Mandrare River Camp
Mandrare River Camp is set on the banks of the Manampanihy River in the Ifotaka Community Forest. You’ll receive a warm welcome and friendly service from the staff, and the atmosphere is relaxed. In the early morning you can watch the changing light as the sun rises over the river directly in front of your tent, while at night you can gaze up at the star-filled sky, with this being one of the best spots for stargazing in Africa. With its small number of tents and secluded location, the camp is incredibly peaceful and makes a simple but authentic place from which to explore the island’s diverse wildlife and unique indigenous culture.
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Accommodation is in just a small number of simple canvas tents, which are spread out beneath tamarind trees and offer views of the river and distant mountains. Practical and comfortable, they each feature hand-carved wooden furniture including a four-poster bed with mosquito net, a wardrobe and a dressing table, as well as an en suite bathroom with shower and toilet. Furnished private terraces provide outdoor space in which to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings, and 24 hour solar lighting and hot water ensure a comfortable stay despite the rural location.
The camp is situated near the small town of Ifotaka in the southeast of Madagascar. Set on the banks of the Manampanihy River, it’s a 3 hour 30 minute drive from Fort Dauphin. This secluded location allows you to immerse yourself in the surrounding spiny forest, which is home to an abundance of wildlife, including five different lemur species.
Food and drink
Meals are served communally by the river, often accompanied by local children singing. Breakfasts consist of freshly baked bread, pastries, locally-made preserves, cereals and fresh fruit juices. At lunch you can enjoy barbecues with fresh salads, while in the evening dinner is a three-course meal that uses fresh Malagasy ingredients prepared in a French style. The camp offers imported wines and spirits alongside soft drinks.
Facilities and activities
Activities at the camp are focused on exploring the area’s diverse wildlife, either on foot or in a 4x4. The experienced guides have an excellent knowledge of the local flora and fauna found in the forest, which is home to lemurs, an array of birdlife, baobab trees and octopus trees. You can also visit local markets and villages, including meeting the nomadic Antadroy tribe and observing traditional dances.
Environmental and social responsibility
Solar power is used throughout the camp for generating electricity and heating the water. The camp contributes to a number of community projects that help to improve local schools and schools and protect the forests through education and funding, working with locals to encourage the protection of the environment and of local traditions.
We believe a stay at Mandrare River Camp is one of the best Madagascan experiences on offer, allowing you to explore an area truly untouched by western influences and to gain an insight into life in rural Madagascar.