Madagascar Marathon 2024
Run in the land of Lemurs!
Often referred to as the Eighth Continent and earth’s fourth largest island, Madagascar is one of our newer adventure destinations! The marathon and half-marathon will be held in Isalo in the south central highlands with most of the course routed through Isalo National Park. This is Madagascar’s most visited area where the country’s oldest dinosaur bones were discovered.
We offer a seven-night package with two nights in the capital city Antananarivo (Tana) where you will get your first introduction to the magnificent wildlife at Lemur Park. In addition, you will have the option to extend your stay to visit more of Madagascar to include hiking in amazing rainforest, lemur treks, and a beach resort experience. This exotic destination is ideal for the runner looking for their next adventure!
2024 packages from $5,790
Travel Package Information
Sunday 2nd June, 2024
Arrive at Ivato International Airport (TNR) in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar affectionately known as “Tana”. You will be met and transferred to the Relais de Plateaux Hotel (in close proximity to the airport) for your overnight stay. Airport transfers included. All meals are on your own today.
Monday 3rd June, 2024
Following breakfast, we will have our first encounters with lemurs at Lemur Park! After enjoying a morning walking through this lush park full of wildlife, we will head to a local restaurant for lunch. The afternoon will be a visit to the Rova of Antananarivo, which is a royal palace complex that served as the home of the sovereigns of the Kingdom of Imerina in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as of the rulers of the Kingdom of Madagascar in the 19th century. Following this we will return back to the Relais de Plateaux for dinner and overnight accommodations. (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Tuesday 4th June, 2024
Today is our group flight to Tulear. The group will be transferred to the airport with your English-speaking guides for the one hour flight to Toliara (also called Tulear) on the southwest coast of Madagascar. Upon arrival, depending on arrival time, we will either begin the four to five hour (approximate) drive to Isalo OR stay overnight in Tulear. (breakfast, box lunch and dinner included)
Wednesday 5th June, 2024
Following breakfast, if in Tulear, we will begin the four to five hour drive to Isalo to arrive in time for lunch and a free afternoon at sister properties – Le Jardin du Roy or Le Relais de la Reine (both are within a very short walking distance of each other). This evening, enjoy a welcome gathering prior to dinner. (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Thursday 6th June, 2024
After breakfast, we will transfer from the hotels to Isalo National Park for a beautiful morning hike. The group will be divided into smaller groups and will then regroup at Canyon Namaza’s picnic area. For those who wish to continue their hike up to the stunning Cascades, a boxed lunch will be provided. This is a moderate to difficult hike, so guests should be confident in their balance and walking ability along wet and narrow paths. Those who wish to return to the Le Jardin du Roy for lunch will be transported back. All meals will be enjoyed at the hotel today. (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Friday 7th June, 2024
Following breakfast is a visit to the sapphire mining town of Ilakaka. This area produces some of the world’s purest sapphires, which were first unearthed only 25 years ago. Enjoy afternoon activities at your hotel. Join us this evening for a race briefing prior to our pre-race dinner. All meals will be enjoyed at the hotel today. (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Saturday 8th June, 2024 – Race day!
