David & Sue on Safari
Madagascar Safari 2023

Madagascar Safari 2023

  • Espace Mada – our tour company
    I just wanted to add a little word or two about the company that organised our tour. They are a local company, based in Antananarivo. We were very pleased with their service and are very happy to recommend them to anyone considering a trip to Madagascar. Click here for their website. The trip that we … Read more
  • Saturday 15th July
    Up early for breakfast so that Zo could take us on a walking tour of middle Tana at 8. This hotel allowed us a set amount for the breakfast but even billed for a slice of butter! Lots of steps on the walk so Helen chose to put her foot up. We stopped infront of … Read more
  • Friday 14th July
    Still windy but the rain had stopped this morning. Enjoyed our last breakfast together enjoying the amazing view and the odd person that walked past in the sea carrying stuff! Next, since Helen’s ankle is now showing some beautiful blues, greens and purples, I gave her a little massage to try and get the swelling … Read more
  • Thursday 13th July
    So the weather lived up to the predictions and we awoke to wind and rain but totally normal for here. They expect it to last 3 days. We enjoyed watching it from inside while relaxing! The weather didnt stop the fishing though, up to their waists with a net! So after a lunch snack like … Read more
  • Wednesday 12th July
    We woke up to beautiful sunshine and calm seas so we accepted the offer to take us out to do snorkelling and a visit to the Isles aux sables. Fortunately Helen is feeling up to it. So back for a snack and a relax in the hotel and to enjoy the sun before the rain … Read more
  • Tuesday 11 July
    Breakfast at 7.30 with a lovely view over the indian ocean. So we set off for a 10 minute walk with our guides to the mangroves where they took us on a 40 minute dugout canoe trip through the mangroves. Beautiful reflections and lots of crabs to watch. We arrived at the port to meet … Read more
  • Monday 10th July
    Up at 6 for breakfast at 6.30 in case we had to leave and get the other boat further up. Happily the local boat was coming so we went to the landing spot for 8. The boat finally left at 11.30 after 3 transfer boats to load up. You can see the big boat behind … Read more
  • Sunday 9th July
    Early departure from Palmarium for a boat trip back along the canal A beautiful boat ride with lovely lighting and views. We passed some fishing poles that are apparently for fishing brichte a delicacy in the area fished at full moon. So another slow journey along bad roads to the port of Tamatave where we … Read more
  • Saturday 8th July
    Up late for breakfast at 7.30! Missed the sunrise but still lovely colours on the lake Ready for an 8.30 walk round the grounds and the many limas and plants here. New receptionist today! So we saw crown lemurs and black and white ruffed lemur and a hybrid version! We also enjoyed close up the … Read more
  • Friday 7th July
    Early start to get to Manambato in time to catch the boat for our next hotel, Palmarium, which is the only way to get to it! The N2 is a busy road from the capital to the main port so there were a lot of lorries to negotiate as well as potholes! We soon came … Read more
  • Thursday 6th July.
    Up early for breakfast in the hotel and a quick explore in the light 7.30 start for a visit to the local national park called Analamazaotra where we had a lovely lady guide called Dominique to show us around. We saw two new types of lemur, Indri indri and diademed sifaka as well as some … Read more
  • Wednesday 5th july
    Fortunately we both woke up feeling better so enjoyed the yoghurt and pain au chocolats that was offered for breakfast. This was the first hôtel that had radiators which was nice as it was only 6 degrees in the morning. We had time to enjoy à quick walk round the garden before we left at … Read more
  • Tuesday 4th july
    Another short interesting drive, this time to Antisrabe over the mountains. We got to 1600 m and only 12 degrees. Changed to seeing a new tribe called Mérino. Zo also explained some politics and how the Koranas are Indians who came across and took alot of the management jobs in Madagascar which means that the … Read more
  • Monday 3 july
    So after a special malagassi breakfast for David including rice in soup and omelette, we set off on a quick guided visit of the town of Fianarantsoa. We saw the old town briefly and then went up to see the view of the town. One side of the view was just of countryside We talked … Read more
  • Sunday 2nd July
    This morning we got up in the dark. Not really any earlier than usual, but our “eco-lodge” has no power in the morning, so we had to get up and pack our bags by candlelight. We arrived at breakfast … but we were the only ones there. The staff starting rolling in a few minutes … Read more
  • Saturday 1st July
    Today was mainly a driving day, though not as long as others have been. The drive took us to onto a huge plateau in the middle of Mada at about 1000 metres above sea level. This is the home of the Bara tribe who farm the Zébu cows that we see everywhere. The views were … Read more
  • Friday 30th June
    Today we went for a long walk in the Isalo national park, first meeting our guide, Julian. He apparently went to Tana 2 weeks ago to receive an award from the president for his guide work over the last 30 years! Then we were off to the park to explore the area. I think the … Read more
  • Thursday 29 June
    We came across this sign as we left Tulear which was quite fun. So we began our day today with a short drive to some botanical gardens near Tuléar where we spent an hour and a half being guided round a plethora of varieties of spiky trees and shrubs. We were also able to see … Read more
  • Wednesday 28th June
