Mindat.org Conference 2014 Madagascar
28 May 2014 - 13 June 2014

Last-minute cancellation places available!

If interested please contact conference@mindat.org immediately!

Itinerary

28 May – Arrival to Tana for evening opening party.

We will arrange transfer from airport to the downtown hotel, we just need your flight details. At the party there will be traditional malagasy music live performances.

29 May – Morning drive to Antsirabe, check in in the hotel, visit in Lac Tritiva, Mineral show, evening party.

This day we will visit the beautiful lake in the volcanic crater of Lac Tritiva, later we will go to a mineral show with all the important mineral dealers from the area and after that there will be a party with mineral dealers.

30 May – Early morning drive to Mahaiza, visit to market, later visit in Tsaramanga, big evening party.

This day we will go to the traditional market in a small village where miners from the nearby mountains come to sell their gems and specimens (mostly quartz), after that we will drive to the pegmatite Tsaramanga famous for blue beryls and columbite. At the evening we will have a party with live music.

31 May – Drive to the Ampatsikahitra, visit underground, walk through valley, night in Antsirabe.

This day we will drive first to the Amapatsikahitra pegmatite in the Sahatanny valley (beryls, tourmalines, garnets, spodumens), and after that we will walk several kilometers through the valley to some famous pegmatites producing tourmalines, beryls, spodumens, TL for manandonite such as Tsarafara, Estatoby, Antokambohitra. No party, it will be a long, tiring day!

1 June – Visit the Manjaca pegmatite. Later drive to Ambositra, visit souvenirs shops with traditional tribal products.

Again an early morning start, we will check out from the hotel and go back to Sahatany valley to visit the Manjaka pegmatite (TL of behierite). After that we will move from Antsirabe to Ambositra center of the traditritional wooden carvings. After the visit in Ambositra we will drive to small town Ambatofinandrahana where we stay in very basic conditions. Some people will sleep in basic rooms, others in sleeping bags on the floor of the salon, and some in tents. No hot water, limited electricity, may be cold. This is the real Madagascar! (Sleeping bags/tents ARE provided).

2 June – Very early morning drive to Itremo, Ihasofotsy and Itremo range (lunch with us), come back to the Ambositra for night.

This will be one of the longest days of the trip. We will start very early morning and will drive on very bad roads to Itremo village known as the Malagasy capital of quartz - there will be mineral show for us. Later we will go to another village Ihasofotsy in which area occurs famous hollandite and fuchsite phantoms in quartz and again a mineral show awaits us. After that we will drive in the Itremo massif to have a picnic and to collect some quartz specimens from the numerous veins. We will be back to Ambositra late in the night.

3 June – Drive to Ranomafana National Park (rainforest), daily visit and nocturnal visit, night in Ranomafana (we will divide into three groups for hotels as they are too small to host us all in one).

This day we will drive first to the Ranomafana village where we will make two visits in the Ranomafana National Park (rainforest, lemurs, chameleons), first visit will be during the day and another after sunset to see nocturnal life.

4 June – Drive to Anja Park (lemurs etc.), night in Ambalavao.

This day we will drive from ranomafana to the picturesque area of the Ambalavao where we will visit Anja Reserve located below beautiful mountains, in the park we will see lemurs, chameleons and maybe snakes and also endemic plans and traditional graves.

5 June – visit in Zazafotsy, Amboarohy corundum locality, night in Ranohira.

We will drive to the area of Zazafotsy village where we will climb of the top of the ridge to visit ruby/sapphire locality known as Amboarohy. At the evening we will arrive to Ranohira village.

6 June – visit in Isalo National Park, afternoon presentations in the hotel in Ranohira.

Morning we will spend visiting Isalo national park with beautiful weathering forms, canyons, wildlife, waterfalls. In the afternoon in our hotel we will have short presentations about geology and mineralogy of Madagascar by Federico Pezzotta and Tomasz Praszkier.

7 June – visit Ilakaka workings, tombs on the road, night in Ifaty.

We will go first to the Ilakaka famous sapphire alluvial deposit where we will visit the diggings, see how they wash material, polish it etc. Later we will stop on our way to the cost to see traditional tribal tombs. After the tombs we will go for lunch in Toliara town and then drive to Ifaty, a fishermans village, where we will stay in the hotel located on the coast. And, of course, a party at the hotel.

8 June – Visit Ambalimalika. Return to Ifaty for party on the beach.

We will go along cost to the north to the Ambalimalika village. We will watch the spectacle of hundreds of boats going and coming back from fishing. Return to Ifaty for the evening beach party. Good swimming opportunity.

9 June – Flight and night in Morondava

In the morning last swimming opportunity in Ifaty. We will drive to the Tulear and take the flight to Morondava town. We stay again in the hotel on the beach.

10 June – drive through Avenue de Baobab to Bekopaka

Early morning we will go first to see the famous Avenue de Baobab majestic and unique place. Later on the way we will stop to see the sacred baobab. The rest of the day we will spend driving on bad roads, crossing 2 rivers by ferry etc.

11 June – morning by boats visit gorge, Small Tsingy. Night in Bekopaka.

Before the sunrise we will make short visit in pirogues (traditional boats) along Manabola river to see the caves and gorge. After that we will drive to see one of the world's most incredible places – Tsingy de Bemaraha. Night in Bekopaka, and evening party!

12 June – visit to Big Tsingy, closing party

Visit to Big Tsingy, an unforgettable experience. We will walk in deep canyons and climb to the top of 80 meter high carstic pinnacles. Night again in Bekopaka with our closing party.

13 June - Drive back to Morondava, flight and night in Antananarivo.

Very early in the morning we will drive to Morondava from which we will have a flight to Antatanarivo. This will be the end of the official part of the trip. Hotel for this night is NOT included but we be happy to arrange it if needed. We will be back to Antananarivo around 20.00 so people can take flights back home same night or next daywe will be back to Antananarivo around 20.00 so people can take flights back home this night or the following day.

Please note itinerary is provisional and subject to change due to operational reasons.

Price

Price: (28th May to 13th June), inclusive of transport, food, internal flights, national park entry fees and guides, and all accommodation - estimated $2,400. Final amount (+/- 10% maximum) to be confirmed shortly.

Book now!

To confirm your place you'll need to pay a $500 deposit immediately, and then we will need the final payment for the trip during the Tucson mineral show in Feb 2014. If you're not going to be at Tucson then contact us to arrange another payment method.

To book a place please contact conference@mindat.org immediately. Places are limited.