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“Fantastic guide, on a weeklong trip”

Madagascar Endemics and Resorts
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Attraction details
Owner description: Madagascar Endemics and Resorts (MER) is a wildlife expeditions and luxury vacation specialist based in Antananarivo. We endeavor to provide the best service to our clientele thanks to our devoted, qualified and experienced English-speaking staff, including an expedition leader, naturalist guides and drivers...born and raised in Madagascar. In order to satisfy our customers, we try our best to respond timely to any inquiry, as we value their precious time. What makes our tour company special and most reliable is that our Expedition Leader is but the founder & owner of MER, one of top tour operators in Madagascar. We are making sincere efforts to live up to our motto: "Only for the best experience in Madagascar."
Reviewed 3 May 2018

I would emphatically recommend Manitra as a guide in Madagascar. I came to the country for a week, and spent ~4 days with Manitra and a driver, visiting Andasibe and Ranomafana, with stops in Antsirabe and Ambositra along the way.

His English is excellent, which matters quite a bit if you want to maximize what you learn about the country and the sites. Perhaps more importantly, he's a broadly informed and experienced guy, who once did a Fulbright scholarship at NYU, and was able to share much more context on Madagascar's history, politics, tribal structure etc. Well beyond a basic review of natural features, or lemur species and habits. And, since Madagascar is fairly large, and the roads are extremely poor, you end up doing lots of long drives at 20 - 40 mph, so the quality and range of car conversation is important.

And of course, the tour itself was well-organized - driver, 4x4 in good condition, hotels booked in advance and well-chosen, etc. Manitra was also able to shift the schedule on short notice when my arrival flight was canceled, leading to a half day's delay.

All in, highly recommended. As other reviewers noted, Manitra is a bit more expensive than some of the other quotes you will see (10-20%, based on my experience), but the difference was well worth it.

1  Thank danponeill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 24 reviews

Reviewed 21 March 2018

I had to travel from LA to South Africa to present my PhD proposal, and on a whim I bought a plane ticket to Madagascar to celebrate after. I've always wanted to go there, ever since I had to read a book about how 80% of the wildlife isn't found anywhere else on earth. I found out the date of my presentation about 3 weeks before I had to be there. Now, I'm definitely a person who has no problem randomly deciding to go to country I've never been to with pretty much no plans. I also really love traveling alone, some people don't get it, but I like doing what I want to do when I want to do it, and spending that much time with another person often results in then getting on my nerves. As much as I love meandering around foreign lands, with a new job my vacation time is precious. I immediately started feeling like this time I might have gotten in over my head. First, I bought the ticket for the end of February/beginning of March, which I found out after was the tail end of Typhoon season. Second, I seriously underestimated the size of the island, and the public transportation available. Flights around the island are expensive compared to flights within other countries in Africa, like $600 round trip expensive. And as far as i can tell, you can only fly from Antananarivo to other cities or vice versa. So if I wanted to go to Morondava and Nosy Be, I would have to fly from Antananarivo to Morondava, back to Antananarivo, then to Nosy Be. I decided that either I was going to end up staying in Antananarivo and doing a coupe day trips, or I would have to get some help. So I relented and turned to the internet. It was the off season, many parks and hotels were closed and a lot of the advertised tours weren't available. So I decided to just email a couple places, tell them where I wanted to go, and see what they came up with. Manitra considered my tight schedule (only 5 days, including the days I flew in and out) and what I was hoping to see, as well as my budget and came up with some itineraries. Although I got some other responses, I was impressed by the obvious care and consideration he put into his plans. I felt like he really wanted me to experience Madagascar as much as I did, and he was going to do his best to make than happen. Considering I'm not normally the guided tour type; I've never even booked a resort vacation; I was impressed. He managed to come up with a plan that included my most desired points of interest, without feeling rushed or stressful. He arranged all the tours and guides, and was very communicative, He even made a point to come to my hotel when I arrive to greet me. I would highly recommend Manitra and his company for anyone who wants to make the most of their Madagascar vacation.

Thank joslynf507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018

Manitra will design a tour for you that suits your desires and pocketbooks and make it amazing! He has many years experience and has worked with some of the best expedition leaders in the world who have aided in honing his extensive skills and knowledge.

I have kept friends with Manitra for ten years.

Thank Jan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2018

We would rate Manitra as the best wildlife and culture guide in our more than 40 years of global travel including eight trips to Africa. He is a warm and friendly person who speaks excellent English and who is interesting to travel with and talk to both about life in Madagascar but also events in the world. He knows Madagascar tourism very well and helped us navigate some of the most interesting and out of the way places, along with an endless array of fascinating lemurs! We would travel with him again in a heartbeat.

Thank SantaFeUser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 December 2017

I used Manitra a couple of years ago for a few trips across Madagascar. The cars he used were clean and reliable, the drivers were safe, and he was able to take us to some of the coolest treasures in the country. He's a little more pricey than some other tour guides, but definitely worth it.

Thank enokimushroom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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