Rainbow Tours takes your privacy very seriously and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Policy so you can understand how we collect and use your personal data. https://www.rainbowtours.co.uk/content/privacy/
Craig Kaufman
Craig Kaufman Africa Travel Specialist
"Not everyone realises what superb beaches are found in Madagascar… in the north west, but also the south and on Ile Ste Marie."

Isalo National Park Reviews

My favourite parts of the (Madagascar Small Group Wildlife Discovery Tour, 07 October 2018 departure) trip were:

1) Andasibe

2) The Spiny Forest (of Ifaty)

3) Isalo - mainly for the birds but also the scenery

4) Lemur Island - good fun. 

My least favourite part were the long but slow drives from Setam Lodge to Couleur Cafe to Antananarivo, with little or no birding or wildlife interest. 

Gersica was friendly, helpful, well organised and had excellent knowledge of birds (my main interest(. She was thoughtful and was good company. Our drivers were caerful, especially Tsu. 

Mr Langford
October 30, 2018

Overall holiday satisfaction (Daniel Austin and Hilary Bradt October 2018 Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tour): Excellent.

Relais des Plateaux: location great for airport, less so for ease of exploring Tana

Black Lemur Camp: good comfort and service; excellent location and meals. 

Iharana Bush Camp: excellent in all respects

Vanila Hotel: excellent in all respects

Isalo Rock Lodge: excellent in all respects

Le Paradisier: excellent in all respects. 

Five Senses: excellent comfort, service, location and facilities. Good food. 

Overall, this trip was worth every single penny and to be part of Hilary getting her accolade, how very special!. 

Thank you!

Rowena and Mike

Mr and Mrs Bird
October 26, 2018

'Overall satisfaction (16 September Madagascar Small Group set departure): Excellent.

The garden and setting of Relais la Reine were splendid'. 

Mr Miskin
October 23, 2018

Dear Helen,

I wanted to thank you personally for the terrific trip [22 September 2018 small group set departure]  to Madagascar. It was everything we could have dreamed of and more.

There really wasn’t one thing that was not quite right. It was all brilliant, the organisation, accommodation, transport, parks and sites, food everything.

Hery our guide,  was exceptional, so were the drivers, always good humoured after the most harrowing drives, we always felt safe too.

I hope we will be back one day, this time maybe with some gemmologists. I will get in touch with you about that.

Please could you pass on our compliments to your DMC for such a well organised tour.

We have been with Rainbow Tours four times now and will definitely go again.

With best wishes

Barbara and John

John Baldwin and Barbara Kolator

 

Ms Kolator and Mr Baldwin
October 22, 2018

Our key species list for the 22 September Madagascar Small Group Wildlife Discovery Tour. 

With many thanks for such a fabulous trip,

Clive Marks

 

23rd September, Andasibe, arriving:

Indri family groups by the roadside

 

23rd September, 1st night walk

Short-nosed chameleon

Stump-tailed chameleon (superciliaris)

Mossy leaf-tailed gecko, underside

Parson's chameleon

Darwin spider

Green tree frog

Goodman's mouse lemur, being hounded by many people & hiding between Clive's boots

 

24th September, Andasibe

Red-tailed vanga

Blue coua

Forest fody

Indri

Scops owl, eastern rufous

Diademed sifaka

Eastern woolly lemurs

Green day gecko

Collared nightjar

Giraffe-necked weevils, male and female

Brown pansy butterfly

"Steve bum-biter bug"!

Blue pansy butterfly

Blue swallowtail butterfly

Madagascar wagtail, on nest at the reception

 

24th September, Villageois project (optional walk)

Mossy leaf-tailed gecko, blending into the lichen-covered trunk

Madagascar tree boa, confusingly asleep on the ground

Brown lemurs

Common newtonia

Red-tailed newtonia

Madagascar nigthjar

 

24th September, 2nd night walk

Green stick insect

Goodman's muse lemurs (x2, fleetingly)

Woolly lemur, eyes in the distance

Short-horned chameleon, juvenile male

Green tree frog

Yellow-fingered tree frog

 

25th September, Mantadia

Black-and-white ruffed lemur

Indri

Diademed sifaka

Red-bellied lemur

Greater vasa parrot

Madagascar blue pigeon

Madagascar paradise flycatchers, male white-backed, female & juvenile

Green day gecko

Red-fronted coua

Clouded mother-of-pearl butterfly

Madagascar satyr

Assorted pansy butterflies

Caterpillars of the green lady butterfly

Funnel web spider

Lined day gecko, at the lunch stop

 

26th September, Lemur Island

 

27th September, Arboretum de Antsokay - Celia (the giggler)

Green-capped coua

Madagascar magpie robin

Madagascar fody

Madagascar kestrel, pair (female having been brought a gecko by the male)

Common jery (henceforth known as the "Tom & Jerry" bird)

Iguanid lizards

Crested drongo

Madagascar lesser cuckoo

Small gecko (Phelsuma mutabilis)

Warty chameleon, male

Namaqua dove, female

Steve's carrot baobab

Sakalava weavers

Pied crows

Black-winged stilt

 

28th September, Spiny Forest - Relaxa and his spotters

Greater vasa parrot

Madagascar sparrowhawk

Stripe-throated jery

Fighting cricket

Crested coua

Hook-billed vanga on its nest

Pied crow

Long-tailed ground roller (endemic to this small area)

Sub-desert mesite (endemic to this small area)

Madagascar turtle dove

Madagascar fody

Madagascar bulbul

Petter's Sportive lemur

 

28th September, Reniala Mangroves - Sala

Black-winged stilt

Yellow-billed kite (aka black kite)

Giant swallowtail butterfly

Madagascar cisticola

Green-backed heron

Grey-headed lovebirds

Whimbrel

3-banded plover

Kittlitz plover

Madagascar plover

Greenshank

Mosquitoes galore

 

