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The Lost Continent MD

Visiting: Madagascar
Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for The Lost Continent

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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44 reviews

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The Lost ContinentScores 8.9 out of 10 based on 44 reviews
(6 out of 10)

Anthea

Exeter
The amount of time spent in a non-air conditioned coach was a real downside. The itinerary on the last day was poor as 6 hours was spent in the coach and we hardly had time to visit the Lemur Park which should have been the highlight of the day. Take plenty of Imodium - almost all our group suffered to a lesser or greater extent!
Confirmed traveller: 02 December 2016
Published on: 03 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Helen

Milton Keynes
Pure & Simple, this is a wonderful trip - the accommodation at all stages exceeded my expectations, and mosquito nets were supplied everywhere except hotel au bois vert at the start and finish of the trip, which is the only negative on the whole trip. There is a fair bit of travelling along the way, but plenty of stops for sightseeing, photos, water supplies etc. We had many of sightings of many different species of Lemur(some with delightful little babies on their backs) in the national parks (I could watch them all day) and the sifaka too - dancing lemur. There are many different landscapes along the way, and great walks to soak up the environment, the baobab trees and interesting plantlife. The 2 days at the end on Anakeo are fabulous at hotel safari vezo, and the bungalows all look out on the lovely sandy beach, & indian ocean - so you have a change to relax and enjoy the sunshine before coming home. The experience of riding in the back of a zebu cart which takes you too and from the boat, is one I'll never forget. Hery was our leader and there is no adequate words to tell you what a great travel guide and representative of Explore he is - so knowledgable about the country, people and its traditions, and very passionate about his country. And even more importantly very conscientious about the welfare of each member of our group (there were 16 of us). As a group we all got on really well and I think that added even more to the success of the trip. If you are trying to decide where to go next, then I would highly recommend anyone to take this one.
Confirmed traveller: 18 November 2016
Published on: 22 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

Malcolm

Lichfield, Staffs
A busy full on, as promised, trip visiting a good selection of National and Private parks to maximise lemur viewing mainly but also chameleons, birds and other wildlife.

Contrast of Eastern Rainforests, central/southern highlands, and southern desert areas provided an overview of the geography of Madagascar, whilst highlighting the poor condition of transport infrastructure. Accommodation was on the whole was good, with all breakfasts and dinners taken at the hotels, some picnic lunches en route, which broke up some of the long road journeys.

Food and drink generally good value compared to Europe prices. Good quality waterproof clothing/shoes essential for rainforest hikes otherwise travel light, laundry options at couple of mid-tour hotels. Sun protection essential on most of the tour apart from the rainforest! Mosquito nets in rooms outside Antananarivo, mozzie spray a must for personal protection. Limited Wifi, sometimes only in hotel reception/restaurant areas, and generally weak and slow, mobile phone coverage generally good.

Zebu, the humped cattle of Madagascar, provide excellent steaks and brochettes for carnivores, otherwise there were always vegetarian options. Itinerary was good, although for me two nights at Anakao was too long, the visit to Ambohimanga could be organised better, sitting down for lunch at 11.00, when the host obviously wasn't ready for us was a waste of time, the food when it arrived wasn't that good, a picnic lunch would have been better, to allow more time at Lemurs Park, or to return to the hotel earlier than we did.

If relying on prescription medicines take spares with you, one of our group ran out of hers midway through the trip, resulting in the tour leader having to spend time taking her to a Doctor to get a prescription, the required medicine was not available at the first pharmacy so another had to be visited in the next town, all taking precious time out of the tour for the majority.

Hery, our tour leader had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the country, its culture and customs, and of course the wildlife, he was able to share a lot of his knowledge with the group during the tour, and always had a warm smile, nothing seemed to phase him.
Confirmed traveller: 17 November 2016
Published on: 22 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

Nigel

South Wales
This tour is ideal if you want to see lots of flora and fauna and get a peek under the skin of Madagascar. Hery, our guide, was always able to tell us all about what we were seeing. He was interesting, entertaining and worked hard to keep us briefed and up to date.

The accommodation is generally very good, but some of the bathrooms don't have much in the way of privacy. The hotel at Isalo National Park is excellent and the beach huts at Anakao are particularly idyllic!

The food is really good or excellent, with fantastic fresh fish at the coast.

Top tips, be prepared for some very long drives and make sure you know how to use your camera!
Confirmed traveller: 04 November 2016
Published on: 05 November 2016
(7 out of 10)

Anne

Newtonmore
This is a well designed trip covering a breadth of experiences in Madagascar, from rainforests to the sea, and including multiple cultural visits. Of course there are wonderful lemurs and birds but the visit to Southern Madagascar with the canyons, spiny desert, baobabs and sea was very striking. The main criticism everyone in our group would make is that we were a group of 16 which was too many for the bus (which had no luggage rack), the infrastructure of the places we visited which only had 1 toilet and using a single guide on the visits.
Confirmed traveller: 27 October 2016
Published on: 29 October 2016
(8 out of 10)

Dudley

Cheltenham
The clear highlight of this trip was the Lemurs, some we glimpsed others were up close, almost every day was a lemur day. For twitters there were also many birds, our twitter recoded 98 different. Our guide ran the tour very well, making sure everyone knew what was going on Re meals, departures, etc. Transport was adequate, but the biggest issue is the state of the roads, acknowledged by the guide as poor meaning a 250km drive takes pretty much all day (8-5). Despite the roads all of the overnights were good. Never ventured outside hotel at night, safety. Most on the trip changed too much money, as single traveller I spent about £250 with little on souvenirs. Meals were all good, tho breakfast is only simple in most places. Nearly all in group had some sort of minor tummy upset, but never serious and probably to be expected. Madagascar is very poor, kids loved pencils and bonbons. Summary is a good trip, glad I went.
Confirmed traveller: 20 October 2016
Published on: 23 October 2016
(9 out of 10)

John

Preston
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.
Confirmed traveller: 07 October 2016
Published on: 17 October 2016
(9 out of 10)

Jackie

Coventry
Fabulous trip - highlights being the Madagascan Grand Canyon and the two days at the beach resort.. Not too "full on" and would definitely recommend it.
Confirmed traveller: 23 September 2016
Published on: 28 September 2016
(8 out of 10)

Jennifer

Yateley
Very full extensive tour with an exceptional tour leader with great knowledge.
Confirmed traveller: 23 September 2016
Published on: 28 September 2016
(9 out of 10)

Nancy

London
This was a fantastic trip with lots of opportunities for wildlife spotting. We saw a wide range of lemurs and other endemic species. We were very lucky as during a short whale watching trip in Anakao, we were treated excellent views of a humpback whale ! There were some long days on the road but these were generally broken up with visits to workshops, markets or points of interest along the way. The changing scenery was of interest as we travelled.

I took some older clothes (as recommended by Explore) to wear and distribute along the way as did others in our group. It was clear that these were much appreciated, especially in the poorer areas to the south of the country. We visited a village along the way to distribute some pencils, exercise books etc to aid educational efforts. We bought these locally but these could be brought with you.

Our tour leader, Armand, was efficient, organised, very approachable and full of energy! He was very knowledgeable in a range of areas. He willingly shared his insights with us, giving us a much deeper understanding of life in Madagascar and so enriching our experience enormously.
Confirmed traveller: 19 August 2016
Published on: 13 September 2016