Madagascar Tours
Sambava Day Tour of the Vanilla Coast and SAVA River Ride

Sambava Day Tour of the Vanilla Coast and SAVA River Ride

By MTT Madagascar Travel and Tours
About
SAMBAVA AND VANILLA COAST DAY TOUR - VANILLA FARMS AND COMPANIES AND LOCAL LIFE IN SAVA! CANOA CIRCUIT «Hagnitr'i Bemarivo» Location: 18km +/- from Sambava Pickup by car: Any hotel in town (we can also book Sambava hotels for you.) Duration of the visit: 1 day: departure 8h - return 17h Activity: visiting plantations and villages of farmers of coffee - clove - green pepper - lots of vanilla - cocoa - and fruit trees (Yes, you will have the opportunity to see/buy wholesale vanilla/cloves directly, don't worry.)

Ages 4-99
Duration: 24h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket


  • Local taxes
  • National Park fees
What's not included
  • You can buy vanilla beans direct wholesale here with us at the going best bulk rates in Mada. :) Not included of course.


Start:
  • Madagascar, Madagascar
Pickup details
  • Location Name: From any Sambava hotel for example Carrefour, Orchid Beach, etc.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 50820P11

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 50820P11

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • MTT Madagascar Travel and Tours
      29
      Antananarivo, Madagascar
      Joined in March 2020
    • TokyguidMada
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      The reserve vakona have two places for visiting the lemure high land and crocodile farm ,
      The reserve vakona is located in Andasibe at 7 km from the village but 170 km from Antananarivo which about 4 hours driving
      Written 12 June 2024
    • Ilovetottravel123456
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Excellent private, customized tour of Madagascar!
      I had an absolutely wonderful tour with MTT Tours! Below, I will review in detail different aspects of the overall service/operations provided. This will be a rather long review, so please bear with me. I never shy away from posting long reviews, because, as a traveller, I rely quite heavily on the reviews from others prior to securing accommodation or activities (through tour operators for example), therefore I try to be equally detailed and informative in my reviews. Please take from it what you wish, and I hope my review is helpful in your onwards planning! (Especially in a country like Madagascar where up-to-date information is sparse)! Itinerary: I contacted MTT tours to see about arranging a private tour to visit Madagascar within my budget. The specific places I wished to visit were Kirindy Forest to try my luck at spotting and photographing lemurs, and the Avenue of Baobabs! Koen designed a 3 day itinerary to accomplish this! Because my flights had unexpectedly changed (Madagascar Airlines is known for delays and cancellations), I later amended my itinerary to include a visit to Tsingy de Bemaraha, rendering it a 5 day itinerary. The 5 day itinerary with MTT Tours was the highlight of my stay in Madagascar. I really enjoyed Kirindy Forest and seeing the lemurs (I saw a few different species and was able to photograph them closely)! I did not however enjoy the millions of mosquitos. I recommend you bring repellent with at least 50 percent DEET for it to be effective. I walked away with about 60-70 bites on my legs during my 2 hour morning forest walk. Yikes, itch factor is high right now. I was able to visit the Avenue of Baobabs twice in this itinerary - once during the afternoon and then again at sunset! We also made stops to photograph Baobabs in Love and the Baobab Forest en route. Finally, I was able to visit the incredible Tsingy de Bemaraha - the limestone forest! I did the Tsingy Grande i.e. the big circuit and the most scenic. Tsingy was well worth the long 20 hour round-trip by vehicle (8-10 hours of driving each day to and from), and really really terrible roads! I owe Koen special thanks for designing and later modifying my itinerary at very late request (see below). Communication: I was in regular communication with Koen from MTT Tours. I rate communication extremely high (10/10) - Koen was very professional, friendly, and was very responsive via email, which I most appreciated. Koen was very quick to deliver an itinerary within my budget, and made the appropriate arrangements in a timely fashion. Koen took care of the flight bookings, and also was in regular communication when my flight suffered timetable changes, delays and in fact a cancellation (my domestic flight was moved 2 days after the intended date of departure, a rather common occurrence with Madagascar Airlines). Approximately 2 days away from the start of my tour (when I was fairly certain my flight would run as scheduled), I emailed Koen with the impossible task of adding on the Tsingy de Bemaraha extension to my initial itinerary. Within minutes, Koen responded and let me know he would look into it and get back to me in the afternoon. That afternoon, Koen sent me an email with a newly developed and detailed itinerary as well as the extension costs and secure payment link. Upon receiving the new itinerary and cost, I sent a payment immediately so Koen could make the arrangements. I am extremely thankful to Koen for making these arrangements at the last hour. Visiting Tsingy was a real highlight for me, so I appreciate very much that he was able