*As seen in The Logbook
Fabrizio Campagna fell in love with Madagascar in 1998 when venturing across the island with a friend. After several additional visits, he met the woman that would become his wife, they had twins and chose to settle permanently. He founded Freebird Madagascar Tours to introduce people to the wild and colourful beauty of this untamed island which had so completely captured his heart. This was in 2012.
A graduate from Tourism School in Italy, Freebird Madagascar Tours is Fabrizio’s first endeavour into the industry and enabled him to combine his love for the island with his talent for entertainment. As it turns out, while living in Italy, he was a rock and roll musician and a DJ, working in many musical events and shows where he learnt how to package and market a top experience.
He explains that the island, filled with such cordial and happy people and such an abundance of exotic wildlife, deserves to be seen. It is unique and isolated and one of the few remaining Edens to be explored.
Working with one assistant and several freelance drivers and guides, Fabrizio believes in employing locally and relying on the home-advantage of experience to provide the best trips for his clients.
Tours can vary from 8 to 21 days, and there is a wide variety of different ways to enjoy them. Fabrizio’s client list includes ardent adventurers, who relish the hard-off-road treks into jungles and landscapes unexplored, and holiday makers wanting to luxuriate in a five-star ecolodge observing lemurs in the trees while floating in a sparkling pool on a Lilo.
According to him, this is what makes Freebird Madagascar Tours unique. His direct relationship with his clients that allows him the opportunity to arrange tailor-made trips for them, suggesting ideas that they may not have considered. With this in mind, many clients come to him with challenging requests which he has built a reputation for meeting.
THAT PERSONAL TOUCH
Being customer focused is key to Fabrizio’s way of working. Being involved directly with his clients, finding out their needs and desires and arranging the best way to give them the perfect experiences. This is what he started his business for.
His way of working is to open up communications through email, WhatsApp and Skype and have regular conversations. This way, when a client finally arrives to Madagascar, they already know each other and are ready and excited for what’s to follow.
Generally, even his average tour takes clients to see an astonishing variety of wildlife, plant life and cultures with a range of landscapes indicative of the various weather patterns affecting this ocean-locked country.
A good night’s sleep is the best way to end an exciting and adventurous day and Madagascar does have some of the most specialized and beautiful luxury lodges and boutique hotels in some amazing locations. The accommodation used has to meet Fabrizio’s own personal standard, so irrespective of budget, clients will have great showers and comfortable beds.
“Especially for tours lasting more than a single day, you can’t overvalue the importance of getting a good night’s sleep,” Fabrizio says, “It’s no secret that people have a better time and are happier when they’re well rested.”
In 2020 Fabrizio wants to introduce a new product. A series of tours focussed around the northeast of the country, a land of big vanilla plantations and hidden forests that has not been visited by many tourists.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
There are a few things for newcomers to the island to keep in mind Fabrizio says, mostly that Madagascar has its own unique flow of time. On the island, it moves at its own speed and this usually slow. Visitors have to synchronize to it, otherwise they can miss the essence and the beauty of the country. At the welcoming briefing he always says:
“Impossible situations are easily and magically resolved but easy tasks can take days in Madagascar!”
PRICE: Roughly €2000 per person for two weeks.
ADDRESS: LOT AB 97 Ankadindravola, Ivato, Antananarivo, MADAGASCAR
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 00261 32 4048139