29th September, Zombitse Forest - Lucien

Oustalet's chameleon (aka Malagasy giant chameleon), male

Brilliant pansy butterfly

Zombitse (Hubbard's) sportive lemur

Lesser vasa parrot

Hook-billed vanga

Madagascar buttonquails

Verreaux sifaka (x8 + baby)

Crested drongo

Tiny gecko = Phelsuma Mutabilis

Giant coua (plus two by the lunch stop)

Madagascar partridge (by the road while driving to Jardin du Roy)

 

30th September, Isalo Gorge - Naina

No pointing allowed

Madagascar bee-eater

Madagascar Kestrel

Madagascan ridged frog

Alpine swifts

Parrot vine flower

Praying mantis

Madagascar green sunbird, male

Stick insect, female

Black crab scorpion

Snout bug

Ring-tailed lemurs, in the campsite

Madagascar ground boa, male

Madagascan Paradise flycatcher, female

Madagascan cactus

Benson's rock thrush, female

Frog-mimic moth

Madagascar fody nest

Madagascar mannakin

"Bathing beauties" in the black and blue lagoons

Golden orb spider

Benson's rock thrush, male

Verreaux sifaka, in the campsite

Madagascar hoopoe

White-browed owl

Scops owl, western

Brilliant pansy butterfly

Malachite kingfishers

 

1st October, travelling

Oustalet's chameleon crossing the road

 

1st October, Anjaha community project - Daniel

Madagascar bee-eaters

Oustalet's chameleons, one enjoying being fed cricket kebabs

Ring-tailed lemurs, at the border of two territories

Stick insects

Madagascar coucal, male

 

1st October, further travelling

Madagascar hoopoe

Hammerkop nest (bird also seen flying elsewhere)

Dimorphic egret, dark morph

 

2nd October, Ranomanafana evening/night walk - Rudi, Edweesh

Blue coua

Barron's mantella frog

Blue-egged chameleon, juvenile

Rufus mouse lemur

O'Shaughnessy's chameleon

Deceptive short-nosed chameleon

Brown tree frog, unspecified

 

3rd October, Ranomanafana - Rudi, Edweesh

Madagascan pygmy kingfisher

Magpie robin, male

Red-fronted brown lemur

Short-nosed chameleon

Red forest rat

Golden bamboo lemur

Brown tree frog

Mossy stick insect

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko

Wild coffee plants

Milne-Edwards sifaka

Spectacled tetraka/greenbul, on nest

Velvet Asity, male (non-breeding plumage) and female

Red-bellied lemurs

 

3rd October, Setam Lodge grounds

Giraffe-necked weevils, nest building

 

3rd October, Ranomanafana evening/night walk - Rudi, Edweesh

Blue-egged chameleon, juvenile

Rufoud mouse lemur

Flap-necked chameleon

Deceptive short-nosed chameleon

 

4th October, Ranomanafana - Rudi, Edweesh

Crag martin colony, next to the bridge

Jewelled beetle, unspecified

Long-billed green sunbird, female

Praying mantis

Madagascar lesser cuckoo

Greater bamboo lemur, father & daughter feeding 

Pill millipede

Tanala memorial stones

Leaf frog, pale, unspecified

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko, juvenile

Eastern woolly lemurs

Pollen's vanga

Red forest rat

Plated lizard

Parson's chameleons, at the homestead of Hery's friend

 

Antanarivo paddy fields

Black heron

Grey heron

Squacco heron

 

 

Mr Marks and Mr Riley
October 17, 2018

Overall holiday satisfaction (Madagascar Discovery Small Group set departure, 16 September 2018): Excellent.

Mantadia Lodge: Excellent in all respects

Le Paradisier: excellent location, good in other respects. 

Relais la Reine: Excellent.

Betsileo Country Lodge: excellent meals, good in other respects.

Thermal Hotel: Excellent location, service and comfort. Good meals and facilities. 

Plumeria Hotel: good. Very comfortable.

 

Ms Rose
October 2, 2018

Harry, the guide for the duration of the (Madagascar Wildlife Discovery 02 September 2018 departure) was outstanding. Overall satisfaction: Excellent. 

Mantadia Lodge was spectacular. 

Relais des Plateaux has a very handy locaton for the airport.

Les Dunes d'Ifaty was fantastic.

Jardin du Roy was wonderful.

Betsileo Country Lodge was only an overnight stop.

Setam Lodge by comparison with the other hotels, was disappointing. Wonderful location. 

This holiday to Madagascar was a wonderful and amazing experienxce. In terms of a delivery, as a Wildlife Discovery tour, it was absolutely on the money. 

With Harry and the local guides and our drivers, we got to see just about everything we could have seen and were amazingly well looked after. Having never done a tour like this, I found it quite 'full on' bt I'm delighted about what I got to see and do. 

Thank you. 

 

Mr Izzard and Ms Bunton
September 28, 2018

'Good advice about what would work for us in our first visit to Madagascar, and in the time that we had availabile from Helen Kennedy. 

Full and prompt answers to our questions prior to leaving (from Helen). 

Excellent, smooth organisation of a full-on itinerary (RN7 and Andasibe)

Exceptional guide in Miakatra - who with the driver (Mparany) were excellent. Local guides in the national parks and reserves varied from good to excellent. 

Ms Stroud and Mr Tomlinson
August 21, 2018

'Our guide Toky was excellent, and a match for the local guides at spotting wildlife. The driver, Ony, was very careful. We always felt safe. 

Passport control at Ivato airport is a daunting experience! 

Overall we had an excellent time and the trip more than met our expectations. We would not hesitate to recommend Rainbow Tours'.

 

Mr and Mrs Cullen
June 27, 2018

'Dear Derek,

For the last few weeks I have been meaning to email you to thank you for organising our holiday to Madagascar.  Finally I'm getting round to it!  We had a wonderful time, absolutely loved it.  It is without doubt the most incredible place I've ever been to - definitely worth the thirty-year wait.  There were too many highlights to mention them all, but we loved the rich variety of wildlife in Andasibe (watching the indri was magical), seeing the vivacious ring-tails in Isalo and Anja, and having Parson's and stump-tailed chameleons crawling up our arms.  My husband even managed to find a baby tenrec in Mantadia, which both the guide and I had walked straight past.  Aside from the fascinating wildlife, I never realised just how spectacular the scenery is.  I knew Isalo would be something special, but I had no idea that the surroundings at Anja and Ambalavao would be so breathtaking.  It was worth staying at La Varangue Betsileo for the beautiful views alone.  I'm itching to go back - although my husband has forbidden it for the time being, due to the cost! - and explore the north and west.  Hopefully it won't take another thirty years.

