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Crazy Idea?

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I and my teenage son are planning to go to Madagascar in June for about 3 weeks. After considering several options, I was thinking of renting a car for 2-3 weeks (with driver) and then heading east from Tana and then north-terminating in Masoala. Our main interest is wildlife, with some time spent in towns and cities along the way to get some cultural experiences.

This seems to me to be the most efficient way to see most places in the short time and budget we have. I read horrid things about roads in Madagascar. Is this a bad idea?

If so, can you suggest an alternate itinerary that would maximize seeing wildlife?


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    Just seen your post, and may be a bit late for your planning.
    Definitely hire a car and driver.
    East gets you to Andisibe - well worth the visit, but then Tamatave. I haven't seen any positive things about this port city. Foulpoint apparently good. And Masoala excellent national Park. But not at all sure about the roads up that coast.
    We spent 2 weeks in Mada.
    Went directly to Lac Itasy (Ampefy) for 2 nights and stayed with English expat to get adjusted to things Mada. His wife is Malagasy.
    Then back to Tana on on to Andisibe the same day. Travel took most of the day. 2 nights at Andisibe - Grace Hotel very nice.
    Then 8 days travelling south on the RN7 to Tulear. That route gives a wide variety of what Mada has to offer.
    Lemur Park outside Tana
    Towns/cities of Antsirabe, Ambositra, Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao
    Nat Parks of Rnamafana, Isoalo, plus Anja Reserve for Ringtail lemurs. And the arid south with its strange plants.
    Fly back to Tana from Tulear.
    Its the main tourist route, but not overly touristy.
    Have alook at the website of Rijatours for an idea of whats possible. They were excellent for us.
    You will love Mada whatever you do.
    Try the website Flickr for photos. Just search by town or city, or topic eg taxibrousse, lemur. Also great vids on You tube.

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