Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge is a small luxury lodge that fronts straight onto on a protected, forest-fringed beach, north of Fort Dauphin. From Manafiafy, you can enjoy a simple beach holiday, exploring the rich marine life while snorkelling, picnicking on castaway islets and indulging in sensational seafood with home baked bread. This is the best place in Madagascar to do whale-watching from June to November (peak whale watching here is end of August - early October). Birding in the extensive mangrove system and the threatened East coast littoral forest, is rewarding – look for blue coua, hook-billed vanga and Nelicourvi weavers - and search of a variety of rare lemur species including the Collared Brown and Southern woolly lemurs. A private English speaking guide will accompany you on both day and night walks. Night walks may reveal two species of Mouse lemur, Woolly lemur, various Chameleons and even Leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus).
The six large luxury thatched bungalows, built by local craftsmen using natural materials, are all en suite with hot and cold running water, a shower, flush toilets and mosquito nets. Five of the rooms have king size beds with an additional smaller bed suitable for a child. The large family suite can sleep up to five people in two rooms. The private decks are only a short walk from the beach, and have outside showers, sun beds and hammocks where you can enjoy the beautiful views and the tranquil sounds of the sea.
The Antananarivo trained head chef based at the lodge serves delicious a la carte lunches (2 course) and dinners (3 course). The menu is set, but they will happily accommodate all dietary requests – please inform us about any allergies/dislikes when booking. Food is fresh and much of the produce is sourced from the local area – we enjoyed fresh oysters, a tender beef steak and a delicious cinnamon desert on one evening.
Activities & Facilities
Activities are numerous and both terrestrial and marine based. Enjoy kayaking excursions through the mangroves for 1-2 hours in search of wetland birdlife or simply to stretch your muscles, enjoy day and night walks through the rainforest to see the five species of lemur and visit the local fishing village to see how the locals live. You can also enjoy snorkelling and picnic lunches on small deserted islands and whale watching (in season). Relax with a back massage in the special treatment room overlooking the ocean and enjoy a sundowners on the rocks in the evenings.
Manafiafy’s owner, Edd Tucker Brown, encourages an ethos of pride in the community for their traditions and the environment. The lodge is deeply involved in community projects at local schools and the nearby village. Through their dependency on solar energy for electricity and hot water, Manafiafy limits its carbon footprint and eases the pressure on resources from the local forest. The lodge has also planted over 700 neame, tamarind and Madagascar flamboyant trees.
Access to the lodge is by road from Fort Dauphin, a journey that takes up to 2 ½ hours dependent on weather conditions. Do be warned that the road is rutted and must be negotiated by 4WD.