Madagascar vacations, island adventure

Departure information

This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary. The best time to visit is April to December.
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Vacation type

This vacation is operated by a primate specialist

Typically trips are expertly guided by a leading specialist with a good knowledge of the area to be visited. Primates are the main focus of attention however most safaris also incorporate other fauna and flora highlights of the destination as well. Primate specialist trips are conducted by local guides and drivers.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Madagascar vacations, island adventure

Environment

Wherever possible we use locally run and managed accommodation; lodging does vary however and can either be in environmentally low impact eco-lodges or tented camping safaris. As a result of this we minimise the impact on the local environment at the same time as providing the traveler with a high level of comfort. This is a private safari which means that your impact on the environment and wildlife is kept to a minimum at all times resulting in you also being likely to see more!

You also have the chance to take part in whale research from Princesse Bora Lodge as you go out with the WCS research teams; at the same time as being an amazing unique experience this all aids to monitor the well being of the migrating whales.

We also donate a percentage of each safari sold to the conservation of primates throughout the world at the end of each year.

Community

All of our trips are conducted by local guides and drivers who specialise in this region of Africa. Through the employment of local staff, money is fed directly back into individual families and villages that would otherwise not benefit from tourism.

Reviews of Madagascar vacations, island adventure

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 30 Aug 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Madagascar proved such an outstanding destination that it almost seems unfair to single out particular highlights. Those, however, would include whale spotting off the coast of Ile St Marie; stunning and contrasting scenery and walking to be found in the various national parks; the friendliness of local people.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If traveling throughout Madagascar in August, to take careful heed of the varying weather patterns and temperatures. Hot and cold, wet and dry weather are all likely to be experienced - perhaps all inside the same 24 hours. This may seem to conflict with the emphasis on traveling as lightly as possible; but laundry facilities at overnight lodges are both very inexpensive and efficient. As with any vacation of this kind, tipping [guides][translators][taxi drivers][porters] may form the greater part of the typical day's expenditure.

Such is the local economy that the most modest tip will be well received - meaning that the stress, if any, is not the cost but simply having local currency in appropriate small denominations. The advice is therefore to keep tipping amounts separately in the back pocket, so to speak, for use as required. - Do not be tempted to dispense with having a guide. You will miss out on so much.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. It is a matter of record that tourism to Madagascar slumped in 2009. Those involved suffered badly; and visitors in 2010 are warmly welcomed. On various occasions, we were thanked quietly for choosing to visit such a poor country as Madagascar. Guides, drivers, translators, hoteliers, translators, virtually everyone we encountered had that mindset. It was not only those who benefited. We spent time and money in various villages buying nuts, fruit etc. We also had taken inexpensive and light items such as stickers and balloons to give to children we encountered along the way.

It also seems evident that locals are learning to recognise that lemurs and whales are no longer species to be hunted but are the very reason or part of the reason why many may choose to visit the country. A specific example might be how villagers now realise that tourists are very likely to buy, say, a well-turned wood carving of the humpback whales. Our personal contribution would have been minute; but every little counts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Ace. We loved it from first to last. We covered a great deal of ground and saw so much for the first time.

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The 7 hour night trek to look at wildlife (two hours in pirogue up river each way) to look at Madagascar wildlife in the rainforest, most of which in pouring rain, with a very good guide from Relais Masoala at Maroansetra and 4 days in a wonderful hotel, Princess Bora Lodge, on Isle St Marie whale watching in gorgeous weather.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Do some homework first perhaps - we hadn't really done any at all and didn't quite realise how much trekking to see some of the elusive wildlife was involved and that the rainforest is not misnamed... But we are now experts on lemurs and whales - The tour operator was very good.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes as all guides and staff were Malagasy and we spent a lot of money on extras - drink etc in local hotels. We were party of 11.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had a wonderful time and all the logistics were absolutely excellent. Organised on the ground from Antanarivo. All very good

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