Thank you for all your help and for putting up with my many questions.  I was worrying about so many things beforehand but now I realise I really didn't need to!  The holiday was superbly organised and I would definitely recommend you to anyone wanting to visit Madagascar.  We've filled in the feedback form over the weekend, so you should receive that any day now.

Best wishes,

Victoria'

 

Mr and Mrs Hunt
November 28, 2017

'Overall holiday satisfaction (22 October 2017 Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Small Group tour): 'Completely exceeded our expectations. 

Andasibe Lemurs Lodge: all brilliant apart from the mattress, as hard as a board, obviously brand new rubber mattresses.

Les Dunes Ifaty: Lovely place, perfect setting.

Varangue de Betsileo: Small, intimate, perfect. Excellent

Plumeria: excellent. 

The information itself was well detailed and wonderfully helpful, the holiday was well organised, incredibly interesting and far exceeded our expectations. Our guide Gersica was excellent, the hotels good and the food outstanding - apart from the dreaded bed at Andasibe Lemurs Lodge all was utterly perfect. - Thank you!'

Mrs Cox and Ms Cameron
November 22, 2017

'Gersica is an absolute star - knowledge of everything from culture to flora and fauna and any Madagascar topic inbetween. Nothing was too much trouble for her; always a smile on her face. The best guide we have ever had the pleasure to have been led by on any tour we have ever been on. 

Overall holiday satisfaction (07 - 22 October 2017 Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Small group tour): Excellent

We appreciate that we signed up to a hectic schedule  but it would have been ideal to weave a little more free time into the programme. We recognise however that there were often great distances to cover, which makes this difficult. 

Overall, a very comprehensive tour of a fascinating island. We went expecting an adventure - and were not disappointed!

Thanks finally to Derek for the excellent support and advice; and to Gersica and her team for their hard work and their dedication to make such a memorable tour' 

Mr Riley and Ms Stokes
November 10, 2017

'Our overall guide Gersica was absolutely brilliant (Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tour 07 - 22 October 2017 departure). Everything was well organised. Gersica ensured that everything ran smoothly and was extremely competent.

Overall holiday satisfaction: Excellent

Andasibe Lemurs Lodge: Comfort, service and location: Excellent. Meals and facilities: Good. 

Thermal Hotel Ranomafana: Comfort, service and location: Excellent. Meals and facilities: Good'

 

Mr and Mrs Fuller
October 27, 2017

'Hi Craig

Just a quick note, Want to tell you what an amazing trip we had.  (Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tour: 07 - 22 October 2017 departure)  Not a holiday more an adventure!   All the things you said about the trip were true.  It is not a destination for everyone.  The journeys are long and tiring but necessary to see the different landscapes and wildlife.  We had a few issues with some of the accommodation but nothing we did not expect thanks to your accurate briefing before we booked.    We had a lovely group overall but a couple of them were struggling....   All in all everyone got something out of the trip....    We had absolutely no problems with it and indeed felt that we had a real adventure.    Our guide, Gersica was superb.  She was professional, charming, knowledgeable, helpful and patient throughout the trip'.

I am totally in love with Lemurs!!  See attached picture (one of thousands).

Thanks again for all your help

Very Best Regards

Mandy Upton'

 

Feedback report:

We had a fantastic time in Madagascar. It is a challenging country to visit in some ways. The infrastructure is a 'work in progress'. I think travellers should be encouraged to do some research before going there. It is a very special place and anyone who has an interest in wildlife and the natural world generally, should go there and soon. 

Our experience with Rainbow Tours was very good. Craig Kaufman gave us a very good briefing as to what to expect before we booked. It turned out to be very accurate on tour, so nothing disappointed us. 

The choice of itinerary turned out to be a perfect introduction to Madagascar. We saw a variety of landscapes and a good number of different species of fauna and flora. We saw 22 different lemurs, 10 different chameleons, many birds, lizards, frogs, insects, snakes, and a few other mammals including a Vontsira mena (ringtailed mongoose) and a Tenrec. 

Journeys were very long but interesting and necessary to cover the different habitats. 

Accommodation was better than expected in some places. Food was good but too many three-course meals with large portions. The tour guide Gersica was exceptional. She was always cheerful, patient, helpful and knowledgeable. On our walks through the reserves she was as good as spotting and identifying things as the local guides were. Her choice off local guides was excellent. They did everything they could to ensure we all had good views of anything they found. 

No complaints re: tour content; we had a great time and a real life experience!'

 

I am totally in love with Lemurs!!  See attached picture (one of thousands).

Thanks again for all your help

Very Best Regards

Mandy Upton'

Mr and Mrs Upton
October 25, 2017

'Service from tour operator: excellent. (Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tour 02 September 2017 departure)

Jessica was outstanding. Knowledgeable, charming, efficient. 

Les Dunes d'Ifaty: very comfortable, beautiful setting.

Relais la Reine: Excellent. Lovely gardens.

Aux Bouganivillees, Ambalavao: basic but clean, adequate and friendly

Thermal Hotel: comfort of room good. Meals excellent. Facilities and serivce average. No lounge or bar; no easy-chair in room.'

Ms Yate
October 4, 2017

'The (Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Small Group Tour, 02 September 2017 departure) was wonderful and lived up to expectations. The guide Gersica was fantastic - I can't praise her enough. She is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and very well organised. She even organised a birthday cake for me at our last dinner. Both bus drivers were excellent as were the local guides, in particular the guide at Ranomafana. He was also a photographer and kindly took excellent photos for everyone in the group.

