Cactus Tours Madagascar

Travelers’ testimonials | Travelers’ Reviews 2023

Susanna C. - Austria - November 2023

The trip organization was impeccable.
All the hotels were incredible except for the bed in Karibotel which was uncomfortable.
The itinerary was very well planned and we saw everything we expected and more (wildlife, rainforest, insect and diving)
Mamy improved the itinerary even more with some modifications.
Everything was very punctual!
We have not enough words to express how amazing, knowledgeable, experienced and safe the guide was. We are super happy with him all along our trip.
The car was always clean, no issues and comfortable.
We will absolutely recommend you to other people.
I would say that the gentle island with gentle people, gentle animals, gentle environment completely amazed us. There is nothing like this elsewhere. We wished we would stay longer, learn more Malagasy and the culture.
Very happy with Cactus Tours!

Katie M. - United States of America - October & November 2023

The arrangements were satisfying. Rojo did an awesome job answering many many questions and coming up with a custom itinerary for all the animals and parks I wanted to see.
I loved all the hotels. They were very nice and offered great services and especially for being on the low-mid price range.
Rivo (driver-guide) was the best! I felt very well taken care of. He made sure I got to see the animals I wanted, eat the food I needed, always found a clean bathroom. In fact, he is a very nice man and I enjoyed my tour with him. I got to see my favourite lemur: the Coquerel’s Sifaka.
The car was also comfy and clean.

I will 100% recommend you.
Thank you.


Andrew C. - United Kingdom - October & November 2023

Great communication planning the tour. Email responses were speedy and clear.
All the hotels were excellent and Relais de la Reine was particularly exceptional.
Superb itinerary with variety of activities and attractions with plenty of down time.
Two nights in each location is good timing. It was not overly rushed, nor were we bored.
Madagascar actually has such a variety of attractions: culture, nature, history, language etc. The spiny forest was a highlight but was not actually on the itinerary.
The driver and guide were both excellent. The driver was extremely cautious on the road which put our minds at ease. Our tour guide was easy-going, informative and friendly with no exceptions.
The car was spacious and comfortable enough for us, and very capable on the difficult roads.

We would recommend you to other people and we will.

An unforgettable journey. We were glad to choose a local tour operator with such in-depth knowledge of the country.
One thing to note is the other tour guide Dimby was very helpful at the airport while our flight was cancelled. Thank you so much.


Maureen T. - Canada - October 2023

You gave an excellent attention to details and very response prior to arrival and once in Madagascar. All arrangements were very smooth.
The hotels were overall good and as expected: Jardin du Roy and Bakuba lodge were excellent.
We really appreciated the outside diner option for our final night in Tana. Palissandre food was OK but not for 3 occasions.
The itinerary covered excellent variety and options for activities and exploring the amazing and diverse areas.
Everything happened on time. But we suggest not to include evening walks after long hours of travel. We appreciated early starts to get ahead of the other tourists.
Madagascar has excellent highlights, such a wonderful and diverse trip.
The drivers and tour guides were all very good but the driver in the Tsingy area was especially good.
Local guides also were good and excellent. All were well informed and we appreciated that our preferences were passed on.
We will absolutely recommend you.
Thank you for a wonderful trip and for holding our reservation during the 3 years of the pandemic! We had some amazing experiences and this certainly exceeded expectations.

Thank you.

Michael D. - United States of America - October 2023

Everything went smoothly and on time. We were very impressed specially for the good price for services.
Most of the hotels were good or excellent but Park lodge in Ankarafantsika was lacking in electricity
Outstanding driver and tour guide. Mihaja was knowledgeable about birds and patient with us.
We also had enough space in the car and it was appropriate for roads.
My message is that if I did this trip again, I would go fewer places maybe and spend more time at each place. I would have liked to spend more time at Ranomafana, Ifaty and Isalo with a full day trip to Zombitse. Would like to mention that this is best time for birding.


