Who we are
Island Continent Tours has been designing outstanding tailor-made travel experiences for almost 20 years.
No matter who you are nor what your travel background is, we have always done our best to design original and breathtaking tours for each of our guests. The more we go, the more we love to provide unique thrills and new ways to experience Madagascar.
What makes us different
1. Reply within 24 hours to your request and quote
2.send you a clear program and an accurate quote about the conditions of sale within 48 hours.
3. be available at our emergency number reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. give you the best value for your budget .
5. provide our well maintained and excellent vehicles, with insurance and insure you to send a replacement within 10 hours in case of problem...
6. guarantee you the best Malagasy guides and driver
Sustainable and Responsible Tourism
Protecting the places we visit
Taking care of the destinations we visit is important to us. So we’re proud to be part of TreadRight, a joint initiative by The Travel Corporation family of brands which works to sustain environments and communities around the world for future generations.
(What is Travelife)
Learn about Travelife.
Meet the team
Madagascar is a fairly new destination in the world of tourism. Its many wonders wait to be explored. As an African country you can expect beauty and authenticity, but should also expect the unexpected: changes and unforeseen circumstances are part of daily life.
That is the reason why it is important to know who your local partner is when you plan your trip to Madagascar.
We hope this web-site will help you learn more about Madagascar and of course that you will come and explore our beautiful island with us!
Island Continent Tours is a Madagascar DMC, founded by Hely Rakotomanantsoa in 1998. A medium Tour Operator with encyclopaedic knowledge of the wonders of Madagascar, large enough to be solid and dependable, small enough to offer a personal custom service. The owners are fully involved in the day to day operations, at the planning stage to prevent problems and during te tour to solve them.
How it started:
The founder, Mrs Hely RAKOTOMANANTSOA, has made her way step by step into the tourism business, beginning from the lowest scale to becoming one of the leading Madagascar DMC's.
After a Master degree in English Literature at the University of Antananarivo, she started as a tourist guide for large groups, exploring the whole country, getting in-depth field experience and learning the needs and expectations of tourists, this was 22 years ago, when tourism in Madagascar was in its infancy. Good organisation, listening and giving the best to customers were a quality that she always had, opening her “the door” to Europe where she continued her study on “tourism and management” in Brussels.
Not only has she acquired a more formal and in-depth knowledge of the tourism business from her study, but her stay in Europe has also broadened her views : by visiting different European Tourism fairs, by meeting many Tours Operators during trade fairs in Belgium, Netherland, France, Spain, Germany, UK, Ireland, Scandinavian countries, she understood what European Tourism Professional are expecting from a DMC.
After graduating in Tourism Management from the CERIA Institute in Brussels, she spent a few months in Mauritius to experience the Mauritian Incoming Tourism business and then spent a few months working in first, a Travel agency, and then a Tour Operator in Brussels to understand and experience the business of outbound tourism operator, how to get a client, how to turn it into a sale and how to keep this client for another destination. Then in November 1998, with her diploma and various insights into international tourism, she went back to Madagascar and founded Island Continent Tours, named thus because Madagascar has most characteristics of a continent
From small beginnings with hard work, having the trust of many European Professional in Tourism, the company grew, acquiring cars, 4wd and busses in order to insure a seamless service. To further insure the comfort of customers, in 2005, an office and the Island Continent Hotel were built close to Ivato airport in Antananarivo, the gateway to Madagascar.
10 years later in 2008, Franz, her Belgian partner, joined the company, assisting Hely in management and marketing, developing new products. Franz comes from a very different background, aviation, as pilot and aircraft engineer. He travelled for 25 years and has worked in 35 countries on 4 continents. In 2007 during one of his flying missions, he spent a few months in Madagascar and fell in love with the country. In the beginning of 2008, he decided to settle in Madagascar. He quit his job, and joined ICTours.
Island Continent Tours is located in Ivato, just 3 minutes from Ivato International Airport, a location chosen on purpose for its proximity to the International airport, the gateway to Madagascar.
Our objectives :
To meet Our Customer's ever increasing expectations in terms of quality service and to fulfil their desire for original experiences and new horizons.
To create and organise memorable tours for our guests, offering them unique experiences enjoying the beauty of Madagascar. To provide the experience of life time.
To go the extra mile for our guests by adding an extra touch, special surprise, creating special events.
To make tourism a tool for developing the social and economy of Madagascar, to privilege local suppliers, to educate them, to make them more professional, to help them become a durable business benefiting their local community.
