*As seen in The Logbook
Madagascar is an island unlike any other. Possessed of seemingly magical and otherworldly creatures and vegetation it offers a vast abundance of life. And too many adventures to choose from. In 2011 Frank Janssens founded a company to meet the growing needs of travellers to have a holiday designed and implemented for them.
MADAFOCUS, has been bringing travellers from the Lowlands in Europe to the Great Red Island of Madagascar since then and has grown on the tide of reviews and recommendations received.
Covering Dutch, Flemish, German and English speakers the business works not only with individual clients but also travel agents seeking a ready-made circuit. Working from its base camp in Antsirabe it reveals in manageable and highly engaging tours the beauties of this ancient and wild island. An island, that thanks to its unique isolation over the last 150 million years, is considered by many to be one of the most important evolutionary experiments in natural history.
At the helm of this great enterprise is Frank Janssens, a highly experienced and passionate tour leader himself who insists that each of his guides and drivers are trained to a specific standard. Thanks to this, MADAFOCUS is known to be one of the most reliable and enjoyable tour operators available. Each year they organise workshops and courses to further train their staff and they also provide schooling for local youngsters aspiring to have a career in tourism.
Smaller groups of two to six people are accompanied by either a French or English-speaking driver/guide while bigger groups, who may travel in multiple vehicles or a bus are accompanied by an extra tour leader. In addition to French and English, on request a Dutch-speaking tour guide can be made available.
Many good relationships have been built up by Frank with the parks, villages, cities and beaches that feature on MADAFOCUS’ itineraries. These relationships have proved to be lifelong and valuable as it has enabled them to continue to work with the best experts in the business for various different tours.
There is a long-standing tradition of great accommodation in Madagascar. Many a grand hotel was built during the island’s colonial period and often these were nearby spas or natural hot springs. In more recent years Frank has seen a trend of boutique hotels springing up that pay great attention to clothing and gastronomy.
He has also seen that the more pocket friendly end of the spectrum has been growing steadily so there is a wide range of places for the intrepid adventurer to stay. Many of these boutique locations include tents and huts built in a local style to offer a genuine feel.
ADVENTURE AND COMFORT
According to Frank, while on tours they always opt for luxurious hotels where a lot of care is taken to make the individual comfortable. With the adventurous side of the tour it is beneficial to juxtapose this with very comfortable accommodation. However, just because it is comfortable does not mean it lacks that authentic Madagascar feel which visitors travel to experience.
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