Trekking in Madagascar

Has anyone been and what are your views. If you have been do you think the grading is correct, I'm trying to compare with the Inca Trail and Everest Trek (not to base camp)

Thanks Sandra

Hi there

 Sorry, I don't have an answer for you but I'm trying to find out the same thing myself - I'd love to do the Madagascar Explorer trip but worried that the Grand Tsingy trek would be too arduous for me.  Especially when you have to harness yourself on!

I did the Inca trail several years ago and found the altitude made it hard work - and I'm not half so fit at the moment. 

I've asked a similar question in one of the other forums so keep your eye on that in case anyone answers me and I'll keep an eye out here.

Good luck


Hi there, I went on the TZM - Trekking in Madagascar, last April. It was such an amazing experience, and I was happy to have done it. I would class this trek as challenging. There are long, steep ascents, especially in Andringitra National Park, and on one of the days we trekked for around ten hours, only to find there were no toilets or showers at the next campsite, (something the trip notes wouldn't mention) but the views and cold, cristal clear river made up for it. Prepare to be flexible with your environment.  What also made this trek challenging was the heat, and lots of very long drives in the bus. Some of the trekking I found more challenging than my climb up kilimanjara. It was unfortunate that one of our group was physically unable to complete Peak Bobby. If he had prepared himself several months beforehand he possibly could have made it. I myself could not complete two of the treks in Isalo National Park due to blisters on my big toes, created from the pounding of the steep stepped slopes in Andringitra. But that was my fault for wearing jesus sandles the day before which had set them off. If you can walk 10 miles in one go, and you condition yourself before hand in ascending challenging slopes then you should not have a problem. There's about seven to eight days of trekking in total, the rest of the trip was made up of travelling, and chilling out. Take lots of water on your treks. I started off with around 3 litres, even then I ran out on occassions, but that's me. The guides on the trip are very well trained, and would help you to no end if you would run into difficulties. Remember t take blister plasters. and lots of mosquito repellent, especially for the camping in Isalo National park. I decided to spend and extra night in the local hotel than camp another night in the Park. Boy that was good... It had a pool! God I'm a whimp! But If you could have seen most of the faces of the group, coming into camp, after they'd traversed across Isalo canyon for the day, then I think I made the right choice in not joining them. I hope this hasn't put you off going. Take the challenge or you will regret not doing it for the rest of your life. Good luck, and have lots of fun. PS. See make photos on Exodus website under MEGASPUD.

Thanks for your comments,  a little off putting. I don't seem to be able to find photos by other people, can you help. Many thanks

To find the photos of Madagascar, sign in to their web site 'My Exodus' Type in TZM in the search window, then find the Imiges Icon and open it. You will first find imiges by Exodus, then below them some wonderful photos  by Sehern, a lady working for Exodus, who also accompanied us on the trek. Below that, are some photos I took, followed by more.  It may also be a good idea to keep an eye out on the 'Departure Lounge' found on the Forum window. Good luck.



 I went on the TZM Trekking In Madagascar trip in October this year, and I found the grading to be Moderate / Challenging. The days out walking are long, but there are frequent stops, and the pace is very easy. The campsites are basic, but there are lovely rivers in which to get a proper wash. But then, isn't that half the fun with camping? Good trekking works up an appetite, and there's plenty food to keep you filled, as well as refreshing citronella tea! You'll learn to love it! Camp fires, music and dancing also keep you nice and warm when at altitude. The guides are all excellent, very knowledgeable, and friendly. There were some disappointments - not as many forests as I would have imagined, fairly long bus trips between stops, our group experienced lost luggage on the way in, and a 24hr delayed flight on the way back out! But in a country with such an immature economy and infrastructure, you have to anticipate and accommodate these sorts of things. Overall, I really enjoyed the trip, and the members of our group made the trip one of the most memorable and special!