The start at 7:00am is outside your doorstep at the Relais de la Reine and the finish will be at the Jardin du Roy (both are within a very short walking distance of each other). The post-race party will include an awards ceremony, entertainment and will be followed by a buffet dinner enjoyed under the stars (weather permitting). (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Sunday 8th June, 2024
Depart your hotel today for the return drive to Toliara (Tulear) Airport for our flight to Tana. Upon arrival, those on Air France departing at 11:55 PM will check-in for their international flight home. For those flying out on Monday, an additional night can be arranged for you at the Relais de Plateaux near the airport for an additional cost. Those extending their time in Madagascar on the extension, please see the Post-Race Extension Itinerary for details. (breakfast and box lunch included)
Extension One | Ifaty and Andasibe: June 9 – 15, 2024
From $3,629 based on two people sharing
Sunday, June 9: Isalo | Toliara | Ifaty
This morning you will depart with the group to Tulear and after lunch continue by coach bus north to the beach area of Ifaty. The rest of the day is to relax from a long day of travel at the Les Dunes located on the beautiful coastal line of Madagascar. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Monday, June 10: Ifaty | Reniala Reserve
Today you have the option to relax and enjoy many of the water sports and activities Les Dunes offers or visit nearby Reniala Reserve, an eco-system known as the spiny forest consisting of towering spiny bushes and some spectacular ancient baobab trees. The botanical trail reveals a bird sanctuary, endangered radiated tortoises, various species of chameleons and lemurs as well. All meals will be enjoyed at Les Dunes.(Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Tuesday, June 11: Ifaty
Enjoy a free day to relax and take in your surroundings. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Wednesday, June 12: Ifaty | Toliara | Antananarivo
Following an early breakfast, you will depart to the Tulear Airport for your flight to Tana. Upon arrival in Tana, you will have lunch and experience the Digue Market. Once you have purchased your souvenirs, the group will make its way to the Hotel Colbert for your overnight accommodations. Dinner is on your own this evening. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Thursday, June 13: Antananarivo | Andasibe
Plan for an 8:00 AM departure for a three-hour (approximate) drive through the highland countryside to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park where you will spend the next two nights at the Vakona Forest Lodge. This evening enjoy an optional nocturnal walk with your experienced guide before dinner. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Friday, June 14: Andasibe
Rise early to hike into Analamazaotra Reserve to see and hear the unforgettable babakoto (and other denizens). This is the largest of the lemurs, also known as the Indri indri, and has consistently refused to live in captivity – the only place in the world where to see them and hear their haunting call. Meals and overnight Vakona Lodge. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)
Saturday, June 15: Andasibe | Antananarivo
Following breakfast we will make a stop at Lemur Island before we begin our drive back to Tana for your international flight home. A stop at the Relais des Plateaux will be included for a buffet dinner before your transfer to the airport. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Extension #2 | Andasibe and Palmarium: June 9 – 15, 2024
From $3,975 based on two people sharing
Sunday, June 9: Antananarivo
Upon arrival in Antananarivo, we will continue to the Hotel Colbert Hotel for the evening to relax. Dinner is on your own.
Monday, June 10: Antananarivo | Andasibe
Rise early for breakfast and an 8:00 AM departure for our three-hour drive to Andasibe. Following check-in and lunch at the Vakona Lodge, we will visit Lemurs Island. Get ready to get the perfect photo of you and a lemur(s)! We will return to the Vakona Lodge for dinner and your overnight stay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Tuesday, June 11: Andasibe
This morning we will visit the Analamazaotra Reserve to see and hear the unforgettable babakoto (and other denizens). This is the largest of the lemurs, also known as the Indri indri, and has consistently refused to live in captivity – the only place in the world to see them and hear their haunting call. You will enjoy a leisure lunch before late afternoon/ evening nature walks in Mitsinjo. Overnight at Vakona Lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Wednesday, June 12: Andasibe / Palmarium
After an early breakfast we will make the drive to the coastal lowlands of Manambato and upon arrival, depart by boat on the Pangalanes Canal to the Palmarium Reserve, a littoral forest with a wide variety of palms, orchids, and other interesting plants, including the carnivorous “pitcher” plant. Dinner and overnight at the Palmarium Hotel Ankanin’Nofypark. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Thursday, June 13: Palmarium Reserve
Today will be exploring the reserve where there are ten different species of habituated (largely introduced) lemurs including the rare Aye aye, black-and-white ruffed, crown and sifakas. Also orchids, carnivorous Pitcher plants, rare insects, chameleons, frogs and green lynx spiders can be found along the well-maintained trails. Meals and overnight at the Palmarium. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Friday, June 14: Palmarium
Today is a free day in Palmarium to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Some options will be provided on-site. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Saturday, June 15: Palmarium | Tamatave | Tana
Following breakfast, we will return to the port city of Tamatave (Toamasina). You can expect about a four hour drive from Manambato to Tamatave. We will stop for lunch and time permitting visit a local market before transferring to the airport for the short flight back to Tana where you can then connect for your return flight home. If needed, overnight accommodations at the Relais can be arranged. (Breakfast and lunch included)
- Lodging and meals as specified on itinerary
- Intra-domestic flights and taxes on Air Madagascar
- Airport transfers within Madagascar as specified
- Ground transportation by bus as per itinerary
- Services of English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees and local guides in parks and reserves as mentioned
- International roundtrip airfare to Madagascar
- Marathon or Half-Marathon race entry fee (additional $265 per entry)
- All beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic; bottled water at meals is not included)
- Travel Insurance
- Visa Fee
- Optional activities
- Personal items such as phone, laundry, etc.
