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Trasformational Experiences

Madagascar, Madagascar

Collection of 11 places
A small, dreamy island in the canal of Mozambique Nosy Komba

Nosy Komba is a beautiful island a few kilometers away from Nosy Be, placed on the map for its population of habituated black lemurs. Hills fold dramatically into the water, creating sandy coves and sheltered harbors for fishing villages. The island’s main settlement is Ampangorinana, where the villagers have a keen eye for business: the dusty lanes are lined with embroidered tablecloths, woven baskets and wood carvings. Out of the village island life is quiet. There are numerous deserted coves to explore as well as paths that lead through tavy farms and into the hills where you will find birds, chameleons and black lemurs: best of all, you’ll have them all to yourself.

Paradise at the end of the world Île aux Nattes

Ile Aux Nattes (pronounced "eal oh nut"), also known as Nosy Nato, is a small but extremely beautiful tropical island (only 3 km in diameter) just off the southern tip of St Marie. The only way to reach the island is by lakana (traditional wooden canoes also known as a pirogue) from Sainte Marie. Some lakanas are always on standby on the beach just south-west of the airport runway and the trip across only takes about four minutes. During low tide a reasonable good swimmer can swim across the narrow channel (about 300 meters) separating the two islands. Although very small - it can be explored on foot in less than 3 hours - Ile Aux Nattes has everything travel brochures are made of. Unspoiled tropical beaches with fine white sand, coconut and other palm trees scattered along the shore, and a turquoise lagoon protected by coral reefs inhabited by a variety of exotic marine life.

Peppered with palms and covered in white sands Ifaty
Sea Town

The Ifaty southern region is delightfully laidback, comprised of two small fishing villages called Mangily and Madio Rano. Between these villages you will find a collection of bungalow accommodation options, making it an ideal beach destination to unwind after your more active trekking and wildlife exploits on other parts of the island, or simply watch the traditional ‘pirogue’ fishing boats ply the gentle waters. Due to the convenient location behind a large coral reef and the proximity to Toliara, first touristic infrastructure developed during the 1970ies. At the white sandy beaches of Ranobe bay (translated “big water”) at Mozambique Channel, you have the best opportunities to relax. The water is warm and the sun shines on more than 300 days of the year. Ifaty has a number of well equipped hotels and lodges, via which you can organize trips by zebu carts (charrettes), lobster diners, pirogue journeys or visits to the nearby Reniala Reserve as well as the tortoise village.

A unique traditional experience! Anakao
Fishing Village

Anakao or Anokao is a coastal fishing town of about 3000 on the southwest coast of Madagascar, 35 kilometers south of Toliara. It is located southwest of Soalara. It is inhabited by the Vezo people and is a notable resort getaway, containing the Club Resort Anakao, Anakao Ocean Lodge, Prince Anakao, and Chez Emile hotels. There are some tombs located near the point of the town. The terrible roads heading south make boat the best way to reach Anakao and fleets of pirogues line the shore. The inaccessibility of the village means that modern development has largely passed by Anakao.

Magnificent coral reef sheltering a colorful and abundant fauna Nosy Ve Island

Nosy Ve is an uninhabited coral island three kilometers off Anakao in the far southwest with deserted white-sand beaches and low greenery with little shade. Local fady (taboos) have left Nosy Ve unspoiled and provided a safe nesting ground for many red-tailed tropicbirds which allow close approach. Nosy Ve is a flat uninhabited and mostly unshaded island located off the southwest coast of Madagascar, about 5km from Anakao Village. The French originally landed at this location in 1888 prior to conquering the mainland. Some ancient tombs from French settlers can still be found here. The island has also served as a hideout for pirates as well as a slave departure port. Nosy Ve is a sacred location to the Vezo people, where each year locals sacrifice zebu according to traditional rituals. The island is home to the world's most southernmost all-year breeding colony of red-tailed tropic-birds, which attracts ornithologists from all around the world.

Welcoming introduction to the island Hell-Ville

Hell-Ville (Andoany) is a somehow decaying colonial town and the administrative center of the island, as well as its main port. The city is characterized by beautiful restored colonial buildings along the sea promenade, some of which were built early in this century and a covered market which give reasons to hope that efforts are made to prevent the architectural decay of the town. In the upper part of the port, old cannons dating back to the time of the pirates watch over the harbour. For the best sunset-viewing setting climb the hill where the old hospital was built. The sea gets dotted with white sails when the fishermen’s launches come back to port.

