Destinations > Madagascar
Madagascar has over 1,800 miles of beautiful beaches, exceptionally good food, and a unique flora and fauna are its greatest attraction.
Lemurs: These prosimian primates are found wild only in Madagascar.
Exotic Birds: Five families of birds are endemic to Madagascar.
Rare Plants: Madagascar boasts one of the richest floras in the world with more than 10,000 species of vascular plants, over 80% of which are endemic to the island.
Other Attractions: reptiles (including chameleons, geckoes, turtles and tortoises), amphibians (including brightly colored frogs), beautiful butterflies, moths and stick insects, fantastic coral reefs, whales during the breeding season, and so much more make this a destination of distinction.
In a nutshell, we have found it better to suggest accommodations, that offer good service in prime locations showcasing the above highlights of Madagascar, rather than listing just names of parks and places, as there is little choice in Madagascar, and many places we would not want to recommend unless your a young ‘backpacker’ on a shoestring budget, roughing it. Below are our suggestions of places to stay where we can be sure you will be well taken care of and hosted to a standard we can stand behind.
Setam Lodge is just inside Ranomafana National Park. Each of the 10 bungalows looks out over the rain forest below.
This is your only choice for accommodation, for those wishing to visit Ranomafana National Park. This is not your 4/5 star destination.
The Ranomafana National Park was established to preserve two of Madagascar’s endangered lemur species, the golden bamboo lemur and the greater bamboo lemur. So this 40,000 hectare area is great for spotting them.
Les Dunes d’Ifaty
To Tulear, a short 1 hour flight from Antanarivo, you take your transfer to Les Dunes d’Ifaty where en-route you normally arrange a visit to the Arboretum de Antsokay which showcases the bizarre drought resistant flora of the Southern region. A further 90 minutes to Ifaty beach is Les Dunes d’Ifaty Beach Hotel. This is in the most interesting area of spiny bush, early morning excursions to the spiny bush for bottle baobabs, octopus trees, rare birds and more make this a worthwhile addition to your adventure.
Isalo Rock Lodge – Isalo National Park
Isalo Rock Lodge is a modern and stunning 60 Room Retreat, positioned high in the Sandstone Mountains, overlooking the Isalo National Park in south western Madagascar. The views from the lodge are breathtaking. Whilst luxury abounds in the hotel with all modern amenities, Isalo is home to many species of flora and fauna, including, the Giant Chameleon and the renowned Lemurs. The park is known for its wide variety of terrain, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, palm-lined oases, and grassland. A local guide is required for visitors entering the park.
Anjajavy Hotel – North Western Coastal Madagascar
After taking a flight offering magnificent low altitude vistas of the magical scenery beneath you, you will land on a private runway and be met
and escorted to your villas. Anjajavy is located on the western coast, 120 km north of Majunga. Situated at the end of a peninsula opening onto the “Mozambique Canal”, your view is of white, sandy beaches and a never-ending emerald ocean. This is the first “Relais & Chateau” property in Madagascar and is ranked by European standards as a 4-star plus establishment, ideal for the demanding ecotourist.
The hotel architecture is designed to offer maximum comfort for guests whilst offering a traditional Malagasy touch. Each bungalow is made from, and decorated with rose wood, the roof being thatched with Satrana. Both Santrana and Rosewood
are indigenous to Madagascar.
The 450-ha nature reserve alongside the hotel is home to over 1,800 floral species, most of which are endemic to the country, along with many medicinal plants. The forest is also home to many animal species such as the famous Sifaka lemur, the Bird of Paradise, many chameleon’s and Cuvier’s Oplure (a type of iguana). Days are at your leisure. Take time to enjoy the exquisite snorkeling opportunities and walk in the forest where you will encounter many lemurs and birds. The bungalows are all spacious with a private terrace overlooking the sea, a living
room with a small place for breakfast, and a bedroom. Upstairs there is a room designed for relaxing, which can also be used as a room for children.
There are plenty of activities and excursions to keep you busy, and included free of charge you can enjoy wind surfing, snorkelling, Waterskiing, Catamaran, walking excursions, fitness classes, Canoe trips through Mangroves & trips on a traditional pirogue.
For payable activities you can enjoy boat trips, fishing excursions & mountain biking. The hotel has a 200 m2 swimming pool facing the sea, surrounded by a tropical garden. At the back of the hotel, there is a forest with many animals. Fully signed trails are at the guest’s disposal to enjoy walking inside the forest and to lead to the nearby village. Many excursions on foot are available such as “ les pieds dans l’eau”
which crosses the mangrove during the low tide, “ Crique en Crique” offers walks across the different creeks, “la balade du géant” which is discovering the huge baobab (of 3m diameter), “a la rencontre des Sakalava” which is trekking in the forest to meet the local Sakalava tribe.