    More beautiful sunrises and a last breakfast with Michelle and her cats, our lovely hostess. Last photos of the hotel before leaving at 8 ish. We drove south along the coast with beautiful views of the aqua marine sea for many miles Apparently the fishermen sometimes find Coelacanths which is a prehistoric fish and they … Read more
  • Tuesday 27th June
    With a “day off” in Salary Bay we decided we would take the opportunity to try to see some whales. In the winter the humpback whales will come to Madagascar to have their young. The first ones were seen a few days ago, so we were offered the chance to see if we could find … Read more
  • Monday 26th June
    Our overnight stop in Morombe really was just that. It’s a small town which we drove through as we were looking for patatas, crisps we had been offered by another guest. Not to be found but we bought charcoal tablets to see if they would settle David’s stomach. We also saw coffee being sold for … Read more
  • Sunday 25th June
    Our 35th wedding anniversary! Started with a lovely sunrise and then an early start. We knew that the whole of today was going to be spent traveling, so we had intended to celebrate a bit last night, but David is still not feeling great, so that didn’t happen. As expected we spent 12 hours in … Read more
  • Saturday 24th June
    Apparently the local village have been partying all night getting ready for the first sailing of a traditional “Botsy” this afternoon. Fortunately it didn’t keep us awake! Awake at 5 for me so I enjoyed the sunrise! So the other fun thing happening today is the start of a sailing competition organised for the first … Read more
  • Friday 23rd June
    Late start this morning at 8.30 so time for a leisurely breakfast with our first croissant and to enjoy the beautiful orchids and hotel grounds and tortoises! Met up with another car after buying more water to go in convoy for the first part of the journey. Saw the bank with a long queue as … Read more
  • Thursday 22nd June
    Up at 5.45 to get early breakfast and leave to be in the mid convoy that the gendarmes organise to protect us. There were apparently 15 cars in our convoy. We loaded up quickly as we had already loaded our big bags the night before. In true Malagashi style the gendarme prevented the convoy from … Read more
  • Wednesday 21 June
    Today we get to explore the Big Tsingy. Helen had decided to have a day off, staying at the hotel. So we drove to the village to pick up our guide, Merrick, and then drive for a further 1 hour on even rougher roads to reach the entrance of the park (about 18km). We started … Read more
  • Tuesday 20 June
    First the good news … David is better and ate a hearty breakfast. At 8.20, Zo brought to meet us our guide for the day: Merrick. Our first trip was to take a dug out canoe up the river Manambolo to explore 2 limestone caves (we brought our head torches) and to see a traditional … Read more
  • Arrival at Bekopaka
    We have arrived at Bekopaka after the most amazing drive along a dirt track. It took 4.5 hours to do 90 Kms on a track that would totally delight the owner of any 4×4 in the UK. Just before arriving we had to cross the river (car and all) on a ferry made out of … Read more
  • Monday 19 June
    Up at 6.20. Sue had slept well, but David had not and was feeling unwell. We left at 8.20 to complete our journey down to Belo s/ Tsiribihina. David slept most of the way! We stopped suddenly at one point as the pilot wanted to buy some fish! We began to see much more commercial … Read more
  • Check-in/OK message from SPOT SpotX-1
    Device Name: SpotX-1 Latitude: -19.71371 Longitude: 44.53767 Altitude: 8.0 m | 26 ft GPS location Date/Time: 06/19/2023 10:19:00 BST Message: David, Sue, Keith & Helen checking in … we’re OK! Click the link below to see where I am located. http://fms.ws/1qyYmo/19.71371S/44.53767E If the above link does not work, try this link: [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-19.71371,44.53767&ll=-19.71371,44.53767&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] You have … Read more
  • Check-in/OK message from SPOT SpotX-1
    Device Name: SpotX-1 Latitude: -19.74026 Longitude: 44.82452 Altitude: -1.0 m | -3 ft GPS location Date/Time: 06/19/2023 05:04:26 BST Message: David, Sue, Keith & Helen checking in … we’re OK! Click the link below to see where I am located. http://fms.ws/1qyG9O/19.74026S/44.82452E If the above link does not work, try this link: [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-19.74026,44.82452&ll=-19.74026,44.82452&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] You have … Read more
  • Sunday
    A relaxing day today. Here are some of the things we saw during our trip: Crocodiles (8 of them), Drongo, Kingfishers, Egrets, Green backed Herons, Bee Eaters, Kites, Malagash Crows, tobacco, cassava, rice, forest potato, snake nests, sweetcorn, peanuts, Baobab trees, chameleons. In the evening the local villagers came to our camp and entertained us … Read more
  • Check-in/OK message from SPOT SpotX-1
    Device Name: SpotX-1 Latitude: -19.77821 Longitude: 45.10190 Altitude: 26.0 m | 85 ft GPS location Date/Time: 06/18/2023 05:13:33 BST Message: David, Sue, Keith & Helen checking in … we’re OK! Click the link below to see where I am located. http://fms.ws/1qwOtf/19.77821S/45.10190E If the above link does not work, try this link: [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-19.77821,45.10190&ll=-19.77821,45.10190&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] You have … Read more
  • Saturday afternoon
    We joined the boat at around 10.30 and began our descent of the river. Lunch was Avocado salad followed by Tilapia with rice (it took some skill to navigate around the bones!) It was very relaxing just sitting on the boat watching the world go by. We then arrived at a beautiful swimming hole under … Read more
  • What are all these messages from SPOT-X1?