Nosy Be’s ‘Scared Tree’ is a world within itself Sacred Banyan Tree
Place of Worship

Miary’s village is well-known for its sacred banyan which is a fig tree characterized by long descending branches that reach the ground and thus look like roots. Miary’s banyan is repeatedly cited as the most representative of the island’s essence. The village is reachable by road, 10 km northeast of Tulear. Planted over 200 years ago, today this banyan has roots over an area of more than 5000 square meters – which is seriously more impressive than it sounds… It lies on the coast beyond the tiny village of Mahatsinjo, and the sacred tree was planted by the Queen of the Sakalava tribe in 1836. Nowadays, the Queen of Nosy Be makes an annual pilgrimage to sacrifice a zebu and gain benediction. It is a sacred tree with Indian origins and worshipped by its inhabitants. The fig tree is huge and its roots come out of the earth like tentacles. It is within an enclosure and you will be able to visit this magnificent place that has abundant legends and references to the royal ancestors. It a silent dark place really convenient for meditation which gives it a singular charm.

Turtle Island Nosy Iranja

Nosy Iranja, made up of two idyllic islands some 48 km (75 mins by boat) south of Nosy Be. The islands are linked by a sandy walkway that is navigable at low tide, at which time guests may stroll across to the larger northern island and explore the local village. The southern island is exclusively reserved for guests, meaning there is private access to a sublime beach and crystal clear waters. The island is famous for its turtle population and visitors can sometimes witness the hatchlings scurrying across the beach towards the water. Take a boat trip to nearby bays for great snorkeling and scuba diving and chance a sighting of dolphins and whales along the way.

Orange River Manambolo River

The Manambolo river originates in the highlands of Madagascar ("Haut plateau"), about 80 miles (130 km) west of Antananarivo, the capital city of the country. The Manambolo, deep red-orange in color from eroded sediment, descends through a largely deforested landscape as it heads toward the Mozambique Channel. About 45 miles (70 km) before reaching the sea, the river enters the Manambolo canyon. The canyon is spectacular with colorful sandstone cliffs and thick cover of deciduous forest. Lemurs (Decken's sifaka and red-fronted brown lemurs) may be seen coming down to drink at the river's edge and in trees along the ridgeline. There are several small clearwater creeks adding to the Manambolo's flow in the canyon and following one of these creeks can be quite rewarding. In the lower part of the canyon, the river loses its current and becomes a pool.

A sleepy island off Madagascar Île Sainte-Marie

Nosy Boraha, previously known as Île Sainte-Marie (and still popularly known by travellers as such), is an island off Madagascar’s east coast. Near the main town of Ambodifotatra, the pirates’ cemetery includes graves marked with a skull and crossbones. With a considerable amount of island charm it has numerous deserted beaches show off a fringe of coconut palms and luscious vegetation, and intriguing inland villages make the perfect place to explore. Off the south coast, Île aux Nattes and Ilôts aux Sables are tiny islands with coral reefs and sea turtles. Antanandava Waterfall is surrounded by rainforest. On the east coast, traditional pirogue boats dot Baie d’Ampanihy’s lagoon.

Natural Skyscrapers Avenue of the Baobabs
Panoramic Route

The Avenue or Alley of the Baobabs is a prominent group of baobab (Adansonia grandidieri) trees lining the dirt road between Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region of western Madagascar. Its striking landscape draws travelers from around the world, making it one of the most visited locations in the region. It has been a center of local conservation efforts, and was granted temporary protected status in July 2007 by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests—the first step toward making it Madagascar's first natural monument. Along the Avenue, over some 260 meters, are 20–25 Adansonia grandidieri trees, about 30 meters in height, endemic to Madagascar. Another 20–25 trees of this species grow in nearby rice paddies and meadows. Baobab trees, up to 800 years old, known locally as renala (Malagasy for "mother of the forest"), are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on Madagascar. The trees did not originally tower in isolation over the sere landscape of scrub but stood in dense forests. Over the years, as the country's population grew, the forests were cleared for agriculture, leaving only the baobab trees, which the locals preserved as much for their own sake as for their value as a food source and building material.