A day at Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge
Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge is Mandrare River Camp’s sister property and Edd Tucker Brown’s second “baby”. The lodge is situated in Sainte Luce (a small fishing village where the first Europeans arrived at the beginning of 17th century) about two and half hours drive from Fort Dauphin (South East coast of Madagascar).
Manafiafy Lodge is a great combination of rainforest lodge and barefoot luxury beach property all in one making it a versatile destination.
The 6 thatched bungalows are very spacious with an open plan bedroom, living room area and a screened bathroom area. They have been very cleverly designed to slot in the forest offering a huge amount of privacy to the guests. Each bungalow also boasts a large decked terrace from which guests can access the beach which is only a few steps away…
Shortly after my arrival I joined a French family on a nocturnal walk in the pristine rainforest behind the lodge which is home to 5 species of Lemur and other endemic wildlife (chameleons, snakes, Malagasy edgehog etc…).
A couple of hours later we are back at the lodge and it is time for another mouthwatering dinner. The focus of the meals at Manafiafy is on fish and seafood and we are treated to delicious Malagasy oysters!
Early the next morning Edd has already been up the watch tower and has spotted some whales. After breakfast we all jump on a boat in search of these beautiful creatures but sadly it is too late! The whale watching season stretches from mid-June to end of November but peak time is October/November which is also a fantastic time to visit the lodge.
The atmosphere at the lodge is very relaxed and it is great to see two families with young children using the lodge. It is quite evident that the children are loving their guide, teasing him and calling him by his nickname! All staff including the guides are very helpful and very smiley. The guides are knowledgeable on both Mandrare River Camp and Manafiafy and when possible the Mandrare guides will follow their clients to Manafiafy and vice versa.
Later that morning I am taken on a boat trip to the mangrove and wetland…with noboby else around it is such a tranquil and serene experience and it has been one of my favourite activities…The mangrove is bursting with interesting wildife and plants and we stop to admire a beautiful orchid and a small crocodile.
For those who like to remain active, there is plenty to do. “Robinson Crusoe” picnics on uninhabituated islands and deserted beaches, snorkelling, fishing trips, Mangrove tours, forest walks, canoeing and whale watching are amongst the most popular activities. But let’s not forget that Manafiafy is also a beach lodge and a brilliant choice for those in search of relaxation and beach-therapy!