- Airport transfers if not arriving on May 7 or 9; or departing on May 15 or 20
Packages & Rates
Marathon Tours & Travel Madagascar Marathon package includes the following:
- Two nights in Tana, one night in Tulear four nights in the Isalo National Park area
- Seven breakfasts, seven lunches and six dinners as described in the itinerary
- Airport transfers
- Services of English-speaking guides
- Excursions, entrance fees and local guides in parks and reserves as outlined on the itinerary
- Welcome reception (Isalo)
- Post-race party with entertainment (Isalo)
- Ground transportation according to the itinerary
- Domestic flights per the itinerary from Antananarivo to Toliara and return. Price is subject to change once domestic flights are confirmed.
- Gratuities for guides and drivers (this does not include local guides when visiting parks)
- Nature hikes as outlined on the itinerary
- Touring and sightseeing per the itinerary
- Guidance and support from Marathon Tours & Travel
- Guaranteed 2024 Madagascar Marathon Entry at $265
- Guaranteed 2024 Madagascar Half Marathon Entry at $265
- Guaranteed 2024 Madagascar Ultra 50km Entry at $365
- Post-race extension 6-night trip, from $3,629
More details on the post-race extension packages are available under the Extension tab.
All Logistics Covered
We take care of the logistics for you, so you can focus on the event and your trip. Whether you are running or supporting, we have an expert team to ensure your trip runs smoothly.Madagascar Marathon 2024 Package - Per Person Prices
Double Occupancy Single Occupancy Standard room $5,790 $6,630
Relais des Plateaux (or similar)
Located at Ivato, only five kilometers from the International Airport, Relais des Plateaux is a perfect spot for a short overnight while in the capital of Madagascar. Nestled in a wooded park, the Relais des Plateaux offers you the mix between local tradition and modern. We believe you will find this hotel to be comfortable and welcoming.Relais de la Reine and Jardin du Roy (or similar)
These sister hotels will act as the Race Headquarters. The unique 4-star properties are hidden away off the main road and offer 15 buildings that include 3-4 rooms in each unit. Exteriors are constructed of hand cut granite with intricate stone work. Rooms are beautifully furnished from palissandre (Madagascan mahogany). The main buildings have a comfortable bar and restaurant and free Wi-Fi. Enjoy lovely views from the large pool or schedule treatments in the spa. An equestrian center is also on property.
The start will be at the Hotel Relais de la Reine and the finish will be at Hotel Jardin du Roy (its sister property), which is also the race’s headquarters. You will find both hotels blend into the surrounding magnificent hills. They offer an equestrian center, hiking trails, and complete spa services.
Enjoy rolling hills and grassy trails in Isalo National Park
The marathon course starts at Relais de la Reine. The course will cross over Highway 7 and enter Isalo National Park and run about a 14 mile loop back to Highway 7. The course follows some trails onto pasture land past through some small villages, across shallow streams and back to the finish at Jardin du Roy. A large loop within the park along grassy trails passes spectacular rock formations dating back millions of years. The courses have just a few rolling hills and good footing for 98% of the course. The half-marathon course is run almost entirely within Isalo National Park.
Race Date – Saturday, June 8, 2024
Start Time – 7:00 AM
Organizer – The race is organized by the Marathon Tours & Travel, Inc. in association with the National Park Association.
Course – The marathon course starts at Relais de la Reine. The course will cross over Highway 7 and enter Isalo National Park and run about a 14 mile loop back to Highway 7. The course follows some trails onto pasture land past through some small villages, across shallow streams and back to the finish at Jardin du Roy. A large loop within the park along grassy trails passes spectacular rock formations dating back millions of years. The courses have just a few rolling hills and good footing for 98% of the course. The half-marathon course is run almost entirely within Isalo National Park.
Entry Fee – The entry fee is $265 for the marathon or half-marathon and $365 for the Ultra 50K. Entry is offered only by booking a package through Marathon Tours & Travel.
