Holiday review by Mrs Yvonne Chapman
Name: Mrs Yvonne Chapman
Date of trip: 03/10/2019
Number of people: 2
Visiting the villages at Mandrare and Manafiafy was fascinating; we had a lovely chat about boats with the fishermen at Manafiafy. The market near Mandrare was very interesting. We were the only guests for much of the time in Manafiafy, so it was really peaceful. And of course we saw some amazing animals and landscapes.
We really enjoyed Madagascar. Quite different to anywhere else we have visited, and a nice mixture of relaxation, seeing animals and seeing people and places. We had not quite appreciated how hard it would be to get to Mandrare and Manafiafy. 3.5 hours in a 4 seater plane was a bit daunting for me, as I’m not a very confident flyer! The roads were the worst I have ever encountered!
We did not get pre holiday info until we asked. The dates were changed by the lodges after they had confirmed, which we assumed was because they were busy, but in fact both lodges were very quiet. It All worked out in the end, but we had to change our Uganda plans a few times!
Guides both good.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
This was the most obviously socially and environmentally responsible trips we have done. The local people clearly benefited from the presence of the lodges, and this was shown by the friendly welcome we got from local people.
The places you stayed
It served the purpose of being near the airport well, and was perfectly comfortable.
Very well run, great tents, good staff. They went to great lengths to give us dinner in a different spot each night! The managers knew what everyone was doing, and were always there to greet us and say goodbye.
One small criticism (though I understand it was done to give us a special experience) was that when we went out on a day trip to the lagoon, they sent a second vehicle with lunch/tables/ chairs etc, which seemed a terrible waste of fuel; a packed lunch would have been fine. Unfortunately it was very windy that day, so we were not able to make the most of the setting.
Beautiful lodge. The bungalows were well positioned so they were private, had a sea view, but could not be seen from the sea. Lovely use of local wood; we loved the carvings dotted around the place. The food was excellent, and the service amazing. We were surprised for our final dinner that I was given stuffed tomato for a starter, but Simon had oysters; I don’t like oysters, but could not remember telling them that. When we enquired, it seemed they had asked so subtly, we had not noticed! The lobster on the last night was delicious, and the chef did amazing things with local fish.