I seem to have made a lot of comments about comfy chairs but when you're travelling alone its nice to have somwhere comfortable to sit either in the room or preferably in the lounge area rather than on a bed. Although Aux Bougainvillees was not as smart as all the other hotels, I enjoyed staying there for 1 night - its too easy to remain in a 'bubble' on thes tours. 

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone'. 

Ms Halsall
October 3, 2017

'Hi Derek.

Thanks for making post tour contact.

We had an absolutely brilliant time in Madagascar [on the Madagascar Wildlife Extravaganza Small Group tour]  thanks to Rainbow Tour's tour itinerary & bookings, as well is to the expertise of both Lucienne & local guide Gerscia.
We enjoyed the company of our other tour members as well as the fellowship of both Lucienne & Gerscia.

I will consider other tours provided by Rainbow Tours and will highly recommend Rainbow Tours for its expertise in this location.

Kind regards,
Rick Lowen'

 

Dr and Mrs Lowen
December 8, 2016

'This (Madagascar Wildlife Extravaganza small group tour) is the best holiday/expedition we have had in a long time. Congratulations to Rainbow Tours. 

Our guyides deserve a big accolade. Gersica is a gem you need to treasure - always smiling and cheerful with seamless organisational abilities - and Lucienne is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic - they made a perfect partnership which contributed greatly to the success of this holiday. 

The quality of the food we had in Madagascar was excellent and way above expectations'. 

 

Mr and Mrs Bennett
December 7, 2016

'Dear Derek

We chose Madagascar as a joint destination with ourselves and the Keens and it was Chrissy who did the research on which might be the best travel company to use. She found Rainbow Tours, and in fact they used the company some years ago for a trip in Africa.  To our minds her choice has been excellent and we finish the trip with a high regard for the company.  

All the arrangements have worked wonderfully well.  We have been very pleased indeed with our guides and drivers and the hotel accommodation has been right on the button with one exception.   More specific comments are below.  We have rated each hotel out of 10 and allocated the rating recognising the type of hotel we were in (e.g. Setam Lodge and Relais de la Reine are in different categories and marked accordingly)

Arrival and first night: The flight from Paris was fine and we were safely greeted by Vola and Mamy on arrival and installed with no trouble at the Relais des Plateaux - the ideal close to airport location. It provided exactly the service that was needed.  8/10

Day one and Couleur Cafe.  This is an excellent choice of hotel. Charming style and ambience, beautiful well maintained gardens and a high standard of service from the staff.  The decor was wonderfully amusing and the whole style of the place suited all four of us admirably.  We got our first taste of Ti Punch here and continued with them for a good part of the trip.  10/10

Days 2 - 4 Setam Lodge. The drive from Antananarivo through Antsirabe to Setam provided us with the most wonderful scenery despite the distressing poverty which is such a feature of Malagasy life. We were struck by people's industriousness as they went about the business of keeping body and soul together and by the smiles and friendliness we encountered.
Setam Lodge was good forest accommodation although the food was pretty unexciting. We suspect that it was probably the best available anywhere in the area, so no complaints from us. And they managed to put a comet moth just outside the dining room for us to admire and wonder at!  8/10


We enjoyed our first proper rainforest walks and were rewarded with some good lemur sightings.  The second of the two days was particularly enjoyable as there were very few other people in our area of the forest and so we were not fighting for viewing vantage points.  Chantal, the local guide, and her spotter did a great job of finding us some wonderful sights including a beautiful painted frog and the giraffe "bug". It was fascinating to observe how they listened and watched in order to show us the range of forest wildlife.

Day 5    Anja Park and Varangue de Betsileo.  Needless to say the ring tail lemurs of Anja Parc  stole our hearts, with lots of "Ooohs' and "Aaaahs" as they leapt around us.  With respect to the accommodation here we suspect you are in a bit of a bind with little else available within easy driving distance.  

To be honest while the location was very attractive and the rooms spacious and clean, our hosts were clearly doing everything on the cheap.    The only bedroom chairs masquerading as bedside tables, no water glasses (or water for that matter) and a measly bit of soap in the bathroom, two wire hangers, no curtains on the glass paned doors so that to have any privacy it was necessary to close the door and window shutters, leaving the room in the dark. In response to  the question "do you have a hairdryer?",  our hostess said that as she had short hair she did not see the need for one!  Dinner was a poor affair and the only wine available virtually undrinkable.  The final straw was that they charged for water at breakfast and left the offer of eggs until the last minute when we were rising from the table. We turned them down politely.

Recognising that there is probably not a lot of choice as to hotels, we wonder if Rainbow Tours were to have a discussion with them they might up their game.   Even if they were to charge 10 euros more a night that would be a reasonable trade off to get some of the amenities which ought to be standard. Rating 3/10


Days 6 - 10  Relais de la Reine.  Well,  what a wonderful contrast! A beautiful hotel, the most glorious gardens, charming staff, great food, Ti Punches some of the best.  The only thing to spoil it all was the news that Trump had won!!  Rating 10/10
Here too our walks were splendid and the Black Pool that we found at the top of the ravine was paradise. A great stay.   And then on to the Zombitse Transition Forest which too was wonderful.  The sifakas performed magnificently for us.  The Arboretum visit which followed was also very interesting and much enjoyed especially by the Keens who are much more plantsmen than we are.  

The overnight stop in Tulear was fine (Rating 8/10) and we were very sorry to say farewell to Vola and Mamy (sp?). They were a splendid team and really took trouble to make sure that we were well looked after.  Mamy drove superbly and at no time did we have the slightest sense that he was not in full control of our safety. It was also touching to see that he quite clearly looked out for Vola as well!  She demonstrated liveliness, humour, a strong sense of responsibility for our well-being and good knowledge in responding to our questions. In particular she was very good in controlling things on the occasions that we stopped and left the car, making sure the begging children did not crowd us and that each got his fair share of sweets or bread.  

