The last place we stayed in Madagascar was one of the nicest of the lovely places we visited. Anjajavy Reserve and Lodge is located on a private reserve, which today is 960 hectares (2,372 acres) in size. It is in the northwest of the country, sort of near Nosey Be but a lot more exclusive and safe. Located on the West coast of Madagascar 120 km North of Majunga, Anjajavy is a remote fishing village on an extraordinary peninsula. Anjajavy le Lodge is member of Relais & Châteaux and ranks as a four stars plus establishment on European standards. It is ideal for the demanding eco-tourist with a beachfront location, great food and amenities such as massage. Anjajavy le lodge is one of Madagascar’s luxury lodges, it is the perfect place to chill and relax after visiting the rest of Madagascar.
The Anjajavy Reserve in Madagascar was enlarged on April 17, 2018, following the adoption of a governmental decree for the definitive protection of the Protected Area “Anjajavy” of IUCN V Protected Area (Harmonious Landscape). The total protected area of the Reserve is about 25000 acres (9773 hectares). Anjajavy Forest has much in common with other dry deciduous forests rising out of the tsingy limestone formations of western Madagascar. It is due to the presence of expansive tsingy outcrops as well as the remoteness of this part of Madagascar from the population center of the country at Antananarivo that the forest here has been less disturbed than many other forests in the country. Mildly acidic rainwater dissolved into the softer strata of limestone from above, and carved it out from underneath, eroding the solid rock both vertically and horizontally, and wearing it away on every surface to a sponge-like, porous honeycomb of limestone cells called Tsingy.
Anjajavy International Airport
Anjajavy lies at the heart of the Boeny Sakalava territory and can only be accessed by air. Anjajavy le lodge operates its private flights on a rate per seat basis from Antananarivo. Private flights are possible from most of Madagascar airports and notably that of Majunga and Nosy Be, which are close. The journey will last approximately 90 minutes from Antananarivo, 1 hour from Nosy Be airport or 40 minutes from Majunga airport. It offers magnificent sights of Madagascar’s western coastline and inlands. Guests are welcomed at Anjajavy le lodge’s private landing strip and they are then transferred by car on a 30 minute trip to the hotel across the forest. A forest of deciduous trees backs the hotel, leading to frequent brown lemur and Coquerel’s Sifaka sightings on the property.
As it is sometimes difficult to choose, Anjajavy le Lodge has laid out and cleared the secret paths which lead to the 7 creeks: you will often be alone in this world, facing the Mozambique channel. At most there might be a few fishing boats with triangular sails crossing the horizon to interrupt your gaze. As for the beach, you won’t have to look far for it, the coral tsingys border it and it continues all along the lodge. The 200 meter infinity pool is filled with sea water.
Built in two years following great logistical effort, the hotel is composed of a central building facing a fifty year old coconut grove and twenty four villas made of palissandre wood scattered throughout a garden landscape. Yves Boucharla, from Lyon in France, who is the architect of the Brasseries of Chef Paul Bocuse, paid tribute to the Sakalava traditional villages with a refined and elegant architecture. The whole facility is cleverly integrated in nature.
In the restaurant, you can choose your a la carte menu each day, created by the chef with local fresh farm to table ingredients. The discreet and efficient service staff will guard your privacy, will always smile at you, and listen to your daily adventures if you wish. Floors and walls of rosewood glide from the interior to the big terrace without interruption. A private dinner can be served to you in the oasis or on the beach if you want. The Chef’s cuisine blends well local Malagasy products, the fish and shellfish come straight from the sea, the Madagascar prawns are simply the best in the world, the vegetables and the fruits are brought daily by the villagers, who cultivate without fertilizers or pesticides. The cuisine is decidedly French.
On our last evening we had dinner in the gardens with a lovely presentation of Malagasy dance and music. It was a wonderful experience with excellent food and service.
Each of the 24 rosewood villas borders the main beach of the huge private estate of the lodge. All the villas have a spacious terrace facing the sea, a living room with a salon and a bedroom. A staircase rises to the upper floor where a rest room has been created which can also serve as an office or a bedroom for children or friends. The bathroom is equipped with a large corner bath and the toilets are separate. A silent and individual air conditioning system keeps the bedroom at an ideal temperature, a first for me in Madagascar. There is a queen size bed in the ground floor and twin beds in the first floor. The bed upstairs can be used as a sleeping room for two people. The bathroom is equipped with a large corner bath and the toilets are separate.
There are two types of lemurs that regularly inhabit the Oasis gardens, The Common Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus) and Coquerel’s Sifaka (Propithecus coquereli), both seen above. As you can see, the Common Brown lemur is quite fond of the flowers of the Thilachium pouponii tree, a native of Madagascar. There really is very little written on Thilachium. Thilachium is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Capparaceae. It comprises 25 species described and of these, only 3 accepted. The Cucumber Bush (Thilachium africanum) is a shrub or small tree growing up to 7 meters tall with white flowers that can also be found in Madagascar. Other, nocturnal lemurs of the Anjajavy Forest include three species of mouse lemur (Microcebus spp.), Milne Edward sportive lemur (Lepilemur edwardsi) and the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius). Also seen in the Anjajavy Forest area is the endangered Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), the largest mammalian carnivore in Madagascar. Other nocturnal mammals occur in the forest here, like two species of tenrecs: greater hedgehog (Setifer setosus) and (Tenrec ecaudatusalso) and the elusive Malagasy civet (Fossa fossana).
The Private Beaches
The beach extends all across the front of the lodge and continues with little interruptions almost as far as you can walk. I think you would be hard pressed to find a more inviting tropical paradise location with the privacy and beauty of Anjajavy Lodge. It is a little remote and expensive but all things considered, I think it is a good value, with experiences you will find nowhere else in Madagascar. I hope you enjoyed the post, please leave a comment.