Steven B. - United Kingdom - October 2023

The administration of the tour and booking of my trip was handled very well. It was easy to deal with Cactus Tours.
Most of the hotels were of a good standard and comfortable.
The itinerary covered the main circuits for birding and it was devised well to get to see the target birds.
October is a busy month but the prime time to come. It was not a problem that other birders were present.
All the drivers were also very good and safe. My bird guide Andry is a nice man and an exceptional guide. He goes out of his way to make sure you see the birds.
Most vehicles were good. Occasionally, we used a van rather than a 4×4.
If I find anyone interested in coming to Madagascar, I will recommend they use Cactus tours. I hope to return myself one day.
My message is “keep up the good work”. Your efforts are much appreciated.
I think that Madagascar is a very varied and interesting country. I really love birding, wildlife and culture of Madagascar. Birding in Madagascar is excellent, particularly in national parks.


Tricia Vos - United States of America - October 2023

Rojo was a pleasure to work with to arrange this trip. The hotels were wonderful also. The itinerary was great as planned and expected. No problem.
Our guide was also informative, helpful and friendly. We definitely recommend your company.
Thank you for all of your help. hope to see you again next time.



Vivien K. - Australia - October 2023 (East)

From the very beginning, Rojo has been incredibly responsive and helpful and did a great job pulling the itinerary together.
Both palmarium hotel and Mantadia lodge were great in their own way, Mantadia lodge probably the best hotel of my stay in Madagascar.
Everything ran smoothly. No timing issues. Besides, the wildlife and cultural experiences exceeded expectations.
Our guide kept everything on track, was a wealth of information and extremely attentive and kind. The driver was a safe and efficient driver. Both good fun.
In addition, the car was reliable and satisfactorily comfortable.
We already have recommend you.
Thanks for such a well-organized and coordinated trip. From planning to organization and the execution, this tour was a real pleasure. Thanks to Rojo, Nandih and Potsy for making this such a great trip.


Henry D. - United States of America - October 2023

For the arrangements, I appreciate your recommendations, quick replies to e-mails and willingness to make changes. All the other locations were excellent!
The itinerary was fine that covers mix of habitats and birds.
All in good timing safe for the unfortunate airline delays and traffic.
I am really keen on birds and other nature of Madagascar.
Rija was excellent bird-guide and most patient with us.
I will definitely recommend you to other people.

It was actually very enjoyable trip with countless new sights and experiences.


Petr H - Czech Republic -September & October 2023

The tour was very well organized and everything was according to the travel plan.
We stayed in clean and comfortable hotels.
Madagascar has a lot of things to offer: unique fauna and flora, beautiful sea, variable geological and rock formation, that we got a chance to discover during our tour.
We have been accompanied with well experienced guide and driver, not only that but also friendly and ready to help on every occasion.
The car was comfortable as well and there were no technical problems during the trip.
We will recommend you highly.


Hannah T. - United Kingdom - September & October 2023

Excellent arrangements thanks to Rina and especially for changing our Hotel.
Thank you for making our trip to Madagascar so good. We are happy to have finally be able to come.


Leonie S. - AUSTRALIA - September & October 2023

Rina did an excellent job on putting everything together for our biking tour. It was flawless.
The accommodation was beyond our group’s expectations, excellent.
The itinerary covered the best of the country, we could see over a 17-day period and included cycling for as much as possible with the terrain.
We loved the scenery, animals and culture.
Excellent staff. First class and great problem-solving techniques.
We highly recommend this company.
Thank you, Cactus Staff, you have been amazing from start to finish. You having wonderful staff.


Teodora T. - Ireland - September & October 2023

The trip arrangement was perfect.
All of the places covered in the itinerary were perfect and incredible except Palmarium. It was colder than expected. Besides, it rained in there and there was nothing to do, so, it felt one day was wasted.
The driver and guide were great, accommodating, knowledgeable and friendly with a perfect car. I was well accompanied.

