Madagascar: Anjajavy Penninsula, West Coast

A little piece of paradise for my family

The Anjajavy peninsula is on the north western side of Madagascar facing the Mozambique.  Much drier than where we had just come from and only a 90 minute flight from the east coast it looks like heaven from the air.  It’s also not accessible by road so you have to fly in which means only guests at the hotel use the beaches – no crowds or local vendors to bother you.

You fly in low and see all the beautiful beaches from the air, the odd dhow sailing past and feel the warmer weather as we land at the Anjajavy airstrip on their private runway.  Most of the flights are from Tana but for guests with private planes they can arrange with a bit of warning customs to meet you at Anjajavy Airstrip.

Anna, the PR from the Hotel is there to meet us and drive us the 30 minutes through the 450 ha forest reserve, this time looking out for a different type of lemur which is found in this area the Sifaka being the best known, and there he was to greet us in a tree above our heads before we even got to the hotel.

On arrival the GM, Cedric is waiting to welcome us too.

As you walk into the hotel you are greeted with a view that has to been seen to be believed, the pool area with the blue of the ocean and beach directly behind it impresses you immediately how can it not?  The view is gorgeous?

This is a 4 star plus Relais and Chateaux hotel, with 7 beaches to choose from, with all sorts of activities like canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, water skiing, sailing, snorkelling, (no scuba diving), aqua gym, pool, volleyball, mountain biking, pool as in a pool table, boulle (that French ball game), as well as night walks into the forest to find the lemurs, and a tea garden within the hotel grounds where the lemurs come late afternoon to watch you have tea – yes really!  They also have a spa where a massage therapist comes to give you a massage on the deck of your room if you want one.

The Lemurs are habituated to humans although you can’t touch or feed them they almost pose for photographs and its mainly the Coquerel’s Sifaka and Red Fronted Brown lemurs you see during the day but at night we got to see the Grey Mouse Lemur, the Golden Mouse Lemur and the very elusive Milne-edwards Sportive Lemur which even the locals got excited about.

From the birding side we got to see the Madagascar Coucal, Crested Coua, the Grey Headed Love bird, Sickle-billed Vanga, White Headed Vanga, Pied Crow, Magpie Robin and the Sakalava Weaver, Crested Ibis and heard the Scops Owl calling whilst walking in the forest at night.

We also saw the Madagascar Fish Eagle and Lessor Crested Tern on an excursion by boat further north whilst on a trip to Morombe Bay.  For those of you into Trees and the flora and fauna side of things then Madagascar has an enormous amount of Baobabs and the Morombe Bay area is just one of the places to see them.

The 24 villas are beautifully situated overlooking the beach with a hammock to lie in and look out at the view.  All villas have queen size beds with mosquito nets, a breakfast area, a large bathroom with bath and shower facilities, double vanities and a separate loo and are air-conditioned.   A bar fridge and tea and coffee making facilities – what more could you ask for this was paradise.  All villas sleep 2 adults and 2 children as there is a loft room upstairs with twin beds above the main bedroom for children.

I couldn’t wait and it was down to the sea for a swim right in front of my room, the water was warm and quite salty which meant you can easily just float and let the waves gently lap around you.

From 4.30pm you can go for tea in the Oasis or tea garden where the Sifaka and Brown lemurs come and play in trees around and above you and you really don’t have to do anything to see them as they are quite curious and obviously relaxed and carry on in the trees above you.

The hotel has a free internet connection for guests to use to stay in touch with loved ones if necessary as well as a small shop in the reception area.

You can easily spend a week or 10 days here without getting bored as there is so much to do it’s not just a beach destination, and a great destination for both families and couples.

All too soon our time was up and we had to fly back to Tana to catch our connecting SA Airlink flights back to Johannesburg which arrived back in Johannesburg at 5.30pm in time for onward connections on most airlines.

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Sheena Knox

&Beyond Travel Specialist

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