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Rija Tours

Toronto, Canada
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8 posts
13 reviews
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Rija Tours

We just returned from a trip to Madagascar. I worked out the itinerary and hotels and planned on travelling independently. However, the more I read the clearer it became that this wasn't an option as we were on a 17 day time constraint. We contacted a number of agents in order for them to book our hotels and provide us with drivers. Those based outside Madagascar were extremely expensive and I also have an issue with spending money outside of the country where I'm visiting. Rija tours name came up and in a matter of 8 days our hotels and itinerary were organised. We were met by Rija and Mammy as soon as we landed in Tana and everything went extremely well from there. Mammy became our driver for the first 5 days of the trip = to the north east of the country.He spoke excellent English, was an extremely good, safe driver and was generally helpful and easy to be with. After spending 4 days on our own on Ile SteMarie we flew back to Tana for a day and night before leaving from the airport again for Morondava, Kirindy and the Tsingy. This time we had Jean-Claude as our guide (Iunfortunately don't have the name of the driver but again he was excellent). He was a delight to be with and we had a lot of laughs with him. We flew back to Tana for a day before our night flight back to Paris. Rija arranged a day room for us near the airport and also got this nephew to take us shopping for last minute souvenirs at the crafts market.. All in all I can't recommend his company highly enough. His prices were very reasonable for everything he organised for us and I much prefer contributing to the local economy.

Warsaw, Poland
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1. Re: Rija Tours

Madagascar with RijaTours, October 2011

Our trip to Madagascar had been planned for a long time. We red many books and guides so we could choose places we wanted to see in with our own eyes. We decided to organize our tour to Madagascar through the local Malagasy tour operator RijaTours (www.rijatours.mg, rijatours@gmail.com). The list of our wishes was sent to Rija by e-mail. The answer was very fast – all our wishes could be realized. The proposal of Rija included: cars with fuel and drivers, guides from the agency, tickets for all national parks, accommodation in mid range hotels with private WC and two internal flights. All was promising, so we started organizing our trip.

On Sunday, 2 October we landed in Antananarivo (Tana). We met Rija, Angelo – our first guide and our first driver. Our great journey in Madagascar began!

The 18-days trip was as follows: Tana – rainforest in Andasibe NP – Morondava with famous Avenue de Baobab – Kirindy Reserve (we saw fosa!) – scenic Tsingy de Bemaraha (Le Grand and La Petite) – Ifaty-Mangily beach (with spiny forest in Reniala Reserve) – sandstone rocks in Isalo NP – rainforest in Ranomafana NP – Antsirabe – Tana. It was compilation of three trips from the RijaTours offer. In parks and reserves local guides were arranged for us by Rija stuff. In addition we visited two community-run parks, when we could very closely observe the unique nature, first of all lemurs and chameleons.

Everything went very well. Guides, Angelo in Tana and Andasibe, Jean-Cloude in Morondava and Tsingy, Rija from Ifaty-Mangily to Tana were friendly, helpful and hospitality. Our drivers (in minibus for 8 people and two cars 4´4) were excellent. Hotels were good. In many cases they were located close to national parks, on beautiful places, like Fean’ny Ala Hotel in Andasibe and Ches Gaspard Hotel (in “paradise garden”) in Ranomafana village.

Generally, the Rija and his stuff organized for us fantastic trip. They did everything they could to make our trip unforgettable. We highly recommend the RijaTours for all who want to know beautiful and magical country with diverse landscapes and exotic nature, for all who want to experience a great adventure!

Malgorzata & friends, Poland

San Jose
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141 posts
39 reviews
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2. Re: Rija Tours

Why do I find it strange that you never posted a single question on TripAdvisor and now suddenly you (like many Rija recommendations) write a long story how great Rija is. I find it strange and not credible!

Toronto, Canada
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8 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Rija Tours

I don't know which review you're referring to - however, I can assure you that I have posted reviews onTrip Advisor in the past (hotels and restaurants inThailand, Istanbul, Chicago as well as restaurants in various locales) and that my opinion of Rija Tours is exactly as I experienced it!! As far as questions go - I have not used Trip Advisor but have used more specialised sites for the countries I tend to travel to, which are usually off the beaten path of most travellers.