to execute a new itinerary at the drop of a dime. It is clear to me that MTT Tours is a very accommodating and flexible tour company that operates with client satisfaction in mind. Payment of this tour was done online, in full, via bank transfer, providing me ease of bill settlement and peace of mind! This was of particular importance to me, since I was already needing to carry a large amount of USD and Euro on my person to navigate 6+ months of travel in the primarily cash economies of West Africa. For payment of the extension, Koen was able to set up a secure payment link for me to make the payment via credit card (since I was already abroad at the time, bank transfer was not an option for me). There was a slight 3 percent surcharge on the credit card payment, but, in all truth, I was happy to pay the minimal surcharge in order to have the opportunity to visit the amazing Tsingy de Bemaraha! My itinerary also included half board on day 1 (dinner included) and all airport transfers (airport pick-up and airport drop-off). Driver and guide: I was assigned both a driver and a guide for this tour. My understanding is that they work freelance, thus they do not operate directly under the umbrella of MTT Tours. Therefore, I will keep my review of the driver and guide as brief as possible (at the same time, they deserve special mention). The driver and guide came to collect me from the airport on day 1 of the tour. They were waiting for me when I landed. The driver was, by all accounts, exceptional! He was friendly, positive, energetic and navigated the very treacherous roads with professionalism and skill! I did not envy his task of long drive days on terrible road conditions, nor his position when our diesel tank cracked and the vehicle began leaking fuel. The driver was timely, professional and cautious about my safety. At all times, I felt secure that I was in good hands! The guide was also terrific - he was very friendly, keen to share about his country and very informative about the places we were visiting! The guide gave ample information about what lay ahead for the itinerary, and went out of his way to ensure that I got the full experience! Previously, he was a tour guide for many years at Kirindy Forest, so with his expertise and keen eye, we were able to spot many lemurs, including the much scouted ring tail lemur! The guide took care to make all of the arrangements for early breakfasts, efficient lunch stops (calling ahead to the restaurant to place my order so my food was ready when we arrived), and departure times that ensured we beat the 20 or so trailing 4x4 to the ferries (avoiding long waits on either side of the two ferry crossings). The guide also made sure to stop in Morondava so I could buy bottled water for the week and stopped again in Belo so I could buy some fruits from the local market. Both the driver and guide were excellent and worked together to ensure the itinerary was executed according to plan! On the final day of my tour (the day of my flight), the guide and driver suggested that I had time to drive out to the lemur park nearby to Morondava. They negotiated with their boss to take me to the park for a fair price and then drop me off at the airport afterwords, as included in the itinerary. The guide and driver both donated their time as extra, and I thought this was extremely generous. I felt that they both went out of their way to ensure that I extracted the most value from my tour and my time in Madagascar! I was most appreciative of everything they had done for me! If MTT Tours reads this review, I highly recommend that you continue to engage the services of this guide and driver. They really made my tour exceptional, and it was a real pleasure to have travelled alongside them for a few days. Accommodation: All of the various accommodation (guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, lodges) were included in the price of my tour. They ranged from average/decent to very good/excellent! I’ve reviewed all of the accommodation separately, on TripAdvisor. In summary, I was pleased with the chosen accommodation particularly via-a-vis budgetary constraints. I particularly enjoyed Vezo Beach Hotel in Morondava and also Olympe du Bemaraha - they far exceeded expectations! Included meals: All breakfasts were included as per my itinerary, and all were good (I wouldn’t rate them as excellent simply because the breakfast was a set menu, with no options other than what was in front of you). If sitting down for breakfast wasn’t a possibility with our early departure time, the guide arranged with the accommodation for an earlier breakfast time or a packed breakfast, if necessary. Lunches and dinners were on own account, and I knew this going into the tour, subsequently budgeting for this. Lunches were taken at local restaurants along the route (the driver and guide would stop so we could have lunch at a local restaurant), and dinners were exclusively at the lodge/accommodation (because they were far removed from the town, this was the only option). Truck: The truck was a 5-seat 4x4, which meant there was ample room in the vehicle. I travelled alone, so there was no shortage of seats or space in the vehicle! The truck was in excellent condition, well equipped for the roads this journey/itinerary demanded and the driver took great care to inspect and service the vehicle daily. He inspected the tires and