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 email@example.com; 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: firstname.lastname@example.org). 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!