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Rija Tours

London
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1 post
4 reviews
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Rija Tours

Hello,

In October my boyfriend and I travelled to Madagascar for 2 weeks with Rija Tours. We were happy with Rija since the first time we contacted him. He replied to our emails straight away, was helpful and flexible when we were preparing our trip.

We decided to do the East coast part of Madagascar - Tana – Andasibe – Manambato - Pangalanes canal – Akanin’ny Nofy-Mahambo – Sainte Marie – Nosy Nato. Rija booked for us the internal flight between Saint Marie and Tana, boat transfers and all hotels which were really happy with.

Our guide Jean – Claude was waiting for us at the airport in Tana even if we landed two hours before our scheduled arrival. He was an perfect guide, very friendly and helpful and his English was excellent.

In overall our trip was well organized, we didn’t need to worry about anything at all and just could enjoy our stay in this lovely country. I hope that we will be able to come back in few years and will let Rija organize our trip again. I can highly recommend Rija tours and I am happy to give any more information if anyone needed.

Alena

UK
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13 posts
187 reviews
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1. Re: Rija Tours

I also booked our 3 week trip to Madagascar through Rija Tours, returning a few weeks ago.

Our trip (like Alena and Harry's) was alo well organised from the off, I emailed Rija with a list of the places we were keen to see and he came back promptly suugesting an itinerary which we made a few changes to withiout any hassle. And answered my many questions before we departed!

We we took in Morondava, Kirindry, Tsingy, Boaboab Alley (definitely hang around for the amazing sunset), Ifaty, Isalo, Ambalavao, Ranomafana, Anasraibe, Anasibe, Mahambo, Isle Saint Marie (Aux Nattes) etc - and EVERYTHING was well organised, we were always met at airports etc, Rija organised all our inetrenal flights and accommodation for us too, and although in some areas it was more basic (because thats just what is available), it was always of a good standard and was clean etc etc. We could not fault it, we even finished our trip on Aux Nattes with a beautiful beach bungalow which literally opened out on to the beach - amazing!

Mamy was our driver/guide for 2 weeks of our 3 week trip and he was fabulous, nohting was ebver a problem and he genuinely loves his job! He really looked after us at all times - prbabaly more concered for our wellbeing than we were :-) And he didn't mind spending ages with me hunting doen Chameleons in trees around our hotels either - thanks :-)

I came across Rija Tours from all the fabulous recommendations on this forum - thank you to everyone who takes the time to provide your feedback and recommendations, they are a great help!

We normally travel by public transport when we are abroad, by given the size of the Country and the state of some of the roads (a term I use loosely enroute to Tsingy), travelling by taxi bousse wasn't practical as we did not have days up our sleeve to allow for any delays - and I kid you not, we didn't regret travelling by private car when we saw the state of the taxi bousses and how overloaded they were with both people and cargo either, and given how hot it can be in some parts of the country, it was hardgoing in places with just 3 or 4 of us in a car (incl the driver and guide)! And it gives you more flexibility to stop where you want too! Felt like luxury travel alright, very decadent - lol.

We had a great trip and couldn't have asked for anything more - thank you to Rija and his team for making our trip to Madagascar unforgettable, hoepfully we'll return again one day!

Don't just think about it, do it!

Michelle

Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
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2. Re: Rija Tours

We (family of five adults) just completed a tour on the southern route - Tana to Anakao. We went trekking to a Betsileo village, visited the Parc Ranomafana, camped in Parc Islao, and recovered at the beaches in Anakao and Ifaty. Although it was the rainy season, we rarely had to modify our itinerary because of the weather. The trip was a complete: we were utterly enchanted by this wonderful country with its friendly people, gorgeous landscapes, and exotic plants and animals. Madagascar is an outstanding tourist destination for people of all ages and interests. Go as soon as you can!

After discussing proposed trips with several tour companies, we settled on Rija tours, who provided the guide, driver/van, and booked all the hotels and the internal flights. Everything went very smoothly. Our guide Angelo took extraordinary care of us; he was honest, reliable, and very helpful. We could not have asked for a better tour experience.

Prague, Czech...
4 posts
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3. Re: Rija Tours

Hi,

I visited the web site of Rija and I'm thinking to book with him. But I read very different opinions, somebody as you, saying he is great, somebody saying the most of positive feedbacks are self-promotion.

Can you give me some more info about Rija? Is he respecting the agreements done before the trip? Does he ask money in advance?

Thank you for your support

F. White

Chicago, Illinois
3 posts
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4. Re: Rija Tours

I cannot comment on the experiences that others may have had with Rija Tours. However, I can tell you that our tour with them was overwhelmingly positive. Since I did not know anyone with Madagascar travel experience prior to our trip, I did a lot of research before deciding on Rija. Still, it was a risk to wire a deposit (for the internal flights) without really knowing anything about the company. I need not have worried. Form the moment they picked us up at the Tana airport, to the very end of the tour, we were in good hands. They adhered as closely as possible to the itinerary and hotels we requested; they did not try to deceive us into going to any places where they might get kickbacks; and they anticipated our needs at all times. Feel free to communicate directly with me at bruce.ching@yahoo.com

5. Re: Rija Tours

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Removed on: 7:56 pm, August 15, 2012
London, United...
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6 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Rija Tours

I travelled to Madagascar with 3 friends in May 2012 and spent a LOT of time researching tour operators. Like the gentleman above, I was concerned that some tour operators write their own reviews to get more business. After careful deduction and emailing a few people on TripAdvisor I knew that Rija Tours was the real deal.