Eligibility – All runners traveling from outside Madagascar must purchase the special travel package and enter through Marathon Tours & Travel. Runners in the marathon must be at least 18 years old on race day.
Time Limit – Marathon and Ultra 50K: 7 hours; Half-Marathon: 5 hours
Number Pickup – Numbers and pre-race briefing will be held at Le Jardin du Roy, official race headquarters. The pasta party will follow.
Aid Stations – Portable water is a valuable commodity in Madagascar. Runners must be self-sufficient while running. Drink stations with bottled water will be positioned where possible. Camelbacks and other carrying devices for liquids is highly recommended. Runners must bring their own electrolyte drinks or nutritional supplements.
Awards – Top three overall for males and females in both races. In the marathon: top two in each age category under 40, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and over. All finishers will receive a certificate and medallion.
Temperature – May is the dry season in Madagascar so expect little to no rainfall. The average temperature will be a high of 30C (86F) and low of 16C (61F).
Difficulty: Challenging Course. Although fairly flat with a few rolling hill, parts of the course is on sand, through grass, and through shallow water at various points on the course.
Difficulty – Challenging Course. Although fairly flat with a few rolling hill, part of the course is on sand, through grass, and through shallow water at various points on the course.
Packing suggestions – Buying new shoes or clothes is not recommended. A better solution is to take old clothes and leave them behind as they will go to good use and you can travel light on the way home. Long sleeves and long pants for the forest are recommended as you will go off the trail and into the bushes at times. Also layers work best because it will be chilly at night and in the early morning. A sweatshirt, warm sweater and/or a scarf will come in handy! All carry-on items must comply with size, weight, and security regulations. A suggested packing list will be shared in your final documents.
Registration & Booking
Air and land prices may change due to currency fluctuations or changes in the tax or fuel surcharges.
All payments, including your deposit, are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Non-transferrable includes applying your balance to another person, another year or another trip. Should you cancel for any reason, you will forfeit your trip investment. Therefore, travel insurance for every trip is highly recommended. All cancellations must be received in writing.
Not included in price
All items not specifically listed under tour features. You must secure and pay for your visa to travel to Madagascar. Airfare to Madagascar is additional. Entry fee is $265 additional.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Mexico’s current entry restrictions and requirements.
Travel insurance is an essential part of any holiday you take, and we highly recommend that you purchase suitable insurance for your trip. You must ensure that your travel insurance policy also covers you to participate in running events.
Marathon Tours & Travel’s security policy requires that anyone staying in our room block must be registered as part of our package. If a registered client attempts to house a non-registered guest and/or invite them to attend any of our scheduled activities, the registered guest’s tour package will be forfeited and parties may be denied access to future tours. Please note that no exceptions will be made as this policy will be strictly enforced.
These tours are operated by Marathon Tours, Inc. of Chelsea, MA who acts only as an agent for the passenger to the companies offering such services and assumes no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity caused by any reason whatsoever by any party offering such services. All terms and conditions offered are governed by the laws of Massachusetts. The right is reserved to cancel the tour prior to departure with a refund, less applicable credit card and processing fees, made as full settlement to the passenger. The right is reserved by Marathon Tours, Inc. to deny acceptance of a booking application by any person. Marathon Tours, Inc. may make any changes or alterations in the itinerary as it deems necessary for the proper handling of the tour. The sole responsibility of any airline used is limited to that set out in the passenger contract evidenced by the ticket. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time that the passengers are not on board their aircraft.
There is no map since we will finalize the course a couple of days in advance. The course will be one large loop for the marathon, which is challenging and 98% on trails. There are some gentle hills but no mountains of any sort. It is a nice course and you will find temps very comfortable at the start.
Conditions of Sale
Please note we cannot sell race entry without accommodation package. Race entry is not refundable.
If you wish to make any changes to your reservations administration and/or service fees might apply. For our general T&C’s please see here.
Due to the internal flights the baggage weight is 20 kilos (44lbs), plus one typical carry-on and a small personal bag/camera case. Air Madagascar will charge you extra fees if you are over the weight limit, plus this holds up the line significantly. Please pack accordingly.