- A Trip at the East part of Madagascar -
The Pangalanes Canal, Andasibe Nature Reserve and Madagascar National Parks
You admire the world through what you love
( Lamartine )
You admire the world through what you love said Lamartine. And it's true. I've had been many many times in The Pangalanes Canal with tourists and with my own family. I tell you about The South Pangalanes Canal around Manakara and Mananjary and about The North Pangalanes Canal around Manambato and Akanin'ny Nofy ( The Nest of Dreams ). I've had been there many many times, and many many times, all of people who were there admired and loved this wonderful spot. It's so quiet there. Very different from towns and cities, in The Pangalanes Canal you can find people who still continue to live with simplicity and joy. These people continue to live in an environment where you can feel that men and nature are created to live together in harmony. Words are not enough to show you my feeling there, perhaps the other people ( where e-mails are at the end of this page ) can describe you it better than me ?
So we are in the East part of Madagascar,
A canal which connects many lakes, lagoons & streams from Mananjary to Toamasina = Tamatave ( about 430 Kms ). This canal which has built in 1949 is The Pangalanes Canal. People have built it to facilitate trading activities because of the dangerous crossing in the Indian Ocean. But water plants have covered most parts of the canal because of lack of maintenance. So, the trip is difficult in some areas. The landscapes are beautiful, and you need 3 nights / 4 days at least to do the trip, like mine with MVM in November 1993. But you just need one night and 2 days to do it from Toamasina to Manambato ( Rasoabe Lake - Rasoabe Beach ) or from Manambato to Toamasina.
During your travel along this Canal, you will see local pirogues which carry local products ( banana, bamboo, dry ravinala leaves for roof of huts, passengers, ... ). This iinerary is ideal for those who appreciate navigating peaceful water canals, through lagoons, rivers and lakes.
Don't forget your umbrella or your raincoat ( you are in the East region, and it's a rainy area ), take your flashlight too, with its batteries, your mosquitos & insects repellent & your camera. You will use little motor boat or local pirogues & you have to walk to visit typical villages, lemurs reserves, forests and its beautiful lake side. The trip is not like taking the ship on sea, so you never feel dizzy. But there are a lot of mosquitos and the water has huge waves in cyclone period from January to March. The Pangalanes Canal both South & North are an ideal place to observe wild landscapes & to admire the nature in a peaceful areas.
Akanin' ny Nofy ( The Nest of Dreams ) - East of Madagascar
A quiet spot nearby a big lake ( Ampitabe lake ) where you can visit typical villages where huts are always built of falafa ( traveller's tree ) . But the most important thing to do there is to walk and to discover its private reserve of 35 ha : the Palmarium. Nature lovers will be happy to find many species of lemurs ( more than 5 species ) in a green forest area. An enjoyable walk of 2 or 3 hours or more if you have time for example to see some points of view and to see the carnivorous plants nearby the lake of crocodiles ( not far from Ampitabe lake ). With its numerous wild spots & desert sand banks, Akanin'ny Nofy is a real " Beach in the forest ".
Andasibe-Périnet Nature Reserve and Mantadia National Park - Madagascar
( On the way to go to the North part of the Pangalanes Canal )
Andasibe-Mantadia National Park ( formerly known as Perinet )
Is actually made up of two parks : Reserve Speciale Analamazaotra and Mantadia National Park. Its proximity to the capital Tana ( Antananarivo ), 140 Km away , or 3 - 4 hours drive along Route Nationale 2, makes this one of the more popular and easily accessible parks in Madagascar.
The Fauna that you usually see at « Andasibe Perinet - Mantadia National Park » are :
Indri Indri ( the nowadays largest lemur in the world, an endangered lemur ), Black & white ruffed lemur, Eastern wolly lemur, Red-bellied lemur , Brown rufous lemur, Rufous mouse lemur & Diademed sifaka. Parsoni chameleon, Brevicornis chameleon, Chamaeleo gastrotenia, Brookesia, Nasutus chameleon, Zonosaurus sp. & Phelsuma sp. lizards for reptiles. AND Madagascar paradise flycatcher, Blue coua, Madagascar turtle dove, Madagascar vasa parrots, Forest-rock trush, Madagascar brush-warbler, Madagascar partridge, Madagascar little grebe, Common moorhen, Madagascar coucal, Malagasy kingfisher, Blue vanga, Red-fronted coua, Madagascar bulbul, Madagascar mannikin, Madagascar red fody, Common myna, Tylas vanga, Madagascar magpie-robin, Stonechat, Cuckoo-roller & Madagascar cisticola for birds.
It's better to have one full day to visit these two Parks Andasibe Perinet and Mantadia,
A good trekking through Pandanus trees and tree-ferns. Where you can see too a large numbers of epiphytes and orchids. Andasibe Perinet - Mantadia National Park is in a mid-altitude rainforest ( about 1000 m - 1200 m ), very easy to get to, just at 3 Kms to the North of the main N2 Antananarivo-Toamasina road ; about 140 Kms or four hours drive from Antananarivo.
