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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

The Lost Continent MD

Visiting: Madagascar
Tour Duration 15 Days
  • On Lemur Island, Perinet
  • Anakao
  • Anakao
  • Local children playing in Anakao
  • Brown lemur, Perinet
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Busy
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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22 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the The Lost Continent tour available at present.

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10 , 15/11/13

Name

Sally

Tour Name

The Lost Continent

Tour Code

MD

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The whole holiday was wonderful, but the main highlights were: The private reserve where we could get close to the Lemurs - these lemurs had been rescued from being illegal pets and could not be released into the wild. Yes, we did wonder in advance if it was right to visit, but they were on a good sized island and they would not have survived on their own. It gave us the opportunity to see these amazing animals up close. Having said that seeing the lemurs in the wild was fantastic, and the sight of the last two great bamboo lemurs was sad, but an experience to remember. We say a mother and baby humpbacked whale – something I was not expecting The scenery was much more diverse than I expected and despite a lot of travelling there was always something to see. There were some brilliant walks, canyons, volcano craters, and forests to see the baobabs. But the best of all were the troops of ringtailed lemurs.

Tour Leader Name

Heri

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Heri is a well-educated and thoughtful man. He cares deeply about the environment and his own country, and this enthusiasm shone through the whole trip. His background knowledge of wildlife, culture and history was phenomenal. He answered every question we asked carefully. This included the question “If you were a lemur, what sort of lemur would you be” He had the patience of a saint. Everything from start to finish ran incredibly smoothly. He genuinely seemed to enjoy our company and stayed up with us late in the evening chatting. He laughed at our jokes – even the rude ones!

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Bring something warm - the nights are cold. Do not be deterred by the night in the dormitory – it was really comfortable and the whole experience was great fun. You do need a good level of fitness this is a busy tour.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Don't hesitate, just book it!

 
10 , 08/10/13

Name

Elaine

Tour Name

The Lost Continent

Tour Code

MD

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Standing right under the Indri as they started their haunting terrestrial whale-like song - all the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as the tears ran down my face.

Tour Leader Name

Charles

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Charles was enthusiastic, expert in wildlife and doing a difficult job, trying to control a very large group of 16 very different people. A bit like trying to herd cats.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Be prepared for a very busy tour, illness, dubious food quality standards in some of the hotels but that comes with visiting third world countries. However any discomfort is a small price to pay when compared with the richness of the wildlife, the diversity of the people and the changing landscape.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

We were privileged to see fifteen species of lemur, a host of different species of chameleon, birds, reptiles and some wonderful people, inhabiting a very challenging environment.

 
10 , 02/10/13

Name

Helen

Tour Name

The Lost Continent

Tour Code

MD

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The whole tour was made up of highlights so highlight of the highlights are: 1. lemurs - very cool animals 2. crater lake walk - stunning scenery 3. the ever changing landscape as you drive down the island 4. beach time - incredible

Tour Leader Name

Heri

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

He was superb - friendly, knowledgeable, patience of a saint and kept the group under control. I think we all had such fun on the tour with him.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Busy is the right word for the tour. There are early starts and some long days. Don't be put off by the days spent driving as the scenery constantly changes and you can lose yourself in another world just by looking out of the window of the minibus. September can be chilly at night in the rainforest - woolly socks saved my life. Buy a decent camera before you go - it was the best investment I made for the tour. Be prepared for sickness - it was mainly mild on the tour I was on but many people went down with it

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

An absolutely fantastic tour - I saw loads of wildlife,stunning scenery and laughed until my sides ached with my tour group. Loved it!