Thanks for getting back I find it interesting and helpful what you have said. I would like to ask you afew questions if you don't mind. a) when you say moderate'challenging what have you compared it with? Have you for instance done the Inca Trail or trekked the Everest region to 4600m. If so I would be grateful if you could tell me how it compares. b) what age ranges were there in your group, we found that on the Inca Trail we were the oldest but didn't hold anyone back (late 60's early 70's) c) where did you fly from and which airlines and what did you think to them. I hope you don't mind me asking these and if there are anymore I can think of can I please come to you for some advice? Just thought of another, it says we need 3 season sleeping bags, do we need to take our own carrymat or are these provided? I assume ALL your luggsage is carried everywhere, are you limited? Very many thanks Sandra


Hi Sandra - not sure if you are still seeking answers to your questions regarding trekking in Madgascar.  I did the Inca Trail in April 2010 and am booked to to TZM Trekking in Madagascar in 6 weeks' time.  I am wondering if I will be physically fit enough to do the 'challenging' parts of the trek as I found the Inca Trail particularly challenging at times (mostly the affect on my knees when descending) yet that is only graded as 'moderate'!!  I'll be happy to report back and answer your questions when I return in May.  Regards






Hi Maxine, we are having to postpone our visit this year as my husband has to have an operation. I would love to still hear about it as it is still on our agenda - hopefully next year. I enjoyed the Inca Trail although I suffered on the 1st day as I had a really bad cold and could hardly breathe, the 2nd day which was much nmore difficult I didn't have problems. Unlike you and many others I love the downhill bits it the 'ups' I am not too keen on. Enjoy and do please let me know.



Hello again Sandra... sorry to hear that you've had to postpone.   I'll happily report back on my trip.  Regards.  Maxine


Hello - I did the trekking in April 2011 and absolutely enjoyed it. I think the grading is correct and although this was only my second "trekking"holiday, I didn't struggle as the pace wasn't particularly fast: plenty of time to take pictures and to look at the fantastic sceneries.

I would imagine that climbing Peak Bobby would be easier than the Inca Trail because you are overall at a lower altitude. Obviously, you need a reasonable fitness level but more importantly good shoes.

Camping sites range from very basic (no washing facilities, only a drop down toilet) to more equiped (shower with hot water and a toilet with the best views in the world!). The food is fantastic and the guides are great. A great adventure


Sorry SandraB, haven't checked this forum for ages! Hopefully I can answer all your questions, now you've postponed your trip (hope the op goes well!)

I haven't done the Inca or Everest trail. I rated it as Moderate / Challenging based on level of fitness required. I'm no athlete, but I've been up monroe's, scaffell pike, etc, so I've done some hillwalking / climbing in the past, and I'm also a keen cyclist. Some of the slopes in Madagascar were steep, especially Peak Boby, and some of the treks were long and hot, especially in Isalo. However, all of our group managed the climbs, and most of our group manages the long hot trek (two stayed in the hotel, one looking after another with a stomach upset). Age ranges were quite wide, ranging from mid 60's (I'm guessing) to mid 20's, but we all got on really well (I've found that before on Exodus trips - everyone is like-minded, so there's never much friction, and everyone has something interesting to chat about). We flew from Edinburgh (BA) via Heathrow (BA) via Nairobi (Kenyan Airways) into Tana. Same on the way back out. Lots of our group lost their bag on the way in (including myself), but we all got them back a few days later. And our flight out of Tana back to Nairobi was also delayed 24hrs! Kenyan airways put us up in a local hotel, and exodus sent us on an extra excursion free on charge on that spare day though, so all was not lost! But it took a fair bit of phoning to sort it all out. But you almost have to expect that kind of thing in such a poor country with such a tenuous infrastructure. But it's all part of the experience, right?! I brought a 2 season sleeping bag with a cotton liner, and I found that to be more than enough. Silk liners may be slightly warmer. However, the campsite at the foot of peak boby was actually quite cold, so if you're prone to coldness (everyone is different), then I'd either bring a 3 season bag, or just layer up with clothes in a 2 season bag. The rest of the campsites were in warmer areas, and I dispensed with the liner on those nights. Air mattresses are provided at each campsite. Porters carry all your luggage - you only need to bring your own daybag, with your own stuff during the treks (like water, snacks, sun crean, camera, etc).

The trip was one that I'll remember for a long time. Great friends were made during the treks, sharing experiences that pushed everyone (including the lost bags and delayed flights home), which merely served to show everyones full character. And as we were all seasoned travellers, everyone handled all situations really well. Many other wonderful memories - seeing and hearing lemurs in the wild, walking through the most diverse and amazing landscapes, meeting the friendly people, sharing the knowledge of our excellent guide, pushing the bus when it got stuck in the sand, singing at the campfire with alcohol I'm sure doubled up as degreaser for the 4x4 vehicles...the list goes on!

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