    These are simple check-in messages from our satellite device (in remote areas) just to show we’re still alive and kicking! If necessary (which it surely will not be here) we can use the device to send an SOS if we ever get into real trouble!
  • Check-in/OK message from SPOT SpotX-1
    Device Name: SpotX-1 Latitude: -19.75427 Longitude: 45.18181 Altitude: 2.0 m | 7 ft GPS location Date/Time: 06/17/2023 13:31:26 BST Message: David, Sue, Keith & Helen checking in … we’re OK! Click the link below to see where I am located. http://fms.ws/1qupxE/19.75427S/45.18181E If the above link does not work, try this link: [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-19.75427,45.18181&ll=-19.75427,45.18181&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] You have … Read more
  • Check-in/OK message from SPOT SpotX-1
    Device Name: SpotX-1 Latitude: -19.72539 Longitude: 45.21878 Altitude: 41.0 m | 135 ft GPS location Date/Time: 06/17/2023 11:29:47 BST Message: David, Sue, Keith & Helen checking in … we’re OK! Click the link below to see where I am located. http://fms.ws/1queMH/19.72539S/45.21878E If the above link does not work, try this link: [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-19.72539,45.21878&ll=-19.72539,45.21878&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] You have … Read more
  • Check-in/OK message from SPOT SpotX-1
    Device Name: SpotX-1 Latitude: -19.67834 Longitude: 45.39126 Altitude: 56.0 m | 184 ft GPS location Date/Time: 06/17/2023 08:18:00 BST Message: David, Sue, Keith & Helen checking in … we’re OK! Click the link below to see where I am located. http://fms.ws/1quQ-H/19.67834S/45.39126E If the above link does not work, try this link: [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-19.67834,45.39126&ll=-19.67834,45.39126&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1&output=embed&s=AARTsJp56EajYksz3JXgNCwT3LJnGsqqAQ] You have … Read more
  • Saturday morning
    After a good night’s sleep we woke up to a lovely breakfast in a lovely hotel with a fantastic view. No time for a swim though. We have a 2 hour drive to get to the place where our boat leaves. The last part of the drive along dirt tracks. We are going to descend … Read more
  • Drive along N7 through the mountains
    After a very long exciting day we have arrived at 9.30 pm at our destination and have no internet! Off tomorrow for 3 days on the river so there may be no more news for 3 days! Dont worry! We will send the occasional “check in” using the satellite tracker, but no long posts … … Read more
  • Tana to Miandrivazo via Antsirabe
    We had an early start from Tana. We drove all morning to Antsirabe where we then stopped to look around a small cottage industry which was making Aluminium pots. It was both interesting and scary! We then went for lunch in a local restaurant before continuing on roads that got worse and worse until we … Read more
  • 15 June: Arrival in Tana at Chalet des Roses
    So, after a loooong time travelling (about 32 hours) we have finally arrived in Tana. Exhausted, but happy. We’ve done the essentials: bought a sim card, withdrawn some cash, made contact with our driver, found our hotel, paid the balance of our holiday, eaten a zebu steak and sampled the local beer (THB – it’s … Read more
  • And so it begins…
    We have safely arrived at Heathrow, have checked in and passed through security. This is when the holiday really starts!
  • Minor panic!
    I don’t know why but, a week or so ago, I logged in to the Air Mauritius website to check our flights. To my horror I discovered that they had rescheduled our outward flight to the following day. With a full 30 day itinerary starting that day, there was no way this was going to … Read more
  • Madagascar – Our proposed itinerary in detail
    Here you can find the details of our planned trip:
  • A plan for Madagascar mid-June to mid-July 2023
    We are now planning our next “Big Trip”; we’re off to Madagascar. The plan is for a month long tour of the island from 15 June to 16 July 2023. We will be going with our friends Keith & Helen (who also joined us a few years ago for the Tour du Mont Blanc). Would … Read more