Madagascar Travel Blog› entry 3 of 7 › view all entries
July 20th, 2006 – by: ames_corp
I would like to share with all of you experience in Madagascar and how it will be in use to some of you.
Even though July is considered raining season in Mada, I had very nice time both in the high lands as well as at the east cost.
Starting my trip from Tana, I stayed in Hotel Saka Manga which was good choice. Very nice clean and cute rooms, beautiful garden, testy food and night spot for all expects in Tana. Don’t worry to get the cheapest room in this hotel. You would not make big difference except if you are going for a long stay or on honeymoon. The hotel is near the Independence str. where you will find from souvenirs to the best patisseries. If you select to use transfer from the airport arranged by the hotel, most probably you will meet some of the local guides. What happened to me will probably happen to you as well, this guide completely changed my itinerary and thanks God I met him as I was about to waste my time. Make sure to negotiate for the price and have in mind that you will probably need to give good tip to the driver at the end of the trip.
My trip begun from Andasibe. Visiting the two national parks and staying at Feon'ny ala bungalows. The bungalows face the national pack Mantadia home of the Indri Indri lemures which will wake you up early morning.
The continued to Tamatave (Toamasina), don’t waste time there. No more than an hour will be enough. Never stay overnight, it is waste of time. Continued to Foulpoint, at the east cost, took a pirogue to the coral reef, and saw lot’s of sea creatures. In Foulpoint stayed at Grand Blue. Small hotel consisting of 8 bungalows ran by the friendliest employees. These were the best spend tips during the whole trip!
By car reached Soanierana Ivongo from where I took Cap St. Marie boat to Ile St Marie. Probably the most expensive boat but with be the best service and very secure. The boat was new and clean, there was life jacket and seat for everyone, and obviously the staff followed all safety procedures. Here is the place to note that I arranged part of the trip with Madabus but needed to change it, they handle it all extremely well!
When reached Ile St Marie, I stayed at La Libertalia, which most of the guides recommend as best in terms of cost-for-quality. I will agree with this calcification. It is run by a French lady and Italian guy. They will also organize for you to see the whales, and be sure that will do it well. Even though not the cheapest I liked this place because of the location, near the city from where starts the only paved road. They rend you a bike or motos. The food is delicious �" european style with local ingredients. However, I found it too European.
You have to definitely spend at least one day at the nearby Ile aux Nattes as I did just before leaving the St Marie. That’s the paradise on earth. I left my rucksack at the airport and took a pirogue to Ile aux Nattes. Do the same.
The only mistake I made was to stay more than 1 day in Tana. Have a spare day on your way back in case of delays or canceled domestic flights.
I have to also agree that Lonely Planet’s guide for Madagascar sucks. I got two French guides which were twice bigger with more maps, released this or last year and three times cheaper.
Meet a lot of women lonely travelers which felt comfortable and secure. English wasn’t a problem. However, knowledge of French will help you to communicate with almost everyone.
At the end if someone wants to see most of the places described above should visit my gallery at: http://madagascar.the-album.net/
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