under the vehicle diligently, especially after we ran into complications with the diesel truck! Although the truck was in good condition to travel, the N8 road to Tsingy de Bemaraha is in extremely poor condition (unpaved, very bumpy, lots of debris, patches of thigh-high water etc.), and our vehicle suffered a major breakdown on the way to Tsingy de Bemaraha. In one of the trickier mud/water patches, something struck the diesel tank of our vehicle, causing the tank to crack. Subsequently, our vehicle was leaking diesel and we risked getting stranded en route to Tsingy without any fuel. Luckily, this occurred 20 minutes into the drive from the lodge, so we could safely turn the vehicle around and return to the village. While the driver and guide stayed behind with the inoperable vehicle, they had arranged with another guide to transport me to Tsingy de Bemaraha alongside his client from Australia. I was very fortunate they both agreed to this, otherwise I would have travelled all of that way to have missed our on the opportunity to visit Tsingy (and I would have been very disappointed)! The vehicle was repaired in the village and we were able to make it back to Morondava safely and without incident (thankfully!). That all said, we were not the only casualty on the road - one vehicle suffered a flat tire and two others suffered an overheating radiator. The latter had to be replaced by new vehicles as they were no longer able to make the trip back to Morondava. Throughout all of this, it was really nice to witness that the guides help each other (and their respective clients), ensuring that no vehicle, tourist or driver/guide is left behind. Note on Tsingy de Bemaraha: I think it should be indicated on the itinerary that there is some scrambling, and semi-technical rock clinging required if you wish to visit the big circuit of Tsingy (the most scenic of the two). The entire hiking circuit to and from Tsingy will take approximately 4 hours (or less, depending on your pace and how frequently you stop for rest and photographs). I did not find the hike particularly hard or straining (I train 6 days a week); however there were extremely steep semi-technical sections that you were required to climb. As someone who has never before participated in rock clicking, I had apprehensions about the steep and narrow ledges. I managed just fine with the local guide (mandatory and included in the park entrance fee), but there were definitely sections that struck a bit of fear into me (the climb to the peak and also the swinging bridge). The local guide provides you with a climbing harness with clips so you can secure yourself to the limestone walls. Some caving is also required - there are some narrow and low passages you will need to maneuver. However, the guide is with you at all times and will help you to find your correct footing. I was thankful to have the expertise of the guide! I don’t regret any part of the hike (even the steep and narrow sections), but I also feel that the itinerary should provide information about what the hike entails. Many tourists, myself included, were given no information about the hiking conditions. It would have been nice to know beforehand so I could mentally prepare myself! I think also full disclosure of what the hike entails is important because those with a fear of heights may well reconsider hiking the big Tsingy circuit or journeying to Tsingy altogether should they not feel comfortable doing the hike. My point is, it’s important that tourists receive the information beforehand so they can make an informed decision about the itinerary. Roads: As I have mentioned before, expect really poor road conditions on this itinerary. The roads are unpaved, dusty, incredibly bumpy, full of rocks, debris and holes, and there are sections that made me question whether we could safely pass, namely when there were massive trenches full of water, mud, or trenches with a combination of both mud and pools of water. If you enjoy traveling in comfort, this itinerary is not for you! I was bouncing around in the vehicle for hours and hours! Also, note that there are two ferry crossings required in this itinerary - one of approximately 45 mins and another only 10 mins. Sometimes long waits are required if you are in the long queue of vehicles waiting for the ferry, or if the ferry isn’t quite full enough to make the departure (usually 3 cars per ferry). Execution of itinerary: In large thanks to Koen of MTT Tours and the driver and guide, the itinerary was executed precisely as planned. Departure times were on time, and arrival times were as communicated, even on long drive days where road conditions were difficult to anticipate. Days where we experienced delays likely were outside of the control of the driver and guide, and due to long queues of 4x4 vehicles also taking tourists to Tsingy! There were approximately 20 or so 4x4s trailing us (mostly at a distance because of my guide’s suggestion we depart early to beat the vehicle traffic!) at any given time. Overall: I really had a wonderful tour with MTT tours, and for me, the executed itinerary was the highlight of Madagascar. I wouldn’t hesitate to travel with MTT Tours again, and recommend to my fellow travellers that they engage the excellent services of this tour operator. I am confident that MTT Tours can expertly execute your desired itinerary within your intended budget!
