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trip report Madagascar

Trip report Madagaskar.

A few years ago we visited the island Madagascar. We arrange a tour with a group that was followed by our first individual tour. As group tours can be found everywhere (we did one with Summum, a Dutch company), I will focus here on the part we did individual.
Before we went to Madagascar, I made arrangements with Rija from Rija Tours. I found his name on the internet after a fellow countrymen had travelled with him. We made arrangements to meet at Tana airport.

Day 1.
We arrived at Tana about mid day and we immediately saw our guide standing with a sign. We were welcomed and travelled into town where we were dropped of at our hotel (Sakamange, booked before departure). After we had our room and were settled, we joined Rija to a restaurant for lunch and arrange formalities.
That evening we had dinner with the people we had travelled with for three weeks, so we didn’t do much between lunch and dinner.

Day 2.
Today started our trip. Rija and his driver picked us up at the hotel for a drive to Antsirabe. After lunch we went to Villa Salemako where we stayed. We had a large room that was hard to heat up.
We noticed that it was possible to do some horse riding there and we did a three hour trip.

Day 3.
We started our day with a trip to the market to see some carving of Zebu horn. After that we drove to Lac Tritriva. Lunch at a small village.
At 16.00 hours we arrived at Miandrivazo. We had driven from cold Antsirabe to the hottest spot in Madagascar. We walked with Rija into town to arrange do some more paperwork. We only had to follow.

Day 4-5-6.
Today we saw the pirouque we were supposed to travel with for the coming days. We had no idea how we could be in it with four persons (two of us, Rija and the captain) together with all things we would take along. But we managed.
The trip over the Tsiribihina river is very peaceful. We saw lots of birds along the way. Mostly bee-eaters and king fishers, but also a Crested Coua and some Coucals.
We stopped and entered land for a close look to some Siffaka’s that were leaping through the trees.
Rija and the captain were excellent cook’s and we had very fine meals on our trip. Our tented was pitched every day for us and the clear skies at night provided the most spectacular views on the stars and the Milky-Way.

Day 7.
After the great trip over the river, we said goodbye to the captain and headed for the Tsingy area. We had to wait a few hours for the ferry to cross the Tsiribihina river. After crossing, we had lunch at Belo and then drove north to Tsingy. Rija made arrangements with a family that lived nearby. The family prepared dinner and lunch, not only for us, but for themselves as well. A good way of helping each other.

Day 8-9.
These days we visited the Tsingy area’s. Rija had arranged a park-guide for us
Tsingy is one of the most beautiful area’s I’ve seen in Madagascar.
We first visited the larger area and on the second day the small area. After the last visit we headed back to Belo where we stayed for the night.

Day 10.
Today we drove from Belo to Morondava where we stayed at the excellent Baobab Café. On the way to Morondava we passed the famous Baobab area.
After one night here, we travelled back to Tana and then back home.

Thinking back, this trip is one of the best we ever did. The area travelled through is great.
I can recommend Rija as a guide. He arranged everything and it went smoothly. His cooking is superb. He told a lot of stories about Madagascar. About the history, rituals and kingdoms.
Rija can be reached at: rijatours@gmail.com

Tour Guid Operator
http://www.rijatours.mg
Mobile phone:00 261 32 07 558 48

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