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tour operator - opinions?

Alberta
Level Contributor
375 posts
9 reviews
tour operator - opinions?

I have quotes from 3 tour operators for 10 days focusing central east part of

Madagascar Green

Gassitours

Cactus Tours

Opinions good or bad?

14 replies to this topic
Alberta
Level Contributor
375 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: tour operator - opinions?

Bump......has anybody used any of these operators

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 posts
66 reviews
2. Re: tour operator - opinions?

Hi, sorry cant help you but we are also after the same information. Will be interested in anyone respond to your questions.

I have basically went down the list of operators recommended by Lonely Planet and contacted all of them for prices and suggestions. I contacted Espace Made (which replied immediately to refer me to Mad Cameleon because they do not organise piroque trips), Tropic Voyage (they replied immediately with a suggested itinerary), Boogie Pilgrim (they gave me two options but very pricy - but I suspect all of them are going to be), and Mikala Rasolofomanana, Mad Cameleon said they will get back to me. The others I contacted did not respond back. We are 2 and looking for others to join to reduce cost. Have also let them know.

.

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
12 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: tour operator - opinions?

I am also enquiring these operators, have also sent enquiries to Intrepid and Undiscovered Destination. But you cannot look into these offers. I would definitely prefer those operators who are really located on Madagascar and do not belong to a big chain (as Intrepid is). Hope we can exchange information.

Acton, Canada
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: tour operator - opinions?

HELLO,

We have just come back from 2 weeks of Madagascar trip

We were looking very carefully choosing our tour operator and we did the best choice ever

Our program was amazing and travelling for two weeks we have realized how very complicated was organizing it! This is not Nort America, lol

First of all our program kept us very busy,we had canoeing,trekking,parks,baobabs,diving

We moved around using Air Madagascar from one region to next, but used local guide and 4x4 for local driving around. We had very good relable 4X4 car with competent driver,our guide was very knowlegable and his English was very good!

He was not only trying to make our day interesting but also safe and comfortable

All the time he was in touch with our tour operator which is MADAGASCAR NATURAL TOURS.

All of you that look for legit, competent and affordable local agency, I can wholeheartedly recommend Madagascar Natural Tours run by Jenita Jaozandry.

There was only two of us travelling and we were limited to 2 weeks only, so use of Airplanes was necessary to move from region to region in order to save time and fit as many attractions as we could. Cost and reliability is a tricky business, but with our tour operator we hit sweet spot. Reliability was top notch and price was very good. In same cases half of what other recommended operators were charging. Vehicle was in excellent mechanical shape, drivers competent, guides knowledgeable.

This tour operator was able to accommodate changes on the fly, been flexible and changes did not come with extra cost. They were able to customize trip to our liking at very good price. We only realized how good deal we got after realizing how expensive hotels and park entries were.

Give them a try, you will not regret it.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
5 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: tour operator - opinions?

We just finished a three week tour. We checked Tours by Locals and used Jean Claude and he is a very good guide and planner. Speaks English and French.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
12 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: tour operator - opinions?

I with my wife joined the Rija Tour for a 10 days Tsiribihina - Tsingy tour. The price is reasonable, and most important, our guide Jean Claude took care everything well. Jean also cooked very good food during the tour on the river. The boatman Cloude also did his job well and he had good eyes to see small animal from a very distant.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
226 posts
42 reviews
7. Re: tour operator - opinions?

I didn't have information/reference for the tour operators you quoted. My experience is that the itinerary they gave are more or less the same. I would suggest you look for operators not requiring you to do advance payment and never pay in full at the beginning of the tour. Secondly is to get concrete answers for "un-expected incidents". My agency just left us unattended after we paid.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29380…

Karlsruhe, Germany
Level Contributor
89 posts
464 reviews
8. Re: tour operator - opinions?

I've just had a great 16-days tour with Gassitours. I chose them because the price was reasonable and they had good reviews (I also contacted a few travellers here in the forum to make sure). Everything went very well, just as planned, we had an unforgettable trip to the west and the south. We only had to change one hotel (Manja in Ranomafana), so make sure that all the hotels on the list are up to your standards.

9. Re: tour operator - opinions?

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Removed on: 11:01 am, September 06, 2017
 
Melbourne, Australia
10 posts
10. Re: tour operator - opinions?

We just came back from a trip with Brett from Dadamanga. Gotta hand it to these guys, they worked hard for our business. We changed our ideas so many times, and they patiently re-wrote our itineraries I can't remember how many times, over about two months, while we tried to work out what we wanted to do. Once we finally decided to proceed, they offered us great practical information about how to prepare for our trip and what to expect. We had a happy greeting at the airport and got all of our bits and pieces fixed (money, phone card, data plan) before we left the airport and transferred direct to Andasibe. We travelled extensively with them over a month and as time allows I am working on reviewing our hotels and attractions one by one, but in general we had an awesome time and it was very comforting to have the private phone number of the owner of the company to call when we needed it, and we did call once over something pretty frivolous and Brett dealt with us in his usual charming manner. I have to say, they were not the cheapest quote we got, nor were they the most expensive, but it was totally worth it for the attention to detail, the pre-sale accompaniment through the planning process, the after-sale communication, the safety net of having a 24/7 contact to call, and the amazing wonderful friendly team of drivers and guides who lead us though our magical visit to Madagascar. And, the guy has been answering people's questions here forever without plugging his business, which is admirable. Really worthwhile trying. Like I said, not the cheapest and they told us up front the don't compete on price (we also appreciated their very direct way of speaking and their honesty about what to expect and what they will promise and what they can't promise) but really really so not a rip-off like some other quotes we received (one of them over $6,000 more for the same thing)...

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