Most Inspirational Moment
We had great wildlife spotting - lots of opportunities to see lemurs in the wild and hearing the call of the Indri in the morning in Andasibe is just magical. So many highlights! The night walk in Kirindy was my favourite of the night safaris, and getting to the top of the Tsingy, was an unexpected yet terrifying highlight! The most unique though has to be the ‘ferry’ crossings on the Tsiribihina River – only in Madagascar!
Thoughts on Group Leader
The whole trip ran smoothly thanks to Claudia, our fabulous guide, who spent most of the trip checking ahead to make sure that everything was organised for us. She always kept us informed of all aspects of our itinerary and managed everything so that we didn’t waste time, particularly when ordering meals, wearing the right clothes for each activity, finding us good shopping spots (and bush toilet stops). She is also very knowledgeable about the country’s history, wildlife, food and we all enjoyed her talks on the Malagasy culture - which is also quite unique! Also all the local guides were fantastic and very engaging, they gave great detail and interesting explanations especially of the endemic wildlife, only to be found here. We had some amazing trackers seeking out lemurs, chameleons, mongoose and the tiniest of geckos and frogs. I was travelling with my sister and we both felt we had a great group too, lots of fun, like-minded people, who really added to enjoyment of the trip.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Read the trip notes thoroughly as they are full of really useful tips and information! My own top tips – definitely do laundry on two-night stopovers – everything gets very dusty! A travel pillow is doubly useful for both bus and flights! Make sure you take a head-torch for the night and cave walks. Stock up on snacks for long drives and I also recommend trying the local beers and infused rums! If you want five-star accommodation and amazing cuisine, this is not the trip for you. You’ll get a comfy bed and (generally) hot water, sometimes limited wi-fi and electricity, a limited (but cheap) menu of well-cooked meals of zebu/chicken/fish and rice.
Parts of Madagascar are extremely poor and it can be a lot to take in, but I was humbled at just how friendly everyone was, especially the children always smiling and waving from the side of the road, asking you for ‘bon bons’ and families so eager to talk to you. The unique wildlife and culture make Madagascar such a special destination, I felt we saw and experienced so much that it will take me a long time to process the whole trip.