Our reputation :
Island Continent Tours has an excellent record of customer satisfaction.. Almost without exception our guests return or refer their friends. This outstanding return and referral rate directly corresponds with our uncompromising commitment to exceed each guest's expectations. You are welcome to request a list of references of people who have been with us in the past, and will be coming with us again.
Our experienced staff fluent in English, Dutch and French will take care of all your requests and needs
Travel Agencies, Tour Operators as well as Individuals have year after year entrusted Island Continent Tours with the organization of their travels in Madagascar
WHAT WE OFFER YOU:
With our years in business, experience and knowledge, we keep inventing new exciting trips for our customers; we explore every corner of the country, find new spots; we fine-tune our experience through the customers and our staff’s feedback.
We offer a wide range of activities covering the whole country: from hotel and flight booking to the most complicated organisation of a film maker. We put together different packages, including accommodation, flights, and excursions. We also organise specialised tours such as bird watching, whales watching, botanical tours, sailing, fishing, and diving, hiking and trekking, photography. We customize and arrange events for honeymoon, special anniversary or celebration, whether on individual basis, or for a large group on incentive.
Our management, guides and back-office team have explored the 4 corners of Madagascar, have met our local suppliers, and have tested the product ourselves before selling it to our customers. This enables us to tailor our customers’ tours according to their wishes, their budget and their expectation.
Our guides are all passionate and knowledgeable, our back office are as dedicated and experienced, we are able to provide unique and original itineraries that allow our clients to take a in depth journey of the region and into those special and secret places we all love to discover.
WHY CHOSING ISLAND CONTINENT TOURS AS YOUR MADAGASCAR PARTNER?
A multicultural, dedicated and passionate team at your disposal, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Madagascar, combined with a western perspective.
A loyal team who has been working with ICTours for a long time, most of them have been working more than 8 years, going through local difficulties and political crisis.
A team, who fully shares the vision of the company which is putting customers first and above all, delivering outstanding services, go the extra miles and provide excellent service exceeding our guests’ expectations, sparing them the administrative jungle and bureaucracy of Madagascar so our customers fully enjoy their holidays in a seamless way and have a life time experience in Madagascar
We all know that unexpected surprises are part of travelling in Africa and Madagascar is no exception. We do plan and arrange everything ahead of your holiday with minute attention to detail thus leaving nothing to chance. We always have a plan B ready for you to cater for unforeseen last minutes changes from the airline or other suppliers.
MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING DEPARTMENT:
Hely: founder - managing director – owner :
Hely strong points are creating, organising and leading (maybe her past as a Scout chieftain explains it). Being number 7 in a family of 8 must explain her fighting spirit. “Impossible” is not part of her vocabulary.
She “figuratively speaking” moves mountains for her clients, finding solutions where everybody else would give up. She constantly strives for excellence and spends a lot of her energy to make her customers happy. A well known figure in Malagasy tourism, her contacts throughout the industry are invaluable.
Favourite place : anything with water: river lake sea. Sainte Marie Island, Canal des Pangalanes, Giethoorn in the Netherlands
Franz : managing director – owner
A Belgian who fell in love with Madagascar during a mission he did in Madagascar in October 2007. A licensed airline pilot and aviation engineer, specialised in aerial photography, he worked in 30 different countries with his aircraft before he decided to settle in Madagascar and join Island Continent Tours as Hely’s partner in life and business.
Franz’s contribution to the company is great with his very high standards (because of his previous job). He is demanding in the quality of our offer and mainly the security of customers. He has the mindset of the “Western tourist” which makes him the quality control inside the company.
From time to time, Franz is leading Dutch and Flemish speaking groups (Belgian and Dutch). This is to practice his mother tongue (Flemish) not spoken at all in Madagascar but also to check all accommodations, parks, guides and above all to get accurate customers’ feed-back.
Franz’s favourite : doing a multi-day trip by motorbike all over Madagascar. Languages: Flemish (Dutch), English, French, German, a bit of Malagasy.
OPERATION AND INCOMING DEPARTMENT:
Ony: Head of Production and Operation Department, Tours consultant
Started at ICTours in 2004 as a 6 months trainee as a booking agent and tours guide. Got a permanent job in 2005: doing back –office work: putting together a program, quotation, tailor-made request, groups, airline tickets, car rental and also a tours guide for Belgian groups. In 2007, 2 weeks Tours Leader training in Nairobi ( by a Dutch Tours Operator) which has been followed by different training on guiding techniques, fauna and flora of Madagascar, English language. In 2014: became head of Production department.