      Written 9 May 2024
    • JanineP40
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Wonderful Experience!
      We booked this tour from home and had good communication prior to arriving as to our hotel (which was not listed on the site, but they picked us up from). This was a private tour. Our guide stopped by our hotel the day before to touch base. We left at 7 am and were given as much time as we wanted at Avenue of Baobabs. Guide provided info on trees. Roads are tough. Took 2.5 hours to travel 40 km. Not good if you have a small bladder. Kirindy forest and different guide who was excellent. We saw Lemurs close up. Lunch was at Kirindy Lodge. 2 hours there. Could have had a swim if we knew to bring bathing suits. Back to Baobabs for sunset. 2 hours there to wait. Loved our day! Andrew was a good driver. Bring/wear: long pants, close toed shoes, bathing suit, mosquito repellent, water, cash, candies for local kids at love Baobab.
      Written 12 April 2024
    • tazm649
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great and sad
      Everything worked according to plan. My driver for the tour was amazing. Lovely places and of course lemurs. The only issue that the driver for tsingy bit didn't speak English but pretended and perhaps didn't pay attention to his hygiene much. And madagascar is on fire everywhere. Smell of burn can't be escaped . It's a shame because madagascar is beautiful
      Written 29 March 2024
    • H5693SIpeterw
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Golden monkeys raiding the potato field was hilarious to watch
      We weren't in Virunga for gorillas - we'd already visited them in Uganda - but to see the golden monkeys at the edge of the forest. These beautifully coloured and rare monkeys have taken a liking to potatoes grown on the farmland next to the wall that marks the edge of the national park. They make hilarious raids past children armed with sticks, trying to grab a potato - but when tourists are there, they know the children won't whack them and so become emboldened, running between your legs to get at the crop. This was a very well organised and gentle activity, offering another opportunity to support the local community by taking a porter.
      Written 5 September 2023
    • 814camilaz
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great day trip!
      Malala and Adolf were great guides! We enjoyed getting to see many species of Lemurs. I recommend this day trip from Antananarivo. Definitely worth it!
      Written 29 May 2023
    • Hailsk2411
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great day!
      We had Eli as our guide and Adolf as our driver. They turned up on time. Adolf was a great driver. The national park was fabulous! We saw lots of lemurs and all three different types. Vakona was a great private park. We saw the lemurs (after then 33 second boat ride! ;)) and the crocodiles and geckos. Lunch was fabulous. It was a long day. The roads aren’t great but no worse than in west Africa so really depends how much you’ve travelled. Overall a fab day out!
      Written 23 April 2023
    • ospeter4822
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      הדרכה מצויינת
      On a cruise on the Sifik River, I recommend the guide Justin Bob. A guide with wide knowledge, responsible and very nice Justine Bob
      Written 17 October 2022
    • brigelba
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      I was charged for this trip 296EUR. To my taste it is overpriced for riding a tuk-tuk + very mediocre lunch
      My guide Edilson, was good. He knows the history of the places we visited, but the structure of the tour and service is way too low for this price. You can get a Ballon ride in Bagan for US$300! So, the mean of transportation is tuk-tuk, which is a surprise because it is not mentioned in the description. Of course, using slow transportation means you cannot quickly reach different places. I did not get bottled water, although it is the tour description. I tried exactly three exotic fruits in the market. Better do not ask about hygene! I got a lunch (though tasty!) in a very mediockre lunch place. I visited Fortress, one Art exhibition, park, an inyard of museum and I saw from a distance two churches ,and visited a handicraft market and French Culture center. In comparison: a guided walking tour (3 hours) in Bruklyn to visit around 60+ murals costed US$20. A walking tour in Kyiv (3,5 hours) to see architecture pearls costed US$20 per person.
