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Best Hiking Trails in Madagascar

Overview

Much of Madagascar, a large African island, sits above 1000m and there are certainly mountains to explore.  However, due to lack of infrastructure and established trails, hiking here is not as easy-peasy as one might hope.  Known for the diverse and intriguing wildlife here. The main mountain ranges include the Tsaratanana Massif, Ankaratra Massif and Andringitra Massif. Some of the popular areas for hiking include Andringitra National Park, Tsingy de Bemaraha, Marojejy National Park and Isalo National Park. The best months to hike in Madagascar are April to October.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Madagascar. 

Capital: Antananarivo

When To Hike in Madagascar?

April – October: Driest period of time
November – March: Rainy
Climate: Range of climates, including subtropical and tropical.  More temperate in the mountains; rainy season from November – March; also when cyclones can occur

Accessibility of Hiking

Hard: While there are parks with well-established trails, it can be long, expensive and arduous to actually access these parks.  Once there, you’re required to get a guide who may speak limited English. 

Transportation required: Sturdy vehicle

 

Top Places to Hike in Madagascar

The plateau rises up in the east of the country, where you’ll find the main mountain ranges. These ranges include the Tsaratanana Massif (in the north), Ankaratra Massif (in the centre), and Andringitra Massif (in the south). Highest Mountain: Maromokotro (2876 m) – located in the Tsaratanana range.

Filter out hiking places of Madagascar by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Midongy du Sud National Park

Isalo National Park

  • Trails include the Waterfall of the Nymphs

Andringitra National Park

Réserve de Nosy Mangabe

  • Tiny island off the mid-east coast, mountainous and has trailheads, as well as basic infrastructure (camping, basic bungalows)

Tsingy de Bemaraha

  • Low mountains and unusual rock formations
  • Trails here; can be technically challenging

Zahamena National Park

Analamerana Special Reserve

  • Includes unusual looking rock formations

Amber Mountain National Park

  • Also known as Ambohitra Mountains NP

Parc National de Masoala

  • Part of northeast peninsula

Parc National de Marojejy

Madagascar's Long Distance Trails

  • Long distance hike to the summit in Marojejy National Park 
  • Pic Imarivolanitra (Peak Boby) – 3 day hike in Andringitra National Park

Madagascar's Walking & Hiking Resources

Madagascar Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Madagascar: Bradt Travel Guide by Daniel Austin & Hilary Bradt, 2020, Bradt Travel Guides
  • Insight Guides Pocket Madagascar, by Insight Guides, 2019, APA Publications
  • Lonely Planet Madagascar, by Emilie Filou and Anthony Ham, 2016, Lonely Planet Publications
  • Rough Guide to Madagascar, by Rough Guides, 2015, APA Publications

 

Best Hiking Trails in Madagascar:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Pic Imarivolanitra (Peak Boby) – Andringitra National Park
  • Diavolana Trail – Andringitra National Park
  • Andamozavaky Circuit– Tsingy de Bemaraha
  • Waterfall of the Nymphs – Isalo National Park
  • Mount Chameleon – Andringitra mountains
  • Marojejy National Park trails

Easy Hiking Trails in Madagascar:

  • Tsingy de Bemaraha

 

Madagascar Hiking Websites:

 

Madagascar Weather Website: 

 

Madagascar Official Tourism Site:  

 

Madagascar Hiking Apps: 

 

Madagascar Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Beaches
  • Safaris; wildlife viewing
  • Nosy Be
  • Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park

Other Important Points

  • Tsaratanana Nature Reserve, containing the highest peak Maromokotro, is closed to public, therefore did not include in map above
  • You always have to be accompanied by a guide in national parks in Madagascar 
  • The different names used (ie. French and Malagasy) on maps can be confusing