“In 10 years of back -office work I have learned a lot about the tourism business. And in 11 years in the field as a tour guide, I have discovered the different wonders of Madagascar. Being guide enables me to see all the different accommodation so I can compare and advise and in the same time I am able to feel my customers’ reaction in every place so I can change or rectify as soon as possible. This helps me to give a full and up-to-date advice to my customers and help them to choose the best to them.
During these 11 years guiding, there has never been a dull moment, everyday there is something new, another challenge to give my best and to make my clients happy and have a lifetime trip”.
My passion: guiding clients all over the island, explaining the history of Madagascar, its culture, bringing them to small villages and meet the locals and letting them discover Madagascar beauty.
Most memorable time : My first confirmed trip proposal in March 2005: “party Martijn from the Netherland”.
Scariest time : the first time I had to speak in front of a group of Belgian tourists in 2004.
My favourite place : The West with its beautiful landscape: huge baobabs, the Tsingy, rivers, friendly local people and dirt tracks full of adventure.
Language: English – French
Lydie: Tours Consultant
Learned electronics but moved to the tourism field and joined Island Continent Tours in 2007 as a tour consultant. Her main job is back-office: elaborating programs and quotes for tailor-made and fixed departure groups and organising the whole process: advising and customising the trip according to the customers wishes, booking, confirmation, chose the best guide and check all the operations during customers’ holidays, make sure that everything runs as planned.
“I have been working as a travel consultant since 2007. My experience in the world of tourism has developed over the years inside Island Continent Tours, by travelling and visiting many regions, hotels and lodges, different Parks and tourism curiosities inside Madagascar.
My different inspection trips, with my contacts with different Out bound Tours operators have broadened my horizon and has given me the ability to advise customers and put together trips for people coming from all over the world. Meeting the expectation and executing customers’ wish teach me a lot and makes my job worthwhile.
My favourite location is the “Canal des Pangalanes” in the East where everything remains ancestral. Daily life events are lived in respect of traditions making people, tolerant, warm, and very friendly. They live peacefully and in harmony with nature”.
Languages: English, French.
Hasina: Ony’s assistant
Hasina’s job is to help and assist Ony in making all necessary arrangements: booking Hotels, flights, cars, guide and all different excursions, she also deals with preparation of Travel documents, administration and makes sure that everything is ready before clients arrive, of course under the supervision of Ony. Started at ICTours in 2012, come from educational fields as teacher then joined ICTours in 2012.
“I was born in Ihosy in the south of Madagascar. I started working at ICTours in 2012 as a travel consultant. When I finished the secondary school, I started as a teacher in private school in my town. Then Ony suggested me to apply at Island Continent Tours as I really wanted to work on tourism and discover the marvel of Madagascar, its fauna and flora and also to let people from other country discover and explore Madagascar.
My first year at ICTours was a kind of learning as tourism is very new to me but with my sense of organisation, my methodical character, I started to enjoy and have a lot of fun. I then started to discover many places during the different inspection trips the company offered to us.
Favourite place : North of Madagascar because it has all: an extraordinary diversity in wildlife, landscape and culture.
Languages: French, English
Mendrikaja: Assistant of Lydie, planning
DESCRIPTION TO DO
Languages: French, English
Ando: Assistant of Lydie
Ando’s job is to assist Lydie and Theo in dealing with Hotel, airline, car rental booking. He also makes sure that everything matches with clients’ wishes and plan and reminds all the suppliers. All Ando’s jobs are under Lydie and Theo’s supervision and control. He is also doing Product research, and he is an English speaking Tours guide trainee.
After my high school, I did 3 years study and graduated from Tourism at INTH, “Madagascar National Tourism and Hotel Institute” the best and well-known tourism school in Madagascar. I worked as 3 months trainee in 2014 at Island Continent Tours and joined the company as a fulltime employee from December 2014.
“I chose tourism because organising trips throughout my beautiful country is the best job that one can have. It is a daily challenge to search and find out the best program for customers but at the end it is so rewarding when clients are happy with what I have chosen for them.
Selecting my favourite place in Madagascar is not easy, there are so many wonderful sights, but my all-time favourite is Isalo National Park with its extraordinary views
Languages: French, English
ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT :
Sarah: Human Resources, Administration, Accounting and Finance
Graduated from “Management and Finance” at the University of Antananarivo. Joined Ictours in 2007 as accountant then Human Resources and Administration from 2013. My job is make sure that invoice has been sent to customers and exact payment has been received.
Then I make sure that bills sent by suppliers match to the service requested and pay them according to the agreed contract and condition. I also remind my colleague at production department about the different deadline for payment.
I also deal with the human resource, taking care of all social welfare of the whole staff, the salary, and holidays.