Day 1 Arrival at the airport in Tana, Transfer to the hotel Grégoire*** or similar
Day 2 Flight to Nosy Be Transfer to the airport. Flight from Tana to Sainte - Marie. Transfer to Madiro hotel/Chanty Beach hotel HB
Day 3 - 4 Nosy Be You have free schedules during your stay in Nosy Be. Excursions to the surrounding isles can be organized on the spot. You can find macaco lemurs on the isle Komba ("Nosy Komba").
"Nosy Tany kely" is the best place for nautical activities and the reserve of Lokobe is an ideal place to observe lots of lemurs, snakes, birds and other interesting animals easily. A day's excursion through the big Isle is also recommended: you drive to the sacred place, where people come and bring offerings to the ancestors on the foot of huge Banyan-trees.
You go to the old town afterwards and in the afternoon you can visit the Rum and Sugar factory. In the evening, you go up to the "Mont Passot" where you can have a fantastic view of the surrounding crater lakes. At the end you'll enjoy the fabulous sunset.. Free schedule, Madiro hotel/Chanty Beach hotel HB
Day 5 Transfer to the airport. Flight back to Tana. Grégoire Hotel*** or similar BB
Day 6 Shopping at an artisans' market. Flight to Europe
Included in Price - Accommodation on day 1 - Half board on day 2, 3 and day 4 - Bed and breakfast on day 5 - Breakfast on day 6 - Transfers - Assistance at the airports - Flight Antananarivo/ Nosy Be /Antananarivo with taxes
Excluded from price - International flights - Drinks - Meals on day 1, 5 and 6 - Lunches on day 2, 3 and day 4 - Personal expenses - Any Insurances - Activities in Nosy Be
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I hesitate to write a review for this trip because it is hard to express how wonderful it was.
The tour company is small but the care the company director took was very great. First of all our trip was not one of the "off the shelf" variety. They has such things, and I am sure they are wonderful, but we had studied the guidebooks, and had our own ideas of what we wanted, and they accommodated our plans and guided us towards what was possible and desirable.
The company selected our competent drivers and our helpful guides. They selected our hotels and arranged for our inter-country air travel. They saw to every detail. We were always met by folks with our name on a placard and taken to our destinations promptly.
When I got a case of travelers' disease they accommodated the changes to our schedule and insured that the hotel staff took good care of me. I lost my cell in Paris on the way there and Fanja (the tour company director) lent me one of hers for the duration of our travels!
I have written an extensive travelogue of the trip and am very proud of all we saw and did in this very active vacation. There is nothing a tour company could do that was not done and not done well. We will be forever grateful for the caring treatment and the attention to detail that made this complicated itinerary work.
This was a trip of a lifetime for me and my wife. It could not have been done better. Thanks to the Africa Guide for the referral.
On the positive side, I would say that the tour itinerary was very good, giving us a broad view of a substantial part of Madagascar, while the pacing was very reasonable. The hiking opportunities at Ranomafano and at Isalo National Parks were some of the best hikes that I have taken.
The accommodations exceeded our expectations and the provided meals (as well as the places suggested for meals on our own) were excellent. The vehicle provided was satisfactory, although sometimes a bit tight for the six of us.
The company manager, was most gracious in an initial greeting meeting and in a farewell assessment meeting. Overall, I would say that the trip was a good value for the price.
My only negative was that the driver was in no way the "driver-guide " that we expected. He provided almost zero in the way of information about Madagascar or its people and culture. We also had almost no interaction with any locals except people working in restaurants or shops. From our experiences with other travel, we had substantially higher expectations in this regard. If we had not had a good guide book with us, I think that we would have been even more disappointed in this regard, but as I indicated, all of the other aspects of the trip were satisfactory or better.
Tour Operators Reply:
We are very pleased to hear that overall the clients enjoyed their holiday but disappointed that the driver/guide did not meet up to their expectations and appreciate them bringing this to our attention.
Although the driver/guide has been working with us for many years, this is the first complaint we have received and we will work on preparing the driver better for our future trips.
My god daughter and I had a most amazing time in Madagascar. We thank the tour operator who helped us put together the trip and Aro who was very patient and was able to reroute us when we were rained out.
I don't recommend that any traveler spend a Sunday or other holiday in Antananrivo as the city haslittle to offer other than the museums which were all closed.
Thanks again for your hospitality and great service.
With great sense of satisfaction, we would Like to say that our first trip to Madagascar was fantastic.
All Credit to the tour operator, who has stretched herself beyond to make the group comfortable. The tour Guide Mr Jean Jaques with his unparalleled knowledge of flora and fauna made our trip a super success.
We honour both of them and thank them from the bottom of our Hearts. We would be doing this trip Regularly.
If you want to be in the caring hands of someone who meets you at the beginning, explains everything line by line, sends you off with the English speaking driver, meets you again upon your return to debrief you on how things went, sign up NOW with this tour operator, with Fanja as your manager.
Think of a mother sending her children off to camp with love and concern for her dependents. She was every bit as stellar as all the other recommendations stated and leaves nothing to chance. She truly wants to ensure your trip is fantastic and settles only for the best for you.
Before I begin, I must say............it is impossible to capsulate our experience in a brief paragraph.
We would be most happy to provide you our thoughts on one of the most pleasurable trips we have ever taken. And, thank you, Africa Guide, for providing this most appreciated referral.