Days 11 - 14 Vakhona Lodge After the somewhat hair-raising drive from Tana to Vakhona (one of us felt really quite uncomfortable with this) we actually had the most magnificent stay here. Our new guide Stephan and driver Nyna were again charming and the local guide we had here (Sacha?) was very knowledgeable indeed. We really enjoyed him and his little twists of gentle humour. They went to a great deal of trouble to make sure we were not in crowded spots and yet still managed to get some wonderful lemur, indri and bird sightings for us.  

The lodge itself was very well appointed, beautifully set in the forest, and the food was good - and of course the Ti Punches!  We left with great reluctance, but at least we had the up close and personal experience of the lemurs just before we left!  Rating 9/10

So finally on to the last week at the Ravintsara.  Once more a really wonderful hotel, charming staff whose only wish is to make sure we had a fully relaxed and comfortable stay.  The massage and spa treatments were of excellent quality, food was good and varied and the view from our bungalow over the channel was peaceful.  The gardens were absolutely beautiful. A perfect end to our stay  so we go back to London and France with great reluctance but feeling well set up for the winter.  Rating 10/10

Thank you for your help in arranging this trip for us.  We will remember it with pleasure for many years to come.

If you would like to contact us regarding any of these comments please don't hesitate to do so.  In the meantime our very good wishes to you

Hilary and Kazia' (part of Keen party)

 

Ms Smith and Ms Kantor (Keen party)
December 6, 2016

'We undoubtedly feel we made the right choice of tour operator, paricularly in respect of accommodation, guides and logistics. Local knowledge shone through. Quality of all these factors added greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday. Very good to have included Tsimanampetsotsa National Park (also Herilala's favourite). We felt things got steadily better the further south-west we got. Where else do you offer good holidays? 

No question - we will definitely strongly recommend Rainbow Tours if anyone asks us about Madagascar. Thank you for being the very helpful and informative details and for the copy of the Bradt Guide'

Mr and Mrs Bush
December 5, 2016

'We enjoyed this holiday greatly. The itinerary was good but it was the local guide Mike who did a fantastic job on the ground to make the tour work seamlessly. Some of our fellow travellers were very experienced world travellers but we found their expectations to be very high to the point of being ridiculous eg complaining that beer was 'not cold enough'. Overall a fantastic holiday - Thanks!'

Mr Stevenson and Ms Dewberry
December 1, 2016

'The [Daniel Austin 2016 Madagascar Wildlife Discovery] Tour exceeded our expectations.

Overall holiday satisfaction: excellent. 

Both tour guides - Daniel Austin and Harry, were EXCELLENT. The walking took us close to our physical limits but was well worth the effort, given the range of wildlife which we saw. Accommodation in Marojejy is truly primitive but again, we felt that the discomfort was well worthwhile. This is a superb tour, but anyone looking for a restful holiday should look elsewhere!'

Mr and Mrs Bentley
November 29, 2016

'Hi Derek,

A short email just to say how delighted we were with our whole trip and how enjoyable Mickael and Lionel have made it. 

This country is mindblowing. Your planning of our trip has been amazing. We've loved everybit of it and couldn't have dreamt of a better honeymoon. 

Thank you to everyone at Rainbow Tours,  and you.

Clemence and Gabriel'.

Mr and Mrs Devaux
November 24, 2016

'Hi Derek,

Ref; Madagascar Adventure 2016.

We returned home safely on Wednesday 16th November from our Madagascar adventure; our can we thank you for organising such a wonderful trip for us. From the start to finish we did not experience an issue with the itinerary you had organised for our needs. 

Our guide and driver were superb, throughout the trip, our guide La-la and driver Dude. Dudes driving was superb considering the condition of the roads at times, I will never complain again about the pot holes of the UK roads. Our driver was very careful never took his eyes off the road, and we never experienced a back jarring moment no matter what the condition on the road was in. Our guide was superb, and his knowledge of wild life was most helpful. On many occasions, I would borrow the wildlife books he had in his position to study the creatures we saw daily.  It was also a pleasure that La-la had an avid interest in insects as well has the larger creatures we would encounter. This pleased him, he told us most of his clients are only interested in seeing Lemurs, reptiles or birds. At times we would both be on our knees photographing the smallest creatures we could find. We would then cross references them in the text books for accurate ID. We could not fault the accommodation you had booked us apart from minor teething troubles, we were warned of before leaving,  missing  sink plugs dodgy electrics. It was quite a blessing to  be shut off from the outside world with hardly any Mobile or Internet connections at times.

Relais des Plateaux 1night and day room was most convenient for the airport. Staff helpful our rooms and the food in the restaurant were good.

Vakona Forest Lodge was a nice setting food plentiful and enjoyable a nice start for our incredible journey through Madagascar. Our lodge was elevated. Iit was nice to sit outside and admire the scenery and many birds and other creatures in the vicinity after our day's trip out in the National park. We also enjoyed the night walks at this location and the many strange nocturnal creatures we would encounter. Friday 4th November, it poured of rain all day and the only day we experienced rain on our trip. However, the rain did not stop us from getting out and seeing some amazing wildlife.

Couleur Café 1 night, what a stunning setting looking over the plains and mountains, in the distance, and too be able to relax in the swimming pool after our journey. The French couple who owns the hotel  are most helpful and try their best to make you welcome. The food is ok but limited, but this did not spoil our stay here. It was nice wondering around the grounds taking photos of the many different types of birds and butterflies around the grounds. The electricity here is limited for use only at evenings. The hot water is from Solar thermal and appears to fluctuate in temperature at times. However, we were not disappointed and enjoyed our one-night  stay.

Setam Lodge, 3 nights

The lodge is set in an elevated position looking out over the forest area with good views. All the staff here are more than helpful, and the food was good. Our guide seemed to know nearly everybody at each destination. He often became our translator with the non-English speaking staff. With his advice, we would most times try the local delicacies on the menu. At each national park or reserve we visited, our guide had handpicked and booked in advance his favourite park guide and scout. Not once were we disappointed with his choice their local knowledge and knowing exactly where to find each creature are amazing.