Perfect timing, everything went as promised and I appreciated the specific accommodation for my interests and also flexibility when necessary. I loved my trip.
I absolutely recommend Cactus Tours.
Thank you.


Mitchell & Sonny 0. - United States of Ameica - September 2023

Arrangements: Met or exceeded expectations

Hotels: They were all very good. The only one that was weak was the one that was the first day after leaving the capital, because it was hot had very limited electricity and was adjacent to football field. The best part of this place was the food, which was well prepared by a friendly owner.

Itinerary: Every place was well worth the visit.

Timing: It was very well planned. Driver and guide knew exactly how long it was to get anywhere and planned the day well.

Interest of Madagascar: We were amazed at how unique Madagascar is in terms of nature, plants, animals, geography and insect. Discussions with driver and guide made for informative and interesting discussions. Learned a lot about culture, politics, history and financial issues faced by Madagascar.

Driver/ Tour guide: Initially concerned about Rija’s communicativeness. However, as we became comfortable with each other this was no longer a concern. They were both very professional and made us feel comfortable with them. The driver was especially good at communicating with us. He was very friendly and explained everything we asked about thoroughly. Rija was a fantastic bird guide, was able to identify by sound and quick to locate the birds. He was patient and helped us find the birds even when we were in dense forests. Rija also handled issues calmly and resolved the few issues that came up. Both of them handled our personal issues well going to pharmacy, finding bananas, getting us power cords etc.
Additional local guides that Rija coordinated were all excellent except for the one in Tana.

Car: Very good car. No complain.

Will we recommend us to other people? We highly recommend you and felt that you delivered a very good program at a reasonable price. As long as the customer understood the distance and time of travel and had traveler’s flexibility the trip is very rewarding.

Your message and impression: A financially poor nation with many struggling to survive, very hard-working people. A nation with a wealth of potential and amazing diverse and unique nature and cultures.

Iris W - United States of America - September 2023

While we were first planning this trip, Rojo was very communicative and provided tiely, comprehensive responses to all our questions. Along with our detailed itinerary, we felt quite comfortable on what to expect during our trip.
We liked the variety of hotels we stayed at (for example, at the beach in Morondava and near the forest in Andasibe). We had good experiences at each.

We had expressed interest when first contacting Cactus Tours about seeing baobab trees, lemurs and tsingy. Our itinerary exactly addressed our wishes, so we are very satisfied. We recommend putting more information about the requirements for Tsingy on physical fitness, hot weather and sharp rocks so the challenges are clearer in the itinerary.
Furthermore, we felt like we spent the correct amount of time at each location, we saw everything we wished to see, never felt rushed and always had the opportunity to spend more time or ask questions on anything of specific interest.

Rivo, Nandih, Annah were extremely kind, knowledgeable and flexible tour guides. We learned so much about locations we visited with each person, as well as about the Malagasy culture, people and history. We are happy to have had all three of them as our guides during our visit.
The cars also were reasonable and comfortable despite the rough terrain at times, no issues.
We definitely will recommend Cactus Tours. We think that your company was the best choice for our visit, and we will share our experience with friends and family.

Thank you for making our wonderful experiences in Madagascar possible. We are so happy to have chosen Cactus Tours and if we ever return to the country, we wish to have you as our tour coordinator again.


Kite V. - Australia - September 2023 (North)

Everything ran very smoothly. Remarkably, there were no hiccups. Hotels were all expecting me, there were no delays or unexpected changes. Very well executed programs.
I was very happy for all the hotels. I particularly loved Akiba lodge Anjahakely which is my favorite accommodation of the trip.
The itinerary as well worked perfectly. I was having been traveling in the country for the past 6 weeks. And I was very thankful for the extra night at Akiba Lodge Anjahakely, it was a great suggestion of Rojo. If I had known prior, I would also have included visiting the Golden Crowned Sifakas in Daraina which would now be possible in a day, departing to Vohemar in the morning and staying either Ambilobe or Ankarana following.
It was an excellent wildlife experiences and really enjoyed the driving through the countryside and villages.
Eddie was a fabulous guide, extremely knowledgeable and very focused on making sure I got the most from my trip. Ludo was reliable, safe and good fun. They were both excellent.

