Enjoying Madagascar With Jenman

by Rachel
(London, UK)

The highlight has to be at Andasibe, where we got to visit a place called Lemur island. Here we were able to see habituated lemurs (although they live freely, not in captivity), really up close. They are comfortable with humans, and come up so close you can see their amazing fingers, nails and the way the infants wrap themselves around their mums. These memories will last a lifetime for me I think.

Operator Performance

Jenman Safaris performed excellently. We were so impressed with the organisation from the very first contact.

Of all the companies we contacted about Madagascar, Jenman was the quickest and the most informed, but not just text book informed - they had personal knowledge of the tour & destinations, as well as hotels, and were able to advise us lots of small but useful points that really added to our holiday.

Our local guide really played a big part in our trip. We had fun learning words in their language, and he enjoyed learning some more English (which was actually very good). He even bought some local food for us to try, taking us to a carefully selected café where he said he knows is clean.

Wildlife

Wow, we saw many types of lemurs - so many I can't recall all the species, but they all looked so different. My favourite was the Sifaka which was so cute, the mouse lemur & of course the ring tailed lemur.

Oh, and then we also got to see many types of chameleons, and colourful frogs, birds & insects.

I mentioned to our guide that I really would like to see the giraffe necked weevil that I see in all the books of freaky Madagascar wildlife. He made it his personal mission on the tour to find this for me, often stopping on the side of the road & going looking for the plant it lives on & eats.

Accommodation

We stayed in quite a few different hotels of various standards, because the tour we chose winds its way down to the south of the country.

The lady at Jenman told us not to build high expectations for the accommodation because the country is still developing, but we were pleasantly surprised at the efforts hotels went to. It's true that some of the places were a little outdated or basic, but not uncomfortable, and we could clearly see that the hotels we were in were really the best you could find in the areas.

One hotel was really beautiful and real luxury to come home to after a hot day's trekking.

The hotel at the Ranomafana park was in an incredible setting. It overlooked the misty forest below, and the sounds from the forest were so exotic and mystical - I wish I could have recorded the sounds.

Tips and Advice

Definitely test out the various operators you write to. My theory is that if they reply quickly to you, then they probably know the place you are going to quite well.

Initially we had hoped to get around Madagascar on our own, but having been there now, I can see this is just impossible. Using an operator helped us to make the very most of our short time in the country, whilst obtaining the best information. It certainly saved us a lot of stress.

Rating

Without a doubt a 10. The tour we did gave us incredible insight into Madagascar, its people, countryside and funny taboos. We loved it.

I would definately recommend this trip to people wanting to explore an interesting place, meet local people and see wonderful wildlife.


Rachel's Trip Details:

Rating: 10/10

Safari company used: Jenman Safaris (make an enquiry)

Parks visited: Andasibe & Ranomafana Parks among others

Date of safari: 20th November for 11 days (13 including flights)

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