- A busy but interesting tour of a fascinating country. Armand, our tour leader, is one of the best leaders I have encountered. He is passionate about his country and proud of his history, though aware of the country's problems with transport infrastructure and with poverty. He kept a daily illustrated diary of our journey and encounters, and has sent copies to each of us. All our questions were cheerfully answered in detail.
The bus driver and attendant were first class and took us very safely over often poor roads, they knew where to expect the deep pot holes and the tight hairpin bends in the mountains. Though some travel days were long, there was always something interesting to see out of the window and there were frequent stops en route.
The highlights, of course, were the lemurs, though early sightings of the Indri were rather fleeting as they retreated to the high treetops. Subsequent lemur and sifaka encounters were easier. All the walks were interesting, the paths were dry. Walking shoes were the best option much of the time, particularly when exploring off-path for elusive wild life (lemurs do not always pose right next to a wide path)! Walks around Lake Tritriva and in Isalo National park, though “lemur free” were really interesting and relatively easy.
Overall the accommodation was good. Some hotels were excellent, the traditional guest house was basic with just one “normal” bathroom and other outdoor “long drop” loos, though the food and entertainment were excellent.
We made a very brief stop near one of the poorer villages on our journey south to give them some educational materials and some clothing that we had provided. No fuss, no embarrassment.
The outbound boat journey to Anakao was on a small speedboat belonging to the hotel, typical Indian ocean, sunny, warm, pleasant. However the following two days were cooler, very windy with occasional squally showers, though we did make the best of our time by the sea. The weather conditions made the boat journey back to Toliara not pleasant. The flight back to Tana was fine.
Our final day covered the oldest palace site above Tana in the morning and a lemur park in the afternoon interspersed with Tana’s horrendous traffic.
Overall – a great trip.
Published on: 17 October 2016