The words from Sonja Gottlebe (founder and managing director). 2018 is the 30iest anniversary year of Boogie Pilgrim Madagascar Tour operator and Bush House Pangalanes Channel Hotel.
Boogie Pilgrim, a personal, passionate, and family story!
I started working as a German speaking guide after finishing high school exams. It was in a travel agency in Antananarivo. I did many different jobs in tourism. That was thirty years ago, although it seems like yesterday.
When I wasn’t guiding tourists on trekking trips, I stayed in Bush House, my second home. It became a holiday home on the Pangalanes where we hosted « vahiny » (visitors) from around the world. While my two girls were growing up, I started work as a tour operator: Boogie Pilgrim. Set up in 1988, I and my ex-husband wanted to give it an unusual name. The title of a lesser known song by Elton John was perfect: Boogie Pilgrim Madagascar Tour Operator.
Mother of three children, I also built two other lodges in isolated regions of Madagascar. Tsara Camp in the valley of Andringitra in 1999, and Mananara Lodge in the Anjozorobe forest corridor in 2002.
All our activities are carried out with the environment in mind. Guided by the principals of sustainable tourism. Our efforts have been given several awards and accreditations.
The “Boogies” are a team, a family which has got through political crises, epidemics of the plague, buildings being destroyed by cyclones and raging bush fires. We know how to roll up our sleeves and overcome any problems. We have been doing this for thirty years. This strength is what I am most proud about.
Boogie was among the pioneers in tourism in Madagascar in many different sectors and is now looking to the future of tourism in Madagascar. We believe that Madagascar is more than just lemurs and baobabs. My partner Patrice and I see the potential of Madagascar as an ideal place for many sports.
Since 2016, Boogie Events has been our site online for sales of sporting activities in Madagascar. There are more than sixty available trails. Together with Boogie Events, this year we are organizing the third year of the Ultra Trail of Madagascar.
The Boogie Pilgrim Group has many plans for the future. It is true that the owners have some grey hair, but they are passing on their experience and building on good foundations so that Madagascar can earn the place that it deserves in the international tourism market.
For the 30iest year of Boogie Pilgrim Madagascar Tour Operator, there will be special events and a special tour “out of the beaten tracks” will be set up. Keep you informed with our Facebook page or via our Newsletter.
We celebrate also the 30th anniversary of Bush House!