Madagascar Updates: Chapter 14

Madagascar, 11th edition

Please use the comments facility below to submit updates to chapter 14 (The North) of Madagascar (11th ed).

To comment on other chapters visit the main Madagascar Updates page.

You can order a copy of the Madagascar guide here.



  1. Marc Elshof said,

    22 October 2017 at 6:21 pm

    The road from Vohemar to Ambilobe is in dreadful condition but if you have the time well worth the experience. It took us 12 hours by 4×4, including a 1 hour visit to Campement Tattersalli to see the Golden Crown Sifaka (and a minor car breakdown, involving cooling off the motor with river water…) and we were completely orange from the dust, but it was a great experience.

    Subsequent stay at Iharana Bush Camp was superb: friendly staff and good food. They now have warm water using solar power (the Guide mentions that it has cold water only).

    Hotel Les Paillottes de Babaomby has upgraded its tents to comfortable bungalows. Nice and laidback place with friendly staff and good food (communal dining is the standard).

    • Patrick marks said,

      3 November 2017 at 10:03 am

      Doesn’t sound like it’s changed much in the last few years

  2. Chris Kean said,

    7 September 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Tried unsuccessfully for two nights running to see the aye-aye at Daraina. We were in an area with four nests, but that also had many miners digging and sloshing muddy water around until after dark, with kids yelling too. My verdict–if I were an aye-aye I would not want to live near that. Also there is now a substantial settlement nearby, and aye-ayes who approach may be killed.

    It may just be a seasonal thing, though–I was told the best time to spot them would be in October (mating season), and that September is not so good. Maybe I’ll travel that dire Ambilobe-Vohemar road again someday…

    On the plus side, the sifakas are much in evidence.

  3. Daniel Austin said,

    3 May 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Ex-pat Remi Doomernik recently (April 2015) had a wonderful time exploring the north of Madagascar but reports that the RN6 has degraded significantly. The 108km from Antsiranana [Diego Suarez] to Ankarana National Park took her 4½hrs, while Ambanja to Ambilobe took 3hrs. On the upside, she highly recommended Hotel de la Baie in Antsiranana, and its “beautiful swimming pool”.

  4. Daniel Austin said,

    9 December 2014 at 12:18 am

    Leaf-tailed geckos (Uroplatus fimbriatus) are easy to fine on the mango trees at Nature Lodge outside Joffreville.

  5. Daniel Austin said,

    4 December 2014 at 12:43 am

    Quad rental company Diego Raid, based at 72 Rue Colbert in Antsiranana, also hires out 4×4 vehicles.

  6. Daniel Austin said,

    10 July 2014 at 9:48 am

    From 29 July 2014, the airline EWA Air will be adding Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) to its network of destinations. Return flights will run between Antsiranana and Dzaoudzi in Mayotte on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Mayotte-based airline already operates flights to Nosy Be and Mahajanga (Majunga) in Madagascar with the sole aircraft in its fleet, a 68-seat ATR 72 twin-engine turboprop. EWA Air ( is a subsidiary of Air Austral, a French-owned airline based in Réunion and operating throughout the Indian Ocean region.

  7. Ruth Rakotomanga said,

    16 July 2013 at 5:47 am

    A good place to eat in Diégo (Antsiranana), the Ankarana Resto. I don’t know what street it’s on but taxi and bajaj drivers will know. Large helpings, reasonable prices, quick service. For souvenirs, try the ‘lambas’; they’re inexpensive, easy to pack, some unusual designs and colours. Ask a local person to translate the proverbs on them before you buy.!

  8. Daniel Austin said,

    23 December 2012 at 11:04 am

    Aye-ayes are now regularly seen at Daraina. In fact sightings are considered to be virtually guaranteed, as there are four small groups that are frequently sighted. It is not well understood why they have become so easy to find there (they have not been fed or deliberately habituated) but it is thought that aye-ayes occur at unusually high densities in the area.
    This is particularly welcome news as nowadays aye-ayes are seen only very rarely on Nosy Mangabe, where once they were a frequent sighting, and Air Madagascar is no longer serving Mananara so Aye-Aye Island (the only other spot with a good chance of finding them) has become virtually inaccessible to all but the most determined tourist.

    • jim haigwood said,

      23 December 2012 at 5:34 pm

      My wife and I saw a mother carrying its baby. It was a moment we both never forget. Make sure to have an excellent head torch. There is a tremendous amount of illegal mining going on there. At night it is a little unnerving to have to watch out for holes 20 to 30 feet deep while you are looking up in the trees for lemurs. It was also great seeing golden-crowned sifakas coming through our camp in the morning.

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