Thanks for working so hard with me to design and create this fabulous experience. Everything went exactly to plan my experiences exceeded expectation. Thanks to Rojo for working with me to design the itinerary to perfection. My guide and the team in Marojejy also deserve recognition for their great work.


Diana R. - Portugal - August - September 2023

You guys make very good arrangements. All the hotels were great except in Kirindy and Tsingy where the rooms and service were not incredible even if Nandih was always helping.
A very good itinerary that allowed us to see the real Madagascar while seeing the main interest points in a very good timing with a punctual driver and guide.
We give more than 5 stars for the driver and guide. Nandih is an amazing guide and more than a guide, he made our trip the best. Drivers were also amazing especially Bary.
We will highly recommend you to other people


Jorg & William F. - Germany - August & September 2023

Very well-organized tour and well-done itinerary.
It would be better to have an additional day in Morondava by the hotel and beach.
We spent a wonderful and adventurous trip, so we will definitely recommend you to other people. Cactus tours fulfilled everything that we wished for.

Thank you.
Jorg & William.

Diogo A. - Portugal - September 2023

Very smooth experience during the arrangements, timely response, very accommodating, flexible, very organized and clear.
We stayed in most good hotels, clean and with good conditions specially in Sainte Marie and Morondava. We have nothing to say about the itinerary, it was well structured and organized with all good timing.
We have been accompanied with super nice, flexible and accommodating drivers. Besides our guide was very nice, can’t say enough, he made our trip special.
All the cars during our tour were all good too.
For sure, we will recommend you to other people.
Now, we would like to thank you for the transparency, care and for making our trip unforgettable. We loved it.


John and Neeta H. - United States of America - August & September 2023

Very efficient trip arrangements. Thank you, Rina!!
Very good choice of hotels that we enjoyed all of them.
The itinerary was also well planned that we got the chance to explore Madagascar in a very exceptional way.
The timing was also well done! Especially with the fact that you take in consideration travel times on extremely bad dirt tracks, with very poor conditions.
Good choice of cars with incredible drivers and a wonderful guide Andry.
We had an exceptional experience with you, so we will recommend you to other people.

Thank you! We loved our experience, the good guidance of Rina in the planning and execution as well as Andry’s knowledge.

John & Neeta

Bryan G. - United States of America - August 2023

The pre-trip communications were fair even if some delays in making bookings letting us know about issues till everything worked out.
Overall, very good itinerary. In fact, this trip was not really relaxing, but not sure what we could skip.
About the timing, generally we had enough time for activities but could have used a little more sleep.
We learned so much. We really feel like we got a great taste of this place. We loved all the animals.
Other guides also were amazing. They answered countless questions giving us a real insight into Malagasy culture and life. They were patient, kind, amazing at spotting animals and always went above and beyond. We can’t say enough good about them.
All the drivers were also excellent. They can change a tire so fast. All vehicles were good.

This trip was amazing and very memorable. Thank you for all that you did for us.

Andrew D. - United Kingdom- Turkey - July 2023

The arrangement process was easy and concise. Thank you to Elsa for working with my time line.
Loved both hotels: La Varangue and Andasibe Cyperus Hotel. A++
It was a perfect itinerary to see the wildlife and spend time with locals. It was also a nice and relaxing timing but still saw a ton.
Next time when I come back, it will be to dive your amazing reefs.
The driver and tour guide were both excellent. I cannot speak highly enough about them. Also, the car was comfy and smooth.
No hesitation, I recommend you 100%.
Thank you! I LOVED MY TRIP.


Mauricio G. - Spain - July 2023

Everything was excellent including the itinerary, the timing and the car.
The birding experience with Andry was excellent.
The driver was also very efficient and friendly.
Thank you so much.


