We enjoyed Madagascar. Although, the 41 hours to get home seemed forever! We love the people, the countryside, the lodging (all were quite excellent) …the poverty in the city was, as always, sad to watch. Overall, there is a lot of driving (with potholes!) and distance to see things….and, unlike mainland Africa with all the animals, less to see at the end of the journey.
The scenery and culture was the overall point. We did see lemurs and chameleons and geckos..had a few leeches, only one mosquito bite, frogs in the toilet of the nature lodge, with a boa constrictor by the walkway. That was an adventure! The guides, especially Farida for the northern portion was very nice and helpful. English is definitely not a popular language – I think we were never able to fully communicate in complicated sentences – but it did not seem to create a problem. The kids loved the Vakona lodge and Lemur Island with the stop at the reptiles on the way. The grey tsingy was fascinating and, of course, the island was beyond beautiful. The French couple there were very helpful. Food was a bit difficult for me (not many vegetarian dishes) and the kids….we ate a lot of plain pasta and rice. My husband, who loves all food, thought it was wonderful. They did have a bit of a travelers stomach after eating the Zebu (beef). Oh, we never did get the Tana city tour, but we were quite tired of driving, so it was not missed! My two recommendations would be 1. water should be provided for the tourists in the driving van! It is hot and markets are not easy to find outside of Tana. Even if they add it one to the price, water should be available! We were able to stop and buy some at a market in Tana on request…but if I had not mentioned, it would have been thirsty rides! 2., The Red Tsingy is so not worth all the hours to go see. The Grey Tsingy was awesome. So, I am so thankful I was able to see this country and its people, but I do not need to return. My heart remains with southern Africa, and I hope to see Namibia or return to Botswana!
Debbi and family