Whales Safari in Sainte-Marie – 07 Days

Located on the East coast of Madagascar, explore Sainte-Marie, a small island paradise and a piece of heaven known for its authenticity and its preservation. A real natural sanctuary, the island hosts each year from July to September a magnificent spectacle in the migration of several groups of humpback whales from the Antarctic, which you will have the privilege of witnessing first-hand.

 

Sainte-Marie is a privileged reproduction area for these whales. By choosing this tour, you will have the opportunity to witness their bridal shows as well as the birth and the first breaths of baby whales.

 

Once a refuge for pirates during the time of the Route of the Indies (Spices Route), Sainte-Marie is also filled with historical relics such as the pirates’ graveyard. Additionally, the first catholic church in the history of Madagascar was built in Sainte-Marie.

 

In the vicinity, you will find the “Ile-aux-nattes”: a breathtaking white-sand beach where you can lay back and swim.

 

On this tour, you may also enjoy:

  • The Peyreiras private reserve with its population of butterflies and reptiles
  • The Analamazaotra National Park, home of the biggest lemur in Madagascar, the “indri indri”

End your stay by exploring Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city, and its neighbourhood: the royal palace, the craft market…

 

DAY 1 : ANTANANARIVO – ANDASIBE

Departure to Andasibe, the closest park to the capital Antananarivo. Stopover and visit of the Peyreiras private reserve to observe the great varieties of butterflies and reptiles such as the endemic chameleons of Madagascar. Possibility of a night visit of the Analamazaotra National Park to search night lemur, butterflies….

DAY 2 : ANDASIBE

Visit of the Analamazaotra National Park to search the biggest lemur of Madagascar indri indri (Babakoto), the other species of lemur (the bamboo-lemur, fulvus ) , some birds such as Philepitta castanea (Velvet Asity), Sunbird-asities,  Hartertula flavoviridis (Wedge-tailed Tetraka),  Brachypteracias leptosomus (Short-legged Ground Roller),  Atelornis pittoides (Pitta -like Ground Roller) and a variety of reptiles living in the rainy forest, rich vegetation, tree ferns…

In the afternoon, visit of the lemur island at Vakôna Forest Lodge.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 3 : ANDASIBE – TAMATAVE

Free time in the morning.

After lunch, direction to Tamatave, the capital of the Betsimisaraka ethnic group. Observation of a beautiful landscape of Eastern forest all along the way.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 4 : TAMATAVE – SAINTE-MARIE 

Early in the morning, transfer to Soanierana Ivongo, which is the boarding point towards Sainte-Marie. Quick visit of the Fort Manda in Foulpointe, once a garrison of the royal army and the residence of the Merina governor in the region during the reign of King Radama I.

Arrival to Soanierana Ivongo, transfer by boat to the island of Sainte-Marie.

Check-in and lunch at the hotel. 

In the afternoon, visit of Ambodifotatra city: pirates’ graveyard, oldest catholic church in Madagascar…

DAY 5 : ÎLE AUX NATTES

Whales safari day. Lunch at the Ile-aux-nattes, a small island paradise and a piece of heaven at the South of Sainte-Marie.

Overnight at the hotel.

 

DAY 6 : ÎLE SAINTE-MARIE

Free time. Pick your activity

Overnight at the hotel.

Natural pool  (Copyright Soanambo hotel à Sainte Marie)

 

DAY 7 : SAINTE MARIE – ANTANANARIVO

Transfer at Sainte Marie airport and flight to Antananarivo.

City tour of Antananarivo and visit the royal palace of Ambohimanga classified World Heritage by UNESCO in 2001. Towards the end of the afternoon, purchase souvenir at Digue craft market and transfer at Ivato airport for Europe/ Asia …

 

END OF OUR SERVICES

 

Entry requirements

The passport must be valid at least six (06) months after the return date. 

 An entry visa is required

 

  • 01 day à 30 days: 115.000 MGA– 35 EURO – 37 USD
  • 31 à 60 days : 135.000 MGA – 40 EURO – 45 USD
  • 61 à 90 days : 175.000 MGA- 50 EURO – 55 USD

Health formalities

Anti-malaria, cholera, hepatitis A and B vaccines are strongly recommended for people wanting to visit Madagascar.  It is also recommended to have basic and personal medications in sufficient quantity for the entire duration of the stay

Hospital and private clinic

Hospitals and private clinics can be found in the country’s major cities.

 

Currency

The local currency is the Ariary (MGA). Nowadays 1 Euro = about 3,800 Mga. It varies from time to time. Banks, car rentals, the main hotels and some shops in the major cities accept credit card.

 

Custom requirements 

It is absolutely prohibited to export protected animals, funeral statues or rare fossils. Certain items require an export authorization that can be obtained upon the purchase of said item (e.g. wood sculptures, gems, carved stones, etc.)

 

Luggage allowance

Each passenger has a 20 kg luggage allowance on domestic flights.

 

Tourist vignette

Tourist vignette price varies depending on the category. The vignette is to be paid at each hotel, or can be directly included in our services, and its price usually is between MGA 1,000 to MGA 5,000. 

Area and climate

Madagascar’s total area is 592,000 km² with other 5,000 km of littoral.  

From December to March: Summer (rainy season).

From April to August: Winter.

From September to November: dry period.

Time difference

The time difference between Madagascar and Europe is:

 

  •  + 2:00 winter time in Europe
  •  + 1:00 summer time in Europe

National holidays

The main national holidays in Madagascar are:

 

  • January 1st  (New Year’s Day)
  • Easter Monday 
  • March 29th (Commemoration of the insurrectionof March 29,  1947)
  • May 1st (Labour Day)
  • Whit Mondy
  • June 26th  (Independance Day)
  • Assumption
  • December (Christmas)

Usually, Saturday afternoons and Sundays are days off.

 

Food

Rice is the staple food of the Malagasy population. It usually comes with a side dish of zebu meat, pork or poultry and is sprinkled with “romazava”, a traditional broth made with zebu meat and leaves.

Only well-off families can afford foie gras.

Products that are usually associated with tropical countries can be found in Madagascar, such as seasonal fruits, seafood, etc.

One can also find all the usual drinks in Madagascar. It is recommended to drink local mineral water and to avoid drinking tap water.

 

Religion

Christianity and traditional beliefs (the cult of ancestors) predominantly cohabit in Madagascar; however, the country also has a substantial proportion of Muslims.

Whales Safari in Sainte-Marie – 07 Days en photo