 
7 , 15/08/13

Name

Kelly

Tour Name

the Lost Continent

Tour Code

MD

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

- Lemur and chameleon sightings - watching daily life out of the bus window - walking through the local market - Anakao beach stay - sunset over the beach and seeing a whale

Tour Leader Name

Desi

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Desi worked hard to make sure we all enjoyed our trip and tried to respond to our requests. We flew home through Nairobi the day after the airport fire. We were given very little information about what was happening with our flights. I appreciate that our leader probably did not have much information to share with us but maybe some reassurance from the Explore office would have put our minds at rest as to how we were going to get home.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

breakfast is plain and repetitive so take marmite sachets or cereal bars for some variety. Picnic lunch sandwiches were quite dry so some mayo or mustard sachets might help. Some people found a walking pole helpful for the slippery hill climbs. I spent about £300 with trips, food, drinks, gifts It was much colder than we expected everywhere except for the coast, take warm clothes. End July start August was apparently the wrong season for birds, frogs, whales, tenrecs and giraffe necked weevils so think carefully about what time of year you book and what you would like to see. There were very few mosquitoes. Do not over pack. One person stands on the roof of the bus while another passes the bags high up to them, heavy bags would not be good.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Fantastic holiday which I enjoyed very much. I Saw less wildlife than I had expected but was very happy with what I did see. We saw 11 species of lemur in the wild as well as a few birds, a couple of frogs, lizards and geckos, chameleons, scorpion, tenrec, whale, stick insects, caterpillars and butterflies. I did not enjoy the lemur island and lemur park as I prefer to see the animals in the wild. I regretted going to lemur island and giving the hotel my money.

Our Response

Thank you for your feedback, we’re glad you enjoyed your trip.

Your comments have been passed to our Product and Operations teams for their consideration. It may be that we can provide more useful information in our documentation around the points you’ve raised

 
10 , 15/08/13

Name

Fiona Sutton

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

On an optional forest walk we were so lucky to see a troupe of lemurs at really close quarters - they were totally relaxed in our presence and carried on eating and interacting with each other - as if we weren't there. Overall I was amazed on this trip at how close we got to lemurs and the number of different lemurs we saw. I shall never forget the experience.

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Claude was marvellous - patient, well informed & with a great sense of humour. He was happy to adjust the itinerary to allow us more time for lemur watching and always happy to stop the bus for unscheduled photo stops.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

There are some quite busy days, and a few long travelling days but this is more than made up for by excellent opportunities for lemur watching. Some walks involve steep uphill steps - walking poles probably useful if if struggle with steps/uphill gradients.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Hotel rooms were all chalet/bungalow style - so made n ice change from usual standard hotel rooms. Made it feel like your own cottage in the country!

 
10 , 15/08/13

Name

Sarah Warrilow

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

every day had it's own highlight....but walking the 'grand canyon', 'lemur island' and ankao were my personal highlights.

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

claude was amazing. very knowledgeable and very patient with 1 or 2 problem members of the group. he was very approachable and is definitely one of my favourite tour guides. he had lots of local knowledge about different tribe customs which were fascinating.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

long trousers when walking through the forests as you tend to go 'cross country' to catch up with the trackers who have found the lemurs.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

my parents did this exact trip 10 years ago and recommended it to me and I would definitely recommend it to others.

 
10 Daniela Pontis (Explore Staff), 01/02/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The walks in the lush primeval forest were incredibly rewarding as we observed several species of lemurs (with babies!) eating, playing, and jumping between trees as well as countless chameleons, birds and colourful frogs. We were really privileged to come across two fosas (endemic predators) mating on top of the trees in the thick forest of Mantadia. However I could mention plenty of other memorable moments! If the wildlife on the island is certainly remarkable, what amazes is that Madagascar has so much more to offer: people are so charming with their mix of Asian and African heritage and I really enjoyed interacting with them in the markets and in the villages!And the drives were incredibly scenic as we travelled from verdant lush rainforest to terraced rice paddies, from granite formations  to limestone  canyons, and  from dry baobab forests to idyllic beaches and coral reefs.

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10 David Havell, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Seeing how people lived outside of the capital, with tall 2-storey thatched houses with kitchen fire smoke from the upper windows. The ox wagons and ox herds driven along the main road were impressive and life in the isolated fishing village was a real charm. And of course there were also lemurs!

