Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Insight guide to Madagascar.
Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.
Philip is the author of the Insight Guide to Madagascar.
Sainte Luce Reserve is located in the idyllic and remote Baie de Sainte-Luce, locally known as Manafiafy. The reserve was established as an Australian-run community-based project in 2009. The main aim is to protect one of the last remaining coastal forests and its unique fauna. Although anybody can visit the forest, the only real traveler set-up in the area is the superb Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge, an exclusive beach accommodation option offering forest walks and water-based activities.
Day and night walks in the rainforest offer chances to see some of the lemur species, including the locally common, endangered red-collared brown lemur. There are lots of frogs and chameleons in the forest as well and dolphins are commonly seen on boat trips. Humpback whales come to the bay for calving and can be spotted from a purpose-built observation tower from June until November.
This remote destination has it all. The lodge is located on an isolated palm-fringed beach in a sheltered bay perfect for snorkeling and kayaking. Further afield are scenic mangroves and forested islands to explore. Inland, the area gives way to grassland, wetlands and most importantly a unique coastal rainforest.
Weather & Climate
Sainte Luce Reserve has a warm to hot climate, but a sea breeze usually provides relief from the heat. It rains throughout the year and the lodge is closed during the wettest months from January to March. The cooler months from April to September are the most comfortable.
Manafiafy Beach & Rainforest Lodge, the only accommodation at Sainte Luce Reserve, is closed from January to late March. These are the wettest months but aside from this period, there is no bad time to visit the reserve. Humpback whales come to the bay to calve and nurture their young from June to November.
Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.
Beach and bush at Sainte Luce Bay
Sainte Luce Reserve, located at the stunning Sainte Luce Bay, protects one of the last remaining coastal forests of Madagascar. The reserve is located at the edge of a village but there is only one tourist lodge nearby. I stayed at the...