Varangue du Betsileo 1 night,

After many hours on the road, we arrived at our destination around 5pm. Our bungalow for the stay was huge and comfortable. Like most of the places we have stayed at the bathroom sink did not hold water, this fell into minor comparison with the way some of the Madagascar people have to live. Some of the conditions their people live are truly third world. We have been to many countries around the world in our time. However, some of the living conditions we encountered along the way were an eye-opening experience in its self. No one should have to live under these conditions in the 21st century. Madagascar as something so unique from the rest of the world it should be a top destination to visit. The country appears to have the wealth beneath its feet and not capitalising on it. We found most of the Madagascar people warm, friendly and helpful.

Relais de la Reine 2 nights,

What a delight it was to stay at this marvellous French owned hotel it was a dream, the accommodation is splendid, the food great. A nice place to relax for a couple of days after a long day’s journey. The view of the surrounding area from the lounge is magnificent. The hotel seems to be cut into the actual rock face. There were many steep steps, so a torch with you after dark was essential. The pre-dinner-free  bar snacks with your drinks was a nice touch. My only fault would be the steps down to the lower dining area are open with no hand rail. The lodge we stayed in was stunning and the ground surrounding the hotel with its own abundant wildlife was a delight. I and our guide ventured out for a night walk around the grounds with the intentions of spotting the Eastern Scopes Owl. We were not disappointed with the guide’s scopes owl call recording, within a short time, the Scopes owl swooped in within a few feet from us. An amazing experience the owl is so tiny even in comparison to the UK’s Little Owl.

Le Paradisier 2 nights,

We have arrived in heaven for 2 nights; Individual bungalows were lovely. You had your own veranda and own outdoor chairs and hammock overlooking the sea only a few meters away. We missed the sunset at Relais de la Reine due to cloudy weather conditions. Sitting on the veranda the first night watching the sun go down was truly stunning. Our bungalow was large and comfortable, although we did feel a little vulnerable to nature. No worries the bungalow was sprayed at evenings with insect iced and mosquito net also standard for the bed. Main area, including restaurant/reception/pool area all of high standard. Helpful staff, although English speaking limited. The restaurant and a terrace overlooking the sea were a delight it made you wish you'd like to stay on forever. Our guide recommended we depart for Zombitse National Park at 5am 12th November to avoid the heat during the day and other tourists. And the best opportunity to see as many birds has been possible before it got too hot. This turned out to be good advice we had a fantastic morning bird watching and seeing other creatures. By the time we returned to the hotel at around 10. 30am the temperature was getting unbearable. It was nice to relax for the rest of the day before we joined up with our driver and guide in the evening for a farewell dinner together.

Everything about this trip has been memorable from our visit to the destination show at Earls Court and visiting Rainbow Tours stand and speaking to your friendly helpful staff.

Having Derek Schuurman with is extensive knowledge of Madagascar organising our trip for us. The trip has been tiring at times trekking through the undergrowth and up the steep slopes. However, the rewards out way the disadvantages thousand times. I will be the rest of 2016 categorising the many different species of wildlife and fauna we encountered on our journey into Madagascar.

We cannot praise Rainbow Tours and all their staff at home and abroad that have truly made this a holiday of a lifetime, an experience we will never forget.

If you wish to use any part of this article, you have our permission to do so.

We look forward to travelling with Rainbow Tours again.

Kindest regards Steve & Pat Garten' 

Mr and Mrs Garten
November 21, 2016

'Hi Derek

We had a great time in Madagascar [on the Daniel Austin 2016 Madagascar Wildlife Discovery Tour] and we did learn much about the country and enjoyed the people, wildlife (especially the lemurs), flora and landscape. Both Daniel and Harry were helpful at their different tasks. Harry could speak Malagasy and did everything to ensure that the tour ran smoothly and group were taken care of. He was pretty good at hearing distant lemur calls.

Daniel is very knowledgeable about his reptiles and the fauna in general and his perspective regarding the country, as a non-native, was appreciated. His temperament is well suited to the country, no displays of impatience etc. Harry always knew how to get things done. So the two made a good team. In summary, much appreciation and thanks to the two.

Eric runs a very efficient group of guides and cooks.

I do appreciate your quick responses to all my queries. Thank you.

Regards,

Pak'

 

 

Mr and Mrs Wong
November 16, 2016

'Excellent holiday.  We had out own 4x4, guide and driver and all were excellent. There is mention in this form of car and guide but no mention of driver: our lives were in his hands for 10 days and he was excellent, both in driving, handling our luggage, always opening the doors for us. Drivers are an integral and important part of all holidays; please give them recognition. The holiday was excellent in all respects. The changes we made to the advertised tour because of our ages (79 and 70) worked out very well. Would recommend your company to anyone - and we saw loads of lemurs!!!'

 

 

Mr and Mrs Linwood
November 1, 2016

'Jessica was absolutely excellent. She always made sure everyone got the most out of the trip, according to their abilities. Setam Lodge had lovely food - the best on the trip! Another day in the park (Ranomafana) would have been good'. 

Mr and Mrs Brooks
October 26, 2016

Hi Derek

Some feedback for you....

First of all, another fabulous trip for so many different reasons....

The flight out - what a lovely surprise to travel Premium Economy, what a difference that made, not just in the comfort and service aspects but ultimately getting through Tana airport in 30 minutes rather than over 2 hours - thank you so much.

The Relais des Plateau is such a refreshing first and last stop with no worries about getting to and from the airport and so comfortable.

All accommodation was great - hard to choose a favourite, very good choices.

To our delight plenty of lemurs and birds and absolutely fascinating travelling through such varied landscapes, villages and townships. Thought provoking to compare their world to ours, humbling to see how they manage their lives, always with a smile on their face. It has left us with much to think about.

The itinerary was great and the whole trip went very smoothly. we are always singing your praises to our friends and family and I am sure we will have other trips with Rainbow Tours.

So once again, thank you very much for a great experience.