First of all, a little background on us. We are certainly globetrotters, seeking to see as much of the world as we can in a lifetime! We have been to 132 countries, and have made a pact with ourselves to not return to any........unless it is passing through, or in conjunction with another "new" itinerary. However.......that may now change!
In 2004, we had watched an episode of "Lonely Planet", now known as "Globetrekkers", on the country of Madagascar. Since seeing that one episode, Madagascar has been on our "short list"! Only now, have we found the time to go and complete our dream!
We love to customize our own tours to each our destinations, thus controlling lost time that might be spent on something we are not interested in seeing. So when we received Africa Guide's referral, that was one of the first issues we discussed with the tour operator. Fanja was every traveler's dream of a tour operator! She truly represents the epitome of "grace"! She began a supportive dialogue with us upon our first contact, and it has continued until this day.
Fanja was diligent in her effort to ensure that we were able to include each of the destinations on our checklist; and that they could realistically be covered in a 10-day itinerary. Ten days, however, was just an appetizer in a land with main courses spread out in so many directions. And, Madagascar just may be the first country in which we break our pact to "not return" to a destination we had previously visited!
We began our tour the minute we were picked up from the airport, heading south to Antsirabe, where we arrived at nightfall. Our driver and English-speaking guide, Mr. Romance, was as positive as his name! He stuck with us the entire trip, and did a superb job of introducing us to his country. He stopped when we needed, or when we asked for a "photo stop". He openly discussed the culture and lifestyle of the country. He was attentive, and strived to keep us comfortable and informed.
One of our most dubious side trips, proved to be the most adventurous and fun! We longed to take a drive into the back country somewhere in Madagascar, and we chose Andringrita National Park! Fanja knew it would be a difficult journey, and was always upfront about this. But, it only intrigued us more! She did not question our enthusiasm, and cheerfully agreed to work with contacts in Ambalavo to arrange a 4Xwheel drive vehicle and driver for us. We set off on a 27 mile see-saw ride, which took 3.5 hours to complete, due to poor road conditions! We spent a few hours enjoying the beauty of the park, trekking the trails, and enjoying a picnic lunch at a view point before turning around to repeat the 3.5 hours in our return.
The operator offers services with a high degree of ethics, cooperative spirit, and an intent to please their clients. Fanja responded to all our pre-trip questions within 24 hours! If we had a lodging preference, she agreed to arrange it. She was there at the airport to meet us when we arrived, she came to the hotel prior to our departure home, and she followed up with us once we returned home. Should we decide to return to Madagascar, Fanja and her agency will be our first contact!
And one final note: One of the most magical places on earth has to be in the area of I'Isalo National Park! The park is studded with rock formations that seem to grow out of the land! Perhaps our most awesome experience within these dramatic "rock stars", occurred during our dusk-time visit to La Fenetre de I'Isalo; a "must do" stop after a day of trekking, to watch the sun set through a natural opening in a large lichen-covered rock. There, we......... by pure happenchance.......... caught a glimpse of the rising full moon, perfectly centered, as we gazed through the opposite side of this interesting geological oddity! What a photo; what a memory! Only timing and luck.......or by good "Grace"??? And the Le Jardin du Roy Hotel, which was just a few miles away, and where we stayed, continued to carry on the spirit of this land. Our room was literally surrounded on two sides by big, beautiful boulders! Waking up in the middle of the night and seeing the moonlight reflecting off the stone boulders, kept this magical park alive! A footnote to the note: Hotel Le Jardin surpasses many 5 star hotels in the US! It is castle-like, built with tons of stone, each placed in an almost artistic pattern. Huge cathedral ceilings. And all the amenities of the finest of hotels; including the food and its presentation!!!
We did see the lemurs, chameleons, zebu, and other endemic animals, but it was the landscapes, the spiky plantlife, and the peoples and their cultures that held the most interest and intrigue for us. Madagascar has something for everyone! But one can't wait too long. Forests are being replaced with rice fields. Natural habitats to wildlife are being lost. But the people and their lifestyle remain largely unaffected by Western influence, for now. It remains a country that is still on the frontier of tourism. And now is the best time to go! The vanilla is the best! And Dzama's Coco Punch.....is to die for!!!
Our tour exceeded our expectations, and it was all made possible by the assistance, the patience, and the expertise of this operator and Fanja!
We had a really great trip through Madagascar. The tour was well organised, the driver was excellent and the itinerary gave us a great introduction to the sights of the island.
Fanja was really helpful throughout, from the initial briefing session to dealing with the chaos at Tuliar airport!
The real downside of the trip was the overbooking of our return flight from Tuliar to Tana. This completely disrupted our holiday and meant that we missed the connecting flight to Mauritius. When we checked in to fly back to Antananarivo on Air Madagascar, we were told that the plane was full (even though we HAD tickets), and there were no other flights back for 30 hours. We believe that there is widespread corruption by Air Madagascar staff at Tuliar airport who take bribes from passengers to ensure their seat on the plane.
The tour operator worked really hard to sort out this problem. The driver came back to the airport to try to help, and they re-scheduled our flights, organised additional accommodation and took us to the Head Office of Air Madagascar (with little result).
Overall a great place to visit, so different and interesting, the operator is a great travel company, would recommend them to anyone, but beware of flying Air Madagascar who have the monopoly for internal flights.