      Written 1 December 2019
    • Leonora18
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Close encounters
      Local guide educate in detail of different species of lemur and sifakas. Lovely forest although animals in captivity to a certain extent and get fed which I do now approve of. But it gives one the opportunity to see these wonderful special animals
      Written 19 November 2019
    • E9890XVthomasb
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Disappointing service
      As the previous reviewer stated, the company did not allow for refund despite claiming so. We mixed up our dates in the online reservation and requested a change to a cheaper package for the half-day tour option to Lemur Park. The company did not refund the difference in price (about 50%) and stated that they had a no refund policy, despite our contacting them a week prior to the reserved time and despite the web site claiming refunds. Beware before you book.
      Written 23 September 2019
    • Laura P
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Poor Communication from Company
      Our group booked this tour for one week later than we intended, and although the site lists that they make no refunds for cancellations and we recognize that the error was on our end, it was disappointing because we emailed the listed address and attempted to call immediately after booking to adjust the confirmation. We never heard back despite several attempts to communicate. It's understandable that small travel companies are short staffed, but after so many positive experiences with responsive Viator and TripAdvisor tours, that this company could not maintain that level of customer service. I will not be recommending this company to colleagues or friends traveling to Madagascar as there are so many alternatives.
      Written 10 September 2019
    • katiehs7
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      An authentic wildlife viewing experience for those looking to avoid the crowds
      I did the 10-day 3-camp (Ngaga, Lango, Mboko) circuit and had an incredible experience. With 10 years of wildlife viewing experience, I was blown away by the authenticity of the viewing and the expertise of the guides. Nothing about Odzala is canned. You hike a bunch through the forest to get to the gorillas and your viewings vary wildly day to day based on which group you're viewing and where they decide to settle down and eat. The bai is stunningly beautiful and you may get lucky enough to see hyenas stalking through the grass. Accommodations at all 3 lodges are very nice, and the food was delicious. Our guide was Alice and she was just exceptional. We had such a blast with her. Be sure to book a long trip (at least a week) so you have time to do the drive to the hide, where you can watch wildlife coming to the watering hole. Make sure to pack the right gear: quick-dry everything, long socks to tuck pants into to keep out bugs, full coverage river shoes for bai walks.
      Written 2 September 2019
    • EddieMaidenn
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Must do if you have a spare half day in Yaoundé.
      The park is a care center for apes, especially young apes that had their mother been killed by poachers. The apes are in fairly large fenced areas with abundant vegetation. Ultimate goal being to release them in the wild again. You get to see a large variety of apes, including two areas with gorillas. Tours are guided and take about 1.5hours. It is a 1,5 hour drive from Yaoundé. Ask your hotel for a driver. For 35.000 CFA you should be able to get a private drive in a normal car with airco to drive you, wait and get you back. No need to reserve anything in advance. The last 5 km are offroad but feasible with a normal car. Entrance is 7500 CFA for foreigners, 2000 CFA for locals (why not take your driver with you?) You'll be asked for a donation, and after the tour you'll feel happy to do so (typically 10-20.000 CFA) Admirable work by volunteers. It is amazing to see the apes in their almost natural habitat. All of the species large and small will fascinate you. Ask the guide to allow you plenty of time to watch them.
      Written 15 June 2019
    • Stellan D
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Beautiful lava formations
      This place has very interesting lava rock formations where the waves enter and create water pillars into the air
      Written 2 December 2018
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    Sambava Day Tour of the Vanilla Coast and SAVA River Ride provided by MTT Madagascar Travel and Tours

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