4. Re: Rija Tours

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5. Re: Rija Tours

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Removed on: 28 February 2013, 19:05
Oakville, Canada
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1 post
4 reviews
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6. Re: Rija Tours

This is long overdue because our trip was some months ago, and once we returned to Canada and got caught up in our life here I never got around to writing about our experience till the latest news of the cyclone and its devastation in Madagascar when it brought back delightful memories of our stay in Madagascar, the memorable trip with Rija Tours and my desire to share in the experience.

We heard of Rija Tours from friends who live in Madagascar. When I made enquiries I found Rija was the most reasonably priced for what we wanted to cover. He included all what other pricy operators had in their package. My husband and I were restricted in time and yet wanted to visit as many sights we could in and around Morandava and the Tsingy or Bemaraha . Rija worked around our schedule providing us with the best options and stay at the hotels we requested.

Our guide Jean Claude and the driver who were with us all the time were excellent and very considerate of our needs , stopping where ever we wanted to to take pictures . We visited the Avenue of Baobabs and spent couple of hours there taking photograps of the trees in the sunset with our guide informing us of the culture of the local people and all about these strange giant trees.

The next morning after a gruelling car ride to Bekopaka to visit the Tsingy National Park , we took a lovely relaxing ride in a double pirogue along the Manambolo river to see the Saklava cemetery , the limestone caves with stalactites and of course the beautiful high rocks along the river.

We took a tour of the magnificent limestone forest The Petite Tsingy, Jean Claude accompanied us and helped us all the way. He was not the park guide and need not have come with us but he explained the respect for older people in their culture and wanted to help( my husband and I have bad knees ). Once it was dark we took a short trip around the forest to see a variety of interesting chameleons , had it not been for our guide who patiently showed us the Mouse lemur we would have missed this little creature high up on a tree. The driver was also very considerate of the bumpy roads and tried his best not to have us fall off our seats. They were both very punctual and always very courteous. We felt at ease and very relaxed making his experience so enjoyable .

I have recommended Rija Tours to friends from Canada and they too had only praise for his team. I wish Rija Tours the best in their success as a local tour operator with a heart. Madagascar is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Thank You for the treasured memories.

manchester uk
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12 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Rija Tours

Our trip to Madagascar was in October 2007. I know this may seem a very late review but it is not our first, as we have recommended Rija Tours previously on other forums. We have visited many parts of the world including Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Africa, America, Ecuador, India but Madagascar remains one of our most memorable destinations. We chose Rija Tours based on other reviews and were very pleased that we had made this choice. Having contacted Rija via e-mail he organized our itinerary and accommodation based on our particular interests and we had a wonderful time. Rija took us along the Tsiribihina River, delighting us with his culinary skills on route. Other tours were with Mammy who charmed us with his funny stories and delighted us with his knowledge. Rija provided us with a wonderful experience and went out of his way to make our trip special. We found him genuinely friendly and helpful and would highly recommend him.

The Hague, The...
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1 post
3 reviews
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8. Re: Rija Tours

We also had a great trip with rija tours! Rija was very kind, he picked us up at the airport and treated us as his family! He drove us all around the city, arranged everything and didn't ask any money for it. We did a river trip with them and our guide Jean Claude was amazing. He was a great cook and taught us a lot about the people and the country. Both Rija and Jean Claudes english is very good (with a nice accent..). Because of family issues I had to return home immediately and he (together with rija) arranged everything, so I didn't have to worry about that. I would reccomment Rija tours to everybody, they are very reliable and made my short stay at madagascar unforgettable!!

Edited: 01 May 2012, 07:59
London
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135 posts
34 reviews
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9. Re: Rija Tours

I feel rather guilty about posting at this late stage, but we were in Madagascar in November 2011 and used Rija as our tour operator.

I can fully endorse the positive reviews. All the arrangements were efficiently made. We met Rija himself at the airport, which was reassuring. Our guide during most of the trip was the excellent Jean Claude, often mentioned in this forum. His attention to detail and proactive attitude were outstanding.

We will return to Madagascar, and we will use Rija when we do. But there are many other places in the world to visit first.

CA
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617 posts
3 reviews
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10. Re: Rija Tours

Can anyone comment Rija Tours guides' experience when it comes to birding? Are they knowledgeable on native bird identification and do they use any guide bks at all?