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10 Susan Doyle, 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

For me the best bit was sailing on a local boat, a pirogue, out to Nosy Ve. However the high number of  species of lemurs that we managed to see was a pleasant surprise. One day there were six of us to a guide with two spotters going on ahead to find the animals for us!

 

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8 Vanda & Paul van der Linden, 14/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"The visit to an island in a private park with semi-tame lemurs. A lemur sat on my head!
(These are lemurs rescued from exploitation/pets and are being rehabilitated, or at least being allowed to live a better life)."

Read more
 
10 Roslina Binti Abd Rahim, 05/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Trekking and observing the lemurs in the national parks.

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Our Response

The drivers do not have to sleep in the bus.  Where rooms are not provided free for them by the hotels, they are given a subsistence allowance to cover the cost of a room.  However, we are aware that many of them prefer to keep this money for other purposes, and sleep in the bus; we see this as a decision they are free to make, but if they choose not to pay for the room, there is no reason why the hotel should provide the other facilities free of charge.

 
10 Lesley Murray, 26/11/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Seoond day at Mantadia NP we saw a Fosa and were able to spend some time watching it high up in a tree.  This would prove to be the icing on the cake together with seeing 20 species of lemurs and about 100 species of birds including the very rare Appert's Greenbul.

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10 Maurice Stanton-Saringer, 12/10/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Probably visiting a private rescued lLemur Island with 3 species entirely human friendly and happy to be stroked. They also liked climbing over heads and shoulders to see if we had bananas. The lemur watching in the wild in the reserves was pretty good also. The forests, at lest the ones we visited, are less dense than true tropical rainforest which made seeing the animals easier than in, say, Costa Rica.

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Our Response

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. We appreciate your kind comments about your Tour Leader.

I’m pleased to advise you that following a review of our tour activity levels and the new grading system, this tour has been re-graded as ‘Busy’.

 

 
8 Gillian Stratton, 28/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Seeing the Lemurs but,in fact, I did enjoy the diversity of the country, seeing how the people live and how different various areas are.

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0 Valerie Taylor, 17/07/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

A remote hotel near Anakao on Madagascar’s west coast, reached by boat speeding between shore and reef; distant hump-backed whales flashing their flukes as they dive. In front of my thatched bungalow a pristine white sand beach strewn with seashells; behind it, a tract of spiny forest rich in bird and lizard-life. Offshore, square-sailed fishing pirogues skim across the sea. A coral island, Nosy Ve, is home to tame red-tailed tropic birds. In the evening, find buckets of cold water for bathing, delivered to your door from a water tower guarded by a pair of Madagascar kestrels. If you prefer hot water, collect it from the kitchen - it’s infused with a fragrant bark. A fine supper using locally sourced food - fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. A cocktail in hand as the deep gold sun sets.

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10 Helen Power, 28/06/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The first chameleon we saw spotted by my husband!! while walking back from a picnic by the side of a river.

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0 christine giles, 11/02/11
We have travelled a lot in Africa - always on big game safari, this trip does not have the drama of   the "bush". The lemurs are "cute" but the best bit is "bush walking" thru the forest to find them - I wish there had been more of that. This was my first "rainforest " experience and to be honest I was a bit disappointed, I expected to see much more wildlife/ birdlife than we did - lots of pretty birds and other creatures were few and far between, or was it my expectation that was too much?  For me and my husband there was too much travelling in a quite cramped vechicle - I enjoyed the roadside entertainment but my husband thought too much road covered for not enough WOW factor at the end. The accomodation is execellent - some great places to stay probably the best we have had on an explore trip - this was our 5th - the food was OK but a lot of the group got serious tummy bugs which meant they were laid low for a couple of days and made us a bit scared to be adventurous with the food. Sarah our tour leader was brilliant - I would go on any Explore tour with her she knows how to have a good time but still do her job brilliantly.  We are not beach people but the nights at the end on the beach were fab (MD - 6th november 2010)
 
