Madagascar...WOW!! Loved every moment of this trip!
I booked my 7days-6nights Western Madagascar trip through HT Agency Tours, and the itinerary was well-constructed, organized, and well-executed. A couple of months before my trip, I contacted the company & promptly received a response from Garcihel, who helped me book my trip, taking care of the lodging & logistics. Because I couldn’t book the domestic flights using my US credit card, he also helped booked the flights for me. All our correspondences went very smoothly. When I finally arrived, I was met at Antananarivo airport by Yves, who was my private guide for my entire Western Madagascar trip. Upon arrival, he gave me a briefing about the logistics of the tour, plans for the following days, then handed me the printed booklet of my complete itinerary, a sim card to use for my week-long stay, and a big bottle of water. As we drove from the airport to my hotel, I was already learning so much about Madagascar, esp. about the Malagasy people. Yves was already answering all my questions right from the start. He is such an amazing guide… personable, friendly, and knowledgeable! Due to limited domestic flights, I spent an extra night in Tana to wait for the next flight out to Morondava, which is where the real fun & adventure began. Just after Morondava town, the paved roads disappeared, and it was nothing but rough, bumpy dirt roads. We drove 1.5h to Kirindy Forest for my night walk to see fossa & lemurs. I was lucky enough to see a fossa as soon as I arrived there. During my night walk, I saw 3 nocturnal lemurs: fork-crowned lemur, grey mouse lemur, & red-tailed sportive lemur. Next morning, I was back in Kirindy Forest for another nature walk to see 2 more types of lemur: the common brown lemur & Verreaux white sifakas, jumping from tree to tree. From Kirindy, we were back on the road for the rough 8h journey to Bekopaka. The drive is 7hrs with 2 river crossings by ferry, plus a 1h lunch stop at Belo Tsiribihina. After lunch, we joined the convoy of vehicles on the drive between Belo Tsiribihina & Bekopaka. The drive is rugged, dusty, & bumpy. We all came out at the end full of dust all over our faces & clothes, but for me, the reward & the experience were absolutely worth it! The reward after the rough drive is Tsingy de Bemaraha, known for its limestone rocks & pinnacles. To see it, we had to drive another 1h on even rougher terrain, then I needed to put in some work hiking & climbing. The hike started off as more of a nature walk as we spotted lemurs on the way. And I must be lucky, as my guides said, because I saw one of the rarest sights, a fossa, in Tsingy de Bemaraha. Even my local guide, Laurent, has only seen a fossa in Tsingy twice since 1998. After that, it got even better as we climbed up the rocks & emerged at the top surrounded by limestone rock formations. After Tsingy & Bekopaka, we drove back 10hrs on the same rough roads to watch the sunset at Baobab Avenue, the best place to see many baobab trees. What a wonderful way to end my Western Madagascar adventure! Lots of culture, lemurs, fossas, zebus, baobab trees, hiking, rock climbing, adventure, great guides... such an amazing trip!