5 independent reviews for Marine conservation holiday in Madagascar

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.


review 30 Jul 2012

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

Diving everyday and enjoying the life of the Madagascan people!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I packed a bit to heavy in the end and they had alot of equipment there already, so maybe check what you actually need and not what it says on the guides.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, i think the work we were doing was valuable and the locals loved us.

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

Was the best thing ive ever done in my life...and if i could afford it i would go straight back

review 13 Jul 2012

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

Meeting people and scuba diving/snorkelling.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do not have a strict schedule on getting there or leaving. Leave a period of time open (maybe plan on staying in Tana at the beginning and end of your trip or be flexible with your flights.) Just let the journey happen.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. I especially think that the sex education/health for the locals was particularly useful.

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

It was fantastic! I would highly recommend it for people of all ages with a sense of adventure and love for learning.

review 4 Jul 2012

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

The most memorable? Too many! The whole trip was simply amazing! A year ago today I'd be there. For anyone thinking of going, or is mulling over to or not to, DO! Words cannot do it justice. Firstly the camp is set in the most beautiful place, and on a good night the stars are unbelievable. I've never seen so many! Must have seen at least 5 shooting stars a night as well as the cosmos! Although the coral reefs are not as eye catching as what you might see on tv, mainly due to the water not being that crystal clear of the Caribbean, the variety and the fish were more than exciting enough for me. If I had to pick a most memorable moment of the holiday it would be either the night dive or the recreational dive at the end. Diving down canyons, swimming along sea fans three times my size, or having a squid hover between me and my diving buddy before suddenly squirting off into the distance was A-MAZING.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Pack spare stuff, and bring some portable ipod speakers! Cannot stress how much music cheered everyone up and brought people together in the evenings for jamming sessions!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hard to say. In terms of teaching English in the school I was primarily with young children, which was mostly chaos. They had no basic understanding of English so it was pretty hard. Would have been better if there was someone to translate maybe. With regards to the coral and fish mapping I don't know. It would be nice to occasionally receive e-mails on how the areas my group visited are doing since we've been there. Are the ecosystems becoming healthier?

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

Best holiday I've been on by far. Had so many jokes, met some amazing people who I'm still in contact with. Learnt to scuba dive, which is probably the best thing I've done in a while. Unfortunately I had to leave a week earlier than most was a shame because I wasn't ready to leave!

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for taking the time to write this review. We're really glad you had such a great time with us in Madagascar. We've actually greatly improved our Saturday School programme and have made it very structured with translators on-hand for every lesson. Attendance has soared and the children's English has vastly improved. We've also nearly doubled the amount of school scholarships we offer since last year. For updates on our work out in Madagascar and in other areas, you can always take a look at our Research Updates on our website or let someone in the office know if you would like to be added to the mailing list. Thanks again!

review 26 Sep 2007

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

I spent two days on a fact-finding trip with the field scientist, visiting fishing villages in the neighborhood of the project site. It was a great opportunity to see the impact of the marine conservation project on the local communities and how the partnership worked. More than that it was beautiful journey in a dug-out canoe, including one leg at night in an extraordinarily dramatic electrical storm with that evening's supper - a soon-to-be-dead cockerel - hunkered down at our feet. In one village we taught the local kids to sing "Cecilia" by Art and Garfunkel. They, in turn, danced for us to music from a xylophone made out of a few pieces of wood placed on outstretched legs. It was a wonderful two days.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for an intensive group experience - it was closest thing to Big Brother I can imagine! The site is isolated and you are living in each others pockets, sharing huts with the same people etc for several weeks. Be prepared for basic food and don't expect the best diving in the world. The whole point about this place is that the reef is being over-fished. If you want a diving holiday go somewhere else, if you want to volunteer on a marine conservation project, this is a place that really needs your help.

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

Absolutely

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

I wanted to stay in a community, get a sense of their way of life and help in some way. I felt it ticked all those boxes and was a lot of fun to boot - even though I was a lot older than most of the other volunteers.

review 4 Jan 2006

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

The coral reefs and learning how the system works.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be healthy and prepared for hard work.

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

Yes to both.

4. Any other comments?

Excellent holiday, highly recommended. I will definitely be travelling with responsibletravel and I have already told everyone I know about your website. Keep up the good work.

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday 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
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