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Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Australia
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5 posts
2 reviews
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Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Just a short note about my recent trip to Madagascar with Gassitours. I arrived at Tana airport at 1.30am (Air Madagascar flight was late) and I was so pleased to be met by Belaza and his driver, they had been sending SMS to me to let me know they were there, I was very glad to see their smiling faces. From then on for the next 11 days I was treated like a "queen", so it became my nickname as they opened doors and helped me through the entire tour. I am a 62 year old female lone traveller and I thought I was fairly fit but their helping hands assisted me into the dugout canoe for the river trip, made me comfortable in my own tent on the sand banks of the river, cared for me on the four wheel drive over some unbelievably rough roads, gave me encouragement and a strong hand to climb over the little Tsingy rocks. It was quite an adventure. I can thoroughly recommend Belaza and his tour company Gassitours which means your money stays in the country for the people of the country. Beleza has his own website Gassitours and you will find him. If you would like to know anything more about Madagascar please just ask and I will try to reply. One hint don’t take Australian Dollars, go for Euros to exchange. Cheers one weary but fulfilled traveller.

54 replies to this topic
New Delhi, India
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26 posts
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31. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Dear Ipal2

I would just like to confirm with you about Belaza and Gassitours. Does it exist firstly. I have been trying to ring them and I just cannot get through. Secondly I have sent money 13 daysran ago and have received no confirmation.

So just want a re-assurance that Belaza is very much alive and kicking and doing a good job.

Thanks - Footloose2013

McKinleyville...
4 posts
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32. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Did you try reaching him at gassitours@gmail.com? He may not be fast on the response when he's in more secluded areas on his tours, but he eventually did respond.

New Delhi, India
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26 posts
1 review
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33. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

OK. I will be patient and wait. Thanks for your response

London, United...
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7 posts
15 reviews
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34. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

I can confirm that if he is on tour he may not be able to reply. Do not worry, Belaza is sound and a really nice guy. Also there has been a few political problems in the capital so this might have something to do with it as well. Again nothing to worry, it is quite normal as tourists do not spend too much time there anyway. Madagascar is superb, I am sure you will love it. Was there myself a year ago and cannot wait to get back.

New Delhi, India
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26 posts
1 review
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35. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Many thanks for your words of encouragement.

Reading, United...
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6 posts
7 reviews
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36. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Hi

Planning to visit Mada in a few weeks. Is this tour operator real?

McKinleyville...
4 posts
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37. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Very real - and extremely knowledgeable about the country. We visited there last year for 9 days and he was our guide. Make sure you agree on what the cost covers in transportation. We wound up having to pay for our own flight from Morondava to Tana when we thought it was included. Have a great trip!

London, United...
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7 posts
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38. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Belaza is a goo operator. What makes him stand out is the fact that he acts more or less solo and will give you all his attention. Went with him last year for 8 days, had a great time. Therre were things planned that we did not want to do, mentioned it to him and he amended our itinery according to our wishes. He speaks excellent english and his knowledge of the country is second to none. Have a great time, wish I could go back again but planning to return in any case in a year or so

Ann Arbor
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2 posts
90 reviews
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39. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

Just to add my own recommendation to an already long list of praises for GASSITOURS. The two of us travelled to Madagascar this June, the trip was completely organized by Belazza and his company. From the arrival at the airport to the departure everything went without a single problem. All the hotels selected for us within our budget were exceptionally good, all the restaurants we stopped at for lunch had very good food, the rides with Alain were smooth and without a single incident on the lon 14-day trip across this fabulous country.

We worked with Belazza on our preferences and prior to agreeing on the final draft of the tour he kept sending us ideas and suggestions. Each day was full, some had long rides as well, but that was because we had a limited time and wanted to see a lot.

We did the Tsingy visit and hike as well, and that was perhaps the most difficult ride due to the bad road we travelled to get there. However, Alain hired another 4x4 and a driver called Yves to get us there. Yves is an exceptionally good driver and navigated the very bad road almost smoothly. He also likes to overtake other SUVs on that road, which we enjoyed, because there is a race who gets to the river raft first and crosses without waiting for others.

If you have your own preferences, make sure Belazza knows about them, and then you can be sure Alain will take you there. We wanted to see the sapphire store, woodcarving shops, as well as a textile store (wild silk scarves - make sure you see those!), and all were included in our visit without us even having to double check.

All the NPs were likewise in the tour, all paid for and with excellent guides. While the entrance fees and guides are included in the tour, it would not hurt anyone to tip the guides, because they bend backwards to make sure you see the animals you came to see, and we were never disappointed. We saw so many animals and made fantastic photos of them, just as we hoped to do. While all our guides were great, we especially liked our guides in Tsingy, in Ranomafana NP and Isalo NP. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the names of the excellent guides in Tsingy and Ranomafana (pls. check with Belazza), but by the time we got to Isalo I realized I should write them down, so I got the name of the guide in Isalo, who is a member of the local Bara people, and his name is Nirina. He speaks excellent English and also works for sapphire buyers, so he may give you some much needed advice if you wish to shop for a souvenir stone in the nearby mines.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Gassitours and all the guides and drivers we travelled with.

Nevele
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13 posts
6 reviews
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40. Re: Madagascar Tour Guide- Belaza Gassitours

It's Belaza's birthday today. Please send him all your best wishes!

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