Rainbow Tours-Any Experiences Positive or Negative??

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Apr 5th, 2011, 08:54 AM
  #1
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Rainbow Tours-Any Experiences Positive or Negative??

We are planning a trip to Madagascar and would like to use this company. They are an English company and have been incredibly knowledgeable but would like feedback to anyone you used them.
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Apr 7th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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We visited Madagascar in Nov 2010. I phoned 3 companies and compared prices and Rainbow were the best price. I really didn't know much about Madagascar except reading brochures and having kept lots of cutouts and Derek listened to what kind of holiday I wanted and what I wanted to see and do and then provided the itinery which we then just tweeked it to make it perfect. Everything went to plan, the company which they use over there were excellent, we had a wonderful guide and driver for 2 weeks who spoke perfect English (we even persuaded him it was time to propose to his girlfriend of 10 years!) Nothing was too much trouble and they were more than happy to stop for yet more photos or sometimes suggesting an extra activity. I really can reccommend this company we met some other couples on our return who were also happy and we had travelled the garden route some 10 years ago using Rainbow. Oh and the lemurs and Malagasy people were wonderful too. Hope this helps, we travelled from London via Nairobi.
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Apr 7th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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Thank you so much for feedback. We did book with Derek today and are really looking forward to our trip in October.
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Apr 8th, 2011, 01:05 AM
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I have travelled with Rainbow Tours to various destinations over the last few years. In terms of Africa, we travelled to Ethiopia and Madagascar - Madagascar late last year. Each experience was fantastic. When I first engaged with Rainbow it wasn't a decision I took lightly - I did my research and asked around. These guys consistently came out tops in the recommendations. My experience with them has borne out these endorsements - it has always been a pleasure to deal with Derek. Even in terms of Malagasy wildlife, he was informative to an expert level. On the ground, everything - thus far! - has run very smoothly, with excellent accomodations, transport vehicles and highly reliable and affable guides with good English. All the guides we have encountered have been years in the business and they have looked after us exceptionally well. Without waffling further - yes, you are absolutely right to go with Rainbow Tours. In my opinion, these guys are the true professionals. Good Luck and Enjoy
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Apr 8th, 2011, 05:26 AM
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During the last couple of years we have travelled to South Africa, La Réunion, and Ethiopia with Rainbow and have recently booked with them again to go to Madagascar later this year. We have always dealt with Derek, whose knowledge of this part of the world is second to none. We've always been given great advice based on his first-hand knowledge of the area, and provided with superb itineraries - which has always resulted in a wonderful holiday. The thing that makes Rainbow really stand out is the level of quality and attention to detail in all of their itineraries. I think you've made the right choice using Rainbow!
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Apr 8th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Thank you all for your wonderful feedback. It is sometimes difficult working with an out of country agency, we are from California but we had such good feelings about Derel we decided to go with him. What places did you visit in Madagascar.? Our itinerary includes Perinet, Isalo and Anjavavy. We decided to limit the places and to have a good amount in each place. We are traveling the first two weeks in October. Do any of you have any "must not miss places" in Madagascar?
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Apr 12th, 2011, 08:23 AM
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After I retired I asked my wife what her idea of a dream destination would be for a special holiday in 2010. Without hesitation she replied Madagascar – a dream destination since she was a schoolgirl due to its wildlife, plants and geology, and she started looking on line for information! One travel company stood out from the others for detailed information on Madagascar and well-prepared flexible itineraries, and that was Rainbow Tours.
From first reading their literature, you just knew that the company had people with a depth of knowledge of the country, which can only come from personal intimate experience in Madagascar. Then you find that Derek Shuurman of Rainbow Tours just happens to have co-written the Globetrotter Guide to Madagascar and you know you have the expertise that you require.
We made up a party of 12 people who first met at the arrival point in chaotic Antananarivo Airport. From that moment our guide Rija Rakotoarisoa took charge of arrangements and her personality and knowledge throughout the trip made the experience one we will remember forever. Our tour moved around to many places in the north of the island but this gave us the best mixture of accommodation experiences from luxurious to nearer to nature, and different wildlife, flora and geology. We enjoyed all the experiences and we later found out that Rija had been put forward for Madagascan Guide of the year –she deserved it! If all the Rainbow guides are of similar calibre, you can be assured of a truly memorable experience.

You can only get the currency of Malagasi Ariary on arrival at the airport, and you can change money back before leaving Antananarivo, but the proper Bureau de Change will only take back a minimum of 100,000 Ar. Maybe the independent money changers have different rules!!
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Apr 16th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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Nov 2010. Absolutely wonderful time, a couple of little glitches we were able to sort out e.g. lost case for 5 days - no problem. Charming hotel - tasty Zebu.
Very interesting place, some strange things - zebu horn manufacture - fascinating. Cracking guides.
Should've bought silk scarf for £10 on the street when I saw it, plus one for my friend!! hey ho. The heather colours were so pretty.
Sent a french/english dictionary to one receptionist after she'd asked for help with her english and french, such a lovely girl, emailed her since, she was sooo pleased. Says she's going to speak to us in English next time we go !
Bought loads of souvenirs, hope to have helped the local economy somewhat. Local coinage no worth very little so melted down to make bracelets.
Came home with rather more lemur shots than is good for a person, they were sweet, particularly the mouse lemur. Night walk brilliant, would never have seen the chamleons on our own, how did our Guides eyesight work, X-Ray vision or infra red?
Snorkelling not very good, lots of jellyfish in Ifaty, but special hotel La Mira, fabulous food. Wonderful birdlife in reserve at 5 in the monring. Also in Anakao Club Ocean Lodge, food tremendous, Nosy Ve boat trip and birds super. Great pics.
Came home to snow and cancelled/redirected flights.
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May 18th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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My husband and I are going to Madagascar in September (from California, lhgreenacres) with Rainbow Tours. We were initially pleased with them and their responsiveness. Now, I sent Derek an email with some questions 2 weeks ago and then, last week, resent it to him and 2 other people in the office. I've received no reply whatsoever. Now, I'm getting concerned about them. it's good to see that so many people had good trips with them.

The questions I asked were: (1) Do we really need to get a rabies shot as indicated in the Bradt Mad guide which just came out. (2)They've booked us into the Tamboho Hotel in Tana. Both the book and Trip Advisor ranks the Tana Hotel as #1. Has anyone stayed at either of these? (3) In Ranomafana, Domaine Nature (where Rainbow has put us) is ranked #3 whereas Setam Lodge is ranked #1 and is strongly preferred. It receives a score of 4.0 while Domaine Nature receives 3.0. Again, has anyone stayed at either of these?
Thanks for your help.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 04:48 AM
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Rainbow tours are exceptionally good. Just came back from a two week trip to Madagascar organised by Rainbow and it was really well planned and executed. Every logistics item worked perfectly and given that we are a family with four children that was asking a lot. The people at Rainbow are great; Derek had the patience of a saint in answering my idiotic questions often multiple time, while Rachel was really helpful with advice having stayed in the country. You will be in good hands with Rainbow.
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Oct 14th, 2012, 01:59 PM
  #11
 
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Interesting that all of the above posters who are raving about Rainbow Tours are new to this forum, and that their comments on this thread are their only contribution to Fodor's. A tad suspicious! CR
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