Chris & June

 

 

 

Ms Elgar and Ms Lawrence
October 24, 2016

'Gersica was superb and success of the holiday was all down to her. She is a treasure! Air Madagascar were for once very reliable. The pace of the tour and some distances travelled seemed unrelenting towards the end but we would not have missed any of it!.

We loved Les Dunes (Ifaty). Chilled out in bungalow overlooking beach. The Malagasy traditional meal at Setam Lodge was the food highlight of the tour. 

Gersica could not have been better organised, more considerate or more attentive. She is one of the best tour leaders we have experienced in over 30 years of travel on small group holidays'. 

Mr and Mrs Johnson
October 20, 2016

'We loved the country and the people. This has been a fantastic trip. Our itinerary couldn't have been better. I really liked the pacing. Mora mora......  I wish that we could help this country protect their precious natural resources and improve the quality of life for the people. There is so much potential here.

Thank you again for making this a trip of a lifetime.

All my best,

LP'

Ms Parnell and Mr Blaise
October 18, 2016

'Overall satisfaction: Excellent. Relais des Plateaux is a very good hotel.

Gite d'Ampijoroa (Ankarafantsika National Park) has excellent location, good service, food and facilities; average comfort.
(Basic)

Royal Palissandre Hotel & Spa excellent food and service. Too posh for us.

Vakona Forest Lodge: excellent location, meals and facilities. Lovely setting but felt a bit damp and cold.

Thermal Hotel Ranomafana: excellent comfort, good service, location and meals. Beautiful hotel but electricity kept running out.

La Varangue de Betsileo: excellent in all respects. Very nice people, looked after us very well.

Relais la Reine: Very nice, lovely area.

La Mira: excellent in all respects. Very nice and relaxing.

The guides were excellent especially Bel-Aviv and his driver Doudou, who were with us for most of the trip. All were very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly'.

Mr and Mrs Smeaton
October 13, 2016

'We had a wonderful holiday - thank you. Our guide Gersica was fantastic - one of the best we have ever had and we have been travelling for years! She went out of her way to ensure each individual's needs were met and is so knowledgeable, too'. 

Ms Pearson & Ms Chippendale
October 12, 2016

'We had a great holiday - your itinerary was super - thanks!.Highlights: Relais de la Reine Hotel + Isalo National Park. Sheer variety of terrain and habitats. Quality of the guides, in particular Djato and the driver Barry. Exceptional passion and dedication. Local guides at Andasibe-Mantadia, Isalo and the Ifaty Spiny Forest'

Mr and Mrs Lacey
October 6, 2016

'We had such an amazing time in Madagascar. We were in awe of the beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. We found the people to be friendly and welcoming.

Maison Gallieni: we had a wonderful first night here. Lovely dinner.

Couleur Cafe: excellent comfort, service, location and facilites. The evening meal was goog, breakfast buffet was not as good.

Setam Lodge: Service, location, meals and faciliities excellent. Comfortable rooms, could do with an update/ renovation but pleased that they were dry and not damp. It was also cold in Ranomafana and they had a heater which was useful.

Relais la Reine d'Isalo: It was a special hotel set in a beautiful landscape. The lady owner of the hotel was very friendly and appreciative.

Anakao Ocean Lodge: surpassed our expectations. Beautiful lodge on a very secluded beach. Wonderful meals created from whatever fish/seafood was caught fresh each day - we really liked this ethos especially as it helps the local fishermen in the nearby village. The speedboat transfers there/back added to the experience.

Vakona Forest Lodge: main building was lovely. A great setting for breakfast and dinner. It was a disappointment that the rooms were not of the same stanard and that the staff could not understand why why we were not happy with a damp room.

We really appeciated Derek getting in touch with us and our guide Njiva when we were having difficulties with or internal flights and for checking that we were OK and that we were still happy with the service from our guide. We were also grateful to Njiva fror staying in Tulear another night and making sure we were on the flight back to Antananarivo the next day. He was wonderful at the airport and and organised everything for us there so that we did not have to worry. We could not have asked for better service from our guide at the airport. We feel that we may not have made it onto the flight from Tulear if it were not for him! '

 

 

 
Mr and Mrs Cunningham
October 3, 2016

'Njiva was a fantastic guide - thoroughly recommend him. Driver, Dodo, was also very good. Overall holiday satisfaction (Classic Madagascar overland: the RN7 route): excellent. 

Vakona Forest Lodge is a lovely place but they wanted us to leave the bar/seating area by around 9pm. 

Setam Lodge: good in all respects. Location excellent.

La Varangue de Betsileo: Service and comfort: excellent. Location, meals and facilities all good. 

Relais la Reine d'Isalo: excellent.

Moringa Hotel: good in all respects; excellent meals.

Princesse Bora Lodge: Comfort, meals and facilities good; service and location excellent.'

 

Ms Godfrey and Mr Naylor
January 25, 2016

'We really enjoyed the trip.  Madagascar certainly lived up to expectations, we saw most everything we wanted to (and in many cases, much more).  I would say we were very well looked after.  Hard to pick a highlight, but I might go with Marojejy.  Thanks for a great experience!'

Dr and Mrs Nunnally
January 4, 2016

'Gersica was very helpful (on the 15 October 2015 Madagascar Discovery Tour) and gave everybody lots of attention. All tours were well organised and guided by her. Overall holiday satisfaction: Excellent. Great experience to see all these animals. Excellent accommodation, delicuous food and perfectly guided.

Eulophiella Lodge is beautifully lotedwit all he plants and flowers.

Berenty Lodge: excellent in all respects. Nice to see all these animals up close.

Les Dunes d'Ifaty: well located at the coast. Beautiful room and excellent service. Nice pool.

Isalo Rock Lodge: beautiful bungalows well located in the area.

The tour was great. We enjoyed every day. Every day and every walk was really special. Thanks (to) Gersica we got a perfect impression and a good experience of Madagascar'.

