In 2010, Madagascar Classic Collection opened Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge in order to widen their already unique product offering. This formed part of a plan to ensure that Southern Madagascar became an area of the country with accommodation worthy of its ‘must see’ status.
Edward Tucker Brown is the founder of Madagascar Classic Collection. After working in London for six years for two sizeable safari companies based in East Africa, he decided it was time to explore tourism in a less tourist-filled area.
Attracted to Madagascar for many reasons, one of which was simply because he knew nobody who had ever been there. He fell in love with the place, however felt that what was missing was the East African style of tented camping which is characterised by being right out in the bush and off the few standard tourist routes. The first of his collection, Mandrare River Camp opened in 2007 and Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge followed in 2010.
What distinguishes Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge is that it is in an area of spectacular beauty, off the beaten track and set in the centre of the local fishing community. Here guests are surrounded by nature in its rawest form with distant mountains, lush rainforests, white sandy beaches and lapping waters of the Indian Ocean all at their doorstep.
There are four bungalows and one family villa with two rooms offering beachfront luxury in a secluded bay. Each bungalow is nestled in the coastal forest, with a large private terrace, fully en suite bathroom and panoramic glass windows for the very best views.
The decoration places particular emphasis on incorporating the original character of the region into the design and always offering guests the greatest possible comfort. The private wooden terrace overlooking the sea offers an absolute beach paradise feeling while providing complete privacy from other guests.
There are thirty-one staff at Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge and twenty-three in their office in Antananarivo.
Over 90% of their employees are Madagascan and they attach great importance to training and development. This is to give them the opportunity to take up management positions in their company instead of hiring foreign employees.
Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities. Ranging from whale watching from the lookout tower to coastal picnics and open air massages in the pavilion. For the more active guests there are visits to local markets and schools, daytime and nighttime walks in the rainforest spotting the native animals and even canoeing through the mangroves.
There are a number of social/community projects which guests are actively encouraged to visit as they create a full well-rounded impression of the area. The Madagascar Classic Collection have built schools and classrooms, provided electricity for health centres and maternity clinics, as well as providing ongoing help with educational supplies such as school satchels, pens and exercise books.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Madagascar is still one of the most remote and extraordinary destinations in the world. The infrastructure in Madagascar still needs a lot of development, therefore the roads are sometimes very difficult to drive on and a little bumpier than many expect. This is not cause for concern but an opportunity for a real escapist adventure.
PRICE/NIGHT : see website for details. Transfer, activities (except of whale-watching and deep sea fishing), meals and beverages are included in the rate.
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +261 (0)34 05 619 08