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Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge makes for a perfect coastal combo after a stay at sister property Mandrare River Camp, sitting as it does overlooking a beautiful forest-lined cove and the Indian Ocean beyond.
There are just five ravinala (forest leaf) thatch roofed bungalows, including one specifically designed to cater for families. The bedrooms are huge, with solar powered showers and private decks (hammock included) overlooking a white sand beach and the sea a few leisurely strides away.
Meals are served in the thatched dining room with open sides so guests can appreciate the beautiful views and a constant sea breeze. Breakfast is continental style and can be served in the bungalows; lunch normally consists of salads and lighter dishes and dinner of a beautifully fresh three courses making the most of the outstanding local seafood, including lobsters, oysters, mussels, and fresh fish.
Away from the lodge itself, the lovely staff can arrange guided kayaking trips, snorkelling along the beach or in the mangroves, visits to Manafiafy village and the fish market, and walks to see the local lemur colonies (including Collared Brown, Southern Woolly, Thick-tailed Dwarf, Brown Mouse and Sportive varieties, chameleons and Pygmy kingfishers. Alternatively you can just lie on the picture perfect beach and appreciate the surroundings.
Finally, Manafiafy has an admirable attitude to sustainable tourism with solar energy providing all the Lodge's power needs and various projects in place funding local schools and protecting the local forestry.
June to the beginning of November is humpback whale season and you can see them breaching from the specially constructed lookout tower on the beach, or head out by boat for a closer look.
Isabel, Original Traveller