The bad section of Route Nationale 4 between Ambondromamy and Ankarafantsika is currently undergoing resurfacing work. At the time of writing (July 2015), the old road surface has been removed and is awaiting new tar to be laid.
The big bridge over the Betsiboka river (about 23km after Maevatanana, if coming from Antananarivo) has been undergoing repairs for some time and only opens between 12:00 and 13:00 each day, so inevitably long queues form. Work is expected to be completed in September 2015.
Apache (at Petite Plage, Amborovy, Mahajanga) has a 5-person bungalow for 100,000Ar and two 9-person bungalows for 200,000Ar, all with bathroom and kitchen facilities. Cleaning and cooking services can be provided for an additional fee. The owner has a friendly dog (named after the hotel – or perhaps vice versa). Contact: mob: 032 04 486 11 or 034 16 820 05; email firstname.lastname@example.org
La Terasse is a pleasant open beachfront restaurant and bar (closed Mondays) at Petite Plage, Amborovy, Mahajanga. They also have two bungalows with kitchenettes (150,000Ar and 200,000Ar). Jet-ski hire from 100,000Ar for 15min and towable tube rides 30,000Ar per person for 10min. Contact: mob: 032 82 180 85.
Le Tamarinier (at Petite Plage, Amborovy, Mahajanga) is located right at the beach, with a sunset ocean view. It is a Malagasy family-run hotel opened in 2014. There are just two bungalows, two rooms and a bungalow with kitchenette, all with bathroom facilities and hot water. It is located at a point on the beach where local fishermen park their pirogues. Prices tpl 60,000Ar, 4-person 80,000Ar, or 150,000Ar with kitchenette. Contact: mob: 034 45 455 06 or 033 75 967 05; email: email@example.com
See our Facebook page for photos: https://www.facebook.com/bradtmadagascar/posts/479831742192725
wish we had known about this when we were there 2 years ago . we stayed in a hotel with chalets and swimming pool, so past it’s sell by date it was sad to see. It appeared as if nothing had changed since the late 70’s. In it’s favour , the staff were very friendly and helpful . It must have been fantastic in its heyday. I think it was called amborovi lodge??
Campiland at Amborovy (Mahajanga) is mainly a campsite but also has a lodge that accommodates up to 5 people (2 upstairs, up a ladder, and 3 downstairs); the lower bed folds away to become a sofa and table. Clients can bring their own gas bottle or use the hotel’s for 7,800Ar/kg. Thanks to Ony Rakotoarivelo for this information.
At Amborovy (Mahajanga), Green Club is a place to stay run by the Malagasy company Homeopharma (www.madagascar-homeopharma.com), best known for its natural health products and essential oils. The hotel has a wellbeing centre with massage (10,000Ar/45min) and a swimming pool (5,000/3,000Ar for adults/children). It is a great place to relax for those people who want somewhere quiet and tranquil, reports our local correspondent Ony Rakotoarivelo.
A double bungalow costs 50,000Ar, or 60,000Ar with a kitchenette; a 4-person studio with kitchenette costs 80,000Ar; 4-person bungalows with kitchenette are 100,000Ar; 10-person bungalow with kitchen costs 160,000Ar. AC costs an additional 10,000Ar per night. Wi-Fi costs 30Ar/min.
Contact: mob 034 49 151 59; web http://www.greenclub-madagascar.com
There is now an entrance fee payable to visit Cirque Rouge. The ticket costs 5,000Ar and can be purchased at the kiosk at Grand Pavois. There is a plan to improve the road to Cirque Rouge and build toilets at the site.
Cotisse Transport, which has been running premium taxi-brousses between Toamasina and Tana since July last year, has added scheduled departures between Tana and Mahajanga to their operations, starting last month. The vehicles are comfortable and observe a self-imposed speed limit of 90kph. There are prompt departures in both directions at 07.00 and 17.00, price 32,000Ar per person. In Mahajanga they have a smart office near the Ambodivona taxi-brousse station, with TV and chairs for waiting passengers.
Contact 032 11 027 10 (Tana), 032 11 027 11 (Mahajanga) or 032 11 027 35 (Toamasina); email firstname.lastname@example.org; facebook https://www.facebook.com/cotisse.
Camping is no longer allowed at Kirindy due to the fossa in the area. The park entrance-restaurant-bungalow area is part of the territory of several fossa and it is currently considered inappropriate to camp there as a result. The cheapest alternative is a dormitory bed for Ar30,000 (room sleeps up to 4 pp.). Showers associated with the dormitories are indeed bucket showers, as is often the case in Madagascar when camping or using budget accommodation. Fabulous night walk with lots of lemurs as well. Great place to visit. Make sure you stay overnight so you can do the night walk, and go out for an early morning walk too. As in most reserves in Madagascar, the guides are very knowledgeable and passionate about their work. The road from Morondava to Kirindy is good (dirt) and a 2WD vehicle will be fine if this is as far as you are going – ie not continuing to the Tsingy de Bemeraha for which a 4WD vehicle will definitely be required. This was August 2013.
Between Morondava and Belo-sur-Mer is the small village of Ankevo-sur-Mer where a Belgian association called ADDA has set up a small number of community-run bungalows. Families in the village take turns being responsible for the bungalows, switching once a family has generated a certain amount of income. For more details contact Marcel Willems (tel: 95 928 41; email: email@example.com). The organisation also runs other community development projects in the area.
We visited Ankevo by chance in May 2013 – it was wonderful. We were sailing in a pirogue to Belo but the wind was coming strong from the south and six hours after leaving Morondava our piroguier decided to call at Ankevo instead. We got a great welcome from Jean-Pierre, and he set us up with one of the bungalows for the night, and a village lady prepared our evening meal.
The instituteur and guide, Mahatsanga, took us to see a sacred baobab about 4 km east of the village, beyond Ankevo-Terre; the village’s claim is that this is the baobab with the greatest girth in Madagascar, at 22.1m.
Jean-Pierre can be contacted on 00 261 (0)33 07 489 10.
We never got to Belo – and the wind changed direction overnight so it took us 7 hours to get back to Morondava!