The three hour road journey to Mandrare River Camp offers a marked change of landscapes going from the rice paddies of the tropical south-eastern coast to the drier arid region of sisal plantations and ‘spiny forest’ arriving at Mandrare River Camp on the banks of the impressive Mandrare River.
Accommodation at Mandrare River Camp
The camp is set in a grove of tamarind trees amidst unspoilt bush. Six private tents are sited along the riverbank, each enjoying spectacular views of the river. Each has en-suite facilities shower and flush loo. There’s solar water heating and solar power for night time lighting. The sun rises in front of the tents giving wonderful early morning light – a paradise for photographers. On the river’s edge is a larger terrace – the perfect place to relax with a book and a pair of binoculars and simply immerse yourself in the special ambience of the place.
The owner, Ed Tucker, is a veteran of East Africa safaris and so game drives here follow traditional safari standards, with skilled guides finding the finest viewpoints and most interesting species to show you. Activities take place in the early mornings and late afternoons to avoid the heat of the day.
Safari Activities & other excursions at Mandrare
The mighty Mandrare River is the main water supply for the pastoralist Antandroy people and their herds who are native to this region. You explore this virgin forest with a Mandrare guide and a local tribesman looking for the five species of lemur unique to southern Madagascar (white foot sportive, grey mouse, brown grey mouse, ring-tailed and the ever entertaining Verreaux’s sifaka) but there are many other memorable sightings with birds, lizards, snakes and frogs all adapted to living in such ‘spiky’ conditions. The early evening ‘day to night’ walks can be particularly rewarding seeing both diurnal and nocturnal species.
To visit the baobab forest is certainly one of the most ‘surreal’ experiences possible. They have been left exposed in all their ghostly splendour whilst the surrounding bush has been cleared for sisal plantations leaving an ‘other-worldly’ landscape – a photographer’s paradise.
If you stay for several days at Mandrare River Camp, you can enjoy an excursion to Lac Anony. Its brilliant white barren shores and dunes contrasts with the bright azure blue lake water, which is home to flamingos and the local fishermen. Another interesting excursion is to visit the markets in one of the Antandroy villages where complex network of taboos and traditions rule every area of life.