Mr and Mrs Mears
December 9, 2015

'The trip was great, an adventure! We saw all of the wildlife that we expected to see and enjoyed watching the lemurs and indri up close. The walk to Camp 1 was harder than I thought because we had to do it in the dark, but it was unavoidable due to Air Madagascar. We knew what we wanteed to see was in some of the remote places and access was going to take time and be difficult. Not sure some of the group anticipated this so much, as they were visiting Madagascar for the first time. Harry and Marc were fantastic. I can't praise them enough. They were efficient and kind and went the extra mile always'.

Mr and Mrs Taplin
December 7, 2015

'Overall holiday satisfaction: Excellent.  Local guides and representatives: Excellent, particularly Harry and Mark. This holiday was really made by Harry. We were really impressed by his knowledge of different languages, (including Latin!) and of the wildlilfe, not to mention the ease at which he sorted out different problems. Camp Mantella (Marojejy): 'comfort, service, location and meals good. Facilities unsatisfactory'. Camp Marojejia: 'Everything first class: comfort, service, location and meals excellent. Facilities: unsatisfactory'. Relais la Reine d'Isalo: Excellent in all respects. Anakao Ocean Lodge: good location, meals and faciltiies. Could do with more outdoor shaded areas. Andasibe Hotel excellent in all respects; comfort good'.

Mr and Mrs Cowen
December 7, 2015

'The overall organisation from both Rainbow Tours and Za Tours was really excellent - in particular we would like to commend Harry Rakotosalama on his boundless enthusiasm, organisational ability and patience (a lot needed in looking after our party!).

It was also a real pleasure travelling Madagascar with Daniel, learning not just about the wildlife, but also additionally all about the different issues facing Madagascar and the Malagasy people.

Finally, a big 'thank you' to you Derek, for steerin the tour from home base in London. Thank you once again to Rainbow Tours for this really magnificent holiday'  

Mr and Mrs Ingleby
December 1, 2015

'Our guide Gersica was excellent throughout. (15 October 2015 Rainbow Tours Small Group Madagascar Wildlife & Discovery Tour) She was efficient, very knowledgeable, and was particularly helpful in overcoming individual difficulties whether needing to re-arrange accommodation, transport etc or medical needs. Without her energy and constant attention to detail, the holiday would not have gone as well as it did. Gersica was an excellent guide who went the extra mile to make the trip enjoyable for everyone'
 

Mr and Mrs Yates
November 23, 2015

'Wonderful holiday in fantastic country. Most hotels/lodges far better than expected and food very good. Accommodation everywhere was clean and comfortable and could not fault service provided throughout the trip.

Gersica, our main guide throughout the trp was excellent. Extremely knowledgeable, very good English and managed the group efficiently. There were a few problems with people feeling unwell but Gersica was extremely helpful and supportive. She accommodated any requests made by individuals and was attentive to our needs as a group at all times. I was particularly impressed by how well organised Gersica wasdujrin transfers at airports and her efficency in checking in bags and processing documentation. Could not have asked for a more experienced and professional tour leader. She is an excellent representative for Rainbow Tours'   (15 October 2015 Madagascar Small Group Wildlife Discovery Small Group Tour).

Ms McBrien
November 9, 2015

'Overall holiday satisfaction: Excellent.  (26 September 2015 Madagascar Wildlife Small Group set departure).  Vegetarian food was excellent everywhere. This is partly due to Gersica's diligence in ringing ahead to each hotel. Thanks again for a most memorable trip'

 

Mr Jackson and Mr Bates
October 29, 2015

'I have just returned from your (26 September 2015 Small Group Wildlife/Discovery) tour to Madagascar and I am writing to express my satisfaction with how the tour was organised and run.... I cannot speak too highly of Gersica for the care and enthusiasm she manifested. She also has a fantastic knowledge of the area and animals together with telescopic vision!!'

David Cooper
October 23, 2015

"Our impression is very positive. We hit most target species of bird and saw plenty of lemurs and a few frogs and snakes and even a swimming bat! Literally, a mass of photos. Perhaps the biggest shock is the loss of local habitat to the rapidly growing population. An enormous amount of work for the government to do on conservation before it is too late. The country would lose a vital incentive for tourism and much-needed income. It is worthy to note that the overall adventure was successful and we thank you for drawing up the itinerary. One is very much dependent on a good guide in Madagascar. There is no doubt that our guides Lala and Fen, 'knew their stuff'. Above all they were good company. Its a nice touch despite the early flight departure times, the guides waited until we cleared departures. They have been well selected. The best local guide was the last guide called Stephan who knew Ranomafana like the back of his hand. He explained that he helped Ian Sinclair with the habitat detail for the current bird guide on Madagascar and its surrounding islands. So, quite an adventure for all of us. Many thanks."

Cowlrick Birding Party
October 12, 2015

Dear Derek

More than six weeks later but we still wanted to let you know we had a beautiful birding tour through Madagascar. Of course it was not the best time of the year (August) but I estimate we still saw 80%+ of the endemic birds we could have expected to see in Sep/Nov. The people from Za Tours were wonderful; (the guide) Mia was very nice, interesting and cheerful guy. We had a great holiday.

Regards, Edial & Fransje, Amsterdam

Mr Dekker and Ms Haakman
September 28, 2015

'Thanks for a really great holiday. (20 August 2015 Small Group Wildlife Discovery Tour). We covered a lot of ground but saw just a glimpse of the diversity that is Madagascar. The coach driver (for most of our time) was really outstanding with his concentration and sympathetic driving. But the Silver Challenge Cup must go to Gersica, whose knowledge, patience, sensitivity, sense of humour and capacity for hard work knows no bounds. She is tops!'

Mr and Mrs West
September 23, 2015

Wow – what a view! Sadly, I couldn’t bring myself to use the enormous bath – it would have wasted too much water! Amazing food

S Melville
September 13, 2013

The Food at Ishalo Lodge was quite amazing the Michelin star type! Rooms are incredible. 

Malcomson
November 20, 2011
Calling from one of the countries below?
If so use the toll-free number listed.
USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137
Our site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. We also use cookies to show you advertising that is relevant to you. By continuing to use our site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.