mauritius:
— by Air Mauritius, departure from Antananarivo on July 18 at 17:00, with arrival in Mauritius at 19:45, on July 18 (you will need an additional night at the hotel in Antananarivo for additional cost)

* The tour operator accepts no responsibility for any changes to local airline schedules that may occur after booking. We will do our best to mitigate any violation of the approved itinerary, but cannot be held responsible for any loss of funds, bookings, missed connections or other chargeable services. The itinerary is subject to change due to schedules and availability of domestic flights. Travel insurance is highly recommended
Cost includes:

  • Double/twin accommodation in hotels and lodges throughout the Madagascar route.
  • Meals according to the program: daily breakfasts, as well as a picnic in the Great Tsingy and lunch in Antsirabe
  • Drinking water throughout the route.
  • Comfortable transport (4WD vehicles) with air conditioning throughout the route and driver services (no more than 3 participants per jeep, a maximum of 2 people per rear seat).
  • Boats and pilot services.
  • All transfers to the airport according to the program.
  • All fees for national parks and reserves, entrance tickets, access to all attractions and activities according to the program.
  • Participation in whale research.
  • Processing of all permits in special zones.
  • Support for traditional communities.
  • English and Russian-speaking guide throughout the route.
  • Russian and English-speaking team leader Mzungu throughout the trip.
  • Accompaniment and lectures by the biologist Ivan Kvasov

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

  • International flights to and from Antananarivo.
  • 4 local flights: Antananarivo – Sainte-Marie – Antananarivo and Antananarivo – Morondava – Antananarivo
  • International medical insurance
  • Madagascar visa
  • Lunches (except on day 9 and 12) and dinners
  • Drinks
  • Additional activities not included in the program
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Single accommodation

To take with:

  • Sets of clothing suitable for weather conditions, including sets of light clothing (shorts, T-shirts),
  • long-sleeved shirts and long trousers for protection from insects
  • just in case (including for the plane), one set of warm clothes (sweatshirt or light windbreaker),
  • Hats: baseball cap/hat/sun hat and hat
  • Bathing suits/swimming trunks
  • Raincoat
  • trekking closed shoes and comfortable light shoes (sneakers)
  • Mosquito net
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Personal medicines (including analgesics, antiseptics, · antibiotics, medicines necessary for you personally, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydron, plaster)
  • Sun and wind protection (cream)
  • Sunglasses
  • repellents: sprays, creams
  • Large backpack for things (or trunk, or a small suitcase),
  • Small backpack for radial exits (25 - 30 l)
  • Head Torch
  • Favorite foods (chocolate, nuts)
· photo and video equipment, drone, spare batteries

Best Seasons: June – October, December – March

Experience the Famadihana ceremony, practiced by the Merina and Betsileo tribes. It is believed that until the body is completely decomposed, the soul has not left this world. During this ceremony, the deceased are taken from their tombs, dressed in new clothes, and the latest news is shared.

Witness the humpback whales, marine animals facing the threat of extinction.

Immerse yourself in pirate culture and feel the true spirit of adventurers!

Trek through the breathtaking reserves of Big and Little Tsingy, from whose observation points you can enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Capture the incredibly photogenic landscapes of the Avenue of Baobabs. You'll have the opportunity to take memorable photos of this symbol of the country at sunset and sunrise.

Explore the local flora and fauna. Madagascar is home to many endemics, including lemurs, a vast array of primates, the fossa, the aye-aye, and many others.

  • 1
    We find the most astonishing places on Earth and speed up to reach them. Our motto is to go ahead of road roller, touch the unique and unknown, before it disappears.
  • 2
    Wherever we go, we look for challenging activities and adventures, filling the journey with absolutely different spirit and emotions. That is why people join us over and over again.
  • 3
    In our trips we pay special attention to safety. All our travels are based on personal experience, equipped with the best gear, involving proved providers and experienced local guides who perfectly know local features.
  • 4
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  • 5
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