18 July 2017
Dear Ken and Jan
We are back from Madagascar!
It is so difficult to describe how we feel after this holiday. It was absolutely the holiday we had in mind – adventurous, food for the soul and much needed family bonding time. We loved the private tour option to travel as a family, away from the crowds and the busy touristy bits where everyone else seems to buzz around and you can’t even take a proper photo!
This was really so different. To experience nature so close and to be surprised every moment by something new, was awesome. The fauna and flora is indescribable. Our guide went out of his way to give us as much information as possible. We loved experiencing this new culture with such friendly and hospitable people. We also enjoyed the very interesting flavours of their food. All the places we stayed in were the best.
We are glad we added the Millot Plantation – we definitely learned a lot. It was good to do the mainland first with all the exploring and hiking which allowed us to get to know Madagascar for real before we headed for Nosy Bé. We enjoyed our time at Andilana and rested well amongst all the Italians – it added yet another flavour to the whole adventure. We did a few excursions which were really worth the money.
All in all, we just want to say many thanks for the wonderful recommendations, advice and wonderful planning – this was a holiday we will never forget!
The Marais Family
Some feedback on our holiday in Madagascar. The trip feels like a lifetime ago and we both came back to reality with a hard thud. I’m afraid I can’t remember our guides name in Tana!
We both had a fabulous time and a wonderful experience. The accommodation at the nature reserve by the tsingy was a little underwhelming compared to the other places we stayed but of course I understand that there is little around that area, and in fairness we were quite blown away by the other accommodation.
The knocking at our door at 3am was a very scary experience, as we were in a log cabin quite far from anyone else, and of course with something like that your mind always assumes the worst will happen.
Ben was fantastic, very patient and great fun. The excursions from Nosy Be were incredible. I doubt I’ll ever see anything like that again in my life!
It would be fantastic if you could recommend our amazing diving instructors for future customers too – mantra diving. Emanuele and Giordana were brilliant fun and so professional when it came to diving. I had never done it before and was quite nervous about it however they managed to calm my nerves and I had the most thrilling experience, ended by seeing a turtle. Fantastic!
Talking about it all makes me want to go back sooo much!
Thanks for all your help.
Jimmy the driver-guide we had most of the time was very good and made our trip the success it was. I would recommend you use him whenever he is available. Most of the hotels, meals and arrangements at the Parks were more than acceptable.
The Royal Palace was not acceptable and you should avoid it all costs. The room was dirty, noise all night long right in the hall outside of our room, their bookkeeping was atrocious and they did not communicate in an acceptable fashion.
There were many more positive aspects of the trip but I’d like to mention a few of the situations which surprised me even after I was pre-warned.
It is definitely a cash society and everyone walks around with wads of money in their pockets which included me after I accepted the fact that credit cards are useless and banks had very limited hours. Tipping is way out of control and everyone has their hand out even in situations I wouldn’t even think of tipping. I used your recommendations as a guideline which seemed reasonable to me but no one appeared satisfied.
Overall our trip was great and thank you for making it a success.
We only got back into Australia on Sunday.
However the Madagascar part of the trip was amazing and I thank you for arranging it all. The trip was the perfect combination of relaxation time and exploration time.
We both cannot wait to do further trips in Africa and Madagascar. The ground staff in Madagascar were flexible with changes to flights etc and were also very helpful.
The whole week was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend your company.
Quite a few people were amazed that as Australian’s we had made the trip to Madagascar and I feel that we could not have done such a trip without your company’s guidance.
Once again I thank you for arranging everything.
Richard and James
Most importantly, everything went very smoothly and we were always well looked after. This was largely down to our driver Jimmy who was absolutely superb, he couldn`t have been any more courteous, helpful and informative which is exactly what you want in a strange country.
The tour itself was exactly what we wanted with some great wildlife experiences and a few days on a remote beautiful beach – perfect! The accommodation was always good and the staff helpful, but special mention must go to the staff at Hotel de la Plage in Ifaty. They were so kind and welcoming and really looked after us when we were ill for a couple of days (the only thing that went wrong on the trip). Yannick in particular was great and sorted us out with trips when we were feeling better.
Overall the trip was at a nice relaxed pace with opportunity to make small additions to suit our mood and schedule.
We can’t thank you enough for arranging the trip for us, it was magical. I’ll send on some photos in due course, and maybe a video (but we’re having trouble with the memory card at the moment).
Chris and Steph
I’m finally back home and settled after a wonderful trip to Madagascar. I had a fantastic time and surely do not want to miss this opportunity to tell you about my trip. I simply fell in love with the place.
The landscapes were simply breathtaking. I particularly liked the Avenue of the Baobabs. It was like being in a dream. I used to wonder what they really looked like, especially as a kid reading about them in my favourite book The Little Prince.
Everywhere I went, I was met with the smiles of friendly people. What a vibrant culture Madagascar has! And the beach, who wouldn’t fall in love with their beaches? Crystal blue waters, abundant marine life. I enjoyed snorkelling and canoeing; it was great fun.
Even Antananarivo was amazing. Wasn’t too excited about having to explore the city because I’ve had enough of the city; I live in one. But am glad I had the chance to explore the many interesting places in Tana.
Thank you so much for organizing this trip for me. It was a dream come true, I mean really. Don’t be surprised to hear from me again soon.
I had a truly wonderful time, far more so than I would have been able to do if I’d attempted to sort everything out myself, and it really was the trip of a lifetime after all. The ‘1000 Views of Madagascar” itinerary is very sound. There’s no wasted time, there’s something different to do or see every day, and I think [it] gave me a really good feel for the country, and probably about as much of its so many extraordinarily different climates and surroundings as anyone could fit into a 2-week trip.
Overwhelmingly the first and most important thing I want to say is that my guide & driver, Jimmy, was absolutely FANTASTIC. Whatever you’re paying him it’s probably not enough! Reliable, conscientious, friendly, a mine of interesting information, a safe and responsible driver, extremely patient with my thousands of questions and absolutely prepared to offer sensible and timely advice. His English is also excellent, and up to whatever demand might be made of it! He’d contracted a good vehicle and very good guides in the National Parks on the visit, too – I was totally satisfied with all the services he’d been in charge of arranging and there were never any incidents of misunderstanding or wasted time or disputes over payment on any of these.
I was extremely lucky with the weather and wildlife – seeing many of the species I’d dreamt of meeting and not losing any hours or days to delays. The accommodation throughout was completely satisfactory everywhere – always safe and clean and with working hot water – and in a couple of places absolutely outstanding. The comments I’m about to make are just for guidance – nothing more – I’d happily stay at any of the places you’d booked again!
So that’s it from me – with very many thanks again for all the work put in to making this trip happen, for your advice and expertise, and for giving me an absolutely wonderful holiday. It was by far the most expensive break I’ve ever taken – and it was worth every single penny and more! I’ll be going back to Madagascar again for sure.
Best wishes – and a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all at Parkers!