I'm planning on travelling to Madagascar in April/May this year and am looking for any advice/info/contacts that people might be able to give me.
I don't want to sign up for a package deal/tourist trail-type holiday, I'm hoping to travel around, experience local life and culture and most of all take in as much of the natural surroundings as I can. I am passionate about animals and would like to experience as much as possible on my trip.
Any thoughts wecomed!!
Firstly...you lucky lucky thing!! Madagascar is an amazing country and I am sure you will have a magnificent time!
So, how long are you planning on staying, both April and May?
Many places are off the beaten track and most of the package tourists tend to go to the islands like Nosy Be and Isle St Marie, so most of thre travellers you will meet will be mostly the independant type.
Madagascar is notoriously hard to get around as the roads are awful to say the least. But, having said that, the taxi brousses, although a little scary at times, are incredibly efficient and cheap. Otherwise you can fly to most major towns for about £80 a flight.
Where to go is a toughy, it is all so magnificent, so it all depends on time and budget.
For me, the highlights are...
For breathtaking landscapes:-
Ankarana in the north (unbelievable tsingy, 360 deg views, meeting of the rivers plus several species of lemur)
Diego also in the north ( 3 stunning empty beaches, cant remember their names off hand but worth an organised trip as you need 4wd to get there)
Ranamafana, central, ( incredible primary and secondary rainforest, waterfalls etc.
Anywhere along the central RN7 from Fianarantsoa to Toliara (magnificent craggy, mountainous out of this world scenery)
Ankaranfantsika in the north east (little known gorge carved in sand with beautiful yellow pink and orange striped walls)
Ankaranfantsika is a must. Several species of lemur with almost guaranteed close up sightings of the dancing sifakas plus abundant birdlife and reptiles.
Perinet to the east for the eerie sound of the indri plus several other lemur species and the weird leaf tailed gecko.
Ranamafama although not as good as many other places and quite a few tourists, you do get to see the ring tailed mongoose, several lemur species and tiny tiny chameleons. Its worth it for the scenery.
Kirindy for close ups of crowned lemurs and sifakas and several of the elusive fosa.
Well, thats for starters. Take a look at some of my photos to get a better idea. PM me your itinerary and I can make suggestions of where to stay and which tour companys to use where needed.
I have to jump in on this... I have had Madagascar in my heart for a long time and is my dream location to explore, But just like yourself Anna i want to travel it on my own accord not by tourist package, i love wildlife but my passion is plantlife, there is nowhere on Earth for Endemics like Madagascar for both as im sure you know...
I am on Expedition in Africa this December so tight budget means i won't make it this year but next.
I am wondering if you would share the information you find about travelling and budgets with me ?
Baluba, thats a great post and it seems as though you have lot's more information to give!
Thank you both...