1 independent reviews for Madagascar north coast nature holiday

Reviews for Madagascar north coast nature holiday

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review 6 Dec 2016

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

Seeing the lemur's and other wildlife. Talking to as many local Madagascan people as was possible. Visiting the Tsingy.

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

Fly as often as possible, the roads are unbelievably bad up North, even in a four wheel drive. Take what you are told before you go with a "pinch of salt". There are other travel operators to Madagascar look at them all. Make sure you talk to the local guides all the time, especially if you have a complaint. Even if some one says the roads are to bad, keep on going to YOUR planned destination.

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

Local people had some of our cash, and of course the travel company employs guides, office staff etc. The parks all have local guides who we looked after very well when we left. As for environmental impact, very bad as we were driven all over the North from the Capital in not the best maintained 4x4. We flew via Turkey and Mauritius to Antananarivo in Madagascar so not the best way to reduce your environmental impact. (We thought at one time we would be asked to plant some trees but sadly not. ) We have seen nothing to suggest anyone supported local conservation.

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

Sadly it was a super opportunity missed. We will not be going back to Madagascar, it will take some time before we look at the holiday providers web site again for our next holidays. Misleading information was also given before we booked.

Read the operator's response here:

We are disappointed that learn that you did not enjoy your trip as much as you were expecting to. In this particular case it may be that expectations were simply too high or that we did not do enough to explain the situation on the ground. As we take for granted and agree with you that "roads are unbelievably bad up north, even in a 4 wheel drive". However in our experience (and our local partners have been operating there for 30 years) ignoring the advice of your guide and driver is not wise in Madagascar ... getting stuck in remote areas has safety and security implications as it can take many hours to get help when things go wrong. Therefore sometimes itineraries do have to change to reflect this. And unfortunately flying everywhere isn't a realistic option as firstly the internal air network isn't comprehensive and anyone who has researched Air Madagascar's punctuality record will know, you are likely to spend an awful lot of time waiting for delayed flights. That said this trip is usually very well received and we feel that much of the dissatisfaction with the trip was due to the beach extension which you have written to us about, being disappointed that you did not see whales at Nose Be. Normally the season is this area is from August to November and this year the whales migrated many weeks earlier than normal and so were not there in the first half of October. Unfortunately this is out of our control. You did however swim with whales sharks.. a once in a lifetime opportunity for many, so not a bad consolation. Finally we would just point out that whilst there are clearly other providers offering trips to Madagascar, few can touch us for our range of over a dozen specialist Madagascar trips. And although on this trip there was no tree planting, as our nursery and reforestation project that we as a company fund is in the south at Italavina, we do nevertheless also pay a proportion of every trip towards this important reforestation project which is unmatched by any other Malagasy operators as far as we know. So you have helped to reduce your carbon footprint even if you didn't know it! So whilst Responsible Travel is a very big part of our ethos, and we actually do it rather than paying lip service to it, perhaps on this occasion we didn't communicate that at all well. A lesson for us which we will remedy. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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