Travel – Madagascar
This is the first word that comes to your mind the moment you step foot to Madagascar!
It’s a place that completely has its own vibe! it’s not African, or Asian or European but then, at the same time, it is all those things together.
There are places hardly touched by the outside world, and that’s is what makes Madagascar so special…
To be totally honest, Madagascar it’s not for everyone! More than half of the people I know wouldn’t enjoy it as much. But those few who will, they will place the island on their top5, I guarantee you that
Its obviously not a gateway weekend destination, so you must afford to spend a minimum 10 days (without the days of travel) to visit one side of the island. Madagascar is recorded as the 4rth biggest island of the world! So you can imagine the size of it and the number of days you have to spend there in order to visit all sides of the island
My trip was totally 12 days! Traveling from Athens, Greece, I had to make 2 stops (Cairo/Addis Ababa), total duration 15hours
Not so long as it sounds, as the excitement was bigger 🙂
Arrived at the Ivato Airport (Antananarivo City- Capital) at noon
Head directly to the City with a taxi to “Grand Hotel Urban”
Its a very nice modern city hotel, with brand new rooms and a perfect terrace for evening cocktails.
Antananarivo is a crowded city, with a lot of options for restaurants & hotels.
Trust the hotel staff for tips & recommendations as they don’t have any reason to recommend you a place that is no safe & tourist friendly
Tip: Don’t walk outside after dark, it isn’t safe for foreigners
We rent a car with a driver to accompany as to our entire trip!It’s not so expensive, especially if you are traveling with more people.
Driving to Miandrivazo. Started very early in the morning (05:30) not to miss the day.
The road trip was one of the best parts of the trip, as you could meet people and pass by villages that you wouldn’t have the change to see in any other way.
Arrived at the city noontime, Stayed at the Princesse Tsiribihina hotel
A decent clean hotel, with a nice cozy restaurant. There is also a pool 🙂
Just have in mind that the electricity comes after 18: 00, so be prepared to spend some time without fan, charger & fridge.
Arranged 2h lake tour with a local guide – Sunset there, was one of the most magical things I ever saw! Unfortunately i wasn’t able to captured it with the camera.
Road trip to Morondava
Stayed at the Hotel Bougainvilliers. A nice beach bungalow hotel, with a very nice local restaurant, where u can taste super fresh seafood & hotel-made local rum with flavors 🙂
Just don’t expect too many luxurious things, as the bungalow has only the basics
We visited a near beach (organized), & before sunset went to the Avenue of the Baobabs
Although it kind of touristic place, there is magic in those trees, and you can feel it as soon step your foot into.
Rent a small boat to get us to Belo Sur Mer. The plan was to spend one night here and return to Morondava to continue our road trip to other places. But the place here, is sooo wow, that we decided to extend our stay…
Stayed all 3 nights to the lovely Hôtel Entremer
This hotel was the highlight of our trip! A place next to the sea, with only 6 bungalows, isolated, with a fantastic french owner Mrs.Laurence who made us feel like home (even better). Mrs.Laurence is also a fantastic chef and prepared us dinner every night with super fresh seafood materials. Together with a nice list of wines, made our nights there very tasteful
The only thing near Hotel Entremer, is a small fishing village, 30m walking. A very untouched village full of kind people who welcome foreigners. We also had the change to eat lunch in a local restaurant there, where the food was simple but delicious.
We spend a day snorkeling on a tiny island, an hour away with a boat.
Kirindy Forest – A private forest with a number of species of nocturnal lemurs, chameleons, lizards & snakes !!!!!!
Not my favorite place in the world, but its a nice experience. You sleep in a bungalow in the woods, with electricity only between 18:30-22:00, no hot water in the shower, no mobile signal (totally dead) & no food cantine for drinks snacks etc.
But besides all that, you have the chance to see live creatures that you have never seen in your life & probably won’t see again…
Back to Morondava to enjoy some luxury moments in Palissandre Cote Ouest Resort & Spa
Private bungalows on the beach, cocktails next to the pool & relax on the sunbeds watching the sunset. What a life 🙂
A very luxurious hotel (expensive also) that offers you everything a 5* Hotel has to offer. It was a great change of environment after the forest
Spend almost all day on the road, heading back to Antananarivo. A lot of views, people, and sceneries…
Made a stop for the night at Miandrivazo city, stayed again at the Hotel Princesse Tsiribihina! Had the chance to see a storm, the only one we had during our stay here, and it was quite interesting as it gave us very nice sky colors & the sound of the rain was almost poetic. No people running away from the rain, no complaints of getting wet .. Just sit there & enjoy mother nature
On the road again!!! Our last day of this amazing trip !!
Heading back to Antananarivo, from where the next morning will take the plane back home.
Stayed the last night at the same hotel we stayed on our first night (when you find something nice, don’t let go 😁) Grand Hotel Urban
Tried their restaurant for dinner, was very very good. And very busy also, people coming from other hotels to dine here…
- There’s nothing quite like a sunrise in Madagascar. Before you can see the sun, you start to feel it
- The people at the villages! Meet them, talk to them, hug them, they are open & super friendly with a wide smile on their faces, especially the children
- The flashes of lightning! There were brighten the night sky, without almost any sound from thunder & without a drop of rain. A phenomenon I’ve never experienced in my life
Things I wish I knew
- Learn some French if you can. Just the basics. It will make easier the communication with locals
- Bring waterproofs. Not because of the rain, but for any time you will use a boat, no change you come out dry of them without waterproofs
- Simple clothes. Even if I packed my suitcase with more simple outfits, I still brought too many unuseful staff with me! I wish I had a better judgment when I packed
- Power Bank for the phone. There will be a lot of moments where you won’t have access to electricity for hours
- Leave space in your luggage for bringing ”souvenirs” with you. They have nice and cheap local stuff, such us local rum 😎
It was this constant feeling of wonder and discovering new things that made me love my time in Madagascar so much. Every single day, there was a new animal to see, new things to be learned from the locals, new food to taste, new places to explore.