Jenman Madagascar Safaris, in partnership with Madagascar Classic Camping recently launched the MADAGASCAR BAREFOOT LUXURY KAYAK ADVENTURE, in the beautiful and untouched areas around the St Luce Reserve, in South eastern Madagascar. Our adventure was shared in my previous two blog’s, and here is the conclusion of our wonderful experience…
Once again, the chef at Manafiafy set before us the delicious breakfast to which we had become accustomed – including his freshly baked croissants and pan au chocolait! We were about to set off once again, this time excitedly jumping into the boat, where Ernest and our skipper were waiting. First we headed out to see if a nearby island would offer good snorkelling, but unfortunately after all the rains, the sea was very green on this side, so no viz (visibility)…. It was a great trip though, allowing one to see how Manafiafy is nestled behind all these gorgeous islands.
We also had a look at a nearby fishing village on our way back to the bay. The idea was to then cross the bay by boat and walk down a short path to 10 Mile Beach. Brilliant plan, as the beach was exquisite and the snorkelling was excellent! Everyone loved it and we had a stunning morning there. At lunchtime, we headed back to the lodge, for another delicious meal and a short rest before the much talked about “night walk”. We had scheduled the forest walk for 3.30pm so that we could catch a glimpse of some diurnal lemur species before it got too dark. Ernest, our guide, explained about “Littoral” rain forests (coastal) – and what we could expect to see. Jumping on to the little landrover we headed to “S9”, for our next adventure. The walk was most enjoyable, and we saw the woolly lemur and brown lemur, but they were quite high. The forest was lovely though and the walk very easy. As it got darker, we started looking for nocturnal species – found a few harmless snakes, some chameleons and a lovely little pygmy kingfisher along the way. As the evening drew on, one of our companions wasn’t totally convinced that Ernest knew his way back I think… and the paths were getting kind of small etc. But Ernest was a great guide and led everyone in a huge circle back to the entrance. Brian said he had never been so pleased to see a dustbin before, which made everyone laugh again. Back at the lodge, dinner was served before we all headed to our rooms to pack for an early departure to Fort Dauphin.
After a rather early breakfast, we left at 7am, for the 2 hour drive back to Fort Dauphin and the airport. Everyone was rather disappointed that we had had only a little time to go looking for lemurs, so I asked at dinner if they would be keen to go to the Lemur Park outside of Tana, as we would have a few hours to spare the next day…. This suggestion had been met with great enthusiasm and the consensus was to buy some bread and cheese on the way, instead of stopping for a proper lunch. The lemur park was great – everyone got super pictures and agreed that is was a “MUST” add activity option for those who have time in Tana. We then headed back to Le Pavillion de l’Emyrne to off load the bags and then to Kudeta for our farewell dinner, which was an absolute hit!
Pavillion de l’Emyrne was fabulous, and definitely one of the nicest hotel experiences I have had in Tana. My companions loved the ambience and some even want to return to it for at least a week and explore more of Tana. After a stunning breakfast, which included everything you can think of, we left early enough to visit the craft market en route to the airport. This was a huge hit… I certainly found some great bargains and came home loaded with lovely curios (especially love my handcrafted solitaire set).The flight to JHB was a bit delayed, but I had left a decent gap for the domestic connection – so we were fine. Had a uneventful flight back to Cape Town and arrived safe and sound and very sorry to part ways… (the kayaking was a great team building exercise and I have definitely made some wonderful friends!)