In a country where the term ‘unique’ is liberally used, Mandrare River Camp really is a one-off. Set in the wilds of southeast Madagascar, an oasis of comfort and once-in-a-lifetime experiences can be found in the most far-flung of locations on the serene banks of the Mandrare River.
In this blissfully remote location, protected sacred forests house myriad wildlife species and play a key role in the ancient traditions of the Antandroy people. Countless intriguing endemic species make the spiny forests here their home, including Ring-tailed and Sportive lemurs, Verreaux's sifaka and warty chameleons. That so much of the natural habitat here remains completely unspoilt is testament to the vigilant protection of the Antandroy tribe, who consider these forests sacred and have long chosen them as the final resting place for their ancestors.
A daily programme of small-group activities lead by expert guides immerses guests into the wonders of the region. You may find yourself looking out for sifakas dancing along the ground in the gallery forest, absorbing the sights and sounds of Antandroy life in Ifotaka village or taking a night walk in the sacred spiny forest in search of nocturnal mouse lemurs. Further afield, a day trip to Lac Anony offers opportunities to scramble up enormous dunes and view flamingos basking in the salt waters.
Back at camp, seven supremely comfortable air-conditioned tented suites offer four-poster king-size beds, en-suite bathrooms and private decks facing out over the river. Electricity and hot water, generated by solar power, are available 24 hours a day. A swimming pool and riverside lounge offer additional relaxing spaces for downtime between activities, while memorable sundowners are followed by communal dinners of the freshest Malagasy produce prepared with French and regional influences.
Wildlife and nature lovers
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
Wake to the sounds of the sacred spiny forests and the views of Mandrare river
Contemplate life on the river from the comfort of your veranda, as local children bathe and farmers pass with their herds of zebu
Cool down from your morning’s adventures with a refreshing dip in the pool
After a delicious barbecue lunch, retreat to the riverside lounge for a gin and tonic
Round off the day with sundowners on the riverbank or under the shade of an enormous baobab tree
Dine under the stars enjoying the spectacle of some of southern Africa’s least polluted night skies
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
Explore the sacred spiny forest with your guide, discovering its rich flora and fauna and learning more about the ancestral tombs and customs of the Antandroy people
Seek out lemurs, chameleons and dancing sifakas in the gallery forest
Visit the colourful local village of Ifotaka, taking in the bustle of daily life
Walk to the nearby wetlands to spot some of the region’s countless species of bird
On a day trip to Lake Anony, scale enormous sand dunes for views of the ocean and spot flamingos on the lake
Venture into the spiny forest by night to seek out mouse lemurs and white-footed sportive lemurs perched in the trees
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