Harold K. - Canada - July 2023

Everything went according to the program schedule with pickups and drop-offs.
La Varangue was excellent with very pleasant staff and room as well as Relais de la Reine, Vakona, Arotel, Thermal and Paradisier were all nice also.

July is a good month but probably August/September are better because weather is warmer.
The various types/species of lemurs was very exciting to see! The guides in the various parks were excellent in finding them for us. The different landscapes were tremendous.
Ndimby was an excellent guide! He made a real difference to our trip! Very knowledgeable, very informative constantly and very sensitive to our well-being.
Nandih and Bary were pleasant, informative too.
We will recommend you to other people especially to experienced travelers who have a keen interest in animals.

The people of Madagascar are very pleasant and courteous. Road conditions are atrocious and getting worse. The different types of the landscapes of the country are amazing.

The best experience of course was seeing and interacting with lemurs.
Thank you.

Harold and Josi.

Andrey S. - Russia - July 2023

Arrangements: the best
Hotels: one problem with our last breastfast
Itinerary: the best
Timing: the best
Drivers and tour guides: the best
Yes, we definitely recommend Cactus Tours
Thank you!


Millie W. - United Kingdom - June 2023

It was such a well-organized tour.
I managed to see the highlights of Madagascar in 7 days. Very well organized by Rojo.
The tour guides were fantastic, very knowledgeable and very friendly.

Cactus Tours highly recommended.
Thank you.


Yvonne G - United Kingdom - June 2023

A well-arranged and well-organized trip. The itinerary was also well throughout.
Our main interests were the Kirindy nature reserve, the Baobab Avenue, the Tsingy and Andasibe. All very good.
We definitely recommend Cactus Tours.

We had the best week in Madagascar and we wish we could have stayed longer!
Everything was organized so well and it run smoothly. All the guides were informative + friendly – very welcoming. We really feel like we got a little taste of Madagascar.
Thank you so much for the greatest experience.


Katherine D. - United Kingdom - May 2023

The arrangements were perfect. Everything run so well.
Regarding the hotels, they were all good. We especially enjoyed Isalo Rock Lodge and Nature lodge. The itinerary was a little too hectic given the driving time. Nevertheless, the timing was all good and we saw everything we wanted to see.
Our guide and our driver were exceptional. We really enjoyed their company. The car was also great.
After this amazing experience, we will most definitely recommend you to other people.
It was a wonderful month! Unfortunately, we were both a bit sick during our stay in the north, so had to skip some of the activities. So maybe we’ll have to come back again.


Ebba L - United Kingdom - May 2023

Top quality arrangements. Safe, efficient, clear, professional and friendly.
All the hotels were good but we particularly liked Palissandre Morondava.
We have a great support fro Rina when booking. She provided very detailed pre-travel information and quick response.
We did barely need to think of time. Nandih always on top at it. Also, he always informed about time and arrived before us.
Our interests on Madagasar were animals and wildlife. Next time, we will do the rainforest.
The cars were great.
The driver and tour guide were all great especially Sebastian in Tsingy.
Defintely, we will recommend 10/10. And we hope that they will visit Madagascar based on our recommendation.

Rina and the team. Thank you!! We were very excited to go to Madagascar for our honeymoon to see the Baobabs, Tsingy and meet the Malagasy people. You made this come true. This has been one of our best adventures ever.


Patrick M. - Australia - May 2023

It was a very well organized 4-day trip to Andasibe area.
Vakona lodge has very nice rooms, clean and spacious but the breakfast could have more variety like fruits, savory dishes. Also, a shop with sweets, snacks/self-drinks would be appreciated.
The timing was very good.
Our interests in nature and people were very well covered.
Both the driver and guide were excellent. We felt very well informed and safe at any time.
In addition, the car was in a very good condition and fit for the demanding streets. Also, well maintained and clean at any time.
It was overall an excellent trip. We will absolutely recommend you.

We loved the experience with you.


