Thank you for recommending Linah to plan our trip through Madagascar for six weeks this autumn. They did an outstanding job and we were delighted with their arrangements.
The driver-guides we were assigned were absolutely indispensable – we could not have done any of our excursions or activities without their knowledge and guidance. We appreciate all the hard work done by the extraordinary Dida during our first few weeks traveling about the east, central and west; by thoughtful caring Lala in the west, and by Francke in the north region. The driving conditions in Madagascar are very bad, full of distractions, diversions, sandy roads, dirt tracks, gravel scree, carts of all descriptions, trucks, pedestrians, taxis, bicycles, rickshaws, herds of livestock, rivers, ferries and more: yet our drivers proceeded through all those conditions with patience and skill. They answered our hundreds of questions about all we were seeing and doing, about life in Madagascar, the country’s history, politics, culture, language, traditions, foods, plants, animals, and more. All in OUR language, English! Their skills, advice, and language abilities facilitated numerous interactions we had and literally saved us on a daily basis from harm, mistakes and embarrassment. Small gestures they did made a big impact on us: for example, when I fell on a hike and injured my leg, Dida went to extra effort to arrange (in a very remote place) for me to have an ice bag to help reduce the swelling. After miles of dusty silty sandy roads, Lala would wipe down with a damp towel our luggage before handing it to us and also wipe clean the interior of the car and have water waiting for our dusty journey the next morning.
Mid-way through our six week journey, Madagascar had an outbreak of the plague. Linah met with us to let us know of the situation, its location (distant from our excursion’s planned routes), the methods the authorities were using to curtail the outbreak, and tips for avoiding exposure. We were grateful for the information but felt it had no bearing on our planned routes, high-end (not primitive) accommodations, and activities. We appreciated her diligence in informing us and giving us the option to change the remaining stops on our itinerary.