In October 2016, Sheila and I took a trip to South Africa (for a safari) and Madagascar (for beaches, rain forest, and lemurs.) The trip turned out to basically be three different vacations back to back.
First, a safari in South Africa
We visited the Madikwe Game Reserve – the fourth largest game preserve in South Africa in the north of the country, close to the border with Botswana.
Next, beach time in Madagascar
We stayed at Princess Bora lodge on Ile Sainte Marie for a few days. It was nice to relax with some free time after the regimented time in Madikwe.
Then, jungles and lemurs
Next, we visited Andasibe-Mantadia National Park. This was a rain forest area with many lemurs and other wildlife. We stayed at Eulophelia Lodge, which is locally owned (unlike most of the high-end hotels.) We had a guide and driver for this part, and they were both appreciated.
The travel agency cautioned us the “Madagascar is an underdeveloped country and tourism is very new. Camps and lodges are full of character, but they are not like the slick, efficient camps you find on mainland Africa…” and also “pack your sense of humor and patience.”
From reading Madagascar: A Natural History, I now know that, in addition to lemurs, it also has giant spiders and tiny scorpions. Can’t wait.