Vakona Forest Lodge – Natural Reserve of Andasibe
The drive to Andasibe from Antanarivo is through the green and luxuriant vegetation of the east. This brings us to the humid part of the country with many primary forests and lakes, and the landscape consists of rice fields, waterfalls, and scarce forest stations. Along the way we will see Merina villages in the rocky mountains. It is possible to stop en-route at the Reptile & Butterfly farm, rather run down, finally arriving to Andasibe in the late afternoon generally. In the evening we generally enjoy a night walk within the Andasibe area to observe night active lemurs and other nocturnal animals.
Natural Reserve of Andasibe
After breakfast, most guests take a morning visit to the Special Reserve of Andasibe, where we will discover the many species dwelling in the forest. In particular, your guide will search for the Indri Indri, the largest lemurs on the island. This 810 ha reserve is unique with its endemic fauna and flora. It contains a wide variety of orchids, canopy, and endemic animals like chameleons, tenrecs, and many birds.
There is an Orchid garden that can be visited, and the Lemur Islands at Vakona Forest Lodge where you can meet the resident Lemurs up close.
Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge – Coastal South-East
Manafiafy is 2 hrs 30 mins drive from Fort Dauphin. You drive through plantations of mango, citrus, pineapples and bananas to the ocean coast and Manafiafy. Situated on a beautiful white sandy bay, fringed with forest covered mountains, the lodge offers barefoot luxury with wildlife and water on our doorstep. Enjoy the location of the lodge in the later afternoon, as the sunsets over the bay.
Some of the options include: Canoeing in the mangroves, early morning boat trips forwetland birding, day and night walks in the rain forest to see five species of lemur, snorkeling in the bay and nearby cove, whale watching from the 15ft observation tower (June to December). Boat trips to the nearby islands, for a secluded picnic lunch, walks along long empty beaches, visits to the local village and school.
Optional activities, payable locally at the lodge include: massage treatments, whale watching boat trips (June to December), deep sea fishing trips.
Forest walks are the main reason for visiting this part of the island and those accessible from Manafiafy are “Littoral” rain forests – shady dense vegetation with a high degree of humidity and home to several Lemurs (collared brown, woolly, brown mouse, dwarf and sportive) as well as reptiles, spiders, birds, insects and orchids. Walks can be done at any time of the day and early evening, and are always accompanied by a Manafiafy guide.
The rocks, islands and bays surrounding Manafiafy provide endless opportunities for exploring and within a short boat ride it is possible to find deserted beaches, scout for whales, or snorkel in the crystal clear water viewing corals and tropical ‘aquarium’ fish. There is always something to do at Manafiafy and each excursion provides its own reward of new experiences unique to the island of Madagascar.
Mandrare River Camp – South East
Mandrare River Camp is 3hrs 30 mins drive from Fort Dauphin.
Enjoy relaxed breakfasts on the banks of the Mandrare river, before embarking on a trip to the sacred Antandroy forest, crossing the river on foot to observe lemurs and many bird species in native forest. You will also be able to see the tombs of the Antandroy ancestors, and your guide will explain in detail about the culture of ancestor worship.
Lunch will be served at camp, and there will be time to relax before we depart on an afternoon activity, unless you would prefer to rest at camp and enjoy the serenity of the river. Some of the activity options include a trip to the giant sand dunes of Lake Anony, watching the sun set at the Baobabs, night walks (gallery and spiny forest), watching various species of lemurs and birds, watching traditional dancers, and a visit to the village or local school.
Activities from the camp take place in the early mornings and late afternoons and evenings to avoid the heat of the day. There are a number of designated forest areas in close proximity to the camp, where, with permission from and being accompanied by one of the local village chiefs, it is possible to explore, together with your guide, this unique and fascinating natural paradise.
Antananarivo – Palissandre hotel & Spa
This 4* hotel is situated on a hill in the heart of Antananarivo, the bustling capital of Madagascar. With its exotic yet elegant rosewood interior, the Palissandre Hotel offers you Malagasy hospitality, with comfortable air-conditioned rooms containing a safe, minibar, satellite TV and telephone. Relax and indulge yourself in the Palissandre Spa including Hammam, gym, swimming pool and a large choice of beauty treatments such as massages, manicure/pedicure, facials and many more.
Antananarivo – Les Relais des Platea
This 3* hotel is situated close to the airport, providing easy access for scheduled flights departing early in the
morning where city traffic could be a concern. The hotel offers you Malagasy hospitality with comfortable air-conditioned
rooms containing a safe, minibar and television, and is set within a
wooded park surrounded by numerous exotic scents, palm trees, bougainvillea’s and
Antananarivo – Pavillion de l’Emyrne
The Pavillion de L’Emyrne has just twelve rooms and is situated in the heart of the
old town of Antananarivo. It was originally built as a private residence in the 1930s
and is a delightful city guesthouse with its own garden. In the evening good places to eat are within a short walk away.