The Pros :
1. It was hassle free to set up the trip with our local agent and get an itinerary that included all the sites we wanted to visit; gave us plenty of time at each site; arranged great, knowledgeable guides at each of the sites; provided a a lovely driver and car and made all the reservations for us at beautiful hotels and lodges.
2. Since everything was taken care of, we relaxed and enjoyed the vacation.
3. We saw so many diverse environments and learned more about the flora and fauna of Madagascar than we expected.
We flew into Antananarivo (Tana) and were taken to our lovely guest house where the hostess gave us a gracious welcome and fed us a delicious meal. We stayed in a beautiful, quiet, relaxing bedroom. ...We flew into Antananarivo (Tana) and were taken to our lovely guest house where the hostess gave us a gracious welcome and fed us a delicious meal. We stayed in a beautiful, quiet, relaxing bedroom. The next morning we headed to the Eastern section of the country for our first look at sifakas, lemurs, and fosas! We also had time to relax at 3 different beautiful resorts (including Lodge de la Saline between Kirindy and Tsingy, where we were treated like royalty, as well as taking a birding trip and seeing baobobs at sunset by ourselves, without any other tourists within miles).
After our trip to the East, we headed down through the Central Highlands to see more interesting environments (rain forests and deserts), birds and lemurs before reaching the beautiful South where we took multiple guided walks through incredible spiny forests, saw more birds and baobobs, and relaxed in more charming resorts.
After a quick flight back to Tana and another relaxing night in our beautiful guest house, the next morning we headed West, having more opportunities to see and hear new lemurs (Indri Indris!), birds, snakes, insects, chameleons, frogs.... We spend 3 lovely relaxing days at Le Palmarium Reserve walking though their endless reserve, taking guided walks to see all the different plants and learning about their many lemurs (including a hybrid lemur), and taking a night time visit to see aye aye lemurs. After 20 wonderful days of touring the country, we returned to Tana to take our final tour of the city (including a visit to Ambohimanga) and to do a bit of shopping.
After 22 incredible days, we flew home. We're still talking about the trip and showing a slide show of the wonders of Madagascar to our friends.
It is difficult to describe our trip to Madagascar in a few words; we tell everyone that we felt like we could write an entire book on every hour of the trip. It is just as hard to describe our favorite places or times. All our time in Madagascar was special to us.
We have a lot of praise and thanks to Linah, our local agent representative from Evaneos, who worked with us non-stop, and was always available, despite the time changes and distance involved, to answer all of our questions, set up such a pleasing tour, and ensure that we had a fun and knowledgeable driver who took such good care of us during our 22 day stay in Madagascar.