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Eastern Madagascar Highlights

With its spectacular rainforests, beaches and waterways, this former pirate hideout offers a relaxed ambience and more than enough to keep guests occupied throughout their visit to Eastern Madagascar. This is where visitors will travel in order to see the endemic lemurs living in the rainforests and national parks.

Tropical snorkelling and stunning beach accommodation is abundant along the east coast of this unique island. Canal Des Pangalanes beautifully connects a series of lakes and rivers that run along the eastern shore of Madagascar. Natural spices including vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, pink pepper, ginger are grown here, creating an entirely intoxicating aroma.

One exceptionally popular attraction in eastern Madagascar is the Andasibe National Park, which is the best place to spot the Indri (the largest of all lemur species) and hear its eerie call echoing through the morning fog. Then there is also Masoala National Park, which has magnificent rainforests and hiking trails.

Sun Safaris Says

Eastern Madagascar is occupied by a long stretch of tropical rainforest and coastlines of white sandy beaches. Turquoise sea, coral reefs and an array of marine life and a constant water temperature above 20°C.

Ile Sante Marie offers the most perfect sandy, sunny beach location and is one of the most popular visiting spots in Madagascar.

An astonishing sight is the whale watching that takes place every year between July and September, when hundreds of humpback whales swim past Taolagnaro and Ile Sainte Marie, en route to the warmer waters of Baie d’Antongil. 

On a canoe trip alongside the banks of the canal, guests can look in wonder at the superb agricultural land that is one of the richest regions of madagascar filled with ricefields, plantations of exotic fruits such as banana, lychee, custard apple, and breadfruit. 

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Safari Lodges within Eastern Madagascar

Princesse Bora Lodge

Princesse Bora Lodge & Spa on Ile Sainte Marie in eastern Madagascar combines the simplicity of the South Pacific with the barefoot chic of the Caribbean. It is built in a palm grove, settled almost directly on the white-sand beach overlooking a lagoon.

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Hotel Neptune

The Hotel Neptune in Tamatave makes its presence felt in the bustling seaside port. Situated on the main street just across from the beach, the hotel is close to the main shopping and banking areas and there are several restaurants close by.

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Vakona Forest Lodge

Located a few kilometres from the village in an eucalyptus plantation and on the doorstep of the Andasibe National Park, Vakona Forest Lodge is a nature lover's paradise. The lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a peaceful and natural setting and is Andasibe’s only luxury hotel.

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Vanivola Hotel

This charming hotel is situated on the beautiful island of St. Marie, off the north-east coast of Madagascar; the white sandy beach and the city centre of St. Marie are in the immediate vicinity, placing Vanivola Hotel in an ideal location.

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Hotel La Petite Traversee

La Petite Traversee means "the little crossing", which refers to the narrow channel between Ile St Marie and Ile aux Nattes, which is the island that hosts this family-friendly hotel. The hotel is conveniently located near to the best swimming and snorkelling beaches on the island.

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Eastern Madagascar on display

Southern Madagascar Activities

Andasibe National Park in the east is the best park in Madagascar to see the Indri - the largest lemur. Night walks are excellent for viewing Mouse lemurs and the greater Dwarf lemur. All exploring is done on foot on the trails that weave through the forest, varying in length from 1 hour to 4 or 5 hours, depending on guest preferences.

Masoala National Park is abundant with tall Palissandre trees, vines, wild ginger plants, ferns and orchids. Walking in the forest you see hundreds of frogs, including the large tomato frog, while chameleons are easily found, too. Commonly seen are the panther chameleon, hooded chameleon and several species of stump-tailed chameleon.

For an experience of the Malagasy culture, the Museum of Toamasina contains ancient cooking and hunting implements, as well as traditional musical instruments and other items on display. The small island of Nosy Mangabe has a rich history of trading and piracy, evidence of which is located on the west side of the island where rock carvings by Dutch sailors from the 16th century can still be seen.

Eastern Madagascar Seasons and Climate

The climate of Madagascar is tropical along the coast, temperate inland, and arid in the south creating a variety of completely different biomes and a diverse ecology.

The combination of south-eastern trade winds and north-western monsoons produces a hot, rainy season from November to April and a relatively cooler dry season between May and October.

The heavy precipitation due to the rain clouds that form over the Indian Ocean support the area's rainforest ecosystem along the east coast of the island. The central highlands are both drier and cooler, while the west is drier still.

A semi-arid climate prevails in the southwest and southern interior of the island. The best time to visit Madagascar is during the drier May to October period, so as to avoid the risk of monsoon season. Potential floods see the closure of many camps.

Top Destinations

Princesse Bora Lodge is built in a palm grove, settled almost directly on the white-sand beach overlooking a lagoon where, between July and September, guests can admire the passing of hundreds of humpback whales. Princesse Bora Lodge combines the simplicity of the South Pacific with the barefoot chic of the Caribbean.

Grace Lodge is a marvellous establishment, situated only 800m outside of Andasibe National Park. Comfortable, homely, and extremely hospitable - this is where guests can relax amidst the breathtaking setting whilst uncovering the spectacular riches of Andasibe.

Located a few kilometres from the village in an eucalyptus plantation and on the doorstep of the Andasibe National Park, Vakona Forest Lodge is a nature lover's paradise. The lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a peaceful and natural setting and is Andasibe’s only luxury hotel.

How to Get There

Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights for visitors to Madagascar. Ivato International Airport is an airport located in Antananarivo (Tana), the capital of Madagascar. Ivato Airport is main hub for Air Madagascar and the majority of flights around the island originate from here, which is a good thing considering the bad state of the roads. Besides the big cities, lots of little hamlets are also served via light air transfers.

By road is the only inexpensive way to get around, but Madagascar's roads are mostly very poor quality (except for two routes leading in and out of Tana). These road excursions will take guests into beautiful forested areas; however, if there is a time limit on the journey, travellers should be reminded that these trips will take a while longer than expected.

There are not many direct routes on land and the many small towns are accessible via one road only, meaning guests should be advised on which routes to take should they be self-driving. The best option is light air transfer to destinations on the island.

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Meet The Sun Safaris Team

Meet Liselle

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Our expertise in African travel comes from years of experience travelling the continent, canoeing the rivers, walking the bush trails, and seeing the stars. We've been on the game drives and watched the sunsets, spent nights wrapped up in remote areas, and eaten great food around the fire. Our recommendations come first-hand, and they are your assurance that a safari booked with us is one we know you'll love, because we did.

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