From the moment I emailed Rija he was responsive, accomodating and very kind. I sent him the trip itinerary I wanted, as well as the hotels i preferred to stay at. He helped me with everything from hotel and internal flight bookings. He really put me at ease about the whole thing and also his price was very fair. Trust me, I shopped around and found his prices very accurate in terms of hotel/flights etc. He took a % deposit by bank transfer (this was used to hold the bookings at the various hotels) and the remainder on arrival (in euros). We decided to do the RN7 tour with a few slight changes in the schedule to accomodate the tight 14 days we were there. We went Tana-Antisrabe-Ramaofana- Anja-Isalo-Ifaty- Tana.

However there was SO much that Rija's guides added in terms of stopping at a really cool village for lunch that specialised in Foie Gras! Taking us to a local orphange/school as we really wanted to do something to give back to the local community and skipped over some of the more touristy trap things that we didnt want to spend too much time doing. Nothing was too much trouble for them and they always looked after our best interest.

When we arrived in Tana we were greeted by Angelo who was out guide for the duration of the trip and the following day we met Eric our driver. What a fantastic duo they were! Firstly we were SO warmly welcomed by Mr. Rija to his home - it was so lovely to meet him and his family who really treated us with kindness (you will find that in Madagascar the people are all kind hearted - a smile goes a long way). Mr. Rija is well educated gentleman who loves country and western music ;). he really believes in his country and his tour operation and the people he employs prove this. He is a good, honest man.

Then we set off on our adventure!

Everything ran smoothly and on time. Eric and Angelo really brought Madagascar alive for us - sharing stories historical information and folklore and general things we wanted to know about the fadys etc. We honestly were so sad when our trip came to an end - not just because we had to leave such a beautiful country...but we had to say goodbye to such wonderful people.

Eric and Angelo made us laugh every day and we learnt quite a few Malagasy songs - colour naturalle....Bonjour/Bonsoir by Black Nadia being our favorites!

Highlights of the trip were the National Parks and spending time chatting with Eric and Angelo and learning new things about their country, visiting the orphange in Antisrabe and staying at le Paradisier in Ifaty (a whole other post to come on how wonderful all the staff are at that gem.)

There is no doubt in my mind that if you book with Rija you will have a fantastic experience. I plan to do the North and East of Madagascar in the next two years and I wouldnt pick anyone else to be my guide!

Tartu, Estonia
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1 post
13 reviews
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7. Re: Rija Tours

We visited Madagascar in April 2013 and our trip was organised by Rija Tours. We gave Rija free hands to arrange a three-week tour for us and it turned out to be a great idea. He managed to put together an exciting programme with visits to natural parks, local villages, beach resorts, etc.

Madagascar is a really beautiful country and we were fortunate to see so much! We travelled with very experienced guides, Angelo and Mamy were excellent and shared with us so many fascinating stories about Madagascar and Malagasy people. The same applies to our drivers who were driving very smoothly and in a safe manner. We were especially impressed with the driver who took us to Tsingy. The road between Belo and Tsingy is really challenging!

Looking forward to going back!

Rome
5 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Rija Tours

Well, where to start.

We just came back from a vacation in Madagascar, where we had the chance to use Rija Tours. The first contact started a month/month and a half ago, when I needed to find a new tour operator for my Tour of the North. Rija was efficient and very reactive to my emails and requests, as well as the price was very interesting. I was a bit cautious, when I made the 30 % advance payment, but then everything went very well.

We were received at the Nosy-Be airport by our Guide David, whom accompanied us for the rest of our trip. After having taken the ferry from Nosy Be till Ankify, we met also our guide Antonio that was waiting for us on a 4x4 (good quality and was effective for roads). Without going too much in detail and boring you out, we were very satisfied, as the hotels we stayed in, were clean and good for European Standards; David and Antonio were available to our requests but also very competent to explain the different sights, anecdotes and cultural myths and stories regarding Madagascar. Also, for the lunches and dinners, they brought us to non-touristic places where we managed to taste the local cuisine at affordable prices.

In one week, we managed to visit the vanilla and cacao plantations and see the Ankarana Reserve, the Montagne d'Ambre and Joffreville, the Tsingy Rouge, the three Bays and the Emerald Sea. It was a bit of a tour de force, but it was what we requested :D.

Therefore, I will highly recommend Rija and its company, and in particular the services given by Antonio and David.

Florida
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113 posts
20 reviews
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9. Re: Rija Tours

We are looking at going to Madagascar and wondered what area would be best to see, and how long a trip we should consider, you are the second one stating that Rija is a good tour company , we will look them up. Do you have an email for them or a website? thanks again

Rome
5 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Rija Tours

We did a Tour of the North then we had a stay in Nosy Be.

Their website is www.rijatours.mg