0 Mike & Ruth Breese, 23/12/10
An excellent trip in a wonderful country with fabulous sightings of lemurs, chameleon, spiders and snakes. Accommodation was good, although we had a few issues with water pressure and loo seats. The food was good and varied from hotel to hotel, although breakfasts of french bread and jam were a little boring. Most of us got upset digestive systems.  Although the poverty was clear to see, locals were very friendly and welcoming, and we only got pestered for sweets a couple of times. Due to the unrest in the country we tended to stay in the hotel in the evening and not go out after dark. Best memories - seeing the lemurs so close and for such a long time - it wasn't just a quick view of brown and a rustle of leaves; the sound of the Indri across the forest was haunting, but best of all was walking through the thick forest, clinging to branches as we headed off the path downhill, stopping suddenly and the guide pointing to 3 nocturnal lemur sitting in the V of the trunk. Magic. (MD - 6th October 2010)
 
0 Sonia Hallett, 18/11/10
I went to Madagascar to see the dancing siffarka and was told maybe we will not see this wonderful animal, but on the last day we saw them and i have some wonderful photos and they had babies travelling on their backs - what a joy (MD -6th October 2010)
 
0 Catherine Melia, 22/09/10
An excellent tour! The Tour Leader, Claude was very knowledgeable, helpful, considerate and did everything he could to make the tour brilliant for everyone. It's hard to pick out a "highlight" - the wildlife in all the reserves was stunning - so much to see. The accommodation was much better that I had expected. The food was also very good and I liked the local beer. (MD- 21st July 2010)
 
0 B.P, 21/09/10
I went to Madagascar to fulfill my ambition of seeing Lemurs and other unique fauna and flora there, but the trip was so much more. The trip from the cold and damp highlands to the toasting hot beaches in the South was so much more than expected - stunning.  And what is always so valuable on Explore trips: the political and social circumstances of the country and it's present vulnerable position explained and brought home by the excellent guides all along the trip. Very memorable, I would recommend anyone to visit. (MD- 21st July 2010)
 
0 Carol Ward, 21/09/10
If you're thinking about travelling to Madagascar, don't think Safari. In fact, it's probably best not to think Africa at all. Because Madagascar is different. So why did we make this particular trip? Well, I first got interested because I wanted to see lemurs - simple as that. And chameleons. To our delight, these and more we saw. And, also to our delight, we found there's much, much more to Madagascar than just these! Don't expect huge expanses of wilderness. The National Parks and Reserves, while a marvellous part of the trip, are relatively small and scattered. In between the land is almost all cultivated by a young and rapidly growing population. So as well as being an island of wildlife, Madagascar is a people island. And with so many different tribes and influences, such a range of climate and topography, the landscape that's evolved is a fascinating and ever changing one. There is, still, slash and burn, there are terraced rice paddies and semi-nomadic herders wandering dusty plains. Down on the coast there are fishermen still using traditional boats. Along the way, we find colonial towns and native villages. We find tourist markets waiting for the gullible, and country markets where tourists rarely go. Mostly, we find people finding ways to survive - some digging paddy fields by hand, some digging man-killing mines in search of sapphires. There is certainly poverty on this ill-run island (a coup in early 2009 hasn't helped). But the people, like our guide Hery, believe in education and have hope. Whether that hope, or the island's undoubted beauty, will survive a continuing population explosion, who knows. Perhaps it's a case of 'see it now before it's gone'. I look back at the journal I wrote at the time. "It's been only two weeks," I wrote, "but we've seen and done so much that's new and unfamiliar that it feels much, much longer. Now, back home, it seems somehow wrong that nothing seems to have changed here. Except maybe us." I can't add to that. My tips? Just go with the flow and take things as they come. And if you ever knew any French, try and remember it - most of the locals speak at least some. (MD- 1st November 2009)
 
 
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