The pleasant drive over highlands into the escarpment passes through many mud-hut villages and picturesque mountain landscapes. The climate is not too hot, and rain falls mainly at night so the mistshrouded rainforest creates an awesome spectacle in the early morning.
You can visit too the village of Andasibe which is a small medieval village. But it's a village which merits a couple of hours exploring and soaking up its inherent serenity. Andasibe and Mantadia area lies in a region of low hills covered by degraded forest and is punctuated by beautiful small lakes.
The most striking feature about the Indri Indri is its voice : while other lemurs grunt, the Indri Indri sings an eerie and very loud wailing sound that resembles a police siren, and it carries for up to 3 Km away. Family group often occupy ranges which are proclaimed by territorial calls, helping to maintain spacing between groups of Indri. The best time to spot the Indri Indri is either early morning or late afternoon.
To discover the Pangalanes Canal and the Indri Indri (the biggest lemur in the world),
Do you want to visit another world ? I suggest you Madagascar and its nature, its people, its Parcs and Nature Reserves. Madagascar, the kingdom of lemurs, the kingdom of baobabs and the kingdom of chameleons. With our experiences since ... 1993, we will give you excellent advice. To organise your trip and to guide you to make your trip pleasing and unforgetable. No one who visits the island is left unaffected either by the warmth and hospitality of the Malagasy people.
Through wonderful beaches, through evergreen humid forests, through montane rainforests, through baobab forests and deciduous dry forests, and through savanna and euphorbia scrub. Madagascar, a big island which lies in the Indian Ocean, eastern of Africa, is becoming a new destination for ecological tour lovers, for discovery tour lovers & for trekking tour lovers.
For example, to see really the Pangalanes Canal ( both its north & its south ), I suggest you :
14 days in Madagascar where :
- You will visit 3 important National Parks : Andasibe, Ranomafana and Isalo
- You will be very satisfy for lemurs watching
- You will be very satisfy for local people contact ( peasants, etc. )
- You will use 3 different means of transport : the train folk, a slowly boat and a 4WD vehicle
- You will do alot of trekking and walking
- You will discover what is important to see in Madagascar
- But you will discover too marvellous things off the beaten tracks which can be seen only by those who know really the country
For more details include the approximate cost, thank you to contact me, and thank's alot for your trust.
For more information, you can write to the following people. They have alot of experiences about travel and big travel. I have had the opportunity to meet them, I was their tour guide during their trip in Madagascar. Thanks alot to them to permit me to put their names and e-mails on this page. Don't hesitate to contact them and thank you so much :
This last person ( Erik Segers ) has written in « LinkedIn » :
If you want to discover Madagascar, Ravo is your man to organise your trip from A to Z. Thanks to his deep knowledge and boundless enthusiasm we had a truly first class visit of this wonderful island. Without a doubt, I do recommend, wholeheartedly.
Another person says, always in « LinkedIn » :
Ravo did concoct us a customised journey to discover Madagascar. He listened to our wishes, gave us many suggestions before and during the tour. He’s very skilled and can adapt to all sorts of clients. We sincerely recommend to all those who would love to discover this big island to contact this outstanding guide ( Isabelle Burcheri - Canada )
Clients' Testimonies after their trips in Madagascar :
Ravo is a real professional guide, in a country where professionalism is sometimes lacking. He is good at planning a trip, and always seizes an opportunity when there is one. An example : once our small group of eight made a short train journey, just to get the feel of train travel in Mada - as the locals call Madagascar -. It was interesting to see how the arrival of the train shook up the quiet lives of the villagers who came to the station to sell their goods and to watch and be part of the conundrum. After the train journey our two drivers with their SUVs were to come and pick us up. As it happened, they were not there when we got out of the train. Flat tyre ? engine trouble ? out of petrol ? Who knows. To make good use of the time we had to wait, Ravo took us to a nearby health centre. We could see with our own eyes how this centre was lacking in even basic medical equipment. Ravo also seized the opportunity to explain us how heath care works ( or doesn't work ) in Mada, and what the different levels of health care consist of. Ravo is a very congenial man who is always friendly and who never loses his temper. I can recommend him to any possible visitor of the splendid Isle of Madagascar.
René Weemaels ( English teacher )
Laarheide 282 - 1650 Beersel - Belgium
With 8 friends we toured for 3 weeks Madagascar from west to east. Ravo had organised the trip from A to Z and considering all the imponderables of travelling in Africa, it all turned out just great. What we particularly appreciated : his good humour and his resourcefulness under any circumstance. Just one example, the 8 of us being of unequal fitness, he always managed to find us several guides to walk us on different tracks through the various parks ( Tsingy, Isalo, Andringitra ) such that all of us would equally enjoy the journey, and we did. What to say more : try out Ravo, you won’t regret it, on the contrary, you’ll have not only a lifetime memory of a stunning country but a new ‘friend’. Colette Billiard and Erik Segers
( Belgium )
To see our Madagascar Pictures' Gallery
The Indri Indri lemur that you can see
(more than 88 pictures), click on :
in the East of Madagascar
RATSIMBAZAFY Ravo Nomenjanahary & Pierrette
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