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A Week in Madagascar

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Oct 6th, 2010, 05:03 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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A Week in Madagascar

We flew from Nairobi to Tana on Air Madagascar in September for a week in Madagascar . I bought the tickets (NBO to TNR to Fort Dauphin and Fort Dauphin to Tana and back to NBO) on Vayama with no ticket problems.

Berenty Lodge picked us up at the airport in Fort Dauphin and transported us to the reserve. If I thought the road to Maasai Mara was bad, this road is far worst than that!
We spent 2 nights and everything was very nice. The cabins were comfortable and the food was very French. Our program included night walks, visits to the spiney forrest, and visits to a market, and the huge sisal plantation nearby. The pick-up, lodge, and guide (very good birding guide per my husband, the birder) were all included. All of the food was extra. The lemurs were everywhere and the sifacas were dancing around the cabins. Amazing! I booked on the Berenty website.

We returned to Fort Dauphin and spent 2 nights at Fort Dauphin Lodge which I also booked on their website. WiFi was available and free. The lodge was very comfortable and friendly. One night would have been enough but we could not get a seat before 2 nights when booking the flight back to Tana. We visited the Nahampoana Park which is a botanical garden and the lemurs were healthier looking and just as accessible. This park is very near FD and we hired a taxi to take us and wait for us. Very worthwhile!

Now for the bad part. Our flight from Fort Dauphin to Tana was delayed so long that we had to cancel our pick-up at the Tana airport for our visit to Andasibe and a night at the Vakona Forest Lodge. I had booked the pick-up and transportation and night at the Lodge on line also.

So now we booked a hotel near the Tana airport due to late-night arrival--the Orchid--which turned out to be a surprise. Our room actually looked like a Marriott Hotel room. WiFi was available in the room and free. Next day, we took a taxi to Tana town (about an hour away), had tea at the Colbert Hotel and a late lunch at the Sakamanga Hotel. Walking around was not nearly as scary as I imagined. We were never afraid and we walked around up-town, down the steps to down-town to the old train station which has nice shops, and to the Sakamanga which is the #1 hotel in Tana on Trip Advisor (but was fully booked). Lunch at the Sakamanga was delightful sitting under umbrellars in their patio. We then took a taxi back to the Orchid.

Next morning we returned to Nairobi.
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Oct 6th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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Thanks for the post. Madagascar is on my wishlist.
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