Hanspeter R. - Switzerland - April & May 2023

Our trip was excellently organized by Cactus tour. They were flexible enough to accommodate any changes we desired during the trip. The hotels bookings, guides, and flights all went smoothly. The selected hotels were very good. Our driver (Baba) was excellent, calm and focused. Our guide (Jean Jacques) was knowledgeable, cultured and experienced. His expertise in botany, ornithology, biology, and geology was outstanding. We highly recommend him to individuals and groups interested in these subjects.
The organization did everything possible to enable us to visit the Great Tsingy.
It was a challenging and tiring “expedition”, and it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip.
We felt safe throughout the journey and had many unforgettable experiences.
Suggestions for improvement:
As Europeans, it is challenging to imagine how demanding it is to travel in Madagascar when giving the itinerary, the long travel times should be clearly stated.
Ideally, the climb opinion on the proposed intensity should be sought.
Overall, we give the Cactus Tours team top marks!
You did an excellent je job showing us the best of your country, Bravo!
Thank you for the unforgettable experiences.
Best regards,
Christa & Hanspeter.

Tobias D. - Germany - April & May 2023

A great variety of arrangements. Friendly and competent staff.
There was a good choice of hotels but it is a bit complicated for vegetarians.
The itinerary was good with competent planning with a good variety. Appreciate the timing for such short time. Madagascar has great people and rich nature and it is important to see the “real Madagascar”

We are satisfied with the drivers and guides and made even friends with them.
The cars were clean and good, thanks to Bary and Fali. Nothing to complain.
We absolutely recommend Cactus!! Already done.

The Cactus team made everything happened what we wished for.


Tobias & Tanja

Tiiu K. - United Kingdom - April & May 2023

Rojo was excellent in arranging the tour, she is very well organized, very thoughtful and attentive.
The timing was pretty much perfect given the country’s infrastructure challenges.
We saw the best of Madagascar we could have hoped for in such short period of time. We really appreciated the honeymoon efforts made for us.

Thank you so much.

Rajiv D. - United States fo America - April 2023

Rina was great and expressive for arranging everything.
The Hotels were good but Relais de la Reine in Isalo was just amazing.
It was a well-paced itinerary; we do have nothing to complain. Everything was good.
Our guide Nandih and the driver Bary were both excellent. Your company is great and professional. Yes, we recommend Cactus Tours.


Ole C. - Norway - - March & April 2023

We loved all hotels but the best was in Isalo. They were clean and provided good service.
Anyway, we would prefer better food at Ifaty and by Baobabs.
The itinerary was good but could have skipped day in the dry forest. Watch sunset at Baobab or may be one relax day in the middle.
Good timing! Not too much waiting nor deadtime.
We would have liked to see Sharks as well. We have been accompanied with both best guide and driver.

About the cars, preferred the land cruiser, otherwise the cars were nice and clean.
Yes, we recommend Cactus Tours, a company who is for Norwegians.

We are very happy, good service, happy and positive guides, good hotels, good WIFI and good food. Thank you.


George J - United States of America - March 2023

Everything was very well organized.
Very nice hotels that exceeded our expectations for midrange.
The itinerary was awesome that we’ve got a chance to visit your beautiful and amazing country. However, it was busy until the end. One day of rest in middle would have been good. Anyway, the timing was perfect.
Our guide was excellent! He did his best to answer all our questions, was accommodating of our requests, and became a friend over the trip. Likewise, our driver was a superb.

Great tour, we had a great time! We will leave positive review on internet and yes, we will absolutely recommend you.
Thank you.


Janet C - United States of America - March 2023

The arrangements were just great and the hotels were above our expectations
The itinerary covered very awe, inspiring and so many landscapes. The trip was very well-paced and packed in a lot.
The car was fine, also, the driver and the guide were just perfect. I would say that they were born to do their jobs. Absolutely recommend Cactus.
Really a great time with a best guide and driver.
Thank you.


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